PR to the rescue

The perceived value of PR among budget-holders has grown during the pandemic, according to PRWeek research out this week on the impact of the pandemic on communications. Of the 174 senior PR agency executives surveyed, 55% agreed that PR’s perceived value overall has grown. 75% of the 82 in-house leaders surveyed said they believe the perceived value of in-house teams has grown during the crisis. One respondent – a director of communications and public affairs – noted that having comms specialists ‘available 24 hours a day has proved an invaluable asset’ throughout the pandemic.

Social media firms under fire

Social media firms have been attacked in the news this week as celebrities across the world announced they intended to freeze their Instagram and Facebook accounts in protest at the spread of ‘hate, propaganda and misinformation’. Notable personalities, including Kim Kardashian West, took part in the #StopHateforProfit campaign on Wednesday. During the campaign’s ‘September Week of Action’ last week, #StopHateForProfit reportedly reached 1 billion people.

Social media companies have also been urged to stop targeting adverts at children after Google was hit by a £2.5bn privacy claim this week. The claim argues that Google-owned YouTube is violating the privacy rights of under 18s by collecting their data and using it to profile them for advertising.

Across the pond, TikTok has been banned from US app stores from yesterday, as Washington implemented executive orders from Donald Trump that also target the Chinese social media app WeChat.

Expert commentators – a lack of diversity

Last week’s episode of The Media Show on BBC Radio 4 focused on the diversity of reporters and talking heads across the UK media. Eleanor Mills, chair of Women in Journalism, discussed new research from the charity with the show’s host and BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan. Researchers examined the front pages of national newspapers, watched prime time shows on BBC, ITV and Sky and listened to BBC Radio 1, 2, 4 and 5 as well as LBC and Times Radio during one week in mid-July in an effort to better understand the level of diversity in today’s media landscape. The research found that there is a ‘shocking’ lack of diversity not only amongst journalists, but also among experts quoted in stories. Over the course of the sample week, just three BAME – black, Asian and minority ethnic – women were quoted on the front page of a national newspaper, they were Home Secretary Priti Patel, actress Aishwarya Bachchan and financial rates strategist Pooja Kumra.




Emily Kent Smith has joined the UK News Team at The Sunday Times. She was previously the West Coast Correspondent for the Daily Mail.

Helen Barrett has been appointed Deputy Editor of Financial Times Wealth.

Emma Dunkley is joining the Mail on Sunday as City Correspondent. Emma is currently Banking and Financial Services Correspondent at The Sunday Times.

Alex Lawson is also joining the Mail on Sunday as Senior City Correspondent, coming from the Evening Standard where he was Business News Editor.

Linda Geddes has joined The Guardian as Science Correspondent.

Jamie Nimmo has been appointed Associate Business Editor at The Sunday Times. He is currently a City Reporter at The Mail on Sunday.

David Harding has been appointed International Editor at The Independent.


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