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Weber Shandwick 33&1/3 Issue 3


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The brand new issue of 33 & A Third RPM, Weber Shandwick's thought leadership newsletter. This third edition of the e-magazine contains some fantastic thought-leadership articles from some of Weber Shandwick's key senior talent across the network – including: Colin Byrne; James Warren; Michelle McGlocklin and Brendan May; Rod Clayton; Leslie Gaines-Ross; Lisa Sepulveda, President of our Global Consumer Practice and Daryn-Lee Gamsy, Managing Director of our South African affiliate company, GGI Communications. This newsletter introduces the reader to the concept of inline communications

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Weber Shandwick 33&1/3 Issue 3

  1. 1. ISSUE THREE | WINTER ‘09 Myths and Misconceptions. GRIN and bear it. South Africa – Flying High. Damage Control. Publish and Be Damned? Remaining Relevant. Copenhagen Calling.
  2. 2. Colin Byrne CEO, UK & Europe Welcome to the Winter edition In this edition we cover recession, of our PR insights newsletter, reputation and litigation, with a detour drawing on the views and to South Africa via digital media experience of the ‘International mythology, global consumer marketing trends and clean technology marketing. Consultancy of the Year’ (UK PRWeek and the UK Public Let me just say a quick but meaningful Relations Consultants ‘thank-you’ to all our clients, staff and Association – don’t just take friends who have helped make this such my word for it!). an amazing award-winning year for Weber Shandwick, in Europe and beyond. We appreciate it and never forget that it is you that matters.
  3. 3. James Warren Chief Creative Officer, Digital Know what To tell a consistent story, research the facts and deploy you don’t know. your resources across multiple channels. Digital. Yay! It’s the public When planning campaigns and assembling So, digital is ‘where it’s at’ and we can Some commonly held beliefs do seem to the channels to best reach your audience, abandon the more traditional elements of hold up, however. Attitudes to brand relations industry’s Holy Grail, PR often relies too much on intuition. We communications, right? Wrong. While UK engagement within social networking sites silver bullet, saving grace and a must embrace planning and cosy-up to consumers claimed that online channels (such as Facebook and Bebo) by UK whole lot more besides, right? data. To try to right this wrong, Weber were most influential on their purchase consumers differ markedly by age group. Well, no. Digital undoubtedly is Shandwick surveyed almost 5,000 decisions, 43 per cent also stated they Almost half (49 per cent) of those aged 18 European consumers as part of its INLINE often didn’t believe what they read online to 24 said they would be interested in a fantastic tool for PR Communications research into how people until they had checked the facts in the interacting with their favourite brands professionals to do what we do are truly influenced. We asked a traditional mainstream media. So while within these online communities. Perhaps COMMUNICATIONS best: tell stories. But digital representative sample of European online is clearly a critical channel for unsurprisingly, only 15 per cent of the over- REPORT 2009 consumers over the age of 18 the storytelling, not backing up that story 45s were interested in the same thing. alone won’t do the job for you. question: ‘When considering purchasing with activity in traditional media to If you want to most effectively goods or services in general, how validate that story is missing a huge But to further confuse matters, while young tell a consistent story you need influential are the following sources of opportunity. We call the need to create UK consumers are far more predisposed to View the 2009 INLINE Communications information in helping you make your consistent stories across a variety of media interacting with brands within social media, Report and supporting podcast here. to deploy your resources across purchase decision?’ ‘INLINE Communications’. they are just as likely as the over-45s not to a variety of channels to reach believe what they read online until they your audience. The results enabled us to challenge many Some more misconceptions. Young check the facts in the mainstream of the myths surrounding media and consumers don’t read traditional media, traditional media – 43 per cent of 18- to influence. For the purposes of this article, I right? Wrong. Exactly half of UK consumers 24-year-olds agreed they often didn’t will focus on the UK data (sample of 1,007 under the age of 35 believed magazines believe what they read online until they adults). The first finding was that online and newspapers to be influential. Of UK had checked it out in the mainstream advocacy was cited as being the most consumers over 45, only 29 per cent made media, compared with 45 per cent of the influential source of product/service the same claim. In fact, younger consumers over-45s. information for UK consumers. By online are far more likely than their more elderly advocacy we mean ‘user reviews and compatriots to find all sources of What does this tell us? That organisations recommendations from people online you information influential. But the myth that need to tell a consistent story across a do not know’. the media isn’t the best way to reach variety of channels in order to most young adults in the UK must be destroyed. effectively reach the audience they are trying to influence. And in doing so, they need to challenge preconceptions and embrace fact. Published 6 November 2009 by PRWeek as part of the Thought Leader series.
