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The future is now in digital communications
Friday, 07 December 2012 11:38

digitaltrendsreport.pngIt’s a land where machines know what people need and want, where the products a customer researches are automatically delivered to her mailbox, where she can reach the company that made that product across the globe without leaving her home, a land of smart television and constant information. No, it’s not the future (or the Matrix), it’s the digital communications landscape in 2013.

Hotwire PR and 33 Digital published the fourth annual Digital Trends Report today which outlines the trends and challenges facing the communications industry in the new year. The report points to trends continuing from the present — increasing interconnectivity and engagement is a big one — but also looks at the influx of new census data in a radically different world than 2002 and the rise of ever-smarter inanimate objects.

Reputation in Financial Services programme announced
Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:56

_2The UK is in for three more years of austerity measures, the economy has yet to fully recover from the recession and the banking industry is still regarded with some skepticism. The reputations of financial services institutions hang in the balance amidst this landscape.

Addressing the issues of reputation, brand and communications in the financial industry, the fourth-annual Reputation in Financial Services conference, hosted by Communicate, will take place on 22 January. The conference has established itself as the headline event for communications professionals in the financial industry.

Edinburgh Castle towers above new airport logo
Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:50

edinburgh.jpgEdinburgh Castle perches atop a hill overlooking the city. Now, it also perches atop an air traffic control tower on Edinburgh Airport’s rebranded logo.

The airport, through which 9.4 million passengers travel each year, has launched a new visual identity to mark a change in ownership from BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners. BAA recently announced the devolution of its brand, allowing the several airports under its umbrella to pursue independent ownership and branding.

Bookmaker reboots its branding
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:14

_1While there are no odds on if the new Paddy Power branding will be embraced by customers, it does serve to update an outdated visual identity.

Landor Associates has developed a new concept for the bookmakers’ branding to communicate the ‘mischief at the heart’ of the brand. On the first of the new year, the branding will roll out across all channels, digital and physical to create a consistent look across all of Paddy Power’s holdings.

Benchmarking survey open to in-house comms directors
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 10:51

ihm_survey.jpgCommunicate, alongside the PRCA and YouGov, have launched the second annual in-house Benchmarking Survey to deduce performance indicators from communications directors.

The survey covers all issues relevant to in-house communications teams from the use of agencies to team management to key threats and opportunities. The survey provides the PRCA with useful signposts as to the industry's health and the chief issues concerning communications professionals.

All I want for Christmas is to tweet the pope
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:53

pope_1.jpgTwitter may be a sacred thing for most communications experts. Now, even the Vatican has put its faith in the microblogging site. Pope Benedict XVI plans to begin tweeting on 12 December from the @pontifex account.

One of the strongest motives behind the digital push is to engage the coveted 18-34 demographic. As with any other comms strategy, digital is the way to do so. The tweets will have a spiritual message, the first slew of which will respond to questions posed to the #askpontifex hashtag.

Elephantine objectives met in hospital rebrand
Monday, 03 December 2012 13:39

Oli.jpgRarely does a corporate rebranding feature a fuzzy, felt wild animal and a colourful hand-drawn world in the style of a children’s book.

Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children's Charity have adopted a new brand icon in the form of Oli the Oliphant, a blue felt elephant that serves to unite the two entities under one identity. Alder Hey sought an agency to create iconic branding ahead of its move to a new facility in 2015.

Reputation takes a dive in ongoing tax scandal
Monday, 03 December 2012 10:56

starbucks2.jpgNow that the taxman is breathing down the necks of some of the must trusted international corporations operating in the UK, those brands' reputations have fallen.

Amazon, Google and Starbucks will see a decrease in reputation as a result of the revelation that they are shirking their British tax responsibilities. A Parliamentary committee released a report today documenting the issue and encouraging HMRC to enforce its corporate tax policies.

Creative industries burgeoning in Glasgow
Friday, 30 November 2012 11:53

clyde.JPGThe city of Glasgow is reaffirming its now-decades-old status as a creative capital with new initiatives. The Commonwealth Games are slated for 2014 and a visit from the world championships of rhythmic gymnastics is on the books. But Glasgow is also a burgeoning digital and creative hub.

At a London event last night, Creative Clyde, a public-sector programme that seeks to promote Glasgow as a destination for new businesses, particularly in the arts and communications sector, discussed the creative and communications sector in Scotland’s largest city. About 4% of the city’s workforce is employed in the creative industries, and that number is constantly growing.

Sarah Brown joins Harrods board in CSR role
Friday, 30 November 2012 10:26

19497734.JPGSarah Brown, wife of the former prime minister Gordon Brown, has returned to the world of business and joined the Qatari-owned Harrods as a non-executive director.

Since leaving Downing Street nearly three years ago, Brown has been focusing on working for various charity campaigns and writing her own autobiography. Previously working for brand consultancy Wolff Olins and co-founding PR firm Hobsbawm Macaulay, she is also known as a patron of not-for-profits organizations, White Ribbon Alliance and Women’s Aid. In September, Brown decided to join the famous department store to focus on drafting and implementing marketing strategies to (re)-establish the ethical image of Harrods. Brown says:

PR giants’ growth keeps the industry “cautiously positive”
Friday, 30 November 2012 10:14

0_creen_Shot_2012_11_30_at_10.19.42_AM.pngThe Kingston Smith W1 has released its annual survey of the UK’s 40 largest PR consultancies this week, based on the agencies’ most recently filed accounts at Companies House. It is predicted that the market situation will continue to be tough in 2013 but the PR industry should remain cautiously positive.

