#PR2014 - Trends and issues affecting public relations in 2014

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This is a free 30-page downloadable guide to the biggest trends and issues affecting public relations across eleven sectors and twelve of the UK’s regions and nations.

This thought leadership document features contributions from each of the CIPR’s Groups and covers issues and trends including:
- The importance of the NHS as a barometer for gauging the public support and trust of politicians at a local and national level ahead of the 2015 General Election
- How the power of science, engineering and technology can drive economic growth and quality of life
- The changing attitudes of financial regulators to social media
- The impact of the 2014 Independence Referendum and the XX Commonwealth Games in Scotland
- The launch of new local television networks in Nottingham and Birmingham
- The 2014 Tour de France as an opportunity to bring inward investment and help boost the local economy in Yorkshire

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  • At least it is good to see mobile cropping up as media genre for PR - but why only for Marketing PR?
    There are some much bigger issues that face the profession. We have to be able to understand radical transparency because it is now driving many corporate agendas but the significance of third party data, called porosity by the CIPR Internet Commission, is a much more significant evolution.
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#PR2014 - Trends and issues affecting public relations in 2014

  1. 1. CHARTERED INSTITUTE WORKSHOPS OF PUBLIC RELATIONS #PR2014 A LOOK AT THE TRENDS AND ISSUES AFFECTING PUBLIC RELATIONS IN 2014 WITH INSIGHT AND EXPERTISE FROM THE REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND SECTOR GROUPS OF THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS designed by tothepoint 1 // #PR2014
  2. 2. FOREWORD FROM 2014 CIPR PRESIDENT One of my pledges as President for 2014 was to foster a stronger sense of community within the CIPR. The organisation is the sum of its members who hail from its 14 regional and national, and 11 sector groups. To kickoff 2014 we’ve asked each of the groups to look forward to the next 12 months and share what hot topics and issues are on the horizon for their members. Their viewpoints are contained in this ebook. It’s a powerful snapshot of the state of the public relations profession in the UK. There are many common themes: organisational storytelling, changing media consumption and disintermediation, an increasing recognition of the strategic value of public relations, the blurring of internal and external audiences, and measurement of the economic contribution of public relations. Ours is a profession adapting to media change and coming to terms with uncertainty in the global economy. It is a profession confident of its purpose and future, underpinned by the CIPR’s drive to improve professional standards. Thanks to Andy Ross at the CIPR for managing this project and developing this report. His drive and determination is the reason that this publication has been realised. I’m confident that you will find it useful. Stephen Waddington MCIPR CIPR President 2014 @cipr_uk CIPR-Chartered-Institute-Public-Relations CIPR.UK 1 // #PR2014
  3. 3. CONTENTS 1 FOREWORD FROM 2014 CIPR PRESIDENT SECTORS 3 CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY 4 CORPORATE & FINANCIAL 5 EDUCATION & SKILLS 6 FIFTH ESTATE 7 PUBLIC AFFAIRS 8 HEALTH & MEDICAL 9 CIPR INSIDE 10 CIPR INTERNATIONAL 11 LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICES 12 MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS 13 STEM (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATHS) NATIONS AND REGIONS 14 SCOTLAND 15 NORTHERN IRELAND 16 WALES 17 CHANNEL ISLANDS 18 EAST ANGLIA 19 GREATER LONDON 20 MIDLANDS 21 NORTH EAST 22 NORTH WEST 23 SOUTH WEST 24 WESSEX 25 YORKSHIRE & LINCOLNSHIRE 2 // #PR2014
  4. 4. CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON GDP AND IS OFTEN TOUTED BY MINISTERS AS A KEY PART OF ANY SUSTAINED ECONOMIC RECOVERY. ITS IMPORTANCE TO THE WEALTH OF THE UK CANNOT BE UNDERESTIMATED. WITH AN ELECTION DUE IN 2015, THE CHALLENGE FOR PR PROFESSIONALS IN 2014 WILL BE TO HAVE THE SECTOR UNDERSTANDING AND FLEXIBILITY TO RESPOND TO A SHIFTING MARKET. It will also secure your position; as the industry concentrates on achieving value for money for its customers, it is only natural that they will review their internal structure and external supply chain. The impact on PR agencies and in-house practitioners has been felt over the last few years, with budgets tightened and resources slimmed down. Never has it been more important to demonstrate clear results and a positive return on investment. For both the construction industry and consumers, sentiment has improved in 2013. It is likely that the upward curve will continue albeit with one caveat; this cautious positivity is heavily linked to the housing market. Whether this will be enough to carry the wider industry forward remains to be seen. As a traditional sector, construction has been slower than most to adopt a true appreciation and use of social media. Digital communications is seen as niche and there is a useful gap for people willing to take up the challenge. Clients, industry bodies and government are all emphasising the need to deliver projects more efficiently and with less waste. It means the goalposts are regularly moving and firms need to innovate to grow market share and keep ahead of the competition. The Government’s recently published Construction 2025 strategy outlines five key areas of focus for the industry, related to people, sustainability, working smarter and more efficiently with technology, driving economic growth and providing clear industry leadership. It is essential that communicators understand these drivers and wider consumer sentiment to ensure that the right strategy and messaging are developed. Any changes to legislation or approach must be described in a clear and meaningful way and consistently link back to the wider industry objectives. At times, practitioners will need to explain and support ideas within the industry which have wider social importance, for example the current sustainability agenda being pushed forward. The missing link is bringing the public along with the discussion, as demonstrated by the lack of understanding when the Green Deal was launched. Similarly, there is considerable focus on Building Information Modelling (BIM), which will impact across all aspects of the built environment and be a big factor in the drive towards Construction 2025. When responsible for clients within a specific industry, general knowledge about the sector is essential. Being a good PR professional should be taken as a given and it is the wider understanding of your client’s field that will tell you apart from the competition and ensure that you are viewed as a credible advisor. With this in mind, there is room for improvement. The audience has more control over media consumption, with portable devices changing the style of communication required. For the construction industry there are two immediate benefits. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for firms to differentiate themselves and engage directly with audiences. This should be supported by a bespoke, targeted approach which focuses on adding value to customers; with so much information available at people’s fingertips, it is the firms that promote ideas and share insights that will climb to the top. Secondly, and from a more inward facing perspective, it can play an important role in attracting new recruits. Throughout the recession many people have left the construction industry and it is having a clear impact on diversity and approach. Retention is difficult in a flat market in which progression (both monetary and seniority) is in short supply and efforts need to be made to promote construction as a viable industry. There is the added factor that mobile devices are changing the construction industry’s approach to work. For PRs, this means keeping abreast of some of the disciplinespecific uses of technology; not just the changes in social media. With increasing pressure on the industry to raise its game, 2014 promises to be interesting. There is plenty of opportunity for PR practitioners in the sector, who will need to work hard to get messages out to key stakeholders, working in a lean and responsive way. Hopefully, for those not in construction, there’s something here for you as well. Daniel Gerella MCIPR Secretary of CIPR Construction & Property Key issues 1 Trade press will continue to be challenged 2 Social should stand out 3 Increase in collaboration @CIPR_CAPSIG CIPR-Construction-Property-Group W CIPR-construction-property 3 // #PR2014
  5. 5. CORPORATE FINANCIAL WITH INDICATIONS THAT THE FRAGILE ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS STRENGTHENING, THE OUTLOOK FOR PRS WORKING IN THE CORPORATE AND FINANCIAL SECTOR IN 2014 IS LARGELY ONE OF OPPORTUNITIES. OPPORTUNITIES IN CHANNELS, WITH THE WIDENING IMPACT OF NUMEROUS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS AND THE CONTINUING EXPANSION OF BROADCAST OUTLETS; OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW BUSINESS IN THE AGENCY WORLD, AS MORE CORPORATES AND START-UPS GROW IN CONFIDENCE; AND OPPORTUNITIES TO DEMONSTRATE THE BUSINESS VALUE OF PR AS THE INFLUENCE OF COMMUNICATIONS EXPANDS AT BOARDROOM LEVEL. In particular, in the Corporate and Financial sector, we expect to see an increase in the recent trend for overseas investors to seek funding and IPOs in London. High potential businesses in Latin America, Africa, South East Asia and especially China are looking to London as the global centre from which to fund their ambitious business plans, but in many cases UK and European investors need persuading that the perceived risks in these developing economies have waned. Some of our agency and consultancy members report that this is proving an interesting source of new business as a result, and they expect this to continue in 2014. While on the subject of funding, we have also been tracking the impact of changes in sources of funding for businesses. While conventional IPOs and rights issues are still an option, the financial crisis has driven innovation in funding such as crowd funding and peer-to-peer lending, as well as the now well-established venture capital, private equity and ‘business angel’ routes. The CIPR Corporate and Financial Group is planning a panel debate in 2014 to explore the impact these changes in business funding are having on the way financial PR needs to be done, and whether traditional investor relations approaches may have had their day. Another phenomenon we expect to persist next year is the cult of the celebrity even within business news. More and more we see that complicated business matters are played out in the media only as human interest or scandal stories. And while individual businessmen (and rarely women) have always grabbed headlines, such as Richard Branson or Alan Sugar, it was Key issues 1 The changing attitude of financial regulators to social media 2 The ROI (Return on Investment) of PR for businesses 3 Business news as human interest stories possible in the past to promote businesses without a charismatic celebrity at the centre of the story. Will an economic recovery bring back ‘business’ stories in their own right, or is the personality-driven news agenda here to stay? One thing we can be sure of in 2014 is that the CIPR Corporate and Financial Group (CFG) will continue to thrive. With around 600 members and a well-established programme of lunchtime speaker meetings and visits, next year we will be continuing improvement and development of our online and social media content. In the summer of 2013, for the first time in many years, we conducted some old-fashioned customer research among our members, and the results were interesting. 