  4. 4. Colin Byrne CEO, Weber Shandwick UK & Europe Emerging from GRIN stands for Genetics, Robotics, Internet and Nanotechnology, and the the recession? big beast for us is the ‘I’. Whether we are truly emerging Recent trends, such as the rise of Let’s start with the implications of ageing. The Environment and CSR remain major Then there are the demographic In order for PR to really help organisations consumer scepticism about traditional In the U.S. someone turns 50 every eight drivers of present and future consumer and assumptions to be challenged. Our and clients take advantage of the from the recession, and how advertising and the power that the Internet seconds, whilst in Japan the 75+ corporate behaviour. These days being research found that 50 per cent of UK economic upturn, the lack of ethnic – and quickly, is still a moot point. has given to advocates and badvocates, population is forecast to rise by over 30 environmentally responsible is a basic consumers aged 18-34 claimed their occasionally social – diversity in PR is But with confidence gradually have all helped build the power and per cent by 2025 therefore the consumer expectation, but clever purchasing decisions were influenced by something that must also be addressed. returning to marketing, we in reputation of PR in today’s marketing mix. opportunities in healthcare, technology, marketing of real environmental benefits “traditional” print media. But only 26 per Research by Weber Shandwick’s Multi- As the recent VSS Communications tourism, financial services and government can give a brand a competitive edge in a cent of UK consumers aged 55+ claimed Cultural Communications practice revealed the public relations industry Industry Forecast has noted, the communications are obvious. Yet our recovering and increasingly choosy their decisions were influenced by that not only are ethnic groups a rapidly have to rethink some of our communications industry is expected to industry, with our relentless desire to ‘hang consumer market. traditional media. growing segment of consumers and strategies and assumptions if we grow faster than GDP for the next five with the kids’, sees companies prioritise society, but that three quarters of Black years, and one of the key drivers of this the teen market despite rising youth GRIN stands for Genetics, Robotics, So the assumption that youth in general no and Asian consumers and half of Chinese are going to be able to help take growth is the PR industry. unemployment and graduate debt. The Internet and Nanotechnology, and the longer consume print and broadcast consumers in the UK felt that marketing by full advantage of the recovery. assumption is that the sole route to big beast for us is the ‘I’. Although the media; that they only buy what friends mainstream brands had little or no So, despite the downturn, the fact is that ‘teenbucks’ is digital, and to the ‘seniors’ Internet along with (digital and social advocate online, that older consumers are relevance to them. PR’s time has come! But the challenges market is the mid-market press and media) is the biggest driver of change more influenced by traditional media and opportunities ahead are increasingly gardening weeklies. in marketing, there are important moves coverage, are all false claims. Clearly If we are to help organisations and clients, complex. We must ensure that we truly in the media landscape and consumer young consumers are more interested than we need to look at our own ranks and work understand the ways the world is changing On the Eastward power shift, although the thinking/ behaviour that defies most older consumers in interacting with brands hard to diversify so as to accurately reflect and use it to our advantage. That means a dramatic growth of BRIC and CHIME expectations. Weber Shandwick’s recent online. But they don’t always believe what those who’s purchasing power and focus on strategic planning and a rethink economies may have temporarily slowed, INLINE Communications research they see. Offline and online are clearly attitudes we claim to understand. of some current assumptions on media we are still looking at consumer spending highlights this. both important. Only research and consumption. in China alone hitting over $2 trillion by customer insights can challenge the urban Although we are emerging from recession, 2015. While the expected upsurge in third party myths that surround modern marketing. the question of how quickly and how In ‘Future Files – The 5 trends that will advocacy is there, almost a quarter of sustainably we are doing so is still an open shape the next 50 years’, Richard Watson When it comes to global connectivity ‘influence’ is still generated by ‘traditional’ one. But when the economic upturn does summarises these trends as: Watson notes that 1 billion of us are active media – compared to less than half of that come, for us in PR we cannot simply revert online, expected to double in a decade, for advertising – and many of those third back to ‘business as usual’. 1. Ageing and 2.5 billion of us are communicating party advocates will themselves be 2. The power shift Eastwards with each other via mobile phones. influenced by other spokes on the wheel 3. Global connectivity Meanwhile 13 per cent of the world’s including media coverage and advertising. 4. The Environment population is now living somewhere other 5. GRIN technologies than the country of their birth.
