Ray Kelvin, founder and CEO of UK fashion chain Ted Baker, has taken a 'voluntary leave of absence' as over 100 harassment allegations against him have come to light.
In the wake of soul-searching by leading agencies on the nature of public relations, Robert Phillips writes for PRWeek exactly six years since he quit as boss of Edelman, proclaiming 'PR is Dead'.
If someone had said five years ago 'soap on a rope' would make a comeback, you'd probably have had a good laugh at their expense.
In an age where the pen is mightier than the lord, killing a man of faith is condemnable, but to kill a man of free speech... sacrilege.
The economist, Keynes, predicted in 1930 in his famous essay that we'd all be working 15-hour weeks and we'd be confronted with how to find purpose with all our leisure time.
I think it was early 2016 at another 'Future of PR' event when I'd had enough; all 17 stone of me lurched forward to intercept the microphone from some poor, weary, events administrator.
Imagine getting a virtual tour of a blackened lung as part of a smoking cessation campaign, being able to test cutting-edge equipment located on the other side of the world or having a politician campaign in your living room.
We've hit peak "link building". There's no bigger proof than seeing the PR industry damaging its most valuable currency in search of them: their relationships with journalists.
For keen watchers of tech and innovation, Facebook sent up a reputational flare from Silicon Valley last month.
You look like a zombie. The door is locked, the blinds are down and there's a cushion to cover your eyes.
"People join companies, but leave managers" - this is at the heart of why every leader needs a coach.
Amnesty International's campaign to highlight the issue of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia reached its apogee in October following the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi (pictured), a prominent critic of the regime.
As a marketing director I've lost track of the number of brand rankings and accompanying articles which have told me that disruption and innovation are key to driving growth.
Scanning the news headlines last Monday morning, the scale of communicating the climate change challenge waltzed past my eyes.
Au contraire, Mr Trippenbach: Influencers are more than 'plastic celebrities awkwardly posing with products'
Contrary to Philip Trippenbach's stance, influencers are effective product sellers.
Comms professionals should be sounding the warning bell and providing counsel on what the ethnicity pay gap consultation and its findings could mean.
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.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! For almost 10 years, Unilever CEO Paul Polman has been a corporate rock star.
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.
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."
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.
The PR industry has long been aware of the cries of exasperated journalists receiving hundreds of daily pitch emails.
London v Paris in 2005; Sochi v Salzburg in 2007; Rio v Tokyo in 2009; PyeongChang v Munich in 2011.
The war on plastic gained a new player this summer: Somali militant Islamist group, al-Shabaab.
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.
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 is better than B2B." I hear it constantly, and the majority of the time, it is coming from people who only work in B2C.
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".
I'm terrible with too much choice. My idea of hell is a menu with more than ten options on it.
Influencers: are they blaggers, or are they professionals, worthy of a dedicated budget?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's no doubt that passionate people make good employees. Business leaders want teams with drive and ambition.
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?
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?
This month is UK LGBT+ History Month, marking the steps toward equality and the achievements that LGBT+ people have made in recent history.
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.
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.
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.
While Trump and Brexiters raise barriers and walls, independent comms agencies in Europe are tearing them down.
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.
American snowboarder Red Gerard was the first athlete to win a gold medal at this year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
"I'm sorry." They are two of the most powerful words in the English language.
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.
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.
Political crises have a cycle and a rhythm to them. At first they can hit like a tsunami, with Whitehall playing catch-up.
Good communications sits at the heart of how the NHS engages with its patients, communities and staff.
Last week the topic of influencer engagement, or more precisely gifting, was thrust into the spotlight.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
It was the all-agency meeting on a Monday morning that finally made me snap.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
It's time to wake up to the world's biggest shopping day, and no, it's not Black Friday.
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.
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.
Lucky customers who have always dreamed of ordering from the colonel himself are finally getting their chance.
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...
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.
Terrorist incidents like Westminster, Manchester, and London Bridge made me think hard about the contribution we can make as communications professionals.
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.
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.
Whiteboards, flipcharts and posters greeted staff when they turned up for work: Please don't switch on your PCs.
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.
Corporate scandals in 2017 have reinforced the importance of having a robust crisis management plan.
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.
We should embrace what better surveillance technology offers, but it must be done in an environment where there is transparency, consent and understanding.
The days when PR effort was simply measured by weight of media coverage and spurious and meaningless metrics are almost gone.
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?
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.
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.
When the number of something increases, it typically follows that the value decreases.
Step aside Jesus - the Easter bunny is in town!
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.
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.
Since 'fake news' and 'alternative facts' have taken on a more damaging connotation globally, this casts April Fools' jokes in a different light.
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.
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.
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.
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 - all too often comms agencies fail to communicate effectively to the prospect.
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.
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.
'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
Inherently, there is hurt woven into the dictionary definition of brave - 'ready to face and endure danger or pain'.
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?
Let's face it, I could have stopped after 'snake' and you'd have known exactly what I was talking about.
The Trump era should help end 'diversity fatigue' and be the catalyst for value-driven corporate communication.
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.