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Mentoring platform guides fledgling digital professionals
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 05 December 2014 15:52

Connect_Mentors.jpegMuch has been said about the skills gap affecting the digital industry, and this has led to companies deciding to take the education of the next generation into their own hands. One of the organisations fuelling this trend is Connect Mentors.

A mentoring organisation, Connect Mentors uses an online platform to connect students, non-students, and junior and senior staff, with mentors to help them develop their careers in digital.

Baking records
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 16:27

Record_breaking_cake.jpgLast weekend the Guinness World Record for largest cake sculpture was broken by Fairy and the Make-a-Wish charity. The huge cake was eaten by 12,000 people, and their plates were washed up using one bottle of Fairy liquid.

The record was intended to raise awareness of Make-a-Wish’s annual Bake-a-Wish fundraising effort. The campaign encourages people to bake and sell cakes in order to raise money for the charity.

Getting brands into the classroom
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:19

Farm to Fork_1.jpgAt yesterday’s BIMA breakfast event, primary school teacher and educational researcher, Martin Waller, sought to inspire brands to get involved with the education of children through the provision of resources and by working closely with teachers.

The event was focused on a Tesco case study, the Farm to Fork initiative, part of the Eat Happy Project. Greg Sage, community director at Tesco, and Jon Davie, MD of Zone, the digital agency who handled the online aspects of the initiative, spoke about the way the project runs, while Waller explained how his class had benefitted from the programme.

EVCOM recognises best in corporate events at awards
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 01 December 2014 16:41

eventia.jpgEarlier this year, the video and live events industry bodies officially merged to become EVCOM. The announcement was made at the March IVCA Awards, the 26th and last under the IVCA brand. Last Friday, the final Eventia awards honoured the best in corporate live events for the last time under the Eventia banner.

With categories spanning from ‘Best internal engagement’ to ‘Best brand experience,’ the awards recognised the development, strategy and execution of corporate events.

Video encourages open dialogue on World AIDS Day
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 01 December 2014 14:19

Don_t_let_HIV_outsmart_you.jpgWorld AIDS Day raises awareness of HIV as a continuing, global threat. Many show support for sufferers and commemorate those who have died while joining together to fight the spread of the virus.

Durex and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation encourage open conversation around sex and sexual health. Their Someone Like Me project launched on World AIDS Day in 2013 and became a year-round initiative in 2014.

Investor relations best practice celebrated at awards
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 28 November 2014 15:20

IRS.jpgDigital has made investor relations, like many areas of communications, ever more integral to business operations. IR, however, is also now more interrelated with other areas of communications itself – from employee comms to media relations. The recent Tesco crisis alone has shown how an incident can impact  investment, internal, consumer and corporate stakeholders alike.

Thus, the Investor Relations Society, established in 1980, has run the Best Practice Awards for 14 years to recognise those companies that effectively communicate with the investment audience, while taking heed of the wider corporate context. This year's awards took place on 25 November at the Honourable Artillery Company in London.

'We know where we’ve been, but where are we going?'
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 11:19

Colin_Byrne.jpgWritten by Tanya Kropacheva

London College of Communication’s second PR Guest Lecture,  supported by Precise, took place last week featuring Weber Shandwick’s UK and EMEA CEO Colin Byrne. Titled 'We know where we’ve been, but where are we going?,' Byrne’s talk considered aspects of PR’s new directions and included tips for the future of the industry – although he also acknowledged that some of this, of course, is difficult to predict given how rapidly changing the industry is.

Byrne started by taking a selfie with the audience, setting a relaxed tone for the presentation. It also led naturally to his first point around the power of smartphones and their influence on our lives. Particularly pertinent was the fact that more people in Africa have access to a smartphone than to a toilet.


Apple supports (RED) in App Store CSR initiative
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 10:30

apple.jpgOn 1 December, brands and organisations will unite behind World AIDS Day to continue the fight against AIDS and HIV. Apple, which has supported the (RED) charity in the past through product sales and partnerships, has renewed its collaboration with the organisation in advance of 1 December.

Apple has committed $75m in donations to (RED) but will also integrate the charity’s objectives into its Christmas sales. A specific section of 25 apps on the App Store will see all proceeds go straight to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. In-app purchases on games like Angry Birds, Monument Valley and Farmville will be included in the selection. Additionally, Apple will donate portions of sales from 24 November to 7 December to (RED).

Irony, investor relations and the Twitter incident
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 13:48

socmed.pngIn 2010, Segway creator Jimi Heselden died by driving his Segway off a cliff. Though the incident this week with Twitter CFO Anthony Noto is not as extreme, it does reach to a similar level of irony.

Noto intended to send a private message and instead accidentally tweeted about what seems to be an acquisition of another company by Twitter. The tweet read, “I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16 -- we will need to sell him. i have a plan.” Though it was swiftly deleted, Noto should know, better than most, that screenshots of tweets give them an afterlife even when presumed dead and gone.


Sustainable reporting improving, survey says
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 21 November 2014 13:05

getty_image_sustainable.jpgThe push for increased sustainability reporting has been taken up on a global scale by international organisations, individual businesses, the UN, EU and local governments alike. While numerous standards and regulations exist for corporate reporting in general, shifting the focus to non-financial reporting has moved more slowly.

The World Business Council for Development (WBCSD), an association over 200 companies that promotes sustainability in the corporate world, undertook research into the quality of non-financial reporting.

