Weber Shandwick 33&1/3 Issue 1


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A new EMEA e-magazine featuring eight articles from Weber Shandwick thought leaders in China, Germany, France, the UK and the US.

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Weber Shandwick 33&1/3 Issue 1

  1. 1. ISSUE ONE | SPRING ‘09 Making it through the recession. Digital Top of the Pops. UK takes lessons from Obama. Change in a tough climate. Marketing with a Chinese accent. Changing the rules in Washington. Taking PR back to its roots. Green top ten.
  2. 2. Colin Byrne CEO, UK & Europe Hauling out his boxes of vinyl and arranging the pretty sleeves around the floor. And David Liu, Managing Director of As a guy whose first foray into Know about The Lipstick Index? Weber Shandwick China and recently As we marketers wrestle with the second media was publishing a punk named as that country’s top public downturn of the decade, can we learn music fanzine, and who still relations professional, gives his insights anything from The Great Depression? secretly hauls out his boxes of into marketing in the ‘Middle Kingdom’. Check out Leo Rayman’s history lesson within. vinyl and arranges all those Just some insights and opinions from pretty sleeves around the floor, leading communications professionals Our Digital Chief Creative Officer James I hope you are as taken with across our 79-country network. Enjoy. Warren continues the pop picking theme with his digital top of the pops. ABC’s blatant nostalgia of the cover Now where did I put that Buzzcocks CD? ‘The Look of Love’? Ah. of our new e-magazine as I was. Our London-based Labour and Conservative public affairs experts Luke Akehurst and Tara Hamilton-Miller look at the battle in British politics to learn the digital lessons of the Obama election campaign.
  3. 3. Leo Rayman EMEA Insight & Planning Director The Recession Dupree’s genius was to focus on radio, the exciting new technology of the 1930s. His new strategy was Survival Guide. the ‘Soap Opera’. In a recession people change the way they PIMS shows that over the length of a Dupree’s genius was to focus on radio, Times are tough. There is McKinsey&Co argue that the two biggest 5 RULES FOR RECESSION SURVIVAL buy. They take more time to research their recession and most significantly during a the exciting new technology of the 1930s. managerial mistakes in recessions are first; pressure to cut communications purchase decisions. We know that people recovery, those who maintain or increase His new strategy was the ‘Soap Opera’. being surprised by the severity of the spend. What should people 1. Cut, but cut less than competitors. are less and less trusting of official sources their spend see higher returns. There is a He knew consumers still needed to wash downturn, and second; being caught working in Marketing and of information and increasingly reliant on very strong link between share of voice and their clothes, whatever the economic unawares by the recovery. So it seems wise 2. Design campaigns to build fame informed friends or even strangers online. share of market. The trick when cutting climate, so the first foray into branded to look back for any clues on what we Communications do to ensure and talkability. Brands that focus their campaigns on fame budgets is to cut less than your content was born. ‘Ma Perkins’ sponsored should do in the present day. Problem is, their brands survive the and generating talkability enjoy the competitors, thereby stealing market share by Oxydol, launched in 1933. By 1939, very few were working in the same types 3. Use digital technology to amplify downturn? biggest positive profit impact in difficult from them. P&G was sponsoring 21 radio programmes, of job in the recessions of 1974, 1980 or the story others tell about you. times. virtually doubling its radio spend every two 1991 – there’s just not that much relevant Value and values years during the depression. experience to draw on. 4. Insulate yourself through the power Social Advocacy During tough times something called of emotional branding. We call these fame-building strategies ‘value’ becomes even more important. Nimble and astute So let me transport you for a moment to Social Advocacy. They are designed to Sometimes that’s the same as price but Recessions accelerate changes that are the American Midwest during the Great 5. Be bold, resilient and adaptable. increase the number and volume of people very often it isn’t. ALDI and Wal-Mart are already taking place. We need to be Depression. Picture long lines of talking about your brand. The techniques having a good recession and low prices do nimble and astute enough to spot the unemployed men queuing at soup are relatively simple; first you need a good help increase their footfall. Other brands patterns amongst the chaos and take kitchens; others are wandering from town story well-told. Second, make use of digital survive in different ways, by emphasising advantage of them. 2009 is 150 years to town searching desperately for work. technology to allow easy sharing of your their emotional values. People turn to since the publication of The Origin of With panic on Wall Street and declining story. Finally, identify the important companies and organisations they trust. the Species. Darwin showed that species sales it would take a brave manager to communities with which you need to make Longstanding, predictable brands that survive when they are robust enough to resist pressure from shareholders to cut contact and reach out to them. assure quality can be a recession-weary survive challenging environments but marketing budgets and scale back on customer’s best friend. During the also adaptable enough to evolve. This is advertising and public relations. What In conclusion remember that whilst the recession of the 1990s, De Beers observed the simple answer to recession survival: would you do? Would you do what economic environment can look pretty that consumers were falling back on the be tough but be prepared to change. Richard Dupree, President of P&G, did? nasty, not every category suffers. People things they felt were most important; He spotted a new opportunity and seized will still need to feed their cats for family, friendships and love. Their famous In recessions, clients are forced to cut it with bravery. In fact, P&G have been example. Things will change; the latest IMF ‘Shadows’ campaign linked De Beers with expenditure. I’m not arguing that this is doing the same thing in every recession forecasts predict a return to GDP growth in love, family and romance. Sales rose by an always the wrong course of action. The real ever since. most markets by 2010. In the meantime, annual average of 8% over three years. question is over what you cut and by how just remember the Dodo. much. Detailed and longstanding research from the Profit Impact of Market Strategy (PIMS) study has analysed the impact on long-term performance of cutting budgets.
