This week in PR (15 March)

Rainbow over London Eye @sparklypinchy
Rainbow over London Eye @sparklypinchy

In the news

  • Anniversaries this week: The Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) is 70, having started as the British Association of Industrial Editors in 1949; Tim Berners-Lee’s outline for what became the World Wide Web was presented at CERN 30 years ago.
  • Laureline Garcia-Bertaux: Golin has paid a tribute to a colleague murdered in London (Holmes Report).
  • CIPR has announced ten more Chartered Practitioners: Deborah Aurelius; Verity Cash; Hannah Claffey; Lisa Davies; Kirsty Edwards; Alex Mallinson; Jenny Manders; Rhian Moore; Elizabeth Rawlins; Clare Saunders
  • The CIPR’s benevolent fund Iprovision has added three trustees: Lizzie D’Angelo, Baroness Grender and James Harkness.
  • Here is the shortlist for the PRCA Digital Awards 2019 (winners to be announced on 26 March).

Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to editor@prplace.com or @pr_place

Purpose and professionalism

Academic and education

  • Adam Tuckwell and Jon Wilcox: The PRHub Podcast: Episode #1 - Becky Hall [after 14 mins] (13 March)
    'Asking questions doesn't make you stupid; it makes you smart. Never assume.'
  • Marcel Klebba: #PowerAndInfluence: Back to school (13 March)
    ‘Stephen Waddington and I were invited to join the comms community #PowerAndInfluence Twitter chat, originated by Ella Minty. We tackled development, learning, and blogging. Here are ten takeaways from the discussion.’
  • Martin Flegg: Communicating in the perfect storm (12 March)
    Uncertainty should never be used as an excuse to not think about communication or to communicate at all. It is, in fact, at times like these that communication is the most important tool available to help HE institutions weather the perfect storm.’

Consulting, careers and skills

Politics and public affairs

  • Aaron Bass: Spring Statement: a lesson in PR resilience (13 March)
    'Our challenge is to create content that will cut through the Brexit noise and create attention within our target audiences. It is not going to be easy, but the opportunity is still there.'
  • Stuart Thomson: It’s not just about the written word (12 March)
    ‘Sometimes communications and influence needs more than just words.  An audience may appear hearing about a campaign in a different format or through a different medium.’
  • Simon Fitzpatrick: Tom Watson’s Future Britain Group could be a game changer for Labour (12 March)
    ‘Watson states that [Future Britain Group] will be a forum to restate social democratic values, to ensure all voices are heard within the party, and to address major policy challenges facing the country.
  • David Singleton: Reflections on a decade with the cream of UK lobbying (8 March)
    ‘Allan, Lewington, McLeod, McMillan and Anderson are the leading lights in an industry that has professionalised at pace in recent years. Of course, challenges still remain. Lobbying still has an image problem and it hasn’t escaped me that the vast majority of my pals in public affairs are white men.’

Public and third sectors

  • Shayoni Lynn: Can you really miss out on the power of nudge? (15 March)
    'You don’t need to be undertaking a behaviour change campaign to use behavioural science principles. Indeed, the beauty of testing means you will gain a better understanding of audience needs, motivations, and influences; you’ll be able to quickly identify what works and what doesn’t – and critically, why. For us, a behavioural approach has led to higher engagement, more effective participation, and even income generation.'
  • Josephine Graham: What if…? (10 March)
    ‘If I hadn’t gone to Comms Unplugged I wouldn’t have got to know the amazing community of ‘unpluggers’ I now chat with almost daily, about everything from work or personal struggles to cake recipes.’

Brands and influence

 Trust, crisis and reputation

  • Bieneosa Ebite and Paul Nezandonyi with Clea Bourne: PR Bants #29 [podcast] (12 March)
    ‘This is the nineteenth year [of the Edelman Trust Barometer], and it seems that trust is having its nineteenth nervous breakdown.’
  • Jonathan Hemus: Why crisis communication training is essential for safe landings (12 March)
    ‘Why don’t other businesses commit to crisis management training with the same dedication as those in aviation?'

Gender and diversity

  • Vassilena Valchanova: How I Overcame Shyness and Became a Public Speaker for Audiences of 1,000 (no date)
    'The problem in my experience isn’t that not enough women are chosen to speak – it’s that too few apply in the first place. So we need to remedy this by engaging women and showing them that it’s easy enough to apply and they won’t be torn apart on stage.'

