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The value of brand equity
Written by Amy Sandys   
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 14:29

Mac_and_Cheese_Jan_13.jpgThe acquisition of Kraft Foods by H.J. Heinz, backed by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, in 2015 was one of the most costly acquisitions ever, and demonstrates the desirability of a strongly-branded business.

Brand equity, or the value of a brand, has long been considered by corporations and consumers alike as imperative in determining the overall monetary value of a good or service. Buyers are inevitably more likely to be persuaded by a brand which is well-known to them, even if it costs more, if it is perceived to be of higher quality than its non-branded counterpart. This was demonstrated on a micro-scale recently by the BBC’s Panorama programme, which found that British supermarket shoppers could save on average £4000 annually, were they to swap branded items for items of a non-branded value.

Artistic collaborations
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:43

Annie_Leibovitz.jpegThe continuation of Annie Leibovitz’s 'Women' exhibition was made possible by a partnership with financial services firm, UBS.

Sergio Ermotti, CEO at UBS, said at the launch of the exhibition this morning, "Annie chose a topic that is quite relevant to our corporate agenda".

The gender equality so eloquently communicated by Leibovitz’s work, Ermotti says, is equally lucrative in business. In a traditionally masculine sector, UBS must demonstrate its inclusivity to its female employees and clients.

Businesses named Isis forced to rebrand
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 11 January 2016 11:59

Isis_pharma_2.jpgWhen a brand name takes on negative connotations, there’s not much that the organisation can do except weather the storm or change its name.

For Minnesota-based non-profit, ISIS, the situation has become too dire to handle. As the global influence of a terrorist organisation, commonly known as Isis, continues to grow, the zoo software company has decided to rebrand its 40-year-old company in order to escape negative attention.

The non-profit’s name stands for International Species Information System, but is popularly known as ISIS. The name adorns all of its public touchpoints, including its website, In a twist of fate impossible to foresee, the name Isis is no longer reminiscent of an Egyptian Goddess, but of the globally-recognised militant group.

Media services consolidation continues
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 04 January 2016 11:09

1950s journalist_1.jpgMedia service, DW Pub, is merging its five distinct brands into just one, ResponseSource.

This follows a period of rapid consolidation in the media services sector, including Cision’s recent purchase of PR Newswire. At the time, Jeremy Thompson, MD EMEA at Cision, said the acquisition was, “The final, missing piece” in Cision’s recent expansion.

DW Pub’s switch to ResponseSource, completed today (4 January 2016), aims to make clear the connection between the services and values of the, previously, five brands. As the most media-facing of all the DW Pub brands, the ResponseSource name was chosen as the overarching brand name. The official company name has also been changed from Daryl Willcox Publishing Ltd to ResponseSource Ltd.

Authentic organisation, happy employees
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 11:26

Rob_Goffee_and_Gareth_Jones_pic.jpgIn the past, businesses called the shots. But that is no longer the case.

People’s priorities, what they want from life, are shifting, and the employee arguably has more power than ever before – particularly in sectors and job roles that suffer from a shortage of talent.

In their latest book, Why Should Anyone Work Here?: What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization, Professor Rob Goffee and Professor Gareth Jones hope to build upon their last book around the type of leader people want to work for to, this time, understand what sort of company people want to work for.

Festive office parties
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 18 December 2015 16:53

Holiday parties are one of the primary employee engagement events of the year. For large companies and small, the opportunity to get together for food, drink and entertainment is often a once-in-a-year opportunity. What are some of the best ways, or most interesting places, to ring in the festive season at work?

It's a match!
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 15:00

Jamie_Lang.pngIn a seemingly unlikely union, NHS Blood and Transplant and Tinder have partnered-up for an awareness campaign that aims to encourage young people to consider organ donation.

Creative comms agency, 23red, coined the campaign, where UK celebrities, including Made in Chelsea star, Jamie Lang and Olympic gold medallist, Jade Jones MBE, had Tinder profiles set-up featuring the NHS Organ Donation campaign logo.

PR Newswire is the missing piece for Cision, UK MD says
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 14:51

newspaper_stack.jpgJeremy Thompson, managing director for EMEA of major global media services firm Cision, which yesterday announced its purchase of PR Newswire from UBM plc, says the acquisition was, “The final, missing piece” in Cision’s recent expansion.

The company also owns Gorkana and merged with Vocus last year. Following that, Cision was made to sell its UK operations to AIMediaComms (now Vuelio) due to anti-trust issues cited by the Competition and Markets Authority.

This most recent move will draw the industry together even more as Cision now takes on PR Newswire’s services, including press release distribution.

Reporting in the lower Gulf
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 11:04

Green_buildings_UAE.jpgThere’s been a dramatic increase in the number of top UAE companies that report on corporate social responsibility in their annual reports.

According to a survey by professional service company, KPMG, 36% of the UAE’s top 100 companies reported on sustainability in 2015, compared to 22% in 2013. The KPMG Lower Gulf Sustainability Report 2015 also shows that 37% of Oman's top 100 companies report on sustainability. The findings suggest that corporates in the Lower Gulf region are demonstrating a rapidly growing commitment to CSR and sustainability.

Awards for digital communicators
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 14 December 2015 16:11

Digital-Impact-Awards05_1.jpgDigital is an inseparable aspect of almost every communications campaign, yet standards in digital practice vary greatly. 

The Digital Impact Awards recognises campaigns and strategies that are innovative and creative in the way that they use digital, as well as successful in terms of business results. Awards winners are communications teams who exceed expectations and optimise the potential of the digital medium.

