The FT article on Monday by Emma Jacobs 'Publicity is free with no PRs' about the value or otherwise that PR professionals bring to their clients, was an entertaining read. But whether it painted an accurate picture of the usefulness of PR and communications, or even reflected a widely held opinion, is a different matter.
Do university students actually care about climate change? And are they doing anything to stop it? Concerned by apparent contradiction in the behavior of my student colleagues, I took the initiative to address the issue and carried out research to try and understand students' reaction to the statement, "Oh No! Not Climate Change Again!".
Now before we start let's get this straight: I'm no foreign affairs expert. I'm an interested observer with nothing more than an opinion to wield. But it seems to me that Russia has done a fantastic job of persuading us that Crimea is more of a management buy-out than a hostile takeover; which is probably one of the reasons why we're not, as we speak, at war with Russia.
The PR agency model is dying - but a shiny new type of PR is emerging; one that will flex to meet the demands of the digital age. More and more PR professionals are going solo, not just here but globally, and over the next ten years it's going to be these independent consultants, rather than the big agencies, who will - like me - be standing behind the most powerful people in the world.
Now I love public relations professionals but one of the key skills needed in this field is learning how to use that all important bcc box. Journalists, bloggers and anyone else who receive press releases know that they're not special. We know that PR's aren't sat in their fancy offices individually sending us press releases with love. But we don't need to KNOW that the emails are going out en masse.
If you're a small business owner or an entrepreneur then I'm sure your business is your pride and joy. You've worked evenings and weekends to meet deadlines, slaved over spreadsheets and spent more hours than you'd care to recall 'working the room' at networking events. But it's all been worth it - because you know that your business is the mutt's nuts. But does everyone else know that? And if not, how do you get the word out?
Given that many of the world's leaders are pointing their fingers in blame for the 21 August chemical weapons attack that killed an estimated 1,400 people straight at Syrian President Bashar Assad, the role the PR campaign that in the last week he, along with one of his greatest (and most powerful) allies, President Putin of Russia, has waged has certainly been surprising.
To be sure, scandal has always been with us. The annals of British history are littered with the names of great national hellraisers, from Vinnie Jones to Gazza and beyond. However, there is a difference. Recent distasteful behaviour in sport, whether it be the English rugby team tossing midgets, or the bout of al fresco relief with which I began this article, betrays cultural problems, not individual misdemeanours...
It is clear that all these movements have had a huge impact in raising awareness of these women's groups' agendas, regularly hitting the front pages and attracting high level support. As someone who works with companies to create communications strategies to support their business objectives, I wondered what lessons could be learnt to create more engaging campaigns.
Warren Buffett isn't often wrong. Yet he was when he said: 'It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.' Most reputations are severely damaged because an organisation has failed over many years to operationally live up to the high expectations set by their PR and marketing activity.
Social media has changed the game in many ways when it comes to PR and marketing, but there are still some people who are yet to open their eyes to its true potential. However, the way that Sharknado lit up the Twittersphere whilst it was being aired should be enough to change a lot of stubborn people's minds.
A heavily worked phrase used by the tourist industry is to describe a particular destination as a "country of contrast". Sri Lanka is surely such a country - at one level a popular tourist destination... In contrast it also detains its citizens without trial, restricts freedom of expression, arrests members of the judiciary, stands accused of committing war crimes and routinely tortures.