Tag Archives: PRCA

Ignite my fire for PR

2 Jan

It’s the 2nd January 2013. New year, new resolutions and new outlooks for life are officially in place.

Today I got comfortable in my desk chair for the first time in two weeks, opened my to-do list and taught myself how to touch type all over again. I’m in PR. I can do anything and be anything.

Well, so I thought. But, as a 25-year old mixed race female in food and drink B2B PR, it seems that no one is ‘backing’ me as I read this evening that Ignite PR – the voluntary networking group that seeks to lobby for diversity within the communications industry – is set to close after just four years.

Bieneosa Ebite, chairman and co-founder of Ignite, has blamed lack of time for the group folding, but makes clear that the network has achieved more than she imagined since launching – by releasing manifestos and building a database of more than 400 individuals. From gender and ethnic equality to fair work ethics and advice on recruiting, Ignite fired on all cylinders.

A group like this has to. Especially when PR Week and PRCA’s last census revealed last year that less than 5,000 professionals (from a pool of 61,000 working in our industry) are from black and minority ethnic heritages.

But, sadly these figures aren’t shocking; just off-puttingly accurate, which adds weight to the great shame of Ignite extinguishing.

In my view, I don’t think time would be a factor for the founding team if the membership and engagement levels were right; the website looks and feels stagnant. But, perhaps this news will jolt more people – myself included – to be more aware and become proactive in sustaining the momentum that Ignite began.

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A right royal balls-up!

24 Aug

How I’d love to be a fly on the wall inside Clarence House press office dealing with Prince Harry’s headache which the tabloids have had their fun with this week. (Personally, I’ve discovered that the ‘crown jewels’ plastered across a double page spread is enough to put me off my breakfast.)

It was all going so well for our ‘Prince next door’. Taking ownership of representing the Queen in Jamaica, Belize and the Bahamas, as part of the Commonwealth Jubilee celebrations; taking us through the A-Z of Olympic sports from opening to closing ceremony; and stripping and getting close to / protecting the modesty of Las Vegas girls. What on earth happened? Did his security get sloppy or did he drunkenly trust that his new friends were innocently taking some album snaps to remember him by?

The answers to this we’ll probably never know. We do know that 43% of PRs believe that the pictures have negatively impacted upon Prince Harry’s reputation (PRCA.) But, what I’m more interested in is if anyone is even surprised we’re reading about this.

Two recent positive public appearances don’t right his foolish wrongs of the past: cannabis, comic race rows and dressing up as a Nazi to name a few. The two-thirds of respondents who said that this debacle won’t harm the wider Royal Family’s reputation are right. This situation just reinforces the idea that the Prince is someone who can’t, or won’t, take his privileged position seriously. Ok – no one asks to be born a royal. Nobody asks to be put into any situation; it’s a card you’re dealt with and you simply have to embrace it.

There’s just two ways the public are viewing these photos now:

Those who find naked jokes funny – “That Prince Harry’s all right isn’t he?”

and

Those who don’t find naked jokes funny – “Can’t he grow up? That’s not how you attract a respectable lady like Kate Middleton.”

Surely this is what it’s all about? Since the wedding to end all Royal weddings last April, surely he’s under pressure to settle down and keep up appearances like his brother. But, instead of playing ball he’s doing something else with them!

There’s only two ways for his PR aides to play this gaff out: say nothing or say everything. An American chat show (insert Oprah, Ellen, David Letterman or other favourite host here) where he comes clean by playing on the audiences’ emotions could work. But, I’ve got a feeling they won’t take my advice.

The Sun bares all

In other new this week, News International is on the brink of another law suit after asking a 21-year-old intern Sophie Henderson to pose with Picture Editor Harry Miller to replicate those ‘naked’ pictures on its front yesterday.

The newspaper has had to issue a statement that the pair were happy to strip, highlighting that it’s just a bit of ‘harmless fun’.

Whatever you label it, the least the Sun can do now is offer poor old Sophie a permanent job!

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