Are paywalls the future of online news?

By Gemma Storey, When The Times introduced its paywall in 2010, it lost 66% of its internet readership. As of 2018, it had 255,000 digital subscribers. Should other media outlets follow suit? It seems like every other week a news site throws up a paywall around its previously free-to-view content. Of course, while it may feel …

Communicating via AI: it’s creepy, right?

By Gemma Storey, Alright, look, I know that AI probably has a wondrous future. A future of assisting customers, helping copywriters do their best work and eventually gaining full sentience, taking over the world and killing us all, but it has a way to go yet. Over the past few months, AI has started to creep …

The perils of the gamer backlash

By Gemma Storey, Gamers are a passionate bunch – one minute they love a game developer – the next they’re ripping them to shreds on Reddit, launching campaigns and starting a backlash. But why does this happen? Is it just a mixture of entitlement, social media anonymity and being angry at the world? Or is there …

The power of everyday language

We all know how powerful language can be, with phrases like #metoo helping to unify entire social movements, but we sometimes forget how much impact we can have with the language we randomly choose to use as part of our day. I’ve seen two examples recently where a word, or a turn of phrase, has …

Is AI a threat to PR copywriting?

Digital Download Live gave attendees a lot to consider, especially when it comes to how artificial intelligence will affect the PR industry. Some think that AI spells doom for us all, while others dismiss it as a realistic threat. The truth is somewhere in the middle. I still think that the creative aspect of writing …

Tackling the moral issues of new technology

One of the things I love the most about SXSW is the potential for random encounters and discussions about new technology. The first one for me was on the plane before we’d even landed, when I met a fascinating woman who was visiting SXSW to assess the possibilities for technology to bring education to a …

Influencers and the problem of fake followers

The CIPR’s Influence Live event on Tuesday kicked off with a fascinating interview by CIPR president Sarah Hall, with the actor turned activist and influencer, Ralf Little. Little is almost as well known now for his Twitter spat with Jeremy Hunt as he is for his roles in The Royle Family and Two Pints of …

Simulating a crisis equips you to deal with the real thing

The first time most brands get to put crisis theory to the test is when it happens for real. All the scenario planning, desktop workshops and crisis management plans in the world can’t prepare you for the sheer volume of people you have to deal with on social media, or the exhaustion of a team …

The why and how of critical thinking in PR

Critical thinking is an important skill for anyone. It’s something we like to see on CVs and LinkedIn profiles. It’s something we like to think we’re skilled in. Employers seem to be keen on hiring critical thinkers. But do they use them? Critical thinking is more of a science than an art. It takes the …

Preventing creative burnout

Creative burnout makes you feel exhausted and drained of any interest or inspiration. It tends to start with tasks taking longer than they usually would. For example, a proposal that usually takes you three hours to draft now takes four or five. For me, the first signs of creative burnout are the immense struggle to …