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Why agencies are sitting on the next pay gap time bomb

Why agencies are sitting on the next pay gap time bomb

Comms professionals should be sounding the warning bell and providing counsel on what the ethnicity pay gap consultation and its findings could mean.

If the PR industry & brands don't act on influencer 'ads', regulators will

If the PR industry & brands don't act on influencer 'ads', regulators will

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last month launched a consumer enforcement investigation into social media endorsements and the labelling of posts by social media stars and celebrities.

Unilever's leaving/not leaving debacle explained in five clichés

Unilever's leaving/not leaving debacle explained in five clichés

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! For almost 10 years, Unilever CEO Paul Polman has been a corporate rock star.

Punch-up in the BrewDog brewery: Enjoy the schadenfreude, it could be you next

Punch-up in the BrewDog brewery: Enjoy the schadenfreude, it could be you next

So, let's be honest; we all reached peak schadenfreude last week whilst watching the BrewDog-Scofflaw thing unravel from the smug comfort of our oh-so-perfect, professional high ground.

Conservative Party Conference 2018: The Party of Opportunity?

Conservative Party Conference 2018: The Party of Opportunity?

Messaging at the 2018 Tory conference reads: "Opportunity. The Conservative Party is the Party of opportunity. The Conservative Party is the Party that will deliver a Brexit which gives Great Britain the opportunity to thrive on the global stage."

Drop the heavily branded press releases and approach journalists with tailored content

Drop the heavily branded press releases and approach journalists with tailored content

Talkability and shareability should be the prime drivers of how content is shaped and the traditional "PR release" should be consigned to the media relations history book.

Will GDPR sound the death knell for the old-fashioned sell-in?

Will GDPR sound the death knell for the old-fashioned sell-in?

The PR industry has long been aware of the cries of exasperated journalists receiving hundreds of daily pitch emails.

'The doyen of sport communications' - my Olympic PR battles with Mike Lee OBE

'The doyen of sport communications' - my Olympic PR battles with Mike Lee OBE

London v Paris in 2005; Sochi v Salzburg in 2007; Rio v Tokyo in 2009; PyeongChang v Munich in 2011.

Al-Shabaab's war on single-use plastics is a lesson in corporate reputation management

Al-Shabaab's war on single-use plastics is a lesson in corporate reputation management

The war on plastic gained a new player this summer: Somali militant Islamist group, al-Shabaab.

Civil war over the proposed APPC merger will leave it in tatters, whatever the outcome

Civil war over the proposed APPC merger will leave it in tatters, whatever the outcome

If gold standard public affairs and PR are about delivering excellence in communication with key stakeholders, the recent row about the proposed APPC-PRCA merger is a case study in how such dialogue should definitely not be handled.

What PR pros can learn from the Great British Bake Off

What PR pros can learn from the Great British Bake Off

As PR professionals, we pride ourselves on having our finger constantly on the pulse - being up-to-date with the most important events is crucial - and what's more important than the return of the Great British Bake Off?

B2C vs B2B comms: The fight

B2C vs B2B comms: The fight

"B2C is better than B2B." I hear it constantly, and the majority of the time, it is coming from people who only work in B2C.

Two views on Elon Musk's 'Pedo guy' tweet and subsequent apology

Two views on Elon Musk's 'Pedo guy' tweet and subsequent apology

Tech billionaire Elon Musk referred to one of the British divers - instrumental in rescuing 12 schoolboys from a cave in Thailand - as a 'Pedo guy' during a Twitter spat. Today Musk apologised, adding that "his actions against me do not justify my actions against him".

The road to Cannes is paved with over-zealous attendance intentions

The road to Cannes is paved with over-zealous attendance intentions

I'm terrible with too much choice. My idea of hell is a menu with more than ten options on it.

To pay or not to pay: the thorny issue of influencers

To pay or not to pay: the thorny issue of influencers

Influencers: are they blaggers, or are they professionals, worthy of a dedicated budget?

Swift action halts brewing racism storm for Starbucks

Swift action halts brewing racism storm for Starbucks

This morning I met a colleague in a coffee shop. They were late, so I waited to order until they arrived. I asked to use the bathroom. No one lifted an eyebrow. But then I'm white.