  5. 5. Daryn-Lee Gamsy Managing Director, GGi Communications, a Weber Shandwick affiliate company South Africa – Up There with the Best in the World By this time next year South Wherever you travel in any of the major Africa where many multinational With the advent of the major sponsors of The impact of awarding the 2010 FIFA host cities you will experience traffic companies have established their head the FIFA World Cup increasing their World Cup to this country will have a Africa will be conducting a post- gridlocks with roads being extensively offices while trading more extensively into activities on our doorstop in preparation profound influence on its creative minds mortem of the staging of the upgraded and a skyline punctuated with the rest of the continent. for the 2010 spectacular, South African PR and those on the rest of the continent for 2010 FIFA World Cup. We will cranes and building sites. A new companies have been given the many years to come. South African PR be celebrating our successes and underground railway system being built With this growing multinational presence, opportunity to perform on the world stage. companies have absorbed the best from scratch in Johannesburg has already the PR environment has also changed A plethora of hospitality venues, hotels, international practices very quickly and evaluating the challenges ahead earned the accolade as the largest dramatically and South Africa has bed and breakfast establishments have all we have been adept at emulating the faced by the industry. The 2010 engineering project currently in the world. developed into the creative springboard sprouted up from a very small base. best and discarding the mediocre. The PR FIFA World Cup will be South Johannesburg, host city to the Final, is into the rest of the continent. South Africa International booking agents are using industry here has evolved quickly and is pulling out all the stops to impress the has grown a significant communications, their clout to deliver enough spreading its wings into every corner of Africa’s biggest event ever and anticipated visitors and armchair PR and advertising base that can now accommodation to the event organisers. this continent. Multinational companies are we are quite conscious that the spectators from all over the world. proudly compete globally. The large and small establishments alike entrusting their African requirements to eyes of the world are on us. are experimenting with new creative South African PR companies. The benefit Just over ten years ago, the South African The benefits of hosting the 2010 FIFA marketing ideas to attract customers. to them is quite clear due to our prolific We have not shied away from public relations industry was rather isolated World Cup have already been felt on the knowledge and understanding of the 53 large events before, and we with only a few large players and many rest of the continent where Cape Town and The paraphernalia industry is experiencing countries comprising Africa, each with an actually have an excellent track smaller ones. After years of isolation, South Johannesburg have become the a steep learning curve too. After South individual and unique heritage. record in hosting several similar, Africa emerged determined to catch up continental capitals of creativity. South Africa was chosen to host the 2010 with the rest of the world. And what better Africa’s PR prowess has followed the tournament, huge public and law albeit smaller, events. What way than to throw the FIFA World Cup at a multinational excursion into the “last enforcement attention was paid to the makes this event different is developmental country on a continent that frontier”. This creative paradigm is spread of counterfeit goods. Before the that it has already had a massive has never hosted this tournament before. reciprocal with many of Africa’s finest and spotlight was turned directly onto this most creative people visiting this country country, counterfeit goods – from the impact on most South Africans. Since FIFA awarded the host title to South to learn more and gain greater experience. humble T-shirt to the latest movie on Africa five years ago, soccer fever has not This experience is then returned to their DVD – proliferated. The source countries only infected most South Africans but also homelands where the ante of the of these goods saw South Africa as virgin the rest of the continent. The spotlight was profession is upped quite significantly, territory. The law enforcement authorities thrust upon a country that had mutated and exported within the confines have successfully clamped down on these experienced a mere 10 years of of national borders and boundaries. illegal activities and have raided and democracy. And in these 10 years South confiscated goods throughout the country. Africa has grown in leaps and bounds. Intellectual rights are being adhered Once a pariah state, South Africa has to and respected as most other positioned herself as the springboard into countries do.