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay with Stephen Waddington: Learning comms lessons from PR (no date)
    ‘The internal audience has to be the most important from a communication point of view.’
  • Advita Patel: Five top tips to get ‘walk the floors’ embedded into your organisation (11 March)
    ‘One key issue that people tend to struggle with is getting their leaders out of HQ and walking the floor – I’ve certainly struggled and it can be tough especially if they have a really busy diary. So, here are some top tips/advice that I’ve picked up over the years to get the ball rolling on ‘walk the floors.’
  • Rachel Miller: A look back at 70 years on Internal Comms (11 March)
    ‘Originally formed in 1949 as the British Association of Industrial Editors (BAIE), the IoIC’s core purpose has remained the same for the last 70 years – to raise the profile and professionalism of the industry.’
  • Helen Deverell: How to be an ethical internal communicator (10 March)
    ‘I recently attended a CIPR Inside session run by Katherine Bradshaw from the Institute of Business Ethics and Katie Marlow from Little Bird Communication. It was a fascinating insight into the various ethical dilemmas we can find ourselves in and how to deal with them.’

Campaigns and creativity

  • Helen Reynolds: Great comms takes courage (11 March)
    ‘Creative, engaging social media doesn’t just take skills and creativity – it takes guts.’

Community and CSR

  • Rob Smith: Liverpool FC: Champions of CSR (12 March)
    ‘A large part of Red Neighbours’ success is due to its good relationship with local schools; 25 institutions now work with Liverpool FC, collaborating on projects such as official Christmas cards (bringing the young and elderly together) and careers events where club staff explain why a degree isn’t necessary for success.’

Measurement and evaluation

Technology and AI

  • Stephen Waddington: Artificial Intelligence: Lack of knowledge in marketing and PR is an ethical issue (11 March)
    ‘The hype surrounding AI is unhelpful. Professional communicators must act ethically and improve their knowledge.’
  • Neville Hobson: Near futures at scale (11 March)
    ‘Privacy is dead: Just by virtue of being alive in 2019, you are generating data – both intentionally and unwittingly – that is mined, refined, productized and monetized. We no longer have an expectation of total privacy. At least not like we’ve known it before.’

Media and digital

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

  • Heiða Ingimarsdóttir (Leeds): When studies hit home (14 March)
    'Watching Boeing gave me the feeling they wanted to skip the first step as they didn’t seem to see the importance of grounding their own planes while airlines took it upon themselves to do so. It was very interesting as I was learning this to be able to put it in perspective to a real-life crisis that was ongoing before and after this lecture.'
  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): #Startingout – getting that first ‘dream job’ (14 March)
    'There is so much pressure to find that ‘dream job’ straight away. To be that person on the course who has their life and dream job sorted.'
  • Beth Smith (Sunderland): Meet the PRofessionals | Arianne Smart, KOR Communications (14 March)
    'At school and college, I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career so took a year out before university to work it all out. PR encompasses many of the things I enjoy, so I thought it sounded like the right career for me.'
  • Niuma Ugail (Leeds Beckett): Create a Personal Brand Through Blogging. (14 March)
    'We are all trying to build a personal brand. Whether you are looking for a better job or owning a successful career, we are all working towards a better online reputation.'
  • Yana Miladinova (Bournemouth): #CommsSchool: My top tips for networking (14 March)
    'Thanks to LinkedIn and Twitter, networking is easier than ever. Students can connect with practitioners and follow their careers. Join the conversation and comment on some tweets/posts. Again, ask questions.'
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): University of Greenwich Talk: My Tips for Student Bloggers (13 March)
    ‘This blog helped me secure my placement year. All of us that study PR can say that we are extremely passionate about the PR industry since we are pursuing a degree in the subject and have had experience in the field, but how can you actually show your passion?’
  • Orlaith Strong (Ulster): Celebrities in Crisis: Is all PR really good PR? (13 March)
    ‘Can celebrity PR scandals be managed?  In my opinion, it depends. It depends on the context, the scandal, the fan following, the time, the circumstances and sometimes, just sometimes, these factors can create the perfect storm.’
  • Katie Gebbie (Sunderland): PR and the Gambling Industry (12 March)
    ‘Is the relationships between bookmakers and their target publics healthy? Are the PR professionals working for these big corporations acting in the most ethical way possible?’
  • Ceri Jones (South Wales): 5 top metrics for blogging success (9 March)
    ‘For any blogger, whatever the reason behind your blog, it’s important to know what metrics can help decipher what’s working and what isn’t.’
  • Holly Rees (South Wales): I Wonder If She Knows? (8 March)
    ‘There are two points to this blog – one being be careful about being vague online, being ambiguous can be a wonderful tool if used correctly, but could be a minefield if unintended or done badly. And two, find a way to tell your mother you love her… even if you have to write a silly PR blog post and ask her to proofread it for you!’
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About the author

Richard Bailey

Richard Bailey is editor of PR Place. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.


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