28% of CFG members are based outside London, with particular hubs in Scotland, the Midlands, North West and around Leeds. As a result, we are also looking at how the Group can take some of its events beyond London and work collaboratively with other regional and sector groups. So I conclude as I began, believing 2014 will be a year of opportunity – opportunity for increased business and influence for corporate and financial PRs, and opportunity for the Corporate and Financial Group itself. Annette Spencer MCIPR Chair of CIPR Corporate Financial @CIPR_CFG CIPR-Corporate-Financial-Group CIPR-Corporate-Financial-Group W CIPR-corporate-financial 4 // #PR2014
  6. 6. EDUCATION SKILLS AS ALWAYS, THE EDUCATION AND SKILLS SECTOR IS EVER CHANGING AND 2013 WAS NO EXCEPTION. FOR COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONALS WORKING IN THE SECTOR THE CHALLENGE REMAINS STAYING FLEET OF FOOT – KEEPING UP WITH CHANGES IN POLICY AND BEING QUICK TO ADAPT TO MARKET TRENDS. In higher education for instance, the rise in tuition fees has altered the way universities promote themselves to prospective students. The transparency in rankings – including the success rate of graduates in gaining graduatelevel employment after they leave university – has necessitated a change of PR and marketing focus for many. Young people are looking to get the best value for their money and maximise their career prospects. Some are now opting not to attend university at all, having been put off by the amount of debt they are likely to incur and the headlines about the growing number of recent graduates who are currently employed in low-skilled jobs. Higher education institutions will need to adapt their messaging and their approach to gain a competitive advantage – and consider how they can engage with prospective students much earlier than they have historically. And it isn’t just students universities are vying for; they have to compete for research funding too. Assessment under the new Research Excellence Framework (REF) is designed to ensure accountability for public investment in research. Funding from 2015-16 will be selectively allocated against those submissions which clearly demonstrate the outcomes and impact of the research concerned. Savvy academics will ensure they involve their universities’ communications teams throughout the submission process to ensure the wider impact and benefits are clearly articulated from the outset. Successful reputation management has never been more important for the HE sector. In some cases, institutional survival may be at stake. The coming 12 months could see a decline in the number of HEIs. Some may opt to merge, but others may not survive at all. This state of flux within the university sector provides a real opportunity for FE colleges to establish themselves as much more than an option for ‘those who didn’t quite make the grade’. Private training providers and large employers with their own learning facilities should also be ramping up communications in relation to their offer of work-relevant training and qualifications. The level of Parliamentary interest in vocational education and training – and in particular, Apprenticeships – is at an all time high, following the government-commissioned reviews from Doug Richards, Nigel Whitehead, and Lord Heseltine. Apprenticeships are on the rise – and are being extended to cover a broad range of disciplines. Perceptions of Apprenticeships are changing and an increasing number of high achieving students are now considering them as a serious option to a traditional academic career route – attracted by their relevance to the workplace and the opportunity to earn while they learn. The outcomes of the Apprenticeship reviews, and the subsequent reforms to be introduced, herald a period of significant change – with greater control being given to employers. For communications teams responsible for promoting Apprenticeships, it’s a policy jungle and a case of ‘watch this space’. It’s unlikely that the reality will reflect everything currently being proposed, but quite how far the reforms will go is open for debate. As a result, many organisations may be forced to restructure and will require strategic PR support to scope their messaging and communicate their offer. Schools too, require help with PR, which can be unchartered territory for many. Independent schools typically have an in-house team and/ or support from consultants or agencies – as do some academies and free schools – but there is generally no such luxury for the state sector. Rather than having a dedicated team – or even individual – with sole responsibility for PR and communications, the role often falls on the shoulders of time-pressed head teachers or staff who already have busy day jobs. The majority are unlikely to have any formal PR and communications experience, so don’t know ‘what good looks like’ and have nothing to benchmark against. This can sometimes leave them open to exploitation from unscrupulous ‘branding experts’ who are not signed up to the CIPR Code of Conduct and are simply looking to make a fast buck. The Education Skills Group’s 10th Anniversary year runs through to June 2014. To mark this milestone, a number of CPD events have either already taken place or are planned, and we are creating a bank of resources for our members to draw on. One of our works in progress is a communications toolkit for schools to help them deliver some basic PR tasks in house, and suggest the sort of questions they should be asking should they need to consider the appointment of an external consultant or agency. Our aim is to constantly expand the content of this free online resource on an ongoing basis to help schools with limited PR budgets self-deliver – and/or ensure their investment in any external expertise is maximised. Louise Jaggs MCIPR Chair of CIPR Education Skills “ Successful reputation management has never been more important for the HE sector. In some cases, institutional survival may be at stake.“ @CIPR_EdSkills CIPR-Education-Skills-Group CIPR-Education-Skills-Group W CIPR-education-skills 5 // #PR2014
  7. 7. FIFTH ESTATE INTEGRATION AND CONVERGENCE WILL GROW IN IMPORTANCE AND WILL BE KEY THEMES FOR 2014, IN WHAT IS A FAST-CHANGING ENVIRONMENT IN PUBLIC RELATIONS WITHIN THE CHARITY AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT SECTOR. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a big gap between the brand leaders in the sector and what the large number of smaller organisations are doing. In a sector of over 163,000 charities and many other not-for-profit organisations, there is great variety. There is frequently a big difference between those focused on public fundraising and those focusing on advocacy. Or at least there can be for those of us involved. Across the sector, we see better strategic planning, and embedding of public relations within strategy. This has become common among the large charities. We will see it more with small charities, who may be struggling to keep the plates spinning but are increasingly aware that they get more impact by planning and integrating their communications and engagement work. Part of this is an increasing reliance on data and evidence to inform public relations activities. This is followed by more resourced and effective monitoring and evaluation. Of course, in an imperfect world this doesn’t always happen, but I do see it happening in a larger number of organisations. Another aspect of these changes is less reliance on traditional media and more on social media platforms to communicate about fundraising and advocacy issues. We all have a greater understanding of the role of social media and what it can deliver, but perhaps more importantly, we have a growing understanding of how people connect with each other, and this enables more convergence between public relations and fundraising teams. At the Fifth Estate group, we worked with the Institute of Fundraising on an event on convergence in the autumn. This convergence is already the bread and butter for many, but some are still struggling with how to make social media work in fundraising, even though PR teams have embraced it to raise awareness and engage supporters in issue-based campaigns. As more of us move to fully responsive, mobilefriendly websites for campaigns and fundraising, we may see more successes and more integration between teams. Integration doesn’t stop with better working across teams and between disciplines, we will also see more organisations coming together in 2014. I don’t mean full mergers, but organisations recognising the effectiveness of working together, particularly for policy Key issues 1. Strategic planning 2. Fundraising and public relations working together 3. Organisations campaigning together work and advocacy. In short, there is more understanding of the need to communicate both through and within partnerships and coalitions. I don’t think this is a matter of financial expediency (although you can get more bang for your buck) but reflects the political realities for public relations professionals focussed on working with policymakers and the widest range of supporters. Many of us already work this way, I do at the Men’s Health Forum and a Fifth Estate colleague does at the RNIB. Coalition and partnership working will become the standard approach for many working in policy campaigning. Again, social media is enabling this. It makes coalitions’ collaborative work and internal communications more effective, and enables the member organisations to engage supporters with the coalition’s work and reach new audiences becoming a threat to existing membership and campaigning models. Expertise, engagement and the ability to generate widespread participation are no longer limited to charities with research, campaigns and communications teams. Bloggers and small local groups can now build and demonstrate expertise and activate followers and supporters on specific issues. They may remind us why we became involved in our work but they will help us stay on our toes. Colin Penning MCIPR Honorary Treasurer of CIPR Fifth Estate @fifth_estate CIPR-Fifth-Estate CIPR-Fifth-Estate W CIPR-fifth-estate-voluntary-sector Transparency is key in effective use of social media, and there’s a growing need to develop and protect reputation by communicating and explaining structural and governance issues such as campaigning decisions, funding transparency and mergers between charities. I think some could also see social media 6 // #PR2014
