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Harnessing brand promoters
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 15 July 2015 09:16

Indian_Coke_advert.jpgBrand promoters on social media are more common in developing countries, such as India and Brazil, shows research by online survey company, SurveyMonkey, and global marketing communications company, Ogilvy.

The report differentiates between brand supporters, who might share and ‘like’ comments, or follow brands, and brand advocates, or promoters, who support the brand in the long term and promote it among their own networks.

In order to engage with brand promoters, brands should build relevance and trust through the development of strong content. Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey also recommend moving from broad demographics to the analysis of behaviour, interests and friendships, connecting with the right audience in the right place at the right time, using culturally relevant storytelling and focusing on harder business metrics, such as leads, sales, performance and loyalty.

Men demand higher salaries
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 13 July 2015 09:56

empty_purse.jpgWomen moving into a digital role are asked to request higher salaries in order to help close the pay gap between men and women. Men are paid an average of 9% more than women in the digital industry according to a study by The Candidate, a Manchester-based digital marketing recruitment company.

The Women in Digital report shows that the salary gap is slightly lower than the national average of 9.4%, but that women are still drastically underpaid: 44% of men fall within the £21,000 to £30,000 bracket and 43% of women earn less than £20,000. Tellingly, 80% of the industry’s top salaries go to men rather than women and only 18 out of the 150 digital agencies in the North are headed up by a woman.

Reputation, reputation, reputation
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 09 July 2015 16:18

Trust_Rep.jpgAt a Populus Perspectives event in London last Thursday (2 July) some of the industry’s most forthright communicators spoke about the significance and power of reputation in the modern age.

The scene was set by Rita Clifton, chairman of Populus, who explained how our current environment is defined by its transparency - the internet and social media makes everything visible.

The Trust & Reputation one-day conference welcomed a host of senior communicators and business professionals, journalists and heads of representative organisations. The first speaker was Graham Beale, CEO at Nationwide, who spoke about the bank’s ability to weather the financial crisis due to a well-executed, transparent communications strategy and the good practice that inevitably underpins that. The idea of a strong reputation being something you can’t fake was a key focus during the event overall. As well as providing a "safe haven" during the crisis, Beale said that Nationwide continues to maintain trust by fighting for greater practice in the financial sector. The bank currently campaigns against unfair credit card terms.

HR invest in tech
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 09 July 2015 10:34

vintage_filing_image.jpgHR executives across Europe, the Middle East and Africa plan to invest more in HR technology and software in 2015.

According to an annual survey by global professional services company, Towers Watson, the HR industry are showing a willingness to embrace new technologies and, overwhelmingly, a satisfied response once they have. The survey shows that 90% of respondents expect to spend the same, or more, on HR tech this year, and 12% of those plan to increase investment by more than a fifth.

According to the 2015 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey, the majority of HR teams (over a third) will replace their core HR management system. 

Financial communicators awarded for best work
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 22:31

CFAwards2015.jpgTonight in London, the Corporate & Financial Awards celebrated successful financial communications in Europe.

Both agency and in-house communicators for the City and its influencers filled a room at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square for the opportunity to celebrate the industry’s most inspiring campaigns and projects.

Ten years in the making
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 12:01

HDISU15_logo.jpgIt’s been two years since the regulations around corporate reporting changed to promote a shift toward the strategic report and 10 years since the start of How Does it Stack Up? (HDISU), Radley Yeldar’s annual evaluation and discussion of annual reporting in the FTSE 100. One of the key questions at this year’s event, taking place on 9 July at 30 Euston Square, is ‘Has regulatory change made a difference?’

“We really want to look at the last 10 years because we want to celebrate those that have been doing great work in the environment of so much change,” Radley Yeldar’s investment engagement director Brett Simnett says. “But we also want to start looking at the 10 years ahead.”

Inspiring insights
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 03 July 2015 10:31

Sarah_Pinch.jpegAs debate between both the speakers and the delegates escalated to fever pitch, the FutureComms15 event (18 June 2015) demonstrated the passion of communicators when it comes to defending their industry. The most controversial moments of the day included when Robert Rose said, “We are not in the business of truth”, and, predictably, when Robert Phillips came on to speak about the death of the PR industry.

