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Communications Audit


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Communications Audit

  1. 1. 1 Communications Audit Pricewaterhouse Coopers Kari Saunders
  2. 2. 2 I. Introduction The formal company is PricewaterhouseCoopers, but the brand is referred to as PwC as of 2010 for ease of business communication. The full name is still the official name of the company for legal purposes. The company is a part of the “Big Four” accounting giants alongside Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG. Its top services fall under the assurance, tax and advisory practices of the financial sector. The umbrellas that the company has chosen to use to put its work in to sectors are consulting, deals, audit and assurance, family business services, people and organization, legal and tax. Because PwC interacts with clients from a variety of industries, it has a breakdown of internal departments that specialize in the broad range of industries that it has stake in. The departments are: aerospace & defense, asset management, automotive, banking & capital markets, capital projects and infrastructure, chemicals, communications, energy, utilities & mining, engineering & construction, entertainment & media, financial services, forest, paper & packaging, government/public services, healthcare, hospitality & leisure, industrial manufacturing, insurance, metals, pharmaceuticals & life sciences, retail & consumer, technology and transportation & logistics. The company is headquartered in London, and the corporate structure is a top- down bureaucratic organization that is visible on an international level. PwC operates in over 170 countries and employs nearly 200 thousand employees worldwide. Currently, PwC is the fifth-largest private company operating in the U.S. Taking its global presence and attempting to make a positive difference, the company focuses on each firm making a difference in its own community through the means that it sees fit. PwC attempts to convey a sense of family and unity for its employees and firms that speaks to ethically sound practices and a communal spirit. Though the company is a merit-based, competitive culture, most employees find the work environment to be challenging and rewarding. As the company recently lost its top spot amongst the “Big Four” for revenue, an obvious goal is to regain the number one position over Deloitte within the next 3-5 years. In a more long-term view, the company is striving to become more technologically savvy in regards to reaching its clients and stockholders on a more personal level to become a more prevalent force in the global business world. The firm is seeking to attain these goals by drawing top talent to its branches and providing ample resources for current employees to advance themselves professionally. A strong commitment to continued diversity efforts is also a strategy in becoming more relevant and financially successful. Nearly half of the $34 billion that PwC gained in revenue over its 2014 fiscal year is due to its Assurance services that allow businesses and individuals to make sound decisions that reduce financial risk through auditing and analytical professional
  3. 3. 3 opinion. The company’s commitment to staying trustworthy and a top competitor in this sector of its business is crucial to its current and future success. PwC is in an expansion phase as noted by its over 6 percent growth over the recent fiscal year. That growth led to the $34 billion revenue as the company is taking a stronger hold in diverse industries. Consulting saw the largest sector increase, and the Middle Eastern and African growth was nearly 16 percent. The company’s global know-how will be an asset to future growth as it plateaus in to the mature stage once the growth is no longer dynamic. II. History The PwC story begins in the 19th century, but at two separate starting points. The company as it stands today is the result of a merger in 1998 in which two firms, Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, chose to come together. Each firm got its start in London where the company is still headquartered. Each of the companies had acquired other smaller companies in the years leading up to the merge, but the final name decided on for the new company was PricewaterhouseCoopers. For ease of communication and a more approachable feel, the company chose to primarily be known as PwC in 2010. After the scandals regarding big business and untrustworthy ethics and practices because of companies like Enron soon after the company merged, the company chose to try and distance the consulting and auditing sections of its business to appease regulation. PwC saw value in increasing its consulting services and employee power as it acquired several firms in this sector in the early 2000s. Understanding the importance of data and analytics to its consulting success, this part of the business has continued to grow and accounts for nearly half of the entire company’s annual revenue each year. Though the company as PwC is relatively young, it has seen its share of various crises because of legal concerns with tax reporting and questionable practices with a couple of clients. The company was fined $25 million in 2014 because of failure to report business dealings with a Japanese company and was caught after suspicious banking activity in New York state. An interesting case was brought against the Price Waterhouse side of the company before the merge in which $32 million of Willie Nelson’s assets were seized after Nelson claims that Price Waterhouse put his investments in illegal tax shelters. In each crisis that the company has faced, the company has settled its issues with minimal press intrusion. All companies that work in the financial sector, especially ones as large as PwC, are bound to experience some kind of financial legal crisis on a somewhat regular basis.
