The Centre for the Study of Persuasive Industries

CSPIThe Centre for the Study of Persuasive Industries (CSPI) is London’s first academic centre promoting debate and research about the worlds of advertising, public relations and lobbying.

Despite the UK capital’s status as a global hub for advertising and PR, the growing role these high profile industries play internationally, and increasing demand for related education for would-be entrants, they remain underexplored. There are few independent forums for discussion about their social, economic and political role and their relationship with the media.

CSPI aims to fill this major gap in knowledge and understanding. It is based within Richmond University’s facility in Kensington, alongside the industries it seeks to study, and benefits from close links with senior figures across the persuasive industries spectrum. The Centre’s staff have written and spoken extensively about these subjects. All contribute to the University’s new MA in Advertising and Public Relations, and are also involved in teaching on related undergraduate programmes and in curriculum development in what is a rapidly developing field.

On 23 May 2019 Professor Simon Goldsworthy participated in the Public Relations and Communication Association 50th Anniversary Fellows’ debate which discussed whether PR is a profession and was hosted by CSPI at Kensington Campus. The debate was chaired by Chairman of the PRCA Fellows and Richmond University Trustee David Gallagher.

Professors Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy have been commissioned to write a new book, PR Ethics: The Real World Guide, by Palgrave Macmillan.

Simon Goldsworthy chaired a panel of three young PR practitioners talking about PR careers in London on 29 November 2018. The event was arranged in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Greater London Group.

CSPI hosted University of Southern Mississippi for its fourth annual visit on 20 June 2018.

On 13 June 2018 Professor Simon Goldsworthy participated in the annual Public Relations and Communication Association Fellows’ debate on the impact of artificial intelligence on the PR industry, hosted by CSPI at Kensington Campus.

Professor Simon Goldsworthy chaired a Public Policy Exchange symposium on the Future of Central Government and Public Sector Communications in London on 2 May 2018.

Award-winning Sky News presenter and journalist Colin Brazier discussed whether TV news can survive on Thursday 8 February 2018 at Kensington Campus.

Professor Trevor Morris, Co-Director of CSPI has acted as Chair of the Travel Marketing Awards PR Panel, a judge at PRWeek’s Best Places to Work Awards and moderator at the ‘Building a Buzz’ Royal Television Society London.

Dr Tom Roberts, co-author of How Trump Thinks: His Tweets and the Birth of a New Political Language (Head of Zeus 2017) gave a talk about Trump’s tweets on Tuesday 21 November at Kensington Campus.

Professor Simon Goldsworthy spoke on 15 November at the launch in Parliament of the Public Relations and Communications Association’s Review of Political Predictions
Simon contributed a paper to the review following the earlier Centre for the Study of Persuasive Industries seminar on the subject at Kensington Campus. For more details, click here.

Simon Goldsworthy delivers keynote at International Colloquium
Professor Simon Goldsworthy, Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Persuasive Industries, delivered a keynote speech on Public Relations and Reputation at the 3rd International Colloquium on Corporate Branding, Identity, Image and Reputation held at Middlesex University on 7-8th September 2017.

CSPI hosts University of Southern Mississippi for its third annual visit on 19 June 2017

CSPI takes key part in PRCA Inquiry into political predictions
Professors Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy of CSPI are taking forward a Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Inquiry into problems with political predictions and what can be done to improve them (in the wake of the 2015 General Election, the EU Referendum and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency).  CSPI’s work focuses on the role of academics – others are examining the work of pollsters and journalists.

A Richmond seminar on the subject in mid-April 2017 was attended by representative of the Higher Education Policy Institute, the Adam Smith Institute and the PRCA, as well as Richmond faculty. Following the seminar the following blog post was published here.

Work on the inquiry is currently on hold until after the General Election on 8 June 2017.

Richmond hosts 2017 PRCA Fellows’ Discussion
On 25 May 2017 CSPI hosted the PRCA Fellows’ Discussion on Communicating Upheaval – Brexit and the General Election at Kensington Campus, followed by drinks sponsored by the PRCA.

Peter York on the Tribes of London
On 23 February 2017 Peter York, writer, management consultant and TV personality, co-author ofThe Official Sloane Ranger Handbook and presenter of BBC television’s Hipster Handbook, gave a special lecture at Kensington Campus entitled From Sloane Rangers to Hipsters: how the tribes of London influence how we live and shop.

PRCA Fellows and University of Richmond Panel Discussion
On 21 January 2016 CSPI and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) hosted a panel discussion at Richmond’s Kensington Campus about the rival campaigns for the UK’s forthcoming referendum on whether the country should remain a member of the European Union.

A distinguished panel of PR experts and political campaign specialists discussed how they would communicate the rival arguments, and audience members were asked to vote on which side they think is doing better thus far in the debate – the overwhelming majority felt that the campaign to remain in the EU was outperforming the rival campaign thus far.

The discussion was chaired by David Gallagher FPRCA, Chairman of the PRCA Fellows and Ketchum’s Senior Partner, CEO, Europe & Chairman, London.

The panel included the following speakers:
Colin Byrne MPRCA, Chief Executive Officer, UK & EMEA, Weber Shandwick and PRCA Board Member,
Matt Carter MPRCA, Founder and MD, Message House,
Gill Morris MPRCA, Executive Chairman, Connect Communications,
Lionel Zetter FPRCA, Director, TEAS, and PRCA Public Affairs Group Chairman.

At its inaugural event on 27 November 2014, CSPI’s co-founder, Professor Trevor Morris interviewed Lord Tim Bell at an event co-sponsored by Richmond University and the Public Relations Consultants Association. An audience of around 200 students and staff from a range of universities and practitioners from all parts of the PR industry joined in with their own questions.

Lord Tim BellLord Tim Bell in conversation Watch interview on YouTube.

Books by CSPI’s members
(All published by Palgrave Macmillan; the second edition of PR Today was published in 2016)
CSPI-02  CSPI-04 CSPI-03