Network Rail are currently sitting on more than £30 billion of debt. They are also, not that anyone needs reminding, not meeting their punctuality targets.Read more >>
In today’s world, health and wellbeing are more important than ever, with obesity in particular being one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. Societies and Governments across the globe are seeking to facilitate a healthier lifestyle and big companies are starting to listen.Read more >>
Last night Real Madrid crashed out of the Champion's League after an aggregate loss to German side Borussia Dortmund. A huge blow to its ambitions, Real Madrid will have to wait at least another year to win the elusive 10th European crown it so desperately craves. At the centre of the drama was Madrid’s manager, Jose Mourinho, the self appointed ‘Special One’ who has seen Madrid lose in the semi-finals of the competition for the third successive season.Read more >>
Michael Skapinker’s ‘Business and Society’ column in the FT recently provided valuable examples of how, in a crisis, media pundits and commentators churn out initial explanations that are almost always wrong. When something dreadful happens, he notes, we naturally try to make sense of it by constructing a back story we can understand. As Michael puts it, “We rely on what has happened before, on frameworks with which we are familiar. Or we look at recent reported problems and assume that they must be the cause…”Read more >>
Britain’s largest retailer Tesco has recently confirmed that it will cut its losses with its ‘Fresh & Easy’ branch of stores in the United States by exiting the market, a move that will hit them hard in form of a £1bn write off...Read more >>
Yesterday Alex Salmond announced the Scottish independence referendum will be held on 18th September 2014; allowing Scotland to choose its political future in just 18 months’ time. Salmond, responsible for driving this issue forward is arguably risking his political future and reputation on this one roll of the dice; so is it worth it?Read more >>
Tesco’s announcement yesterday that they have bought child-friendly restaurant chain Giraffe to maximise space in their out-of-town stores came as a surprise to many.
Philip Clarke’s vision is clear as he looks to change Tesco fortune in the UK and move with consumer trends that sees reduced electrical goods in-store and more consumers purchasing goods online. His vision is simple – to create retail destinations and transform the supermarket as we know it.Read more >>
With public awareness of world issues such as fair trade, sustainability and climate change at an all-time high, you would be forgiven for expecting major companies in the food and beverage sector to be addressing these issues adequately. According to Oxfam, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as their ‘Behind the Brands’ report, issued earlier this week, made clear.Read more >>
Guidelines published today from The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) could overhaul fertility treatment on the NHS in England and Wales funding treatment for couples aged over 40 as well as generally fast-tracking the process. At this stage these are just recommendations and whether they are put into practice depends on the ability or desire for Primary Care Trusts to pay for it.Read more >>
The publication of the Robert Francis QC’s report tomorrow (Wednesday) will focus on the scandal which has engulfed the Mid Staffordshire Hospital Trust in recent years. Specifically, it will report on how those in charge - both from a clinical and regulatory perspective - did not spot unacceptable lapses in patient care. It is the major story in healthcare this week and one which is widely predicted to have ramifications far beyond the geographical foot print of the hospitals involved.Read more >>
Despite the economic downturn sustainability continues to take centre stage, it was one of the key talking points at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. Many regard the widely publicised sustainability activities of companies with mistrust, and often view the PR companies involved in such publicity as purveyors of greenwash.Read more >>
Reputational issues are in the news today. "The slow-drip of bad news caused by operational crises such as environmental disasters [does] most damage to company value," according to a report in today's FT. "Reputational crises such as a product recall or environmental disasters involving listed companies are a bigger threat to shareholder value than loan defaults or rogue employee behaviour," opines City AM.Read more >>
Toyota’s back in the headlines for the wrong reasons, announcing a recall of 2.7 million cars worldwide due to faulty engine and steering components.
This comes only four weeks after another recall affecting seven million vehicles worldwide, due to faulty window switches. And of course memories are still fresh of the 2009 recall that affected 12 million vehicles, and, ultimately, led to fines from the US regulators.Read more >>
For the latest evidence that corporate messaging is evolving in an unprecedented way, look no further than Coca-Cola’s new website.
The Atlanta-based beverage behemoth has ditched its corporate website and replaced it with Coca-Cola Journey, an interactive digital magazine. In the process, the much written about brand has itself become a publisher.Read more >>
Following his unforeseen TV reunion with the current paedophile scandal and the resultant grilling from Holly Willoughby and co, David Cameron could have been forgiven for thinking he had appeared on an edgier version of ITV’s revived Surprise Surprise rather than This Morning.Read more >>
Just when you thought you had finally erased from your mind the image of George Galloway in a leotard while on Celebrity Big Brother, another serving politician goes and signs up for a reality television programme.
Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, is taking part in the forthcoming series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here for which she will be exchanging parliament for the Australian jungle. The news has led to predictable claims that a diet of intense boredom while surrounded by unpleasant creatures is the perfect preparation for her stint on the show.Read more >>
Britain's 80 million ash trees are at deadly risk from ash dieback, a virulent fungal disease that has swept across Europe. At the last count, 100,000 UK trees have already had to be destroyed. Finally on Monday, the government banned the importation of ash trees and pledged to do all it could to contain this "devastating" disease. Many say they should have acted sooner, blaming a lack of decisive action on cuts in funding for research into plant and tree health and pointing out that the Forestry Commission’s budget had been cut by 25%. Here, our crisis team offer their top tips for handling an environmental crisis.Read more >>
After a summer of sporting brilliance, the recent negative coverage of ill-timed tweets and racism trials has put a dampener on a jubilant mood. We see extensive coverage through traditional and online media, and thanks to the latter we are seconds behind what our favourite personalities think on any given subject.Read more >>
If all goes to plan and no-one lets loose another ill-timed tweet or text message, the tortuous and all too public row which has engulfed the England cricket team since the summer should be resolved this week as star batsman Kevin Pietersen - and his alleged enormous ego - are re-united with the rest of the national squad following a period of enforced exclusion.Read more >>
There’s no denying Wikipedia has grown from being a source for nerds to one of the most innovative success stories on the internet. Jimmy Wales dreamed up the idea of a user-generated pool of knowledge nearly ten years ago, now the site attracts around 470 million unique monthly visitors.Read more >>
Social media is becoming more and more entrenched in everyday life. Facebook is on Dow Jones, you can #AskObama, and now even internet untouchables Google and Bing are losing searches to social networks. Where will it end? And what should consumer-facing businesses do to take advantage of this trend?Read more >>
Has Apple’s shine come off? Apple has been pilloried for its new mapping tool which has taken over from the Google Maps app. During the summer, when Apple announced this was going to happen, observers and users were intrigued and excited about what Apple would develop. Whatever Apple touches turns to gold, so this would have to be a good feature, right? It had to be to better to justify such a huge shift.Read more >>
Increasingly organisations are recognising the opportunity social media presents to promote their brands and products to customers, journalists and other stakeholders but there are potential pitfalls. What can you do to ensure your social media strategy is effective?Read more >>
Social media is regularly held up as the communication ‘holy grail’, the way to boost your reputation with potential customers and influencers . . .
But a new survey of SMEs by networking organisation Business Network International (BNI) www.bni.com has found that small companies are losing sales and damaging their reputation by bombarding potential customers with social media messages.
This week Twitter announced the launch of its Twitter Political Index, a leader board that evaluates the sentiment of Twitter users’ feelings about US presidential candidates Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney. The scores are based on every Tweet about the two men (numbering nearly two million each week) and are updated on the site daily at 8pm ET. While gauging sentiment on social media is nothing new, Twitter claims its new Index offers a hint as to where the poll numbers are actually heading. Today (Friday 3rd August), Obama was up 7 points from the day before, while Romney was a none-mover. So, can we deduct from this that Obama made a positive impact on prospective voters on Thursday? Call us sceptical, but we think probably not.Read more >>
With the Olympics opening ceremony being eagerly anticipated by many, that the Games have already started might have passed some of us by. Our women footballers kicked off Team GB’s Olympic campaign in Cardiff on Wednesday, setting what we hope will be a positive tone with their win. However, the pre-match national anthem left a few of the ladies looking bemused, as the music continued after they had completed the first, and what’s traditionally been the only, verse of God Save the Queen. It transpires that Team GB members are now required to also sing the third verse of the anthem…who knew?!Read more >>
Social conversation was abuzz last week with the announcement that Yahoo! has appointed 37 year old Marrissa Mayer as it’s new CEO. Ripples of delight and positive chatter passed between my female colleagues, naturally we were pleased to see a fellow female thriving in an industry saturated with testosterone; until Yahoo! really gave us something to talk about…Read more >>
You can almost picture the scene. Half-drunk take-away coffee cups with the owner’s name written in friendly black ink are littered across a table full of marker pens, post-it notes and discarded inspiration. A team of increasingly irritable TV production people try to chivvy each other on to come up with ideas to pitch to broadcast channels. Some 20 minutes in and the vibrant enthusiasm and creative pace has so far produced at least two more gypsy spin-offs, something fly-on-the-wall to do with homeless people and life-boats – working title Drown and Outs - as well as a fusion show encompassing home dining, a coach trip and potentially some more gypsies.Read more >>
John Kay's column in today's FT makes a very simple but highly astute point: earlier short-term business decisions have returned, in the long run, to haunt some of Britain's companies over the past fortnight. RBS, GlaxoSmithKline and Barclays have all experienced an astounding loss of face on the basis of acts that we are all struggling to reconcile with the size, experience and above all reputation these international stalwarts have previously enjoyed.
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I was determined to distance this blog from the ‘Diamonds aren’t forever’ theme of late…and then #sozbourne happened. Whilst John Prescott’s surprisingly witty tweet had me chuckling in delight I couldn’t help but be surprised that Andrea Leadsom, Conservative MP and member of the Treasury committee, had been so frank in undermining a member of her own party...Read more >>
Following the departure of Bob Diamond this week, Barclays shareholders have become the latest group to demand large scale revisions to the company’s investment banking division.
This follows closely on the heels of the rejection of Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay packet. His £13million deal was recently kicked out by some 60 per cent of a shareholder vote and he is the latest blue-chip boss to suffer pay packet protests following similar moves at Aviva, Cairn Energy, Pendragon and Trinity Mirror.Read more >>
So, here we are!
Welcome to the new blogsite for the Corporate Practice of College Hill (part of the College Group), one of the fastest growing international business communications consultancies in the world. With 16, (and counting!), wholly owned international offices, our corporate practice is very much a growing force, specialising in reputation management – developing, growing, as well as protecting – for national and international clients.Read more >>