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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 clich├ęs 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.

President Trump: Let the show begin while liberal democracy recalibrates its message

President Trump: Let the show begin while liberal democracy recalibrates its message

Rather like waiting for a dental appointment, you want the pain to be over as quickly as possible and so it is with Donald Trump's inauguration.

Want to tackle diversity? Dump the diversity circus

Want to tackle diversity? Dump the diversity circus

I was born in Tanzania to a Ugandan father and a Rwandan-Tanzanian mother. I'm always surprised by those that talk about Africa as if it's a country and Africans as if we are all the same.

From hack to flack - the 'dark side' isn't as dark as you think

From hack to flack - the 'dark side' isn't as dark as you think

Over my 18 years or so in B2B journalism it's clear to me that the two professions share many of the same skills and attributes - and that the disciplines are rapidly converging.

The NHS's 70th birthday could be inspirational for healthcare comms

The NHS's 70th birthday could be inspirational for healthcare comms

Healthcare comms in 2017 will be characterised by a refinement of the way in which we use rich media, and the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

Agency Doctor: Use January to get your agency into shape

Agency Doctor: Use January to get your agency into shape

Forget the gym membership - here are a couple of New Year's resolutions to improve the fitness of your business.

Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride: corporate comms predictions for 2017

Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride: corporate comms predictions for 2017

The timetable may still be uncertain, but corporate comms practitioners must be able to show that business strategies are in place as Brexit nears.

Is 2017 the year of 'peak beard'? Seven brand comms predictions for 2017

Is 2017 the year of 'peak beard'? Seven brand comms predictions for 2017

Hope&Glory's James Gordon-MacIntosh makes seven predictions for brands in the year ahead, including fake news, live experiences and whether we've reached 'peak beard'.

We at the BBC must listen more to gain trust

We at the BBC must listen more to gain trust

In a 'post-truth' world, the BBC has to better understand and respond to audience needs to retain credibility.

What is the board's language and how do we speak it?

What is the board's language and how do we speak it?

For the first nine years of my career, I thought the PR function had a very good relationship with the board.

Tea, death and privacy - 11 strong PRWeek opinions from 2016

Tea, death and privacy - 11 strong PRWeek opinions from 2016

The resurgence in legal attempts to gag the media, an ironic take on 'using' dead celebrities to promote products, and how making tea will improve your PR skills - all were among the most-read opinion pieces on PRWeek UK in 2016.

'Millennials' are the new 'busy mums' - and both terms are meaningless

'Millennials' are the new 'busy mums' - and both terms are meaningless

With the insights and data available to today, it's up to clients and agencies alike to get beyond banal targeting.

The thorny issue of brand 'forgiveness'

The thorny issue of brand 'forgiveness'

In November 2016 The Campaign Against Antisemitism made a complaint against an East London cafe called Nincomsoup.

African comms firms embrace the new world economy as the continent eyes growth

African comms firms embrace the new world economy as the continent eyes growth

Underpinning Africa's well-documented growth have been numerous important factors: oil, commodities, China and the fallout from the global crash in 2008. Of these, the most important are oil and China.

PR and comms face the perfect verbal storm

PR and comms face the perfect verbal storm

Leave and Trump campaigns can herald a new verbal dawn for communications, at the expense of 'arrogant network agencies' and their visual bias.

One PR man, two guv'nors: why PR pros should treat journalists like clients

One PR man, two guv'nors: why PR pros should treat journalists like clients

The client isn't a PR professional's only master, but how do you know what journalists and editors want if you don't get to know them?

How should business respond to the seismic shift in capitalism?

How should business respond to the seismic shift in capitalism?

As the fallout continues from another shock election result, this time in the US, it is natural to look for scapegoats.

Digital and social media skills gap can be addressed by learning while you work

Digital and social media skills gap can be addressed by learning while you work

Our recent Digital PR and Communications Report told us - as if we didn't know already - that the growth of digital comms as a budgetary concern for brands is not only expected, but happening now.