  6. 6. Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross Chief Reputation Strategist, Weber Shandwick Damage Control: CEOs are the ultimate guardians of reputation and CEO as Reputation must act promptly, decisively and Guardian transparently. As the corporate reputation These mounting corporate falls from grace CEOs now realise that reputation Not only do CEOs need to take charge of CEOs are also chief communicators today. In addition to listening well, CEOs must demonstrate that a company's reputation management is as important and complex their company reputation management, In times of reputation failure, leaders must say something worth paying attention to. “stumble rate” continues to rise, Weber Shandwick’s CEO Harris Diamond can be destroyed in seconds. A as any other high-level business function. but they must acknowledge that their own communicate both the good and the bad leaders need to know not only mishandled response, inappropriate act, As a Fortune 100 CEO once said,“I have reputation is inextricably linked to that of quickly and frequently. One CEO has said was recently quoted in Marketing News as how to build company product tampering, disgruntled employee, two functions: lead the company as CEO the company’s. When the CEO speaks, the that people are always hungrier for saying that “The reason that you can’t reputations but, more confidential leak, misdirected email, with integrity, clarity and purpose, as company speaks. The CEO is the face of information when times are difficult. underestimate Barack Obama is we’ve had importantly, how to protect personal indiscretion or financial measured by financial performance and the company. CEOs are the ultimate Leaders should use channels that are best very few presidents who’ve had the ability irregularities all have the power to instantly reputation; lead the board as chairman guardians of reputation and must act suited for different audiences such as to make us listen.” Talk for talk’s sake does and salvage tarnished not safeguard and build company tarnish a respected reputation. The with vision and openness. . .” CEO promptly, decisively and transparently electronic communications, videos, blogs reputations. Recent events at accelerated growth in the Internet, micro- involvement in reputation building and following a crisis or challenge to their or wikis, employer-to-home reputation. Talk that advances the highly regarded companies constituencies, media scrutiny and public management is now a strategic line job, company’s reputation. Accordingly, the communications, and in-person meetings. conversation about a company’s role in have shown us that reputation distrust makes managing corporate not just window dressing. CEO must ensure that the manner in which society and its well-being breaks through loss is not limited to any one reputation an increasingly challenging task. he or she presents themselves to Communication is a two-way street. Not today’s immense information fog and While reputation loss may now be Failure to protect reputation rests squarely stakeholders – whether it is customers, only must CEOs communicate but they creates long-lasting impressions. particular region and can strike inevitable, the well-managed company and on the CEO’s shoulders. Weber regulators, analysts, bloggers or must listen as well. A CEO once remarked any company or organisation. reputation-conscious leader need not Shandwick’s Safeguarding Reputation™ employees – is consistent with the to me that his mother told him that he was CEOs must be the first line of protection stand defenceless when faced with a multi-market executive survey found that company’s vision, code of conduct, and given one mouth, one nose and two ears when reputations are damaged or in damaged reputation. In these tumultuous when crisis strikes, nearly 60 per cent of the values. in proportion to how they should be used – trouble. They must devote considerable times, CEOs are increasingly being called responsibility for the crisis is attributed to to listen harder. In good times and bad, energy and effort to defending and upon to be a jack of all trades when it the CEO. CEOs themselves feel no The CEO is also the strategic player in leaders should go out of their way to take communicating their company’s good comes to reputation management. differently. Most CEOs would agree that reputation recovery. Oxford Metrica, a all the bad news they hear and multiply it name and most valuable asset. reputation management responsibility strategy firm, concluded that crises are by 10 or even 100. Instead of shooting the primarily lies at their door. Although times when CEOs can build reputation messenger of bad news, leaders should reputation erosion is usually the result of equity and value for their company. welcome and seek them out. Monitoring more than one person’s failure, the loss is Northwestern professor Clarke Caywood the blogosphere, suggestion boxes, exit rarely shared. In some cases it can reach has said that any assault on the reputation interviews and satisfaction surveys should the senior management team; however, of a company is a crisis and reputations are be at the top of every leader’s to-do list. the blame for reputation loss usually lands built on how management responds to Reputations are not always destroyed in the corner suite. crises. Essentially, a CEO’s ability to outright, but are often gradually eroded by manage reputational difficulty is the a ripple effect. determining factor in whether stakeholders retain confidence in the company and believe that reputation will eventually be restored.
