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June Buzz 2018

June Buzz 2018

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Third Sector crisis communication support

We understand the challenges that can be faced in each sector, and we know how to prepare and protect our clients should they ever need it. In recent years, there has been increased scrutiny amongst the media towards charities, and even more hard-hitting scandals this year have had an impact on public perceptions. It can take a hundred good stories to build a reputation but only one bad one to bring down the house.

We’ve helped charities in the eye of the storm and advised clients in high profile situations. Our support can help you to prepare for and react decisively to an issue or crisis situation. If you want to take steps to protect your organisation today, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Developing a crisis response strategy

We know that most comms issues can be navigated effectively with the right strategy and support in place. Having the confidence that you can mitigate a risk comes from knowing you are properly prepared. We work closely with clients to create straight-talking crisis comms strategies that cover:

• Situational analysis – a review of key events that could impact your organisation
• Risk assessments – what issues are you likely to encounter? What could have the most impact?
• Crisis team structures – including Trustee support
• Comms protocols and checklists – a clear structure to follow at a glance
• User handbooks – communicating your crisis strategy in a format that can be easily accessed and used when the time is of the essence
• Template materials – to help speed up response times during a crisis situation.

Training days

Part of being able to respond to a crisis is being confident when handling media. The media will view your chief executive like any other CEO – they are the leader of the organisation and should be prepared to be scrutinised.
Journalists argue that they are reporting what the public needs to know, or wants to know, reflecting public mood. Spokespeople should be media trained, armed with facts and prepared for the toughest questions.

At PHA, our expert teams have been on the sharp end of media questioning, and can expertly prepare any spokesperson. Our tailored media training sessions train spokespeople to:

  • Structure key messages
  • Learn to control media interviews
  • Develop prepared responses
  • Understand the media
  • Learn different interview styles.

In addition to media training, our crisis simulation training days will put comms teams through their paces, with a mock crisis scenario involving how to deal with news of the crisis breaking, the first stages, the first calls from journalists, the CEO being doorstepped, and more.

Real-time support

During a crisis, even those with agreed protocols in place often require additional support. Crisis management experts are used to dealing with difficult situations, and good ones are not afraid to tell clients how it is once they see the depth of problems in an organisation. They should be able to bring with them not only expertise but contacts and links to other third parties who can help.

Getting up to speed on an issue quickly is vital. At PHA, we offer a 24/7 service that monitors social and traditional media coverage including sentiment. Our twice-daily reports with analysis and recommendations mean that you can always be sure of informed decision making.
Support from PHA can be scaled up or down depending on the level of crisis. From handling all media enquiries and social posts to acting as a sounding board for critical response deadlines, you will always be working with a dedicated senior comms consultant who will be on-hand at a moment’s notice. We also plug clients into media lawyers were necessary to help protect reputations and advise on other issues should the need arise.

Proactive PR

Following on from a crisis, it’s important to focus on the future and how or where you need to re-build relationships. Our third sector specialist team can help with:

  • Reviewing existing content and communications
  • Stakeholder engagement strategies
  • Thought leadership/feature placement
  • Proactive awareness-raising or fundraising campaigns.

If you would like to know how PR can help protect your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

Russian Roulette: 5 brands that have challenged the status quo at the World Cup

With just a few days to go until the World Cup kicks off in Russia, it remains to be seen which brands are willing to play Russian Roulette and put themselves in the firing line.

Here we look at five brands that have challenged the status quo and to give you an inkling which brands might be pitching in to win over fans at this year’s tournament.

  • Biting off more than you can chew? (2014)

As Luis Suarez took a bite out of Italian, Giorgio Chiellini’s arm in the final round of group matches at the 2014 World Cup, one might expect that it would be a proverbial red card to pounce on the opportunity that this curated for brands to get their names into the spotlight. When done correctly, however, real-time marketing can be one of the most effective strategies going. For brands such as Nando’s and McDonald’s, this certainly proved to be the case as they took to social media with cheeky tweets like the below.

  •  Throwing a Paddy (2014)

‘No publicity is bad publicity’ – It’s no secret that betting giants Paddy Power have been more than willing to toe the line of controversy over the years, with more than a hint of Loftus-Tongue & Cheek in their repertoire.

