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The communications briefing: Journalists want PROs to provide more relevant content claims research

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 


Can Hornby save Change UK?
Stephen Foster considered whether Johnny Hornby, and his agency The&Partnership, can "knock Change UK into shape". The newly-formed political entity The Independent Group, consisting of a handful of Remain-supporting refugee MPs from Labour and the Conservatives (which for the time being is known as Change UK as the electoral authorities don’t like TIG) even had its logo rejected by the Electoral Commission – meaning there won’t be one on the ballot form for the forthcoming European elections. If T&P, previously known as Clemmow Hornby Inge when it helped Tony Blair’s New Labour to another victory in 2001, can mobilise the hordes of disaffected middle ground voters, he suggested, it could be a big win.
More About Advertising


Decline in distrust of the media
Cision published its 2019 State of the Media Report, a survey of almost 2,000 journalists from 10 countries around the world, that aims to shine on a light on the main issues facing the global media industry, and how PR and communications professionals can better work with their journalist counterparts. For the second year in a row, respondents reported a decrease in the public's distrust of the media; 63% of respondents felt the public lost trust this year, which is down from 71% in 2018 and 91% in 2017. The report also found that journalists continue to use audience metrics such as views and engagement to make decisions about the content they produce. Writers also said that the single most effective thing PR professionals can do to improve their relationship with the media is to better understand the end customer and provide information more relevant and customized to that audience.
PR Newswire

Sorrell to receive millions in bonuses
Sir Martin Sorrell is in line to receive up to £8.5m in share rewards from WPP until 2022, even though he resigned from the firm after a number of lurid allegations were made against him, including bullying, and the misuse of company funds. WPP’s bonus schemes, which have been adjusted to take account of the amount of time Sir Martin was in charge, will land him up to 910,000 shares, worth £8.5m at today’s share price. A WPP spokesman said: “The circumstances of Sir Martin’s resignation entitled to him to pro-rata allocation of his remaining long-term shares schemes”. 
The Daily Mail

Is it Game Over for traditional PR?
Cat Channon, former international director of PR at Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment UK and now head of full-service comms consultancy The Treks, looked at the video games PR industry, and argued that its future “is about as far from the cookie-cutter, linear news, preview, review plans of old as you can get”.
Games Industry


Sunday evening now ‘prime’ spot for TV advertisers
Sunday is now the most effective time for TV advertising in the UK, according to a report from TV and radio analytics firm Although advertisers are still spending the largest share of their budget on Saturday nights, during such shows as Britain’s Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway, the findings suggest advertising pounds spent on Saturday spots are not as effective as previously thought. Admo.TV chief executive and co-founder Pierre Figeat said: “The TV landscape is changing – Sunday and Monday are becoming ‘prime’ slots for media planners. “It’s now more important than ever to ensure that each campaign delivers meaningful return on investment. As viewing habits change, this is the real future of TV advertising.”
City AM

Has Earth Day been taken over by marketers?
As Earth Day marked 49 years since its launch, Kate Yoder asked whether it can carry the same impact as it did originally. The first Earth Day, in 1970, saw an estimated 20m Americans take part in events or demonstrations; just a week later, president Richard Nixon’s advisers recommended he establish what became the Environmental Protection Agency, leading to the creation of 28 major federal environmental protection laws over the following decade. Almost half a century later, she noted, environmentalists have numerous misgivings about the event, noting that companies use Earth Day as an excuse to sell or give away products, “even though consumption is part of the problem”, and that it focuses on personal responsibility at the expense of ignoring big polluters or mobilizing for political change.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Strawberries 'crash out' of Wimbledon
The Mayor's office had to ban one of its own adverts, depicting strawberries and cream being eaten at the Wimbledon tennis tournament, under its own new junk food advertising guidelines. Christopher Snowdon, head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "TfL has had to spend thousands of pounds airbrushing perfectly harmless images to comply with its own puritanical rules.”
The Daily Telegraph

‘Get woke, go broke’?
Writing for The Conservative Woman, Frank Haviland criticised “woke advertising”, focusing on Nike’s work with Colin Kaepernick, and Ben and Jerry’s recent use of crime statistics to highlight the disparity in incarceration rates between white and black males in the U.S. “Genuine concern for good causes is of course a noble thing. It does not, however, require cynical promotion by third parties, and should be distrusted the moment it does so”, he argued.
The Conservative Woman

Reputational risk

Samsung Fold launch goes awry
Samsung postponed the release of its Galaxy Fold smartphone, after early reviewers said the screens on their devices had broken. The company said it had delayed the launch of the £1,800 smartphone to "fully evaluate the feedback and run further internal tests"; it has yet to announce a new launch date. The Galaxy Fold was due to be released in the United States on 26 April and in the UK on 3 May. “This crisis is damaging their reputation as a technology innovator,” said Ian Kirby, MD of MHP Communications. The company’s share price is only down around 4% since last week, however, due in part to the fact Samsung moved quickly to cancel the launch following early reviews, and avoiding the need for a full-scale recall.
The Daily Telegraph

And finally…

Age is just a number…
Hotwire's Darryl Sparey asserted that age is an "under-appreciated vector of diversity" and one that the PR community must address if it wants to be "genuinely representative" of the community it's trying to communicate with. Data from the IPA's 2017 Census shows that only 7.7% of creative and non-media agency staff are aged over 50, he noted, and that just 0.8% are over 60. "As an industry we need to stop only championing the benefits, value and contribution of the under 30s (although this is important too), and increase our efforts to promote the benefits of age and experience," Sparey added.

This briefing has been prepared by Early Morning Media.  If you are interested in a customised bespoke news briefing for you or your client across any vertical, please contact

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