The Week in PR, July 13 – July 20

  1. AnneGregory_NoBorderIPR Readies Pathfinder Award: Dr. Anne Gregory, Professor of Corporate Communication at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom and past chair of Global Alliance, will receive the 2014 Pathfinder Award, the highest academic honor bestowed by the Institute for Public Relations (IPR). The award is given in recognition of an original program of scholarly research that has made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge and practice of public relations. Dr. Gregory (picture, above) will present her latest research on corporate communications at the Fourth Annual IPR Research Symposium, which will be held November 17 at the Yale Club in New York City. Dr. Gregory’s research interests focus on leadership, the strategic role of communications, ethics and globalization.
  2. week in PR image, second slotScore Another One for Tradition: Social media may be the rage in marketing communications, but traditional channels still hold significant sway with PR’s most important constituency: the media. An Ogilvy PR survey of more than 115 reporters, editors and producers found 44 percent believe that today’s PR campaigns should have traditional, social and paid media. “With earned media serving as one of the most efficient and cost effective ways to build trust, organizations are increasingly using this channel to build brand equity, grow sales and drive market share,” said Jennifer Risi, managing director, Ogilvy Media Influence and head of media relations, North America. Ogilvy PR has an interest in promoting earned media, of course, but it can’t be denied that amid the rise of the Web (and the decline of paid advertising in printed sources), earned media can pack a powerful punch with consumers in terms of getting them on the path to purchase. When it comes to news consumption, the journalists surveyed rely on social media (35%), traditional newspapers (33%), newswires (12%), broadcast (11%) and blogs (5%) to keep up with headlines. The survey will be released this week.
  3. Final_chartBut Tradition May Run Its Course: Sure, some consumers still may rely on traditional media to get their news and information, but for how much longer? In the not-too-distant future, PR pros might have to pitch Twitter’s Evening News or Facebooks World News Today. Don’t’ laugh. The share of Americans for whom Twitter and Facebook serve as a source of news is continuing to rise sharply. Majorities of both Twitter (63 percent) and Facebook users (63 percent) now say each platform serves as a source for news about events and issues outside the realm of friends and family, according to a new study, conducted by Pew Research Center in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. That share has increased substantially from 2013, when about half of users (52 percent of Twitter users, 47 percent of Facebook users) said they got news from the social platforms (see chart, right). The survey is based on a sample of 2,035 adults 18 years of age or older. PR departments and agencies already place a lot of emphasis (and budget) on social platforms, but they soon may need to double-down on such efforts. Facebook, for example, is reportedly experimenting with several media companies, such as The New York Times and National Geographic, about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.
  4. Gadi_sqPR Movers: Gabriel Stricker, who has been in charge of Twitter’s communications team since 2012, announced in a tweet last week that he is leaving the microblogging service; a search for his successor is underway. Stricker’s departure comes a little more than two weeks after Dick Costolo stepped down as Twitter CEO...Gadi Dechter, former senior advisor at the White House National Economic Council and National Security Council under President Obama, has joined APCO Worldwide as head of its Public Affairs Practice. Dechter (pictured above) will be based in the agency’s Washington, D.C., office...Golin promoted Dawn Langeland to Managing Director of its New York office. In her new role, Langeland will be responsible for managing major accounts, the day-to-day business operation and new business development.

This article originally appeared in the July 20, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.