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EDELMAN
PUBLIC VOL.2
ENGAGEMENT
IN THE CONVERSATION AGE
EDELMAN




CONTENT


 FOREWORD/FUTURE ECOLOGY: A NEW ERA OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT                                    3
 IN AN ENGAGED WORLD, LISTENING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER                                 4
 THE SEVEN BEHAVIOURS OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT                                                  5
 THE POWER OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT. THE AGE OF PERSONAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY                6
 WHY IT’S TIME FOR THE AD AGENCIES TO ADMIT DEFEAT                                          8
 EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY INTO BUSINESS AND BRAND: MAKING SENSE OF THE UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS    10
 PUTTING CREATIVITY FIRST                                                                  12
 IT’S POLITICS, JIM, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT                                                 14
 SOUND BITE OR SOUND INSIGHT                                                               16
 DEMAND DRIVEN DIALOGUE: DESIGNING DEMAND IN THE IT WORLD                                  18
 PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IN A REGULATED ENVIRONMENT                                              20
 LISTENING FOR RESULTS                                                                     22
 EDELMAN TRUST BAROMETER 2010                                                              23
 ONE WORLD, ONE AGENCY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT MAKES YOU THINK                                  24
 CONVICTION OR CONVENIENCE: IS NOW THE TIME FOR BUSINESS TO LEAD?                          27




 ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
 This is the second volume of Edelman’s annual publication, Public Engagement in the
 Conversation Age. It is a collection of thought pieces written by the UK team about the
 communications challenges facing brands, corporates, politics and NGOs – as well as our
 own industry, as we evolve from Public Relations to Public Engagement.




                                            PR CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR 2009




                                                          2
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2


FUTURE ECOLOGY:
A NEW ERA OF
PUBLIC
ENGAGEMENT
PR is changing. Driven at pace by the democratizing power of digital and the
continued shift from a shareholder to a stakeholder society, we are witnessing the
emergence of a new model of Public Engagement. Networks have replaced channels;
influence has supplanted audience; shared interests are moving us beyond dogma;
and multilateral connection is the new dialogue. We are faced daily with a chaos of
news and views. The golden age of broadcast is finally over.
This all has profound implications for the communications              active citizenship, as calls for transparency intensify and as
world. In a parallel trend, corporate reputation and brand             transparency itself is further empowered by the digital world.
marketing are converging at speed; we, the people, have                Citizen politics now demands that governments and business
become media in our own right; and everyone – from citizen             Act and Tell. Storytelling alone is just not good enough – and
to brand to corporation – now has the ability to participate           an evolved form of communications is the obvious result.
in the conversation, anywhere and at any moment in time.
Opinion is becoming increasingly democratised and media                Public Engagement is the codification of where we are today
increasingly socialized. None of this should surprise us – it is       – a recognition of the new order that is emerging from the
the reality of the everyday.                                           continued chaos. Public Engagement embraces the current
                                                                       reality and faces the future, safe in the knowledge that waves
Immediacy is everywhere. We no longer wait more than                   of change will inevitably come again. The PR agency which
minutes for our news, in a world where the story of an                 sits back and watches the chaos unfold is the one which will
earthquake breaks on Twitter before it reaches the newswires.          play no part in the future ecology of communications. Which
Newspapers have become ‘Viewspapers’. The old rules of                 is why we, at Edelman, continue to think, write and debate
audience cannot apply and the conventions of advertising are           these new truths and why we are re-shaping ourselves to
understandably crumbling. The 30-second spot has become                deliver in a world of cross-influence. We do not have all the
the short-form film… and it is all content for the conversation        answers. Nobody does. But, as these Public Engagement
anyway.                                                                essays demonstrate, we will both stimulate and participate in
                                                                       the conversation.
This is not merely a tale of technology, however, nor is it
just about the internet. Technology has begat behavioural
change and introduced the new norms. Reform is unlikely
to stop here. This is an unfolding story of society and people
– how we interact, what we prioritise and where we come
together in active coalitions. Recent Edelman Trust data (July
2009) ranked the interests of the employee and the customer
alongside those of the shareholder, while supply chain ethics,
Directors’ pay and responsible governance have suddenly                                 Robert Phillips
become genuine influencing factors in purchasing decisions.                             UK CEO
Governments are increasingly held to account by a digitally-                            robert.phillips@edelman.com




                                                                   3
EDELMAN


IN AN ENGAGED WORLD
LISTENING IS
MORE
IMPORTANT
THAN EVER
Consider a moment we have all experienced. Standing at a party, chatting amiably
with a friend, an interloper arrives, interrupts our conversation, seizes control and
turns it in an unexpected and perhaps unwelcome direction. Too often, this is the
approach that communicators and marketers label ‘engagement’.

To be sure, some people will listen for a few moments, then            By listening with new intelligence, we can identify the key
make their excuses and drift away. But many will be (at best)          idea starters and amplifiers. Idea Starters are the ones who
annoyed and the outcome will be unsatisfactory for everyone.           will spark the conversation. Amplifiers can be anyone. They
Brilliant grandmothers the world over have made a cliché out           are the ones who will continue the discussion and advance it
of the notion that we were given two ears and one mouth for            through their networks.
a reason. But those who practice ham-handed attempts at
engagement behave as if they have a very large mouth and no            Listening can also impact a business beyond communications.
ears at all.
                                                                       Starbucks (an Edelman client), for example, has created My
Successful engagement must begin with a realization that               Starbucks Idea, a platform for listening to, and co-creating
might at first be uncomfortable: as communicators and                  with, its customers that has yielded important suggestions
marketers, we no longer control the terms of engagement.               for improving the company’s business. Ranging from product
The decision to interact is necessarily one of mutual consent.         ideas to operational improvements, Starbucks’ commitment to
                                                                       listening has driven results straight to its bottom line.
So before we can engage, we need to take the time to
understand the answers to several key questions:                       Similarly, by listening to its customers wherever they were
•	 Who	might	be	interested	in	talking	with	us?                         talking – in this case, Twitter – U.S. cable giant Comcast
•	 What	are	they	interested	in	talking	about?                          improved its customer service and, according to its CEO,
•	 Where	and	on	what	terms	would	they	like	to	connect?                 changed the culture of the company, making it more
                                                                       responsive and engaged.
Answering these questions ensures that when we do engage,
                                                                       The risks of failing to listen are massive. In a world where
we will approach the conversation with content that is
                                                                       everyone is a publisher and compelling content always
relevant, timely and interesting.
                                                                       manages to find an audience, a crisis can appear from
                                                                       anywhere. Failing to listen can leave us ignorant and
Effective listening also provides a roadmap for deploying our
                                                                       impotent.
resources and ensuring that whatever approach we adopt is
practical and realistic by helping us prioritize the influencers
                                                                       So if we commit ourselves to listening, how should we do it?
we might want to engage.




                                                                   4
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




                                                   LISTEN

Listening with new intelligence is a uniquely human skill.
Discerning sincerity, subtlety and emotion are all instinctive
human abilities that no machine or artificial intelligence has
yet mastered – in spite of the countless over-marketed claims         The Seven
                                                                      Behaviours
to the contrary.

Technology can and must provide assistance, but at its core,
listening is more art than science – more a personal exercise
than a computational one.                                             of Public
The countless platforms for listening are useful for gathering
together elements of the conversation that are relevant. But
                                                                      Engagement
once gathered, real understanding only comes from immersion
                                                                      1. LISTEN WITH NEW INTELLIGENCE
in the content and an in-depth understanding of the context.
And real success only comes from a commitment to act on               2. PARTICIPATE IN CONVERSATION:
what is learned.                                                         REAL TIME/ALL THE TIME
                                                                      3. SOCIALISE MEDIA RELATIONS
Over the last few years, social media and similar technological
                                                                      4. CREATE AND CO-CREATE CONTENT
changes have made the world more connected, interactive
and dynamic. In short, the world is a conversation.                   5. CHAMPION OPEN ADVOCACY
                                                                      6. BUILD ACTIVE PARTNERSHIPS FOR
So at its core, the imperative to become better listeners rests
                                                                         COMMON GOOD
on a simple, human truth: We cannot join a conversation
without listening to it first.                                        7. EMBRACE THE CHAOS

Are you listening?

                                                                      Public
                 Marshall Manson
                 Director
                                                                      Engagement:
                 Marshall is Edelman’s EMEA Director of Digital       ADVANCING SHARED INTERESTS IN
                 Strategy. He has a diverse background in
                 communications and lives in London.
                                                                      A WORLD OF CROSS-INFLUENCE

                 marshall.manson@edelman.com




                                                                  5
EDELMAN


THE POWER OF
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
THE AGE OF
PERSONAL
SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY
‘I don’t like Mondays’ may have been a hit single for The Boomtown Rats in 1979, but
one can’t help wonder if the sentiment reflects the feelings of much of today’s workforce
following months of challenging business conditions and continued uncertainty.

We can hardly question the deep rooted effect that events             work they do. It is about establishing mutual respect in the
of recent times have had on us all and one thing is clear: if         workplace for what people do and can be. But it goes beyond
business is to rebuild trust, this must begin with employees.         this: to engender pride to work for a company not only drives
As employees, we want our employers to communicate                    motivation and productivity but creates ambassadors for your
and engage us with greater transparency and authenticity.             business who in turn help attract the best and the brightest to
Moreover, the licence to operate for business has changed,            your organisation.
our perspectives as individuals have changed, and, as a result,
we expect business to recognise its role in driving greater           The recently released MacLeod report ‘Engaging for Success:
socioeconomic development in a new era of what we call                enhancing performance through employee engagement’,
‘mutual social responsibility’.                                       commissioned by the UK Government, states that employee
                                                                      engagement practices can actually help a company deal
So, if we expect a higher level of social and environmental           with the impacts of recession and emerge stronger. It reveals
engagement from employers as well as from ourselves as                that employees are often a source of knowledge and ideas
individuals, is there any merit in bringing these two things          which lead to operational efficiencies and, by providing
together? And can business genuinely improve employee                 employees with a platform for sharing these ideas, a company
performance and motivation by harnessing a shared                     will establish trust and loyalty. These are two qualities
responsibility for doing good?                                        that it is critical for a company to foster, particularly when
                                                                      there are difficult decisions to be made that impact the
In order to try to answer these questions we must first look at       workforce. Recent Trust Barometer data show that employees
the evidence for prioritising effective employee engagement,          and customers should rank as the CEO’s most important
and then the case for creating effective engagement to drive          stakeholders when making business decisions (July 2009).
performance – what engages and motivates employees today?             Yet employers still have work to do when it comes to meeting
Employee engagement strives to create an emotional                    these engagement requirements. The Trades Union Congress
connection that an employee feels about the organisation              surveyed 3,000 workers in 2008 and found that almost one in
which influences him or her to exert a greater effort in the          three (30%) felt that their organisation does not fully engage




                                                                  6
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




them and less than half (46%) of those questioned felt that           continuing education. Today’s workforce, and particularly the
their employer deserves their loyalty.                                younger generation of workers, look for personal relevance
                                                                      in the fabric and meaning of their jobs. A sense of personal
Perhaps part of the reluctance to address this situation is due       responsibility for the state of the environment, the state of our
to the fact that meeting these aspirations seems so daunting.         finances and retirement options, the state of our health and
It can’t be ignored that, with fast changing technologies,            education systems is increasing.
the immediacy of communications, and the rise of Citizen
Journalism, many employers are cautious of committing to              Business must move beyond these traditional models of
open channels of communication and true dialogue with                 corporate responsibility to a more strategic and integrated
employees. But, for those that do, the benefits can be seen           approach based on sustainability across social, economic
well beyond loyalty and employee retention.                           and environmental parameters. It must be driven from the
                                                                      core of the business and commitment must come from the
So, what should we be engaging employees with and how do              top of the organisation. It must transform the values of the
we motivate them? The result of the recent crisis has meant           organisation into programmes that employees will be inspired
that conventional rewards such as pay rises and bonuses are           to participate and engage in and ultimately engender a sense
either simply not there or perhaps, more importantly, as we           of pride and purpose in working for that organisation beyond
return to the point of our individual and collective need for         simply taking home a salary every day, week or month.
business to drive mutual responsibility, do not go far enough         Perhaps in understanding our own personal role we can learn
to drive loyalty. Sylvia Ann Hewitt, economist and member             from Sir Winston Churchill who said “We Make a Living By
of the World Economic Forum Council on the Gender Gap                 What We Get, We Make a Life By What We Give”.
and founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy,
has published research which shows that high potential
employees are motivated by a desire to give back to their
communities and these employees are seeking out employers                              Pamela Fieldhouse
that allow them to do so ‘on the job’.                                                 Managing Director
                                                                                       Pamela leads Edelman’s corporate reputation team.
Traditionally, companies have viewed employee engagement                               She has been passionate about understanding
in terms of corporate social / environmental responsibility                            how to influence behaviour change since studying
programmes, such as allowing employees time off work in                                psychology at university.
order to get involved in community initiatives, or encouraging                         pamela.fieldhouse@edelman.com




                                                                  7
EDELMAN




WHY IT’S
TIME FOR
THE AD
AGENCIES TO
ADMIT DEFEAT
When ad agencies are rebranding themselves as “short form content agencies” and
media agencies are suddenly sprouting production arms, you know the jig is up.
You can’t rename a 30 second spot a viral, or seed an ad online, pretending it’s pure
content and then bump it onto TV and expect no one to notice. The very ethos of a
piece of entertainment that audiences self select is that it is MADE to engage, to be
relevant, to provoke conversation – not to sell, not to shout. It has to be entertaining
first and commercial second to court and invite participation – that way lies proper
loyalty from the audience.