Originally some might have questioned the strategy they adopted at the World Cup in Brazil four years ago, appearing to carve through some of the already dwindling Brazilian Amazon Rainforest at the expense of an England ‘good luck message’.

As social media users reacted in their masses with comments such as ‘most idiotic PR stunt ever’ and such though, Paddy Power then revealed that the images were, in fact, elaborate computer-generated fakes.

With this debate raging on, they then used this platform to ‘raise awareness of deforestation’, much to the delight of charity Greenpeace, who urged people to join the charity’s movement to save rainforest wildlife. If you didn’t already know, it was soon news that an area the size of 122 football pitches is chopped down every 90 minutes. Paddy Power, of course, had to have the last laugh though…

Taking such a risk during one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the world, the World Cup is brave, but that’s exactly what Paddy Power did… and the reward was certainly worth it.

  • The Bourne Supremacy (2010)

 Although Scotland didn’t feature in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, one of their hallmark brands, Irn-Bru, were still keen to capitalise on the festival of football taking place over in South Africa. The result; the birth of an idea that many argued was supreme, yet controversial.

Dubbed as the ‘Bruzil’ campaign, it floated the idea that if Scottish and Brazilian people were to breed together, the tartan army would have a World Cup winning squad at their disposal by 2034. The most questionable of all their ads surrounding the campaign featured a Brazilian woman taking a ‘Bruzil’ themed pregnancy test with the result flashing up ‘Ya Beauty’. Although the campaign appeared to ‘Bru’ up a storm with some, to most at least it seemed a roaring success!

  • Car-crashing the party (2014)

As the host nation and one of the biggest names in world football, Brazilians would have been shocked to find their team on the receiving end of a 5-0 deficit after just 29 minutes in the World Cup semi-final. As the Germans picked them apart to run out 7-1 eventual winners, however, despite it being a scene of absolute heartbreak for the host nation, German car giants Audi and Volkswagen did very little to steer clear.

In fact, they engineered themselves some clever content over social media to seed out through the painful last hour of proceedings, that no doubt went down a treat with home fans.

We’ve picked out a few of our favourites below…













Both Audi and Volkswagen’s success were down to the fact that they were lightning quick off the mark. On this occasion that quick thinking certainly paid off.

  • Bavarian Beer on the rise (2010)

By 2010, Dutch beer brand Bavaria had made itself a name as the ambushing marketing experts with their back to back World Cup campaigns. But it was the 2010 campaign that made the headlines. During a World Cup game between Holland Vs Denmark, 36 female supporters were ejected from the stadium after taking part in a PR stunt which involved having to wear an orange mini-dress. The stunt was deemed to be taken attention away from Budweiser who was the official sponsor of the World Cup.

The beer brand benefited from the publicity the stunt caused, the brand received a spike in traffic and was the fifth most visited beer website in the UK on the day after the game.


We hope you enjoyed our choices, if you are interested in learning more about the importance of PR and how it can help you or your business please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Is the government right to ban ‘banning free speech’?

NO – By Will Tait

It’s now official – I’ll be heading on a tour of the Nation’s universities with my “Burn all Tories, but especially Universities ministers” show kicking off at LSE next week.

I don’t suspect this would be allowed to go ahead, which brings me to the not so funny thing about hate speech. It only really feels like it’s hate speech when its directed at you – when it’s not, it becomes this weird but essential intellectual form of discourse.

The recent intervention by Sam Gyimah treads the fine line between freedoms and state intervention. At risk of discovering irony, Gyimah has banned banning, and exposed his political alignment. The issue has become a top Tory priority after the high-profile cases of Julie Bindel, Peter Tatchell and Jacob Rees Mogg resulted in their university speeches being cancelled or protested at because students at each rallied to have them called off.

