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3 stories PRs shouldn’t miss this week

Weinstein and the power of the media

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you will have heard the Harvey Weinstein story. For obvious reasons, the scandal has been well covered by the media, however in the age of instant news, some people are already bored of it. In fact, I overheard someone in my local coffee shop opening a newspaper and sarcastically saying “oh look, more about Harvey Weinstein, it’s like there’s no other news”.

I’m sure there are some PRs who are worried that this story will overshadow their current publicity campaign and others that are working tirelessly to shut down the story and defend Weinstein. Some publications are even using sexualised images of the victims to gain attention, which is not helping the perception of women as objects for male sexual use.

But what about the bigger picture? Have we lost sight of the victims of this suspected crime in favour of a good story, or is the media so instant and saturated that we now have a short attention span and limited sympathy?

Are robots stealing our jobs?

In a recent report, the World Economic Forum predicted that robotic automation will result in the net loss of more than 5 million jobs across 15 developed nations by 2020. But what about PR jobs, are we also destined to be replaced by robots?

According to Jeff Hardison, VP at Lytics, a customer data platform and a major player in analytics, “Machine learning is already helping marketers make more efficient use of customer data, and complementing what they’ve had for centuries: intuition and experience.” The keyword is “complements,” not replaces, he said.

Basically, Artificial Intelligence can’t do jobs that require creativity, empathy, critical thinking, artistic expression, and other qualities that we think of as “human”.

This is good news for PR people. Hopefully robots will actually make us better at our jobs, allowing us to focus on more interesting things. After all, most of us didn’t get into PR because we operate like computers.

British Airways fall from grace

From the catastrophic computer crash that stranded 75,000 passengers, to a cabin crew's racist Snapchat rant against Nigerian passengers, it’s fair to say British Airways reputation is in tatters.

British Airways used to boast a gold standard reputation however, after cabin crew walked out following a dispute over "poverty pay" and complaints of poor service, British Airways are set to lose their four-star quality rating meaning they will be in line with budget airlines like Ryanair.

It’s a PR disaster for the historic company and they are now said to be contacting a number of large agencies for global PR support and crisis management. However, is it too late? Will British Airways manage to regain their reputation with the help of a savvy PR agency, or have customers lost trust in the company which simply won’t be regained?

For advice on all aspects of PR for your university or institution, get in touch with BlueSky PR.

Author: Kate Mowbray


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