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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.”

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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."

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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.

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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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Public affairs after the election
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 14:49

parliament.jpgAs the election draws closer, public affairs practitioners have ensured that they are ready for every eventuality. Carl Thomson, director at The Whitehouse Consultancy, says, “A good consultancy will have done the research and preparation beforehand. They will have advised their clients well before the election, on all the potential outcomes and what it could mean for their business.”

The current election campaign is changing the face of UK politics, with the amount of political parties represented greater than before and with a majority vote only one possible outcome.

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Social public relations
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 10:52

Broadcasting.jpgWhile the majority of public relations professionals are active on social media, a study suggests that the full potential of the medium as a public relations tool has not yet been reached.

The research by Cision UK, in association with the Canterbury Christ Church University, shows that a high number of PR professionals are not responding to comments or engaging with posts and discussions on social media - nearly 40% of PRs never respond to queries from the media. This statistic suggests that PR professionals are largely using social media for promotional, rather than conversational, purposes and are thereby missing out on an opportunity for improved communications.

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Understanding creative
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 30 April 2015 15:28

paint.jpgAs more and more PR agencies position themselves as content providers, it will perhaps come as no surprise that PRCA members have requested that a Creative Group be added to the membership association’s 24 existing sectoral groups and seven regional groups.

As PR agencies become more integrated, offering many of the same services as advertising and marketing professionals, it is more important than ever for PR professionals to solve the ‘creative’ problem.

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PR in China relies on word of mouth, mobile
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 10:55

maggie_nally.jpgChina is a land of superlatives. It is the home of 649m internet users, 1.3bn mobile users – 60% of which own smartphones – and has at least 1,100 smartphone models on the market. WPP China’s CEO Bessie Lee says these features make for one of the most mature, agile and interesting markets for e-commerce, digital penetration and brand building via social media in the world.

E-commerce, headlined by Alibaba, is only 12 years old, yet if Jack Ma’s site is any indication of the overall market, that makes for 12 long, valuable years. “They have the money to buy,” says Lee of China’s middle classes. “But what they don’t have is the patience to wait for the brands [to communicate]. They will go to online for solutions.”

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Internal communicators share vision and values
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 27 April 2015 15:33

RFU_2.jpgSequel’s Aspic events for internal communicators have proven very successful at bringing senior internal communicators into one space where thought-provoking case studies and stories can be shared. At last Friday’s event (24 April) the two main speakers were from Bupa and Rugby Football Union.

Christina Fee, head of internal communications and corporate affairs at Bupa, has spent time at Guinness, Deutsche Post, DHL and the AA. She spoke on the event’s topic, ‘Communicating vision and values’, by sharing her experiences engaging leaders with internal comms, implementing bottom-up comms and creating experiential events and comms-led business development.

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A press conference with the press
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 24 April 2015 14:35

City_of_London_club.jpgStrong communication between journalists and PR professionals ensure that both sides get the most out of each other’s services and brands. PR Newswire facilitates these relationships and one aspect of this is the regular Meet the Media Events.

Wednesday’s event (22 April) saw a packed room of communications professionals have a dialogue with Ruth Sunderland, the associate city editor of the Daily Mail. Sunderland began by sharing her experience and by giving an insight into the way the Daily Mail sources its news stories. The room was then opened-up for questions and Sunderland was able to answer specific queries from the audience.

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Best in brand development honoured at Transform Awards
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 14:15

Trans2015_event2.jpgEvery year, the Transform Awards sets the standard for brand development, rebranding and brand positioning work in Europe. Work from all sectors, sizes of business, platform and region is received. Yet, what also changes every year is the quality of rebranding and brand development projects and thus, the standard by which they are judged.

While this means the awards set a stronger benchmark each year, it also reflects the growing prevalence of brand in corporate communications. The corporate brand – and its implementation, positioning and creativity – has become one of the most valuable assets a business owns. Its value may be intangible, but its worth is apparent.

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Fashion in revolt
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 13:20

Fashion_Revolution_Day.jpgThis Friday (24 April) is Fashion Revolution Day, when fashion brands globally will be asked to be more transparent with their supply chains.

The public are being urged to ask brands #whomademyclothes on social media, and so encourage them to monitor their supply chains. Events and PR activity on the day will place pressure on brands to map-out their entire supply chain and find out where their garments come from. It will be an excellent opportunity for brands to communicate the progress they are making in this area and will act as a reminder for brands who are less active in this area that there is a demand for greater transparency.

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Britain as a brand: beyond left and right
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 20 April 2015 13:47

Fresh_Britain.pngAs the post-austerity UK elections approach and many citizens lament the lack of real choice, Bob Sheard, director of Fresh Britain branding agency, explains how treating Britain as a brand could help to create a long term vision for the nation.

Sheard explains how brands without a vision end up managing themselves, rather than leading. He says, “We’ve been frustrated watching the election debates because it’s pretty much the same thing. None of the parties are actually articulating their vision for Britain, all the debates are in the minutiae of policy and that’s based on the now, not the future. As a consequence of that, there’s very little differentiation between the parties in the debate. Little choice will lead, by all accounts, to a coalition, and all a coalition represents is a country that’s being managed rather than a country that’s being led.”

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Accounting for intangible assets
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 17 April 2015 14:39

14596446618_ba9428ac2a_m.jpgIntangible assets are, by definition, difficult to define, amass and explain. Yet, corporate reporting standards require assets to be accounted for. For companies with large amounts of intangible assets – often related to employees, brand value or CSR activities – that accounting can be a challenge.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance found that £1 trillion in assets of UK companies are not accounted for.

 

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