Targeting women is not a comms strategy in its own right

Targeting women is not a comms strategy in its own right

With the current momentum around the #metoo movement, it feels like we're all talking, writing and pushing for gender equality like never before - however, despite the beginnings of a cultural shift, some communications strategies remain stuck in the mud.

As the big beast leaves the stage - is it time for a new holding company model?

As the big beast leaves the stage - is it time for a new holding company model?

I was almost done with this article when news broke on Saturday evening that Sir Martin Sorrell (aka SMS, aka June 21st - work it out, etc) had resigned.

The post-Sorrell interregnum at WPP will be a difficult period for the company

The post-Sorrell interregnum at WPP will be a difficult period for the company

Any external candidate to succeed Sir Martin Sorrell as CEO is unlikely to be available to start straight away - at this level many are working to at least six months' notice.

WPP CEO Sorrell's final thoughts on PR

WPP CEO Sorrell's final thoughts on PR

Before he resigned as CEO, Martin Sorrell gave PRWeek his thoughts on the PR industry and WPP's agencies in the PR and public affairs sectors.

The joys and challenges of working with your siblings

The joys and challenges of working with your siblings

Working with family can be challenging, as well as highly beneficial. To celebrate National Siblings Day today, these are my five top tips to successfully work with siblings.

The pursuit of passion: why PR leaders should welcome side projects

The pursuit of passion: why PR leaders should welcome side projects

There's no doubt that passionate people make good employees. Business leaders want teams with drive and ambition.

Flop of the month: Mark Zuckerberg's initial silence while Facebook burned

Flop of the month: Mark Zuckerberg's initial silence while Facebook burned

Facebook is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons these days - but while fake news and extremist content had been the topics on everybody's lips for some time, could the way it uses personal data prove to be a killer blow?

Toys R Us collapsed because it neglected its brand

Toys R Us collapsed because it neglected its brand

After eight years of financial loss, Toys R Us has finally collapsed. So, what did this well-known retailer - once seen as an institution on the high street - fail to do?

LGBT+ History Month is a good moment to reflect on obstacles to equality in PR and comms

LGBT+ History Month is a good moment to reflect on obstacles to equality in PR and comms

This month is UK LGBT+ History Month, marking the steps toward equality and the achievements that LGBT+ people have made in recent history.

Get it right on gender messaging: six questions to ask yourself

Get it right on gender messaging: six questions to ask yourself

For years gender equality has been on the agenda, but now it really feels like a watershed has been reached and the momentum has become serious.

When ad giants like Unilever question their social spend, does it presage a shift to 'earned'?

When ad giants like Unilever question their social spend, does it presage a shift to 'earned'?

It's no surprise the PR industry took notice recently when Unilever threatened to pull advertising budget from Facebook and Google unless they deliver transparency about news, protect children from extremist and toxic content, and build public cohesion rather than division.

The Taylor Review says it's game over for unpaid internships, but is it?

The Taylor Review says it's game over for unpaid internships, but is it?

Interns' rights hinge on two essential premises: that there are clear legal, moral, and business justifications for paying people gaining experience, and that the distinction between output and outcomes from 'interns' and 'everyone else' is wholly artificial.

Post-Brexit, European comms agencies are coming to steal your lunch

Post-Brexit, European comms agencies are coming to steal your lunch

While Trump and Brexiters raise barriers and walls, independent comms agencies in Europe are tearing them down.

Since when has a lack of cakes ever been a good thing? When it's a key metric for a comms campaign

Since when has a lack of cakes ever been a good thing? When it's a key metric for a comms campaign

Let me explain... We had an issue. Specifically, trying to address a perennial headache around reaching a remote group of staff - our on-call firefighters.

Why a Winter Olympics underdog can make a better brand ambassador

Why a Winter Olympics underdog can make a better brand ambassador

American snowboarder Red Gerard was the first athlete to win a gold medal at this year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

The power of the (well-deployed) written apology

The power of the (well-deployed) written apology

"I'm sorry." They are two of the most powerful words in the English language.

