#CommsChat on diversity in PR

This week's chat

This week on #CommsChat we’re joined by the @PRCA_UK and theCIPR Diversity Working Group (@CiPRDWG) and the group’s chair, Catherine Grinyer (@cgrinyer) as we discuss the state of diversity in the UK PR industry. Despite a range of initiatives set up to tackle the lack of diversity in the industry, recent census data shows that there’s been little improvement. We’re hoping to ascertain why this is and discuss what can be done to improve things. Contributing to the discussion will be the PRCA’s @MattCartmell and the CIPR’s @AJMRoss.

  • Why is lack of diversity a problem for the PR industry?
  • What are the key obstacles that need to be tackled?
  • Why hasn’t there been a great deal of improvement so far?
  • What can communications teams do to improve diversity?
  • How can you ensure that your campaign will appeal to diverse audiences?

While we have just the five general topics, some things to think (and tweet!) about include:

  • Why is PR overwhelming a white, middle class profession?
  • PR has a gender imbalance – too many women at the bottom and not enough at the top, do you agree?
  • Why is it acceptable to pay women less than men in PR?
  • How many of your clients would benefit from campaigns that specifically target diverse audiences?
  • Can PR be a profession that supports flexible working?
  •  How inclusive is your workplace of people from different backgrounds and cultures?
  • PR is thought to be a gay-friendly profession but is it really, how many openly gay senior PR professionals do you know?
  • Does the stress of the job actually make us sick, does PR have a mental health problem?
  • Are your campaigns excluding disabled people?
  • Do you need a degree to work in PR?
  • Why do some agencies persist in offering unpaid internships?

Join us! We tweet from @CommsChat and #CommsChat takes place from 8-9pm UK time – for worldwide times, go here. Anyone can take part in the discussion – simply follow the hashtag here or on Twitter. If you can’t make the chat or would like to revisit it, a transcript will go up on Tuesday morning.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for future topics for #CommsChat – get in touch with Brittany by email or Twitter if you have any ideas.

 

 

Transcript of #CommsChat on nation branding

This week's chat

This summer, the World Cup and Commonwealth Games highlighted some of the best and most questionable in both national and consumer branding. Last week on #CommsChat, we discussed the impact of global events on a nation’s brand. Here’s what contributors had to say:

 

 Nation branding also encourages civic participation – almost like employee engagement for a brand. Think Britain & London 2012
 maybe they are one (possibly twice) in a generation opportunity for nations so must grasped as the PR op they are
 big events like MTV awards, Giro d’Italia, G8 & Golf Open helping to show positive side to brand Northern Ireland
 London and NYC both have fantastic brands. London’s is carefully nurtured
 Things like the Torch Relay helped change attitudes. A collection of experiences leading up to the main event.
And the full chat:

 

  1. Not to mention Scotland – if independence happens there’s a big branding challenge ahead

  2. But first we’ll have the transcript of this chat online tomorrow AM. For now, though, g’night all!

  3. And that’s a wrap. Feel free to keep discussing! Thanks everyone for an interesting Next week we may chat about diversity in PR

  4. it does but not with the support, development, funding of London – gap widening

  5. Manchester also has a strong brand. More organic but still with a support in the form of BBC moving

  6. Alright guys, last few minutes. ANyone want to add any final thoughts?

  7. it could be argued that way, although a lot of it is branding what’s already there.

  8. Definitely, in my opinion. It’s even apparent over last five plus years

  9. . and New York’s is based on a t-shirt (and maybe Sex and the City)

  10. London and NYC both have fantastic brands. London’s is carefully nurtured

  11. a bad example of branding (if not brand) would be the film Australia produced

  12. . Good question. The Euro City of Culture brings this into play, as does Olympics, marathons, Superbowls, etc

  13. And what about the concept of nation branding being applied to specific cities

  14. Last topic: What are some examples of good and bad national brands? How can we learn from them?

  15. Would you say interpretations are the consequences of one’s branding efforts?

  16. Would be interested to read if you have a moment to source the link! Thanx

  17. Official T4: Who owns a national brand? Who is responsible for managing it, if anyone?

  18. . Shared experience might be one of the keys of the discussion. What do others think?

