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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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Guinness to award comms record breaker citation
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 12:49

guinness.jpgCommunications teams often work to set the record straight, often by going on the record with reporters or recording a bit of digital content. Occasionally, a brand takes it one step further and defines itself in part by being a record breaker. It’s little surprise then, that Guinness World Records, which began life as a marketing tool for the beer manufacturer and produced in part by a London-based data agency, recognises record-breaking brands in its pages, both print and digital.

This year, Guinness World Records will partner with the Festival of Media – which runs over three events in March, April and October – to create an award category at the Festival of Media Awards. The new ‘Record-breaking brand award’ will recognise record-breaking media campaigns. The partnership follows a year that Guinness named 'The year of record breaking' for global brands.

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How employer brand is shaping IC, or not
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 11:44

Google.jpegIn the post-recession world, a huge swath of the workforce is young, educated and unemployed or employed below skill-level. In this setting, companies have to work harder to engage their employees and encourage new promising applicants to apply.

This dilemma has led to the concept of employer branding. Essentially this means that potential employees choose a company because it has a good reputation for being a fun/cool/supportive/interesting/etc employer. Google, Waitrose and ASDA fall nicely into this category while somewhere like Amazon, that has perennial issues with internal satisfaction, doesn’t.

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Down with digital: Trends and maturity in 2014
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 11:12

Screen_shot_2014_02_13_at_11.14.37_AM.pngWhen the word ‘digital’ comes up in communications, it may be met by everything from leaping enthusiasm to sighs of frustration to the melodic tapping away of a thousand computer keyboards. When examining the applications all these emotions produce in communications, it’s important to remember one thing: digital is part of everything in communications nowadays.

33 Digital and Hotwire PR have, for the past five years, been predicting the trends, issues and changes to digital communications in their Digital Trends Report. This year’s report makes a number of forecasts all pointing to content.

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Metrics analyse reputation and comms effectiveness
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:40

aves.jpgMeasurement and evaluation of communications used to be easy. Well, if not easy, then at least simple. In PR, if you succeeded, your client was represented in print. You could then take a ruler to the newspaper column and actually count how many inches, and thus deduce how much relevance, the client appeared in. These days, even when disregarding social media as a news distributor and focusing on mainstream, measurement is nowhere near as straightforward. New metrics and analyses of reputation and comms effectiveness in the media are necessary. 

The World Communication Forum in Davos is fast approaching. It will bring together the leaders of communications from around the world. The forum will examine measurement and evaluation at the conference through the launch the Global Media Communications Map.

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Cognito rebrand demonstrates that ‘finance is different’
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 15:34

cognito.jpegGlobal financial communications firm, Cognito, has just announced a brand new identity and coinciding website launch. Cognito’s rebrand was envisioned in response to a client survey which sought to better understand its clients’ modern marketing and communication needs.

Cognito’s CEO, Tom Coombes, says, ‘Many firms in this space have traditionally done a poor job of communicating what they do, either to the market or the media, and with this rebrand Cognito is showing that we understand the unique nuances of the market and now offer broader and more compelling services.’

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Sochi symbolism: One day rebrand
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 15:46

Channel_4_rainbow_logo_fo_008.jpgOlympics events always draw the eyes of the international community. Olympics in Russia, or the Soviet Union, even more so. The Moscow games were held amidst an occupation of Afghanistan, a heated Cold War environment and prominent boycotting on both sides of the Iron Curtain. This year’s winter games set to begin tomorrow in Sochi are not that heated on a political scale. However, they have drawn criticism due to Russia’s intolerant stance toward gay rights.

While this has caused perennial brand sponsors of the Olympics to rethink their brand’s association with said controversy, Channel 4, the official broadcaster of the Paralympics, is taking things one step further.

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The European Transform Awards shortlist reflects strength of industry
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:00

transform_logo_crop.pngAwards ceremonies tend to thrive on superlatives. Awards for the best whatever are handed out and the word ‘excellence’ is bandied about freely. This year’s Transform Awards features an interesting superlative beyond simply the number and calibre of entries – both of which are record-breaking. The 2014 Transform Awards shortlist is the most diverse – meaning the list features the most amount of unique agencies and entries – in its history.

From the massive pool of entries received, the judges worked long and hard to determine those who would make the cut onto the shortlist. Tough decisions were made as to which entries would be eliminated. Thus, this year’s shortlist truly marks the strength of the creative industries and the achievements British companies’ rebranding programmes.

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Sustainability to be a priority in corporate events
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 14:48

Etienne_Stott_Ickootu_1.jpgSustainability has long been a concern of consumers, brand managers and corporate leaders in determining environmentally responsible business practice. Yet, what is now second nature in corporate communications and often through supply chains and procurement. Yet corporate events, a huge industry in its own right and a significant fraction of communications, is slowly catching up.

The Sustainable Events Summit, held on 18 February in Euston Square, London, seeks to change the ways in which corporate event managers and suppliers think about sustainability. 

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Discussing coffee and corporate affairs
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:07

Simon_Redfern_lecture.jpg

The latest speaker in London College of Communication and Lissted’s PR Guest Lecture Series was Starbucks UK’s director of corporate affairs, Simon Redfern. Speaking to 130 LCC students and industry guests Redfern outlined his PR philosophy, talked candidly about his past experiences and future plans for the sector – as well as dealing with reputational crises.

Following on from previous guest lecturers, Redfern explained that he believed storytelling to be the primary goal of a the contemporary communications professional, telling the audience “stories stick.” Good PR, Redfern argued, can generate engagement through creating compelling stories that are real, meaningful and make people want to talk about them.

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