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PR optimism diminished
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:09

stubborn_ass.jpgWhile 2015 is likely to be a strong year for the public relations industry, PR professionals are wary of the post-recession optimism exhibited last year. The PRCA Consultancy Barometer Q4 2014, a survey of PRCA member consultancies, shows a relaxed optimism towards both the PR industry and the wider UK economy as we move into 2015.

The survey showed a 27% decrease in the amount of people who reported feeling optimistic about the industry compared to the previous year’s final quarter. Those who believed the UK economy would improve over the next 12 months also plummeted from 75% in 2013 to 40% in 2014. Many practitioners also report a rise in over-servicing.

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Telecoms consolidation continues
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 26 January 2015 12:22

O2.jpgThe consolidation of Britain’s telecoms industry continues with the announcement that Hutchison will buy Telefónica’s UK unit. Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. is an investment holding company based in Hong Kong and is one of the largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Telefónica’s British mobile unit, O2, will be bought for up to £10.25bn. The deal will make Hutchison the top mobile operator in Britain since it already owns the Three mobile network.

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EY promotes gender equality in workplace at Davos
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 23 January 2015 15:18

EY_Ice_Wall_Davos.jpgWith the world’s eyes turned to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, EY has used the platform to highlight gender inequality in the workplace. The professional services firm erected an ice wall upon which it will be projecting short films documenting moves toward gender equality.

John Rudaizky, EY partner, global brand and external communications leader says, “This initiative at the World Economic Forum is designed to highlight that 80 years is too long to wait for gender parity in the workplace. EY’s objective is to stimulate dialogue on this important global issue and ask, why wait? It’s in every organization’s best economic interest to fully utilize the talents of women.”

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Communications crucial during mergers and acquisitions
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 23 January 2015 11:01

Whale_feeds.jpgA strong public relations strategy can have a direct influence on the success rate of merger and acquisition deals according to a recent study by Cass Business School. The research examined communications activity around 198 UK M&A deals worth at least $100m between 1997 and 2010.

The research found that deals that incorporated PR strategy had a higher chance of completion. Professor Scott Moeller, director of Cass’s M&A Research Centre, says, “The research clearly shows the importance of properly resourcing deal teams’ communication efforts. This is especially the case given the proliferation of social media, and the need to be responsive to a much wider range of stakeholders.”

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Businesses must win back the public's trust
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 22 January 2015 12:27

Edelman_barometer.jpgBuilding trust is essential for bringing new products and services to market. In a world where the public’s trust for institutions is low, it is important that businesses practice and demonstrate a real responsibility towards society and the international community.

The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that half of respondents think business is moving too fast, and that technology companies are believed to be the main purveyors of that change. However, despite this, technology remains the most trusted of all industry sectors.

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Employees choose apps over intranets
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 22 January 2015 11:57

ipad.jpgThe rapid progression of technology has left many in a position where the level of available technology in their home outweighs that of their workplace; both in terms of products and services. For internal communicators that means reaching their employees through their own devices.

People expect to have access to information anytime, anywhere, and the kind of content they interact with is increasingly interactive and social. To make the most of this opportunity, more and more companies are turning to apps as a means of communicating with their employees. Businesses are turning to methods of communication that are more suited towards tablet and smartphone access.

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Internal comms awards shortlist
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 11:11

Insidestory_awards.jpgThe shortlist for this year’s CIPR #insidestory awards has been revealed in the run up to the event next month. The awards, now in its third year, recognises the best internal communications campaigns and strategies from 2014.

CIPR Inside is a CIPR member group for internal communicators. With a recent survey demonstrating the growth of the internal communications industry it is more important than ever for work to be analysed and for innovation to be celebrated.

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Etsy IPO a sign of things to come
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 19 January 2015 11:29

Etsy.jpgRumours that Etsy is planning to IPO in the first half of 2015 has got tongues wagging about the progression of social media companies. Etsy is an online marketplace in much the same way as Amazon. It sells handmade and unique trinkets from independent retailers out of an office in Brooklyn, New York.

