media

You are a national champion, used to making headlines in your own country and now you want to feature in the UK business media… For a major international company that shouldn’t be too difficult, surely? However, UK business journalists remain among the most respected and widely read in the world. As such, many global players are vying for their attention, encountering in the process a fiercely competitive environment rarely experienced at home. So, the answer is: it is harder than you might expect to capture their attention. British journalists enjoy a type of courtship few media around the world experience. Not only are they a key target for large domestic companies, but the international perspective of major UK-based publications and newswires, the calibre of their business columnists and the expertise of their trade journalists mean they have dedicated readers both at home and abroad. The London media has therefore become a global conduit through which to access both British and international audiences, whether they are investors, clients, employees, or other stakeholders. You can talk to a journalist in London and be heard in New York, Paris and Hong-Kong. Good. Now, how to best address that audience? 1) Build goodwill: just as consumers are unlikely to buy a product they aren’t familiar with, journalists will be reluctant to write about a company they have never heard of or know little about. You need to meet them on background, introduce the company and its management and ensure they understand the strategy and what sets you apart. Following this initial meeting, update them regularly to cement the relationship and reap the benefits in the long term. 2) Reassess your expectations: Even if your latest announcement made the front page at home, you are now in a much larger and significantly more competitive arena. The question you need to consider is why should they write about you specifically, and what differentiates you from your peers? 3) Be ready for scrutiny and tough questions: expect UK-based journalists to ask you the questions you’d rather avoid. Facing this type of interview is a sign that you are in front of a seasoned and probably well-respected journalist, whose endorsement – if secured - will be even more valuable. Preparation is key and transparency a must. 4) Ask yourself what’s the UK angle? A question I often ask my clients. Help the journalist make your story relevant to their audience – and their editors. Then think about giving them an exclusive if you have something special to say. 5) Can you compete with FTSE 100 companies? To secure your share of voice, promote yourself as an international benchmark for financial performance, innovation or ESG achievements - or whatever it might be - and establish your management as a thought leader in your sector. 6) Be proud of cultural differences: What is “the norm” at home can be a novelty and a source of inspiration abroad. 7) And above all, be present at the finishing line: This can mean your CEO or CFO occasionally being available for interview or asked to provide comments at very short notice, sometimes a thorny point for executives under intense time pressure but one which will most likely generate positive results and strengthen relationships.

How international groups can capture the attention of the UK media

CDR Director, Agnès Riousse, explains how international companies can capture the attention of the UK media

Stuck in a web

The latest release from the Office of National Statistics on use of the internet in the UK underscores again just how prevalent the world wide web has become in our daily lives.

40 Days and 40 Nights: the original PR strategy review?

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In praise of… Wikipedia

One the great creations of the internet era has to be Wikipedia. Unsurprising then that it’s the sixth most visited site globally after Google, YouTube, Facebook, Baidu and Yahoo.

Even if it isn’t politically correct should we report the truth?

With all the talk of ‘fake news,’ should we not be more worried by the absence of news where information is deliberately withheld because it could be perceived as controversial or upsetting to certain demographics of society?

It’s a whole new paradigm…

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The Challenge of the Political Earworm

The Trump administration has surprised everyone withits ability to undermine its own message. This is exemplified no better than the birth of the phrase that may prove to be the political earworm of Trumps’ tenure in the White House.

Safety in Numbers… but for how long?

At a time when “post-truth” news is flooding our news and social media feeds, what does the future hold for research?

“Why don’t we just make it up?”

A key plank of many a public relations programme is activity which comes under the ‘news generation’ banner.