  19. Political scandal harder to handle than other crises – politicians ultimately shape international perceptions of a country

  20. there was an article in this weekend re: “lessons learned” from various multi-nation events….

  21. Things like the Torch Relay helped change attitudes. A collection of experiences leading up to the main event.

  22. Brands dropped Surez sponsorship as soon as the media/public backlash kicked in!

  23. one of the best stories was the cycling team who went to train on the M61 motorway!

  24. simple things become major issues because of the possible reputational impact

  25. Another good example would be the European Year of Culture – look what it did for Liverpool as a city brand

  26. . Explain a bit for those of us still stuck in American suburbia back then…? : )

  27. it was entertaining to see the issues around the Commonwealth Games in 2002 in Manchester

  28. Handled correctly, a crisis doesn’t need to damage the branding of a nation. But effective comms needs planning

  29. I don’t think so if it is outside of possible scenarios.

  30. What about political scandal? How does that impact sponsors and the countries they’re linked to?

  31. . Exactly! People were so adamantly against London 2012, beyond typical British moaning. Nice to see that change tho

  32. What happens when there’s a crisis? See Atlanta, Munich Olympics and the like. Does that hurt host nation/participants’ brands?

  33. It’s amazing to watch back the cynicism before the Olympics and see how this changed afterwards

  34. surely it must “put on a show” …talking of which what is people’s view on the commonwealth games opening ?

  35. Avoid rioting or protests outside the host venue would be a good start!

  36. Yes, the customers =brand directors, they drive the market bc they ARE the market. W/O customers, a brand/biz is no more.

  37. The Mexico 68 Olympics are a good example of a logo defining a games and igniting a people behind an event

  38. To answer my own q I think a country has to prove to its people and the world WHY it was picked/wants to do something

  39. It’s one thing to host the Olympics, but another to get cynical Brits (for example!) to get involved too

  40. What must host country (or participant) do to harness positive perceptions and build NB around an event?

  41. A strong “nation” brand also has civic support. Imagine if one tries to naysay a brand you love, you defend it

  42. Sports are a no-brainer almost bc of emotional cxn. Things like Eurovision rely on diff. elements, but also help NB. Why?

  43. big events like MTV awards, Giro d’Italia, G8 & Golf Open helping to show positive side to brand Northern Ireland

  44. Major event can provide a platform to challenge stereotypes of nation branding

  45. maybe they are one (possibly twice) in a generation opportunity for nations so must grasped as the PR op they are

  46. . already brought up civic participation (ie volunteering). What else can major events do for national brand?

  47. So, now the fun part – T3: How do events like the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, etc contribute to nation branding?

  48. right! They should think about what is relevant and compelling to the customer

  49. Nation branding also encourages civic participation – almost like employee engagement for a brand. Think Britain & London 2012

  50. You’re seen favourably as political + cultural leader (ie, get awarded with sporting events, allowed to comment on int’l crises)

  51. Thanks – that’s a key one. It’s a business booster to have positive int’l perception

  52. The benefits are obvious, repeat business and loyal/happy customers. The flip side is loss of customers & backlash!

  53. What are tangible benefits to a country/nation itself to have a strong brand? Is it pride and money or does it go deeper?

  54. yeah the £ always gets in the way but at NB level there are bigger benefits I think 🙂

  55. A strong nation brand is likely to help the trust factor for brands coming from specific country

  56. I’m not experienced with NB but “poor brand” impression is harder to shake or overcome 🙂 T2

  57. . I think the pride factor is oft forgotten. It’s easy to see national brand as a way to make more ££ on tourism!

  58. : Essentially…Why does it matter? ”…. Identity , recognition , pride and marketability 🙂

  59. Maybe we’ll take a stab at T2: What are the benefits of a strong brand? What is the negative impact of a poor brand?

  60. Factors of nation branding – culture, history, heritage. But also comms outside country’s control – news, events & even celebrity

  61. . also good point, tourism agencies do this abroad. Who does it domestically?