  8. 8. PUBLIC AFFAIRS IN 2014, DIGITAL COMMUNICATION GENERALLY AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN PARTICULAR WILL CONTINUE TO RESHAPE POLITICAL DISCOURSE BY DEMOCRATISING ACCESS, AS MPS AND OTHERS INCREASINGLY BECOME DIGITAL NATIVES AND GOVERNMENT ADOPTS A “DIGITAL BY DEFAULT” APPROACH. Understanding how search can be used to distribute information and adapting to new means of engagement will become increasingly important. The rise of digital channels will increase the convergence of disciplines, with public affairs campaigns becoming multi-channel and requiring a wider range of communications skills. Despite having more information immediately at their disposal, MPs are increasingly time poor and lobbyists need to make their communication succinct and accessible. With less than 1% of the population in membership of any political party, the parties will have to face to up to the decline in participation in the build up to the general election scheduled for 2015. Traditional methods of campaigning are not delivering non-voters to the ballot box. In order to engage with them, the parties will need to mobilise their declining memberships and meet them on their own terms. In the short term, politicians will be looking for opportunities through which they can engage with wider social groups. With this in mind, expect MPs to become more entrenched in their constituencies as the election gets closer and potentially even less likely to toe the line. The future of coalition government will also be factor in political debate next year. Whilst the public were briefly fascinated with the process of building the coalition government in 2010, it remains to be seen whether they will accept the kingmaker role devolving onto the least popular of the three parties again. For those who haven’t already responded, the debate around independence in Scotland will change thinking in organisations that operate on a UK wide basis. In the event of a no vote, the status quo will not be restored postreferendum. It will be a sensible approach to consider national factors within the UK in 2014 and beyond. Public affairs professionals are facing the thin end of a regulatory wedge in 2014 with the introduction of a register of consultant lobbyists set to pass its final legislative hurdles. Although the register is intended not to excessively burden the few lobbyists it may capture, there is a possibility that the result will be unsustainably small and that it will not meet the expectation that it should increase public knowledge and understanding of lobbying activity. To head off future regulatory action it is imperative that more lobbyists address their own professional “ To head off future regulatory action it is imperative that more lobbyists address their own professional standards.“ standards. We must demonstrate that we can effectively self-regulate. We also need to consider how we manage codes of conduct – in my view they must be accompanied by ethical training and wider access to education and skills training to ensure that we set the bar high as an industry and do more to drive up standards. Phil Morgan MCIPR Director of Policy Communication at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations @CIPR_PA CIPRPA CIPRPA W CIPR-public-affairs-cipr-pa 7 // #PR2014
  9. 9. HEALTH MEDICAL THE NHS OPERATES IN AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS POLITICALLY CHARGED, FINANCIALLY CHALLENGED AND HEAVILY REGULATED. NEVER IN ITS 65 YEAR HISTORY HAS IT FACED MORE TESTING TIMES. As we welcome in the New Year so the major political parties are already looking further ahead and preparing the battleground for the 2015 national elections. The NHS is certain to be high on the campaign agenda and will provide an important barometer for gauging the public support and trust of politicians at a local and national level. The stakes are high and reflected in David Cameron’s decision to oversee the detailed contingency planning for NHS services this winter amid fears that any rise in waiting times or delays in AE treatment will be politically damaging for the Conservatives. The impact that the financial squeeze (aka The Nicholson Challenge) is having on patient care is sure to become even more evident during 2014. This will be demonstrated by longer waiting times, increased post code prescribing and the rationing of non-urgent surgery. An ageing population living with long-term and chronic conditions matched against decreasing healthcare budgets means that changes to established ways of working are required. However, the pace of any meaningful and effective change is unlikely to keep up with increasing patient demands and expectations. London provides a good example of the challenges and benefits of introducing change in the NHS. Current variations in the quality of care provided by hospitals, including higher mortality rates for patients treated at night or during the weekend need to be addressed. Detailed plans have been prepared for the reconfiguration of acute care across the capital in order to establish centres of excellence where more expertise will be available more of the time. These plans have clinical support but in the vast majority of cases struggle to win the hearts and minds of the public. Where change has happened, in specialist areas such as stroke and major trauma, then the evidence clearly shows that care has improved and that lives are being saved. The regulation and oversight of healthcare across the country is complex and diffused, with an array of organisations including the CQC, Monitor, MHRA and various professional bodies all playing their part. During 2014 the role of the CQC will become more prominent as the new “ The NHS is certain to be high on campaign agenda and will provide an important barometer for gauging the public support and trust of politicians at a local and national level.” hospital inspection regime for England begins to roll out in earnest. Under the previous system hospitals were judged against a bewildering number of 1200 indicators. By cutting that number to 150 and ensuring that practising doctors and nurses, together with patients, are involved in the process then a clearer picture will emerge of where good hospital care is being provided and where weaknesses exist. 2014 will also see the CQC’s inspection of GP practices begin to ensure that patients have access to care that is safe, compassionate and responsive to their needs. rooted in a culture of transparency, openness and continual learning with patients firmly at its heart. The need to emphasise the importance of patient care may seem at odds with the ethos of the health service but in a highly complex organisation, driven by a range of competing priorities and interests it is a sad fact that the patient can too often be forgotten. However, it is also true that the NHS provides excellent care to millions of patients every year and over its 65 years has shown a resilience that will stand it in good stead for the many challenges that lay ahead. These changes in regulation have at their heart the findings of the Francis Report into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal which has cast a long shadow over the NHS. Among the report’s recommendations is a call for the creation of the right culture in healthcare organisations, one that puts the patient first. The Francis Report led in turn to the Berwick Report which makes recommendations for the NHS, its regulators and the government in building a robust nationwide system for patient safety Jean Pierre-Moser MCIPR Committee Member of CIPR Health Medical CIPR-Health-and-Medical-Group CIPR-Health-and-Medical-Group W CIPR-health-medical 8 // #PR2014
  10. 10. CIPR INSIDE THIS YEAR HAS BEEN A VIBRANT AND STIMULATING ONE FOR CIPR INSIDE, THE SECTOR GROUP FOR INTERNAL COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONALS, AND WE’RE EXCITED TO SEE WHAT 2014 HOLDS. We’re fortunate to have a brilliant committee full of dedicated communications professionals, and have worked hard to listen to members and use their feedback to shape our awards, webinars, conferences and events. The start of 2013 saw us celebrating the new #insidestory awards at The Hospital Club with 180 guests. They are the first CIPR Awards solely dedicated to internal communication and we had a fantastic night recognising and honouring some outstanding internal communicators. Successful campaigns and initiatives included Gatwick Airport winning Best Internal Social Media Programme, HSBC NOW winning Best International Programme, Essex County Council scooping Best Employee Engagement Programme, NSPCC as Best In-house team, HH as Best Agency, CocaCola Enterprises winning Best Intranet and Morrison Supermarkets Plc had the Best Change Communication Programme. We heard some of those success stories directly from the teams involved at our 12th annual internal communication conference in September as I chaired a plenary session with Jonathan Phillips from Coca-Cola Enterprises, Linda Mortimer from Gatwick Airport and Wendy Jordan from Wheatley Housing Group. The #insidestory awards are back for 2014, celebrating at the iconic Gherkin building in London. Building capability We are increasingly seeing and hearing from CIPR Inside members that their leaders understand the importance of internal communication. The focus on employee engagement means that IC is being talked about at board level, but what we’re hearing loud and clear from members is