This is an age where appointment to view is dead, where              and fuelling discussion, driving participation and enjoying the
viewers are in control and someone broadcasting from their           momentum of sharing, while nailing publicity, fame and sales.
front room can reach a global audience. In the world of public       This is what PRs have always done, being agnostic in our
engagement, a brand, product or service can and must be a            choices of channel but greedy in our desire to deliver.
media channel in its own right, in order to have ownership           The X–Factor phenomenon shows how entertainment
and to start – and keep – the dialogue. This means authoring         and content can work beyond broadcast. It is all about
content, embedding the message and/or the ethos within the           participation and even lack of control, as the production
actual content – and not in the zappable space around it (and        company themselves load excerpts onto YouTube,
that includes bumpers and sponsorships).                             understanding that they need to play freely in the digital
                                                                     space in order to command the control (and money) with
Exclusive content is the fuel for engagement and the                 the phone voting when they do broadcast. They will make
opportunity to gain audience participation and traction. But         £20million on this series (Broadcast, 30/10/09) and are nailing
to get that engagement, you need experts. And they are               over 20 million viewers.
not 30 second ad creatives. And they are not media buyers.
They are the professionals of the entertainment industry –           But X–factor aside, the entertainment industry is in trouble.
production experts – together with those (yes, people like           The loss of audience figures means advertising revenues are
us!) that understand that the campaign does not live only by         smashed, so production budgets get slashed and the content
the content itself. Expertise that works on the distribution,        is diluted or programming gets cut completely. In September
the conversation, amplification and exploitation online, in          2009, the government announced it would review legislation
media, on networks – pulling eyeballs back to the content            around product placement allowing brands to become inte–




                                                                 8
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




grated into existing TV shows. But we know from the US                  that is priceless. The time for commercial selling and dubious
experience that this is a weak alternative, accepted from a             product claims are over – audiences expect companies to
position of financial stress and where creative delivery is often       interact with authenticity and transparency. Companies
compromised by commercial pressure, leaving neither partner             need engagement. Both will only achieve these if driven
satisfied.                                                              by compelling content that courts, plays and engages with
                                                                        credibility and professionalism. As Peter Whitehead wrote in
However, what the production company really wants is                    the FT “...Web 2.0 is a world in which anyone can have a go
brand relevant partnerships that can take their content and             at generating content; Web 3.0 is where professionals take
build it online, in–store, in media, via downloads and on new           the lead in shaping that content”. And those professionals are
influencer platforms with new consumer experiences beyond               the production experts and the multi–channel, multi–media
the TV screen – and the money they will accept for access               engagement experts. A new world, needing a new marketing
and exploiting exclusive content is not that expensive. This            offer. It’s all for the taking...
approach is way beyond product placement, bumpers or name
checks – more intelligent, more integrated, more shared. And
it builds audience, loyalty and revenue for the brand and the                           Jackie Cooper
networks, and is a new model for working that can replace the                           UK Creative Director
ad agency relationship.                                                                 Jackie is Creative Director & Vice Chair and has
                                                                                        spent nearly 30 years in brand marketing. She
A consumer brand recently paid £500k to sponsor a TV                                    established the (already award winning) Edelman
broadcast film – but the deal allowed the film to be released                           Content offer to deliver a unique combination
                                                                                        of contacts and expertise in the entertainment,
in weekly 10 minute segments for 9 weeks, airing the entire                             production and digital space. Her passionate
film at 10 weeks. After only 2 weeks, the film was nailing                              belief is that stellar clients deserve world class
an audience of 5 million. The online power of garnering                                 production and exploitation collateral.
audiences before a programme airs traditionally (or instead                             jackie.cooper@edelman.com
of) is immense. Networks will kill for this. And brands enjoy
                                                                                        David Fine
audiences that positively replace the centre breaks of old, and
                                                                                        Director, Content
add value to the consumer experience. The time has come
                                                                                        David Fine, Director of Content joined Jackie on
for corporations and brands to have the belief and vision to
                                                                                        her quest to identify and realize new opportunities
make the leap and break out of the marketing silos of old                               for brands to reach and motivate audiences in the
and embrace an opportunity that allows them to play on the                              non-zappable space after 15 years in consumer,
screens of their target influencers in a way that is multi–                             entertainment and endorsement PR.
platform, multi–experience, driving loyalty and participation                           david.fine@edelman.com




                                                                    9
EDELMAN


EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY
INTO BUSINESS AND BRAND
MAKING SENSE
OF THE
UNKNOWN
UNKNOWNS
I never thought I would find myself recalling Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous words:
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known
unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there
are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know”.
Most laughed out loud at the time, but somehow the words              •	 what	a	company	sells
still resonate. And perhaps none more so than in an age when          •	 how	it	operates	
we hear endless warnings of climate change and we try to              •	 who	it	is.	
comprehend the abstract consequences of what action (or
inaction) today will mean over the next 40 years.                     At its heart, sustainability is about meeting the needs of
                                                                      the present without compromising the ability of future
As businesss and brands grapple with their commitments to             generations to meet their own needs.
sustainability, a survey by PwC of 140 chief executives of US-
based multinationals found that 85% believed that sustainable         Can a company really have a ‘green’ product line if it doesn’t
development would become increasingly important to their              have a grip on employment practices in its supply chain? Is a
business models. Despite this, a recent MIT Sloan Review and          CEO a climate change hero because he tells the world his firm
Boston Consulting Group study highlighted a lack of under-            offsets its carbon emissions but does nothing at all to quantify
standing of what sustainability is and a growing disconnect           the impact and actually reduce them? Is a firm really ethical
between corporate sustainability concerns and actions. As a           if it donates millions to charity every year but continues to
result, many organisations perpetuate a superficial model of          develop products whose raw materials deplete the rainforests
corporate responsibility as some kind of salve to those they          at ever increasing rates?
think are paying attention. Increasingly, it backfires. And a
new activist is born.                                                 Does that mean a CEO should abandon any attempt to
                                                                      conduct his business in a more transparent, accountable and
So what are we talking about when we say ‘sustainability’?            responsible manner? Not at all. But it does mean that we
                                                                      need to be very clear on what we mean when we talk about
Sustainability, in so far as it can be universally defined,           sustainability, corporate social responsibility, or sustainable
is measurable and effective strategy in execution at the              development – and their limitations and genuine opportunities
intersection of three domains:                                        for systemic change.




                                                                 10
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2

                                                                      ii. Measurable outcomes for business, policy and
                                                                          public – that incorporate social, economic, environmental
                                                                          and ethical equity and justice at local, domestic and
                                                                          international levels for enterprises of all sizes and
                                                                          ownership structures.
                                                                      iv. Innovation: Thinking the unthinkable. Sustainability
                                                                          is about deep, long term transformation. Let us not
                                                                          accept anything less as corporate reputation becomes the
                                                                          democratised brand.
                                                                      v. Public Engagement as role model – Systems cause
                                                                         their own behaviour. The very substance and function of
                                                                         communication must evolve to make engagement more
                                                                         sustainable and meaningful.

                                                                      PwC says responsible leadership means integrating
                                                                      ethical considerations into company decision-making, and
                                                                      managing on the basis of personal integrity and widely-held
                                                                      organisational values. And here’s the crux – the rules of the
                                                                      game have changed since Milton Friedman wrote about the
                                                                      ‘social responsibility of business’. Social, environmental and
                                                                      ethical issues are not so much tangential to the business
                                                                      of business as fundamental to it. This year’s Edelman
                                                                      goodpurpose study found that more than half of consumers
                                                                      (56%) believe the interests of society and the interests of
                                                                      businesses should have equal weight in business decisions.
We must exhibit what Lord Browne of Madingley called “clear-
                                                                      We don’t quite know what governance models will shape
eyed realism” at what can be achieved in the face of the known
                                                                      business of the future, how convergence will shape
unknowns of climate change and world poverty. Coherence in
                                                                      conversation and debate, what consumer habits and
four areas will drive strategic change towards sustainability
                                                                      expectations will drive product innovation or what the leaders
– domestic regulation, industry standards, capital markets
                                                                      of tomorrow will learn in the hallowed halls of our great
and consumer behaviour. Navigating this journey will require
                                                                      learning establishments. But engagement will be responsible
courageous leadership, clear measurement and the continuous
                                                                      for the success or failure of conversation and debate.
engagement of all stakeholders.

                                                                      We must all develop what, author and psychologist, Daniel
And this will have a transformational impact on the role and
                                                                      Goleman, calls ‘ecological intelligence’. It is about our ability
responsibility of communications.
                                                                      to accept that we live in an infinitely connected world with
                                                                      finite resources. If we knew the hidden impacts of what we
Robert Phillips has said elsewhere that the PR industry stands
                                                                      buy, sell, or market, we could become shapers of a more
at the threshold of achieving what it has always aspired
                                                                      positive future by making our decisions better align with
to. Through the elevation of strategic insight and content
                                                                      our values. We as communicators must make sense of and
expertise, we need to adopt a ‘systems thinking’ approach to
                                                                      mainstream this nascent ecological transparency for our
communication that starts with a fundamental re-evaluation
                                                                      collective future.
of the structures and behaviours inherent in the discipline.

                                                                      And that would make those unknown unknowns just that
The new model of Public Engagement (PE) can clarify and
                                                                      little bit more familiar.
amplify the most important and far reaching conversations
that business, government and citizenship need to engage
in to make sustainability mainstream. This model of PE for
Sustainability has five dimensions:                                                     Anne Augustine
i. Mutual responsibility & accountability – a better                                    Head of Sustainability
   alignment with business, civil and national objectives and                           Anne joined Edelman in November 2009 to
   values, communicated with integrity and honesty.                                     spearhead its Sustainability practice. She was
                                                                                        previously EMEA director of corporate sustainability
ii. Platforms for shared conversations – they are                                       for a global IT services business. Anne thinks John
    happening everywhere, all of the time. PE can become the                            Peel Day should be a national holiday.
    network in a world of abundant cross influence.                                     anne.augustine@edelman.com




                                                                 11
EDELMAN




PUTTING
CREATIVITY
FIRST
It’s a tough job as a brand or marketing manager. The fast pace of change in the
communications world is clearly outstripping the marketing model of years gone
by – the one that manifests in a prescriptive, traditional ATL and BTL split. Yet there
is little room for manoeuvre for marketing teams. Where online conversations shape
brands, and with communication as much from the bottom up as it is top down, new
approaches, strategies and skills are required. However, as long as brand managers
are still accountable to the old ROI marketing measures and channel planning models,
the freedom to create genuinely innovative solutions that drive positive brand
engagement via the new world order are a long way off.
So, based on where we are now, whether agency or client,                 including The Science of Sexy, an online film featuring Dita
imagine the next integrated agency planning meeting. The                 Von Teese discovering the formula for sexy. This was then
brand challenge for 2010 is set from above: find the next                seeded online via partnerships with various sites and bloggers
creative idea that’s going to propel the brand to No 1 in the            such as Perez Hilton. The on-going social media outreach,
category... see sales rises of 25% and make it the nation’s              print, radio, TV editorial coverage and experiential campaign
favourite. However, here lies the dichotomy. With the channels           saw brand collateral disseminated to influencers online
often already selected, the constraints to creating that big idea        and offline to drive real brand awareness and engagement.
are already in place. A case of tail wagging dog that restricts          Dita appeared on TV and radio as well as print and
creativity and the opportunity to capitalise on what is now a            magazine interviews and the viral became the most viewed
complex network of cross influencers – much of this through              entertainment film on YouTube in the UK. The results spoke for
social media. But that’s what we’re trying to do... around               themselves. With no traditional advertising, the product had
that table, come up with the killer idea and get the target              sold out as it hit the shelves.
demographic to buy.
                                                                         Look at the ‘Bring Back Wispa’ campaign that relied on
Some of the most recent marketing successes started online               Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and You Tube and a social media
through social media, in partnership with print, radio and               outreach campaign to galvanise support. The activity was
TV editorial coverage, and then called on advertising at                 backed by a heavy-weight press, TV and radio editorial
the tail end of the campaign – simply as a reflection of the             campaign to encourage influencers including journalists, DJs
views of those who started the conversations. In other cases,            and TV presenters to back the campaign. 14,000 Facebook
advertising has been ignored all together and the brand still            fans and a photocall with Rula Lenska sparked a two year
managed sell-out activities. So why do brands still insist on            campaign culminating in the recent, and more traditional, TV
shouting at people via the old model when we’re now in an                advertising campaign ‘For The Love of Wispa’ featuring a cast
age of conversation and engagement?                                      of hundreds of real people. The re-launch via social media and
                                                                         editorial activity boosted Cadbury’s sales by 5%.
The award-winning Wonderbra campaign to launch Dita
Von Teese’s limited edition range is an excellent example                Measuring these sorts of campaigns is getting more
of breaking traditional boundaries in a world of public                  sophisticated. Edelman is already creating a series
engagement. JCPR created a unique integrated campaign,                   of sophisticated algorithms, such as TweetLevel, and




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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




measurement tools to go head-to-head with the traditional                ideas... free yourselves from the shackles of prescriptive
advertising measurement models used by media buying                      marketing models and media buying agency channel plans.
agencies. With a fast-moving communication climate and this              Let your creative agencies (and not just the ad team) lead the
complex network of cross-influence, the challenge is now to              way here and throw the gauntlet down to them. You might be
keep up with these rapid changes and measure accordingly.                surprised.
And fast they are. According to new insights, teenagers
apparently reject advertising, particularly digital, as well             Forget the money at the idea stage– much creativity
as sites such as Twitter (Morgan Stanley’s How Teenagers                 and idea development is constrained by talk of money at the
Consume Media Report). Research from AdWeekMedia and                     brainstorm stage, and also the fight between the agencies for
Harris Interactive back this up and show that 46% of US net              their slice of the pie. Start with the position of ‘the sky’s the
users ignore banner ads. It’s clear therefore that fresh thinking        limit’ – it will pay dividends and will enable you to assess true
is required to reach the brand’s key demographic – especially            value for money when you’ve developed the concept.
when it comes to creating online momentum.
                                                                         Marketing is not an exact science – predicting a success
Furthermore, with AVE falling rapidly, marketing budgets                 is virtually impossible. Whatever happened to gut feeling and
being cut and consumer behaviour changing when it comes                  risk? Who would have thought that the meerkats for confused.
to how they receive information, the time is right for the bold          com would build a brand profile and position the comparison
and adventurous marketing teams to harness the opportunity.              site at the top of the nation’s mind? After all, we are all
So for all those brand and marketing managers wanting to                 consumers. The best marketers instinctively know when
make a real difference, and be known for creating that one               something will work. And it’s based on their instinct. The new
memorable campaign... what’s the advice for the advent of                world order of public engagement requires marketers to be
Brand Bravery?                                                           brave, so take the leap of faith – it might just work!

