From the slick 'Yes' campaign that almost delivered a sensational victory in the Scottish independence referendum to the embarrassing spectacle of Ed Miliband's attempt to eat a bacon sandwich, 2014 has demonstrated the increasing importance of presenting the right image. But who were the biggest PR winners and losers of the year?
'The internet and social media have empowered the PR trade and freed it from subservience to the news media.' This was the provocative starting point for an RSA debate recently, which also asked what this premise meant for the future of journalism and, more importantly, the future of public interest.
I've recently noticed two key trends in communications. Firstly, more agencies seem to be either hiring a specific person responsible for business development or relying more heavily on 'pitch' teams, and secondly, I've seen more companies asking for reassurance in new business meetings, that the team that they see is the one they will be working with...
Earlier this year the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed that 29 firms had applied for authorisation to become banks in the UK. This was a direct result of the regulator relaxing rules last year for new banking entrants so that it would be easier for firms to become banks, and helping to bolster competition in the market place at the same time.
HD Personality is built to help businesses and organisations deliver customer expectations; what should lead to customer experience and ultimately customer retention... almost all the resources allocated to re-branding exercises, crisis management and PR can be saved; if brands practiced honesty and directness in their communications.
Everything's a marketing opportunity. Our existence is only a chance to prove how brilliant we are, and to congratulate our mates for their brilliance too... The fact is, the more we PR our lives online, the more isolated we become. With every 'Ibiza. Done' status update we move further and further away from meaningful relationships with our families, friends and lovers.
Communications is a broad church these days, but media relations will always be part of the mix. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be a battle and, quite frankly, it shouldn't be. Both Peston and Cohen suggest that they see PRs as guard dogs, preventing them access to spokespeople and stories. In my opinion, if we are doing that it's bad media relations.
Talking often gets bad press. Some people do it way too much. However, most organisations and leaders don't do it enough, particularly when there is an issue in play. Whether you are a football referee, or Chief Executive of a care home from which a war hero has absconded, the rule is simple: When you have nothing to say, keep quiet. But when you do, make sure you say it or others will say something else that you may not like.