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Trademarking social
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 13:36

Happy Friday!_1.jpgA recent action from Wyke Farms could signify a new era in trademarking. The UK-based cheese company has successfully trademarked its popular social media campaign called ‘Free Cheese Friday’, making it the first ever UK brand to register a trademark based on the popularity of a social media campaign.

The weekly online competition to win Wyke Farms vintage cheddar runs across Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #freecheesefriday. Since its inception four years ago the competition has grown through sharing, and now sees 25,000 people a month engaging online.

Mind the skill gap
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:31

Dday_Microsoft.JPGIn a bid to tackle the skills gap affecting the digital communications industry BIMA, the national trade association for digital organisations, runs a programme that inspires young people to pursue digital careers.

Digital Day, or D-Day, sees BIMA introduce leading digital professionals into schools and colleges. The students take part in activities that give them a taste of the creativity and skills that would be required of them if they were to move into digital careers.

Social education
Written by Emily Andrews   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:12

Social_Intelligence_Summit.jpgA London skyline rescaled to reflect the social media presence of each major landmark was a fitting introduction to an event that championed social media analytics.

The W2O Group Social Intelligence Summit that took place in London last week was an opportunity for industry leaders to meet and reflect upon the role of measuring social media output.

Cream of the PR industry to be revealed
Written by Emily Andrews   
Thursday, 09 October 2014 13:32

Park_Lane.jpgWhen it comes to award ceremonies the public relations industry has its fair share, but the PRCA Awards is one of the juggernauts. The recently revealed shortlist for this year’s awards spans 28 separate categories.

The campaigns shortlisted range from low budget, to high budget, and while one category celebrates corporate and financial PR, another recognises charity and not-for-profit campaigns. Among those shortlisted are Brands2Life, in five categories and Cow in three categories.

Tesco faces repositioning post crisis
Written by David Benady   
Thursday, 09 October 2014 12:10

Tesco-van-x405-405x266_1.jpgDave Lewis has got the mother of all relaunches on his hands. The new chief executive of Tesco is tasked with turning around poor performance at the supermarket giant but first has to put out fires on many fronts. The former Unilever personal care chief was brought in to rebuild sales, boost the flagging market share of the UK’s biggest retailer and re-energise its battered brand. But since taking up the role in August, things have gone from bad to worse.

Little did he know that he would also be sitting on a massive corporate accounting shambles triggered when a whistleblower revealed that Tesco’s finance department had overstated this year’s first half profits by £250m. Lewis has vowed to get to the bottom of the problem, he suspended four senior executives and asked in-coming finance director Alan Stewart from Marks & Spencer to join early to try and sort out the mess.

Collaboration and digital mark maturity of internal comms
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 10:05

cipr_inside.jpgOne of the few consensuses that emerged from the CIPR Inside Conference at the Kia Oval last week was that digital, however great, should not be a separate entity within communications. Collaboration, however, was a topic that drew many different viewpoints from those who believed collaboration was dead and those who thought digital was the key to collaboration.

Dana Leeson, digital workplace architect at BSI, shocked attendees and set the tone for conversation throughout the day saying, “The word collaboration is a mythical creature. It went out the window when we had digital tools because collaboration happens when you’re in the same room with someone and you have post-it notes.” She added, “Engagement went away with digital tools.”

Evolutionary change in annual reporting
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 08:57


“Regulation was our only choice,” says Mark Jackson, senior policy advisor or the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in regards to the recent requirements placed on corporate reporting. Next, BIS plans to tackle human rights reporting. These regulations has both responded to and led the vanguard in an evolutionary stage in the life of the annual report.

The Evolution of the Annual Report conference, held on 2 October in London, featured a laundry list of headline speakers in corporate reporting from the executive director of the Financial Reporting Council to the director of group communications at Legal & General and the director of investor relations for the National Grid.