Talk about ‘channels’ in a different way – the new era
of public engagement relies on a complex web of influencers.                              Emma Nicholson
Challenge agencies to see if they truly understand how to                                 Director
layer a campaign effectively to create bottom up dialogue and                             Emma heads up the Leisure & Lifestyle team in
                                                                                          Edelman’s consumer division, JCPR. She has been
conversation.
                                                                                          creating consumer campaigns for leading UK and
                                                                                          international fmcg, retail and service brands for the
Explore and encourage creativity – use your agencies                                      past 15 years.
effectively and efficiently and regularly develop creative                                emma_nicholson@jcpr.com




                                                                    13
EDELMAN


IT’S POLITICS, JIM
BUT NOT AS
WE KNOW IT
The new world of public engagement in which we have witnessed an explosion in
new networks of influence; the emergence of new influencers and niche online
forums (such as ConservativeHome, Guido Fawkes); the continuing decline of
traditional media; and a move away from a top down approach to communication
to a world where anybody can be an influencer via their blog, Facebook or Twitter
account, has profound implications for the main UK political parties and our political
system as a whole.
Here are four trends for what this new era of communications                John Prescott tweeted at the time: “It will be the son,
means for political parties and, as we look ahead to 2010,                  daughter, uncle, mother and friend wot will win it in 2010.
future general election campaigns:                                          Endorsements from ordinary people NOT media barons.”
                                                                            It will be the endorsement of these ordinary people (peers
1. The rise of the ultra micro-group. All three main
                                                                            with a small ‘p’), who are shaping and influencing the
   political parties employ the Mosiac marketing system
                                                                            debate through niche networks, that political parties will
   which divides Britain into 155 types of individual, 67
                                                                            increasingly seek. Party leaders are already beginning to
   different households and 15 other groups as a way of
                                                                            recognise the influence of sites such as Mumsnet (http://
   targeting different voter types (remember Mondeo Man
                                                                            www.mumsnet.com), a parenting forum that attracts over
   and Worcester Woman). However, the rise of social
                                                                            800,000 unique users. Both David Cameron and Gordon
   media, which creates both small and large online activist
                                                                            Brown fielded questions on the site in 2009.
   communities - usually based around just one single issue,
   that don’t conform to traditional demographics - means
   that political parties will have to rethink how they target           3. The continuing decline of two Party Politics. The
   the voter.                                                               new world of public engagement will see yet another
                                                                            nail hammered into the coffin of the traditional two party
   Brockley Central (http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/) –                system. While back in the 1950s, 95% of votes cast went
   run by an Edelman colleague – is one example of an online                to one of the two main political parties, by the last general
   network that demonstrates these shifts. The site appeals                 election in 2005, they were only receiving 69% of the vote
   to a wide cross-section of voters who are not necessarily                – today that number is only in the mid 60s. This decline is
   connected by demographics, but by local community                        set to continue with the demoncratising power of the web
   issues. Parties who offer a one size fits all model, and don’t           and the rise of single issue groups. People no longer see
   take account of these networks of influence, will simply not             themselves as a lone voice protesting about a particular
   survive in the new world of public engagement.                           issue but rather part of a group who are no longer catered
                                                                            for by the traditional two-party model – and whose shared
2. It won’t be the Sun wot won it. While people will                        interests can be advanced through the power of the web.
   debate whether it was The Sun’s endorsement that won                     The rise of resident associations, of extreme groups at
   the 1992 General Election for the Conservative Party,                    local government level or UKIP at a European level, are
   the continuing decline of traditional media and the                      manifestations of the changing nature of the Party system.
   rise of online networks and influencers mean that print
   newspapers’ endorsement will no longer be the holy                    4. A Manifesto for the people by the people. While Tony
   grail for any political party. As that sage of the internet              Blair’s Big Conversation initiative was widely criticised as




                                                                    14
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




   nothing more than an election gimmick, the collapse of top           The MPs’ expenses were a painful example of this new era of
   down communications, the fragmentation of the media, the             transparency and accountability but this is just the beginning.
   empowerment of the voter via the web (digital democracy)             Soon, the public sector will be forced to reveal the detail and
   and the rise of consumer politics mean that any Party that           value of its contracts and another bout of soul searching will
   adopts a strategy that sees an election manifesto emerge             begin and questions will be asked about how the body politic
   from on high and expects it to excite and engage the                 can regain trust.
   voter is surely a strategy doomed to failure. Empowered
   citizens will expect, if not demand, an ability to help shape        The new Speaker and some enlightened thinkers from
   and influence the content of any manifesto. While political          both sides of the House of Commons have begun to talk
   parties will no longer be able to count on the reach of              about how Parliament and the wider political system needs
   traditional media to communicate their policies, they will           to change. However, none has yet grasped, or perhaps
   need to use the principles of public engagement to reach             even fully understood, the magnitude of how society is
   out and engage the voter.                                            changing, brought on by the rise of new technology, the
                                                                        empowerment of the citizen and the thirst for transparency
So there you have it. Four trends for what the changing                 and accountability.
communications landscape means for political parties and any
future General Election campaigns. However, it’s not just the
parties who will have to adapt, change and embrace this new
reality if they are to survive and prosper. The political system
itself will also need to change or face a crisis of confidence –
more traumatic than the recent expenses scandal.

It’s a new world in which transparency and accountability
are central. The democratising power of digital means that
citizens will no longer tolerate advice being kept secret or
decisions being taken behind closed doors. Indeed, one only                              Alex Bigg
needs to look at the increasing demands for independent                                  Managing Director
inquiries across a broad range of issues and incidents to                                Alex is Managing Director of Edelman’s award
gauge the mood of an increasingly sceptical public when it                               winning Public Affairs practice.
comes to believing what they are told by Government.                                     alex.bigg@edelman.com




                                                                   15
EDELMAN




SOUND
BITE
OR
SOUND
INSIGHT
I am often struck by just how close to the wind some high-profile political speakers can
sometimes sail. It seems rather unfair that our political masters – or those who would aspire
to be so – can make what appear to be rash statements and claims based on little more than
the failure of another group of politicians to deliver on a manifesto promise and the fact that
the speakers’ party would somehow ‘do it better’ with little substantiation of how.

In the world of medical communications, we are constantly              •	 well	trained	–	they	know	how	to	use	small	gestures,	voice	
on our guard to ensure that we work within strict guidelines,             intonation and pauses for maximum effect
do not make unsubstantiated statements, ensure that the data           •	 well	rehearsed	–	they	never	leave	anything	to	chance	and	
support our arguments and operate with full transparency with             have well prepared answers for difficult questions
our clients and the doctors and other health-care professionals        •	 charismatic	–	on	the	whole	they	project	personality
that we work with. It seems unfair at times that we cannot spe-        •	 engaging	–	they	deliver	a	speech	that	audiences	feel	
culate on the data too far, we cannot criticise competing drugs           drawn to listen to
because they haven’t delivered on all of their endpoints when          •	 speaking	with	few	notes	–	very	few	are	distracted	by	
ours have – after all if our politicians can, why shouldn’t we?           shuffling of their notes
                                                                       •	 using	few,	if	any,	visual	aids	–	you’ll	see	very	few	
Well, obviously, there are big differences between political              PowerPoint slides!
rhetoric and scientific accuracy. Medical communications
professionals aim to prove their points through evidence;
                                                                       In a controlled profession like ours, the basic rules of
politicians, more often than not (particularly on the Today
                                                                       presentation and communication still apply. However, the
programme!), tend to beat down an opposing view based
                                                                       industry often falls into the trap of relying on presenting large
on who can shout the loudest and for the longest without
                                                                       volumes of data and slides without thinking about audience
giving in to another’s perspective. In medical communications
                                                                       engagement – this can do a disservice to the doctors that we
this should not happen; sure, there are disagreements about
                                                                       work with and become a barrier to open debate. As impressive
study design, data interpretation and statistical validity but
                                                                       as it might be, the data will not always speak for itself – it
the majority of scientists and clinicians generally have an
                                                                       must be supported by clear messages, suitable platforms and
appreciation for what the data reveal and of their limitations.
                                                                       compelling delivery to meet the company’s objectives.

Nonetheless, can we learn anything from the political speech
                                                                       It is incumbent upon us, as medical education professionals
meisters? On the whole, the notable speech makers have
                                                                       and communicators, to develop more engaging programmes
several attributes that can be applied more thoroughly in
                                                                       and think more insightfully about how we truly engage with
medical communications; more often than not they are:
                                                                       our audiences. Should it be a traditional passive style or




                                                                  16
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




should we be looking for opportunities to open up discussion?            Now what I am not suggesting based on my comparison with
Perhaps we should even get perspectives from other groups                politicians is that we dumb down medical communications
that we might not normally reach. Our audiences might                    to a few sound bites – clearly key messages need to be
traditionally be a closed group of professionals, but the                communicated around the therapeutic value of a drug, but
principles of public engagement apply to them as much                    sound bites should never replace real insight about the benefits
as any other group – something that can sometimes be                     of the drug, its place in clinical practice and the difference
overlooked in order just to continue the churn of data.                  it could make to patients. Broadening our world view to
                                                                         engaging with audiences beyond our immediate community
At BioScience Communications – Edelman’s specialist                      of physicians also provides an opportunity for pharmaceutical
medical communications group – we believe that the                       companies to demonstrate a responsible attitude towards
principles of public engagement that we apply across the                 patient education and a commitment to engage.
Edelman business to audiences of all types do also apply
fully to doctors and scientists in health-care. The value of             We have to acknowledge that medical communications
true engagement with our audiences can be impactful for                  is something of a conservative discipline, but perhaps the
pharmaceutical companies, such as:                                       time has come to move forward confidently and invest in
•	 profiling	the	organisation’s	willingness	to	open	up	                  opportunities that provide clients with the most important
   findings for discussion and critique                                  return on their investment in a medical communications
•	 demonstrating	openness	and	transparency                               programme – a high profile for their brand through genuine
•	 seeding	debate	that	can	provide	valuable	customer	                    engagement with their target audiences and, importantly,
   insights                                                              with a broader audience than they might be used to. Now that
                                                                         would be a real innovation for medical communications.
•	 potentially	exposing	the	data	to	a	wider	audience	
   through ongoing debate

These might seem very obvious points to make, but in order
to increase the levels of transparency in the communication
                                                                                          David Noble
of medical data, engaging with, and listening to, audiences
                                                                                          Managing Director
is critical. Ultimately this will begin to increase the levels of
trust in the pharmaceutical industry – the reputation of which                            David is Managing Director of BioScience
                                                                                          Communications – Edelman’s specialist medical
has suffered in the wake of a number of poorly managed drug                               communications group. David has two children
failures and issues around clinical trials in recent years – much                         who ensure that his debating and influencing skills
of which has been due to lack of debate – and the apparent lack                           are tested daily.
of willingness from the industry to engage in discussion.                                 david.noble@bioscicom.net




                                                                    17
EDELMAN


DEMAND DRIVEN DIALOGUE:
DESIGNING
DEMAND IN
THE IT WORLD
The growing impact that the internet and the current economic climate are having
on the attitudes and behaviours of all users of modern technology is not in doubt. In
maturing markets, where products are becoming more commoditised, customer groups
are fragmenting into communities which share common values and idea. For those of us
selling technology it means traditional sales techniques are insufficient, because these
groups are emboldened to demand more from vendors.
The ultimate goal for boardrooms across the IT sector does            priorities and interests. This can be conducted even before a
not change – the chief executive still has to prove two things        product exists, or can be used to help a company entering a
to shareholders. Firstly, how the company can sell more to            new market to understand how it can marry its offering with
existing companies and secondly how the company can                   the needs of the market. This process should be seen as a way
credibly convince new customers to buy their products.                to refine traditional marketing techniques. By giving greater
                                                                      access to information, the internet enables companies to be
But given the landscape, there are two deeper questions that          more precise in their assessment of and engagement with key
the chief executive must answer:                                      influencers –the individuals who crucially will help to make
1) How do I talk differently to existing customers in mature          marketing events more enticing to customers and prospects.
   markets to sell more?                                              The Demand Driven Dialogue model follows four stages,
                                                                      which are split into two parts. Phase one (Stages One and
2) How do I talk credibly to a prospect who does not know me?
                                                                      Two) is about designing demand for a product or service.
                                                                      Phase two (Stages Three and Four) is about driving demand.
For the technology industry it means communicators can
act as powerful catalyst for change, because vendors must
find new ways to engage and compelling storytelling is                PHASE ONE – DESIGNING DEMAND
the tool to achieve this goal. Edelman has developed the              Stage One – Understand the Conversation and Identify
concept of Public Engagement, which at its highest level,             the Influencers: Others have written elsewhere about the
advances shared interests in a world of cross-influence. In           importance of listening with new intelligence in a world of
the enterprise IT market, this can be specifically focused on         cross-influence. Identifying the most important conversations
helping companies to design a conversation that will appeal           and who is having them, where, is a critical starting point for
to stakeholders and, more importantly, drive demand for               companies because (even though some IT companies still
products/services.                                                    believe it) most customers do not spend their entire time
                                                                      talking about their products.
This is what we call ‘Demand Driven Dialogue.’
                                                                      Stage two – Engage the Influencers and Build the
At its heart, this process is about helping companies to              Conversation: Influencers range from producers of content
better understand the genuine interests of their audiences by         to commentators and sharers, as well as watchers, who simply
engaging with those people to build a clear picture of their          want to understand what is being said. The key group at the




                                                                 18
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2

heart of any debate are the curators and they perform a vital         iv) Act: be seen to respond to feedback that is received, such
role. Often they have no allegiance to one vendor, and are                as adapting product roadmaps or adding functionality
prepared to manage content as an amateur pastime, purely
because they are passionate about a subject or product.               Stage four – Go to Market – and embrace the chaos:
Companies must participate in the conversations – in real             Armed with the knowledge of the key influencers and
time and all the time. By engaging these individuals in               confident of the demand in the market, all that is left is to
dialogue, and then working with them to have conversations            announce the product or service to the wider market. In a
with a wider network of influencers, it is easy to quickly            complex world of multiple stakeholders and networks, this is
reach an understanding of the on-going debates and more               not always as simple as it sounds. Throughout the market roll
importantly how your company can fit into these discussions.          out, on-going interaction with the influencers and constant
                                                                      re-evaluation are needed – but above all, a commitment to
PHASE TWO – DRIVING DEMAND                                            participate in the conversation.