What does the UK need to adopt from Australia's PR industry? Standout spokespeople

What does the UK need to adopt from Australia's PR industry? Standout spokespeople

Call me controversial, but I count a solid spokesperson as 80 (if not 90) per cent of the battle to get good media coverage - wherever you are in the world, whatever your story.

The PR industry needs to fix the causes of the gender pay gap earlier in women's careers

The PR industry needs to fix the causes of the gender pay gap earlier in women's careers

We're (for the most part) very conscious now of the "motherhood penalty" women pay in our industry due to maternity leave and that this is a key cause of the gender pay gap.

How do you solve a PR problem like Carillion?

How do you solve a PR problem like Carillion?

Political crises have a cycle and a rhythm to them. At first they can hit like a tsunami, with Whitehall playing catch-up.

NHS comms still has 'second class' status compared to board-level positions - and that must change

NHS comms still has 'second class' status compared to board-level positions - and that must change

Good communications sits at the heart of how the NHS engages with its patients, communities and staff.

'Blag-gate' shows that influencer engagement will get out of hand if brands don't take back control

'Blag-gate' shows that influencer engagement will get out of hand if brands don't take back control

Last week the topic of influencer engagement, or more precisely gifting, was thrust into the spotlight.

If Brexit is to be reversed in a second referendum, Remainers must stop communicating like amateurs

If Brexit is to be reversed in a second referendum, Remainers must stop communicating like amateurs

Regardless of the pros and cons of Brexit, the 2016 EU referendum campaign should be remembered for some elementary communications mistakes by Remain, which allowed Leave, despite being a clear under-dog, to sneak through and win.

Millennials: Generation snowflake or agents of change?

Millennials: Generation snowflake or agents of change?

"Entitled", "narcissistic" and "lazy" - millennials get a bad rap, but if we don't do something to keep this talent in our business, another industry will.

Eight challenges for the Government Communication Service in 2018

Eight challenges for the Government Communication Service in 2018

At the start of 2018 public service communication needs to redouble its efforts to raise standards, deliver timely digital communication and built trust in public institutions.

Prepare for Brexit, a changing of the guard and the rise of the left

Prepare for Brexit, a changing of the guard and the rise of the left

Brexit is affecting the whole industry, but nowhere is its impact more keenly felt than in public affairs, where the scene is set for more political uncertainty.

Three ways to make your meetings more inclusive for the deaf

Three ways to make your meetings more inclusive for the deaf

It was the all-agency meeting on a Monday morning that finally made me snap.

Creativity, resourcefulness and resilience: My year covering public sector comms

Creativity, resourcefulness and resilience: My year covering public sector comms

When I was asked in January to edit a weekly bulletin, covering public sector communications and highlighting the fascinating work going on there, I must admit to having felt a little daunted.

The right to privacy and personal data applies to all, not just the Premier League

The right to privacy and personal data applies to all, not just the Premier League

Media lawyers and judges have, since the Human Rights Act came into force in 2000, grappled with numerous circumstances where the right to privacy competes with other rights, perhaps most notably the rights of the media to freedom of expression.

Last Christmas for adland as we enter a bright new age of PR?

Last Christmas for adland as we enter a bright new age of PR?

As the media buyers and planners obfuscate their ignorance on where their online ads are going, who they are reaching, and at times why they are sending them, creative PR's are staging a comeback catalysed by something we retained all along; a clear and actionable purpose.

The rise of the lean, green PR Machine

The rise of the lean, green PR Machine

New agile business models are bringing the era of wasteful practices in PR to a close, but what does the lean principle mean for our industry?

Do we need women-only clubs to foster female entrepreneurs in PR?

Do we need women-only clubs to foster female entrepreneurs in PR?

As we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week this week, it's as good a time as any to reflect on the fact that I've been an entrepreneur for 15 years.

'Sorry' needn't be the hardest word for public sector organisations

'Sorry' needn't be the hardest word for public sector organisations

The Apology Clause campaign launched last week to make it easier for organisations to behave with compassion when things go wrong, and for victims to have better recoveries.