If the public offering were to go ahead, it would be the biggest technology IPO to come out of New York since 1999. It may also be 2015’s first e-commerce listing after the industry raised $29bn last year.

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Risky business
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 16 January 2015 14:29

Allianz_Risk_Barometer_Top_10_Global_Business_Risks.jpegCorporate risks shift to reflect the times; identifying these risks can help businesses to manage them.

Chris Fischer Hirs, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the insurer for corporate and special risks of Allianz, says, “The growing interdependency of many industries and processes means businesses are now exposed to an increasing number of disruptive scenarios. Negative effects can quickly multiply. One risk can lead to several others. Natural catastrophes or cyber-attacks can cause business interruption not only for one company, but to whole sectors or critical infrastructure. Risk management must reflect this new reality. Identifying the impact of any interconnectivity early can mitigate or help prevent losses occurring. It is also essential to foster cross-functional collaboration within companies to tackle modern risks.”

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Supermarket sector faces trust, leadership challenges
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 11:47

Morrisons_1.jpg“Leadership is fundamental to investors,” Enda Joyce, head of the corporate and consumer practice, at communications consultancy Hanover, says. “The chief executive is the main spokesperson for any retailer and they have to build trust with all key audiences – including consumers, investors, regulators and journalists.” Thus, when a business either needs to signify to its investors that it is enacting a shift in business practice, or that it is responding to a crisis, the CEO is likely to be the key figure.

Such was the case yesterday when Morrison’s announced the removal of CEO Dalton Philips after four years with the company. The move follows a decline in profits over the last five years with a 3.1% decrease compared to the other three of the big four retailers during the Christmas period.

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PRCA council elected
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 08 January 2015 16:32

Tony_Langham.jpgThe Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) has elected a new PR council to see it through 2015. The council’s role is to give the PRCA face-to-face contact with practicing PR practitioners and is made up of senior representatives from the country’s top communications teams.

Last year’s council informed highly influential projects such as the Economics of Reputation initiative and the PR Agency of the Future resource. Both projects provided industry insight for PRCA members and the wider public relations industry.

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Corporates unequipped for communications progression
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 14:09

Twitter_1.jpgA YouGov survey shows that two-thirds of business decision-makers expect to increase their use of digital media over the next two years when communicating with employees, customers, investors and influencers. However the research, carried out by communications consultancy Gather, also shows that organisations are ill-equipped to use these channels strategically.

Lack of training is the predominate cause for the current skills deficit in digital; a problem that is only exacerbated by the ever-growing prevalence of digital in the communications space.

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Digital communications in 2015
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 05 January 2015 10:41

Digital_fashion.jpgAs we move into 2015, communicators will be thinking about ways to strengthen their digital output. Several notable trends are predicted to come into effect over the next year and Hotwire PR has pinned down some of these in its sixth annual, and final, Digital Trends Report.

The report will be the last ever of its kind due to the integration of digital. Most now understand digital as part of an overall communications strategy and, of course, everyday life.

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Christmas with a conscience
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 10:14

Brenda.pngAt a time of year when overspending is rife, Visa has chosen to surprise Christmas workers and volunteers with thoughtful gifts. As a financial services Visa might normally be associated with spending, but it has turned this on its head by aligning itself with the giving and charitable side of Christmas.

Nick Jones, head of corporate social responsibility at Visa Europe, says, “Our Christmas video is intended to help recognise and thank those who will be working to help others over the festive period. Supporting good causes and our local community is something that’s important to us as an organisation, and this "Christmas thank you" represents just one small part of our wider corporate social responsibility (CSR) and volunteering programme.”

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Priorities don't match-up for agencies and clients
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 22 December 2014 15:37

Puzzle.jpgA report conducted by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) shows that a significant gap remains between what clients and agencies believe to be the most important qualities in a partnership. The PRCA In-house Benchmarking Report 2014 reveals that clients rate agencies’ creativity, honesty and trust most highly.

