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In the spotlight

Crisis comms: spare the CEO and let the brand take the strain

Crisis comms: spare the CEO and let the brand take the strain

Imagine reading a thriller set in the PR industry: crisis comms would be the most intriguing backdrop for the plot, as this is the closest PR gets to real human drama.

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Latest opinion

The duds and the Dianas of Royal Wedding brand campaigns

The duds and the Dianas of Royal Wedding brand campaigns

Plenty of brands tried to jump on the royal bandwagon ahead of the wedding of Harry and Meghan. Joe Mackay-Sinclair, co-founder of The Romans, gives his blessing to two that worked - and two that didn't.

UKIP's 'Black Death' comment: PR gold?

UKIP's 'Black Death' comment: PR gold?

Though no longer employed by UKIP as their head of communications, I still provide consultancy to the party.

Sector specialism: Short-sighted or just commercially astute?

Sector specialism: Short-sighted or just commercially astute?

It's all too easy, when working agency-side or as a part of an in-house communications team, to forget the real drivers that compel a company to engage with PR.

Sector specialism in PR and comms is a short-sighted requirement

Sector specialism in PR and comms is a short-sighted requirement

More often than not, 'sector experience' is listed as a key requirement when a company is shortlisting agencies to handle its PR.

Agony Aunt: Should we follow Donna Imperato's example and not 'have time to be nice'?

Agony Aunt: Should we follow Donna Imperato's example and not 'have time to be nice'?

The chairman of Cathcart Consulting gives her verdict on this and other professional conundrums.

Earning coverage: Five steps to the perfect media day

Earning coverage: Five steps to the perfect media day

Media days can become a waking nightmare for public relations practitioners if not planned correctly, but there are ways to avoid the pitfalls and ensure a successful event.

My biggest gaffe: Murder in the press conference

My biggest gaffe: Murder in the press conference

Rob Brown, managing partner at Rule 5, reveals a toe-curling moment that may be the most 90s PR nightmare ever told.

The World PR Forum taught me a valuable lesson: We all speak the same language in comms

The World PR Forum taught me a valuable lesson: We all speak the same language in comms

It may be 665 miles away, but the communication challenges and issues of the day discussed in Oslo were very close to home.

Britain is looking for a Brexit model that can work, but should they copy Norway? Absolutely not!

Britain is looking for a Brexit model that can work, but should they copy Norway? Absolutely not!

Once upon a time, the sun didn't set over the British Empire, the Queen was more than a symbolic figure, and "Rule Britannia" had meaning beyond nostalgia.

Private jubilation and public leadership challenges: Two public affairs takes on the local election results

Private jubilation and public leadership challenges: Two public affairs takes on the local election results

The local election campaigns produced mixed results for Labour and the Conservatives, with both failing to make significant gains into the other's territory.

Local news is among the most trusted information sources - and this is why

Local news is among the most trusted information sources - and this is why

Trust in local newspapers is rising, according to a recent study, while Facebook and Twitter are said to be increasingly eyed with suspicion as news sources.

'Silence is golden', even when you're on the TV and radio

'Silence is golden', even when you're on the TV and radio

Look what happens when you let your guard down just for a moment. You sing a song when you think no one is listening, and it threatens to become a bigger story than the one you were there to talk about in the first place.

Government communicators must build on past successes to meet the challenges of the future

Government communicators must build on past successes to meet the challenges of the future

This year, I celebrate five years leading the Government Communication Service (GCS) and find myself reflecting on how far we as a profession have come.

Cutting through complexity is the biggest challenge in sustainability comms

Cutting through complexity is the biggest challenge in sustainability comms

Increasingly, we're living in a world of purpose-led brands and yet; when it comes to the sustainability sector, we still struggle to apply basic communications principles.

Top of the Month: Starbucks takes blame and acts after race relations flashpoint

Top of the Month: Starbucks takes blame and acts after race relations flashpoint

Protestors staging a sit-in in your store are calling your company racist, while your customers nationwide are blaming it for the arrest of two black men who did nothing wrong.

Hot Spot: Engawa, Soho, London

Hot Spot: Engawa, Soho, London

Engawa is the place to take a client who will appreciate high-quality Japanese cuisine, with genuine Kobe beef and the perfect sashimi box.

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?

Flop of the Month: TSB's handling of bungled IT upgrade a recipe for reputational disaster

Flop of the Month: TSB's handling of bungled IT upgrade a recipe for reputational disaster

When a national newspaper runs a live blog about a failed IT upgrade at your company - affecting millions of customers - you know you have problems.

Is purdah the signal for local authorities to stop everything?

Is purdah the signal for local authorities to stop everything?

As we move into the final couple of weeks before this year's local elections, it is perhaps timely to reflect on what purdah has meant for communicators.

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.

Seeing red: what gets you fuming?

Seeing red: Don't pass the buck to PR professionals, we are not salespeople

Seeing red: Don't pass the buck to PR professionals, we are not salespeople

I find it extraordinary that public relations is an industry many struggle to understand and define, especially when it comes to our role with sales.

Seeing red: Charities are not helping their cause by ducking criticism

Seeing red: Charities are not helping their cause by ducking criticism

Charities need to face up to criticism and communicate more effectively, says Russell Hargrave, media manager at NPC

Seeing red: Everyone loses in a badly run pitch

Seeing red: Everyone loses in a badly run pitch

Only well-run pitch processes give agencies the chance to present their best work - to the ultimate benefit of the client.

Seeing red: Don't underestimate the power of a wordsmith

Seeing red: Don't underestimate the power of a wordsmith

Anyone can string a sentence together, but don't make the mistake of thinking anyone can do it well, says Wyn Matthews, editorial manager at Word Association.

PRWeek's tops of the month

Top of the month: Skittles' sweet response to Trump Jnr's refugee analogy

Top of the month: Skittles' sweet response to Trump Jnr's refugee analogy

Confectionery brand Skittles showed less can be more when responding to a tricky comms situation.

Top of the month: Team GB and BOA triumph at Rio 2016

Top of the month: Team GB and BOA triumph at Rio 2016

Team GB and the wider British Olympic Association played a blinder in August. Aside from the athletes' medals haul, the reputation management and comms were gold standard.

Top of the month: How did Pokémon Go catch everyone's attention?

Top of the month: How did Pokémon Go catch everyone's attention?

There is, famously, no 'I' in 'team', but the extraordinary way in which the Pokémon Go phenomenon has played out this month leads to the question: how much 'PR' is there in 'viral'?

PRWeek's flops of the month

Flop of the Month: Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley (he was basically asking for it)

Flop of the Month: Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley (he was basically asking for it)

Sometimes, PRWeek's UK team has a tough time selecting its Flop of the Month.

Flop of the month: Sir Philip Green's interview technique

Flop of the month: Sir Philip Green's interview technique

Sir Philip Green's summer has gone from bad to worse. First he was grilled by select committees on the demise of BHS, with his prickly demeanour not going down well.

Flop of the month: Sir Elton John versus the media

Flop of the month: Sir Elton John versus the media

Although there may be legitimate reasons for doing so, trying to muzzle the press with court orders has a nasty habit of backfiring on celebrities who take this course.