Black Friday, e-commerce and why PR must embrace the sales cycle

Black Friday, e-commerce and why PR must embrace the sales cycle

Credit cards at the ready, mobile devices to hand, finely tuned bargain-hunting instincts heightened: that's right, it's Black Friday.

Reputation and safety to the fore as Barry Bennell could become the Jimmy Savile of football

Reputation and safety to the fore as Barry Bennell could become the Jimmy Savile of football

Savile triggered a crisis at the BBC - with allegations of cover-ups - and police investigations into similar abuse by other celebrities of his era. The same could now engulf football.

Protecting your pitch: to NDA or not to NDA?

Protecting your pitch: to NDA or not to NDA?

So, you've got an opportunity to pitch to a new client and, after a fruitful brainstorming session with your team, you've got it: The concept that's got 'winning pitch' written all over it.

P&O and Samsung - a sea change for internal PR professionals?

P&O and Samsung - a sea change for internal PR professionals?

P&O called on customers to name its newest ship, while Samsung's CEO told his 489,000 employees the company must use the Galaxy Note 7 crisis as a chance to improve how the brand thinks about innovation. What is the connection?

Happiness is the best medicine for healthcare comms, post-Brexit

Happiness is the best medicine for healthcare comms, post-Brexit

Healthcare comms is ready to tell a tale of success if the Government opts to increase investment in science and research as a result of Brexit.

Public sector comms pros must create a 'culture of listening'

Public sector comms pros must create a 'culture of listening'

Comms can help Whitehall meet the challenge of the Brexit era by improving the Government's ability to listen to its disgruntled citizens.

Lego's move to end Daily Mail tie-up is a brave decision - and the right one

Lego's move to end Daily Mail tie-up is a brave decision - and the right one

Over the weekend, Lego ended its promotional partnership with the Daily Mail after customer letter and #StopFundingHate pressure.

Public Affairs: Lobbying the Government must now be seen through the prism of Brexit

Public Affairs: Lobbying the Government must now be seen through the prism of Brexit

Brexit has overtaken the economy as the Government's top priority and public affairs practitioners must act fast to make their voices heard

Broadcast television is 80 years old and PR must harness the medium for the digital age

Broadcast television is 80 years old and PR must harness the medium for the digital age

It was 80 years ago this month when Elizabeth Cowell spoke the famous words: "This is direct television from the studios at Alexandra Palace" - the first high-definition television service of its kind, from the BBC.

Brands could be the tabloids' Achilles heel in the #StopFundingHate campaign

Brands could be the tabloids' Achilles heel in the #StopFundingHate campaign

Last Friday, #StopFundingHate became a trending topic in the UK after thousands on Twitter urged Daily Mail advertisers to pull their support for the paper after that day's front page portrayed three high-court judges as "enemies of the people".

Prince Harry's statement was a watershed - but you mess with the press at your peril

Prince Harry's statement was a watershed - but you mess with the press at your peril

Prince Harry's decision to rebuke sections of the British media for their coverage of his girlfriend's life and background is widely seen as a milestone moment in the relationship between the Royals and the Fourth Estate.

Trump voters have delivered a stunning body blow to the political establishment

Trump voters have delivered a stunning body blow to the political establishment

In the first iteration of this analysis, I spoke in an exhausted voice on the length of this campaign, the divisive nature of the rhetoric and the overwhelming sense of relief that the long, strange cartoon was finally over.

The excellence of festive campaigns should teach us that brand engagement is not just for Christmas

The excellence of festive campaigns should teach us that brand engagement is not just for Christmas

November has just started, but ad junkies are already talking about the blockbuster face-off between John Lewis and Marks & Spencer this Christmas.

What brands can learn from Weight Watchers' mishap

What brands can learn from Weight Watchers' mishap

There's a difference between offering a solution to a problem and trying to profit off someone's negative self-image, writes the global chief creative officer of Publicis Health.

Mental Wealth: learning to control how you feel is a powerful thing

Mental Wealth: learning to control how you feel is a powerful thing

We are all different, but when it comes to what aids good mental health and what harms it, there are some things everyone should bear in mind.