Networks, war and managing influencer relations
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 20 November 2014 15:04

fourtold.pngIn modern warfare, counterinsurgency theory dictates that success can be gained through winning the hearts and minds of a community or audience – a process which relies on building relationships with the right people to influence the public. In a less high-stakes setting, corporate communicators can be called upon to act in a similar fashion. Effective stakeholder relations relies upon understanding one’s audience, communicating with the right influencers – essentially, who people turn to for advice – in the right way and building relationships with the community to eventually change opinions.

The problem, however, in both waging counterinsurgency warfare and in digital communications lies in understanding one’s audience and how best to communicate with it. Such was the topic of today’s discussion, ‘Networks and Netwar: ISIS and social media’ at which data scientist and public diplomacy expert Ali Fisher discussed the online war against jihadism.

Debating sustainable strategy in manufacturing
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:34

sustainable.pngThe first of a series of supper clubs organised by Blond Ideas Group kicked off with the question “Sustainability: a waste of space?” The discussion moved through the demands of sustainable living, highlighting the new generational targets of sustainable living and sustainable business – the suburban families who swapped the VW campervan for the suburban home – the “Yes, buts...”

The evening was kicked off by Duncan Baker-Brown taking the audience through the UK’s first house built entirely from waste. The house’s tagline reads: “There is no such thing as waste, just things that are in the wrong place.” Espousing that ethos, the house, made from carpet tiles, denim off-cuts, video tapes and toothbrushes, was a visual representation of the sheer volume of waste that ends up on landfills.


CIPR to produce and distribute its own content from 2015
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 17:39

CIPR_office.jpgChange is afoot at the CIPR, in more ways than one. It has refocused in recent months on its training and education offering as part of its push toward professionalisation of the PR industry. The organisation, which has over 10,000 members, has announced that it will also be doing away with its existing media partnership to become a content developer in its own right.

President of the CIPR Stephen Waddington says, “This is part of the story of the fragmentation of media that has played out over the last 20 years. The CIPR already has strong owned and shared media channels, and through additional investment will be able to deliver better value and engagement to members.”


High stress levels in the workplace
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 13 November 2014 15:23

stress.jpgIt is, to a certain degree, the internal communicator’s role to ensure the mental wellbeing of their staff. However, recent research by mental health charity, Mind, reveals that the majority of employees experience high levels of stress at work.

The report shows that work-related stress far outweighs financial worries with 56% of those researched describing their job as either fairly, or very, stressful.

Public affairs successes recognised by new awards
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 13 November 2014 10:40

lobbying.jpgWhen it was established earlier this year, the Public Affairs Awards filled a gap in the communications awards landscape, says MD of Zetter’s Political Services, Lionel Zetter. The existing public affairs awards, the Public Affairs News Awards, run by Dods, is on a hiatus this year, allowing for a successful launch of the Public Affairs Awards this year.

“If you look at all the awards that celebrate communications generally or PR, there are a great many of them and they are very large and very well supported and that is great. But public affairs was, we thought, neglected, even when PAN was running it as an annual event,” said Zetter in a September interview.


Public relations celebrates at PRCA Awards
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:58

Photo_11_11_2014_18_53_54.jpgAt a time when public relations is having its value questioned by clients, by pundits, by the industry itself, last night’s PRCA Awards allowed the industry to shine for its success in communications and stakeholder relations. The winning campaigns and organisations stem from a range of sectors, sizes and types, highlighting the diversity of PR’s capabilities as an industry.

PR teams from Prostate Cancer UK – which won ‘Public Sector/Charity In-house Team of the Year’ – and William Hill, for ‘Private Sector In-house Team of the Year’ took home the two most prominent awards of the evening while Rethink Mental Illness for #FindMike and MHP Communications and Christmas Tinner won ‘Campaign of the Year.’

Straight talking
Written by Aaron Shardey   
Thursday, 06 November 2014 13:20

Andy.jpgHow the sustainability agenda is changing communications for the better

London College of Communication, University of the Arts London’s guest lecture series returned last week with Salt PR’s founder, Andrew Last, discussing how public relations must align itself with the sustainability agenda to ensure the industry has a successful future.

Last began the lecture by looking at the history of PR from the perspective of its supposed founding father, Edward Bernays, who led the adoption of social psychology to promote all manner of unethical causes.

Recruiting with digital
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 06 November 2014 12:06

employer_branding_visual.jpgRB, the manufacturer of health and hygiene brands, such as Dettol, Nurofen, Durex and Finish, has gone beyond the usual recruiting process with a campaign that contributes to its long-term employer brand.

The, primarily digital, Make Your Move campaign includes a video that broadcasts RB’s unique company culture. The short video is fast-paced and comic, released across multiple social media and video-streaming platforms its role is to direct professionals to the RB careers website where they can find more detailed information.

The PR's progress
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 16:03

80s_drinking.jpgOn its 45th birthday the PRCA is in a reflective mood. A leadership panel gathered to unpick the history of the PR industry since its infancy in the 1960s. The most popular definition of the industry as it stands today, according to the panel, was ‘professional’; perhaps a sign of how far the industry has come.

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, says, “As we celebrate our 45th anniversary, it is reassuring to discover that the most prevalent definition of the current industry is now ‘professional’ – unlike yesteryear: ‘luvvie’, ‘frivolous’, and - my own personal favourite – ‘gin and tonic’. I’d like to think that the PRCA has had a lot to do with improving the industry’s professionalism.”

Police communicators face budget cuts and media scrutiny
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:53

Police.jpgThe Association of Police Communicators has commissioned research in a bid to uncover what challenges and issues its members face.

The study, carried out by independent market research company Public Knowledge, showed that budget cuts and organisational change were among the major concerns of police communicators. Budget cuts are a problem for communicators in the public sector as a whole since cuts heighten the need for communicators to prove their worth within their organisation.

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