the need for more strategic/business focused and business partner level internal communicators. This means we all need to raise our game. As a committee we recognise this, and the role that professional associations have in helping to develop learning which will meet that gap. So we’ve been working to equip members with tools and resources to help, such as the recent webinar with our Chair, James Harkness, on Being a strategic business partner. Further professional development through courses and talks offered by CIPR, will remain important next year. Blurring of internal and external communications The lines between internal and external communication roles and responsibilities are blurring and that looks set to continue into 2014 and beyond. Why’s that happening? Well old distinctions between traditional communication audiences are becoming increasingly blurred too and corporations are no longer in control of the message. If they ever were. Reputation is everything and can rise and fall in a single Tweet. What we’re focusing on as a sector group is how IC can better align with external communication colleagues to support organisations’ reputations. Sarah Larvor, Global Head of Strategic Communication Brand Strategy at National Grid plc spoke about this topic at our 12th annual CIPR Inside internal comms conference in September. The overall theme was Building our Future and she looked at how we can both advance and protect the interests of our employers while at the same time engaging employees, and whether there’s a future for the traditional model. Sarah described it as: “It’s often the IC people who are the best at defining messages and developing comms around them, so it makes sense to work together.” Digital evolution This year has been another one of rapid developments in the world of social media and the rise of the digital workplace. However, as communicators, the fundamental principles of good, effective communication remain the same and underpin everything we do. beyond. Rather than be distracted by shiny new tools that are available, a focus for the committee and for communicators as a whole, is the desire to do what we’ve always done – make smart choices for the organisations we work in and for when it comes to sharing and creating information and facilitating effective conversations. This is done best by thoroughly understanding how our companies communicate. This is at the heart of good internal communication and is what we’ve always done, but now the range of options has increased. I’m certain the additional activities for members, such as Ask the Guru sessions, will continue to provide opportunities for CIPR Inside members and non-members alike to work together to keep updated and choose wisely. Rachel Miller MCIPR Deputy Chair of CIPR Inside Key issues 1. Blurring of internal and external comms 2. Building capability 3. Digital evolution @ciprinside CIPR-Inside CIPR-Inside W CIPR-cipr-inside The impact of social media on internal communication will continue in 2014 and 9 // #PR2014
  11. 11. CIPR INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS IS CHANGING AND SO IS THE WORKFORCE. WE ARE SEEING IMMENSE SHIFTS IN WORKING PATTERNS AND CORPORATE CULTURES WITH MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ENCOURAGED TO WORK FROM HOME, MILLENNIALS TAKING UP THEIR FIRST JOBS, AND EXPERIENCED EMPLOYEES OPTING FOR PART-TIME ASSIGNMENTS. Job security is gone and blind employee loyalty to a business has been replaced by the “What’s in it for me?” consideration. New online tools and mobile applications come on-stream every day. “The seismic shift will be the change from focusing on channels and processes to focusing on results,” says Pamela Mounter FCIPR, who is co-authoring A Manual of Effective Internal Communication to be published by Kogan Page in spring 2014, “and we must be ready to quantify them.” What are the implications for internal communicators in international businesses? New roles With the change of the age structure of the workforce, internal communicators have already started shifting into new roles – away from corporate messaging and turning into content curators and facilitators of conversations. 2014 will be the year of the virtual Town Hall. Gently nudged by innovative internal communicators, international businesses will continue embracing new social media which will help them interact with employees. For example, staff in far-flung locations will be able to take part in YamJam sessions alongside senior executives and thus actively shape the conversation. New tools Corporate content will make another hop – from social to mobile. Mobile devices are now ubiquitous and so will be internal communication. In fact it will follow employees to their homes, where some of them will be spending their whole working day anyway being agile or home-based workers. Corporate content will be re-shaped to fit different platforms and will be constantly updated by members of the internal communication teams at different geographic locations. Internal mobile sites will proliferate. New trends Global businesses have global workforces. With every passing year they come to appreciate the cultural diversity within their organisations. For example, businesses in the UK have already started organising Diwali celebrations for their Indian staff. Internal communicators will be expected to focus more on understanding cultural differences. Opening the profession to practitioners whose mother tongue is not English will also lead to increased cultural awareness. Key issues 1. New role: content curator 2. New tool: mobile 3. New trend: cultural differences Velin Velkov MCIPR Secretary CIPR International @CIPR_Int CIPR-International CIPR-International W CIPR-cipr-international 10 // #PR2014
  12. 12. LOCAL PUBLIC SERVICES BEFORE WRITING THIS, I CROWDSOURCED VIEWS FROM OUR TWITTER FOLLOWERS ON WHAT THEY FEEL WILL BE THE TRENDS AND THEMES IN 2014. ONE WORD KEPT COMING BACK. CUTS. Local public services have been hard hit by the cuts over the last few years. Millions have had to be saved, but 2014 isn’t the end of cuts. Those millions each organisation has saved will now be looked on as easy savings. The situation now is so severe that it’s not a case of top slicing some budgets or to stop doing the ‘nicer things’ (if there are any nice things left actually?). Demand for local public services is rising. Our population is getting older and that puts pressure on everything from health services to adult care services. Now is the time we have to seriously consider that we are getting close to a situation where local public services will have to stop delivering services. And so this is the time for local public services to innovate, transform and change completely - and communications professionals need to be at the heart of this. Communicators in local public services should no longer be a press officer or a marketing specialist. Our teams are getting smaller but need to do much more. We need to be skilled at selling in a media story, to using social media channels to improve the reputation of our organisations, to engaging employees. And there are skills probably outside of the day to day communications discipline that we must embrace (of course some in the sector will say these are already part of the communications discipline). We should be driving engagement and research, working with partners and stakeholders and leading customer service approaches. Above all we need to be our organisations innovators as well as multi-skilled communicators. As communication professionals we have so much to add to our organisations to help them to meet the challenges ahead. We will drive employee engagement. We know that unless our employees are advocates we will not push ahead with organisational priorities. But now more than ever employee engagement is even more important - engaged employees will help our organisations innovate and change. Explaining to our service users why we are reducing services is going to be a massive challenge. People expect our services to be there but unless we drive our organisations Key issues 1. Continued push to digital 2. Continuing restrictions 3. Employee engagement to involve service users and residents to work with us on what services need to be maintained and encourage our communities to think about services they could provide in the future, our sector faces massive challenges. Challenges for local public services are not just cuts and resource based of course. Legislative changes to issues around health, the referendum in Scotland and possible local government reorganisation in Wales will keep us on our toes. Keeping on top of a fast paced, ever changing landscape is what every communications professional needs to do. I’ve realised this might sound that life in the sector is all doom and gloom. It certainly isn’t. Ultimately we give people information that allows them to make, sometimes, life changing decisions. What we do does make a difference to people’s lives. The CIPR local public services committee knows that in 2014 our members will need our support even more. We are committed to giving our members a voice at a national level. We will continue to promote the fantastic work coming from our sector and help members learn and get the skills they need. We want to make sure we keep you informed of the changes taking place nationally that you need to be acting on. Ashley Scott-Wilcox MCIPR Chair of CIPR Local Public Services Challenges continually get thrown at us. We hit them head on, find a solution that works and get on with it. We are a resilient lot - it drives our creativity and pushes us to do why we do local public services communications - we want to make a difference. @ciprlps CIPR-Local-Public-Services-Group CIPR-Local-Public-Services-Group W CIPR-local-public-services By working with regional and other sector groups and by holding our annual conference and regional training events we will do this. 11 // #PR2014