  4. 4. James Warren Chief Creative Officer, Digital Now That’s What Don’t fall into the trap of developing digital campaigns I Call Digital. at the expense of traditional channels. assets you have to turn into relevant Here are Weber Shandwick’s Leader of the Pack The Shangri-Las Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley Fake Tales Of San Francisco Groove is in the Heart Deee-Lite Content that will appeal and add value to Facebook is the undisputed King of the Don’t fall into the trap of developing Arctic Monkeys At the heart of every successful top pop picks for success in the conversations identified at stage one social networks. Yes, yes, I know Facebook digital campaigns at the expense of The second generation of digital spam is communications campaign lies a story. The (please note in this instance ‘content’ may the digital hit parade this is so very ‘2007’ but its continued, traditional channels. Weber Shandwick’s upon us. Unscrupulous marketers are concept of storytelling as a critical just be one half of a conversation). The summer. It’s an eclectic relentless accumulation of users and inline communications approach dictates already being social online on behalf of marketing asset is not a new one, but the third stage is then about Connecting your functionality has set it apart as the major that in order to truly influence you should their clients. The manipulation of crowd- ability within the digital realm to reach and selection, mixed for your aural content with those people having the player in the 2009 attention stakes. Slowly deliver consistent and engaging content sourced news results, brand-sitting on interact with your audience directly clearly pleasure by resident digital conversations and incorporates search, but surely Facebook has become an across multiple media. If your online lifestreams, ghosted blogs… the potential amplifies the effectiveness of a compelling tagging, crowd-sourcing and so on. The jockey James Warren. operating system in its own right, with communications do not directly reflect or channels are almost infinite. The narrative. There is both an art and a final stage, Community, ensures that you messaging, entertainment and self- build on your offline messages and activity authenticity of conversational marketing science to storytelling, something Weber are amplifying the output of the previous publishing tools all embedded. All that’s then you are passing up a significant will continue to be questioned during Shandwick understands. And of course the three stages within relevant communities. missing is the ability to email and instant opportunity to create a truly impactful 2009, with plenty of agencies prepared to creation of a consistent and relevant story message to and from non-Facebook campaign. Media and experiential activity engage in degrees of subterfuge to win requires you to understand how your Holding Out For a Hero Bonnie Tyler contacts. As soon as this hotly-anticipated help drive activity online. Aligning the business. Weber Shandwick’s advice? Do it target audience is influenced, who your Finally, as a rousing finale, the Weber functionality is introduced, Facebook planning and execution of online and yourself. We can help you create an potential advocates are, where they are Shandwick guide to successful online becomes an entirely new and compelling offline activity into an inline programme internal structure and process that allows and what they’re talking about. marketing can be condensed to three proposition – and a marketer’s dream. will ensure you maximise the results you to plan and execute effectively. key elements. Be active. Be everywhere. achievable and – crucially – maximise your Easy The Commodores Be nice. My Generation The Who ROI. The Look of Love ABC At first glance (and, in some instances, The myth that digital activity is only second and third glances) the digital The role of search in directing those suitable for reaching young audiences still Orinoco Flow Enya individuals looking for information to relevant landscape can appear to be highly Twitter has been the media’s digital poster persists, in the face of considerable content is clearly hugely significant as far as complex and unnavigable. In reality, a boy in early 2009, with the resulting rush of evidence to the contrary. Online and digital marketing is concerned. What is less small amount of experience allied to some mobile channels have the ability to reach new subscribers mirroring Facebook’s clear is the extent to which communicators powerful analytic tools makes making everyone, irrespective of their age or social ascent into the public’s consciousness. And consider (or even understand) the role of sense of the digital world relatively stature. All that matters is that the activity just as with Facebook, marketers are search and its successful integration into straightforward. To simplify things even (and story) is relevant. And on the subject rushing to work out how Twitter – and communications programmes. As a starter further, Weber Shandwick has developed a of relevance, avoid anyone who is still other lifestreaming platforms – can help for ten, Weber Shandwick recommends you four stage process (the Four Cs) to banging relentlessly on about social media organisations reach their customers in new find out what language people are actually planning and delivering digital activity. – all digital media is social. To deliver truly and effective ways. Weber Shandwick’s top using to search for information and replicate Briefly, this involves at stage one effective communications campaigns we Twitter tips? Listen and respond, inform that in your online content – as a simplistic identifying who is having Conversations need to broaden our horizons. and support. example, don’t write about an ‘engagement about your story (and who isn’t but should scheduling application’ when people are be) and what they are talking about. The searching for ‘diary’. second stage takes into consideration the
