corporate PR Tag

2020 – a year unlike any other 2020 was always set to be a memorable year. The eyes of the world were preparing to focus on Tokyo for the Olympics, on Dubai for Expo 2020 and on London for a summer of sport including the Euro 2020 final. And then it all kicked off in Wuhan and 2020 became a year none of us will forget, for all the wrong reasons. The new normal There is no sugar coating it: 2020 has been tough for most people on both a professional and personal level. Lockdown forced everyone to work from home, with the juggle of childcare or home-schooling for many. Zoom – a tool Comms Leaders has been using for years, but previously unfamiliar to many – suddenly became THE way to communicate. COVID-19 has been polarising for the communications industry. While many professionals were furloughed or made redundant in sectors such as hospitality, leisure and...

By Neil Davy Communications in a new era of responsible business Protecting balance sheets, supply chains, reputations, jobs and people. It’s what we’ve all been thinking about, talking about, preoccupied with. Survival. When we emerge from this pandemic the relationships and interdependencies between businesses, investors, governments and society - between all of us - will have changed inexorably. And the role of communication in establishing and sustaining those relationships and interactions will have changed too. Corporate philanthropy, CSR, community programmes and stepping-up in times of crisis are important and commendable, but simply talking about ‘doing good’ won’t be good enough. Those who prosper beyond the crisis will be businesses who can talk credibly about how they contribute to society and the wider world in a more meaningful and lasting way. It’s become painfully clear over recent weeks that those businesses for whom profit is an outcome of (not the reason for) what they do, who enhance...

By Steve Marinker, Partner at Powerscourt Notes from a Spare Room This isn’t Crisis Management; this is Contagion Comms. The COVID-19 disaster has challenged the PR industry like nothing before. While dealing with our own upheavals - lockdown, fear of illness, the spectre of redundancy – PR consultants have been advising clients as they deal with events moving at a pace few are equipped to handle. Decisions that would normally take months are being made in minutes;  cast-iron certainties melt in an instant; the useful data point we clung to this morning is discredited bunkum by lunchtime. It’s been mentally exhausting, ethically challenging, and – I have to confess - rather exhilarating. When this is over, we’ll all have our war stories. Me? I’ve spent the last fortnight advising retail clients as they respond to fast-changing, often baffling Government advice. What’s essential, what is not?. How safe is safe? Is it better to protect livelihoods...

By Vikki Kirby, Chief Storyteller at Vibrato Consulting© The rise of storytelling Recently, a communications consultant told me how the big four consultancy company leading her organisation’s transformation chose to bring in their own storyteller to identify and manage core purpose messaging. She was frustrated that she then had to re-write what he came up with. She isn’t the only one left frustrated by that experience. The business world is buzzing about storytelling. In 2017, 570,000 marketers listed Storytelling as a skill on LinkedIn, compared to zero – zilch – in 2010. I now hear story talked about like smartphones, because ‘everyone has one’. Stories may help us shape identity, but the business of storytelling should be highly regarded. It is a deep craft, a tool to help us make sense of the world. Perhaps that’s why we believe we innately know how stories work? They have been with us since fire, and...

By Mark McMahon, Senior Communications Manager at HSBC. A change of direction "Man is disturbed not by things, but the views he takes of them." Would that sentence change your life? It did for me. Ancient Stoic philosophy might not be top of everyone's reading list, but I came across this quote by Epictetus in a brilliant book called 'Happy' by Derren Brown and it had a profound effect on me. It's another way of saying, it's not the events all around us that cause us to feel a certain way, but how we choose to respond to them. Why am I telling you this? When I read it a few years ago it made me stop and think long and hard, especially about my career. It made me choose to feel differently about my role, my career path, and my potential. It made me consider the choices that were possible. It eventually made me switch...

By Daniel Schraibman, Change and Engagement Consultant I taught a module on reputation management at the University of Leeds a year or so ago and one of the definitions of reputation management that I used was by Doorley and Garcia. They said: Reputation = Sum of images = Performance + Behaviour + Communications. As I reflected on my own career, it struck me that producing communications ‘stuff’ is becoming a smaller and smaller part of the role of being a communicator and that we deliver a lot of other value for the organisations and leaders that we work for. Here’s a few obvious and less obvious examples: Build better organisations The good news is that in most companies, the communications function is no longer just an order taker, but truly has an impact on the success of the organisation. For instance, in my last-in-house role, I was a member of the leadership team and...

By Sam Knowles, Founder & MD of storytelling consultancy, Insight Agents Here’s a paradox of communications. Otherwise eloquent folks often adopt the most curious dialect when they’re thrust into the spotlight and asked to explain why they do what they do. The invitation to tell your story ought to usher in a moment of clarity and elegant simplicity. And yet all too frequently, we fluff our lines and plump up the pomposity, belching forth ugly lumps of language that are neither coherent nor informative. Most importantly, we don’t even talk Human. Yet oddly enough, humans respond well to that all-too-rare dialect of Human. Nerves and a lack of deliberative rehearsal can take some of the blame. And even though we may spend a lot of time thinking about our purpose and our role – in our team, our company, our society – we don’t often say and live it out loud. Completing...

By Ezri Carlebach, communications consultant, writer and lecturer. Member of the PR and Communications Council. Fellow of the Institute of Internal Communication and the Royal Society of Arts.  As we approach the third decade of the third millennium, there seems to be a powerful narrative informing the zeitgeist (“an invisible agent or force dominating the characteristics of a given epoch” says Wikipedia). That narrative is all about the future. In a nutshell, it’s telling us that somehow, 'the future is already here'. There are plenty of variations on that theme, from 'the future has arrived' and 'tomorrow is today' to the suggestion that the future is hurtling towards us at great speed. It all contributes to a feeling of temporal dislocation. What happened to the present, if we're already living in the future? Maybe it's a case of understandable exaggeration, given that we're fed a constant stream of stories about futuristic-sounding technologies — artificial intelligence, virtual...

By Steve Marinker, Head of Corporate,  Powerscourt, an independent strategic communications consultancy No one understands us If there is one plaintive cry I have heard from clients more than any other, it’s that that their organisations are not properly understood. Time and again I hear the frustration. If only our business model was better understood; if only commentators acknowledged the complexities of our operating environment; if only the quality of our people was properly appreciated; if only our scale advantages were better known … then the world would be a better place. When I’m asked to crystallise what it is that PR people do, I no longer talk about communications or managing perceptions or stakeholder engagement, or any of those good things. Because increasingly I see these as tactics which serve a higher purpose, which is to improve understanding. Certainly, that’s how we talk about Powerscourt now – we exist to help our clients be better...

by Steve Marinker, Head of Corporate at Powerscourt Five tips for getting it right The deadline for submitting Gender Pay Gap data is just four weeks away, but according to the Financial Times only one in six companies had uploaded its data to the Government portal by last weekend, meaning there is likely to be an almighty last-minute scramble. Plans for communicating Gender Pay Gap data are likely to be well advanced, but Powerscourt has prepared this short primer to help businesses fine tune, or at least sense-check, their thinking. 1. Gender Balance The revelation that female BBC news presenters are paid less than their male counterparts has routinely, but wrongly, been described as an example of the Gender Pay Gap. Most companies that have reported so far have been at pains to point out that the Gender Pay Gap has nothing to do with equal pay, but that hasn’t stopped the two terms being conflated. By...