  7. 7. Rod Clayton Head of Issues and Crisis Communications, Weber Shandwick The duke’s Publish and towering reputation was unaffected, Be Damned? perhaps even strengthened. “Publish and be damned” is one Not everybody is so sanguine at the surprising if it did not occur to Trafigura flawed,” Dole’s General Counsel now says The big picture is crucial. A successful prospect of the media reporting on and its advisers how massively their efforts that he looks forward to an “open strategy will have evaluated the benefits of of the duke of Wellington’s most matters they consider private. Recently, in could backfire. Once a company makes discussion” with the filmmakers. both the assertion of legal rights and the famous remarks. It was his England, the trading company Trafigura payments, even without acknowledging communication of strong, positive response to Joseph Stockdale, a agreed to pay millions of pounds without any wrongdoing, the reputation game Many PR professionals who are averse to messages. Having a close understanding pornographer, who was about to admitting any liability regarding certain changes. Fair or unfair, people want to see “getting legal” with the media may feel of the opinions of the public and important allegations. When a question was asked corrective actions. Certainly, they do not that Trafigura’s experience supports this stakeholders – how you are viewed, how publish the memoirs of Harriette about this in parliament, however, want to see aggressive attempts to coerce view. Yet it is important to emphasise that your strategic options would be perceived, Wilson, a famous ‘escort’ of the Trafigura’s lawyers obtained an order the media. It seems inescapably the case legal recourse is usually worth considering what people need to see and know – is time. Stockdale had offered to preventing a newspaper reporting the that the bulk of the criticism that Trafigura and sometimes vital. A false statement crucial in order to get the balance right. question and a further order preventing now faces is less about what it is alleged to published at the wrong time in the wrong remove all references to the reporting of the initial order. American have done and much more about how it place can have devastating consequences. Far less well remembered than the duke, but the duke refused to readers used to first amendment handled those allegations. This is actually It may be imperative to enjoin publication. celebrated quotation with which we pay. The memoirs were duly protection may be scratching their heads, bad for everyone. It means that the Without such a defence, rebuilding an started is what Wellington said next. He but English law takes a very different view underlying issues may fester without unfairly tarnished reputation could take made clear that “if such trash is published, making a fortune for on where the balance lies between resolution and, crucially, that the company years and may well be beyond the means published”, he would sue. Many of those both Stockdale and Wilson. Yet, freedom of speech and the freedoms of now has far less chance of convincing the of many individuals, even of some mentioned in Harriette Wilson’s memoirs though he was married with those being spoken (or written) about. world community that it stands for values companies. Investigative reporters pursue did indeed sue for libel, and their claims children, the duke’s towering Hence a number of states in the US have that many people would hope to see it agendas and it is understandable that their ruined the publisher. Yet in the event, enacted laws nullifying the effect of English (and anyone) support. targets can be concerned not only about Wellington held his fire. Meanwhile the reputation was unaffected, libel laws in their jurisdictions. getting a fair hearing at the time, but also unabashed Stockdale went on many years perhaps even strengthened by But the difficulty of enforcing such laws A contrasting case is instructive. When about how they recover quickly from any later to sue the parliamentary publisher his standing firm in the face of nowadays is demonstrated by Trafigura’s Dole Foods’ Swedish subsidiary sued a loss of reputation. Hansard... for defamation! lawyers abandoning these efforts after Swedish documentary maker for adversity. Twitter users worked out and wrote about defamation, critics accused the company what was going on anyway. of stifling free speech. It transpired that Dole’s main accusers in the film were paid Of parliament, Wellington’s best known by a lawyer to say what they said, but Dole remark is “I never saw so many shocking dropped its lawsuit anyway. Perhaps it bad hats in my life.” Most of us recognise determined that being perceived as that our legislatures are not perfect, but attempting to silence criticism could harm the concept in England of parliamentary its reputation and – given pressure from privilege is clear and we value freedom of retailers – its business. So while still speech strongly. In this context, it is maintaining that the film is “fundamentally