  4. 4. 4 Regardless of the issues that have occurred with legal proceedings, PwC has been awarded several top placements on distinguished business listings around the world. Its focus on its employees saw it reach a spot on the 100 Best Places to Work, and it has been recognized by diversity and women’s groups for its consideration of all of its employees in the work place. III. Industry Trends, Competitive Analysis and Environmental Issues Industry Trends Because the consulting and accounting industry is involved with such a wide range of other industries that require careful attention to industry-specific details, the trends that PwC’s industry has are dependent on a more holistic look at business as a whole. The consulting and accounting industry is becoming a more global one, and the landscape it operates in is pretty all encompassing. Because of this, many of the trends can be applied to business as a whole. This is exciting and gives PwC an opportunity to interact with global issues on a large scale. The PwC annual report overview addresses the top trends that the company believes it interacts with. Demographic and Social Change is an obvious force that the accounting world must reckon with. The world and every country in it is experiencing shifts in its population make up, and PwC recognizes that to be a strong competitor that it must stay on top of responding to the changing needs of a variety of people and the places they live and work. Climate Change and Resource Scarcity is a trend that one would not always expect at the forefront of a financial institution’s mind, however, PwC understands that it is not a question but a reality that corporations must take initiative with to make a sustainable difference. The world itself is becoming increasingly aware and active in the way it interacts with businesses concerning issues of the environment. Choosing to do business in a sustainable manner is no longer a good choice that could potentially lead to a better social image. Instead, operating in such a way is necessary to a company’s success in current society. PwC already has ample environmentally-friendly protocol in place, but it is vital to the organization’s success that it continue to find new and different ways to operate sustainably to stay competitive in its industry. Technological Breakthroughs are prevalent for every business trying to attain success. Disruption due to technology and the high amount of digital consumption are at all time highs, and that amount will only continue to grow exponentially in the coming years. In an industry that is as cut and dry to the outside world as
  5. 5. 5 accounting is, PwC and its competitors are seeking opportunities to increase their voices in the global conversation. Social media is one obvious way to do so, but these giants in the accounting sphere must seek out their own technological breakthroughs and advancements in the way that they conduct their business. Harnessing technology to benefit the productivity and relationships in the accounting industry could lead whichever firm figures out how to do so successfully far ahead of the pack in the coming years. Changes in Regulation Requirements are encountered by the accounting industry on a regular basis due to the evolving manner in which business is conducted. These changes can sometimes be rash and confusing for companies who have been doing business for nearly 200 years. Keeping on top of the changes made by regulatory bodies is a must for accounting firms as failure to fully comply to terms can lead to corporate crisis and in turn, a decrease in revenue as clients could take their business elsewhere. Competitive Analysis PwC is the globe’s second-largest provider of professional services in the world according to the $34 billion revenue during its 2014 fiscal year. As a member of the “Big Four” accounting firms, PwC is lumped in to a group with Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG. The competitors are all large, global companies who provide nearly identical services to PwC, making it simple to compare the four firms. Deloitte is the top competitor to PwC as it is larger in revenue and employee numbers. As the largest of the Big Four, Deloitte has an employee base of over 200 thousand and made $34.2 billion during its 2014 fiscal year. Deloitte was founded in the UK though now headquartered in New York City, and it offers services comparable to PwC. Ernst and Young is third out of the four for revenue during the 2014 fiscal year with a total of $27.4 billion. It employs around 190 thousand workers and operates in 170 different countries. The range of professional services that EY provides is comparable to PwC. KPMG rounds out the Big Four with a 2014 fiscal year revenue of $26.5 billion and around 162 thousand total employees. KPMG is headquartered in the Netherlands and is the product of a merger like PwC that occurred in 1990. KPMG’s main business services are audit, tax and advisory just like the other three companies in the Big Four umbrella.