POLL: Is Russia's attempt to hire a PR firm to improve its image abroad a good idea?
InStyle going digital shows how PR must adapt to the new media environment

InStyle going digital shows how PR must adapt to the new media environment

The recent news that InStyle is becoming a digital brand is one of many ways traditional media is adapting to the new age and the PR industry needs to keep up.

Is PR facing extinction? Maybe, if it doesn't evolve drastically and soon

Is PR facing extinction? Maybe, if it doesn't evolve drastically and soon

Once, no other comms discipline could influence the news agenda like PR. But today the industry faces serious challenges.

Is PR the natural bridge between the 'church and state' of content and authenticity?

Is PR the natural bridge between the 'church and state' of content and authenticity?

If content is king, distribution is queen and authenticity is God; is PR the natural choice to take charge of this crossroad between church and state?

Will the #GBBO brand banter subside on Channel 4?

Will the #GBBO brand banter subside on Channel 4?

So that's it. Last night, baking fans wept as the BBC aired the Great British Bake Off for the final time.

The era of effortful influence

The era of effortful influence

Back in the day, influence was easily bought and I don't mean cash for questions.

Reddit is the new vital news tool for journalists, but what does this mean for PR?

Reddit is the new vital news tool for journalists, but what does this mean for PR?

Most people think of Reddit as the birthplace of keyboard warriors and the sort of NSFW viral content that could get you in trouble if you open it in front of your mum.

Brexit demands a new era of political dialogue and PR can learn from it

Brexit demands a new era of political dialogue and PR can learn from it

It's not just Parliament that needs to be at its best during Brexit, but the PR industry, too.

The Legacy of @POTUS - Obama has changed digital campaigning for ever

The Legacy of @POTUS - Obama has changed digital campaigning for ever

The end of a presidency is a time for reflection on legacies and Barack Obama's Presidency has spanned the era when digital communications grew up.

100 Days of May: Messages playing well with public but internal conflict always at hand

100 Days of May: Messages playing well with public but internal conflict always at hand

Theresa May's premiership is 100 days old on Saturday and numbers can sum up this initial period aptly.

Do you speak robot? Re-wiring b2b comms

Do you speak robot? Re-wiring b2b comms

A product recall for a faulty synthetic human hit the web a few weeks ago to announce, shock-factor-style, the new season of 'Humans' on Channel 4.

Long live the crisis comms plan: preparation is essential in the digital age

Long live the crisis comms plan: preparation is essential in the digital age

Some say the crisis plan is dead in today's world of lightning speed digital media and proliferating platforms, but they couldn't be more wrong.

Unilever versus Tesco: who should bear the cost of the falling pound - manufacturer, retailer or consumer?

Unilever versus Tesco: who should bear the cost of the falling pound - manufacturer, retailer or consumer?

A dispute between Unilever and Tesco has seen household brands such as Marmite and Pot Noodle removed from the retailer's online shop, but this issue extends beyond two mega-brands and the grocery market in general.

Timeline: How Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 flamed out

Timeline: How Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 flamed out

Samsung said Tuesday that it is killing one of its flagship products after a month of safety hazards.

Campaign time frames are tightening and it's changing PR planning

Campaign time frames are tightening and it's changing PR planning

We work in a world of quick sales cycles, short client-agency relationships and revolving doors, with the average CMO tenure just 44 months.

Why 'Mumstagram' is where it's at (and why it's killing Facebook)

Why 'Mumstagram' is where it's at (and why it's killing Facebook)

For ROI and brand engagement with mums, Instagram is the super-channel, killing Facebook and 'mummy blogs' in one fell swoop.

Influencers: partnership or free labour?

Influencers: partnership or free labour?

Social media influencers are in high demand among brands wanting a bit of cool and the right audience, so why are some in our industry treating them with such contempt?

When disaster strikes, should you call your lawyer or your PR?

When disaster strikes, should you call your lawyer or your PR?

Whether it is pre-crisis planning and preparation, real time crisis management or post crisis recovery, the direction given to the managers of a company by advisers, legal and non-legal, is a key plank in helping a board make good choices for their shareholders.