Stage Three – Test and Evaluate: Once a company is                    With a willingness to participate in dialogue, companies can
confident of its story it needs to be tested in the market            open doors to engage differently – more meaningfully – with
place. Targeting a smaller sub-set of prospects and existing          their customers and influencers, resulting in excitement,
customers, a company can engage these influencers to co-              brand loyalty and fresh demand from unexpected quarters.
create products and services. This is a consultative process
and should be seen as an ideal opportunity to test proof-of-          It really is good to talk.
concepts so that suppliers can create a strong picture of the
features and functions their customers really need. Based on
our experience there are some key principles to remember:
i) Be brave: do not duck controversy and learn to embrace                                Cairbre Sugrue
   the chaos                                                                             Managing Director
                                                                                         Cairbre is Managing Director of the UK’s Technology
ii) Be frank (and transparent): transparency and open                                    practice and is an unashamed champion of all
    dialogue must be the default - eg a bank should be upfront                           things IT. Particularly pleasing to him is the growing
    about why it is handing out bonuses                                                  acknowledgement (and some envy) among his
                                                                                         non-techie colleagues that there is nowhere more
iii) Listen and participate: but do not expect the discussion                            exciting than the tech industry today.
     to be all about you                                                                 cairbre.sugrue@edelman.com




                                                                 19
EDELMAN




PUBLIC
ENGAGEMENT
IN A REGULATED
ENVIRONMENT
If we accept the hypothesis that we now live in a world of democratised cross
influence where public engagement should be the mantra for meaningful
communications, where does this leave highly regulated environments? How can
companies meaningfully engage with their publics without incurring the wrath of
industry watchdogs?
These questions make it tempting to excuse heavily regulated             The pharmaceutical industry may wonder if this is necessarily
sectors from the new world order. “It doesn’t apply to us”               a problem; after all, companies know their own treatments and
was the essence of the health industry’s early response to               disease areas – so surely they know what they need to
the ascent of bloggers, tweeters and other social networkers             communicate? This no longer holds true; it is not acceptable
over the last few years and, on first glance, it seems easy              to just tell the world what we think it wants to hear. If we
to agree. As well as the restrictions set by governments                 don’t know what people want, we cannot respond to, or deliver
and independent regulators to control communications                     against it. Pharmaceutical companies can produce great
by healthcare companies about their treatments, external                 medicines that appeal through their functional benefits to expert
communication is restricted even further by the industry                 consultants and early adopters but without understanding and
itself, both in terms of internal legal and regulatory experts           engaging with the broader group of end-users, there is every
and competitor companies keen to use the stifling regulatory             chance the brand won’t ever reach its full potential. And in an
environment to remove any advantage.                                     industry with a limited window of opportunity to recoup the
                                                                         substantial investment in getting brands to market and, more
All of which can lead to the perception of an industry which             importantly, maximise the number of patients reaping the
is out of touch and unwilling to listen to its end users. But            medical rewards, the stakes are considerable.
we would suggest that the problem is not so much that the
pharmaceutical industry is unwilling to listen, rather that due          But how is the new world of democratised information
to regulation it is wary of truly engaging. The pharmaceutical           relevant to health audiences specifically? There is a palpable
industry has always been a big advocate of listening to the              sentiment in the industry that doctors do not participate in the
marketplace; however, it can be over-reliant on listening to             new world of online communication. Not only is this not true,
sources, such as traditional market research, which relies               it is no longer relevant; the key opinion leaders with whom
on one-way expressions of opinion in a highly controlled                 the industry is used to having contact are only one of many
environment. Market research can be valuable for providing               influencers which it now needs to engage with, including
a snapshot of opinion at one moment in time, but it cannot               ‘rank and file’ physicians, regulators, governmental payers,
meaningfully engage with stakeholders in a two way dialogue              advocacy groups and, of course, patients.
and, without this, one is not really listening, but rather under-
taking a process designed to deliver what one wants to hear.




                                                                    20
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




This brings us back to where we started. How can the                      pharmaceutical industry to truly engage with its stakeholders
pharmaceutical industry realistically hope to engage with its             in respectful ongoing relationships which will help companies
publics, such as patients, in the face of the strict regulatory           to tell a story that is heard, believed and has resonance with
landscape? The answer partially lies in a fundamental                     the communities they want to reach. Public engagement in
rethink of what constitutes successful messaging. In today’s              a regulated industry isn’t the challenge it first appears to be;
environment, separate messages for separate audiences do                  if the industry is prepared to look forward and understand
not work; peer-to-peer communication leaves companies that                this new environment, the opportunities far outweigh the
continue to do this looking manipulative and untrustworthy.               disadvantages of engaging.
All types of stakeholders have the potential to be opinion
formers for brands and they will seek validation from a
wide range of sources before the information provided by
companies is validated.

In today’s world, the role of public engagement is to be the
facilitator and creator of a central narrative, joining the pieces
together to ensure the company and stakeholder can engage
in a meaningful way which is mutually beneficial and builds
trust and ultimately equity for the brands and company. This
can be done without broad communication about brands;
indeed, the days of being entirely reliant on carefully worded                             Steven Spurr
brand key messages are over.                                                               Managing Director
                                                                                           Steve is Managing Director, Health. He read
                                                                                           economics at the LSE and it was here that he
It is of course fine for companies to convey their point of view,
                                                                                           became fascinated with the concept of perfect
but it should be aligned to what the market and individual                                 information and how it influences every choice and
stakeholders want, and should always be transparent. Brand                                 decision in our lives.
building still exists but the context in which it occurs has                               steven.spurr@edelman.com
changed; first we must understand environments and then
interact with them to convey our point of view and forward a
                                                                                           Ross Williams
mutually advantageous proposition to advance shared interests.                             Associate Director – Editorial
                                                                                           Ross leads a new editorial offer in Health, created
External communication will always be curtailed for the                                    to provide dedicated editorial counsel, guidance
pharmaceutical industry to a certain extent and this is                                    and content development for Edelman’s Health
necessary, but it does not mean the industry cannot listen to,                             clients.
and participate in, the conversation. It is our job to help the                            ross.williams@edelman.com




                                                                     21
EDELMAN




LISTENING FOR
RESULTS
As Marshall Manson wrote at the start of this publication, in an evolving world of
cross-influence, listening is more important than ever. Genuine, compelling and
transparent engagement can drive brand awareness, customer loyalty and, ultimately,
sales. Our listening, however, can be easily subsumed by the constant barrage of
messages received. In today’s world, we need to listen to more stakeholders more
often than ever – not just tune in to one voice. There is a whole echo chamber of
influencers around our brands, businesses, issues and communications to consider,
such as the media, NGOs, policy makers, opinion elites, employees and consumers,
all of whom have strong opinions.

Surrounded by this cacophony of sounds, voices and messages,            what actions companies are taking to show they are good global
how we can properly tune into what is being said, where and             citizens or employers of choice.
by whom? Listening with new intelligence means focusing our
attention on three things:                                              Public engagement is about advancing shared interests. This
•	 what	people	think                                                    requires us to find new ways of observing and measuring those
•	 what	people	say                                                      interests. It is imperative that, as an industry, we evolve the way
•	 what	people	do                                                       that we listen to conversations and measure the impact of our
                                                                        communications so that they properly reflect the new world
                                                                        order. The age of top down, command and control messaging
Some of the tools we need to use are tried and tested, while
                                                                        is over and the decline of advertising overthrows AVE-centric
others are evolving to reflect the fast-paced changes to the new
                                                                        measurements. There is still space for activity tracking, media
ecology of media and influencers:
                                                                        coverage or direct response but we need to go further to
                                                                        understand with greater reach and finesse the outcomes
What Do They Think? – Use primary research to understand
                                                                        and impact that those programmes have on all stakeholders.
people’s awareness, interest, attitudes and ideas. We need to
                                                                        Results-based measurement requires asking hard questions.
engage influencers and customers on topics of their interest –
                                                                        Have we moved the needle on how people think, speak and
not just ours.
                                                                        act about the company, brand or issue? In the age of public
                                                                        engagement, no one person has all the answers.
What Do They Say? – Go to where the dialogue is happening
– online and offline. Be in the conversation to listen and
understand, as well as talk. Use media monitoring tools and
RSS feeds to cost-effectively capture conversations across
channels and networks, from print and trade press to social
media such as blogs, twitter and forums. Another route is to
tap into new research tools like hosted online communities.
These are recruited communities of brand aficionados who
help companies like Procter & Gamble or Unilever to co-
create new products, or provide feedback on brand actions or                              Laurence Evans
communications.                                                                           President, StrategyOne
                                                                                          Originally from New Zealand, Laurence has lived in
                                                                                          5 countries and worked in 23 countries in 27 years
What Do They Do? – Be a people watcher and a trend
                                                                                          while staying married to Rochelle. He has licenses
watcher. Observe what consumers are spending their money                                  to drive on both left and right hand sides of the
on, what their media or entertainment viewing habits are and                              road so now he drives down the middle.
where they are going for information. For business, observe                               laurence.evans@strategyone.net




                                                                   22
Edelman
Trust
Barometer
2010
•	An	annual	global	review	of	
  the state of trust in Business,
  Government and Media.

•	An	analysis	of	the	implications	
  for leadership in addressing
  the big issues of our time

•	10	years	of	trends,	published	
  in	January	2010

•	www.edelman.co.uk/
  trustbarometer
EDELMAN


ONE WORLD & ONE AGENCY
PUBLIC
ENGAGEMENT
MAKES YOU
THINK
Twelve months ago, a number of us argued that this would be a ‘good’ recession
for PR. Advertising monies seemed set to migrate towards the more engaging and
relevant of the two disciplines. Marketers began to realise that, to borrow from Lord
Lever’s famous phrase, a lot more than half their monies was simply being wasted
in a world of ‘continuous partial attention’, where social media had entered the
mainstream.

What started as a re-alignment of spend in difficult times has            of the peer, the employee and the customer has confirmed
inadvertently accompanied a fundamental shift in the wider                the shift from a shareholder to stakeholder society, there are
agency landscape. The convergent agency is the necessary                  just certain parts that advertising and other ‘old’ disciplines
reality now. It is, at heart, a manifestation of the one world            cannot reach. The urgent need to Act and Tell demands a
of cross-influence which we all inhabit. As we emerge into a              mix of policy and communications skills; digital outreach
post-crisis world, we would do well to heed our own advice to             and content development; a new kind of intelligence and
clients and re-consider where we stand in our own industry                insight altogether. Communications firms today must be able
landscape.                                                                to embrace the regulatory, government, employee and NGO
                                                                          agendas with equal and balanced aptitude. It is no longer a
Why?                                                                      simple issue of customers, consumers and consumption (if it
                                                                          ever was). This, fundamentally, is where the current ad agency
First, because the digital revolution has driven                          model falls woefully short.
profound and permanent behavioural change. Of course,
we all know this. The new ecology sees a hard re-alignment of             Third, because the myths of advertising have been
interests and a far less stable (and less easily identifiable) set        exposed by this enforced new age of austerity. What
of influencers. Old agency models (including advertising, DM,             started as an inquisition over total cost has thankfully evolved
Media and others) historically relied on this stability to both           into a more rigorous questioning of the role of advertising
target audiences and sell to clients. We can no longer be in              itself. Sure, this is not un-connected with Point 1 above
the audience business; we all have to learn instead to ride the           – but some of the mythology around agency supremacy
ripples, waves and occasional tsunami of influence.                       has been properly laid bare. The One Agency Solution will
                                                                          indeed emerge in the next five years – but it will be content,
Second, because only an evolved form of PR can                            conversation and influence-led and not by those insistent on
deliver against corporate and brand needs across                          producing a 30-second film at any cost and simply calling
this new sphere of influence. In a hyper-connected world                  themselves ‘the agency’. ‘Right’ must start with Insight,
where citizen activists and/or NGOs can hold both businesses              Planning and Strategy – and no one discipline or agency,
and governments to account and where the continued rise                   properly constructed, holds the monopoly here.




                                                                     24
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2




                                                 in
                                   Participate                                       Listen
                                              a tion:
                                 the convers                                       with new
                                    rea l	time /all	
                                                                                  intelligence
                                      the time

                                                          Cre
                                                              at
                                                          co-c e and
                                                               re
                                                          con ate
                                                              tent
                     Soci
                          ali
                     med se
                   rela ia
                       tion
                             s
                                                                         Build active
                                                                       partnerships for
                                                                        common good
                                          pion
                                      Cham n
                                        ope y
                                            cac
                                       advo
                                                          Em
                                                        the brace
                                                            cha
                                                                os




Fourth, no client should afford the luxury of multiple                 mess. Too much was taken for granted; not enough questions
agency partners. In one world of cross-influence, why                  asked. We sleepwalked into disaster. Real reform has to start
on earth are clients paying for five (advertising, PR, Media,          here and now if we are to evolve with the new ecology of
CRM, Digital) agencies, five teams, five programmes etc?               influence and interests. PR firms have to re-consider their own
‘Holistic working’ is nothing more than a buzzword reflection          structure and purpose, to re-configure as vociferous leaders
of companies trying to stitch together their own silos and             and champions for what we are calling Public Engagement.
inefficient corporate structures. We should be giving clients          This will require adding new skills and changing working
best advice. And the best advice is that reform needs to start         practices, for sure. We must do this with speed and with relish.
from within the client organisation as well as from within the
agency itself. It is not merely a question of reducing spend;          The alternative is to sit tight, pretend the moment will pass
it is about finding efficiencies and building future-facing            – and behave like smug dinosaurs at the centre of a rapidly
communications teams that are multi-skilled, not expensively           changing ecology. And we all know what happened to them.
and silo/ discipline/ audience focussed. Planners and
Creatives are available to all. Production is easily outsourced
– and can be more competitively partnered and priced. The ad
industry has hidden behind a certain mythology for years. We                            Robert Phillips
know we can all create and co-create content. So, the model                             UK CEO
is already there in the making.                                                         Robert is the UK CEO of Edelman. He is also the co-
                                                                                        author of Citizen Renaissance (2008) and a frequent
                                                                                        contributor and columnist on issues facing the
The symbolism of the global financial crisis should not be lost                         communications, corporate and brand worlds.
on the Communications sector. Living on the luxury of Wants                             robert.phillips@edelman.com
Not Needs was one of the reasons we all ended up in this




                                                                  25
Proud of our people
                     Proud of our independence

                                        Want to join the family?




