Happy New Year to you all and a very big and warm welcome to all my new subscribers!
In this (now monthly) newsletter, I’ll be highlighting my favourite PR campaigns, articles, tips and learnings shared from the past month.
And if that wasn’t enough for you to sink your teeth into each month, I’ll also share an interview with some of the most talented and successful people in the biz, on what being a work in progress means to them.
Since it’s been a couple of months since the regular production of this newsletter, and the shit show that was 2020 has decided to carry over another lockdown, Trump’s last hurrah and god knows what else into 2021, I thought I’d talk a little about something that feels quite relevant at the moment.
We all know that as digital marketers, PRs and generally as the generation that grew up on the internet, a huge portion of our lives are online. We have to keep ourselves informed of what is going on in the news cycle and culturally so that we can use it to engage with our client’s audiences on social media, or come up with a great piece of reactive PR to land links for our clients.
During the month of December I spent a lot of my time either: busy working, scrolling on social media, buying Christmas presents, or oh yes, crying.
As a person who draws a lot of energy from being around other people, it’s fair to say lockdown had taken its toll. And so I deleted all of my apps over Christmas, from BBC News to my beloved Twitter (okay, I kept TikTok), and it genuinely felt like one of the most positive things I’d done all year.
Blissfully unaware of the news cycle, how many links everyone had built in 2020 and the latest SEO beef for ten whole days, I came back to work feeling completely refreshed and excited to throw myself once again into the crazy & wonderful world of digital PR.
I realise this isn’t groundbreaking stuff. But it’s important, and 2020 was hard.
And if the first two weeks of 2021 are anything to go by, it’s looking like there might be a few rocky roads (and not the chocolate yummy kind) to conquer before we get back to some sort of normality.
It’s our jobs to be creative, reactive, and knowledgable in multiple industries – but how can we do that if we’re overloaded with depressing information 24/7?
So if anyone’s feeling just a lil bit drained by everything at the moment, be sure to set those boundaries and protect your god damn energy.
Delete your apps from your phone (if you really wanted to check your emails in bed, you could walk 2 metres to your home office and get your laptop). Set social media and news-free days on the weekends. Close your tabs!
It’s surprising how the hours of downtime and time away from all things ~digital~ leave you feeling hungry to hop on the internet and devour everything on it the next day.
This is what I’ll be doing anyway, until the return of ‘slow news days’, and sunrise train rides and post-work pub trips punctuate my working days once again.
Enjoy January’s issue of Work in PRogress and catch up on all of 2020’s issues here.
Issue #16 – Fave PR Campaigns
My fave PR campaigns from the last two weeks…
- I loved the beautiful scrolly layout of this 2020 Year in Review campaign by Letterboxd – thanks to Vince Nero for the find.
- In case I hadn’t made it clear in previous issues, I’m a huge Mona Chalabi fan and I loved her latest data visualisation which shows the number of arrests made after white supremacists attacked the Capitol, compared to the number of arrests made at BLM protests. You can view the powerful illustration here.
- Where have all the good GIFs gone? I feel like the GIFs such as these ✨add a little spice✨ to what would otherwise been a simple data vis.
- TW – suicide – I recently came across this stunning data visualisation project and was moved to tears by it.
- A very visually pleasing data visualisation about data visualisations (about data visualisations).
- This PR stunt which claimed to help calm doggos during New Years fireworks was the content I really needed to see as we brought the new year in.
- I loved this campaign from Budweiser who sent custom bottles to each of the 160 goalkeepers Messi has ever scored against.
- And finally, Alex Hickson’s small business Flaming Crap has launched their newest candle – The One Night Standle – after the huge success of their 2020 scent which launched late last year.
Develop your skills...
Learn something new and discover useful resources this Friday morn with my fave tips, tricks and informative articles from the last fortnight:
- I am loving the PR People podcast, which is created and hosted by my co-worker, good friend and PR rising star Callum Taylor. Guests so far include Work in PRogress alumni Alex Hickson, Gerry White and Paige Evans. Listen and catch up here.
- Great top tip from Mark Rofe on how to search for the types of stories in a given time frame.
- If you’re not already, be sure to follow the AP Planner on Twitter which highlights the upcoming events from the editorial planning tool.
- Talk About Digital has been hosting some brilliant online events recently, with next months event featuring Digital PR pro David White and SEO superstar Stacey MacNaught. Check out their full lineup of events and previous speakers here.
- Finally, I wrote this article about the 16 things you’ll only know if you work in digital PR back in May last year but every. damn. one. still speaks to my soul. See if you relate to any of them here.
This issue’s Work in PRogress – James Watkins
My Work in PRogress this week is the brilliant James Watkins, who is the Digital PR Lead at Impression.
You can read the full interview with James on my blog below.
And that’s it!
Please direct all feedback, suggestions and any events, training courses or campaigns you think should be included in this newsletter to:
And catch up on other issues of Work in PRogress here.