Does your brand content really need to be 'always on'?

Does your brand content really need to be 'always on'?

The year 2013 was a lightbulb moment for social content. It all started, innocently, when a blackout unexpectedly stopped play at the US Super Bowl.

Why should marketers in the West care about China's Singles Day?

Why should marketers in the West care about China's Singles Day?

It's time to wake up to the world's biggest shopping day, and no, it's not Black Friday.

How can Bell Pottinger move on from its South African scandal?

How can Bell Pottinger move on from its South African scandal?

Bell Pottinger's controversial work for the Gupta family in South Africa last year and the fallout ever since, was already the UK PR industry's biggest story of 2017 but has truly caught fire over the past two days.

The next Cannes invasion: Risk-management experts

The next Cannes invasion: Risk-management experts

As the festival of creativity celebrates fearless work that engages controversy, there will be a growing role for those who handle fallout and debates, writes BlueCurrent Japan MD Tetsuya Honda.

Watch: KFC brings Colonel Sanders back again...as a robot

Watch: KFC brings Colonel Sanders back again...as a robot

Lucky customers who have always dreamed of ordering from the colonel himself are finally getting their chance.

Enough is enough - political communicators must ditch the Lynton Crosby playbook

Enough is enough - political communicators must ditch the Lynton Crosby playbook

The Crosby campaign playbook is simple, but the General Election result proves that this time it didn't work. Here are four lessons political comms pros can learn from that failure...

We must learn from Grenfell Tower; as communicators it's our responsibility

We must learn from Grenfell Tower; as communicators it's our responsibility

Humility in a time of crisis that should have underpinned the response to the Grenfell Tower fire; instead, there were holes all over the developer's response.

How to handle media relations in times of terror

How to handle media relations in times of terror

Terrorist incidents like Westminster, Manchester, and London Bridge made me think hard about the contribution we can make as communications professionals.

Why is big pharma still labelled a bad egg? This is a job for communications...

Why is big pharma still labelled a bad egg? This is a job for communications...

If consumer and - most importantly for pharma - professional audiences are ever going to relate to the industry, agencies need to increase their efforts to build trust, inspire and inform.

The news is broken - but let's not try and fix it

The news is broken - but let's not try and fix it

Our challenge is to see the changes, particularly via social media, and adapt; because a great story always cuts through, wherever you want your client to be.

The cyber-attack exposed NHS vulnerabilities but it also proved the resilience of its staff

The cyber-attack exposed NHS vulnerabilities but it also proved the resilience of its staff

Whiteboards, flipcharts and posters greeted staff when they turned up for work: Please don't switch on your PCs.

Was the Labour manifesto leak an act of strategic comms genius, worthy of Campbell and Mandelson?

Was the Labour manifesto leak an act of strategic comms genius, worthy of Campbell and Mandelson?

When news broke on Wednesday night that Labour's draft General Election manifesto had been leaked, media attention immediately focussed on tales of sabotage and civil war within the party.

Four steps to building an effective crisis simulation workshop

Four steps to building an effective crisis simulation workshop

Corporate scandals in 2017 have reinforced the importance of having a robust crisis management plan.

What's the comms verdict on 100 days of Trump?

What's the comms verdict on 100 days of Trump?

This Saturday marks 100 days of President Trump. The milestone prompted a declaration from the White House that Trump had accomplished more in his first 100 days than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt.

As surveillance technology increases, public engagement over how we use it is crucial

As surveillance technology increases, public engagement over how we use it is crucial

We should embrace what better surveillance technology offers, but it must be done in an environment where there is transparency, consent and understanding.

Today's PR people need to understand algorithms to achieve cut-through

Today's PR people need to understand algorithms to achieve cut-through

The days when PR effort was simply measured by weight of media coverage and spurious and meaningless metrics are almost gone.

You can write, right? Five tips for future PR practitioners

You can write, right? Five tips for future PR practitioners

There's a 'national day' for almost everything, and 10 April didn't disappoint, offering a celebration for siblings, cinnamon crescents and farmyard animals.

