MUSINGS ON COMMUNICATIONS

NEEDLES & DIGITAL HAYSTACKS

She introduced herself as a ‘content curator’ with a PR consultancy, a role that didn’t exist when I last worked in consultancy. I hadn’t met one in real life before. So, intrigued, I asked what her job entails. It turns…

THE TELEGRAM. R.I.P.

She spotted me walking towards the cottage door. A look of terror came to her face.  As a telegram delivery boy, I’d seen that look many times before – people seldom sent frivolous telegrams.  The door, the kind commonly found…

A CONSULTING ASSIGNMENT

Consensus holds that the PR consultancy ’industry’ needs to change; what’s less clear is what it needs to become.  But the prevailing agency or consultancy model, changed little in two decades, is no longer compatible with brands that build and…

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

As the late Margaret Thatcher (almost) said: “Being powerful is like being a thought leader. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”  I’ve lost track since leaving PR consultancy over 15 years ago how many times PR…

IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

Can you imagine, just for a second, the furore that would ensue should the Chinese Government decide to ban Starbucks from selling coffee in China, citing fears that the world’s largest coffee retailer could be ‘influenced’ by western governments to…

COMMUNICATING IN A TRADE BATTLE

Nations tend to play nicer with each other when the global economy is happy and everyone’s getting a fair share of the spoils. Recession, on the other hand, eats away at a nation’s jobs, cash reserves and confidence. Defences can…

MR MODEST & MR VAIN

People seldom trust what they don’t understand. The west doesn’t understand the Chinese; China is unfamiliar with western culture and behaviours. Too often, trust gets lost between the gaps in understanding and hidden underneath layers of ill-informed perception. It is…

AN ADVENTURE IN CHINA

The pace of modern life affords limited time to stop and reflect on where we’re going.  Yet things continually change and develop around us.  This is no less true in corporate communications as it is anywhere else. With the growing…

REBUILDING HADRIAN’S WALL?

In just two years from now, the fine and upstanding citizens of Scotland aged 16 years and older will be invited to cast their votes. They’ll face a simple choice: to remain loyal subjects of the United Kingdom or rebuild…

THE FIRST CASUALTY

I’ve had remarkably few ‘altercations’ with journalists during my 20 year career in communications – the odd ‘agree to disagree’ discussion, but only one screaming match. A reporter from the Evening Standard asked whether my then employer’s pension was under-funded…