📈 It's trend time
It's still November, so we can't mention the C word yet, but it's already getting to that time of year when people start to talk about trends for 2021. I was already thinking about it before Serena Erlich of BusinessWire asked me to participate in an expert panel to look at what 2021 might have in store for the global PR industry. If you've any thoughts or insight into what we might expect then let me know and credit you in a future That Was The Week That Was.
📡 What's in store for media and public relations in 2021? - BusinessWire experts on the top trends
None of us could have predicted the turbulent events of 2020 so it seems foolhardy to attempt to do it for 2021. It hasn't stopped BusinessWire inviting an expert panel of media and PR experts to talk about the future. I'm one of three panelists on a live webinar on 10 December at 6:00pm GMT, 7pm CET, 1pm ET, 10am PT. My fellow panellists are Ginger Porter, the president of Golin's Central Region responsible for managing the agency's headquarter office in Chicago, and Sandra Fathi, president of Affect PR, a top technology, healthcare and professional services PR company.
🔟 The Economist ten trends to watch in 2021
The Economist's Tom Standage has penned an interesting summary of ten trends to watch in 2021. I'm grateful to CPP Group's trend-watching John Brenan for emailing to alert me to this as I'd missed it. Tom has written several fantastic books, including one of my favourite books about social media - Writing on the Wall, which details the first 2,000 years of social media.
💉 What are the ethics of Pfizer and Moderna executives personally making millions legally from shares?
If you aren't familiar with the 10b5-1 rule this is a fascinating account by Den Howelett in Diginomica about how executives at Pfizer and Moderna have used it to personally make millions after the announcement of COVID-19 vaccines. If this sounds to you like illegal insider trading, Den explains how thanks to Rule 10b5-1 it's apparently legal. It raises interesting ethical questions and highlights the difference between morals and principles and just following rules to the letter.
🙋 PRCA COVID-19 Taskforce publishes globally-crowdsources report of communications lessons
Earlier this year I joined the PRCA's COVID-19 Task Force and was lucky enough to work with many of the fantastic public relations professionals from all around the world. This is a fantastic report on the communications lessons we can draw from this year. As well as reading the report you can also watch a recoding of 60-minute webinar hosted by task force chair Tony Langham where they summarise the main findings.
🍛 The best of global PR and communication via India
PRAXIS is one of the world's biggest public relations conferences and is usually held annually in India. This year organiser Amith Prabhu and team have replaced it with SPECTRA, an online conference on reputation management. The move online makes it much easier for practitioners in other countries to attend. I do a lot of work in India and have always been impressed by the calibre of Indian PR professionals. I've never been able to time an India trip so I can either speak at or attend PRAXIS, but in January started to plan to ensure I could this year. So much for that plan. 😢
This year by going online it means everyone has an opportunity to hear from some of India's best, but also from leading PR professionals from around the world. It's great value and there is still time to book (although unfortunately international delegates miss out on getting a tasty lunch delivered to their home!)
🎮 PlayStation's pulls off creative Tube stunt despite the pandemic
I'm not a big fan of 'PR stunts' but occasionally one catches my eye because it's actually good and not just a publicity stunt. This work by Danny Whatmough and team at Red for Sony is fantastic. If you don't know central London you might not realise these PlayStation control signs replacing official London Underground signs are right outside what was Microsoft's flagship store (before its recent closure). I sourced the picture from Danny's LinkedIn account, so I'm hoping I'm using an official media shot.
📧 NHS communications bulletin show cases best practice
We all know that NHS communicators do a brilliant job and this year they've been even more amazing than usual. The NHS Confederation and NHS Employers publishes the NHS Communications Bulletin which showcases some of amazing work and also signposts some great resources. This issue contains stories on Bradford Teaching Hospitals has worked to dispel COVID-19 myths and conspiracy theories and a link to resources and graphics to use during Disability History Month (18 November-20 December). Thanks to Luke Farley for this one.
How to and tips
👂 How to use qualitative market research
If you've ever been on one of my training courses or I've done consultancy for you then you've probably heard me talking about the importance of research, insight and planning. The challenge is most PR and communication teams don't have a dedicated research professional. This is a great introduction to qualitative market research. Thanks to David Brain for sharing it. Incidentally, if you're looking for a great market research tool then take a look at David's company Stickybeak. I'm having a play with it at the moment and will share my thoughts once I've finished investigating it.
🐏 What inspired you to work in PR? - Castrating sheep and contentious court cases
When OnePitch CEO Jered Martin asked on Twitter "What inspired you to work in PR?" I was one of many PR professionals to respond. My answer was "Finding out I didn't have to decide on just one industry but could actually learn about anything from castrating sheep and sending video down a phone line to making compost and court cases about mad cow disease. Just over 30 years later I still love the variety." Genuinely the variety is the main reason I love public relations. In the last few years I've worked on everything from lobbying to get the government to fund building small modular reactors (mini-nuclear power stations) and the reputation of steel works to measuring public policy for one of the world's biggest technology companies and helping a US pharmaceutical company avoid a major issue become a serious crisis. Every day is a school day.
Stuart Bruce Associates
Can I help you?
After a quiet 2020 I'm already seeing the green shoots of recovery so my diary is starting to fill again with consultancy and training projects.
Why not get in touch for a quick chat on how I can help you modernise your public relations practice including team skills and capability audits, measurement and evaluation and the choice, purchase and implementation of public relations technology #PRTech. Just get in touch via my Stuart Bruce Associates website. I'm always happy to jump on a Teams or Zoom call.
You can read the first 15 issues of That Was The Week That Was in the archive on Substack. There are links in the footer to follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn or to read my PR blog.