  6. 6. 6 Environmental Issues As PricewaterhouseCoopers is not a company that does not deal explicitly with the environment, its main environmental interactions come in the forms of clients that impact the environment and company-based initiatives that work to reduce the carbon footprint created by business as usual. This focuses both on the physical office space as well as travel incurred due to business. Each office is required to submit reports concerning environmentally-efficient initiatives and numeric data regarding its environmental impact. Because the company is concerned about the communities surrounding its offices, employees could potentially positively impact the environment through volunteer efforts that reduce waste or aim to clean and protect the local environments. The environmental statement is located in the company’s section regarding corporate responsibility alongside responsibility in business practices, diversity and community engagement. IV. Search Engine Optimization Analysis Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques that aim to direct more traffic to a website and allow the site to garner a larger number of hits as well as more opportunity to interact with consumers. Searching for keywords that pertain to a company on popular engines allow companies to gauge their online presence and the sites someone searching for them would be likely to encounter. Companies that are proactive to address their SEO results are likely to control their online presences and to steer more eyes to their own content regarding their industries. Certainly it is not a surprise that the first page of a web search is as far as most internet users go to find information. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ results show that the company has worked to ensure that its search results are controlled by the company itself.
  7. 7. 7 A Google search with the keyword “PricewaterhouseCoopers” provided the following results:
  8. 8. 8 The Google search results show a majority of pages that are PwC sites. The news results are positive and from major, respectable outlets. Seeing the Facebook and Wikipedia sites on this page shows PwC has a strong online presence. More social media outlets would be good for the company, but the amount of internal pages present on the results page show that the company is directing traffic to its own sites and controlled content. A Bing search with the keyword “PricewaterhouseCoopers” provided the following results:
  9. 9. 9 The Bing search results show a majority of pages that are PwC sites. These news results are also positive and from major, respectable outlets. The company’s Wikipedia site is higher in the results on this page. The Bing results show no social media sites, but it does tailor the search to my location to show jobs in the Atlanta area. More social media outlets would be good for the company, but the amount of internal pages present on the results page show that the company is directing traffic to its own sites and controlled content. Alexa Analysis These results are from an online resource that gives insights regarding the traffic on the company’s site. Through Alexa, one can note where visitors to the site are coming from, what they are looking at and how long they are looking at it. The screenshots below give a glimpse in to how the company’s sites are interacting with the internet public.
  10. 10. 10 This screenshot shows what visitors are looking at on the site. It’s obvious that the main page has the largest percent of visitors, but it is of particular importance that 7.5 percent of the site’s traffic is devoted to users looking at jobs. Only 22.7 percent of the site’s traffic come from a search engine, meaning a large majority of site visits are occurring due to internet users going directly to the site. The keywords to the right show that much of the traffic is coming from the company’s name directly, but again, it is important to note that the third most important search query involves people searching especially for careers at PwC.
  11. 11. 11 This analysis shows that nearly 40 percent of the users coming to the PwC site are visiting Google before. A small, but notable 3 percent of users were on LinkedIn, and the company’s LinkedIn was not on either of the initial search query’s first pages. Perhaps the company should consider increasing the visibility of its LinkedIn page. This analysis gives the demongraphics of the audience visiting the main site. Slightly more women than men are visiting, but the other two graphs are more telling. There is an astronomical amount of visitors with a graduate school education. The viewers of the site are highly educated compared to the general population of the Web. Also notable is the amount of viewers who are in work environments when interacting with the web page. Both the education and browsing location metrics can offer insights to page designers and the content to focus on the home page.
  12. 12. 12 This metric shows the thousands of sites that link directly to the PwC site. Seeing the top pages that link in give a good idea of what people are looking for when they visit the PwC site without necessarily knowing that they are interested in PwC as a company or its services. The subjects of these pages can offer insight to what people are looking for when they come in to contact with PwC without searching for the company outright. These sites show other pages that are similar based on site metrics to PwC’s main site. This gives insights to competitors such as Ernst and Young and Deloitte and how the competitors are performing on the Web. Additionally, seeing other PwC pages shows that the other PwC sites are performing well in relation to the main site. Additionally, the categories to the right side show that PwC is appearing in the proper categories for its business and that it is a truly global company.