  13. 13. MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MORE EXCITING TIME TO WORK IN MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS AND 2014 WILL BRING NEW CHALLENGES. TODAY’S ’ALWAYS-ON’ COMMUNICATION MEANS THAT MANY PEOPLE BOTH WELCOME AND RESIST TECHNOLOGY‘S PRESENCE IN THEIR LIVES. Some are questioning the effect on their privacy and are starting to tune out a lot of the irrelevant, repetitious marcomms content being pushed their way. Others are embracing content that is compelling because it connects emotionally and enhances their lives. The trick for marketing communicators is to produce original, relevant content based on consumer/ customer insight and still get noticed. So, the key trends for 2014 that will affect this challenge are as follows. Multi-disciplinary teams Marketing communications has always pulled together the best to form an integrated campaign, but with the proliferation of channels and mediums, creating meaningful content has never been more important. Distraction is a reality. Just think about the number of marketing messages that are thrown at you from the moment you wake up to the moment you arrive in work. Messaging will become less about SEO and more about creating really good content that people want to engage with. The teams of the future will be shaped by those who can think like photo journalists, script and speech writers, film producers, art directors, video journalists, news editors and customer service experts. The content they create will be shaped by strategic planners who know how to find and use insight. Tone of voice ‘Marketing tends to demand a more aggressive, hyperbolic selling mindset; whereas public relations often demands a more conciliatory, peacemaking approach’. Marketing communications sits right in the middle and this presents a challenge when deciding what tone of voice to use. It’s so easy to get it wrong and if the whole world is watching on Twitter then you can have a situation arise similar to that of #McDStories and #waitrosereasons. @sainsburyspr seem to get it right. Why? The social team sit closely with the customer service/careline team and the PR “ The trick for marketing communicators is to produce original, relevant content based on consumer/customer insight and still get noticed.” team and their policy allows the social media team to use their own personality. In the future, marketing communicators will need to be more astute in deciding not so much what to say, but how to say it. Tone of voice will reign supreme. Real time communication Campaign planners will need to rethink. In theory, marketing communications campaigns are great. They focus effort and take the consumer on a journey, but that journey can operate too much on a company based timeline, with some social media or real time customer engagement bolted on. But real time communication is what the consumer is doing – whether it’s from a mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop. Faster technologies, combined with people’s desire for the new means that they will be demanding immediate access, not access in a campaign timeline. For example, people want to use their favourite services 24 hours a day – anytime, anyplace. Location based marcomms will become crucial and marketing communicators will need to focus more on real time communications through social, website, ambient and experiential. In 2014, success will come from engaging with your audience when they are ready – not when it is convenient for you. With this in mind, mobile marcomms is the theme of the CIPR Marketing Communications group’s first event of 2014, taking place on 4 March 2014 in London. Maud Davis FCIPR Vice Chair of CIPR Marketing Communications @CIPR_Marcomms CIPR-Marcomms-Group CIPRMarComms W CIPR-marketing-communications 12 // #PR2014
  14. 14. STEM (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING MATHS) THE GREAT THING ABOUT WORKING IN STEM IS THAT BY DEFINITION IT IS FULL OF BREAKTHROUGHS THAT DEFY PREDICTION. THE PACE OF CHANGE IS FAST AND INDEED INCREASING. IN TECHNOLOGY NEXT YEAR EXPECT TO HEAR MUCH MORE ABOUT 3D PRINTING, GOOGLE GLASSES, SMART TVS AND WATCHES, AND EVER MORE SOPHISTICATED CYBER SECURITY THREATS AND DEFENCE. In science look for further breakthroughs in DNA sequencing, novel materials, superconductors and the continued debate on climate change prompted by the finalisation of the IPCC’s fifth assessment report. Engineering will be seen more as a driver of the economy and of quality of life as the “E word” becomes much better understood through third sector and industry campaigns. A true rebalancing of the economy will only occur if the UK can harness the power of science, engineering and technology to drive economic growth and quality of life. This is why communication in this area is really coming into its own. One of the main enablers of change will be the accessibility of data. Open innovation, open data and open access are all phrases that have been bandied about for some while – but now there are real strides being made in open access publishing and public/private partnerships where precompetitive collaboration is resulting in exciting developments. STEM communicators may be able to take advantage of the change from the old landscape of pay walled journals and restrictive IP agreements. One of the main challenges next year for STEM communicators working within the public sector will be the pressure on the BIS budget as it looks to make substantial savings. This may result in lower funding for some research and technology programmes and institutions. Doubtless, communication budgets for both internal teams and consultants will be one of the first areas to come under scrutiny. It’s never been more important to make (and win) the argument that it’s likely to be those organizations that do a good job of demonstrating the impact of their work who are less likely to feel the axe. In 2013 the CIPR is awarding the President’s Medal to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the public understanding of science, and next year is working with BIS to commission some research into the role public relations can play in this area. Both of these things will bring science communication to the fore within our industry and more generally. This will result in a higher profile for STEM communication and in turn a greater awareness of the power of science, technology and engineering with the public. “ A true rebalancing of the economy will only occur if the UK can harness the power of science, engineering and technology to drive economic growth and quality of life.” Jim Sutton MCIPR Chair of CIPR STEM CIPR-Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics CIPR-Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics W CIPR-stem-group 13 // #PR2014
  15. 15. SCOTLAND 2013 HAS BEEN A YEAR OF GEARING UP… FOR 2014. IT’S GOING TO BE A BIG YEAR IN SCOTLAND, WITH THE XX COMMONWEALTH GAMES, RYDER CUP AND THE YEAR OF HOMECOMING. IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR AGENCIES, IN-HOUSE TEAMS AND CLIENTS TO GET INVOLVED AND MAXIMISE OPPORTUNITIES. WITH THE WORLD’S MEDIA FOCUSING ON SCOTLAND, IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY NOT TO BE MISSED. The biggest issue and potential game changer for 2014 will be the Independence Referendum taking place on 18 September. So, should Scotland be an independent country, how will this change our government, taxes, benefits, businesses and economy, decision making and much, much more? Some say it will make Scotland a stronger country and with decisions solely being made in Scotland, it will greatly benefit those that live and work there. The other side of the coin is about detaching Scotland from the rest of the UK. It will no longer be a United Kingdom. The nervousness comes around the lack of debates that have taken place for ‘real people’ to understand both arguments and the pros and cons of both. Back to business, Holyrood ministers plan to bring forward legislation on the Lobbying Transparency Scotland Bill, before the next election, in 2016. In response to a growing number of public affairs issues and members of the Scotland group, we have formed a public affairs sub-group, feeding into the main CIPR public affairs group, which means greater representation of members across the UK but with concentrated effort in Scotland. We expect 2014 to be a busy year for the new sub-group, as momentum gathers on a number of public affairs issues. along with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, will be coordinating the media hub as part of the Commonwealth Games - another opportunity to jump on. This brings us nicely to PR in Scotland. The CIPR is strengthening its membership service in Scotland and is embarking on a new strategy…the Scotland group is out and about. Our events now cover Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen and shortly, Dundee. We’re working hard to reach schools and further education establishments as we recognise this audience knows little or nothing about PR as a career choice. Our partnerships are developing too, with the Institute of Directors and Marketing Society. Most recently, we have brought VisitScotland on board and their consumer team, Laura M. Sutherland MCIPR Chair of CIPR Scotland 2014 is going to be an exciting year for everyone in Scotland. We shouldn’t sit back and watch… we should jump in and get involved. Key issues 1. Independence vote 2. Commonwealth Games 3. CIPR strengthening its offering and maintaining membership value in 2014 @CIPR_Scotland CIPR-Scotland-Chartered-Institute-Public CIPRScotland W CIPR-ciprscotland 14 // #PR2014
  16. 16. NORTHERN IRELAND NORTHERN IRELAND IS NEVER A DULL PLACE, AND 2014 PROMISES TO BE JUST AS BUSY AS PREVIOUS YEARS FOR COMMUNICATIONS PROFESSIONALS. The internationally-renowned Giro d’Italia cycle race pedals off from Northern Ireland for the first time in May, which guarantees to focus the eyes of the world’s sporting fans on this corner of Europe. It will present a fantastic opportunity for communications professionals to promote the ‘new’ Northern Ireland, showcasing everything positive that this region has to offer. Building on other developments such as the new Titanic Belfast visitor attraction, which opened in 2012, and successful large-scale events held here in 2013 such as the All-Ireland Fleadh, World Police and Fire Games and G8 conference, the Giro will further contribute to the reimaging of Northern Ireland. The spinning wheels of the world’s top cyclists are an apt metaphor for the multi-tasking expertise of our PR professionals, who are used to living in a part of the world where being prepared for the unexpected is par for the course, and the CIPR will be here to provide support. The CIPR’s Regional Committee in Northern Ireland has been working over the past year to focus its work on helping professionals to develop their skills and build better relationships with the media. Membership has increased by almost 40 percent over the past year, and we will continue our groundbreaking work with students and universities in 2014 to nurture the next generation of PR practitioners, while still meeting the needs of members at all levels. Our unique Media Awards, which celebrate the very best which the broadcast, print and online media have to offer, enjoyed a resurgence of interest in 2013. A redesigned Oscars-style format and new branding ensured that the awards were the toast of the media industry. The 21st Media Awards will be held in 2014, highlighting just how important this unique ceremony is in both the PR and media calendars. Gary McKeown MCIPR Chair of CIPR Northern Ireland “ The spinning wheels of the world’s top cyclists are an apt metaphor for the multi-tasking expertise of our PR professionals, who are used to living in a part of the world where being prepared for the unexpected is par for the course…” @CIPR_NI CIPRNI W CIPR-northern-ireland 15 // #PR2014