Of all the agencies, 27 reported an increase in gross income, contributing to a total of 8% increase across the PR giants, as compared to 5% last year.

Government debates Leveson's suggestions
Thursday, 29 November 2012 16:32

leveson.jpgDespite weeks of debate, scrutiny, anger, fear and opining, the Leveson Inquiry’s 2,000-page findings and suggestions have ruffled relatively few feathers. The principal result is the need to establish a press-organised self-regulatory body that receives its remit from legislation but is independent of both the press and the government.

This decision may appease those, like the Independent and the Telegraph, who feared a stripping of the freedoms the press has enjoyed for three centuries with the imposition of statutory regulation. However, it also assuages those who have been the victims of careless journalism as it ardently calls for stronger regulation over the press.

Media agency develops gamified operating system
Thursday, 29 November 2012 12:26

phd.jpgMany agencies boast a full-service digital offering, for media company PHD, that now includes keeping users and clients entertained online. The company has launched a new global operating system, called Source, that will be entirely gamified.

Gamification has been on the rise in marketing and consumer-oriented campaigns, particularly via mobile devices but its adoption for internal use has only recently begun to take hold. Last month, cosmetic company Lush debuted a gamification system for internal use as an employee training tool. The PHD gamified operating system will engage its own employees and the employees of its client companies.

Focused content is aim of new digital agency
Thursday, 29 November 2012 11:28

bpwired.jpgOne of the world’s most prominent communication companies has just launched a digital content agency to provide a dedicated digital offering to clients.

Bell Pottinger Private’s new agency, Bell Pottinger Wired, will unite teams from its content and digital arms to create content-based digital campaigns. Leading the 20-strong team will be led by joint-MDs James Thomlinson and Claire Southeard, two bell Pottinger veterans with digital acumen.

Arts and communications, a match made in Chelsea
Thursday, 29 November 2012 11:19

kupambana.jpgIn a room that was once the officers’ mess at the Royal Army Medical College in Millbank, a project with the fitting Swahili name meaning ‘to fight for what you believe in’ was launched last night.

The Lewis PR-funded programme Kupambana sponsors PhD students’ academic careers in order to build creative partnerships with arts education institutions and promote the use of visual and creative arts in communications. The pilot programme at the Chelsea College of Art and Design will soon be exported around the world as the project expands.

British companies short on social media in crisis management
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 13:55

WRGR.jpgApple was ridiculed over its map app earlier this year and has responded by firing its mapping chief and issuing an apology. Yet, for weeks social channels were rife with bad Apple content. BP’s spill at Deepwater Horizon immediately sparked a corporate response via social media, but it was not effective at managing the crisis.

Crisis communications can make or break corporate reputation, especially in high-risk and high-visibility industries. Recent research by Watermelon Research and Good Relations has surveyed the social media crisis management plans of 100 British companies and found them lacking.

Businesses go green in London
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 12:13

sb_conference.jpgSustainability in business has become more than just a buzzword as glaciers melt and the sea level continues to rise. This week, London is hosting the Sustainable Brands conference to promote and discuss corporate practice in environmental and sustainable responsibility.

The conference itself features two days of speakers, workshops and discussions from leaders in global business and sustainability. At the conference, Dragon Rouge, will debut a project that examines the sustainability practices of six major companies and provides advice to benefit their long-term models.

Equestrian society undergoes digital revolution
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 11:44

BHS.pngThe British Horse Society has decided to lead the company through a journey of digital revolution. Teaming up with e3, the equestrian charity delightfully welcomes the launch of the digital rebranding programme including a new website, e-commerce membership system and other functionalities.   

Emma Day, director of marketing, membership and communications at the British Horse Society, says the collaboration with e3 to improve the current site has received “extremely positive [feedback] around design, navigation and functionality”. She says,“[e3] embraced 12 departments and a wide remit of competing business demands and found a way to present information to fulfil our charitable objectives and meet the needs of our customers and members with clear user journeys.”

Trio of major news titles merge commercial departments
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 14:33

IndptLES_1.jpgEvegeny Lebedev, who yesterday criticised what could be the Leveson Inquiry’s suggestion for increased government oversight over the press, also saw the marketing department of his three newspapers rebrand today as one company.

The Independent, London Evening Standard and i have rebranded under the name ESI Media to present a more streamlined, simple front to clients, particularly from a commercial point of view.

Hague and others comment on impending Leveson report
Tuesday, 27 November 2012 13:12

hague.jpgThe long-awaited Leveson report is set for release on Thursday afternoon. Speculation has it that Lord Leveson may push for state regulation over the media in the wake of the scandals for which the inquiry was implemented.

Yesterday, however, foreign secretary William Hague, who says he has not seen an advance copy of the report, affirmed his support for the freedom of the press on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show. Other prominent politicians, including Mayor of London Boris Johnson, have followed suit.

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