                 If you’d like to have a chat, please contact
Jodi McLaren for New Business: jodi.mclaren@edelman.com
        Rebecca Hall for Talent: rebecca.hall@edelman.com
                                                 +44 (0)20 3047 2000
                                                 www.edelman.co.uk

                     Daniel J Edelman Inc. is the world’s largest independent PR agency

                     Consultancy of The Year 2009
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2


CONVICTION OR CONVENIENCE:
IS NOW THE
TIME FOR
BUSINESS
TO LEAD?
As 2009 came to a close, Simon Schama described the year as               is how we interpret the data and work with clients to address
‘the most grisly, powerful, monstrous moment in the history               the most urgent issues of our times. Can PR really change its
of capitalism’. During the course of 2009, Charlie Mayfield,              traditional mandate and, wearing the new clothes of Public
Chairman of John Lewis, called for new models of business                 Engagement, step into the historical domain of management
ownership, while economist Noreena Hertz argued that                      consultants and accountants – engaging, modeling and
business can supplant government and enjoy a mandate to lead              planning, rather than just broadcasting and storytelling?
in the post-crisis age. Aviva Investors UK CEO Paul Abberley,
speaking at the UN, urged Global Stock Exchanges to take real             In an evolved form of Public Relations, my personal belief
action on Corporate Responsibility: his rallying cry to promote ‘a        is that we can step forward and lead. But we must acquire
global listing environment that requires companies to consider            new skills; and our own industry leaders must work with the
how responsible and sustainable their business model is, and              Mayfields and the Abberleys to confront change. Together,
encourages them to put a forward-thinking sustainability                  we can shape a new business and communications ecology
strategy to the vote at their AGMs’. The FT’s Stefan Stern                which, to paraphrase Danone’s CEO Franck Riboud, should
meanwhile asked poignantly whether companies are speaking                 serve as both a social and an economic project. Profit can be
such language out of ‘conviction or convenience?’                         maximized and used in active partnership for common good -
                                                                          as we embrace Schama’s monstrous moment and step into a
Almost forty years since Milton Friedman published that                   more powerful and exciting future.
article in the New York Times Magazine – arguing that
the social responsibility of business is to maximize profit –
communications industry leaders must today ask questions                                                               Robert Phillips
of ourselves. Are we advising clients out of conviction or                                                 robert.phillips@edelman.com
convenience? Do we have a responsibility to lead, or should
we merely serve as collaborators in compliance culture? Are
there cynics among us who are monetizing this moment of
responsibility, or should we be transformative and future-
shaping? Is this even our place?

Edelman Trust and goodpurposeTM surveys reinforce the
pre-eminence of the stakeholder society and the centrality of
Mutual Social Responsibility to business. The real challenge




                                                                     27
Edelman	|	Southside	|	105	Victoria	Street	|	London	SW1E	6QT	|	+44	20	3047	2000	|	www.edelman.co.uk

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Public Engagement in the Conversation Age Vol. 2 (2009)