  17. 17. CYMRU / WALES SPORT, CULTURE AND POLITICS – IT’S ALL ON THE AGENDA FOR 2014 IN WALES – AND PR BUDDIES SHOULD SEIZE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO GET INVOLVED, GET NOTICED AND HELP PUT WALES ON THE MAP. Just when we thought all the action would be happening elsewhere – a Scottish Referendum; Swansea losing out to Hull in the UK City of Culture 2017 – along come events equally thought-provoking and headline grabbing to take their place. Take for example the announcement by the Prime Minister that next year’s Nato Summit will take place at the Celtic Manor in Newport. This event will bring dozens of Heads of Government, including the Heads from Nato’s Member States in Europe and North America. Time to improve your knowledge of foreign climes and get to work on impressing the visitors and their entourages. And one way to definitely impress them with a home-grown luminary, infamous the world over, is by helping to promote the Dylan Thomas centenary year 2014, with a host of events and exhibitions planned at venues across Wales, giving a new generation of poets and artists the opportunity to celebrate the life, work and legacy that personifies this famous Swanseaborn poet. The Welsh Government, Arts Council of Wales and local authority partners are investing time and effort to make it a year to remember – and to evoke the pure genius of the man who gave us Under Milk Wood and A Child’s Christmas in Wales. And that’s hardly Llareggub backwards for a memorable 2014. And while it may not be Ryder Cup 2010 or Olympics 2012 re-visited, the next 12 months on the Welsh sporting calendar will see Golf’s Senior Open Championship coming to Wales with Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer and Greg Norman expected to boost the sport’s profile in Wales. The IPC Athletics European Championships 2014, hosted by Swansea, will also help build on the legacy of the 2012 Paralympic Games and mark Wales out as a nation that can deliver successful, high profile disability sport events. And we can always bring Public Affairs expertise to bare and join in the debate about the effect a possible Yes vote for Scottish independence will have on the Welsh nation – after all, some tax raising powers are already on their way to Wales after last year’s referendum for the devolution of further powers to the Welsh assembly. “ Time to improve your knowledge of foreign climes and get to work on impressing the visitors and their entourages.” If all this helps keep Wales in the public eye, then let’s show that we PR professionals can add to the mix, by providing successful, high profile campaigns. Val Bodden MCIPR Chair of CIPR Cymru / Wales @CIPR_Cymru CIPRCymruWales W CIPR-wales 16 // #PR2014
  18. 18. CHANNEL ISLANDS ALTHOUGH THE CHANNEL ISLANDS OF GUERNSEY AND JERSEY ARE EACH NO BIGGER THAN A SMALL TOWN IN THE UK, THEY ARE BOTH ALSO NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, WITH THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS, LAWS AND CUSTOMS. This autonomy has suited them well down the generations and, arguably, has enabled the islands to carve out their own identities and industries – previously horticulture/agriculture, tourism and, more recently, as international low tax financial services jurisdictions. For a long while the islands were left to their own devices, being perhaps best known for such innocuous specialisms as Jersey royal potatoes, Guernsey tomatoes and being the location for the TV detective show Bergerac. But this has changed. The world has become smaller as communication has become slicker, quicker and incessant. An exponential increase in the amount of financial regulation following the credit crisis has meant that, more than ever before, the islands have had to fight their corners and protect their reputations. In particular, they have had to battle the perception that they are “tax havens” with all the bad connotations that come with that label. With the post-crisis notion that the UK tax take has lost-out through wealthy individuals and big businesses using offshore accounts and a new take on tax planning, whereby it not only has to be legal but also “moral”, the islands have been under the cosh. we’re better regulated and more transparent than even the UK. Fighting such reputational challenges is a Forth Bridge exercise, yet in 2013 there were some significant breakthroughs. Jersey commissioned independent economists to research and compile a report which showed that its activities supported more than 100,000 jobs in the UK, provided UK banks with £118m of funding and a trillion pounds of foreign investment. As PR practitioners we’re all used to dealing with reputational issues concerning our clients or our employer. But here entire national reputations and economies are at stake. None of us can be certain what’s around the corner but it’s safe to say that the Channel Islands will continue to be in the spotlight next year and will be required to defend themselves as lobby groups, politicians, journalists and commentators challenge their financial services industries. More than ever there’ll be the need for constant, clear and consistent messaging around all the right things that the islands are doing. Guernsey wasn’t part of that study but one would assume its contribution would be equal to that of Jersey, or thereabouts. Furthermore, the islands consult and negotiate with the UK, the EU and US to ensure that they comply with, if not surpass the highest levels of international standards. Guernsey has signed 19 Memoranda of Understanding with regulators and supervisory bodies around the globe. It has signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements with 50 other jurisdictions and 20 Double Taxation Agreements. Also, among our many controls is a very strict Anti-Money Laundering regime. Yes, “ An exponential increase in the amount of financial regulation following the credit crisis has meant that, more than ever before, the islands have had to fight their corners and protect their reputations.” Steve Falla FCIPR Chair of CIPR Channel Islands @CIPR_CI CIPR-Channel-Islands-Group CIPR-Channel-Islands W CIPR-channel-islands 17 // #PR2014
  19. 19. EAST ANGLIA IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING HOW ADVANCES IN THE DIGITAL WORLD HAVE IMPROVED COMMUNICATION AND OPENED UP ACCESS TO A GLOBAL AUDIENCE; A TREAT AND A CHALLENGE FOR PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATORS. IN EAST ANGLIA, OUR OWN IMPROVEMENTS TO ACCESS ARE TAKING PLACE BUT THIS TIME ON THE GROUND - LITERALLY. Physical developments and improvements to commerce, industry and transportation are afoot for 2014 making the statement clearer than ever before that East Anglia is ‘open for business.’ business groups and stakeholders will be a ‘shot in the arm’ for local economy to make East Anglia one of the best places in the country to do business. Any visitor to Norfolk will almost certainly have had a journey blighted by the A11, the county’s major access route with notorious patches of single carriageway prone to congestion and, inevitably, a slow and laborious trip East. From the city head eastwards to our remarkable coastline, where the East Anglia LEP is focusing attention on the ‘East of England Energy Zone’; an area expected to benefit from £50 billion of investment over the next 20 years. The Zone is leading the way in offshore energy, with significant players in windpower, gas and nuclear energy production flocking to the area to do business in the Enterprise Zone. Work has been underway to dual the A11 since January 2013 but come autumn/winter 2014, the final nine mile stretch of single-carriageway will be dualled, promising faster journey times, better access and, hopefully, an end to all jokes about how impossible it is to reach Norfolk! Similarly, campaigns such as ‘Norwich in 90’ to provide faster and more reliable trains on the Great Eastern main line between Norwich and the Capital gathered momentum in 2013 after George Osborne MP pledged to create a taskforce to deliver the vision. It is hoped this continues throughout 2014 and that the partnership between local authorities, LEP’s, Energy isn’t the only sector flourishing in the region. East Anglia is quite rightly giving Cornwall and Yorkshire a run for their money in the tourism stakes. With assets like the ‘The Broads’ in Norfolk, punting in Cambridge, bucket and spade holidays in Essex or the fascinating Suffolk wool towns, this area packs a serious punch for holidaymakers both domestic and international. The region’s media is actively backing tourism as an economic booster for industry in East Anglia. Living in Norwich it wouldn’t be right for me to neglect to mention the famous sauce, Mustard. Especially as 2014 sees Colman’s Mustard celebrate 200 years in business and, in a return to technology, from March, Mustard TV, will be broadcast as a fully-fledged TV Channel, rather than just online. So what does this mean for communicators? With better access, improved communication, faster and more reliable routes in the area and the spotlight on certain industries to fly the flag for business in East Anglia, there’s really no better time for communicators to engage new audiences, capitalise on wider opportunities and feel proud to operate in this part of the world. “ There’s really no better time for communicators to engage new audiences, capitalise on wider opportunities and feel proud to operate in this part of the world.” @CIPR_EastAnglia CIPR-East-Anglia CIPR-East-Anglia W CIPR-east-anglia When I graduated ten years ago, East Anglia was regarded ‘the graveyard of ambition’. It seems the region itself has undergone a little reputation management. What a difference a decade makes. Rachael Shakespeare MCIPR former Chair of CIPR East Anglia 18 // #PR2014
