PR Week – UK embraces American Football like never before

Interest in American Football in the UK appears at an all-time high ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl 50, the final showdown of the NFL season pitching the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara, California.

According to data from social media metrics firm Brandwatch React, the UK is the country tweeting about #SB50 most after the US and its neighbour Canada.

Oliver Barr, a consultant at UK sports PR agency Calacus PR, said that the Wembley games and broadcast coverage had "undoubtedly spearheaded the growth in popularity of the NFL in the UK."

PR Moment – If you work in PR, you're the worst at switching off from work

According to research by software company Workfront, half of marketing and comms professionals check on their work emails in their spare time, so instead of switching off, they are logging in.

David Alexander, managing director at agency Calacus Public Relations, says:
“I try hard not to look more than once at weekends but when crisis hits, it invariably comes at unsociable hours and clients require senior counsel. It’s part and parcel of the job.”

PR Moment – Are clients still obsessed with print?

As print circulations continue to decline and digital continues to expand, it is not surprising that PR now focuses more on producing online content rather than just trying to get mentions in traditional media. 

As David Alexander, managing director of agency Calacus Public Relations, puts it: “Public relations now means public relations, rather than just media relations in the way it had evolved to be.”

PR Week – Rugby concussion concerns grow and pose comms headache after BBC documentary

The worlds of rugby and healthcare face renewed comms challenges over growing concerns about the issue of concussion and head injuries in the sport, following a BBC documentary.

The came to the fore during the Six Nations tournament earlier this year, with the second of three such injuries suffered by Wales' George North in particular putting a focus on whether measures for managing players who had suffered head injuries were sufficient - especially in the amateur game, which does not enjoy the same on-hand medical support.

David Alexander, former sports writer and managing director of sports agency Calacus PR, said: "While the plight of George North has been a great shame for the player, it has served to raise the issue of head injuries in a way that few other incidents have done...."