The university debate comes back to safe spaces, an issue often ridiculed in the press but in short, determines the right for people to seek higher education without pseudo-intellectuals turning up to speak about how they don’t exist or list the number of human freedoms they should be restricted from accessing. All three of these cases, unsparingly, are connected to the LGBT community and go some way to planting in the ground the shortcomings we are making as a society when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable. Trans people exist. Fact. Gay people deserve the same rights as heterosexuals. Fact. Your thoughts contrary to this aren’t interesting additions to the debate. They are a pointless waste of time.

Freedom of expression is the only human right that is by law, restricted by duties and responsibilities. This is because it does something the other human rights do not, it infringes on the others. Your right to privacy or freedom from discrimination are weakened by others freedom of speech. It’s therefore often a balancing act.

What absolutely isn’t happening here though, is the stifling of human speech in some anti-intellectual pursuit. Not only are these student’s miles ahead of the rest of the country educationally. They are also politically canvassing in their free time. They are not in need of intervention and they certainly don’t need to be told what to think. They are not following J Peterson around in search of entry-level humanities, they are fighting against opinions which belong in the 18th century. Our ability to silence hostility and ridicule stupidity is the essential ingredient to the intellectual cake. Not everyone deserves to be heard at university, it is an intellectual hierarchy where your right to speak is balanced against the quality of your thought. This populist oversight is a step backwards. 

YES – By Peter Jackson Eastwood

Banning the banning of things might seem a counter-intuitive tactic for protecting freedom of speech on campuses, but, it is the inevitable outcome of the decision to hike tuition fees over five years ago.

Universities are more like businesses than ever before, and this has changed the dynamic. Students now see themselves as customers and have an increased sense of selfish entitlement as a consequence. No business wants to lose customers, and so universities seem unsure whether to impose more order on their charges or continue to afford them free reign.

Campuses are traditionally left-wing enclaves, this is nothing new. What is worrying is that the pockets of hard-left, extremely politically-active minorities who pervade campuses are going increasingly unchecked. This is creating an on-campus narrative that is so overtly centred around being ‘progressive’ that anybody who deviates from it can be labelled anything from alt-right to misogynistic, to entitled, to transphobic, to racist.

Firstly, the gratuitous use of these labels completely delegitimises their impact. Once you lump people like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Jordan Peterson in with the genuine hate figures, you both damage the credibility of your argument and provide said hate figures with an ally in the free speech debate. You also create a vitriolic environment that leads to a dangerous ‘them against us’ narrative.

And as the Left pushes Left, the Right veers further Right. In the arms race to become the most tolerant, we’ve achieved more intolerance. Feminist societies trying to ban iconic feminist forerunner, Germaine Greer, young men turning to self-help from Jordan Peterson due to feeling victimised, it’s all becoming very confused. Even the NUS was embroiled in an argument over anti-Semitism a couple of years ago, a problem that has escalated significantly at a grassroots level for both Labour and Momentum in recent times.

Societally we are becoming more intolerant by the day. It feels as though grand-standing and reinforcing what makes us different has taken precedence over the will to discuss, understand, and debate.

If you’re educated into this mindset in an academic echo-chamber then it’s no surprise that you might treat alternative viewpoints with hostility. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Young people need to be challenged and exposed to potentially upsetting ideas from both sides of the political spectrum. Shove the trigger warnings, if speech is truly hateful or ignorant then you should have the ability as a student to counter it. If you can’t, then what are you doing in Higher Education? It’s much easier to tackle uncomfortable ideas that are out in the open rather than letting them fester underground.

Recently, Scotland prosecuted a comedian for teaching a pug to do a Nazi salute. When pugs are hate crimes, when discord is omnipresent, and when universities have failed to get their house in order for years, something has to give. If the government don’t step in to change things, then who else will?

We hope you enjoyed our debate, if you are interested in learning more about how PR can help you or your business please get in touch with a member of our team today.

The Royal Wedding and FA Cup Final: A day of contrasting emotions

10 am – Not long until the day’s activities kick-off, the nerves begin to set in. Today is not the day for a slip-up, so with that in mind, shoelaces are given the double bow treatment. Prince Harry can’t be taking any chances with the walk up to St. George’s Chapel.