Robert Rose, a content marketing strategist, author and speaker for the Content Marketing Institute, argued that brand storytelling is about what ought to be the truth, rather than what is truthful. A statement that got the public relations practitioners in the audience up in arms since it is the perception of PR professionals as liars that the industry is constantly up against.

Trust and reputation
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 14:23

trust.pngFor communications professionals, reputation is everything, so it is important to analyse and demonstrate exactly what reputation means to a business in terms of corporate value. The advantages of a strong reputation range from improved resilience in the face of a crisis to an advantage against competitors.

This Thursday (2 July) a Trust & Reputation conference hosted by Populus Perspectives, a programme of research and events intended to shed light on topical and contentious issues, will bring in a host of industry leaders and experts who will share their experiences of building a strong reputation and how that directly affected their businesses.

Optimising the corporate website
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 29 June 2015 14:49

thinking.jpgA corporate website is a valuable opportunity to communicate with stakeholders. A website that is lacking in information, or clarity, is a wasted opportunity that could put off potential investors. According to the Webranking research by Comprend, a digital corporate communications specialist, only 12% of the FTSE100 maximise the potential of their corporate websites.

Phil Marchant, managing director of Comprend in the UK, says, “Far too many sites make the potential investor do the work – having to download the latest results presentation, scrutinise the major press releases and find management speeches at Capital Market days. The best corporate sites put the story together for the user and present their investment case front and centre.”

What can businesses learn from Cannes Young Lions?
Written by Paul Foster   
Monday, 29 June 2015 10:21

Young_Lions_image.jpgBy Paul Foster, senior director, creative content at Getty Images

Cannes Lions is renowned as one of the most important events in the advertising calendar. On top of celebrating the year that has passed, the event also provides a platform to gaze into the future of where creativity might be heading. But when I speak about the future, I don’t mean trends for 2016, but rather the young creatives who will be behind the next big campaigns. Without businesses taking the time to nurture young talent we leave the future of our industry to chance. So, how is Cannes Lions fuelling new talent and what can businesses learn?

For every creative business to progress there needs to be a continual development of young talent to rise through the ranks. To inspire this new generation, mentoring is invaluable and without it their creative ambition will struggle to bloom. With the right guidance, young talent can tap into the pool of knowledge that their seniors have built up over the years, to learn, become inspired and ultimately spark their interest into a skill and a high flying career.

Design at Cannes
Thursday, 25 June 2015 09:15

volvo.jpgThough the design category at Cannes Lions recognises one aspect of branding, it fails to look into the brand strategy behind the design and thus fails to recognise the core creativity of the projects it judges.

The Cannes Lions award winners in the design category demonstrate the many diverse applications of strong design work. The Grand Prix winners are Volvo UK and Grey London for Life Paint, a reflective spray for cyclists that is invisible in the light. Gold winners include BBDO Pakistan for Not a Bug Splat, a giant art installation targeting predator drone operators, and Dentsu Inc. Tokyo, for Get Back, Tohoku with East Japan Railway Company, the posters and billboards encouraged visitors to get back to Tohoku, a region in Japan.

Lions for PR
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:29

Ice_Bucket_Challenge.jpgThough the PR category at Cannes Lions continues to grow in size, the winning campaigns tend to retain an advertising element due to the growing integration of the creative comms industry and since they are often the product of collaboration.

The jury at Cannes chose the winners of this year's awards based on the role PR played in the strategic planning process of the campaign and based on their impact upon behaviour, lives, policies or societies. Many of this year’s winners, such as the #LikeAGirl campaign and the ALS Association’s ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’, have found success in viral video content and the power of online sharing online.

Mental health on leadership agenda
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 10:14

mind.jpgBusinesses across the UK are wising up to the fact that mental health and wellbeing is a business benefit and many are changing their practices and internal cultures to encourage a more open environment about these issues. At June’s Mind event at London City Hall, communications and business leaders discussed the ways in which companies can foster more open internal environments and develop cost-effective processes to support employees suffering from mental health challenges.