  20. 20. GREATER LONDON AFTER SUCH A GREAT 2012, WHEN THE EYES OF THE WORLD WERE FIRMLY ON LONDON AND COMMUNICATIONS BUDGETS WERE AT AN ALL TIME HIGH, THE PAST YEAR WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE CHALLENGING. ECONOMIC AUSTERITY AND VALUE FOR MONEY WERE WATCHWORDS DURING 2013. BUT WHERE THERE WAS ADVERSITY THERE WAS OPPORTUNITY. The CIPR Greater London Group started the year at Channel 4 where Controller of Press Publicity Jane Fletcher shared insight on how the TV channel capitalised on the London 2012 Paralympic Games. relations. At our event in October Dr Andrew Garrett from the Royal Statistical Society and Katharine Peacock from ComRes shared some tips on the strength of surveys in order to strengthen communication campaigns. Communications teams in the private and public sector continued to slowly embrace social and digital channels in order to engage with their respective audiences. And this was reflected in the events that the group organised, with one of the most popular being our ‘Mobile: Everything You Need To Know’ session at Google Campus in Old Street. Aside from insight that we gained from our events, the Information Commissioner’s Office published guidance on using social media channels. Regulators are homing in. Speakers from the world of business, marketing and journalism shared with us the benefits of engaging with audiences wherever they are. One of the key messages is that technology is no longer a team in the corner of the office, but a group of professionals that add value to engagement professionals. Measurement was also an area that gained plenty of attention confirming the appetite that there is for acknowledging the value of public The Office of the UK’s attorney general also issued guidance on using social media in order to protect the legal system from comments made online that can be opinion-forming. The coming year is going to see much of the same – a focus on controlling networks and conversations. We will also continue to see more stories that affect reputations break on social media networks. And this will further drive communications teams to embed their social media and knowledge teams into the PR departments. media will empower them to be more reactive and responsive. Some sectors though will delay this move, but organisations in those other sectors that embrace this knowledge will prove to be more nimble and will find it easier to manage, protect and build their business offering. London will set the benchmark for the change in public relations, with social and digital channels becoming essential tools not just for consumer brands, but business and national and local government. Key quote “ London will set the benchmark for the change in public relations, with social and digital channels becoming essential tools not just for consumer brands, but business and national and local government.” Paul Cullen MCIPR CIPR Member @LondonPR PR-Networking-Group-CIPR-London CIPR London W CIPR-greater-london The knowledge that brands gain from social 19 // #PR2014
  21. 21. MIDLANDS ACCORDING TO RESEARCH BY YORKSHIRE BANK, 93 PER CENT OF MIDLANDS’ SMES SEE 2014 AS A YEAR FOR GROWTH, AND PWC’S LATEST UK ECONOMIC OUTLOOK REPORT SUGGESTS GROWTH OF AROUND 2.4 PER CENT ACROSS THE MIDLANDS. A POSITIVE OUTLOOK THEN, FOR A REGION THAT HAS SEEN SO MUCH CHANGE OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS. But in our region of opportunity, who will be the winners? This was the question asked at a recent CIPR Midlands networking event at DeMontfort University, which looked at the likely trends across the region for 2014. Sponsored by specialist recruitment agency Pitch Consultants, the event examined three areas of specific interest – public sector communications, social media and recruitment. The last election saw a massive loss in funding and jobs throughout the public sector, but Stuart Baird of SB Communications believes that is about to change. It’s a safe bet that government-funded initiatives will be required to promote Government policies and ensure the Coalition’s messages are being heard in the run up to the election in May 2015. With just 2000 Government communicators left after cuts and marketing budgets falling from £532m to £264m (and this excludes cuts to comms staff and budgets in the NHS and local government) it seems likely that there will be an opportunity for agile and integrated agencies to fill the gap. Those working with hyper-local blogs, online newsfeeds and social media will fare best, and those who are prepared for the launch of Notts TV and City TV in Birmingham, will be able to take advantage of the many PR prospects that local TV promises to bring. As an integral part of the PR mix, social media will be a major platform for agencies and brands in 2014. In the Midlands, the surge in mobile browsing and the resulting importance of local search, gives brands an exciting chance to attract new customers and build loyalty in a measurable way. Big Communications predicts the rise of Medium and Google +, the ‘selfie’ and video. From content-rich advertising to promoted tweets, it’s clear that PR campaigns in 2014 will be using digital conversations to engage their most influential audiences. But most interestingly, it was the issue of recruitment that got most people talking. Large agencies will not just be competing for work, they’ll also be competing for the best staff. Rob Markwell from Pitch Consultants explained the need for an ‘employer brand’, to attract and retain the very best people. With budgets increasing and new contracts flowing, agencies and in-house teams will need to recruit - fast. And with everyone seeking the very best candidates, it will take more than just a good client list and national presence to entice the right skilled people. Continued training and development will be essential. As the CIPR Midlands team plan for 2014, it will be important to support training, promote an integrated, multi-skilled approach to PR and help members take advantage of the growth and the many opportunities on offer. Key issues 1. Attracting and retaining skilled staff 2. Improving transparency and integrity 3. Launch of local TV in Nottingham and Birmingham Lisa Jones MCIPR Treasurer of CIPR Midlands @CIPR_Midlands CIPR-Midlands CIPRMidlands W CIPR-midlands 20 // #PR2014
  22. 22. NORTH EAST 2013 WAS ANOTHER BUSY AND EXCITING YEAR FOR PR IN THE NORTH EAST WITH THE REGION HOSTING THE NORTHERN CONFERENCE AND WINNING THE CIPR’S ‘REGIONAL GROUP OF THE YEAR’ TITLE. “ The North East has a great record on embracing new technology and pioneering digital work with thriving industry hotspots.” THAT SUCCESS IS SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT TO TAKE INTO 2014 WITH AN EVEN GREATER FOCUS ON DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS AND A DETERMINATION TO BUILD ON THE PROGRAMME OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT THAT WAS BROUGHT SPECIALLY TO THE REGION. Our theme last year was ‘power to the people’ and in this increasingly crowd-sourced, ‘two-way street’, community-led online world, it’s set to remain at the very top of the PR agenda for the next 12 months. People from outside the region are often slightly surprised to hear of the strong story the North East has to tell around culture - from the urban centre at Newcastle/Gateshead to World heritage sites at Durham and Northumberland. The North East has a great record on embracing new technology and pioneering digital work with thriving industry hotspots at places including Digital City Teeside, Newcastle’s Tech Triangle and Sunderland Software City. As a region we’re searching for sustainable and creative ways to continue the good work kicked off at the turn of the millennium, making the area a touchstone for the arts, cultural regeneration and major international projects. The North East CIPR group has pioneered a successful programme of #CIPRNE Twitter chats, bringing together members and non-members in hour-long online discussions about the profession and in 2014 this idea of community will really come to the fore. While many sporting minds this year will be focused on the rainforests of Brazil, PR professionals in the region will be thinking of ways to make the most of the Rugby World Cup which brings some of the world’s biggest ovalball teams to Newcastle in 2015. However, 2014 will also bring significant challenges as the public sector continues to shrink. In many communities across the North East the public sector is the major employer, with some of the highest rates of state employment in the country. the region and enabling them to thrive here. We will be making the case for the North East, whether that’s for more investment, increased tourism or greater national recognition for the most northerly area of England. The Scottish independence vote will certainly be a talking point that could fundamentally change the relationship with our nearest neighbours. Ross Wigham MCIPR Committee Member of CIPR North East The idea of conversation as corporate communication will continue to run throughout 2014 and that’s one industry where the North East is never short on words. @CIPR_NorthEast CIPR-North-East CIPR-North-East W CIPR-north-east The region’s universities are a key asset and now provide graduates (including those with CIPR degrees) that have an international reputation. The biggest challenge is keeping that talent in 21 // #PR2014
  23. 23. NORTH WEST AS ALWAYS, WE’RE EXPECTING A MIXTURE OF THE GOOD, AND NOT-SO-GOOD IN 2014 IN THE NORTH WEST. ON THE GOOD SIDE, EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN OUR REGION’S TWO BIGGEST CITIES, BOTH VERY DIFFERENT, BUT BOTH WITH THE POTENTIAL TO PROMOTE REAL ECONOMIC GROWTH. An International Festival for Business will take place in Liverpool in June and July, and dubbed a ‘business Olympics’, it’s expected that around 250,000 visitors from across the globe will gather to trade ideas and contacts. PR and communications professionals will hopefully also take the opportunity to build some new networks, and I’m sure agency bods will be able to sniff out a potential new pitch opportunity during the city’s two months of events, exhibitions and showcases. film, encompassing studio, gallery and cinema spaces, as well as digital and broadcast production facilities. Although not due to open until spring 2015, those with foresight will do well to leap onto these opportunities as they start developing throughout next year. Meanwhile, just 30 miles down the road at Liverpool’s main rival, a new international production centre is being developed in the city centre of Manchester. And on the not-so-good side, graduate and post-graduate students are already struggling to get themselves onto work experience placements or internships in the North West with some citing to me that it’s some organisations’ renewed focus on school and college-aged children that has become the barrier. HOME, which is been the grateful recipient of £5.5million of Arts Council funding, will become a state-of-the-art venue for producing international contemporary art, theatre and It’s admirable as an industry that we are working together to promote public relations and communications as a professional, ethical, career-worthy industry, but when re-focusing our efforts to encourage new talent, we shouldn’t forget those that have already made their career choice by committing to an academic PR qualification. I know from my mind that I’ll be telling as many university students as possible to start looking a bit wider than just trying to get themselves into in-house or agency PR teams, but to get themselves out there to make the most of these two fantastic business and cultural opportunities that are taking place right on their doorstep at either side of the M62! Key issues 1. Liverpool hosts its own business ‘Olympics’ 2. Development of Manchester’s international HOME production centre gathers pace 3. Graduate students battle for work placements as school-age internships take off Erin Portsmouth MCIPR Chair of CIPR North West @CIPRNORTHWEST CIPR-North-West CIPRNorthWest W CIPR-north-west 22 // #PR2014