CSR and development videos excel at Clarion Awards
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 03 October 2014 09:19

15396730521_85cf538763_m.jpgThe medium of video is uniquely placed to affect and influence the public psyche. This makes it the natural choice of communication for campaigns that want to align their audience with a specific cause or message. The Clarion Awards is EVCOM’s recognition of socially conscious video communications campaigns, and is now in its 11th year.

The 2014 EVCOM Clarion Awards, promoting CSR, diversity, sustainability, community development, education and health issues, were held at the British Medical Association in London last Friday. Winners on the night included ‘Grand prix’ winner Belong, who won for the ‘Midlands together’ case study. The campaign also won in the ‘Video’ and the ‘Advertising and promotional’ categories.

Reputation, content and digital to define PR agency of future
Written by Brittany Golob   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 15:11

PRCA_conference2.jpg“Communicating the truth is easier than communicating something that is contrived,” says Guto Harri, director of communications at News UK and former outrider, comms head and photo buddy to London mayor Boris Johnson. He adds about News International during the phone-hacking scandal, “Nobody was telling their story, there was a cultural paralysis around ‘no comment.’”

Those were more or less the major themes of the PRCA’s National Conference on Friday. Speakers asked questions about reputation and its relationship to communications. Most speakers pointed out that authenticity, straightforwardness and often, a sense of confident creativity were keys to success in public relations.

Restaurant rewards employees and fan base on 10th anniversary
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 29 September 2014 13:37

Yauatcha.jpgIn celebration of its 10th birthday, Yauatcha, a London-based dim sum restaurant belonging to the Hakassan Group, wanted to give its customers a thoroughly modern gift, a brand new digital platform. The Yauatcha 10 microsite was born, a place to hold and drive conversation on social media.

The microsite was created for Yauatcha’s internal audience, as well as its existing customers, since both of these groups have played a crucial part in the restaurant’s success to date. Claire Ashman, marketing director at Hakkasan Group, says, “We wanted to reward our most loyal fans and employees and drive advocacy from within. That kind of loyalty has a halo effect that drives a broader, more organic awareness.” This internally-focused campaign spread outwards through the creation of user-generated shareable content.

Reputation valued
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 26 September 2014 11:51

Reputation_Matters_2.pngThe 2014 PRCA National Conference, taking place today, will serve as a launch pad for some of the PRCA’s recent research on reputation.

The study, conducted with YouGov, reminds us why reputation is still one of a business’ greatest assets. The poll shows that PR professionals believe reputation and financial performance to be inextricably linked. In addition, those polled saw the attraction and retention of staff as the main outcome of a good reputation.

New CIPR Council rings in governance changes
Written by Brittany Golob   
Friday, 26 September 2014 09:12

CommBrown_229.jpgThe PR industry is always changing and always adapting to new situations. It’s only fitting that the association that represents the industry is changing too. At the CIPR’s June/July AGM in Manchester, it was decided that the governance structure of the organisation would have to adapt. A 48-member council was thus reduced to 28 members, making for a lighter, more flexible, quicker governing body.

The recent elections for the CIPR Council were voted on by the entire electorate for the first time. Traditionally, regional and sectorial group members were not appointed by masse vote, but by election by their region or to their sector group. The 28 members of the council appointed on Monday were elected by 1,100 voters, a 90% increase in turnout, year-on-year.

Expert speakers headline Employer Brand Management
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 13:12

Employer_Brand_Management_logo.jpgInvesting in a good employer brand means investing in a good reputation. That’s as important in regards to the internal audience, as it is to the external. A company’s employees are its brand ambassadors, they make up the personality of the internal culture and they set the tome for how the business is perceived by new recruits. Aligning all of those individual feelings and emotions under one employer brand is necessary to maintaining a positive reputation from the inside out.

At the Employer Brand Management conference, to be held on 12 December at the Royal Mint in London, brand managers, business leaders and reputation experts will come together to discuss the future of the employer brand.

Corporate & Financial Awards to celebrate best in comms
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:00

CFA_logo_2014_15.jpgThe annual report has long been at the heart of communications with investors, analysts, the media and other stakeholders. It is the perennial centrepiece of stakeholder communications. And yet, corporate audiences have become increasingly diverse and technology has changed communications irreversibly. Thus, the annual report, an adaptable document in its own right, is no longer the fixed centre of the corporate communications universe.

