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CIPR pledges to confront gender inequality in Public Relations
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 10 March 2014 15:29

cipr_2_427x330.jpgGender inequality remains a widespread and current issue that effects many professions. Despite being an industry that is 70% female, the PR industry remains one of them.

This February, The Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) State of the Profession survey revealed that men earn, on average, £12,390 more than women. Senior PR roles in particular see men being paid significantly more than women when performing the same roles.

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IFA Hotels and Resorts prepares for expansion
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 07 March 2014 15:20

beach_marina_view_0032.jpgIFA Hotels and Resorts’ (IFA HR) rebrand comes in a year of rapid growth for the hotel, resort and luxury leisure provider. The company is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, and is the largest foreign investor on the Palm Jumeirah.

IFA HR plans further expansion into the Middle East and Asia, and one of its most recent expansions sees the company joining with Capitas Group International (CGI) to bring Yotel hotels to Saudi Arabia. IFA HR hopes that its new brand identity will see it through a future of partnerships and acquisitions.

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Conference to discuss comms and crisis in extractive sector
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00

ROGM_14_logo1_NEWSTORY.jpgWarren Buffet famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” In any sector, reputation can protect a company or bring one down. In the extractive sector, the stakes are higher as the nature of work in oil, gas and mining presents more acute challenges.

Communicate magazine’s Reputation in Oil, Gas and Mining conference has examined corporate reputation in the extractive sector for the past four years. It has seen speakers from the world’s leading extractive companies comment on the obstacles they face, the successes and failures they’ve experienced and the issues impacting their sector today.

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Reebok rebrand focuses on fitness
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 14:59

REEBOK.jpgReebok has only changed its logo three times in its 121 years as a manufacturer of sports goods. The latest rebrand announces a whole new repositioning for the Reebok brand. It aims to move away from the brand’s previous association with professional athletes and sport, and instead is marketing itself as a motivator for general fitness in everyday life.

Reebok’s new logo is called the “Reebok Delta”; a triangular symbol which is designed to illustrate fitness focus. Each side of the triangle is said by Reebok to represent the physical, mental and social changes that a person can experience through participation in physical exercise.

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Packaging and brand in food and drink nutrition
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 13:23

nutrition_facts.jpgCalorie-conscious eating is a long-established lifestyle choice that prompts consumers to make decisions about food and drink selections. It has only recently become an issue for those in packaging and communications in the sector.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced a rebrand of its mandatory Nutrition Facts labels on all food and drink products. The rebrand has affected the design of the prolific labels slightly, but has made it easier for brands to communicate their healthy benefits and the contents of their products.

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Rowing for the record, and for medical research
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 12:08

James_Prior_rowing_picture_2.jpgWorld records are not easy things to make or break and yet, in the past month, they’ve been unavoidable. Ellen DeGeneres used her gig as host of the Academy Awards to take the most retweeted photo of all time. Her uber-selfie with a handful of Hollywood’s A-list has been retweeted 3.1m times, as of the time of writing. Last month, Guinness World Records, the standard-bearers in record-making feats, sponsored an award category at the Festival of Media for ‘Record-breaking brand.’

Employee engagement agency Involve has just become involved in its own record-breaking attempt. Client director James Prior is attempting to row across the Atlantic in time to beat the 32-day world record while raising money for Crohn’s and colitis research. 
The team back at Involve will carry out a values-led programme at home to reflect Prior’s journey.

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Comms troubles continue to plague Iraqi economy
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 10:40

rumaila.jpegAs if Iraq didn’t have enough challenges as violence creeps back in to once-moderately peaceful regions. As if BP hadn’t faced enough obstacles from MENA-region countries in its day-to-day operations. As if the irony that surrounds economic and political change in Iraq wasn't as pervasive. In spite of all that, BP, which owns the most highly-saturated oil field in Iraq, has been forced to refrain from developing the site due to bureaucratic red tape.

The port of Basra has seen heavy investment for the past few years in part in anticipation of drilling beginning at the BP-controlled Rumaila field. BP’s inability to secure construction permits from the Iraq government puts the company, and the country, in a difficult position in the region.

