Social media: Politics 2.0 and the changing face of business

Blog posts   •   Jul 16, 2012 15:23 BST

I recently attended two very different social media events. The first, the ‘London think-tank summit: at the intersection of traditional and social media’ hosted by the European Parliament, discussed the role that social media can play in influencing public policy and driving awareness campaigns. The second, hosted jointly by Facebook and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry looked at h...

Railways Get Political as Cameron and Clegg Look to Get Back on Track

Blog posts   •   Jul 16, 2012 10:14 BST

You might very well be forgiven for thinking that today's rail announcements were mainly about trains. But they're really about two other issues: (1) getting the coalition back on track and (2) the coalition's intended final destination, the 2015 general election. The media get the point (no doubt with some heavy briefing from No.10). For example, the Mirror's Kevin Maguire tweeted: "Spy on Lon...

Media Weekly - Face off

Blog posts   •   Jul 13, 2012 15:22 BST

Ultimately, we are not peaceful people. The media love writing about, and we love reading about, a good old confrontation. And we’ve had plenty this week. A messy celebrity divorce is one of the media’s favourite confrontations to cover. When news broke that Katie was leaving Tom, the media went into a frenzy. Five sidebars of the Daily Mail were dedicated to the story and thousands of media ...

Rent a vent

Blog posts   •   Jul 13, 2012 11:54 BST

Ever felt so irritated that you need to vent your anger to a colleague? Ever shouted expletives under your breath or angrily sent a tweet announcing that you hate your boss? Well it seems that you’re not alone. A new service has been set up called ‘The Vent’ – the first of its kind in London – to give you the chance to vent your anger to someone who will simply listen as you let off stea...

Tories call for Minister for Infrastructure

Blog posts   •   Jul 12, 2012 11:53 BST

A group of influential up-and-coming MPs might have provided David Cameron with a way to deal with three big problems all at once. The third runway at Heathrow, Jeremy Hunt and how to get pension funds to pay for infrastructure have all vexed the Prime Minister in recent months. By creating a Ministry of Infrastructure, Cameron could deal with all three in one fell swoop. What’s being called...

Media Weekly - Libor-ating the week's other news

Blog posts   •   Jul 06, 2012 11:51 BST

Although it’s hard to believe, there have been things going on in the world this week away from banking. In fact, it was a pretty good week for some. George Entwistle was appointed as the new director general of the BBC (just a pity the beeb’s own programme couldn’t spell his name correctly), Helen Prowse landed the job of Twitter’s first UK-focussed comms professional, Alan Sugar launched...

Hodge Counting the Cost of High Speed Rail

Blog posts   •   Jul 06, 2012 11:49 BST

We've had another bout of high speed rail bashing today. Margaret Hodge's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) implies that the case for HS2 - the proposed new 225mph line from London to Birmingham and beyond - is flawed. They think that the line could end up costing taxpayers like you and I much more than we've bargained for. They're right that we need to properly count the costs and benefits of bu...

Time to hit pause

Blog posts   •   Jul 02, 2012 11:48 BST

When the concept of reputation management first became fashionable it was always the banks that topped the list. Dour bank managers (with a dose of Scottish Presbyterianism thrown in) were held up as the pinnacles of trustworthiness. After all, you trusted them with your money. And now look what’s happened. One minute we’re asking them if they could possibly see their way to extending ...

The Importance of Modernisation

Blog posts   •   Jun 29, 2012 11:47 BST

Last week at an event, I asked Alastair Campbell whether the well-known worship he and team Blair receive from Cameroons alarmed him or was a reason to be flattered. Campbell, intrigued by the question, went on to write a blog where he concluded that the current crop of Conservatives have learnt many lessons from New Labour in terms of communication, but have yet to define a strategy to underpi...

Media Weekly - Nice figure

Blog posts   •   Jun 29, 2012 11:41 BST

So it turns out Douglas Adams was lying. The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything isn’t quite 42. It’s actually 41.8. That’s the figure, in degrees centigrade, you need your knife to be at to perfectly spread cold butter on your toast. Useful to know. Coming across that delightfully exact number in among my daily trawl of the major picture stories on the Dail...

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My particular area of expertise is financial technology and I enjoy developing thought leadership campaigns that pair technology... Show more

Current work includes public affairs consultancy for John Lewis Partnership, personal finance PR support for a new online financial... Show more

Rachel joined Fishburn Hedges as a graduate in September 2011. From Dublin, Rachel graduated from University College Dublin in 2009... Show more

About Fishburn Hedges

Fishburn Hedges: We help leading organisations promote and defend corporate reputations, in an uncertain world

We have a simple message to any organisation that wants to protect its reputation, build trust, enhance its brand and win over its many stakeholders, from employees to consumers to shareholders: you are not in control.

We live in a new age of democracy. Not just via the ballot box or referendum, but through the text, the tweet, the file share, the flash mob, the viral, the download, the discussion board. Instant messaging, instant communication, instant response.

But this is not just a communications opportunity, it’s also a threat.

The internet has set us free, but everywhere companies are in chains.

People have more and more opportunity to talk to each other, but less and less time to listen to organisations and what they have to say. With one eye on the blackberry, one eye on the iPhone and one hand on the Wii, no wonder people talk about “continual partial attention”.

People are more cynical and disengaged. Trust in institutions had declined sharply, even before MPs and bankers made their contributions.

It's no longer good enough to "tell", or even "show" your credentials. It's about dialogue, co-creation, taking people with you.

And it's far more than trust which is at stake. It's about earning legitimacy and a licence to operate in an increasingly sceptical world. Deference to a perfect, flawless reputation died with the Queen Mother.

So how do you get heard? How do you make a connection, become part of the conversation, earn brand currency?

Not by shouting louder, but by recognising the rules have changed. The audience – demanding, contrary, inattentive consumers, customers and citizens – are most in control. Disorder rules and now it's personal. It's you and the guy behind the screen.

Whether you want to make a connection, create a platform, join the conversation, or just be heard and understood.

We know the new terrain, we understand the new rules, we are architects, not decorators. We can be your guide.

Embrace disorder.


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