11 am – The nervous energy has taken over; the cold sweat can’t be stopped. Remaining in control seems an unachievable task. The hordes of fans you’ve passed en route chanting your name haven’t helped. But after muttering some carefully chosen words to yourself, you remember, you live for days like today. After that, getting off the team bus and walking towards the coveted Wembley changing rooms doesn’t seem too difficult.

12:30 pm – Being one of the eagerly anticipated events of the year, there isn’t a seat going spare. After a quick glance around the venue, it wouldn’t be wrong to think there haven’t been this many celebrities in one place since the last series of ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here!’

Things are starting to get tasty. It’s the business end of the season where stellar performances don’t necessarily matter it’s all about the result. The royal couple to be, manage to successfully recite their vows without any issues.

1 pm – The newlyweds exit the chapel and begin on their carriage procession through Windsor. Meanwhile just up the M25 back at the FA’s HQ, both sets of players have taken to the field in their glad rags, ready to make some pledges of their own for the day ahead.

3:30 pm – With starting line-ups submitted, it’s time to focus and mentally prepare for the match ahead. Cup finals are never a walk in the park and tensions will be running high, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated, luckily there’s a suave and sophisticated wedding reception going on at St. George’s Hall.

4:45 pm – With only 30 minutes until kick off, it’s time to get creative. How exactly will you get the better of your opposing number, delivering the best man speech is one way to go about it I suppose…

5:15 pm – Whilst Anglo-American relations are progressing nicely down the road. The 2018 FA Cup Final is underway, it’s time to choose. Are you a red or a blue for the day?

5:45 pm – The day has been a roaring success, but there’s still one question on everybody’s lips that hasn’t been answered. The question everyone’s been asking for months. Yes, Prince William has turned up at Wembley to fill his post as President of the FA.

Talk about super Saturday…

If you would like to talk about what PR could do for your business, speak to a member of our award-winning team today.

The ultimate travel guide for the perfect honeymoon

With the forthcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle fast-approaching, we can’t help but speculate about where they’ll be jetting off to for their honeymoon celebrations!
Here at The PHA Group, we started thinking about all the important details for the perfectly planned honeymoon (and of course where we’d love to travel to), so we’ve collated some of our dream honeymoon destinations and travel tips, alongside some of the incredible brands and services out there who are dedicated to helping every couple’s dream getaway come true…

By train

Nowadays it’s easier than ever to plan your routes by rail through the likes of Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada and the USA with companies such as Holidays by Rail on hand to provide you with a perfectly designed package often including all of your accommodation, food and transfers.

If spontaneous interrailing is your thing then you’ll undoubtedly be looking to stop off at multiple destinations and cram as much as possible into your honeymoon break. Websites like are ideal for those who want to take a more relaxed and hassle-free approach to travel, allowing you to book boutique B&Bs, hotel accommodation or self-catering apartments which meet your individual needs and requirements at just a moment’s notice!

For something a little more special and luxurious, the Venice Simplon Orient-Express available through Belmond is definitely one to consider. With multiple European destinations on offer, this once in a lifetime trip is guaranteed to provide an unrivalled first-class experience and memories that will last for an entire lifetime.

Tropical paradise

After all that wedding planning, no one can blame the happy couple for wanting a relaxing break in paradise! Many (including ourselves) are partial to a beach holiday consisting of refreshing cocktails, sandy shores and glorious sunshine, but with so many tropical destinations from Seychelles to Mexico to Sri Lanka to choose from it can be different to comprehend where’s best to go!

There’s no doubt that companies like Kuoni are the experts when it comes to tropical travel and best of all when you visit them in store – you often get a delightful glass of fizz, to help make booking your trip that extra special! Other companies such as Honeymoon Dreams and Mahlatini luxury travel are also excellent when it comes to booking a bespoke trip, and can advise you on where’s best to go in light of different tropical climates, what you’re looking to do whilst your away, and most importantly the budget you have in mind…

If you’re looking to make your trip that extra little bit more luxurious, then look no further than No.1 Lounges. This premium airport lounge service ensures you can kick off your holiday in style and with ultimate comfort and relaxation! All you need to access these lounges is a membership card, or simply pay from £26 per entry when you book in advance, to gain access to their incredible amenities, which include pod bedrooms and spa facilities.