  24. 24. SOUTH WEST THE SOUTH WEST IS A BEAUTIFUL, DIVERSE, EXTREMELY LARGE REGION AND AS CHAIR OF THE CIPR SW COMMITTEE FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS, I’VE MADE IT OUR MISSION TO MAKE MEMBERSHIP MEANINGFUL ACROSS THE REGION. WE’VE SEEN MEMBERSHIP INCREASE AND THE COMMITTEE HAVE WORKED HARD TO ENSURE THAT WHEREVER YOU LIVE AND WORK ACROSS OUR REGION YOUR CHARTERED INSTITUTE IS RELEVANT TO YOUR LOCALITY AND TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL NEEDS. We held our largest conference to date in 2013, with more than 200 communicators coming together from across the entire region and had a massive increase in our PRide Awards. I am passionate about the region, born in Plymouth, with family in Cornwall and living in Bristol as I travel around the region, I see the huge challenges facing our region, particularly in terms of connectivity and access. Cornwall, say some commentators, will see the largest reduction in transport in 2014 that it has seen for over 30 years. As council budgets go down, so do bus subsidies and for a region with the largest % of population in rural areas (31.6%), the highest proportion of all the English regions, compared with 17.6% for England, access to transport – and then onto education, work; any reduction in public transport is a cause of major concern. Electrification of the Great Western Railway will come to Bristol by 2016 – but not to Plymouth or Exeter, or Cornwall. The M5 stops at Exeter. It’s as far to Cornwall from Gloucester as it is to the border with Scotland. Connectivity through superfast broadband is even more vital and at the end of 2012, it was available to 70% of households in the UK and it’s hoped that will reach 90.8% by the end of 2015 (it is dependent on the BT/Broadband Delivery UK rollout sticking to time), but this falls to just 84% in South West England, in 2015. The region has always been known for its SMEs (before we called them that) and very strong regional identities. We have the oldest population, the lowest crime and unemployment figures; but our median gross weekly earnings for full-time adult employees is £477, lower than the UK median of £506. Keeping young people in the region is important for future economic development, and the focus in many counties on events for young people and improvement to education, colleges and “ Keeping young people in the region is important for future economic development, and the focus in many counties on events for young people and improvement to education, colleges and universities is key. ” universities is key; the CIPR will have a role here to support our regional education centres. We are starting to see universities working in greater and very closer partnerships together and the development of cross regional working with things like the Academic Health Science Networks and Centres can only help. The South West loves its food and we have some brilliant independent providers. Organisations that are growing in reputation and economic success, including Riverford, Innocent, Pieminister, many independent breweries and the growing number of south west chefs attracting national attention. There are some great manufacturers with their roots (if not all of their factories in the region) including Clarks, Dyson and Mulberry. We’re also looking forward to our annual round of fantastic outdoor events, from the Bristol Balloon Fiesta, to the Tall Ships race in Falmouth, the South West is the place to be for outdoor events, great food, independent wines, gins, beers and a great welcome. But I would say that wouldn’t I? Sarah Pinch FCIPR Chair of CIPR South West @CIPR_sw CIPRSouthWest CIPRSouthWest W CIPR-south-west 23 // #PR2014
  25. 25. WESSEX THE CIPR WESSEX REGION IS HOME TO OVER 700 MEMBERS. THE AREA STARTS FROM CORPORATE CENTRE OF BASINGSTOKE, AND INCLUDES THE GREAT MARITIME CITIES OF PORTSMOUTH AND SOUTHAMPTON AS WELL AS THE CATHEDRAL TOWN OF WINCHESTER. IT HOSTS BRITAIN’S TOP BEACH RESORT OF BOURNEMOUTH AND GOES AS FAR AS WEYMOUTH IN THE SOUTH WEST, HOME TO THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES. THE REGION ALSO INCLUDES THE ISLE OF WIGHT, HOME TO WORLD YACHTING. The region’s industries include manufacturing, travel and tourism, the arts, health, financial services, education and a thriving rural economy. Wessex is served by a number of excellent midsized PR agencies, and a large freelance PR network that meets in Winchester every month. We also work in partnership with Bournemouth University and Southampton Solent University, to cultivate tomorrow’s PR leaders, through our Meet the Professionals events and workshops. The most eye-catching campaign in the region was Marland Wildlife’s’ “Go Rhinos” public art event. If you’ve seen the brightly coloured cows of New York, then you’re bound to recognise their cousins, the Rhinos of Southampton, which raised £124,700 for local charities. Regeneration strategies will continue to be at the forefront of economic development in the Wessex region. Bournemouth Council, (CIPR Wessex PRide award winners in 2013) demolished the IMAX tower block, as part of its new arts and culture quarter on the seafront, facing the pier. The new site boasts new restaurants, an open air stage, the Pavilion Dance South West theatre and a creative centre for Arts University Bournemouth. The local area is nicknamed ‘Soho by the Sea’ for its growing digital film and animation sector. Also the Chinese Dalian Wanda Group is set to invest a £1 billion in the luxury boat builder Sunseeker over the next few years, which has its manufacturing facility in Poole, Dorset. This contrasted with the decision by BAE Systems and Government in 2013 to move its military shipbuilding from the historic dockyards of Portsmouth, to sites in Scotland, with the loss of 1,775 jobs locally. The government’s changes to healthcare commissioning, and public health devolving to local authorities, may create further opportunities for PR professionals. In 2014, the Wessex Group will be hosting workshops in Social Media, regional and digital campaigns, and a number of media and commercial site visits. We also want to build relationships with our local Chambers of Commerce and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. “ Regeneration strategies will continue to be at the forefront of economic development in the Wessex region. (In Bournemouth) the new arts and culture quarter on the seafront… is nicknamed ‘Soho by the Sea’ for its growing digital film and animation sector.” @CIPR_Wessex CIPR-Wessex W CIPR-wessex Natasha Tobin FCIPR Vice Chair of CIPR Wessex 24 // #PR2014
  26. 26. YORKSHIRE LINCOLNSHIRE 2014 IS SET TO BRING MANY OPPORTUNITIES - AND CHALLENGES - FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTITIONERS IN YORKSHIRE AND LINCOLNSHIRE. WITH THE EYES OF THE WORLD ON THE REGION IN EARLY JULY, THE GRAND DEPART OF THE 2014 TOUR DE FRANCE IS A CHANCE TO SHOWCASE THE BEST OF YORKSHIRE - ITS PEOPLE, BUSINESSES AND SPECTACULAR SCENERY. Stage 1 on Saturday 5 July starts in Leeds and finishes with a sprint into Harrogate, taking in the outstanding scenery and breathtakingly peaceful atmosphere of Yorkshire Dales, while Stage 2 the day after takes a semi-circular route from York to Sheffield. Bringing the Tour to Yorkshire is a coup for local tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire - one reason why Head of Communications, Dee Marshall, was the Group’s Outstanding Communicator at the 2013 Yorkshire Lincolnshire PRide Awards. There are lots of award-winning agencies in the region, and I hope that many of them will be brought in to take advantage of the Tour’s arrival to raise awareness of the region nationally and internationally, bring inward investment and help boost the local economy. Despite the UK’s recovery from recession, training, skills and employment remain a priority, especially for young people. I expect to see a greater emphasis on apprenticeships in 2014, as the UK seeks to raise its manufacturing output levels and ensure it has a world-class workforce for the future. Allied to our outstanding academic institutions, Yorkshire Lincolnshire has the opportunity to be an economic powerhouse, with a large, mobile and highlyskilled workforce. - and, indeed, to promote the people to the politicians we place our faith in. Politics will continue to play a big role in the region too, with European Parliament elections and local elections being held in May, the passage of both the Transparency in Lobbying Bill and the HS2 Hybrid Bill, together with proposals to devolve responsibility for local rail services in the north of England all set to focus on the way government affects the daily lives of people and of businesses. Here are opportunities for public relations professionals to promote the benefits of these plans to people Gary Taylor MCIPR Chair of CIPR Yorkshire Lincolnshire As Chair in 2014, the Committee and I will endeavour to help our members make the most of all these opportunities, and more beside. And with so much happening next year, it’s no wonder that Lonely Planet voted the region the third best place to visit in the world! “ The 2014 Tour de France (is an opportunity) to raise awareness of the region nationally and internationally, bring inward investment and help boost the local economy. ” @CIPRYorksLincs CIPR-Yorkshire-Lincolnshire-Regional-Group CIPRYorksLincs W CIPR-yorkshire-lincolnshire 25 // #PR2014

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