  13. 13. 13 V. Key Publics Shareholders and Investors: As a publically traded company, it is vital that PwC values and respects its stockholders and their wishes. Though the company is primarily traded in the UK, anyone from around the world can purchase a piece of the PwC stock. Currently the stock price per share is $76.15 with prices retaining a high value and increasing between 1.5 and 2 percent yearly. As PwC is a financial company, it makes information readily accessible to its stockholders and invites them to participate in conversation about business decisions. The information is presented in a visually appealing and easy to digest format that is transparent and well rounded. PwC understands that openness and integrity will allow investors to trust the company’s business practices and its future endeavors with confidence. Employees: PwC is a global company operating 758 offices in 157 countries. Its staff totals 195,433 employees, a number well above many larger American cities. With an employee base this large, it is absolutely imperative that PwC is sensitive to the issues that its employees face and create a workplace and benefits program that is attractive enough to retain staff and allow them to get their work done safely and efficiently. Customers: PwC serves a client base as diverse as the many industries is operates within. From top global companies to large, family-owned businesses to individuals, PwC serves a wide variety of clients. This makes it necessary for the accounting giant to understand a variety of types of clients and what each of them need to be satisfied with a job. This naturally is a challenging issue for any company, but PwC’s expertise and experience make it equipped to deal with such a variety of clients. The diversity of industry departments allow clients to feel comfortable with the knowledge that each sector has to deal with the particular sets of challenges that each individual company and industry face. Because the financials business is marred with past scandals and a hesitance to be trusted by clients and the public, PwC wants to be a resource that every client can trust to act responsibly in the best interest of each client. As of 2014, PwC had worked with 90 percent of the UK business paper, Financial Times’, Global 500 Best Companies list and 100,000 other entrepreneurial or private businesses across the globe.
  14. 14. 14 Regulators: As a publically traded company performing billions of dollars of business in the U.S., PwC is subject to federal regulation through a host of regulatory acts and bodies. The purpose behind regulation is meaningful–to protect shareholders and promote fair and ethical business practices. The regulation requires PwC to submit reports disclosing its performance to bodies such as the Securities Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. Keeping ethical business practices and full financial disclosure at the forefront of the business is a necessary element of the way that PwC operates. VI. Key Messages Shareholders and Investors: Dennis Nally, the company’s global chairman, is quoted on the Web site multiple times regarding the relationship he sees between PwC and its stockholders: “Let’s face it, your company's shareholders are probably some of your most important stakeholders – so it’s important that you communicate with them clearly and unambiguously.” “Shareholders may seek greater insight about issues of interest to them or just want to ensure their concerns are heard, unfiltered, at the board level.” In addition, statements like “Tell us what matters to you and find out more” are found on various social media outlets and Web pages. The company demonstrated a commitment to openness and understanding by creating a shareholder friendly report that allows anyone to understand the business decisions and outcomes Employees: Dennis Nally also shared insights toward the company’s employee relations saying, “PwC is all about making a real difference for our clients and our people.” This is evident because company has garnered several high-profile distinctions for its work environments including one of Fortune’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For, a Top 10 placement in Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies, a spot in the Top 50 of DiversityInc’s Best Companies for Diversity and Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality having a 100 percent corporate equality index, all placements earned in 2014. These awards are not to be taken lightly as the company should pride itself not only for making these lists but for ranking so highly on several of them. As women’s and the LGBT community’s issues are at the forefront of social policy and change, PwC is in a strong place to be an key player in the corporate stack-up across the board, not
  15. 15. 15 just in the financial sector. Several times on different Web pages, employees are called a part of the PwC family, and the environment and honors prove that the term is not loosely thrown around. The commitment that PwC has to all its employees and their interests is what makes it such a fantastic place to work. Customers: A quote from the “About Us” section of PwC’s main Web site speaks directly to its customers and the relationships that the company desires with consumers: “Imagine the power of 180,000 people with a common purpose — building relationships that create value for you and your business. This is PwC. Every day, our people work with you to build the value you are looking for. We'll start by getting to know you. You do the talking, we'll do the listening. Our tailored solutions will help you meet the challenges and opportunities of doing business in the US market, and beyond.” There is a collaborative focus that ensures that clients are getting the attention that they need while feeling like their finances are in capable and trustworthy hands. The invitation to do business in a manner that works more like a communicative two-way street rather than an authoritative strong-armed force allows clients to have a say in what happens to their money, an important part of anyone’s business. Regulators: As noted in the company’s history portion, PwC is no stranger to scandal regarding regulation issues in the past that have led to serious legal repercussions in the past. Because of the nature of the industry and the past history, PwC knows that it’s vital that the company operate in a way that is pleasing to and creates amicable relations with its regulators. This requires more than simply fulfilling the obligations and filing paperwork at the appropriate times. PwC demonstrates its commitment to please its regulators by anticipating and addressing change made by ever-evolving regulations and doing the same for its clients. The company is proud of the fact that it was the first of the Big Four to create and implement its own regulatory practice. PwC sends a message of confidence and experience by quoting “we combine our deep team of senior ex-regulators (from the Federal Reserve, OCC, FDIC, SEC, CFTC, FINRA and CFPB) and ex-industry executives with experienced risk and industry consultants. Our market knowledge is unparalleled and is enhanced by our leading position as advisor and auditor to the top global banks, asset managers and insurers.” Furthering the commitment to respond to regulators, PwC has confidence in a lesser-known C-suite position of Chief Compliance Officer, to ensure that the company pleases the bodies that it is governed by. The company sees this position only becoming more and more essential in the years to come as a conscience and enabler to the company.
