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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.

Irish government agrees to sell shares in Aer Lingus
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:25

Aer_Lingus.jpgThe Irish government has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus causing shares in the Irish airline to rise. This follows two unsuccessful attempts at takeover last year.

The government will sell its stake to International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways. The government’s acquiescence comes after IAG’s pledges to preserve jobs within the Republic, however, the government, a coalition, still needs to formally vote for the deal.

Speaking the language
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 16:24

typewriter.jpgTone of voice and personality are easy things to get right on a one-to-one basis. Add in the complexities of corporate jargon and the minutiae involved in brand guidelines and regulations, and that personality amounts to almost nothing.

For government regulators, it is both essential and incredibly difficult to communicate clearly. At an event hosted by the Writer, Emma Hill-French from Ofgem and Emma Stranack from the FCA joined the Writer’s managing partner Nick Parker in a discussion about language.


Making strides in sustainability communications
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:58

green.jpgCommunicating about the necessity, benefits and processes involved in corporate sustainability and CSR can be a difficult thing for even the most assiduous communicator to manage. At the Sustainability Communications Forum last week in London, sustainability managers from a host of different businesses shared their tips, experiences, challenges and frustrations with their peers.

“Sometimes, quite a lot of people don’t care,” says Matthew Bradley, head of environmental sustainability at Capgemini. He said this surprising fact made sustainability comms, especially internally, a challenge, yet one that has yielded interesting results. For most speakers at the conference, finding a way to talk to business leaders, employees and stakeholders about sustainability is both a top priority and a feat of verbal gymnastics.


Building an employer brand
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 22 May 2015 11:28

EBI2.jpgEmployer brand, the brand journey as experienced by an organisation’s people, is the Holy Grail for HR and recruitment professionals, and is an essential part of the internal communicator’s role. The internal communicator helps to construct an environment where there is a strong sense of company culture and brand values, where every employee is a brand ambassador and where, consequently, the top talent is eager to work.

However, it’s not enough to create a strong employer brand. Once that culture has been created it is down to the company to broadcast it to the outside world. A delegate at a recent, exclusive employer branding event said, “What we’re now realising is, although we’ve got this amazing culture internally, we don’t tend to shout about it, so no one else knows that”. That’s where the marketing arm of employer brand comes into play. Employer brand is a collaborative effort and one that benefits the entire organisation when done right.

Intangibles and insights in IR and HR
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 11:52

CRHCIA.jpgFor communicators searching to prove value on their companies’ investment in employees, branding and other intangible assets, the investment and shareholder communities can be difficult to get through to. Yet, the move toward different regulations and trends in corporate reporting has eased this burden and opened the door for a strategic discussion of the value of human capital.

At Communicate magazine’s Corporate Reporting, Human Capital and the Intangible Asset, investors, communicators and HR professionals united to discuss some of these issues.


The HR boat that rocked
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 18 May 2015 13:27

arcadia.jpgThe busy HR professional rarely gets a chance to look beyond the complexities of their own organisation and its unique company culture. Yet, meeting with peers and hearing about the challenges that affect other professionals in the same industry can be a very valuable experience. The Richmond Human Resources Forum, aboard the Arcadia cruise ship, provided this opportunity in spades, and the majority of the delegates on board said that the opportunity to mingle with their peers was the greatest takeaway from the annual three-day event.

The large scale event provided opportunities for HR professionals from large global organisations to hear from a host of inspiring speakers who shared ideas for the management of common issues. The delegates also met with a range of companies who specialise in providing services in HR and recruitment. The event offered back-to-back meetings and talks so that those on board could leave with a host of new ideas, contacts and a renewed passion for their industry.

Fail to prepare
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 11 May 2015 15:19

whac_a_mole.jpgCrises provide the ultimate test for an organisation’s reputation and communications strategy. Jane Kroese, PR director at KISS PR, a public relations and communications agency, says that having a plan in place in case the worst does happen is crucial for brands.

Kroese says, “Some managers are reluctant to undertake crisis planning: crisis is by its nature unpredictable, making it difficult to know where to start. Acknowledging that you could face an emergency is uncomfortable, and it’s not always clear where crisis planning should fit among your day to day tasks.”

Lobbyists predict Cameron
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 07 May 2015 16:33

miliband_cameron.jpgLobbyists will be watching tonight’s results with keener eyes than most. However, a PRCA snap poll reveals that the lobbying industry believes David Cameron will keep his position as prime minister.

PRCA director general Francis Ingham says, "The experts have spoken, and the winner is David Cameron. Tonight will see our members’ wisdom put to the test. Whatever the actual result, one thing is clear. With politics in its current tumultuous state, good public affairs advice is more important than ever –and that bodes well for our industry."

Voluntary experience
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 07 May 2015 15:21

DofE.jpgWhen a potential recruitment candidate has volunteering experience on their CV, it demonstrates a range of desirable skills and qualities. Qualities that are more valued now than ever before due to the growing importance of CSR and sustainable practice in business in response to public demand.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is the most widely recognised volunteering programme among UK HR professionals according to a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The study shows that over a quarter of UK companies look for a DofE Award during the recruitment process.

Neuroscience, content and strategy in election comms
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:32

CDWlJyzWMAA_c8z.png_large.pngThe results of this year's election are swiftly nearing. Yet, the impact of the psychology of communications on the way people voted is yet to be determined.

At an event last week, at creative agency Grey London, experts dissected the campaigning process and the way in which media and messaging is consumed. The event, called 'Greymatter: The choice is (not) yours," brought together a neuroscientist, a public affairs consultant, a policymaker and a digital content expert. The panel examined the way in which preconceptions of parties and candidates influences voting practices, as does the success of their communications.


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