Lies, damned lies and statisics
Hopefully that's not true of this edition of PR Futurist as it's packed full of the latest research reports. We take a look at the use and abuse of ESG, greenwashing and climate misinformation, as well as the latest Reuters' research on digital news.
There's also a useful new guide about libel, privacy and data protection laws around the world which is useful to anyone who does crisis communications.
Madame Tussaud's Blackpool repeated a stunt Madame Tussaud's has used before by placing its wax work of Boris Johnson outside the local job centre. Madame Tussaud's did the same with Donald Trump when he refused to fulfil Obamba's promise to open the new US embassy in London.
Burger King was quick off the mark to newsjack the resignation of UK prime minister Boris Johnson. If you are one of our international readers and English isn't your first language, you need to know that a Whopper is not only a large burger, but also a gross or blatant lie... something Mr Johnson is renowned for and ultimately became his downfall.
Tesla doesn't cut it on ESG
Despite all the hype about ESG many people don't really understand it. ESG stands for environment, social/society and governance. It's actually a rating or metric for investors, but has been readily embraced by many in PR and communications who see it as a fresh alternative to the tainted CSR or corporate social responsibility.
The latest hoo-ha is because the S&P 500 Index has dropped Tesla (the world's 'leading' manufacturer of electric cars) from its ESG index.
This is actually brilliant as it's an important reminder that the E for environment isn't what ESG is about. The S and G are just as important. Tesla might perform well on E, but I doubt there are many that would need more than a superficial glance to identify it doesn't do much for its social obligations or good governance.
An International Guide to Defamation, Privacy and Data Protection Law
If you do crisis communications, then sometimes it is appropriate to resort to legal remedies. Carter-Ruck are the chosen libel attack dogs of the rich and famous. It has published a useful guide to defamation, privacy and data protection in different legal jurisdictions around the world.
Research and reports
Our research reports | University of Technology Sydney
Professor Jim Macnamara has bought together ten years work into a report entitled 'Organizational Listening in Public Communication: Emerging Theory and Practice'. A compendium of case studies on organisational listening with analysis and the development of better models of practise. This is a heavy weight report that repays the effort with actionable insights for your day-to-day commuications activity. [after clicking the link, you need to scroll down to find the report]
Digital News Report 2022 from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Digital News Report is always an interesting read. After last year's comparatively optimistic results, this year's paints a more pessimistic picture.
Interest in new has declined considerably in many countries and trust in news has fallen almost everywhere. Many people are suffering 'news fatigue' and actively trying to avoid news on a wide range of issues from Covid-19 to politics and other subjects.
Comms must be brave and embrace leadership role in fight for climate truth
The UK-based PRCA (Public Relations and Communications Association) has published new research that reveals nine out of 10 PR professionals now advise their clients and colleagues to help them understand the climate crisis and how they can effectively communicate the part they play.
Almost half (45%) have identified their clients or organisations as attempting to greenwash. It's both reassuring and alarming that 89% have pushed back on this and 57% managed to change the approach. The alarming part is the 11% that didn't push back (can they really call themselves PR professionals?) and that 43% failed to change the approach.
What did they do next? Did they become complicit in greenwashing? Did they quit in protest? Or there's another possibility that they didn't actually identify greenwashing, and it was their own misunderstanding of climate change that was the problem.
Investors need multiple digital touchpoints, especially in a crisis
The latest Brunswick Digital Investor Survey provides some interesting insights into how investors use and trust digital and social media.
Two key findings are that investors want to hear from companies across a variety of digital touchpoints and how important effective digital communication is in moments of crisis.
The most trusted digital touchpoints are a company's IR site, email newsletters, Google search results, Wikipedia, podcasts, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Towards the bottom of the list are Reddit, Facebook, WeChat, Baidu Baike, Instagram and TikTok.
Cannes: Ranking the 2022 Gold PR Lions Winners
The Cannes Lions are the highest profile of all the many advertising, marketing and PR awards. However, I've always had a problem with trusting them when it comes to PR and communications.
Somehow, despite having PR professionals on the jury, they still don't have a clue what public relations actually is and act like they are stuck in an 80s time warp. They rarely reward PR excellence and instead focus on stunts and fake metrics.
This is an excellent polemic by Paul Holmes, founder of PRovoke Media, who eloquently explains why this year's awards are perhaps even worse than usual.
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