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What's in store for Leveson, PR and the media
Thursday, 14 March 2013 17:01

leveson2.jpegThe stakes are high in determining the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry. “If we get it wrong we will actually end up damaging the fundamentals of free speech and free press,” Lord Black of Brentwood, executive director of the Telegraph Media Group, said at today’s PRCA Future of Communications after Leveson conference.

A particularly timely event, as David Cameron has just called off cross-party talks on the implementation of a statutory regulatory body.

A prescription for PR
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 11:53

url_1.jpegThe furor recent over NHS’ PR budget comes just months after the Government increased its spending on communications, particularly for the NHS. In September of last year, the Cabinet Office highlighted health-related communications and PR programmes as a priority for the following year.

This morning, the BBC reported on Freedom of Information requests uncovering 82 in-house press officers and £3 million spent on agencies. A number of critics have called money spent on PR consultants and branding agencies a wasteful use of funds.

IoIC Awards open for entry
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:54

awardsimage_2013.pngBest practice in internal communications is exhibited in campaigns and channels that make people take notice. Creativity, strategy and effective evaluation are key to doing so. The Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) will be honouring the best in internal communications at its 2013 Awards, which are now open for entry.

Awards categories range from traditional categories like print and writing to design to innovation and digital media. The Awards celebrate those individuals and teams that consistently demonstrate best practice in internal comms.

Teaching with tablets
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 11:06

tablets_in_school.jpgAt this week’s SXSWedu conference, News Corp. unveiled a learning-based tablet computer that will be made available to schoolchildren in the US. The Amplify tablet will feature Android-based learning apps. The programme will rely on the Education Department’s ‘Race to the Top’ Programme that is designed to cover the costs of new technology in public schools.

Not to be outdone, Carphone Warehouse in the UK has had a similar plan to disseminate tablet technology to schools across the country. Education secretary Michael Gove okayed the the mobile retailer’s plan to implement the project by the end of 2013.

Toy rebrand is more than child's play
Monday, 11 March 2013 13:08

fisherprice.jpgThe rebrand of a company responsible and renowned for its impact on childhood development has allowed it to exemplify that remit via visual testimony.

Fisher-Price’s 83 year history has propelled it to the forefront of the children’s toy market. The company however, has found that young children, toddlers and even babies are increasingly using such grown-up toys as iPhones and iPads. In developing new interactive toys to suit this trend, Fisher-Price has introduced a new set of brand guidelines to highlight its tradition of excellence.

Corporate social media strategy made easier?
Friday, 08 March 2013 11:38

zuckerberg2.jpgThey say news is dead. They say newspapers are remnants of a bygone era and the revolution Gutenberg began some 600 years ago is no longer relevant.

Mark Zuckerberg has something to say about that. A Facebook revamp has become a somewhat expected story out of Palo Alto. But yesterday’s “personalized newspaper” moment addresses the one thing that has kept newspapers alive throughout the centuries – advertising.

Companies desperate to reach a youth audience through Facebook have been met certain with challenges.

IMF's changing global economic communications strategies
Friday, 08 March 2013 10:26

IMF.jpgSocial media has changed the way the world interacts, it has changed communications, changed booking airplane tickets and buying coffee, among other things. It has also changed the way international organisations respond to shifting patterns of influence.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is no different. The IMF has 60 stakeholders and 188 member states and operates in the world’s most volatile economic situations. Last night, at the CIPR’s annual Maggie Nally lecture, deputy MD of the Fund, Nemat Shafik, spoke on the IMF’s changing communications strategies in a landscape of democratisation, globalisation and hyperconnectivity.

Transparency in transport
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 15:53

bus.jpegTransparency is widely acknowledged to be key in corporate communications. Maintaining openness about spending and funding can build brand trust and loyalty as the public becomes aware of the business’ practices. It also assuages stakeholders concerns about use of funds and budgets.

Capital Metro, the transit authority in Austin, Texas, has long had a dedicated webpage for fiscal reporting – its budget and spending is clearly accessible to passengers and stakeholders alike. It has also embraced transparency as core to its buiness practice. But Capital Metro has taken transparency one step further.

The transit authority has introduced 35-foot graphics featuring x-ray images on six buses in its fleet. Designed to communicate the agency's transparency, the supergraphics exemplify Capital Metro's business outlook in an accessible manner.

Branding a major influence on smokers
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:33

smoking.jpgLast summer, Australia took the bold step in eliminating all recognisable branding from cigarette packaging. The UK is likely to follow suit within the year. Branding is now widely recognised as a significant factor in attracting people, particularly children, to become new smokers.

The plain Australian packaging included an olive drab background along with graphic images of diseases related to. The British Government is likely to announce the legislation in May.

Students require resources regarding PR careers
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 10:44

ciprdwg.jpgStudents from BME backgrounds in the 16-18 year-old age range are more familiar than non-BME students with what a career in public relations entails, but are subsequently less likely to enter the communications industry.