  16. 16. 16 VII. Communication Strategies Company Website: Of the Big Four companies, PricewaterhouseCoopers has the best website in terms of design. Others are cluttered or uninteresting, but the front page of PwC uses large graphics in a meaningful and appealing manner. Infographics and articles that link to meaningful content are circulated across the home screen, and the links to the company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus and Pinterest are easily located under the scrolling graphics. Tweets are updated in real time in a space below the social media platform links. Several menus stretch across the navigation bar at the top of the screen including global business issues, services, industries, research and insights, about us, careers and PwC open university. Each of the menus has an expansive list of resources when scrolled over, and navigating the site is easy and straightforward. Users are also able to navigate between different countries’ sites by changing the location at the top right of the screen. The different countries’ sites are consistent with the design of the U.S. site, but the menus are tailored to the needs of each country. There is a global press hub that is dedicated entirely to every press release the organization produces organized by the publishing date. There are no feeds of social media, just a couple of links to five Twitter accounts and one Facebook outlet. Contacts are provided to get more specific information, and a minimalist section that provides quotes from management is available to get a sense of the company’s viewpoints. Annual Report The annual report is difficult to find just by browsing through the menus of the site, and the easiest way to locate it was to perform a Web search of “PricewaterhouseCoopers annual report.” Because the company is traded in the UK, the currency is provided in British pounds. The company’s global presence is evident across the report itself as well as the different summaries one can view regarding different portions of the report. Easy to follow graphics keep the information digestible and interesting to work with. The company is successful in its efforts to be accessible and attractive. The annual report is prefaced with a quote from Dennis Nally, Chairman of PwC International, “Stayingveryfocusedonwhatwedoreallywell,servingourclients, and developingourtalentedpeopleiswhatI’dlike toseeusachieveinFY2015.”This reflects the company’s focus to humanize and personalize the work that it does from the points of view of the workers and the clients.
  17. 17. 17 Several tabs to the left of the page allow users to view different facets of the company’s report as well as interact with multimedia featuring top-level executives concerning the company’s performance and the global trends of the industry. The 60-second overview is truly a beautiful page to interact with, and it gives the company a personality that users are excited to explore. Social Media LinkedIn: The company boasts more than 850 thousand followers on LinkedIn and 170 thousand employees using the site. The content produced on LinkedIn seems to be the most relevant for the most people across the company’s social media sites, and an average of 70 or so people like the posts. Out of over three-quarters of a million possible interactions each time content is posted, though, that is an appalling number. When comments are made on the content, PwC is not anywhere to be found. These missed opportunities for interaction are detrimental to the possibility of strengthening loyalty and relationships.
  18. 18. 18 Facebook: The Facebook page has nearly 250 thousand likes, but like many of the other outlets, the amount of interaction with the likers is minimal. Most content averages only 20- 30 likes and perhaps one share. The shares are what allow the content to be pushed out to those who may not already like the page and see the updates, so the shares are crucial to the successes of the company’s Facebook presence. Many Facebook posts are nearly identical to the Twitter account except hashtags are deleted and the descriptions are lengthened past the 140 character count. YouTube: The company has several videos that average around 300 thousand views. There are a range of channels that are specific to different countries as well as different focuses like careers specifically. Though there are fewer than 4,000 subscribers, the content is being viewed by a much broader audience, suggesting that the content is shareable and one of the strongest ways for the company to interact with the public. The popular trend of storytelling is strong in the YouTube content, perhaps attributing to much of this medium’s success. Videos are not uploaded with the frequency of most of the other social media channels. The company posts only a couple per month.
