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.
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.
There are few industries more competitive than aviation. Years of seismic change and liberalisation has facilitated widespread positive impact on competition and innovation.
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.
In this period of political and societal turbulence, the only certainty is uncertainty - that's where 'business to human' communications comes in.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This month, for the first time in our history, we recruited an intern.
The Prime Minister has scored an important coup by being the first head of government to meet President Trump on Friday.
When your boss is attacked in the media, it hurts. I mean, physically hurts.
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.
'Game changer' is a pointless phrase. It litters press release headlines every day, but it doesn't really tell you anything.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Forget the gym membership - here are a couple of New Year's resolutions to improve the fitness of your business.
The timetable may still be uncertain, but corporate comms practitioners must be able to show that business strategies are in place as Brexit nears.
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'.
In a 'post-truth' world, the BBC has to better understand and respond to audience needs to retain credibility.
For the first nine years of my career, I thought the PR function had a very good relationship with the board.
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.
With the insights and data available to today, it's up to clients and agencies alike to get beyond banal targeting.
In November 2016 The Campaign Against Antisemitism made a complaint against an East London cafe called Nincomsoup.
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.
Leave and Trump campaigns can herald a new verbal dawn for communications, at the expense of 'arrogant network agencies' and their visual bias.
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?
As the fallout continues from another shock election result, this time in the US, it is natural to look for scapegoats.
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.
Credit cards at the ready, mobile devices to hand, finely tuned bargain-hunting instincts heightened: that's right, it's Black Friday.
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.
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 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?
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.
Comms can help Whitehall meet the challenge of the Brexit era by improving the Government's ability to listen to its disgruntled citizens.
Over the weekend, Lego ended its promotional partnership with the Daily Mail after customer letter and #StopFundingHate pressure.
Brexit has overtaken the economy as the Government's top priority and public affairs practitioners must act fast to make their voices heard
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.
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 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.
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.
November has just started, but ad junkies are already talking about the blockbuster face-off between John Lewis and Marks & Spencer this Christmas.
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.
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.
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.
Once, no other comms discipline could influence the news agenda like PR. But today the industry faces serious challenges.
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?
So that's it. Last night, baking fans wept as the BBC aired the Great British Bake Off for the final time.
Back in the day, influence was easily bought and I don't mean cash for questions.
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.
It's not just Parliament that needs to be at its best during Brexit, but the PR industry, too.
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.
Theresa May's premiership is 100 days old on Saturday and numbers can sum up this initial period aptly.
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.
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?
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.
Samsung said Tuesday that it is killing one of its flagship products after a month of safety hazards.
We work in a world of quick sales cycles, short client-agency relationships and revolving doors, with the average CMO tenure just 44 months.
For ROI and brand engagement with mums, Instagram is the super-channel, killing Facebook and 'mummy blogs' in one fell swoop.
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?
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.