  8. 8. Lisa Sepulveda President, Global Consumer Practice, Weber Shandwick Media relations The More remains core to our business, but it must be Things Change. positioned among all the other channels. We live in a constantly changing Authenticity and relevance rule I listen to what's being reported in the Relevance However, not all social media channels are Firm belief Consumers around the globe are on the news and consider how it’s reaching Early on in my career, some of the best right for all brands. Some channels have My firm belief is that we won't know if we world that moves at lightning fast track, consuming information around consumers. I listen to colleagues across communicators in the business reminded more ownership of your brand and don't try. At some point we need to move speed, where the latest Tweet the clock and from all around them. We the US and around the globe sharing their me of the importance of remaining messaging. In essence it’s about from talking to putting our thinking to breaks news just like CNN. From must stay on our toes by understanding success stories, their challenges and what relevant. Whether you make a point of developing and nurturing the ‘sharable good practice. Tapping into pop culture the shrinking of mainstream the Tweets, blogs and apps targeted at they have learnt. I listen to existing clients walking out of the office to experience the story’ that the audience spreads virally and current trends to create a today’s consumer. Face it: marketers can striving to make their brands iconic. I listen city in which you live, or going online to through their networks. conversation about our clients is one way, media to the evolution of citizen no longer completely dictate the path to prospects and try to determine what check the latest news and blog postings, but when we take that leap of faith, spot journalism and blogs, we as consumers take. kind of impact and changes they want to remaining relevant is no longer a ‘nice to At Weber Shandwick we are committed to the next trend, trust our gut and then professional communicators make in their space. And, of course, I make have.’ It’s a MUST. ensuring our clients find their niche and ground it in research and insight, we can Yet although the way we communicate is it my daily business to listen to today’s understand their consumer. While a digital help our partners get there first. must ride the new waves, changing, there are some core tenets in consumer - whether through traditional I’m a working mother with two teenaged approach is a core consideration for us, transforming our business to business that remain constant because market research or by talking to friends - to daughters, so it’s imperative for me to INLINE Communications dictates that we At Weber Shandwick, we are proud of the help clients meet and exceed they work. understand what insights drive their keep on top of what my kids are listening align the message across all relevant great work we do around the globe. We decisions, motivations and purchases. to, learning from and experiencing. They channels to ensure that we deliver continue to challenge ourselves to their goals. Listening are brand junkies, even at 13 and 14 years consistent, engaging content across connect in meaningful and authentic ways. Since I joined the Weber Shandwick When we listen we must also respond. old. Staying in tune with what is impacting multiple media. The outcome: a fresh, We search for the insight that then informs network in summer 2009 I have made a Today’s consumers crave interaction. From our business and our clients’ businesses meaningful, truly engaging and impactful great programmes and ultimately the point of travelling and listening. I’ve taken ensuring social media is an integral part of and leveraging those opportunities is what communications campaign. greatest connections. the opportunity to hear from new hires a campaign to delivering apps on mobile will yield the strongest partnerships. fresh from college and already living their phones, the most successful brands go Let’s always challenge ourselves and our lives ‘INLINE’. direct to the consumer letting them know Think outside local borders… clients to explore the best in breed, that they have been heard. but stay ‘INLINE’ whether it is ours or the product of We must provide the best ideas, but we another organisation. While the world may At Weber Shandwick, we are well beyond must be receptive to how we share those be changing fast, at Weber Shandwick the days of Show and Tell – showcasing the ideas. Media relations remains core to our some things stay constant. We remain product and telling a story to the media business, but it must be positioned among committed to assembling the best team and ultimately the consumer. Today’s all the other channels, and integrated with for each assignment and delivering the approach is about sharing that story them to communicate with fresh new best work. directly with the consumer, piquing their thinking. interest in the idea and motivating them to take action.