  62. RT : t1 … Is nation branding the use of a countries national identity and products to create a “national brand” ?

  63. A1: I’d echo reg. understanding the national culture, & also say a major factor in a nat. brand is creating AWARENESS.

  64. . Great point. If you live in Toronto, you’ll read Wash Post and Guardian, maybe, but not much deeper

  65. in terms of a nation’s branding to its international audience, the headlines of its top news agencies is a factor.

  66. For me, (PSA: I’m American) a national brand derives a lot from sport, food and language

  67. No guests tonight, so chime in whenver you want. Topic 1: What is nation branding? What factors contribute to a national brand?

  68. So we have a cool chat planned for this evening. If you’re joining us, please use the tag to tweet in

  69. Like . We thought it’d be fun to look at nation branding from a comms perspective

  70. This summer there’s a slew of events that have called fwd the question of a national brand

  71. : looks at all aspects relating to communications, When: Mondays, 8:00pm UK.

  72. Evening all, Brittany here from . Hope you’re joining into tonight

 

#CommsChat on nation branding

This week's chat

The Commonwealth Games is up and running, bringing together the Commonwealth’s best athletes and bringing to light the best of the nations themselves.

A lot of talk has surrounded Scotland as a national brand and what the Glasgow-based games will do for it in the run-up to the vote for independence. Yet what is the purpose of a nation brand? What contributes to it and what can it do? These, among others will be the questions we address on Monday’s #CommsChat.

  • What is nation branding? What factors contribute to a national brand?
  • What are the benefits of a strong brand What is the negative impact of a poor brand?
  • How do events like the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, etc contribute to nation branding?
  • Who owns a national brand? Who is responsible for managing it, if anyone?
  • What are some examples of good and bad national brands? How can we learn from them?

Join us! We tweet from @CommsChat and #CommsChat takes place from 8-9pm UK time – for worldwide times, go here. Anyone can take part in the discussion – simply follow the hashtag here or on Twitter. If you can’t make the chat or would like to revisit it, a transcript will go up on Tuesday morning.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for future topics for #CommsChat – get in touch with Brittany by email or Twitter if you have any ideas.

 

 

Transcript of #CommsChat on corporate engagement

This week's chat

This Monday on #CommsChat we spoke about corporate social responsibility and the various ways that businesses can engage with their communities and be more sustainable. We were joined by @NafisaNathani@In_the_Works_PR  and @Comms_Events, who are soon to be hosting the Corporate Engagement Awards.

  •  CSR is no longer considered “going the extra mile.” Customers expect big brands to engage in philanthropic initatives
  •  From a charity view: definitely felt brands want more meaningful csr partnerships more recently
  •  today brands want a CSR partnership that compliments and supports their agenda. Great if your cause is ‘fashionable’
  •  Employees can frame corporate engagement program. Give human face to brand and bring life commitments in real, authentic way
  •  unless it is integrated with the brand then CSR programme is not maximised internally.

To view the rest of the conversation see below:

 

  1. Great discussion just now on corporate engagement and CSR . Insightful commentary and our very own

  2. Thanks for hosting a great discussion! We’ll be back next week.

  3. Big thanks to and (forgot that hashtag!) Hope to see you all next Monday same time, same space 🙂

  4. Great everyone! For more CSR/partnership news, do visit our blog and take a look at our awards programme

  5. unless it is integrated with the brand then CSR programme is not maximised internally.

  6. Sponsorship can be integrated with brand but it needs to say/deliver > than its brand awareness. Should have CR aspect

  7. not just about reach.Have to assign metrics of success for each partner&make it work so both achieve objectives

  8. Thanks for joining us tonight everyone who took part, I think we can all agree that CSR is a great aspect of business!

  9. yes because they have resources – people and financial – in many cases to deliver a CSR programme.