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MAF embarks on new brand strategy
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 28 February 2014 17:19

My_City_Centre.jpgMajid Al Futtaim (MAF) recently revealed a new brand direction that aimed to unite its large and diverse range of retail and leisure companies under the one brand identity; MAF. The rebrand marks the beginning of MAF’s vast expansion into new markets – by 2018 the company aims to have doubled the size of its business.

MAF has made the first steps of its expansion with the opening of My City Centre in Nasseriya, Sharjah. The Sharjah complex alone has set MAF back Dhs 84m and covers 5,540 square metres. This is just the beginning of MAF’s expansion plans; the brand will be investing Dhs 3bn across Dubai in the next five years.

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Northern Flights
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 28 February 2014 15:55

Air_Inuit.jpgAs its name suggests, Air Inuit plays an essential role connecting the Inuit-populated Nunavik coastal regions with the rest of Quebec, Canada, and it is this cultural influence that has had the biggest impact on the airway’s recent rebrand.

Due to the area’s natural resources, and consequent infrastructural development, Air Inuit has received an increase in demand for air transport services and this led to a company-wide modernization which has culminated in a bold new livery design.

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UpSkill programme encourages diversity
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 28 February 2014 11:07

UpRising.JPGGreater diversity within the communications industry would not only be beneficial on a social scale, it also makes perfect business sense.

A PR agency that better represents its customer base internally, would also hope to have a better understanding of how to reach their market. Currently the issue of fair representation in the communications industry continues to be a problem with a negative effect on the industry’s productivity. Independent charity UpRising hopes to tackle this issue for the next generation of PR and Public Affairs professionals.

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Ford Retail’s new brand name
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:56

Ford_retail_logo.jpgFord’s customer facing dealership group, Ford Retail, will be rebranding across its 65 UK sites under new brand name TrustFord. Currently, the business’ regional dealerships operate under numerous different titles and this was seen to be confusing for Ford Retail customers, who may not have fully recognised the unity of these sites and the full scope of the Ford brand.

Stuart Kerr, chairman and CEO of Ford Retail, says, “The rebranding of the Ford Retail group has been in development for some time and was put in motion following qualitative internal and external customer research.”

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Inspiration brings youth projects to life
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 12:35

starbucks3.jpgInspiration can come from many places and exert a powerful influence. Starbucks has an existing relationship with the ‘inspiration’ value and continues to engender it through its Youth Action programme.

Starbucks and Edelman found through its Youth Inspiration Index – a survey of 1,000 plus young people – that being results-driven and industriousness are the qualities that most define inspirational leaders. The Youth Action project – now in its third year – supports young people through grants for inspirational projects.

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Pinterest rewards evergreen, authentic content
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:37

digbites.jpgThough fairly well-understood by American brands after a few years of use, Pinterest remains something of an enigma for British brands and those in other markets globally, including Japan and continental Europe.

Last night, at the inaugural PRCA Digital Group’s DigiBites event, UK country manager for Pinterest, Sarah Bush spoke about the ways in which brands can make the platform work for them. The discussion will be the first in a series of events hosted by the Digital Group.

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Internal comms to be honoured at IoIC Awards
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:49

ioicawards.jpgInternal communications is often the unsung hero of the comms mix. Internal communicators face countless obstacles that they must dispense with within a limited budget. Those who excel in the field can be responsible for innovative, organisation-changing solutions in IC.

The IoIC Awards, which celebrates the best work in internal communications, is open for entries for its 2014 iteration. This year, the numerous categories have been realigned into classes which include: Best campaign, best innovation, best use of print, best use of digital media, best use of design, best use of writing and imagery, best event and the individual ICon awards.

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Conference for extractives CSR to be held in London
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:28

vostock.jpgCorporate social responsibility is often one of the primary communications tools employed by energy and extractive companies. It assists with investor relations, stakeholder relations and employee engagement, while also helping the local community or wider area in which the company is operating.

CSR professionals working for energy and extractive companies deal with a number of issues unique to their sector. This year, Vostock Capital, an energy event management company with a focus in extractions and in CSR, is running an international gathering and experience exchange programme, CSR & Sustainability in Energy Industry: UK Global Expertise, in London on 15-18 April.