'The social (media) party will win' - why are big comms agencies in France staying out of the presidential elections?

'The social (media) party will win' - why are big comms agencies in France staying out of the presidential elections?

For a long time in France, major communication agencies loved to display their support to presidential candidates. All the key industry names used to commit to our political wannabes.

Could data and humanity have saved United Airlines?

Could data and humanity have saved United Airlines?

Charles Lankester, EVP at Ruder Finn Asia, explores the four things the embattled airline could have done to avert what has developed into a massive PR disaster.

Bogus influencers are undermining brand confidence and confusing the state of play

Bogus influencers are undermining brand confidence and confusing the state of play

When the number of something increases, it typically follows that the value decreases.

Just how Christian is an Easter egg hunt?

Just how Christian is an Easter egg hunt?

Step aside Jesus - the Easter bunny is in town!

The United Airlines incident was viral content, not a crisis

The United Airlines incident was viral content, not a crisis

Whatever United Airlines is going through, it's not a crisis. Just because you've drafted a holding statement about something doesn't make it a crisis.

The five stages of brand grief (as experienced recently by Pepsi)

The five stages of brand grief (as experienced recently by Pepsi)

On the morning of 7 May 1937, engineers standing around the still-smoldering wreckage of the LZ 129 Hindenburg had a moment of quiet reflection.

In an era of fake news, brands should probably give themselves the day off this April Fools' Day

In an era of fake news, brands should probably give themselves the day off this April Fools' Day

Since 'fake news' and 'alternative facts' have taken on a more damaging connotation globally, this casts April Fools' jokes in a different light.

How Theresa May is using her US Vogue fashion shoot to open up to a new audience

How Theresa May is using her US Vogue fashion shoot to open up to a new audience

The way in which women dress is regularly subject to intense scrutiny with judgements and assumptions being made about an outfit choice rather than ability.

Five things a PR professional should consider if they want Russians to love their brand

Five things a PR professional should consider if they want Russians to love their brand

The Russian market in the 21st century has changed beyond recognition. It now stands out sharply in comparison to the other markets due to the speed and radical nature of these changes.

Why PR needs planners - and what we still have to learn from ad agencies

Why PR needs planners - and what we still have to learn from ad agencies

Once upon a time, PR agencies didn't see the need for planners: whereas ad agencies employed them to ground their creative ideas in genuine insights about their audience, the PR industry took a different route.

The comms conundrum of railway policy: the more you sell it, the worse it gets

The comms conundrum of railway policy: the more you sell it, the worse it gets

A painful paradox lies at the heart of the Government's rail policy - an anomaly that is tarnishing some of the biggest brands in the transport sector.

Consultancy pitching is sometimes like the proverbial cobbler's children

Consultancy pitching is sometimes like the proverbial cobbler's children

Consultancy pitching is sometimes like the proverbial cobbler's children - all too often comms agencies fail to communicate effectively to the prospect.

For the purposeful business, a handbook is not enough; it's about how you communicate

For the purposeful business, a handbook is not enough; it's about how you communicate

What defines a purposeful company? Will Hutton and Clare Chapman of the Purposeful Business Taskforce have begun to answer that question with the publication of their eponymously titled report on the subject.

Hold the wheatgrass smoothies: International Women's Day is a reminder that PR is far from perfect

Hold the wheatgrass smoothies: International Women's Day is a reminder that PR is far from perfect

I am a feminist. How did this happen? I could drop the usual clichés about being the father of two young girls and living in a house full of women.

The City can teach us a lot about dealing with 'fake news'

The City can teach us a lot about dealing with 'fake news'

'Fake news' may be new to some, but it's an oft-told tale in the City, which can provide UK media regulators with a valuable lesson in effective policing

When did 'brave' become a bad word for brands?

When did 'brave' become a bad word for brands?

Inherently, there is hurt woven into the dictionary definition of brave - 'ready to face and endure danger or pain'.

Mental health is a public sector comms issue

Mental health is a public sector comms issue

One in four experience mental illness each year, but more than half of communications professionals are more afraid to speak up about mental than physical health?