Previous DIA winner, James Richards, communications director at IPG Mediabrands UK (UM London), says, “We’re over the moon to have won at the Digital Impact Awards. The industry has become ever-more digitally focused, and the competition for business is fiercer than ever. We wholeheartedly support the aim of these awards to improve the standard of work in the industry, and celebrate it.”

Forming a collaborative partnership
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 07 December 2015 16:46

Emperor_s_new_groove.jpgWhen entering into a charity partnership, companies should think about what they can offer their chosen charity beyond financial help.

Likewise, charities should look beyond financial investment to the skills and expertise that a company is able to offer.

Social change agency, Forster Communications, suggests that a short-term, financially-focused vision can hamper a corporate and charity partnership. It’s not just the charity that benefits from a business’ non-financial assets, the business can also further its own goals through strategic partnering.

Understanding the use of video for internal communications
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 07 December 2015 16:40

sixties_TV.jpgIt’s no secret that video is becoming more popular among internal communicators. Nor is it surprising that video is being used more and more across corporate communications. However, with the production of video comes the need to manage it. Internal communicators are often charged with the commissioning, creative direction, management and distribution of video to the internal audience.

Understanding the ways in which video can succeed for the internal audience, and the challenges facing internal communicators, is more important than ever. Communicate magazine and professional video platform Buto are undertaking research to analyse the ways in which video is being used by internal communicators, how employees are engaged through video and the ways in which video will impact IC in the future.


City communication in 2016
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 03 December 2015 13:42

CFA_2015.JPGThis year has already seen the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals merger, a catastrophic crisis with a potential ripple effect across the entirety of the auto industry, a lack of trust in business among the public and a renaissance of the annual report. 

Communications teams working in these challenging environments must be adaptable, proactive and prepared for any eventuality.

Those that communicate most effectively with their audiences in the City, in the press, among investors and within the businesses themselves are recognised each year by the prestigious Corporate & Financial Awards. The awards celebrate those organisations that are able to communicate consistently and confidently with their stakeholders across a variety of different channels.

Pass the gravy...
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 03 December 2015 10:59

Bisto.jpgIn its partnership with UK-based charity, Contact the Elderly, Bisto, the Premier Foods-owned British gravy brand, capitalises on its association with traditional Sunday lunches and time spent with the family.

Together, the two organisations are launching an initiative titled Spare Chair Sunday, where people are invited to give a seat at their Sunday dinner to an elderly person who usually eats alone.

By encouraging families to invite strangers to share in their family meal, Bisto is cementing its reputation as a brand that brings people together. Its value is therefore perceived to be far more than if it was viewed simply as a food ingredient or stand-alone product. 

PR trade associations lock horns
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 11:20

Newspaper_clippings.jpgFollowing NLA media access’ decision to introduce a new PR Client Service license, the PRCA announced its categorical opposition.

At the time Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA, said, “The PRCA has no intention of being the NLA’s useful idiots by endorsing their behaviour. The NLA is simply a parasite on our industry. We should have the courage to say so. Rather than collaborate with the NLA, the PRCA will continue to challenge them.” The PRCA is firm in its belief that the licensing fee system sould be altogether eliminated. On the contrary, the CIPR collaborated with NLA on the development of its Client Service license. 

Results over creative at global PR Awards
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 30 November 2015 12:31

Helen Fospero_1.jpgThe ICCO Global Awards 2015, for PR agencies and individual practitioners, has the recognition of 33 PR trade associations worldwide, despite being in its inaugural year.

The awards, which took place on Thursday 26 November at the Park Plaza Hotel, London, were hosted by British television presenter, Helen Fospero.

The future of food
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 27 November 2015 15:23

Crunch_1.jpgIndependent charitable foundation, the Wellcome Trust, has created a sub-brand for a public engagement initiative around food, health and the planet. The Crunch brand is intended to inspire the UK to make nutrition a priority.

The Wellcome Trust wanted The Crunch to be fun and playful, but without losing its serious message; a hard balance to reach. Lynn Huynh, marketing communications project manager at The Wellcome Trust, says, “The Crunch will encompass the entire UK, will last for all of 2016, and involves us communicating complicated topics to a very wide range of audiences, many of whom, for very valid reasons, do not have environment, nutrition and health as a high priority. So the name, look and feel needed to feel contemporary, relevant, and fun, allowing us to convey a serious message and inspire people to care about the issues.”

Annual IR awards at Tower of London
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 13:10

IR_Soc_2.jpgFor financial communicators, the IR Society’s awards is a major event in the corporate calendar.

On 24 November, the Best Practice Awards was hosted in the shadow of the Tower of London, the society’s logo projected up onto the walls of the castle. Outside of the venue, a few people with placards protested National Express’ presence at the awards due to its alleged infringement of US labour laws.

Digital skills developed in India
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 14:14

Tata.jpgTata Consultancy Services (TCS) has formed a partnership that will help to tackle the UK’s digital skills shortage.

The IT services firm has announced its intentions to provide British graduates with 1,000 internships between 2016 and 2020. The year-long internships will take place at the company’s innovation labs and software development centres in India. The scheme, developed in partnership with the British Council, is intended to supplement Britain’s pool of digital talent.

Brand strategy in Asia-Pacific
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 06:39

Harbour_Grand.JPGThere are so many components to a successful brand strategy that it can be difficult for branding professionals to ensure that they are abreast of industry trends.

Meeting with peers and hearing from those who are excelling in this field provides professionals with an opportunity to stand back and get a feel for the wider market and industry trends, an environment that nurtures valuable inspiration.

The Transform conference Asia-Pacific and the Transform awards Asia-Pacific today (18 November) gave delegates the opportunity to, respectively, hear about award-winning brand campaigns and speak with industry peers and hear who the latest Transform awards winners in the region are.

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