The latest views from PRWeek's journalists, columnists and contributors - and Twitter

In the spotlight

Germanwings has been forced to operate beyond the standard crisis comms manual

Germanwings has been forced to operate beyond the standard crisis comms manual

A week ago the airline Lufthansa was hobbled by a third consecutive day of strike action by its pilots. Aircraft were grounded, flights cancelled and the travel plans of thousands of air travellers disrupted.

More …

Latest opinion

The Beeb was right to sack Clarkson

The Beeb was right to sack Clarkson

I actually quite enjoy Top Gear. I like the easy camaraderie and mocking that occurs between the three leads as it only can between people who've been actual friends for years.

PR is the original branded content

PR is the original branded content

While sitting on a panel at Advertising Week Europe, ruminating over the nature of 'branded content', it became clear that the lessons for brands and agencies are ones that we in the PR profession have been learning for years.

I didn't get where I am today...without working hard and laughing hard

I didn't get where I am today...without working hard and laughing hard

Ilona Hitel, the founder of The CommsCo, on two key reasons for her success.

Lufthansa, Germanwings darken logos on social media in mourning after crash

Lufthansa, Germanwings darken logos on social media in mourning after crash

The discount airliner's CEO also spoke at a press conference on Tuesday. Airbus and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations both released statements on the incident.

Five devices politicians use to build a winning sound bite

Five devices politicians use to build a winning sound bite

With the general election drawing ever closer, politicians are bombarding the public with speeches on TV, radio, in town halls, on buses and - in the case of Nigel Farage - even in pubs. They are all searching for the killer sound bite that will deliver them victory like Bill Clinton's devastating "it's the economy, stupid" used in the 1992 US presidential campaign. Here are five rhetorical devices politicians will attempt to combine for the sound bite that could win them the election.

A mixed bag for booze and fags

A mixed bag for booze and fags

It has been a fortnight of contrasting fortunes for the UK's two biggest 'sin' industries.

Only a cultural shift, not quotas, will turn the tide

Only a cultural shift, not quotas, will turn the tide

Boards with a high proportion of women outperform all-male boards, yet ­attitudes are still lagging behind in business.

Top ten tips to win new business

Top ten tips to win new business

Once the comms channels get clogged, your days are numbered.

Personal attacks and personal allowances: the coalition's last Budget

Personal attacks and personal allowances: the coalition's last Budget

In the last Budget of the Parliament, George Osborne claimed not to be making any pre-election giveaways, but he certainly made a few sweeteners and reminded people about the giveaways he has already made.

Osborne's sixth Budget defines both him and David Cameron's premiership

Osborne's sixth Budget defines both him and David Cameron's premiership

Budgets come and Budgets go - but this one is significantly different. It is a moment of definition for Chancellor George Osborne, its architect. And his sixth Budget also defines the future of David Cameron's premiership.

Domenico Dolce needs to act fast to prevent further damage to Dolce & Gabanna brand

Domenico Dolce needs to act fast to prevent further damage to Dolce & Gabanna brand

It is unlikely that fashion designer Domenico Dolce could ever have predicted the fallout from comments he made to Italian magazine Panorama, about same-sex families and babies conceived through IVF being "synthetic".

TTIP may be a good deal but its supporters need to communicate it more effectively

TTIP may be a good deal but its supporters need to communicate it more effectively

TTIP is not your typical free trade agreement. To be more precise, as one of the primary goals of the agreement is to address a range of regulatory issues between the two blocs, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being discussed by the US and the European Union is not an entirely traditional free trade agreement.

Context marketing: How brands can use cultural relevance to hijack the news agenda

Context marketing: How brands can use cultural relevance to hijack the news agenda

Oreo's success in hijacking Super Bowl XLVII with a timely tweet beautifully illustrated the power of context and sparked a growing trend for brands to attach more importance to contextual thinking and 'deviate from the script' where appropriate.

From the guest editor: It is time for women to take their place at the top

From the guest editor: It is time for women to take their place at the top

Welcome to the first women issue of PRWeek, a celebration of the astonishing breadth of female talent in the industry, to mark International Women's Day. Our industry is 60 per cent female, but PRWeek has historically struggled to reflect this in its balance of contributors, despite its best efforts.

