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How brands can learn from Iain Banks and why weakness can be appealing

How brands can learn from Iain Banks and why weakness can be appealing

Iain Bank's career had a stuttering start: his first four novels, written over a 12-year period, were rejected by every publisher he tried.

What we learned from Build-a-Bear's pay your age promotion

What we learned from Build-a-Bear's pay your age promotion

Build-a-Bear's pay your age promotion allowed parents to buy a bear, normally costing up to £52, for the price of their child's age.

From the editor-in-chief: Creativity, optimism and diversity define this summer

From the editor-in-chief: Creativity, optimism and diversity define this summer

Creativity and diversity are the hot topics in the communications business this summer. The two are proving closely intertwined, of which more in a moment.

Comms has a central place in the Government's modern industrial strategy

Comms has a central place in the Government's modern industrial strategy

The strategy has enormous potential to boost the UK economy and society, looking beyond the Brexit process, and comms isn't just supporting the strategy's delivery - it's also an industry supported by it.

Industry Voice: 'A summer of love for PR but none for AVEs and Cannes'

Industry Voice: 'A summer of love for PR but none for AVEs and Cannes'

July is often a month for reflection, so here are my three topics upon which to reflect: One is good; one is a caution against complacency; one is a call to arms.

Gareth Southgate, PR extraordinaire

Gareth Southgate, PR extraordinaire

If anyone can bring a workable Brexit home, it's the England manager.

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals is everyone's business, but how do you convince everyone else of that?

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals is everyone's business, but how do you convince everyone else of that?

This week Measuring Up, the first comprehensive assessment of the UK's performance against the SDGs, was released. It makes for tough reading.

NHS70 is an opportunity to tell the story of the service and justify the funding it has received for the future

NHS70 is an opportunity to tell the story of the service and justify the funding it has received for the future

The NHS is one of the most-loved institutions in the UK, if not the number one. Polling continues to show there is overwhelming support for the NHS' founding principles - it is the one thing that unites Britons across political, demographic and regional divides.

The reason agency founders opt to go it alone

The reason agency founders opt to go it alone

New PR agencies launch every week in the UK. But what is it that inspires, motivates, drives and even pushes those with entrepreneurial aspirations to quit their day jobs and split from the security of an established agency?

Top of the month: England and Southgate play a blinder in the press room

Top of the month: England and Southgate play a blinder in the press room

Thanks to show-stealing WAGs, a disgruntled John Terry in South Africa, Roy "I don't really know what I am doing here" Hodgson, Gazza's infamous dentist's chair and more, the terms 'England football team' and 'good PR' are rare bedfellows at major tournaments.

Brands must play their part to help social media in the fight against fake

Brands must play their part to help social media in the fight against fake

In recent weeks we've seen social media reach new levels of influence in society.

Is PR ready to share? The employee ownership alternative to the agency model

Is PR ready to share? The employee ownership alternative to the agency model

Despite having some flagship proponents (John Lewis have been flying the flag since 1929), employee ownership uptake has, generally, remained confined to a few core sectors - notably professional services.

Flop of the Month: Runway runaway BoJo fails to show up

Flop of the Month: Runway runaway BoJo fails to show up

Boris Johnson has form when it comes making statements which are politically expedient at the time, only to welch on them when push comes to shove.

Heathrow decision: For aviation communicators, the hard work is just beginning

Heathrow decision: For aviation communicators, the hard work is just beginning

It has become a truism that Heathrow expansion is a totemic issue around which campaigners on both sides of the argument have prosecuted their battle for public and political opinion over at least the last 20 years.

Helping PRs to PR: hiring a dedicated marketing resource makes perfect sense for agencies

Helping PRs to PR: hiring a dedicated marketing resource makes perfect sense for agencies

If anyone is going to be good at self-promotion, it's going to be a PR agency, right?

Brands must weigh their comms options as Trump's trade war heats up

Brands must weigh their comms options as Trump's trade war heats up

Are American products sold in Britain about to get more expensive? In response to President Trump's tariffs on European steel and aluminium, the EU has stated that it will place duties on €2.8bn worth of US goods from today.

PR agencies again fail at PR Lions in tenth year, but does it really matter?

PR agencies again fail at PR Lions in tenth year, but does it really matter?

British consultancies had a very strong year in the earned media element of Cannes Lions 2018. Unfortunately, they weren't PR agencies.

Is it time to welcome AI in as a creative partner for PR?

Is it time to welcome AI in as a creative partner for PR?

If approached right, artificial intelligence could be the creative assistant you wish you always had.

It's high time PR learned to 'speak Muslim'

It's high time PR learned to 'speak Muslim'

When Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah, a devout Muslim, was substituted with a suspected knock during the Champions League semi-final win against Manchester City, it wasn't long before a meme was running wild in social space.

Radical rethink of influencer work as brands hand marketing over to employees

Radical rethink of influencer work as brands hand marketing over to employees

Brands are shifting from influencer advertising to a strategy of putting marketing into the hands of employees, their best influencers.

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.