  5. 5. Luke Akehurst Director, Public Affairs, UK Tara Hamilton-Miller Non-Executive Director, UK UK Politics Learning The Labour and Conservative approach to technology and it’s use has differed, though both have had New Tricks. slightly stop and start attempts at neon websites and podcasts. At local level, party candidates from all However, as with New Labour’s craze for ‘Web Cam’, featuring Tory leader David The official Conservative Party website For a small contribution could Should you not wish to give cash/add to sides are increasingly using social media all thinking Clinton in the ‘90s, Labour is Cameron chatting as he fills his has not been so successful competing your wardrobe you are invited to hold an you be tempted by a ‘Gordon like Facebook as a way of identifying and sending party officials across the Atlantic dishwasher/drinks railway coffee/changes with excellent websites like Economic Recovery House Meeting in Brown polo shirt’ or a ‘David mobilising active supporters – with online in droves to try to harvest state-of-the-art his Britta water filter, has been relatively, loyally read your living room. An experience similar Cameron hoodie’? Even after his networks driving ‘real world’ doorstep techniques from the Obama campaign for well received. He’s a natural in front of the by party followers before they go near to a coffee morning or a Tupperware party campaigning. And the Labour UK use. A smaller stream of Obama camera. Brown will have more problems but with less plastic. Could this work here? victory, the welcoming page of blogosphere has started to try to compete advisers and digital consultants has been with this kind of message; name one With an election possibly just months away Barack Obama’s website, with the Tories with the launch of over here speaking to Labour MPs, domestic chore Brown could carry out with There was a problem when the how much influence will political parties is a request, though it appears to have campaign managers and activists – with dignity while talking about pensions and Conservatives attempted a fundraising take from Obama’s success embracing been eclipsed by former Deputy Prime some of the consultants hoping to pick up MRSA to a nervous aide with a camcorder. tactic based on the Obama blueprint technology? for a donation and if you give Minister John Prescott who has Labour contracts, though they may be to appeal to those who did not want to $30 or more you will receive discovered to his delight a brand new disappointed by the small budgets in The Left has been slower to engage with become a full Tory member but were The Labour and Conservative approach an Obama Victory T-shirt stage. British politics. digital campaigning than the Tories, who interested and could show their support. to technology and it’s use has differed, dominate the UK blogosphere. Even more though both have had slightly stop and (100% cotton). It is all very For all the digital furore and smarty-pants Not everything Obama did is transferable significant is Labour’s internal culture, The idea was that you could become a start attempts at neon websites and informal, messages from the computer geeks claiming “it was the net to a parliamentary rather than presidential developed in order to win back power in ‘Friend’ with a minimum donation of £1; podcasts. Somehow Obama and his White House start with “Hey” what won it” Obama’s message appealed system, particularly as lots of Obama’s 1997 after years of internal divisions, of the party could beef up funds with humble supporters’ internet campaigning got it as in, “Hey, President Obama to the time; traditional speeches based on online ‘fan base’ was created by his appeal being ‘on message’ at all times. amounts and build a database of right. They were clever and they had the Jefferson’s dream of citizenship. It cannot as a charismatic, insurgent personality. Nor It’s difficult to blog spontaneously and supporters. It was a disaster, the campaign all important ingredient; humour. It has submitted his first budget to be ignored that good old fashioned is all of it necessary as much Obama online rapidly about unfolding events if you and it’s advertising cost was not cheap, yet to be cracked here, the main bloggers Congress on Thursday.” campaigning worked for Obama. activity was about small-donor fundraising have been trained that you need to clear various figures are banded about but get it but the parties are far behind. (Labour gets large union donations and public statements with a press officer and £500,000 is thought to be the loss. It is Americans liked and craved the idea of an the UK has strict campaign spending limits) to wait for the ‘line-to-take’ to be issued by suggested that the total number of Boris Johnson’s London Mayoral campaign up-standing citizen; they were comforted and building local grassroots campaign party HQ. ‘Friends’ who joined was in double figures was slick and different and used the by the feel of old frontier hustings, a teams. UK parties have permanent local only. A spectacular waste of money. internet with style. Not a huge amount of vision, and face-to-face charm. branches rather than having to build a Labour has yet to develop individual blog content but countless passionate volunteer base afresh for each new stars with the readership or public profile Paramount to viral campaigning is the face volunteers were recruited on-line. Arguably campaign. of the Tories’ Iain Dale, or the ability to behind it. John McCain could have had the Boris is the exception to every rule, Boris set the mainstream media agenda of same digital infrastructure as Obama but achieves because he is Boris not because Guido Fawkes. Nor is there a Labour site at his age anything too radical looks like an some whizzo pre-pubescent teenager is to equal conservative.home's role in old guy getting down with the kids. It’s an internet genius. hosting internal party debates. rotten but a cruel sign of the times that politics is becoming a young man’s (or woman’s) game.