  19. 19. 19 Google Plus: The Google Plus page is well-organized and the most visually-appealing of all of the social media. The follower audience is nearly 160,000 strong, but the content is not being shared by more than a couple of followers. Though not many of the posts have interaction, the ones that do have comments are not responded to by the company account, allowing for several missed opportunities for the company to interact with its online audience.
  20. 20. 20 Pinterest: The Pinterest page is broken in to boards that correspond to the different industries that PwC interacts with as well as its services and goodwill projects. Professional development tips and inspiration are also elements of a few boards. The warm color scheme is consistent across the boards and the company’s Web site. The boards have 850 followers. There could be more, but Pinterest is difficult territory for different industries to maneuver. PwC is aiming to create shareable, memorable graphics for its followers to repin, but it faces considerable handicap in that many Pinterest users are not going to repin infographics about a company if they do not directly impact the pinner. Twitter: Twitter is a prime platform for PwC to interact with current and potential clients and disseminate information to its followers. The main U.S. account has more than 86 thousand followers and tweets a couple of times per hour during the business day. The use of meaningful hashtags and mix of graphics used by the account should make it simple for Twitter users to find PwC when searching for content regarding the finance industry and professional development opportunities, but most tweets have only a couple of retweets and favorites.
  21. 21. 21 IIX. Corporate Culture The work environment at PricewaterhouseCoopers is certainly a serious, professional setting. Employees are primarily engaging in work that is tedious and requires their meticulous attention. Though the conditions are structured and highly organized, the company puts as much thought and structure in to its culture and programming for its employees. The company is organized in a bureaucratic fashion with a top-level C suite and several other leaders in a secondary tier. The structure is organized and considering the work that takes place, the expectations and descriptions for daily tasks are clear and well-defined. Globally, there is an International Chairman, Dennis Nally, and below him are four chairmen representing different geographical regions. There is an 89 percent approval rating for the current U.S. Chairmain, Robert Moritz, and 77 percent of employees would recommend friends to apply for the company, according to Glassdoor. There is a clear commitment to diversity as women fill several of the top-level positions. One of these women is in charge of ensuring that PwC is a diverse environment and that minorities and women fill leadership roles and gain more opportunities for achievement in their workplace through her role as Chief Diversity Officer. Several pages on the PwC site express the commitment to keep PwC a diverse environment because the company understands that diversity is vital to its success and further sustainability. A Catalyst Award in 2007 shows that the
  22. 22. 22 company has been noticed for its excellence in successfully implementing diversity initiatives in comparison to businesses across a spectrum of industries. Apart from the holistic workplace goals to improve the diversity and provide opportunities for groups of employees at PwC, there is an array for opportunities for individual employees to take part. In-house professional development through mentorships and seminars are available in every office, and all employees are welcome to participate in personal development opportunities by volunteering in the communities in which they work and through seeking outside opportunities for growth during generous vacation days. Employees are encouraged to use their skillsets to aid their communities through teaching financial literacy programs to a range of age groups. Over $5.1 was given to PwC communities over the 2013 fiscal year, and from 2012 to 2013, the amount of volunteer hours given by PwC employees increased 90 percent. Support for individual employees for their lives apart from their work is impressive as working parents are given opportunity for flexibility to ensure that they are able to spend a suitable amount of time with their children and families. Additionally, compensation and vacation time for both mothers and fathers during the time a child is born or adopted in to the family is an expectation for all employees. For those parents who choose to adopt, additional compensation to cover some adoption expenses is available. Even after an employee chooses to venture away from PwC, the alumni network allows them to retain their contacts at the firm and gain additional contacts should they move to a different area that has a PwC office. Overall the corporate structure seems appropriate for the business, and the culture that the company provides its employees is a meaningful one that lends itself to personal and professional growth. IX. Suggestions for Future Directions The company’s publics are somewhat static, but the manner in which it chooses to disseminate its key messages is anything but. As it is becoming simpler for businesses to target their messaging to very specific groups of people, PwC must explore new ways to reach their same publics. Emerging technologies and more personalized communication will be helpful to the company if it chooses to use them. If PwC wishes to continue expanding across global markets, it must be able to allow its voice to break through the disruptive noise that all of its publics face each day. Concerning the company Web site and social media, the most glaring issue in regards to this audit is the confusion in finding the annual report. Though one of the tabs in the report’s section of the site is entitled “committed to transparency,” the