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Cannes Lions launch competition for young PR professionals
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:09

Cannes_Lions_image.jpgThe brightest of PR’s young professionals are to be given the chance to compete for an honour at the Creative Effectiveness, Promo & Activation, PR and Direct Lions Awards – taking place during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The Young Lions PR Competition is supported by the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and will give pre-selected international PR professionals (under the age of 28) the opportunity to showcase their skills during a 24 hour competition in Cannes.

Non -profit organisations will stand in as ‘clients’ and at the end of the 24 hours the respective teams will relay their PR strategies to a jury. The competition has been created to demonstrate how PR can be used effectively to engage audiences, whilst providing a valuable learning experience for the competitors involved.

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Using communications to manage risk in the extractive industry
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 12:54

extraction.jpgOn Wednesday 5 March, the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre houses the Another Perspective on Risk Conference - hosted by SPE Aberdeen’s Another Perspective (AP) Committee. The conference seeks to reassess the management of human risk within oil, gas and mining industries. Among the speakers is Jem Thomas, head of operations at Albany Associates, who will speak about the essential role of communications when managing risk in challenging international environments.  

Thomas emphasises the importance of moving away from traditional methods of corporate social responsibility programs, and, instead, forging a relationship with local communities through the use of effective and focused communication strategies. Often, human risk is the outcome of the political strife and struggle that surrounds extraction sites; corruption, sabotage and theft are all problems that affect extraction companies, and are traditionally tackled with expensive displays of force.  

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Mismanaged media relations and a #PricelessSurprise
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:34

peanuts.jpgIn a priceless surprise for Telegraph journalist Tim Walker, an email from House PR documenting the terms of his attendance at the Brit Awards this evening. His surprise turned into a priceless surprise for the Press Gazette, which was forwarded the House PR email. In the hours since, the #pricelesssurprise hashtag has gone haywire, though not quite in the way MasterCard expected it to. Most critics are pointing to the unsuitable tactics used by House PR to get a journalist to promote its client. Public relations, however, excels most often when it builds solid working relationships with journalists. Had such research and time been carried out by the PR, such a massive gaffe may not have occurred.

Walker tweeted, “Please fellow journalists do not agree to the absurd conditions for covering @BRITAwards. I've even just been told what I should tweet. No.” The fact that he found the requests absurd points to both poor targeting and poor media relations tactics. The question really comes down to ‘Should PR professionals tell journalists what to write or work to make what they promote appealing to a writer?’

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Property rebrand evokes luxury and ease
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 14 February 2014 11:55

IND_FOLIO_Cluttons_ES.jpgWith a brand that deals equally with consumers and companies, a 200-year plus history in the UK and a prominent presence in the Middle East, and the constrictions often present in the property sector, Cluttons’ rebrand was an interesting challenge for London-based branding agency Industry.

The agency’s nine residential branches in London represent just a portion of Cluttons’ business. The company has a thriving corporate arm and is arguably the most prominent estate agency in the UAE and elsewhere in the Gulf states. In drawing these unique elements together under a single brand proposition, Industry introduced ‘We make it easy’ as the new strategy.

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The Mill's transformation from iconic logo to iconic brand
Thursday, 13 February 2014 15:35

mill_1.jpgJaguar’s 2014 Super Bowl commercial ‘Rendezvous’ became a viral success this week when it united legendary actors such as Ben Kingsley and Tom Hiddleston with an Oscar winning director in Tom Hooper. Also nestled in among these screen credits was the iconic visual effects company The Mill who managed post-production on the advert.

The Mill has just begun a comprehensive rebrand of its visual brand identity. This sumptuous new visual rebrand seeks to bring the elegance and wit of the company’s content to its own visual branding. Having worked on a staggering 20 of this year’s Super Bowl Commercials their strategic overhaul coincides with an expansion into its American market where three of its fours offices are based. The need to ‘convey personality’ across its multiple markets stems from a transformation of The Mill’s already renowned logo into a comprehensive brand which allows its four bases to be both original and interconnected.

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