  9. 9. Michelle McGlocklin Managing Director, Weber Shandwick Technology, UK and Chair, European Technology Practice Brendan May Managing Director, Planet 2050 Come Clean. Can cleantech provide green shoots? When Kermit the Frog lamented For any Copenhagen optimist, one key It is estimated that if 20 per cent of For other sectors, the dislocation in the Encouragingly, 80 per cent of respondents element of any deal on climate is the Europe’s energy could come from global financial markets has fundamentally flagged that they had some form of that “it’s not easy being green,” continued proliferation of technologies renewable sources this could provide in disrupted growth strategies and cleantech purchasing policy in place. he could not have guessed how and services that are broadly defined as excess of one million jobs by 2020. investment opportunities. Cleantech has appropriate a warning he was cleantech. This category represents new Europe’s cleantech sector is already shown the strongest investor sentiment There’s a strong and growing take up of sounding. As the world stands at technologies and business models that developing at a comparable rate to the particularly amongst “pure investors” who cleantech products and services in Europe, provide a dual return – securing a financial global competition, particularly in have identified the opportunity to address and across the globe. The competitive the crossroads of a ‘make or and an environmental dividend. renewable technologies. Where Europe sustainability while simultaneously creating advantage will clearly lie with companies break’ climate summit in For companies in this sector, providing low lags behind is in venture capital funding. long-term value. that can communicate the benefits of their Copenhagen, the political and carbon and environmentally sensitive Recent estimates place total cleantech products and services in a compelling way goods and services, the business investment in Europe during 2008 at €900 The other imperative from the outset is to all the right audiences. The first step in corporate appetite for a opportunity is already apparent. The UK million against €1.8 billion in the United political savvy. Copenhagen and the global this communication journey is overcoming breakthrough on tackling climate government’s recent Low Carbon Economy States. agenda on climate change reiterate how the perceived price barrier around change hangs in the balance. Report estimated the global market for important this is for all governments. The cleantech products and services by such products at £3 trillion. This finding For companies that provide technologies crux of their needs is solutions. They need demonstrating how solutions can create Can a deal be brokered that will comes on top of successive commitments or services that help address or mitigate guidance and advice from cleantech bottom line savings and other clear achieve the necessary cut- by governments around the globe to the impact of climate change, it’s essential companies to identify products and business benefits. through for the transition to a commit funding for clean technologies as a to understand the twin dynamics of services that work, and technologies that low carbon global economy that response to the recent economic political expediency and economic are in the pipeline. The greatest challenge for cleantech is downturn, triggering a green-led imperative. In short, this means that also the greatest opportunity: the virtually every scientist now economic revival. ‘Green jobs’ are all the communicating with one priority audience Finally, cleantech companies need to be imperative of urgent action. Success will regards as non-negotiable? rage. at the expense of the others will not work. smart industry players. If your potential surely come for cleantech companies that What trade-offs can be secured Unlike comparable start-ups or growth customers don’t understand your product communicate quickly, comprehensively areas, companies in this sector need to offer, the sales conversion rate is obviously and smartly. In the long run, being green that do not render any global factor in the impact of industry, political, going to be lower. Weber Shandwick’s will surely be easier than Kermit envisaged. agreement, like so many past environmental campaign groups and other Cleantech practice recently commissioned But there’s still a long way to go. attempts, a step in the right opinion leaders on their business model a report on industry uptake and adoption from day one. of green technology products in Europe. For a copy of the Weber Shandwick direction but in reality nowhere Over half the organisations surveyed report, entitled Come Clean, please near bold enough? highlighted a lack of information as the visit the European Technology Practice principle barrier to making cleantech website here. choices.
  10. 10. Meaningful. New. Productive. Exciting. Strong. Rich. Challenging. Trusting. Fulfilling. Genuine. Good relationships are always rewarding. Winning awards is great, but just as important to us is working closely with our clients to create powerful campaigns that really deliver. Our deep commitment to client service and creativity has led to Weber Shandwick being named Gold Medal Winner by PRWeek’s 2009 Global Agency Report Card and recognised as International Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK and the UK PRCA. Thank you to all of the clients and people across our international network for their magnificent contribution to a challenging but extremely rewarding year. To find out more about award-winning PR, contact Colin Byrne, CEO UK & Europe on +44 (0)20 7067 0191 or