  6. 6. Arnaud Pochebonne Managing Director, France Communication is the Key to Successful Corporate Change. have been minimised had there been a Our survey shows that executives rank We in France have seen instances where a In today’s harsh economic Strategic corporate change is a delicate Tread the line between a solid more coordinated and thoughtful employee criticism (41%) in a tie for first lack of communication with salaried undertaking. While the commercial logic communications plan and being flexible, climate, corporate retrenchment approach to communication. place with leaked confidential information employees has led to lost motivation, may be laudable – for example, reducing depending on the situation. Don’t and restructuring is rife. Making as the greatest online risk to their own resistance to change, and finally a the burden on business of unnecessary communicate externally without staff redundant, shutting down In January, unemployment in France company’s reputation. damaging rejection of the project. cost or boosting productivity – a badly considering the internal impact of what facilities or indeed implementing increased by 90,200 to 2.2 million, a 4.3% Opposition may be expressed by the managed reorganisation can have a you say. Define in advance the rise over December and up 15.4% on Yet sadly many companies fail to leaking of negative stories to public negative effect on both corporate appropriate contact person for each major cutbacks of any kind are January 2008. Many companies face communicate sensitively, thereby allowing authorities or the press, strikes and even reputation and the bottom line. target audience. highly emotive actions that exceedingly tough market conditions and tricky situations to escalate into full-blown acts of sabotage. employers should handle with more corporate bad news inevitably lies reputational crises. Recently, when a major Time after time we see company bosses Anticipate every possible reaction. Sales great care and sensitivity. ahead. international manufacturer closed one of If the company can’t effectively explain its focus their attention on the legal, logistical teams must alert directors to reactions its French plants it totally mishandled the decision to reorganise, criticism from all or financial aspects of change without from clients and competitors, and Externally, being vague about the future of internal communications, pouring oil on stakeholders will gather pace. Moreover, taking into account the most crucial factor department and regional directors an organisation can have negative the flames. The closure announcement to where there is uncertainty and a lack of for success: the human one. For many, should report what is going on in their repercussions. If jobs are being lost, the the French-speaking ‘blue collar’ workforce transparency, rumours will be generated essential lessons about the importance of areas. media may focus exclusively on the social was made in English, giving the impression internally and externally. Competitors can solid internal and external communications impact of change and a political and trade that the company didn’t care about its encourage these rumours and the media at times of corporate change remain Take regulation into account and strictly union backlash could follow. Financial employees. Resentment and public will spread them. unlearned. respect French law, which imposes a markets will voice their concerns about the criticism flared up, with the French restriction on communicating externally ability of the company to keep its government even questioning whether the The emergence of Web 2.0 with its vast When a business goes through any kind of during a reorganisation, particularly with promises. Analysts may even regard the company had followed the law in the way it swathes of user generated content on change, it’s not just those at the top who the media, before discussions with company as high risk if there is a lack of had announced the closure. social networking sites and elsewhere has are affected. Employees wonder about the employees' representatives have confidence in its strategy. made it easier than ever for disgruntled future of their jobs; shareholders fear that started. It’s advisable to refer to a In a similar vein, not long ago a UK-listed employees to denigrate corporations the cost of reorganisation may itself lead to ‘project’ rather than a decision, and to When working with companies in France, retailer pulled out of France, informing the online. As shown by Weber Shandwick’s lower profitability; clients may question the speak in conditional terms if labour force there are four golden rules of stock market of its decision well ahead of own recent Risky Business survey on quality of the company's products or consultation has not been concluded. communication during a period of telling its French workforce – in reputations online, developed by my services; suppliers ask if the company will reorganisation: contravention of French employment law, colleague Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross and continue to work with them; and local In our experience of helping French which puts the onus on companies to first conducted with the Economist Intelligence councillors worry about the impact on the companies manage change, successful communicate with their employees. Unit, the internet provides innumerable local job market. programme implementation depends on Be proactive in communicating key Needless to say, the move sparked platforms for current and former communication being seen as a core messages through a variety of outrage and inflicted severe damage on employees to undermine, usually function within the company. mechanisms including email, briefings the retailer’s brand. Damage which could anonymously, a company’s reputation. and meetings.