Bumper issue packed with the latest news on the future of PR and comms
We promised you a bumper issue, and hopefully we don't disappoint. We take a look at everything from the notorious 'Davos Man' to the huge surge in growth in the $5.4bn 'media intelligence solutions' market. We also look at why it's critical to have up to date crisis communications plans and social media governance, as well as new research on how the communications industry is transforming globally.
Stuart Bruce elected to Davos World Communication Forum Executive Committee
The World Communication Forum Association in Davos has elected its new Executive Committee to govern its activities for the period 2022-2025. Sitting President Maxim Behar (Bulgaria - CEO of M3 Communications) takes on a new 3-year mandate. Also elected are: Stuart Bruce (UK - founder of reputation management and crisis communications consultancy Stuart Bruce Associates and co-founder of comms digital transformation consultancy Purposeful Relations); Aaron Kwittken (US - founder and CEO of CommTech company Prophet and founder of global PR and brand strategy firm KWT Global); Mai Anh Le (Vietnam - Regional Country Manager at Global PR Hub); and Thabisile Phumo (South Africa - Senior VP and Head of Stakeholder Relations at Sibanye-Stillwater).
Before you ask none of us are the 'Davos Man' stereotype. Pre-Covid, the WCFA held annual summits in Davos, shortly after the World Economic Forum summit. It's amazing to speak or listen to speakers in the same auditorium where world leaders have spoken weeks before. Davos is also an amazing place for networking as it's small enough for intimate gatherings of senior communications leaders. Many an outstanding project or lucrative deal has started in the bars, restaurants and cafés of Davos at the World Communication Forum. If you're interested in joining or participating then get in touch with Stuart.
Google to pay more than 300 EU publishers for news, more to come
Google has signed deals to pay more than 300 publishers for their news and will roll out a tool to make it easier for others to sign up too. Initially, it covers Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland, with discussions ongoing for other countries. News publishers have long lobbied for this and in Australia and Canada, governments have already acted by implementing legislation. It's not clear from Google's announcement how much publishers are paid, or if it will be rolled out to non-EU countries such as the UK.
Crypto meltdown as Luna, UST, and other tokens plunge (what a suprise)
'Alternative finance' has had a bad week. So called 'stable coin' are seen as an innovation that addressed the whiff of scam that hangs around crypto currencies. By linking two coins, TerraUSD supposedly pegged to the value of the US Dollar, investors in Luna (its crypto partner coin) thought they were on to a winner. Instead, the reality looks a lot like other crypto assets—smoke and mirrors—where getting in and out early with market influencing amounts of money, like a pyramid scheme, is the only way of making series coin. Start buying the popcorn by bucket load, this could be our summer entertainment.
Who is 'Davos Man' today?
An analysis of news releases issued by the World Economic Forum show that the popular trope of 'Davos Man' - rich, alienated, detached from his national roots, and full of empty talk - might finally be a myth as 'Davos Woman' emerges and the WEF talks more about social inclusion and the environment, than growth and development. Personally, I (Stuart Bruce) can't wait to get back to Davos and look forward to helping to organise the next Davos World Communication Forum in person. Meanwhile we'll soon be announcing the speakers and date for the next virtual summit.
Fifty shades of greenwashing
We all know that greenwashing is a big NO and every responsible PR and corporate affairs professional will advise against it and attempt to stop executives in their company from doing it. Sigwatch monitors the activity of campaign and special interest groups and in this article it explains how companies are increasingly likely to be exposed to allegations of greenwashing if they are perceived to be responding cynically to public pressure to improve their environmental credentials.
Data, measurement, analytics
Key learnings from the Communicate DataComms conference
The Communicate DataComms conference was a fascinating and useful event. It was also fantastic to get back to doing a real life face-to-face event, where you can network and speak to people. Stuart was one of the speaker's, and he's written brief summary of some of the key takeaways.
Forget personalisation, it’s impossible and it doesn’t work
At Purposeful Relations we're huge advocates of data and analytics. But that doesn't mean we've drunk the data Kool-Aid, which is why we like to cut through the hype and use data in the most effective way. We hear lots of hype about marketing personalisation. But the reality is that true personalisation is unachievable due to poor data quality, and even if it was, it’s ineffective anyway and should be replaced with creative that resonates with everyone.
Risk management experts are now in high demand
Covid-19 and now Ukraine have seen firms rush to hire experts in planning for crisis. This article focuses on risk managers, but an essential part of managing risk is crisis communications. A lot of Stuart's work is helping clients to identify reputational risks and to create crisis communications that work in a world of digital news and social media where we sometimes have a 24 second news cycle.
How risk managers can survive a ‘perfect storm’ in a volatile world
The global situation is so volatile that both the BBC and FT have recently covered it. There is an increasing demand for both risk management advice and crisis communications counsel. If you haven't updated your crisis comms plan recently, or run training and simulations then speak to us about how we can help.
Aviva chief responds to sexist jibes by shareholders
Why has the BBC put 'sexist' in quotes? If you read the article there isn't any room for doubt that the behaviour of some Aviva shareholders was sexist. You've got to pinch yourself to remind yourself that it actually is 2022. This links to the previous remarks about updating crisis communications plans. If yours doesn't mention 'me too' and have lots about digital and social then it needs improving. Amanda Blanc makes an interesting use of her own social media with a great post about it on LinkedIn.
Research and reports
How is the communications industry transforming globally?
As we specialise in helping in-house communications teams and PR agencies to transform we were particularly interested in this new research from Global Alliance on how the communications industry is transforming globally. It doesn't contain any huge surprises and identifies ESG, AI, data and analytics, ethics, digital and social media, videos and podcasts as areas to keep up to date on. These are some of the things that our CommsTransform™ platform is designed to audit where you are now and recommend where you need to be if you want to have a real impact on business performance.
Global Alliance is the international body representing the world's major PR and communications associations and institutions, representing 320,000 professionals around the world.
PR percentage calculator
This is a neat little free tool that simply helps you to explain percentages in a clearer way. Simply enter the percentage on the slider bar, and it will give you the words to explain it. No thinking needed, so great for creative types who are more comfortable with words and pictures than numbers.
Spend on PR software surges to US $5.4bn
Annual spending on 'media intelligence solutions' for public relations professionals has surged by 14.7% according to a new report. It's hard to define what PRTech, CommTech or CommsTech is... there isn't even agreement on the term! It covers such a broad spectrum, but everything in this report can accurately be included in it, so the real size of the market is much bigger. All the big names are listed in the report - Cision, Meltwater, Access Intelligence, Agility PR Solutions, Roxhill Media, Signal AI, Muck Rack and more.
That's an incredible amount for the PR and communication industry to spend, and in a lot of cases the truth is waste. Many of the vendors have aggressive commission-driven sales so in-house communications teams and PR agencies often don't get the right solution for the right price. That's one of the big problems that Purposeful Relations was set up to fix. We make sure you've got the best solution for your specific requirements and critically ensure your team knows how to make the most of the investment to have a genuine impact on the business.
Get in touch
Who ya gonna call?
If you're bamboozled or dazzled by communications technology and how fast the industry is changing then gives us a call as we ain't afraid of no ghost. We'll help you sort your PR proton packs from your communications Ectomobile and make sure your team has the latest skills to keep Zuul at bay. You can reach Tim on +44 7958 936969 or Stuart on +44 7852 135456, or book a video meeting, or drop us an email, and someone from Purposeful Relations will get back to you.
p.s. If the risk management and crisis communications stories caught your eye, then you should speak to Stuart Bruce Associates.