The report, produced with YouGov, shows that only 15% of communications directors rate personal chemistry highly, whereas agencies voted this the most important factor at 48%. Agencies also rated ROI much more highly than their in-house counterparts.

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Over 45,000 UK employees in IC roles
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 22 December 2014 12:47

Meerkats.jpgThe amount of people working in internal communication is double previous estimates according to a survey by the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) and communications consultancy theblueballroom. The survey found that there are now over 45,000 people in the UK working in internal communication (IC).

IoIC chief executive Steve Doswell comments, "These figures confirm that internal communication has really come of age as a profession with a significant number of individuals across the UK now firmly identified with the discipline. It's encouraging to see how organisations are recognising the value of IC to their bottom line. We know the numbers involved are small compared with sectors such as HR or marketing, but it is clear that we now have a sizeable profession and it is important this is operating to best effect. The Institute believes these findings reinforce the need for high standards, sound governance and professional development to ensure the quality and competence of an IC workforce that is so important to consistent business success."

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NLA to reimburse court costs
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:57

CJEU2.jpgThe PRCA’s court battle with the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) reaches a critical point with the news that, alongside media monitoring company Meltwater, it will be having its court costs reimbursed by the NLA. In accordance with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has handed the NLA an initial bill for £300,000.

Earlier this year the PRCA and Meltwater won a crucial case affecting online copyright infringement laws. Since it was decided that browsing online should not require authorisation from the copyright holder the ruling keeps browsers from unwittingly breaking copyright laws.

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Reputation, leadership and teen fashion
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:33

A_F_Exterior.jpgWhat was once the most-asked for item on the teens’ and tweens’ Christmas list, has now lost most of its lustre – and its credibility, CEO and share price. Abercrombie & Fitch, purveyors of trendy, £40 graphic tees and the like, hit a five-year high on the NYSE in July 2011 when its share price reached $77.14. Today, after long-time CEO Mike Jeffries announced his retirement last week, it’s at $27.52.

“Abercrombie is [a] classic example of a short-term win coming at the expense of a long-term loss,” says communications consultancy Hanover’s associate director Enda Joyce. “Mr Jeffries’ comments about the type of people he didn’t want in his stores may have gained large amounts of media attention; they drew in customers at first by clearly positioning the brand in a crowded market. In the long-term, the positioning was a drag on Abercrombie’s reputation as deliberately alienating a large number [of] customers meant they had no one to come to the rescue when existing customers deserted the brand.”

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Poor change management affects employee productivity
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 16 December 2014 10:55

Daydreaming.jpgAs any good employer knows, strong employee engagement is key to productivity. But research shows that this can be hard to achieve, particularly in situations of change. A recent survey by HR consultants, Towers Watson, has found that less than a third of employees believe change to be well-implemented in their organisation.

The Towers Watson Global Workforce Study shows that the boardroom frequently falls short when it comes to managing and communicating change, and this leads to a lack of trust in leadership. Only half of the 32,000 surveyed reported trust in their senior leadership team, and the same percentage feel uninspired to give their best in the workplace.

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Boosting digital communications in small charities
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 15 December 2014 14:48

Mynewsdesk.jpgPR and content marketing are crucial for small charities since they often lack access to the generous advertising budgets enjoyed by the larger charities. Digital communications can be incredibly useful for fundraising and campaigning on a low budget. With its Social Innovation Project Mynewsdesk supports charities by providing them with the necessary tools to make the most of their digital communications.

Peter Britten, managing director of Mynewsdesk UK, says, “Small charities often work on specific issues so are able to give insightful expert comment and offer content of strong media value if only they had more time and contemporary tools to react to the news agenda. Earlier this year the UK government announced plans to cut £2.8bn in public funding for the third sector over the next five years, meaning small charities will be under increasing pressure to work with limited resources and significantly reduced government support.”

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