The Corporate & Financial Awards has, since 2012, recognised that diverse mix of communications strategies, technologies and achievements that comprises stakeholder relations. The 2015 awards will honour excellence in communications with the City and its influencers.

Digital maturity in the cards for 2015
Written by Brittany Golob   
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 08:52

Screen_shot_2014_02_13_at_11.14.37_AM.pngCars that drive themselves, the roadmap of the human genome and devices so small even a tweet is too long. That’s what Hotwire PR has predicted for the world of digital in 2015. The goals are lofty ones, as the speakers at yesterday's Social Media Week event themselves admitted, but they might not be as far off as one may think.

The Hotwire Digital Trends Report maps the digital technology and communications space each year, alighting on predictions for the future. This year’s report highlighted the maturity of digital content and an industry less reliant on revolutionary strategy changes in digital.

Digital platform for sustainable living
Written by Emily Andrews   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:52

follow_the_frog.jpgThe Guardian’s own environmental platform, Guardian Sustainable Business, is part of the liberal newspaper’s sustainability vision and strategy. The digital platform now contains an editorial platform named Vital Signs that acts as a publisher of content for the Rainforest Alliance’s ‘Follow the Frog’ campaign. The annual campaign encourages the public to engage with sustainability worldwide.

Follow the Frog 2014 will use The Guardian’s digital expertise to raise awareness of global issues, such as climate change, deforestation and poverty, and will provide users with ways to make a difference through simple day-to-day choices.

Tesco's crisis management
Written by Emily Andrews   
Monday, 22 September 2014 16:31

Tesco.jpgTesco today announced that it overstated its profits by around £250m in the last six months. This is the latest piece of news in what has been a bad year for the food retail company.

Dave Lewis, who joined Tesco as CEO just three weeks ago after 27 years at Unilever, says, "We have uncovered a serious issue and have responded accordingly. The chairman and I have acted quickly to establish a comprehensive independent investigation. The board, my colleagues, our customers and I expect Tesco to operate with integrity and transparency and we will take decisive action as the results of the investigation become clear."

Measurement matters in comms strategy, planning, says panel
Written by Brittany Golob   
Monday, 22 September 2014 11:49

WMM.jpgAccording to research from Hotwire PR, marketers under 34 are the group most likely to use data generated from communications evaluation for planning purposes. About 65% of under 34s think communicators are effective at using data. That, however, coincides with 38% of CMOs who mistrust data stemming from the communications department.

It is this paradox that defines many conversations about the measurement and evaluation of public relations; data is necessary to learn and plan comms campaigns, but data may or may not be trustworthy. Measurement and evaluation professionals are there to ensure that the analysis of a PR campaign is carried out successfully and that the results have meaning to the overall comms objectives.

Event offers digital guidance
Written by Emily Andrews   
Friday, 19 September 2014 12:36

RY_tortoise_and_hare.jpgA complete and successful digital strategy can transform your business; that was the message relayed by Radley Yeldar at a seminar last week. At an event that showcased RY’s own digital expertise, the corporate communications consultancy explained how to go about reshaping your company’s digital offering in a considered and effective way.

Topics covered at the event included the importance of integrating digital into your business plan, the necessity of measurement and data in digital, the need to create engaging content and the need to create a pleasant user experience. The event wound-up with representatives from Shell and GSK speaking about their own digital case studies.

BIMA Awards highlights maturity of digital industry
Written by Brittany Golob   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 15:42

BIMA.jpgThe British digital industry has been one of the global leaders in terms of innovation and business efficacy. In the past, however, the focus in digital communications lent toward design, technology and, more recently, content.

The winners of the annual BIMA Awards, this year celebrating the 30th birthday of the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), reflected a marked shift toward user experience. This maturity within the industry reflects the omnipresence of technology and the desire of users for an intuitive, seamless experience.

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