  23. 23. 23 actual report is a bit cloudy. It is difficult to find, and the company should make it easier for users to find and read the meat of the report, which is its numbers. The nice design and creativity in the presentation of the big picture information is helpful, but there should be a fair balance between the eye-catching infographics and the blocks of information. Many of the important details for the particular fiscal year are lost in translation. To its credit, the company’s use of multimedia in the annual report section add to its approachability and its ability to connect with users. The company’s Twitter account needs to tweet out content that is more shareable if it wants to garner more attention and followers. There is a lot of industry jargon in the tweets that make it difficult for most people to feel comfortable to interact with the company. Creating content that appeals to a wider audience would be helpful for the company. Additionally, the header that is used on both the Facebook and Twitter cover photos have information that is covered by the profile pictures, making it difficult to read and a bit unprofessional. Across the board, the company’s social media does not do a good job of connecting with its audiences. More often than not the content just pushes out information relative to what the company is finding important and using industry-specific jargon that elevates the content to a place that is difficult for most social media users to interact with. There could be a lot of confusion with the social media for PwC because there are so many channels that a user could interact with that are not all producing and sharing the same content. It would make a lot of sense for PwC to cut down its accounts and focus more on producing a steady stream of content that is relevant to its followers. Maybe scaling back to streamline the accounts to separations based on country or language would be more productive to the company in the long run. It would also be helpful if the company concentrated far more on interaction with its online audiences rather than simply tweeting out what it’s up to and hoping that two or three followers find it interesting enough to retweet. The biggest pro to the company’s social media choices is its decision to stay away from Instagram. Because Instagram is such a visual medium that requires true photographs to gain the most popularity, the platform is not the most conducive to a financial company, especially when the company is not performing at a high level on other forms of social media. Regarding the culture at PwC, the firm has clearly made an effort to increase its presence in the local communities. Nurturing the relationships between employees and community outlets will prove to benefit the company in the future as more emphasis is being placed on the goodwill of a company. There seems to be good support for employees and their personal lives, and the apparent commitment to diversity will be an asset to the image and the output of PwC. The company should continue to put a focus on both of these facets of its culture.
  24. 24. 24 X. Bibliography Introduction: 1412654462 History: Industry Trends: conflicts-in-credit-ratings-and-audits.html?ref=topics&_r=0 Competitive Analysis: Environmental Issues: environmental-statement.jhtml SEO Site Searches: =QBLH&pq=pricewater&sc=9-10&sp=- 1&sk=&ghc=2&cvid=e6d256b032234266bb1bb90a2aff1e71 Alexa Analyses: Key Publics:
  25. 25. 25 Key Messages: regulations-fair-disclosure-directors-communicate.pdf views/shareholder-friendly-report.jhtml engagement.jhtml services/resilience/publications/compliance-in-2025/index.jhtml Communication Strategies:
  26. 26. 26 Company Culture:,14.htm
  27. 27. 27 Final Project Part II: PR-Corporate Communications Budget Introduction The following budget is to be a proposal for an event to take place as a supplement to the quarterly shareholders meeting in December. The event will give high school seniors from 10 different PwC communities the opportunity to present their ideas for an innovative business tool that will allow PwC to better communicate targeted messaging and content to its stockholders, clients and employees for the chance to win one of three full-tuition scholarships to the business college of each of the winners’ choosing. The name of the event will be “School Us for a Scholarship.” “School Us for a Scholarship” Overview Seven of the finalists will be chosen by Nora Wu, Chairwoman of People from applications and proposals sent in by students through their local PwC offices, and the remaining three slots will be filled by a social media competition where applicants will create a 2-3 minute video outlining their plan. The top three videos in terms of likes on Facebook will earn bids to present at the meeting. After the general meeting with the shareholders to take place on December 12, 2015, the shareholders will be invited to a reception where the 10 students will present their 5-minute pitches to the top-level executives and shareholders. