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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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Digital defamation can impact reputation
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:09

schillingslibel.jpgSocial media is new territory for defamation and libel law, even seven years on from the invention of Twitter. For companies, the ramifications of any precedents set in this area can be far-reaching in terms of online reputation management. The 2013 Defamation Act asserted that claimants must now show that they have suffered ‘serious harm’ to their reputations as a result of defamatory content.

Libel law, however is still struggling to catch up to the pre-digital age codifications. Recently, infamous Hole-foreman Courtney Love prevailed in social media libel suit in a California court.

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The human face of brand reputation
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:56

lippincott.pngCustomer confidence may be the panacea of the consumer facing communicator, but that trust is built on reputation and the effectiveness of the corporate brand at building a human connection. Lippincott, a brand strategy and design firm, has recently conducted a study examining how brands can constitute positive relationships with their customers.

According to findings, a brand’s ability to build a trustful reputation, whether big or small, is relative to "acting in a human way," says Simon Glynn, Lippincott’s director of EMEA. In this case, Emirates, Waitrose, John Lewis, Bose, Disney, Yo! Sushi and Nationwide were found at the top of their respective industries.

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Award honours memory of public affairs great
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 27 January 2014 16:00

DOUGLAS SMITH 1_1.jpgPublic relations has become a popular option of study for both university students and those seeking entry into the communications profession. Diploma programmes often offer rigorous and practical preparation for a competitive industry.

The CIPR, which has been a proponent of communications education on both the degree and qualifications levels for many years, launched a new competition for PR students today. The Douglas Smith Student Award is an annual competition intending to find the CIPR’s most talented students.

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Women face obstacles, but not insurmountable ones
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 27 January 2014 14:16

womenpr.jpgIn 1964, the PR industry was undergoing a wave of professionalisation. Burston-Marsteller and Edelman were just over 10 years old and had recently expanded to London. It was in this landscape that Women in PR was founded.

The organisation, which provides a support network and resources for women working in public relations, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. On Thursday, the group hosted a discussion on the future of networking in honour of its birthday. Women in PR, according to joint-president Sue Hardwick, seeks to share knowledge across the generations and encourage women to succeed in PR.

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LiveCom Awards sparks industry changes
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 27 January 2014 12:47

IVCA.jpgLast Friday, the IVCA hosted it’s last awards ceremony as a non-joint entity with new partner Eventia. The organisations, which merged on 6 January, are set to rebrand this year.

The LiveCom Awards, which celebrate excellence in live events and experiential marketing, took place in London on Friday. March’s 26th annual IVCA Awards will be the first to be held by the joint organisation.

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Rebrand makes things 'All Better'
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 24 January 2014 10:13

Yorkhill_Wall_Blue.jpegHospitals and children’s charities have been making boo boos all better for many a year. This week, however, Yorkhill Children’s Charity made that remit a part of its brand positioning.

The organisation, formerly known as the Yorkhill Chilrdren’s Foundation, was rebranded by the Good agency. It has added the strapline “All Better” to emphasise the expansion of its support for and treatment of sick children.

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CIPR Inside Story Awards shortlist announced
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:09

cipr_1.jpgLast year, the CIPR’s first awards programme focusing solely on internal communications was launched. The Inside Story Awards honoured excellence in agency and in-house communications.

This year’s shortlist has been announced. The programme has added three categories including ‘Best individual contribution to internal communication,’ ‘Best training programme,’ and ‘Best use of video.’ 

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Rebuilding reputation the Ryanair way?
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 16:25

ryanair.pngThe past two weeks have been rife with news of Twitter’s favourite love-to-hate discount airline Ryanair trying to revamp its image. The low-price carrier launched an ad campaign asserting that it is changing. It has introduced an easily-navigable website and it has struck a deal with Google – the first ever for the airline – allowing its prices and routes to appear in comparison to others.

All of these customer-facing incentives are essentially responding to two things: customer dissatisfaction – Ryanair was the worst brand in Which?'s customer service report – and reputation. The Ryanair brand itself has done nothing to help its reputation in recent years.

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Obesity awareness impacts food and drink sector
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:37

noaw.jpgThe issue of obesity has increasingly become an issue in public affairs for healthcare groups and businesses alike. Public health experts claim the tide has yet to turn in encouraging good food habits. Brands are beginning to see an impact on communications in response to this push by health organisations.

The National Obesity Forum released a report looking into public health in the UK during National Obesity Awareness Week this month. While issues like fitness, BMI and visiting GPs were addressed, the report also looked at food and beverage habits as a means to creating a healthier lifestyle.

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BIMA appoints first-ever MD
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 12:15


Bridget_Beale_2014.jpgBritish creative industries are changing. Content, digital and design are becoming more of a focus in schools and to the economy. BIMA, the British Interactive Media Association, is changing too.

It’s successful Digital Day programme completed a second turn in the nation’s schools last October and its Hot 100 list highlighted the best in British digital in July for the first time. In October, long-time chairman Justin Cooke resigned his post to pave the way for Adam Graham to take the helm. Today, another change was announced on the leadership level. 

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Spreading the message
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:59

envoy.jpegLast year, American Airlines made headlines with a Futurebrand-designed logo and livery to complement its acquisition of US Airways and its hopes for the future. Now, longtime subsidiary American Eagle Airlines will also receive the rebrand treatment.

The regional service was once a service comprised of a melange of brands from Wings West to Metroflight Airlines. The new brand, Envoy, was chosen from a list of 1,000 possible names and vetted by employees pre-rebrand. 

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How crisis, risk and regulation affect trust
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:00


horsemeat_1.jpgTrust is the bedrock upon which reputation is built. This is relevant in politics, but even more so in the corporate world. The Edelman Trust Barometer, which has been studying public and private organisations’ reputations for the past 14 years, was released this week. Trust matters to business as 63% of respondents will patronise a trusted company and 51% will recommend that company.

It found that 84% of people think business can both do good and make money, simultaneously. McGill University’s Faculty of Management found that there is a measurable link between CSR and financial performance. So it may be a company can do good and reap the rewards. An increase in positive CSR correlates to a 20% reduction in financial risk. 

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Storytelling and brand in the world of whisky
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 11:59


taghta.jpgThe world of whisky stretches from Litchfield, Tennessee all the way to Wick, Scotland and across the Eurasian continent to Shimamoto in Osaka, Japan. In this increasingly-crowded space, it’s not enough anymore for a brand, particularly one producing single-malt scotch whisky to rest on its brand name. Scottish distilleries – often small ones in relation to the likes of Jack Daniels or Glenfidditch – have been seeking points of differentiation through communications.

Glenmorangie launched a crowdsourced packaging campaign seeking to allow the public to be involved in the process of distilling, branding and marketing a new whisky. The name Taghta, short for ‘chosen’, has already been selected. Packaging from London-based design agency ButterflyCannon were also put to a vote.

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