  • 2. EDELMAN CONTENT FOREWORD/FUTURE ECOLOGY: A NEW ERA OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT 3 IN AN ENGAGED WORLD, LISTENING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER 4 THE SEVEN BEHAVIOURS OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT 5 THE POWER OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT. THE AGE OF PERSONAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 6 WHY IT’S TIME FOR THE AD AGENCIES TO ADMIT DEFEAT 8 EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY INTO BUSINESS AND BRAND: MAKING SENSE OF THE UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS 10 PUTTING CREATIVITY FIRST 12 IT’S POLITICS, JIM, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT 14 SOUND BITE OR SOUND INSIGHT 16 DEMAND DRIVEN DIALOGUE: DESIGNING DEMAND IN THE IT WORLD 18 PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IN A REGULATED ENVIRONMENT 20 LISTENING FOR RESULTS 22 EDELMAN TRUST BAROMETER 2010 23 ONE WORLD, ONE AGENCY: PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT MAKES YOU THINK 24 CONVICTION OR CONVENIENCE: IS NOW THE TIME FOR BUSINESS TO LEAD? 27 ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION This is the second volume of Edelman’s annual publication, Public Engagement in the Conversation Age. It is a collection of thought pieces written by the UK team about the communications challenges facing brands, corporates, politics and NGOs – as well as our own industry, as we evolve from Public Relations to Public Engagement. PR CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR 2009 2
  • 3. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 FUTURE ECOLOGY: A NEW ERA OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PR is changing. Driven at pace by the democratizing power of digital and the continued shift from a shareholder to a stakeholder society, we are witnessing the emergence of a new model of Public Engagement. Networks have replaced channels; influence has supplanted audience; shared interests are moving us beyond dogma; and multilateral connection is the new dialogue. We are faced daily with a chaos of news and views. The golden age of broadcast is finally over. This all has profound implications for the communications active citizenship, as calls for transparency intensify and as world. In a parallel trend, corporate reputation and brand transparency itself is further empowered by the digital world. marketing are converging at speed; we, the people, have Citizen politics now demands that governments and business become media in our own right; and everyone – from citizen Act and Tell. Storytelling alone is just not good enough – and to brand to corporation – now has the ability to participate an evolved form of communications is the obvious result. in the conversation, anywhere and at any moment in time. Opinion is becoming increasingly democratised and media Public Engagement is the codification of where we are today increasingly socialized. None of this should surprise us – it is – a recognition of the new order that is emerging from the the reality of the everyday. continued chaos. Public Engagement embraces the current reality and faces the future, safe in the knowledge that waves Immediacy is everywhere. We no longer wait more than of change will inevitably come again. The PR agency which minutes for our news, in a world where the story of an sits back and watches the chaos unfold is the one which will earthquake breaks on Twitter before it reaches the newswires. play no part in the future ecology of communications. Which Newspapers have become ‘Viewspapers’. The old rules of is why we, at Edelman, continue to think, write and debate audience cannot apply and the conventions of advertising are these new truths and why we are re-shaping ourselves to understandably crumbling. The 30-second spot has become deliver in a world of cross-influence. We do not have all the the short-form film… and it is all content for the conversation answers. Nobody does. But, as these Public Engagement anyway. essays demonstrate, we will both stimulate and participate in the conversation. This is not merely a tale of technology, however, nor is it just about the internet. Technology has begat behavioural change and introduced the new norms. Reform is unlikely to stop here. This is an unfolding story of society and people – how we interact, what we prioritise and where we come together in active coalitions. Recent Edelman Trust data (July 2009) ranked the interests of the employee and the customer alongside those of the shareholder, while supply chain ethics, Directors’ pay and responsible governance have suddenly Robert Phillips become genuine influencing factors in purchasing decisions. UK CEO Governments are increasingly held to account by a digitally- robert.phillips@edelman.com 3
  • 4. EDELMAN IN AN ENGAGED WORLD LISTENING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER Consider a moment we have all experienced. Standing at a party, chatting amiably with a friend, an interloper arrives, interrupts our conversation, seizes control and turns it in an unexpected and perhaps unwelcome direction. Too often, this is the approach that communicators and marketers label ‘engagement’. To be sure, some people will listen for a few moments, then By listening with new intelligence, we can identify the key make their excuses and drift away. But many will be (at best) idea starters and amplifiers. Idea Starters are the ones who annoyed and the outcome will be unsatisfactory for everyone. will spark the conversation. Amplifiers can be anyone. They Brilliant grandmothers the world over have made a cliché out are the ones who will continue the discussion and advance it of the notion that we were given two ears and one mouth for through their networks. a reason. But those who practice ham-handed attempts at engagement behave as if they have a very large mouth and no Listening can also impact a business beyond communications. ears at all. Starbucks (an Edelman client), for example, has created My Successful engagement must begin with a realization that Starbucks Idea, a platform for listening to, and co-creating might at first be uncomfortable: as communicators and with, its customers that has yielded important suggestions marketers, we no longer control the terms of engagement. for improving the company’s business. Ranging from product The decision to interact is necessarily one of mutual consent. ideas to operational improvements, Starbucks’ commitment to listening has driven results straight to its bottom line. So before we can engage, we need to take the time to understand the answers to several key questions: Similarly, by listening to its customers wherever they were • Who might be interested in talking with us? talking – in this case, Twitter – U.S. cable giant Comcast • What are they interested in talking about? improved its customer service and, according to its CEO, • Where and on what terms would they like to connect? changed the culture of the company, making it more responsive and engaged. Answering these questions ensures that when we do engage, The risks of failing to listen are massive. In a world where we will approach the conversation with content that is everyone is a publisher and compelling content always relevant, timely and interesting. manages to find an audience, a crisis can appear from anywhere. Failing to listen can leave us ignorant and Effective listening also provides a roadmap for deploying our impotent. resources and ensuring that whatever approach we adopt is practical and realistic by helping us prioritize the influencers So if we commit ourselves to listening, how should we do it? we might want to engage. 4
  • 5. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 LISTEN Listening with new intelligence is a uniquely human skill. Discerning sincerity, subtlety and emotion are all instinctive human abilities that no machine or artificial intelligence has yet mastered – in spite of the countless over-marketed claims The Seven Behaviours to the contrary. Technology can and must provide assistance, but at its core, listening is more art than science – more a personal exercise than a computational one. of Public The countless platforms for listening are useful for gathering together elements of the conversation that are relevant. But Engagement once gathered, real understanding only comes from immersion 1. LISTEN WITH NEW INTELLIGENCE in the content and an in-depth understanding of the context. And real success only comes from a commitment to act on 2. PARTICIPATE IN CONVERSATION: what is learned. REAL TIME/ALL THE TIME 3. SOCIALISE MEDIA RELATIONS Over the last few years, social media and similar technological 4. CREATE AND CO-CREATE CONTENT changes have made the world more connected, interactive and dynamic. In short, the world is a conversation. 5. CHAMPION OPEN ADVOCACY 6. BUILD ACTIVE PARTNERSHIPS FOR So at its core, the imperative to become better listeners rests COMMON GOOD on a simple, human truth: We cannot join a conversation without listening to it first. 7. EMBRACE THE CHAOS Are you listening? Public Marshall Manson Director Engagement: Marshall is Edelman’s EMEA Director of Digital ADVANCING SHARED INTERESTS IN Strategy. He has a diverse background in communications and lives in London. A WORLD OF CROSS-INFLUENCE marshall.manson@edelman.com 5
  • 6. EDELMAN THE POWER OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT THE AGE OF PERSONAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ‘I don’t like Mondays’ may have been a hit single for The Boomtown Rats in 1979, but one can’t help wonder if the sentiment reflects the feelings of much of today’s workforce following months of challenging business conditions and continued uncertainty. We can hardly question the deep rooted effect that events work they do. It is about establishing mutual respect in the of recent times have had on us all and one thing is clear: if workplace for what people do and can be. But it goes beyond business is to rebuild trust, this must begin with employees. this: to engender pride to work for a company not only drives As employees, we want our employers to communicate motivation and productivity but creates ambassadors for your and engage us with greater transparency and authenticity. business who in turn help attract the best and the brightest to Moreover, the licence to operate for business has changed, your organisation. our perspectives as individuals have changed, and, as a result, we expect business to recognise its role in driving greater The recently released MacLeod report ‘Engaging for Success: socioeconomic development in a new era of what we call enhancing performance through employee engagement’, ‘mutual social responsibility’. commissioned by the UK Government, states that employee engagement practices can actually help a company deal So, if we expect a higher level of social and environmental with the impacts of recession and emerge stronger. It reveals engagement from employers as well as from ourselves as that employees are often a source of knowledge and ideas individuals, is there any merit in bringing these two things which lead to operational efficiencies and, by providing together? And can business genuinely improve employee employees with a platform for sharing these ideas, a company performance and motivation by harnessing a shared will establish trust and loyalty. These are two qualities responsibility for doing good? that it is critical for a company to foster, particularly when there are difficult decisions to be made that impact the In order to try to answer these questions we must first look at workforce. Recent Trust Barometer data show that employees the evidence for prioritising effective employee engagement, and customers should rank as the CEO’s most important and then the case for creating effective engagement to drive stakeholders when making business decisions (July 2009). performance – what engages and motivates employees today? Yet employers still have work to do when it comes to meeting Employee engagement strives to create an emotional these engagement requirements. The Trades Union Congress connection that an employee feels about the organisation surveyed 3,000 workers in 2008 and found that almost one in which influences him or her to exert a greater effort in the three (30%) felt that their organisation does not fully engage 6
  • 7. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 them and less than half (46%) of those questioned felt that continuing education. Today’s workforce, and particularly the their employer deserves their loyalty. younger generation of workers, look for personal relevance in the fabric and meaning of their jobs. A sense of personal Perhaps part of the reluctance to address this situation is due responsibility for the state of the environment, the state of our to the fact that meeting these aspirations seems so daunting. finances and retirement options, the state of our health and It can’t be ignored that, with fast changing technologies, education systems is increasing. the immediacy of communications, and the rise of Citizen Journalism, many employers are cautious of committing to Business must move beyond these traditional models of open channels of communication and true dialogue with corporate responsibility to a more strategic and integrated employees. But, for those that do, the benefits can be seen approach based on sustainability across social, economic well beyond loyalty and employee retention. and environmental parameters. It must be driven from the core of the business and commitment must come from the So, what should we be engaging employees with and how do top of the organisation. It must transform the values of the we motivate them? The result of the recent crisis has meant organisation into programmes that employees will be inspired that conventional rewards such as pay rises and bonuses are to participate and engage in and ultimately engender a sense either simply not there or perhaps, more importantly, as we of pride and purpose in working for that organisation beyond return to the point of our individual and collective need for simply taking home a salary every day, week or month. business to drive mutual responsibility, do not go far enough Perhaps in understanding our own personal role we can learn to drive loyalty. Sylvia Ann Hewitt, economist and member from Sir Winston Churchill who said “We Make a Living By of the World Economic Forum Council on the Gender Gap What We Get, We Make a Life By What We Give”. and founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy, has published research which shows that high potential employees are motivated by a desire to give back to their communities and these employees are seeking out employers Pamela Fieldhouse that allow them to do so ‘on the job’. Managing Director Pamela leads Edelman’s corporate reputation team. Traditionally, companies have viewed employee engagement She has been passionate about understanding in terms of corporate social / environmental responsibility how to influence behaviour change since studying programmes, such as allowing employees time off work in psychology at university. order to get involved in community initiatives, or encouraging pamela.fieldhouse@edelman.com 7
  • 8. EDELMAN WHY IT’S TIME FOR THE AD AGENCIES TO ADMIT DEFEAT When ad agencies are rebranding themselves as “short form content agencies” and media agencies are suddenly sprouting production arms, you know the jig is up. You can’t rename a 30 second spot a viral, or seed an ad online, pretending it’s pure content and then bump it onto TV and expect no one to notice. The very ethos of a piece of entertainment that audiences self select is that it is MADE to engage, to be relevant, to provoke conversation – not to sell, not to shout. It has to be entertaining first and commercial second to court and invite participation – that way lies proper loyalty from the audience. This is an age where appointment to view is dead, where and fuelling discussion, driving participation and enjoying the viewers are in control and someone broadcasting from their momentum of sharing, while nailing publicity, fame and sales. front room can reach a global audience. In the world of public This is what PRs have always done, being agnostic in our engagement, a brand, product or service can and must be a choices of channel but greedy in our desire to deliver. media channel in its own right, in order to have ownership The X–Factor phenomenon shows how entertainment and to start – and keep – the dialogue. This means authoring and content can work beyond broadcast. It is all about content, embedding the message and/or the ethos within the participation and even lack of control, as the production actual content – and not in the zappable space around it (and company themselves load excerpts onto YouTube, that includes bumpers and sponsorships). understanding that they need to play freely in the digital space in order to command the control (and money) with Exclusive content is the fuel for engagement and the the phone voting when they do broadcast. They will make opportunity to gain audience participation and traction. But £20million on this series (Broadcast, 30/10/09) and are nailing to get that engagement, you need experts. And they are over 20 million viewers. not 30 second ad creatives. And they are not media buyers. They are the professionals of the entertainment industry – But X–factor aside, the entertainment industry is in trouble. production experts – together with those (yes, people like The loss of audience figures means advertising revenues are us!) that understand that the campaign does not live only by smashed, so production budgets get slashed and the content the content itself. Expertise that works on the distribution, is diluted or programming gets cut completely. In September the conversation, amplification and exploitation online, in 2009, the government announced it would review legislation media, on networks – pulling eyeballs back to the content around product placement allowing brands to become inte– 8
  • 9. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 grated into existing TV shows. But we know from the US that is priceless. The time for commercial selling and dubious experience that this is a weak alternative, accepted from a product claims are over – audiences expect companies to position of financial stress and where creative delivery is often interact with authenticity and transparency. Companies compromised by commercial pressure, leaving neither partner need engagement. Both will only achieve these if driven satisfied. by compelling content that courts, plays and engages with credibility and professionalism. As Peter Whitehead wrote in However, what the production company really wants is the FT “...Web 2.0 is a world in which anyone can have a go brand relevant partnerships that can take their content and at generating content; Web 3.0 is where professionals take build it online, in–store, in media, via downloads and on new the lead in shaping that content”. And those professionals are influencer platforms with new consumer experiences beyond the production experts and the multi–channel, multi–media the TV screen – and the money they will accept for access engagement experts. A new world, needing a new marketing and exploiting exclusive content is not that expensive. This offer. It’s all for the taking... approach is way beyond product placement, bumpers or name checks – more intelligent, more integrated, more shared. And it builds audience, loyalty and revenue for the brand and the Jackie Cooper networks, and is a new model for working that can replace the UK Creative Director ad agency relationship. Jackie is Creative Director & Vice Chair and has spent nearly 30 years in brand marketing. She A consumer brand recently paid £500k to sponsor a TV established the (already award winning) Edelman broadcast film – but the deal allowed the film to be released Content offer to deliver a unique combination of contacts and expertise in the entertainment, in weekly 10 minute segments for 9 weeks, airing the entire production and digital space. Her passionate film at 10 weeks. After only 2 weeks, the film was nailing belief is that stellar clients deserve world class an audience of 5 million. The online power of garnering production and exploitation collateral. audiences before a programme airs traditionally (or instead jackie.cooper@edelman.com of) is immense. Networks will kill for this. And brands enjoy David Fine audiences that positively replace the centre breaks of old, and Director, Content add value to the consumer experience. The time has come David Fine, Director of Content joined Jackie on for corporations and brands to have the belief and vision to her quest to identify and realize new opportunities make the leap and break out of the marketing silos of old for brands to reach and motivate audiences in the and embrace an opportunity that allows them to play on the non-zappable space after 15 years in consumer, screens of their target influencers in a way that is multi– entertainment and endorsement PR. platform, multi–experience, driving loyalty and participation david.fine@edelman.com 9
  • 10. EDELMAN EMBEDDING SUSTAINABILITY INTO BUSINESS AND BRAND MAKING SENSE OF THE UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS I never thought I would find myself recalling Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous words: “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know”. Most laughed out loud at the time, but somehow the words • what a company sells still resonate. And perhaps none more so than in an age when • how it operates we hear endless warnings of climate change and we try to • who it is. comprehend the abstract consequences of what action (or inaction) today will mean over the next 40 years. At its heart, sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future As businesss and brands grapple with their commitments to generations to meet their own needs. sustainability, a survey by PwC of 140 chief executives of US- based multinationals found that 85% believed that sustainable Can a company really have a ‘green’ product line if it doesn’t development would become increasingly important to their have a grip on employment practices in its supply chain? Is a business models. Despite this, a recent MIT Sloan Review and CEO a climate change hero because he tells the world his firm Boston Consulting Group study highlighted a lack of under- offsets its carbon emissions but does nothing at all to quantify standing of what sustainability is and a growing disconnect the impact and actually reduce them? Is a firm really ethical between corporate sustainability concerns and actions. As a if it donates millions to charity every year but continues to result, many organisations perpetuate a superficial model of develop products whose raw materials deplete the rainforests corporate responsibility as some kind of salve to those they at ever increasing rates? think are paying attention. Increasingly, it backfires. And a new activist is born. Does that mean a CEO should abandon any attempt to conduct his business in a more transparent, accountable and So what are we talking about when we say ‘sustainability’? responsible manner? Not at all. But it does mean that we need to be very clear on what we mean when we talk about Sustainability, in so far as it can be universally defined, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, or sustainable is measurable and effective strategy in execution at the development – and their limitations and genuine opportunities intersection of three domains: for systemic change. 10
