Professional practice in public relations and communications is constantly evolving and improving. New ideas and practice come from other professional disciplines, academia and from innovation by in-house communications and PR agencies.

Purposeful Relations tracks and monitors innovation and trends in both professional practice and the use of technology. We identify PR and communication disciplines with increasing or decreasing demand.

We don’t claim to be the absolute experts in all of these disciplines. We are experts in providing expert analysis of what you already do and identifying improvements.

We work with an expert team of associates around the globe who can provide expert counsel, advice and training on all of these emerging, evolving and improving disciplines.

Emerging communications practice

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Measurement and evaluation

Measurement and evaluation is so important it gets its own page and a mention as emerging PR and communication practice. It was 2010 when the first version of AMEC’s Barcelona Principles said AVEs (advertising value equivalents) weren’t a valid metric. In truth, they never have been. Yet, despite this, we still regularly find clients who need help to ditch AVEs as they have senior management, marketing colleagues or clients who insist on them.

Behavioural science

Public relations and communications activity is often about behaviour change. Behavioural science and using behavioural insights should be a core discipline. We help you to identify where behavioural insights and using nudges and the principles of influence can help you to improve your performance. Our insights and analytics based approach is integrated with measurement and evaluation to identify and track behaviour change.

Purpose and ESG (Environment, Society and Governance)

It seems everyone is talking about the need for corporate purpose and the importance of ESG (environment, society and goverance). They are often used as synonyms for CSR (corporate social responsibility) which has become a discredited term because of its use and abuse to cover everything from greenwashing to simple philanthropy.

The reality is ESG metrics are increasingly being used to track performance alongside financial ratings. Too often, ESG just focuses on the environment at the expense of considering society and governance.

Purpose isn’t a replacement for profit, but a recognition that companies that work in the interest of their wider stakeholders should be more profitable businesses.

CSR shouldn’t be discredited as fundamentally it’s about companies acting as responsible corporate citizens. CSR is discredited because marketing and PR people abused it.

Talk to Purposeful Relations about how purpose and ESG can be a responsible and essential part of your public relations and communications strategy.

Crisis communications

Crisis communications is one of the disciplines where many of the core theories and best practice remain constant, but urgently need to be updated and refreshed in the digital and social media age where it’s no longer just 24 hour news, but 24 second news.

The secret of success in crisis communications is crisis preparedness and reputational risk reduction. The Purposeful Relations team has years of experience of working with clients in financial services, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, energy, consumer electronics, manufacturing, FMCG, politics, the third sector and government.

You will never know, and we can’t tell you, the details of most of these assignments as most of this work was helping to prevent an issue becoming a crisis. Get in touch to see how we can help with crisis communications planning and training.

We also have a crack team of crisis communications experts in many countries who can step up to the plate to help should an unexpected crisis strike.

Fake news – disinformation and misinformation

Closely related to crisis communications is the phenomenal rise of disinformation, misinformation and mal-information – commonly referred to as fake news. Communications and corporate affairs teams need to be able to deal with the new reality where people no longer have faith in facts and give greater credence to myths and conspiracy theories.

Talk to us about how you can survive and thrive in a world of misinformation (false without a deliberate intent to harm or deceive), disinformation (false with a deliberate intention to deceive or cause harm) and mal-information (based on truth, but deliberately used to cause harm).

Digital, social media and influencers

More than 30 years after the invention of the world wide web it seems anachronistic to still be talking about digital, social media and influencers as part of emerging public relations and communications practice. Yet the reality is many communications and corporate affairs teams still haven’t prepared to face the threats and embrace the opportunities it brings.

We’ve always been at the forefront of digital and social media. Our team published one of the world’s first PR blogs, ran one of the UK’s first political social media campaigns, built the world’s first multi-language corporate social media newsroom and much more.

SEO, content, paid social, paid search, social listening are all essential disciplines. We can help you safely embrace digital and social media to help supercharge your communications and corporate affairs.