One speaker, Martin Coyd, head of the environment, health and safety at Lend Lease Europe, said leadership plays a large role in driving this change, “What interests the boss fascinates the workforce.” The panel discussed the ways in which leaders can influence corporate culture around mental health and wellbeing. Encouraging this focus requires a clear designation of ROI. It may involve a costly investment in mental health and physical wellbeing programmes, communications campaigns and employee benefits, but it will help make up for the £920m lost to businesses (data from the public sector) by mental ill health each year.

Comms at Cannes
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 22 June 2015 10:50

likeagirl.jpgIn advance of the awards ceremony tomorrow night (22 June), the PR Lions award shortlist reveals strong performance from agency giants WPP-owned Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis, Edelman and McCann. The US features heavily in the list, as does the UK and Brazil, though international representation overall is quite diverse.

There are 200 shortlisted PR campaigns across 36 separate categories. Global agencies that span the advertising and PR industries have performed well with Ogilvy receiving 14 nominations, Publicis receiving eight and Edelman receiving seven. McCann has been shortlisted nine times.

Coy employees
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 18 June 2015 18:06

embarrased_bear.jpgWhen employees are ashamed of the brand that they work for the company has a serious communications issue on its hand. A strong employer brand strategy unites employees behind the brand and ensures that they act as ambassadors.

A PRCA study, conducted with Opinium Research, has found that one in five UK employees says that they are, or have been, ashamed of the organisation they work for, or the industry in which they operate. When looking for new employment, a company’s reputation was rated the third most important factor after salary and the level of stimulating work available.

Communications in Africa
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:04

African_luxury.jpgAccording to McKinsey & Company, a multinational management consulting firm, Africa’s economic momentum is likely to continue. A strategic communications strategy will help both African and multinational companies to tap into this rapid growth.

Africa’s growth has been propelled by a range of sectors, including resources, finance, retail, agriculture, transportation and telecommunications. Natural resources only accounted for 24% of the continent's GDP growth between 2000 and 2008. Companies in these sectors rely on strong communications and particularly on the engagement of international buyers.

Foreign investment in Saudi Arabia
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 16 June 2015 14:12

shopping_SA.jpgSaudi Arabia has, as part of ongoing financial reform, opened up its stock market to foreign investors for the first time.

The Saudi Arabian stock market, the Tadawul, is the largest in the Middle East. With a market value of $560bn it is larger than that of Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai put together. By global standards however, Saudi Arabia’s market capitalisation is still relatively small.

More women in digital
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 11 June 2015 10:58

Women_in_digital.jpgThere are nearly twice as many men in digital as there are women according to research conducted by a digital recruitment agency based in Manchester. The Women in Digital report found that three times as many men are taking management roles in the digital sector.

The Candidate’s report also found that only 18 out of the 150 businesses who took part in the research were headed up by women, an indicator of the traditionally male-dominated nature of the industry.

Corporate & Financial Awards shortlist reflects changes in corporate communications
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 29 May 2015 13:54

CFA_rectangle.jpgCommunications with a company’s investors and shareholders as well as those who influence them has become a top priority for European corporate communications teams.

Since 2012, the Corporate & Financial Awards has set the industry-wide benchmark for excellence, creativity and effectiveness in corporate communications recognising both in-house teams and agencies. This year’s awards shortlist is one of the most well-rounded yet.

Employer branding in Ireland
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 29 May 2015 13:39

Ireland_survey_graphic.pngAs it stands, global companies and major brands are likely to have some form of employer brand strategy in place. For organisations with a large workforce and a constant need for fresh, high-quality talent it is essential that a strong sense of identity is tangible in the company culture and that it is also communicated outwardly so that the best talent can be both secured and kept.

Emperor, a corporate and brand communications agency, and Berkley Group, a recruitment and talent management company based in Ireland, in conjunction with Communicate magazine, recently conducted research to see how companies in Ireland approach employer brand and whether their priorities, challenges and strengths differ from their British cousins.

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