  • 11. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 ii. Measurable outcomes for business, policy and public – that incorporate social, economic, environmental and ethical equity and justice at local, domestic and international levels for enterprises of all sizes and ownership structures. iv. Innovation: Thinking the unthinkable. Sustainability is about deep, long term transformation. Let us not accept anything less as corporate reputation becomes the democratised brand. v. Public Engagement as role model – Systems cause their own behaviour. The very substance and function of communication must evolve to make engagement more sustainable and meaningful. PwC says responsible leadership means integrating ethical considerations into company decision-making, and managing on the basis of personal integrity and widely-held organisational values. And here’s the crux – the rules of the game have changed since Milton Friedman wrote about the ‘social responsibility of business’. Social, environmental and ethical issues are not so much tangential to the business of business as fundamental to it. This year’s Edelman goodpurpose study found that more than half of consumers (56%) believe the interests of society and the interests of businesses should have equal weight in business decisions. We must exhibit what Lord Browne of Madingley called “clear- We don’t quite know what governance models will shape eyed realism” at what can be achieved in the face of the known business of the future, how convergence will shape unknowns of climate change and world poverty. Coherence in conversation and debate, what consumer habits and four areas will drive strategic change towards sustainability expectations will drive product innovation or what the leaders – domestic regulation, industry standards, capital markets of tomorrow will learn in the hallowed halls of our great and consumer behaviour. Navigating this journey will require learning establishments. But engagement will be responsible courageous leadership, clear measurement and the continuous for the success or failure of conversation and debate. engagement of all stakeholders. We must all develop what, author and psychologist, Daniel And this will have a transformational impact on the role and Goleman, calls ‘ecological intelligence’. It is about our ability responsibility of communications. to accept that we live in an infinitely connected world with finite resources. If we knew the hidden impacts of what we Robert Phillips has said elsewhere that the PR industry stands buy, sell, or market, we could become shapers of a more at the threshold of achieving what it has always aspired positive future by making our decisions better align with to. Through the elevation of strategic insight and content our values. We as communicators must make sense of and expertise, we need to adopt a ‘systems thinking’ approach to mainstream this nascent ecological transparency for our communication that starts with a fundamental re-evaluation collective future. of the structures and behaviours inherent in the discipline. And that would make those unknown unknowns just that The new model of Public Engagement (PE) can clarify and little bit more familiar. amplify the most important and far reaching conversations that business, government and citizenship need to engage in to make sustainability mainstream. This model of PE for Sustainability has five dimensions: Anne Augustine i. Mutual responsibility & accountability – a better Head of Sustainability alignment with business, civil and national objectives and Anne joined Edelman in November 2009 to values, communicated with integrity and honesty. spearhead its Sustainability practice. She was previously EMEA director of corporate sustainability ii. Platforms for shared conversations – they are for a global IT services business. Anne thinks John happening everywhere, all of the time. PE can become the Peel Day should be a national holiday. network in a world of abundant cross influence. anne.augustine@edelman.com 11
  • 12. EDELMAN PUTTING CREATIVITY FIRST It’s a tough job as a brand or marketing manager. The fast pace of change in the communications world is clearly outstripping the marketing model of years gone by – the one that manifests in a prescriptive, traditional ATL and BTL split. Yet there is little room for manoeuvre for marketing teams. Where online conversations shape brands, and with communication as much from the bottom up as it is top down, new approaches, strategies and skills are required. However, as long as brand managers are still accountable to the old ROI marketing measures and channel planning models, the freedom to create genuinely innovative solutions that drive positive brand engagement via the new world order are a long way off. So, based on where we are now, whether agency or client, including The Science of Sexy, an online film featuring Dita imagine the next integrated agency planning meeting. The Von Teese discovering the formula for sexy. This was then brand challenge for 2010 is set from above: find the next seeded online via partnerships with various sites and bloggers creative idea that’s going to propel the brand to No 1 in the such as Perez Hilton. The on-going social media outreach, category... see sales rises of 25% and make it the nation’s print, radio, TV editorial coverage and experiential campaign favourite. However, here lies the dichotomy. With the channels saw brand collateral disseminated to influencers online often already selected, the constraints to creating that big idea and offline to drive real brand awareness and engagement. are already in place. A case of tail wagging dog that restricts Dita appeared on TV and radio as well as print and creativity and the opportunity to capitalise on what is now a magazine interviews and the viral became the most viewed complex network of cross influencers – much of this through entertainment film on YouTube in the UK. The results spoke for social media. But that’s what we’re trying to do... around themselves. With no traditional advertising, the product had that table, come up with the killer idea and get the target sold out as it hit the shelves. demographic to buy. Look at the ‘Bring Back Wispa’ campaign that relied on Some of the most recent marketing successes started online Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and You Tube and a social media through social media, in partnership with print, radio and outreach campaign to galvanise support. The activity was TV editorial coverage, and then called on advertising at backed by a heavy-weight press, TV and radio editorial the tail end of the campaign – simply as a reflection of the campaign to encourage influencers including journalists, DJs views of those who started the conversations. In other cases, and TV presenters to back the campaign. 14,000 Facebook advertising has been ignored all together and the brand still fans and a photocall with Rula Lenska sparked a two year managed sell-out activities. So why do brands still insist on campaign culminating in the recent, and more traditional, TV shouting at people via the old model when we’re now in an advertising campaign ‘For The Love of Wispa’ featuring a cast age of conversation and engagement? of hundreds of real people. The re-launch via social media and editorial activity boosted Cadbury’s sales by 5%. The award-winning Wonderbra campaign to launch Dita Von Teese’s limited edition range is an excellent example Measuring these sorts of campaigns is getting more of breaking traditional boundaries in a world of public sophisticated. Edelman is already creating a series engagement. JCPR created a unique integrated campaign, of sophisticated algorithms, such as TweetLevel, and 12
  • 13. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 measurement tools to go head-to-head with the traditional ideas... free yourselves from the shackles of prescriptive advertising measurement models used by media buying marketing models and media buying agency channel plans. agencies. With a fast-moving communication climate and this Let your creative agencies (and not just the ad team) lead the complex network of cross-influence, the challenge is now to way here and throw the gauntlet down to them. You might be keep up with these rapid changes and measure accordingly. surprised. And fast they are. According to new insights, teenagers apparently reject advertising, particularly digital, as well Forget the money at the idea stage– much creativity as sites such as Twitter (Morgan Stanley’s How Teenagers and idea development is constrained by talk of money at the Consume Media Report). Research from AdWeekMedia and brainstorm stage, and also the fight between the agencies for Harris Interactive back this up and show that 46% of US net their slice of the pie. Start with the position of ‘the sky’s the users ignore banner ads. It’s clear therefore that fresh thinking limit’ – it will pay dividends and will enable you to assess true is required to reach the brand’s key demographic – especially value for money when you’ve developed the concept. when it comes to creating online momentum. Marketing is not an exact science – predicting a success Furthermore, with AVE falling rapidly, marketing budgets is virtually impossible. Whatever happened to gut feeling and being cut and consumer behaviour changing when it comes risk? Who would have thought that the meerkats for confused. to how they receive information, the time is right for the bold com would build a brand profile and position the comparison and adventurous marketing teams to harness the opportunity. site at the top of the nation’s mind? After all, we are all So for all those brand and marketing managers wanting to consumers. The best marketers instinctively know when make a real difference, and be known for creating that one something will work. And it’s based on their instinct. The new memorable campaign... what’s the advice for the advent of world order of public engagement requires marketers to be Brand Bravery? brave, so take the leap of faith – it might just work! Talk about ‘channels’ in a different way – the new era of public engagement relies on a complex web of influencers. Emma Nicholson Challenge agencies to see if they truly understand how to Director layer a campaign effectively to create bottom up dialogue and Emma heads up the Leisure & Lifestyle team in Edelman’s consumer division, JCPR. She has been conversation. creating consumer campaigns for leading UK and international fmcg, retail and service brands for the Explore and encourage creativity – use your agencies past 15 years. effectively and efficiently and regularly develop creative emma_nicholson@jcpr.com 13
  • 14. EDELMAN IT’S POLITICS, JIM BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT The new world of public engagement in which we have witnessed an explosion in new networks of influence; the emergence of new influencers and niche online forums (such as ConservativeHome, Guido Fawkes); the continuing decline of traditional media; and a move away from a top down approach to communication to a world where anybody can be an influencer via their blog, Facebook or Twitter account, has profound implications for the main UK political parties and our political system as a whole. Here are four trends for what this new era of communications John Prescott tweeted at the time: “It will be the son, means for political parties and, as we look ahead to 2010, daughter, uncle, mother and friend wot will win it in 2010. future general election campaigns: Endorsements from ordinary people NOT media barons.” It will be the endorsement of these ordinary people (peers 1. The rise of the ultra micro-group. All three main with a small ‘p’), who are shaping and influencing the political parties employ the Mosiac marketing system debate through niche networks, that political parties will which divides Britain into 155 types of individual, 67 increasingly seek. Party leaders are already beginning to different households and 15 other groups as a way of recognise the influence of sites such as Mumsnet (http:// targeting different voter types (remember Mondeo Man www.mumsnet.com), a parenting forum that attracts over and Worcester Woman). However, the rise of social 800,000 unique users. Both David Cameron and Gordon media, which creates both small and large online activist Brown fielded questions on the site in 2009. communities - usually based around just one single issue, that don’t conform to traditional demographics - means that political parties will have to rethink how they target 3. The continuing decline of two Party Politics. The the voter. new world of public engagement will see yet another nail hammered into the coffin of the traditional two party Brockley Central (http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/) – system. While back in the 1950s, 95% of votes cast went run by an Edelman colleague – is one example of an online to one of the two main political parties, by the last general network that demonstrates these shifts. The site appeals election in 2005, they were only receiving 69% of the vote to a wide cross-section of voters who are not necessarily – today that number is only in the mid 60s. This decline is connected by demographics, but by local community set to continue with the demoncratising power of the web issues. Parties who offer a one size fits all model, and don’t and the rise of single issue groups. People no longer see take account of these networks of influence, will simply not themselves as a lone voice protesting about a particular survive in the new world of public engagement. issue but rather part of a group who are no longer catered for by the traditional two-party model – and whose shared 2. It won’t be the Sun wot won it. While people will interests can be advanced through the power of the web. debate whether it was The Sun’s endorsement that won The rise of resident associations, of extreme groups at the 1992 General Election for the Conservative Party, local government level or UKIP at a European level, are the continuing decline of traditional media and the manifestations of the changing nature of the Party system. rise of online networks and influencers mean that print newspapers’ endorsement will no longer be the holy 4. A Manifesto for the people by the people. While Tony grail for any political party. As that sage of the internet Blair’s Big Conversation initiative was widely criticised as 14
  • 15. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 nothing more than an election gimmick, the collapse of top The MPs’ expenses were a painful example of this new era of down communications, the fragmentation of the media, the transparency and accountability but this is just the beginning. empowerment of the voter via the web (digital democracy) Soon, the public sector will be forced to reveal the detail and and the rise of consumer politics mean that any Party that value of its contracts and another bout of soul searching will adopts a strategy that sees an election manifesto emerge begin and questions will be asked about how the body politic from on high and expects it to excite and engage the can regain trust. voter is surely a strategy doomed to failure. Empowered citizens will expect, if not demand, an ability to help shape The new Speaker and some enlightened thinkers from and influence the content of any manifesto. While political both sides of the House of Commons have begun to talk parties will no longer be able to count on the reach of about how Parliament and the wider political system needs traditional media to communicate their policies, they will to change. However, none has yet grasped, or perhaps need to use the principles of public engagement to reach even fully understood, the magnitude of how society is out and engage the voter. changing, brought on by the rise of new technology, the empowerment of the citizen and the thirst for transparency So there you have it. Four trends for what the changing and accountability. communications landscape means for political parties and any future General Election campaigns. However, it’s not just the parties who will have to adapt, change and embrace this new reality if they are to survive and prosper. The political system itself will also need to change or face a crisis of confidence – more traumatic than the recent expenses scandal. It’s a new world in which transparency and accountability are central. The democratising power of digital means that citizens will no longer tolerate advice being kept secret or decisions being taken behind closed doors. Indeed, one only Alex Bigg needs to look at the increasing demands for independent Managing Director inquiries across a broad range of issues and incidents to Alex is Managing Director of Edelman’s award gauge the mood of an increasingly sceptical public when it winning Public Affairs practice. comes to believing what they are told by Government. alex.bigg@edelman.com 15
  • 16. EDELMAN SOUND BITE OR SOUND INSIGHT I am often struck by just how close to the wind some high-profile political speakers can sometimes sail. It seems rather unfair that our political masters – or those who would aspire to be so – can make what appear to be rash statements and claims based on little more than the failure of another group of politicians to deliver on a manifesto promise and the fact that the speakers’ party would somehow ‘do it better’ with little substantiation of how. In the world of medical communications, we are constantly • well trained – they know how to use small gestures, voice on our guard to ensure that we work within strict guidelines, intonation and pauses for maximum effect do not make unsubstantiated statements, ensure that the data • well rehearsed – they never leave anything to chance and support our arguments and operate with full transparency with have well prepared answers for difficult questions our clients and the doctors and other health-care professionals • charismatic – on the whole they project personality that we work with. It seems unfair at times that we cannot spe- • engaging – they deliver a speech that audiences feel culate on the data too far, we cannot criticise competing drugs drawn to listen to because they haven’t delivered on all of their endpoints when • speaking with few notes – very few are distracted by ours have – after all if our politicians can, why shouldn’t we? shuffling of their notes • using few, if any, visual aids – you’ll see very few Well, obviously, there are big differences between political PowerPoint slides! rhetoric and scientific accuracy. Medical communications professionals aim to prove their points through evidence; In a controlled profession like ours, the basic rules of politicians, more often than not (particularly on the Today presentation and communication still apply. However, the programme!), tend to beat down an opposing view based industry often falls into the trap of relying on presenting large on who can shout the loudest and for the longest without volumes of data and slides without thinking about audience giving in to another’s perspective. In medical communications engagement – this can do a disservice to the doctors that we this should not happen; sure, there are disagreements about work with and become a barrier to open debate. As impressive study design, data interpretation and statistical validity but as it might be, the data will not always speak for itself – it the majority of scientists and clinicians generally have an must be supported by clear messages, suitable platforms and appreciation for what the data reveal and of their limitations. compelling delivery to meet the company’s objectives. Nonetheless, can we learn anything from the political speech It is incumbent upon us, as medical education professionals meisters? On the whole, the notable speech makers have and communicators, to develop more engaging programmes several attributes that can be applied more thoroughly in and think more insightfully about how we truly engage with medical communications; more often than not they are: our audiences. Should it be a traditional passive style or 16
  • 17. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 should we be looking for opportunities to open up discussion? Now what I am not suggesting based on my comparison with Perhaps we should even get perspectives from other groups politicians is that we dumb down medical communications that we might not normally reach. Our audiences might to a few sound bites – clearly key messages need to be traditionally be a closed group of professionals, but the communicated around the therapeutic value of a drug, but principles of public engagement apply to them as much sound bites should never replace real insight about the benefits as any other group – something that can sometimes be of the drug, its place in clinical practice and the difference overlooked in order just to continue the churn of data. it could make to patients. Broadening our world view to engaging with audiences beyond our immediate community At BioScience Communications – Edelman’s specialist of physicians also provides an opportunity for pharmaceutical medical communications group – we believe that the companies to demonstrate a responsible attitude towards principles of public engagement that we apply across the patient education and a commitment to engage. Edelman business to audiences of all types do also apply fully to doctors and scientists in health-care. The value of We have to acknowledge that medical communications true engagement with our audiences can be impactful for is something of a conservative discipline, but perhaps the pharmaceutical companies, such as: time has come to move forward confidently and invest in • profiling the organisation’s willingness to open up opportunities that provide clients with the most important findings for discussion and critique return on their investment in a medical communications • demonstrating openness and transparency programme – a high profile for their brand through genuine • seeding debate that can provide valuable customer engagement with their target audiences and, importantly, insights with a broader audience than they might be used to. Now that would be a real innovation for medical communications. • potentially exposing the data to a wider audience through ongoing debate These might seem very obvious points to make, but in order to increase the levels of transparency in the communication David Noble of medical data, engaging with, and listening to, audiences Managing Director is critical. Ultimately this will begin to increase the levels of trust in the pharmaceutical industry – the reputation of which David is Managing Director of BioScience Communications – Edelman’s specialist medical has suffered in the wake of a number of poorly managed drug communications group. David has two children failures and issues around clinical trials in recent years – much who ensure that his debating and influencing skills of which has been due to lack of debate – and the apparent lack are tested daily. of willingness from the industry to engage in discussion. david.noble@bioscicom.net 17