  10. agree with a partnership should be honest and share common objectives and values

  11. that’s true but CSR is just not charity for that sake. Relationship has to be mutually beneficial or will not work

  12. Corporate partnerships with smaller brands/nonprofits should be mutually beneficial relationship that increase reach of both orgs

  13. Are corporate sponsors expected to deliver more? Maybe be more integrated with the brand?

  14. World is transparent partnerships needs to be true, authentic and honest otherwise meaningless. This is not spin – real change

  15. . Agree with , a partnership needs to be more than just brand awareness

  16. OK, wrong term. problems arise when important issues lose out on finite cash b’cos they dont engage corporates

  17. Yes corporate sponsorship not just a blank cheque. More than just brand awareness, value built social purpose&common objectives

  18. if internal comms was poor then I suspect that CSR would be very low on their list of priorities.

  19. Final Topic, T5: Has relationship between corporate sponsors and thr partners changed recently? About more than brand awareness?

  20. Example great foundation and – powerful campaign aimed at societal good

  21. Great if a donors aims tie in with charitable objectives but if not can distract and divert resources

  22. sorry, I meant if internal comms was poor & company had poor engagement. what would you suggest?

  23. in my experience school’s drive the involvement of ‘donors’ – you fit around them.

  24. for me fashionability means brand doing something bec makes them look good.This does not work anymore&meaningless

  25. People want to help but sometimes you hve 2 make it easy 4 them, CSR is great for this

  26. And is it a positive impact? Overly involved donors can be a blessing and a curse!

  27. Could this backfire if employees weren’t already engaged in the company & were demanding?

  28. that does not necessarily reflect the wider need or the reduction in need in another area. _2/2)

  29. agree, fun volunteer project cld b great fun as well as a reason for individuals to get involved in charity themselves

  30. engage staff, give options and ask them what they want to do and go.

  31. That’s fair, but there is a correlation between wider social trends and charity spend (1/2)

  32. and if employees believe it, so will others. Engaging employees is key

  33. agree & is a good way for internal comms to engage them and take them on CSR journey from the beginning

  34. A corporate engagement programme will fail and be utterly meaningless employees are not behind it. Employee face behind brand

  35. it can’t be used as a way for companies to show off how “great they are,” it needs to be more than brand awareness

  36. Employees can bring their own passions, personal touch to CSR campaigns. Volunteering time is a great break from office life.

  37. employees need a real say in what the activity is, rater than it being seen as the pet project of someone senior

  38. employees see the benefit of putting something back into their local community to charity they can relate to

  39. Employees can frame corporate engagement program. Give human face to brand and bring life commitments in real, authentic way

  40. T4: How can employees be engaged in corporate engagement?

  41. think fashionable wrong word. Causes where there is a real societal need – public sector can’t fund

  42. enables businesses express values non commercial way. Visible demonstration commitment

  43. indicating that it’s not just done bcoz it’s “fashionable” or a PR stunt & has a valued meaning

  44. working with schools and young people. This has a big impact long and short term in the community

  45. for business, it’s issues like entrepreneurship and skills.a consequence of a long recession and high unemployment

  46. Exactly, showing stakeholders the benefits of the partnerships & successful projects….

  47. yes for long term partnership relationship needs be authentic&meaningful grounded in shared beliefs and principles

  48. a great idea for csr that is also a long term investment and integrated with the brand

  49. they vary as much as the businesses that set them up. An under resourced foundation can really limit charitable aims

  50. working with young people, making links with local schools will potentially help them recruit employees.

  51. If companies have a separate foundation for their CSR it can be beneficial to reach their LT CSR goals & objectives

  52. which causes do you think are fashionable at the moment?

  53. Foundations help empower brands to contribute economic, social, environmental development with single minded focus&purpose

  54. today brands want a CSR partnership that compliments and supports their agenda. Great if your cause is ‘fashionable’

  55. T3: Are foundations useful to business? In what ways do they succeed? What marks a failed foundation?

  56. Are there any tips you would suggest for improving sustainability for SMEs?

  57. lots of changes to ways of working which take time to dev at first but pay off in the long run