Corporate Communications

Soft power, public diplomacy and the digital-first era

Digital disintermediation has had a dramatic effect on every sphere of life, business and society over the past twelve to fifteen years. But what do I mean by that? Quite simply that the internet – from email and video-conferencing apps to social media channels and platforms, has utterly transformed and multiplied the ways in which …

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Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others

As the Covid pandemic moves into the inevitable economic crisis, the world is hitting the reset button across numerous areas. I have written a few times about the UK’s data-driven obesity strategy and Boris Johnson re-setting his libertarian instincts to become interventionist after his personal brush with the virus. The resulting ‘Better Health’ campaign takes …

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Digital disinformation, cyber-warfare, and a new Cold War?

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s report on Russia was published today. It will dominate headlines for a news cycle or two, adding another layer of mistrust between the UK (and the wider Western World) and President Putin and his comrades. The opening sentences tell a powerful story. “The dissolution of the USSR was …

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Crafting stories, changing narratives, shaping reality

I’ve always worried about talking to stakeholders about the power of storytelling. I fear it sounds juvenile, childish, even infantile. What springs to mind when you hear the word? Telling stories at bedtime to your son or daughter (or nephew, niece, godson or goddaughter)? Perhaps that’s why we sometimes call it ‘brand narrative’. It’s way …

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Corporate affairs, consultancy and campaigns – post-Covid

Our business is built on relationships, knowledge, and our ability to deliver results. These relationships are rooted in trust. And trust, like reputation, is cultivated, tested, and built over time. A perennial debate within public relations is whether we ought to ditch the term ‘PR’. It’s true that it’s loaded with negative connotations and misconceptions. …

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It’s time for more political drama

Yes, I chose a deliberately provocative headline. Only a fool would say that we need more political drama in the real world, but I believe that we could do with more on the small screen. Why? Because television influences reality. It informs, educates and entertains us. Good shows generate understanding and empathy, and they challenge …

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The craft of communications and the coming culture war

“Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” We’re neck deep in that Orwellian future. Fake news is the new norm, and effective communicators will win the coming clash between the ‘based’ and the ‘woke’.  If you’re not entirely sure what those …

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Hunt the Cummings: In Love and War, bid a Farewell to Arms

It was 10 p.m. The tumbler of whisky glimmered in the stark light of the desk lamp as smoke rose curlingly from the cigarette dangling precariously on the edge of the makeshift tin can ashtray. The typewriter lay exhausted. Exhausted by the frenetic and painful hammering of nicotine-stained fingers as they poured out the story …

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