Top of the month: Greenpeace campaign takes Banco Santander to task

Top of the month: Greenpeace campaign takes Banco Santander to task

Top marks go to environmental campaign group Greenpeace for bringing the parent group of Santander to the negotiating table with a hard-hitting campaign against rainforest destruction in Indonesia.

Maverick spokespeople - a blessing or a curse?

Maverick spokespeople - a blessing or a curse?

The news that Jeremy Clarkson has finally managed to get himself suspended by the BBC might not come as a major shock to many.

The CEO is a company's most valuable PR asset

The CEO is a company's most valuable PR asset

Today, the news is a conveyor belt. It puts massive demands on editors, journalists and programme planners.

International Women's Day: Women who have had a positive impact in their field

International Women's Day: Women who have had a positive impact in their field

International Women's Day (IWD) - an outdated sexist concept, a good hook or an essential day to put women's rights and inspiring females on the agenda?

Flop of the Month: Barnardo's slated for paying Made in Chelsea star £3,000

Flop of the Month: Barnardo's slated for paying Made in Chelsea star £3,000

Children's charity Barnardo's came under fire after The Sun accused it of paying reality TV star 'Binky' Felstead £20,000 for promoting the charity on Instagram.

In the hands of the public, cameras are like CCTV for brands

In the hands of the public, cameras are like CCTV for brands

A reputation train crash is just a tweet away, but preparedness is key to a quick recovery.

Seeing red: what gets you fuming?

Seeing red: put an end to the serial 'compers'

Seeing red: put an end to the serial 'compers'

People who enter every competition going are not likely to engage with your brand, says Jennifer Teale, PR manager, retail, leisure & lifestyle at Rumpus PR

Seeing red: Antisocial media needs to stop

Seeing red: Antisocial media needs to stop

Clients and agencies must see social comms as more than an invasive add-on, says Ben Caspersz, MD and founder, Claremont Communications.

Seeing red: keeping the peace with the client

Seeing red: keeping the peace with the client

We find ourselves telling the client what they want to hear, not what they need to hear, says Andy Shaw, account director at Kindred.

PRWeek's tops of the month

Top of the month: Benedict Cumberbatch recovers from race row

Top of the month: Benedict Cumberbatch recovers from race row

In an interview on American talk show Tavis Smiley, actor Benedict Cumberbatch caused controversy when he raised the issue of diversity within acting.

Top of the month: Rosetta space mission leaves Kim Kardashian seeing stars

Top of the month: Rosetta space mission leaves Kim Kardashian seeing stars

It was a story to rival the best Hollywood sci-fi, but this real-life space mission became a global media phenomenon.

Top of the month: Airbnb and Waterstones grab headlines with sleepover

Top of the month: Airbnb and Waterstones grab headlines with sleepover

The PR and marketing team at Airbnb was quick to spot an opportunity after a Texan tourist, David Willis, became locked inside a branch of bookstore chain Waterstones near Trafalgar Square.

PRWeek's flops of the month

Flop of the month: Green Party wrong-footed by off-colour remarks

Flop of the month: Green Party wrong-footed by off-colour remarks

Those inclusive, liberal, lefty types at the Green Party never seem to put a foot wrong when appealing to their core constituency of sandal-wearing, muesli-knitting tree lovers. Do they?

Flop of the month: Sheffield United scores reputational own goal over Ched Evans

Flop of the month: Sheffield United scores reputational own goal over Ched Evans

It is difficult to know the exact moment to pull the plug and accept that one is in a battle one cannot win, but the comms team at Sheffield United can reasonably be accused of a defensive error with its handling of the Ched Evans debacle.

Flop of the month: UKIP tries and fails to pull off tuneful political satire

Flop of the month: UKIP tries and fails to pull off tuneful political satire

In an ill-advised attempt at humour, the party released UKIP Calypso, a song performed by former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read.

I didn't get where I am today ...

I didn't get where I am today... without being bold

I didn't get where I am today... without being bold

Hilary Cross, director of external affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support, explains why it is important that she makes a difference.