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Your PR Primer: A Clubhouse Guide for PR professionals, Business Ethics is now the top reputation risk, Cision acquires Brandwatch for $450M


🌼 Spring has sprung

Today is the first day of Spring and I don't know about you but I'm feeling optimistic and excited about what this year will bring. Lots of the ways society and the economy work will be different. I believe many of the changes we are experiencing are trends that were already in motion and what the pandemic has done is massively speed up seismic changes which would have eventually happened anyway.

Stuart Bruce | TWTWTW  

Corporate affairs

🏠 Clubhouse - a guide for public relations and corporate affairs professionals

I've published a mammoth guide to help public relations and corporate affairs professionals understand Clubhouse and how they can use it. Most of the Clubhouse hype has focused on consumer and celebrity issues, so I wanted to consider why it's relevant to corporate communications and public affairs as well.  

I've published a mammoth guide to help public relations and corporate affairs professionals understand Clubhouse and how they can use it. Most of the Clubhouse hype has focused on consumer and celebrity issues, so I wanted to consider why it's relevant to corporate communications and public affairs as well. 

🙌 Business ethics is now the top UK reputation risk

We already believe that the ethics of a business play an increasingly larger role in its overall reputation than ever before. I often talk to clients about how while people might have long agreed with the importance of corporate ethics it was easy just to talk about it without doing anything about it. Today businesses have to be more ethical, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because of the massively increased scrutiny. In a world where everyone can watch how you behave and easily share what they see you can't risk misbehaving.

Communications consultancy BOLDT has used investor analytics data from Mettle Capital to create a UK ESG Reputation Risk Report which finds that business ethics has risen to become the biggest single risk to reputation for UK businesses. 

📈 Reputation impact heightened in face of pandemic

The latest Reputation Dividend report shows that during the pandemic corporate reputations have helped companies to secure shareholder value and now account for one in every three pounds on the UK's stock market.

The report claims company reputations constitute more than a third of the combined market capitalisation of the FTSE 350, worth £823 billion of shareholder value at the start of this year.

The link opens a PDF of the report.

Data, measurement, analytics

🔍 Cision acquires Brandwatch for $450M

Chicago-based Cision's acquisition of Brighton-based Brandwatch for $450 million is undoubtedly good news for Brandwatch's founders and shareholders and is well deserved for having built a fantastic business. It's easy to see how Brandwatch (and its own acquisition Buzzsumo) fit into Cision's portfolio and benefit its investors.

I'm less convinced it is good news for the PR and communications industry. Constant consolidation by holding companies to create global behemoths isn't good for creative competition to build better products or for pricing as it makes it easier for them to gouge customers.

Cision was a listed company until it was acquired a year ago by Platinum Equity for $2.7 billion.  

Research and reports

🐤 Twitter Trends report

Twitter has published a new trends and insight report which is an interesting read. The introduction implies it is world data, but the methodology reveals it is actually just US data which makes it a lot less useful, although no less interesting. The report usefully identifies hashtags for each of the trends identified.

Given that I'm increasingly being asked by clients to help them with ESG and purpose then one of the most interesting sections of the report is 'One Planet' looking at our sustainable future for individuals and businesses. It identifies three evolving trends: sustainable self about eco-conscious consumption, clean corporations to hold businesses accountable, and next to nature about a renewed focus on local surroundings.

The hashtags identified for clean corporations are #GreenNewDeal, #ClimateChange, #ClimateAction, #CFC, #FridaysForFuture, #RenewableEnergy, #Packaging, #ClimateActionNow, #Biodiversity, #ZeroWaste, #CircularEconomy and #AI.  

#PRtech tools 

📰 Feedly - RSS news reader

It feels ridiculous to include Feedly as a recommended PR technology tool as RSS news readers have been around for so long I'm surprised that PR and communication professionals don't already use one daily.

I've used it for years so I've not looked at the website until today and now I'm not surprised people don't flock to sign-up as its description of "Keep up with the topics and trends you care about, without the overwhelm" barely makes sense let alone make clear what it does or what the benefits are.

Feedly lets you subscribe to all your news, media and blogs in one app and organise them into folders. You can then read them on laptop, mobile or tablet and see what you've already read across all your devices.

The big benefit is it is a huge time saving as it lets you consume massive amounts of information in very little time. There is a free version that is limited to three folders (it confusingly calls them feeds) and 100 sources. Paid subscriptions start at $6 a month. Personally I think you're better off with the Pro+ version which is currently discounted to $8.25 per month as most of what is in the Pro version was previously available in the free version before Feedly massively restricted it.  

Digital and social 

☁️ Microsoft expands its specialist industry clouds which provides new opportunities for PR

This one is a little more techy than usual. Different industry sectors face different challenges when moving traditional IT services to the cloud. Microsoft recognises this and originally created a specialist cloud for its government sector clients and then used this experience and expertise to create clouds for healthcare and retail. It has now announced three new industry clouds for financial services, manufacturing and nonprofit.

This is significant for public relations and corporate affairs because it opens up new opportunities and possibilities for communications, relationship management and collaboration.  

🕸️ Chrome is testing a follow button for websites

Many people believe Google killed RSS when it closed Google Reader in 2013. It didn't as RSS still powers news apps it's just the technology is hidden under the hood. If you're not familiar with RSS it is a simple technology that enables you to subscribe to websites so new content comes to you instead of you going to it. Most of the news and research I share in TWTWTW comes from my RSS feeds I subscribe to in my Feedly news reader app.

It appears Google is using Google Canary to experiment with a return to the ability to subscribe to websites but using the modern social media jargon of 'Follow'. I'd still recommend every PR or corporate affairs person uses a decent news reader as if you aren't using one properly then I'm certain you aren't as well-informed as you should be.  

Case studies  

🏂 Cairngorms recreated in video game Minecraft

I love this story about how a planning manager for the Cairngorms National Park Authority has used his personal spare time in lockdown to create the Cairngorms in Minecraft. It's both fun and educational.

Players drop into the map where Aviemore should be and have to create a community that meets the aims of the national park so have to consider issues like protecting and enhancing the national environment and making sustainable use of resources.

It brings back fond memories of the late 00s when we were all building new premises in Second Life. 

our PR Primer is written by PR Futurist Stuart Bruce, founder of Stuart Bruce Associates. If you spot any stories for next week’s PR Primer Round-up then send them to @stuartbruce or

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