It's back, and it has snake: why the Nokia 3310 relaunch needs no introduction

It's back, and it has snake: why the Nokia 3310 relaunch needs no introduction

Let's face it, I could have stopped after 'snake' and you'd have known exactly what I was talking about.

Corporates find their voice on diversity in the age of Trump

Corporates find their voice on diversity in the age of Trump

The Trump era should help end 'diversity fatigue' and be the catalyst for value-driven corporate communication.

The Oscars platform will be highly political but is the risk for brands worth it?

The Oscars platform will be highly political but is the risk for brands worth it?

Award season is upon us. The politicians have had their platforms, used their channels, abused each other and indeed their social media accounts. Now it is the turn of the artists; the most democratically elected of public figures.

PR in the age of Tinder - are clients and agencies afraid of commitment?

PR in the age of Tinder - are clients and agencies afraid of commitment?

Having breakfast the other morning with the director of a content agency, he commented that he thought the marketing and PR industry had commitment issues.

Air safety relies on collaborative comms

Air safety relies on collaborative comms

There are few industries more competitive than aviation. Years of seismic change and liberalisation has facilitated widespread positive impact on competition and innovation.

Do you send unsolicited emails to journalists? You could have a big problem

Do you send unsolicited emails to journalists? You could have a big problem

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not a subject that will get hearts racing, but the PR industry had better take notice.

Do you speak human? The best corporate comms in the post-truth world will be B2H

Do you speak human? The best corporate comms in the post-truth world will be B2H

In this period of political and societal turbulence, the only certainty is uncertainty - that's where 'business to human' communications comes in.

Isis hack on NHS shows the risk of cyber attack is omnipresent

Isis hack on NHS shows the risk of cyber attack is omnipresent

Last week, it was reported that Isis-inspired hackers carried out an attack on six NHS websites and posted brutal images of violence from the war in Syria.

Know your niche when pitching to the trade press

Know your niche when pitching to the trade press

The world of specialist B2B PR is populated by hard-to-please technical editors and demanding clients that may not be media savvy, so these are the dos and don'ts of trade press media relations.

Can businesses adapt their comms to the rise of nationalism?

Can businesses adapt their comms to the rise of nationalism?

As some of the world's superpowers take a more nationalistic approach and their societies become more divided, global businesses are facing entirely new comms challenges.

Smash-and-grab approach is turning influencer marketing into a 'straight-up sh*t show'

Smash-and-grab approach is turning influencer marketing into a 'straight-up sh*t show'

Most influencers are turning into glorified ad-boards, so please can everyone in the PR industry stop calling this form of paid advertising influencer marketing.

We need to be global citizens in order to be successful in PR

We need to be global citizens in order to be successful in PR

There's a lot of talk around our industry these days about diversity, and it is good and right that we are collectively trying hard to force ourselves out of our British, white, middle-class straitjacket.

The unconscionable arrogance of unpaid internships

The unconscionable arrogance of unpaid internships

This month, for the first time in our history, we recruited an intern.

Theresa May could be Trump's best asset

Theresa May could be Trump's best asset

The Prime Minister has scored an important coup by being the first head of government to meet President Trump on Friday.

Spicer and Trump: how defending your boss could get you fired

Spicer and Trump: how defending your boss could get you fired

When your boss is attacked in the media, it hurts. I mean, physically hurts.

Power of BBC's 'Hospital' documentary series can help frame NHS debate

Power of BBC's 'Hospital' documentary series can help frame NHS debate

Documentaries have always been a powerful tool for raising awareness among the public of 'wicked' policy issues and, in some cases, leading to changes in government policy.

Why I hate use of the phrase 'game changer' in press releases

Why I hate use of the phrase 'game changer' in press releases

'Game changer' is a pointless phrase. It litters press release headlines every day, but it doesn't really tell you anything.

Why every team needs a CD - a 'creative deviant', that is

Why every team needs a CD - a 'creative deviant', that is

The start of the year brings the inevitable talk of goal-setting. Maybe you're looking to up the ante on your personal creativity, hunt that Cannes Lion or innovate in your sector.