The CIPR’s Diversity Working Group has sought to improve access to communications professions for hopefuls from minority backgrounds since 2010. It’s recent research into the perceptions of PR by 16-18 year olds has yielded somewhat surprising findings.

PR qualifications used to enhance career prospects
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 16:46

pracademy_1.pngThough it seems that studying for PR qualifications has become a surging trend over the past several months, in fact, the amount of communications professionals or hopefuls studying with PR training academies has remained largely consistent.

The PR Academy, one of the nation’s most prominent communications training facilities, released its third annual trends survey this week. Though the percentage of students has remained almost unchanged, the reasons for studying have changed significantly.

Football, the international language
Monday, 04 March 2013 12:58

qpr.jpgA year ago, Queens Park Rangers acquired South Korean star Ji-Sung Park from Manchester United and only recently added his countryman, Suk-Young Yun to the roster. There are currently 11 players hailing from the Republic of Korea in the the Premier League. However, QPR has the unique position of being home to two Korean footballers.

In light of the squad’s ties to South Korea and its growing fanbase in East Asia, the club has launched a Korean Twitter account. The @OfficialQPR_KR account will be managed jointly between the UK and Korean and will tweet exclusively in Korean.

The CIPR's Jane Wilson, on her resignation
Written by Andrew Thomas   
Thursday, 28 February 2013 12:41

jane wilson_1.jpg


“I said at the outset I’d do three years, and three years have gone” says Jane Wilson, on the day her resignation from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations was announced.

CIPR CEO to step down
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:11

Jane_Wilson.jpgThree years ago the Chartered Institute of Public Relations recorded a loss of more than £500,000 following one very scandalous Greek landlord and a forced move from St James’s Square. At that time, current CEO Jane Wilson was brought in to, among other things, reestablish the Institute on sustainable financial grounds.

In 2010, Wilson signed on for three years of service as she felt that would be the timeframe in which she would be most effective. Today she announced her impending resignation after those three years have been completed in September. Wilson will likely be returning to work in the private sector.

New partner for apprenticeship scheme
Friday, 22 February 2013 10:22

apprenticeships2.jpgLast month, the PRCA’s apprenticeship programme was left without a training provider as Pearson in Practice was officially closed down by Pearson. However, the apprenticeship programme has continued as scheduled throughout the intervening time.

Yesterday, the PRCA announced that Creative Process will be the new training provider. Creative Process has over a decade’s worth experience in the creative sector and offers existing qualifications schemes in digital media and marketing, making it well-placed to partner with the PRCA. CEO of Creative Process,

Water wise standard introduced for businesses
Thursday, 21 February 2013 16:39

water.jpgThis week, the Carbon Trust called for smarter water use in business as it released a survey documenting the lack of water conservation action on the part of international business leaders.

The Trust is offering a new Water Standard accreditation that certifies organisations who exhibit a responsible use of resources. The first past the post in garnering the new standard are Coca-Cola and Sainsbury’s.

The initiative was spawned due to a lack of global standards regarding water reduction, causing a shift in remit for the UK’s Carbon Trust. In fact, only one in seven of 475 companies around the world had explicit targets set for water reduction or performance reporting.

Content is only one part of social business
Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:19

bimabfast.jpg_largeAt the first in a series of, BIMA hosted a breakfast event covering the wonderful world of content.

Dara Nasr from Twitter discussed the evolution of the tweet to its current volume of 1 billion tweets every 2.5 days. Ron Peterson of AKQA asked why a business couldn't be social from end to end, in addition to its marketing component and pointed to content as one means of doing so. John Webb from Rackspace delineated the process through which content must funnel in order to be effective.

Building blocks of internal communications
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 17:01

ioic_1.jpgInternal communications has come a long way over the past two years, as has the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC).

The IoIC has undertaken a half-century route from the British Association of Industrial Editors to the British Association of Communicators in Business and on to the modern professional organisation.

What the future holds
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 16:22

magic8.jpgBetter than a tea leaves or a magic eight ball, the CIPR’s annual benchmarking survey, released this week, provides insight on the future of PR.

The survey, documenting responses from over 1,200 members, shows trends in PR and the communications industry over the past year and includes opinions on the future of the industry. Despite the recession, pay increases have resulted for in-house professionals this year. However, a gender gap remains in terms of income and career advancement.

Online brand protection in emerging markets
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 15:27

project_sunblock.gifOnline brand protection can be as slippery as bottle of sunblock on a hot day.

Content verification company, Project Sunblock provides services which vet international websites before branded content appears on foreign websites. The service has since been extended to include as languages as diverse as Korean and Polish, with a full offering of 11 languages.

The communications efforts in the emerging markets of Asia and MENA must align with that of Western Europe and the United States. In providing a website verification service for advertising and branded content, Project Sunblock can ease the transition of these brands into new markets.

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