  • 18. EDELMAN DEMAND DRIVEN DIALOGUE: DESIGNING DEMAND IN THE IT WORLD The growing impact that the internet and the current economic climate are having on the attitudes and behaviours of all users of modern technology is not in doubt. In maturing markets, where products are becoming more commoditised, customer groups are fragmenting into communities which share common values and idea. For those of us selling technology it means traditional sales techniques are insufficient, because these groups are emboldened to demand more from vendors. The ultimate goal for boardrooms across the IT sector does priorities and interests. This can be conducted even before a not change – the chief executive still has to prove two things product exists, or can be used to help a company entering a to shareholders. Firstly, how the company can sell more to new market to understand how it can marry its offering with existing companies and secondly how the company can the needs of the market. This process should be seen as a way credibly convince new customers to buy their products. to refine traditional marketing techniques. By giving greater access to information, the internet enables companies to be But given the landscape, there are two deeper questions that more precise in their assessment of and engagement with key the chief executive must answer: influencers –the individuals who crucially will help to make 1) How do I talk differently to existing customers in mature marketing events more enticing to customers and prospects. markets to sell more? The Demand Driven Dialogue model follows four stages, which are split into two parts. Phase one (Stages One and 2) How do I talk credibly to a prospect who does not know me? Two) is about designing demand for a product or service. Phase two (Stages Three and Four) is about driving demand. For the technology industry it means communicators can act as powerful catalyst for change, because vendors must find new ways to engage and compelling storytelling is PHASE ONE – DESIGNING DEMAND the tool to achieve this goal. Edelman has developed the Stage One – Understand the Conversation and Identify concept of Public Engagement, which at its highest level, the Influencers: Others have written elsewhere about the advances shared interests in a world of cross-influence. In importance of listening with new intelligence in a world of the enterprise IT market, this can be specifically focused on cross-influence. Identifying the most important conversations helping companies to design a conversation that will appeal and who is having them, where, is a critical starting point for to stakeholders and, more importantly, drive demand for companies because (even though some IT companies still products/services. believe it) most customers do not spend their entire time talking about their products. This is what we call ‘Demand Driven Dialogue.’ Stage two – Engage the Influencers and Build the At its heart, this process is about helping companies to Conversation: Influencers range from producers of content better understand the genuine interests of their audiences by to commentators and sharers, as well as watchers, who simply engaging with those people to build a clear picture of their want to understand what is being said. The key group at the 18
  • 19. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 heart of any debate are the curators and they perform a vital iv) Act: be seen to respond to feedback that is received, such role. Often they have no allegiance to one vendor, and are as adapting product roadmaps or adding functionality prepared to manage content as an amateur pastime, purely because they are passionate about a subject or product. Stage four – Go to Market – and embrace the chaos: Companies must participate in the conversations – in real Armed with the knowledge of the key influencers and time and all the time. By engaging these individuals in confident of the demand in the market, all that is left is to dialogue, and then working with them to have conversations announce the product or service to the wider market. In a with a wider network of influencers, it is easy to quickly complex world of multiple stakeholders and networks, this is reach an understanding of the on-going debates and more not always as simple as it sounds. Throughout the market roll importantly how your company can fit into these discussions. out, on-going interaction with the influencers and constant re-evaluation are needed – but above all, a commitment to PHASE TWO – DRIVING DEMAND participate in the conversation. Stage Three – Test and Evaluate: Once a company is With a willingness to participate in dialogue, companies can confident of its story it needs to be tested in the market open doors to engage differently – more meaningfully – with place. Targeting a smaller sub-set of prospects and existing their customers and influencers, resulting in excitement, customers, a company can engage these influencers to co- brand loyalty and fresh demand from unexpected quarters. create products and services. This is a consultative process and should be seen as an ideal opportunity to test proof-of- It really is good to talk. concepts so that suppliers can create a strong picture of the features and functions their customers really need. Based on our experience there are some key principles to remember: i) Be brave: do not duck controversy and learn to embrace Cairbre Sugrue the chaos Managing Director Cairbre is Managing Director of the UK’s Technology ii) Be frank (and transparent): transparency and open practice and is an unashamed champion of all dialogue must be the default - eg a bank should be upfront things IT. Particularly pleasing to him is the growing about why it is handing out bonuses acknowledgement (and some envy) among his non-techie colleagues that there is nowhere more iii) Listen and participate: but do not expect the discussion exciting than the tech industry today. to be all about you cairbre.sugrue@edelman.com 19
  • 20. EDELMAN PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IN A REGULATED ENVIRONMENT If we accept the hypothesis that we now live in a world of democratised cross influence where public engagement should be the mantra for meaningful communications, where does this leave highly regulated environments? How can companies meaningfully engage with their publics without incurring the wrath of industry watchdogs? These questions make it tempting to excuse heavily regulated The pharmaceutical industry may wonder if this is necessarily sectors from the new world order. “It doesn’t apply to us” a problem; after all, companies know their own treatments and was the essence of the health industry’s early response to disease areas – so surely they know what they need to the ascent of bloggers, tweeters and other social networkers communicate? This no longer holds true; it is not acceptable over the last few years and, on first glance, it seems easy to just tell the world what we think it wants to hear. If we to agree. As well as the restrictions set by governments don’t know what people want, we cannot respond to, or deliver and independent regulators to control communications against it. Pharmaceutical companies can produce great by healthcare companies about their treatments, external medicines that appeal through their functional benefits to expert communication is restricted even further by the industry consultants and early adopters but without understanding and itself, both in terms of internal legal and regulatory experts engaging with the broader group of end-users, there is every and competitor companies keen to use the stifling regulatory chance the brand won’t ever reach its full potential. And in an environment to remove any advantage. industry with a limited window of opportunity to recoup the substantial investment in getting brands to market and, more All of which can lead to the perception of an industry which importantly, maximise the number of patients reaping the is out of touch and unwilling to listen to its end users. But medical rewards, the stakes are considerable. we would suggest that the problem is not so much that the pharmaceutical industry is unwilling to listen, rather that due But how is the new world of democratised information to regulation it is wary of truly engaging. The pharmaceutical relevant to health audiences specifically? There is a palpable industry has always been a big advocate of listening to the sentiment in the industry that doctors do not participate in the marketplace; however, it can be over-reliant on listening to new world of online communication. Not only is this not true, sources, such as traditional market research, which relies it is no longer relevant; the key opinion leaders with whom on one-way expressions of opinion in a highly controlled the industry is used to having contact are only one of many environment. Market research can be valuable for providing influencers which it now needs to engage with, including a snapshot of opinion at one moment in time, but it cannot ‘rank and file’ physicians, regulators, governmental payers, meaningfully engage with stakeholders in a two way dialogue advocacy groups and, of course, patients. and, without this, one is not really listening, but rather under- taking a process designed to deliver what one wants to hear. 20
  • 21. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 This brings us back to where we started. How can the pharmaceutical industry to truly engage with its stakeholders pharmaceutical industry realistically hope to engage with its in respectful ongoing relationships which will help companies publics, such as patients, in the face of the strict regulatory to tell a story that is heard, believed and has resonance with landscape? The answer partially lies in a fundamental the communities they want to reach. Public engagement in rethink of what constitutes successful messaging. In today’s a regulated industry isn’t the challenge it first appears to be; environment, separate messages for separate audiences do if the industry is prepared to look forward and understand not work; peer-to-peer communication leaves companies that this new environment, the opportunities far outweigh the continue to do this looking manipulative and untrustworthy. disadvantages of engaging. All types of stakeholders have the potential to be opinion formers for brands and they will seek validation from a wide range of sources before the information provided by companies is validated. In today’s world, the role of public engagement is to be the facilitator and creator of a central narrative, joining the pieces together to ensure the company and stakeholder can engage in a meaningful way which is mutually beneficial and builds trust and ultimately equity for the brands and company. This can be done without broad communication about brands; indeed, the days of being entirely reliant on carefully worded Steven Spurr brand key messages are over. Managing Director Steve is Managing Director, Health. He read economics at the LSE and it was here that he It is of course fine for companies to convey their point of view, became fascinated with the concept of perfect but it should be aligned to what the market and individual information and how it influences every choice and stakeholders want, and should always be transparent. Brand decision in our lives. building still exists but the context in which it occurs has steven.spurr@edelman.com changed; first we must understand environments and then interact with them to convey our point of view and forward a Ross Williams mutually advantageous proposition to advance shared interests. Associate Director – Editorial Ross leads a new editorial offer in Health, created External communication will always be curtailed for the to provide dedicated editorial counsel, guidance pharmaceutical industry to a certain extent and this is and content development for Edelman’s Health necessary, but it does not mean the industry cannot listen to, clients. and participate in, the conversation. It is our job to help the ross.williams@edelman.com 21
  • 22. EDELMAN LISTENING FOR RESULTS As Marshall Manson wrote at the start of this publication, in an evolving world of cross-influence, listening is more important than ever. Genuine, compelling and transparent engagement can drive brand awareness, customer loyalty and, ultimately, sales. Our listening, however, can be easily subsumed by the constant barrage of messages received. In today’s world, we need to listen to more stakeholders more often than ever – not just tune in to one voice. There is a whole echo chamber of influencers around our brands, businesses, issues and communications to consider, such as the media, NGOs, policy makers, opinion elites, employees and consumers, all of whom have strong opinions. Surrounded by this cacophony of sounds, voices and messages, what actions companies are taking to show they are good global how we can properly tune into what is being said, where and citizens or employers of choice. by whom? Listening with new intelligence means focusing our attention on three things: Public engagement is about advancing shared interests. This • what people think requires us to find new ways of observing and measuring those • what people say interests. It is imperative that, as an industry, we evolve the way • what people do that we listen to conversations and measure the impact of our communications so that they properly reflect the new world order. The age of top down, command and control messaging Some of the tools we need to use are tried and tested, while is over and the decline of advertising overthrows AVE-centric others are evolving to reflect the fast-paced changes to the new measurements. There is still space for activity tracking, media ecology of media and influencers: coverage or direct response but we need to go further to understand with greater reach and finesse the outcomes What Do They Think? – Use primary research to understand and impact that those programmes have on all stakeholders. people’s awareness, interest, attitudes and ideas. We need to Results-based measurement requires asking hard questions. engage influencers and customers on topics of their interest – Have we moved the needle on how people think, speak and not just ours. act about the company, brand or issue? In the age of public engagement, no one person has all the answers. What Do They Say? – Go to where the dialogue is happening – online and offline. Be in the conversation to listen and understand, as well as talk. Use media monitoring tools and RSS feeds to cost-effectively capture conversations across channels and networks, from print and trade press to social media such as blogs, twitter and forums. Another route is to tap into new research tools like hosted online communities. These are recruited communities of brand aficionados who help companies like Procter & Gamble or Unilever to co- create new products, or provide feedback on brand actions or Laurence Evans communications. President, StrategyOne Originally from New Zealand, Laurence has lived in 5 countries and worked in 23 countries in 27 years What Do They Do? – Be a people watcher and a trend while staying married to Rochelle. He has licenses watcher. Observe what consumers are spending their money to drive on both left and right hand sides of the on, what their media or entertainment viewing habits are and road so now he drives down the middle. where they are going for information. For business, observe laurence.evans@strategyone.net 22
  • 23. Edelman Trust Barometer 2010 • An annual global review of the state of trust in Business, Government and Media. • An analysis of the implications for leadership in addressing the big issues of our time • 10 years of trends, published in January 2010 • www.edelman.co.uk/ trustbarometer
  • 24. EDELMAN ONE WORLD & ONE AGENCY PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT MAKES YOU THINK Twelve months ago, a number of us argued that this would be a ‘good’ recession for PR. Advertising monies seemed set to migrate towards the more engaging and relevant of the two disciplines. Marketers began to realise that, to borrow from Lord Lever’s famous phrase, a lot more than half their monies was simply being wasted in a world of ‘continuous partial attention’, where social media had entered the mainstream. What started as a re-alignment of spend in difficult times has of the peer, the employee and the customer has confirmed inadvertently accompanied a fundamental shift in the wider the shift from a shareholder to stakeholder society, there are agency landscape. The convergent agency is the necessary just certain parts that advertising and other ‘old’ disciplines reality now. It is, at heart, a manifestation of the one world cannot reach. The urgent need to Act and Tell demands a of cross-influence which we all inhabit. As we emerge into a mix of policy and communications skills; digital outreach post-crisis world, we would do well to heed our own advice to and content development; a new kind of intelligence and clients and re-consider where we stand in our own industry insight altogether. Communications firms today must be able landscape. to embrace the regulatory, government, employee and NGO agendas with equal and balanced aptitude. It is no longer a Why? simple issue of customers, consumers and consumption (if it ever was). This, fundamentally, is where the current ad agency First, because the digital revolution has driven model falls woefully short. profound and permanent behavioural change. Of course, we all know this. The new ecology sees a hard re-alignment of Third, because the myths of advertising have been interests and a far less stable (and less easily identifiable) set exposed by this enforced new age of austerity. What of influencers. Old agency models (including advertising, DM, started as an inquisition over total cost has thankfully evolved Media and others) historically relied on this stability to both into a more rigorous questioning of the role of advertising target audiences and sell to clients. We can no longer be in itself. Sure, this is not un-connected with Point 1 above the audience business; we all have to learn instead to ride the – but some of the mythology around agency supremacy ripples, waves and occasional tsunami of influence. has been properly laid bare. The One Agency Solution will indeed emerge in the next five years – but it will be content, Second, because only an evolved form of PR can conversation and influence-led and not by those insistent on deliver against corporate and brand needs across producing a 30-second film at any cost and simply calling this new sphere of influence. In a hyper-connected world themselves ‘the agency’. ‘Right’ must start with Insight, where citizen activists and/or NGOs can hold both businesses Planning and Strategy – and no one discipline or agency, and governments to account and where the continued rise properly constructed, holds the monopoly here. 24
  • 25. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 in Participate Listen a tion: the convers with new rea l time /all intelligence the time Cre at co-c e and re con ate tent Soci ali med se rela ia tion s Build active partnerships for common good pion Cham n ope y cac advo Em the brace cha os Fourth, no client should afford the luxury of multiple mess. Too much was taken for granted; not enough questions agency partners. In one world of cross-influence, why asked. We sleepwalked into disaster. Real reform has to start on earth are clients paying for five (advertising, PR, Media, here and now if we are to evolve with the new ecology of CRM, Digital) agencies, five teams, five programmes etc? influence and interests. PR firms have to re-consider their own ‘Holistic working’ is nothing more than a buzzword reflection structure and purpose, to re-configure as vociferous leaders of companies trying to stitch together their own silos and and champions for what we are calling Public Engagement. inefficient corporate structures. We should be giving clients This will require adding new skills and changing working best advice. And the best advice is that reform needs to start practices, for sure. We must do this with speed and with relish. from within the client organisation as well as from within the agency itself. It is not merely a question of reducing spend; The alternative is to sit tight, pretend the moment will pass it is about finding efficiencies and building future-facing – and behave like smug dinosaurs at the centre of a rapidly communications teams that are multi-skilled, not expensively changing ecology. And we all know what happened to them. and silo/ discipline/ audience focussed. Planners and Creatives are available to all. Production is easily outsourced – and can be more competitively partnered and priced. The ad industry has hidden behind a certain mythology for years. We Robert Phillips know we can all create and co-create content. So, the model UK CEO is already there in the making. Robert is the UK CEO of Edelman. He is also the co- author of Citizen Renaissance (2008) and a frequent contributor and columnist on issues facing the The symbolism of the global financial crisis should not be lost communications, corporate and brand worlds. on the Communications sector. Living on the luxury of Wants robert.phillips@edelman.com Not Needs was one of the reasons we all ended up in this 25
  • 26. Proud of our people Proud of our independence Want to join the family? If you’d like to have a chat, please contact Jodi McLaren for New Business: jodi.mclaren@edelman.com Rebecca Hall for Talent: rebecca.hall@edelman.com +44 (0)20 3047 2000 www.edelman.co.uk Daniel J Edelman Inc. is the world’s largest independent PR agency Consultancy of The Year 2009
  • 27. PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT VOL.2 CONVICTION OR CONVENIENCE: IS NOW THE TIME FOR BUSINESS TO LEAD? As 2009 came to a close, Simon Schama described the year as is how we interpret the data and work with clients to address ‘the most grisly, powerful, monstrous moment in the history the most urgent issues of our times. Can PR really change its of capitalism’. During the course of 2009, Charlie Mayfield, traditional mandate and, wearing the new clothes of Public Chairman of John Lewis, called for new models of business Engagement, step into the historical domain of management ownership, while economist Noreena Hertz argued that consultants and accountants – engaging, modeling and business can supplant government and enjoy a mandate to lead planning, rather than just broadcasting and storytelling? in the post-crisis age. Aviva Investors UK CEO Paul Abberley, speaking at the UN, urged Global Stock Exchanges to take real In an evolved form of Public Relations, my personal belief action on Corporate Responsibility: his rallying cry to promote ‘a is that we can step forward and lead. But we must acquire global listing environment that requires companies to consider new skills; and our own industry leaders must work with the how responsible and sustainable their business model is, and Mayfields and the Abberleys to confront change. Together, encourages them to put a forward-thinking sustainability we can shape a new business and communications ecology strategy to the vote at their AGMs’. The FT’s Stefan Stern which, to paraphrase Danone’s CEO Franck Riboud, should meanwhile asked poignantly whether companies are speaking serve as both a social and an economic project. Profit can be such language out of ‘conviction or convenience?’ maximized and used in active partnership for common good - as we embrace Schama’s monstrous moment and step into a Almost forty years since Milton Friedman published that more powerful and exciting future. article in the New York Times Magazine – arguing that the social responsibility of business is to maximize profit – communications industry leaders must today ask questions Robert Phillips of ourselves. Are we advising clients out of conviction or robert.phillips@edelman.com convenience? Do we have a responsibility to lead, or should we merely serve as collaborators in compliance culture? Are there cynics among us who are monetizing this moment of responsibility, or should we be transformative and future- shaping? Is this even our place? Edelman Trust and goodpurposeTM surveys reinforce the pre-eminence of the stakeholder society and the centrality of Mutual Social Responsibility to business. The real challenge 27