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served, and the shareholders present will be able to participate in a Twitter poll where the crowd favorite will automatically be given one of the scholarships. Throughout the event, the PwC Twitter will live-tweet the event and the Facebook will release bios and interviews with the 10 finalists for the competition for the two weeks preceding the competition. After the event, a YouTube video will be produced Kari Saunders ADPR 5910 April 23, 2015
  28. 28. 28 to show the highlights and winners of the competition along with exit interviews from the winners and chairman to be released online the following day. Personnel Salary and Benefits Personnel Salaries All of the PR personnel for this event will be working out of the New York office. The PR manager has been in PR for over five years and has a master’s degree in the field. Her salary is $93,188. The three month portion of her salary she spends working on the event will be $23,297. Each of the PR specialists has a bachelor’s degree and have only been in the PR field for less than three years. Their salaries are $46,399 each. The three month portion of their salaries is $11,599.75 each for a total of $23,199.50. The PR intern works at a stipend rate of $500 per month. During the 3-month time period, the intern’s stipends will total $1,500. Benefits PR employees will be given an expense account of $250 per month in addition to their salaries. This totals to $3,000 for the three-month period. Supplies and Expenses Marketing and Advertising Costs One 30-second spot airing on MTV during the month of November to appeal to more students applying will be $25,000. For print promotion, 1,000 posters at 18” by 24” will be sent to selected high schools in October. The cost of flyers is $619 with a $10 shipping rate, and postage to mail the posters to the schools (bulk rate for mailing tube is $0.50 each and an average mailing cost of $5 per poster) is $5,500. The total for print promotion is $6,129. Facebook ads to reach nearly 40,000 targeted people are only $100. Doing two ads per month for October and November will cost $400 total. Promoted tweets at a cost of $2 per engagement run through the months of October and November at a rate of 20 days and a hopeful 50 engagements per tweet will cost $2,000.
  29. 29. 29 Event Supplies and Materials The event space is the Lancaster Ballroom and Parlour Room extensions at The Savoy, overlooking the River Thames at a price of $5,000 for the evening. The appetizers will be priced at $50 per person, and the room will be prepared for 275 attendees for a total of $13,750. Rental of the dual projector system, stage and sound equipment along with the registered technician for two hours’ time will be $3,000. Decorations will be simple centerpieces arranged by the hotel florist and lighting that the ballroom is pre-equipped with for a total of $1,000. The three tuition scholarships will be given at a value of $6,500 per semester, an average of in-state colleges for a total of 8 semesters and a total value of $52 thousand each. Employee and Student Travel Expenses Each flight round-trip will cost around $1,387 based on a Delta search. Flying the PR staff and 10 students for a total of 14 flights will cost $19,418. Tube fare from the airport to hotel is $7 per person, per way, for a total of $196. Global voice connection for one hour for each member of the PR team is $53.40 per person, $213.60 for the group. Four suites to accommodate the PR team and participants are 1,242 British pounds per night, which total to $14,939.44 for the group’s duration of a two-night stay.
  30. 30. 30 Budget Spreadsheet
  31. 31. 31 Budget Reduction Should the budget need to be reduced, there are several options where expenditures could be cut. For a 20 percent decrease in a $298,143 budget, costs should be cut by $59,628.60. Marketing and Advertisement: To begin, the campaign for marketing and awareness could rely more heavily on social media and self-promotion. Television advertising could be cut completely to save $25,000. Event Supplies and Materials Adjusting the scholarships given to the three winners at the event to a flat rate of $45,000 each would save $21,000 and still provide a heft scholarship opportunity for high-achieving students. Employee and Student Travel Expenses: To save drastically on hotel costs, the students and staff could be housed at a nearby less expensive hotel, the Premier Inn London Waterloo, for $144 per night. Five rooms for two nights at that rate is a hotel cost of just $1,440, saving $17,978. All of these reductions would lead to a cut in budget of $63,978, well over the 20 percent asked by management.
  32. 32. 32 Bibliography rooms/ state-time;f=ATL;t=LHR;d=2015-12-12;r=2015-12- 14;sel=ATLPHL0DL2236-PHLLHR0DL194,LHRPHL0DL195-PHLATL0DL2236;a=DL instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=british%20pounds%20to%20us%20dollars Premier_Inn_London_Waterloo-London_England.html