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Social media: Politics 2.0 and the changing face of business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...

Media Weekly - Cameron Carrn't letter us see the sun

Media Weekly - Cameron Carrn't letter us see the sun

Blog posts   •   Jun 22, 2012 11:41 BST

The Prime Minister has been flying the flag for Blighty at the G20 summit this week. The Post Office can take comfort from the fact that if the President of Argentina had used their Special Delivery service to send a letter to Cameron regarding the Falklands Islands, it would have arrived and had to be signed for. Instead when she resorted to old fashioned in-person delivery, Dave refused. Came...

Are Cameron and Miliband Going Back to the 1980s?

Are Cameron and Miliband Going Back to the 1980s?

Blog posts   •   Jun 21, 2012 11:37 BST

History, we are told, is always repeating itself - and it feels to me like we're currently in an early '80s-lite period, at least in politics. David Cameron will certainly hope so as he seeks a Conservative majority in 2015; for Ed Miliband there are big risks lurking, which could split voters away from Labour. 1980s-liteTo be more specific, British politics now feels a bit like a watered down...

Time to rethink communications

Time to rethink communications

Blog posts   •   Jun 20, 2012 11:36 BST

Not long ago I went to a talk on the Future of PR. It was so poor that when I left I was quite surprised not to see gas lamps lighting streets full of horse-drawn Hackney carriages. The discussion was all about the importance of getting PR recognised at board level (yawn), reputation management (that wonderful oxymoron), and whether social media really changed anything. It was as if PR existe...

Are we in the 1980s again?

Are we in the 1980s again?

Blog posts   •   Jun 20, 2012 11:34 BST

History, we are told, is always repeating itself – and it feels to me like we’re currently in an early ‘80s-lite period, at least in politics. David Cameron will certainly hope so as he seeks a Conservative majority in 2015; for Ed Miliband there are big risks lurking, which could split voters away from Labour. 1980s-liteTo be more specific, it feels like a watered down version of 1981/198...

Should business respond to the Chancellor’s call?

Should business respond to the Chancellor’s call?

Blog posts   •   Jun 15, 2012 11:32 BST

This week George Osborne used a speech to encourage businesses to speak out on the need for taxes to be lowered. His argument was that politicians needed business to help make the case in order to make it easier for politicians to act. I completely agree with him as time and again “grass roots” campaigning, whether from business, consumers or pressure groups plays a demonstrable role in influe...

Media Weekly - Storm in a B(Sky)B cup

Media Weekly - Storm in a B(Sky)B cup

Blog posts   •   Jun 15, 2012 11:30 BST

It’s been another revealing week at the Leveson enquiry with a triumvirate of big hitters taking to the stand. Cameron, Osborne and Brown all waxed lyrical to the beleaguered QC Jay this week. Brown accused the Murdochs of ‘breathtaking arrogance’ over the decision to run his son’s medical condition on the front of The Sun. Meanwhile David Cameron managed to charm his way through an othe...

The disruption of disengagement

The disruption of disengagement

Blog posts   •   Jun 14, 2012 11:26 BST

I have seen few finer examples of strops in the workplace than Arjen Robben’s reaction to being substituted at Euro 2012 last night. It had the full fireworks, beginning with him stomping past photographers so his antics could be captured and ending with him parking himself outside the team dugout, rather than joining the rest of the squad. The incident gives rise to the type of challenge and i...

Learning German and Portuguese Could Help Get Our Economy Back on Track

Learning German and Portuguese Could Help Get Our Economy Back on Track

Blog posts   •   Jun 11, 2012 11:25 BST

The news that Michael Gove wants kids to learn a foreign language from the age of seven, and that the CBI has found that German is the most sought after language amongst UK employers, got me thinking about how speaking someone else's language can be vital to doing business - and therefore the economy. Having a workforce able to work in and trade with other countries makes it easier to export yo...

Media Weekly - Best of (being) British

Media Weekly - Best of (being) British

Blog posts   •   Jun 08, 2012 11:19 BST

It has been a week in which British stereotypes came to the fore. While we might have stiff upper lips, us Brits do love the Royal Family and a bit of flag waving. Whatever the weather. The Windsors, Kate’s fashion sense and Gary Barlow (swoon), were the clear winners following the Jubilee weekend. However, our enthusiastic Republicans didn’t come off that well. Polite anti-monarchy protests ...

Media Weekly - Keep calm and party on

Media Weekly - Keep calm and party on

Blog posts   •   Jun 01, 2012 11:17 BST

Even in the face of adversity we are, without a doubt, a nation that just gets on with things. Whether you saw the stone-cold face of Tony Blair at the Levenson enquiry as someone burst through the door, or saw how Jessica Ennis laughed-off the fact that she was labelled ‘fat’ by an Olympic Commission member, little fazes us. Then again, however hairy things get living in Britain, we don’t g...