Australian & New Zealand Adventures

The honeymoon is very often that one chance couples get to book off a long time period from work and travel long-haul to somewhere that they’ve always dreamed of visiting. For many, this means an Australian and/or New Zealand adventure is on the cards! Travel companies like Distant holidays and Austravel are on hand to make sure that the journey is as comfortable as possible, and with so many landmarks to see, they ensure your trip is perfectly planned and your time as balanced as possible – between relaxing and going on unforgettable excursions. From scenic road trips to amazing safaris to snorkelling expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef, these companies can provide it with all, with affordable and competitive packages available on their websites.

European Escapes

If you’re looking to stay somewhere a little closer to home and visit a European destination – whether that be exploring a beautiful coastline and or a historic city – then hiring a private villa may be something to consider. Solmar Villas provide you with the ultimate accommodation options, from beachfront locations with spectacular panoramic views to locations ideal for exploring the closest towns and cities to local hot spots with excellent transport links. With a vast amount of options available that cater for a variety of budgets, you’re guaranteed to find something that meets your needs. If your short on time or looking for cheap flights, then On the Beach is a great website to browse, featuring competitive pricing and low deposits, On the Beach ensure your honeymoon trip remains budget friendly!

Sail the High Seas

If you’re looking to take to the waters, then look no further than P&O Cruises. With bespoke honeymoon packages and trips available in the Mediterranean all the way to the Caribbean, the world is truly your oyster, and cruising can provide you with the opportunity to visit multiple cities and ports across the world. If you are perhaps after something smaller scale, then companies such as Riviera Travel and Audley Travel offer more intimate trips and tailor-made cruising options by river, lake or sea – offering you the chance to see the Red River Delta in Vietnam or even the arctic waters of Alaska!

Get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help you stand out from the crowd and form your PR strategy.

Percy & Penny Get Hitched: 5 Brands Piggybacking the Royal Wedding

Royal events are always the perfect excuse for a party, a 2-hour long TV special and a ‘Limited Edition’ version of completely everyday products. Brands jumped right on the Queen’s Jubilee, William and Kate’s nuptials, and every royal baby that followed, and we should expect no less for Harry and Meghan! So, what joys are we to expect this time?

Creating a product around the Royal Wedding is not as easy as it seems, as tight regulations exist around using names and images of the individuals in question. However, some of best of the bunch have cleverly circumvented these restrictions and come out with some Royal corkers. In first place…


1. Percy and Penny: These lovable, and delicious, little piggies have skipped the market and gone straight to the chapel! M&S released this clever stunt a few weeks ago, with the nations favourite porkers beating Harry and Meghan to the altar. With the hashtag #PercyGetsMarried, this was the perfect way for this household name to capitalise on the event both online and in-store.


2. Ginger and Sparkle: The ever-cheeky crisp brand, Tyrrells, has released the oh-so-elusively named ‘Ginger & Sparkle’ parsnip crisps. A celebration of the Royal affair, these crisps are perfectly on brand for them, a re-packaged and revamped offering of their already very successful product. This perfect ‘Limited Edition’ crisp is flavoured with a hint of ginger, sweet honey and edible glitter for that famous Markle sparkle.


3. Gü-ing, Gü-ing, Gone: Faithful British pud brand, Gü, is giving everyone a taste of the Royal Wedding with a replica of their chosen cake! Since the official flavour was released, lemon and elderflower, several brands have come out with their takes. From lemon and elderflower gins to specialised sorbets, the marketplace is crammed full of these very English flavours. Gü has stuck to what they do best and whipped up a ‘Royal Wedding Edition’ cheesecake…which dare I say it, may sound nicer than the cake itself.



4. Local Liquor:

A local brewery, Windsor and Eaton Brewery to be precise, has marked the special occasion with a delightful sounding pale ale. The ‘Windsor Knot’ combines American hops and Champagne yeast to create a ‘perfect marriage of ingredients’ for ale-lovers far and wide to enjoy. It even has front row seats, being brewed within sight of Windsor castle.


5. Newlywed Gingerbread: Luxury biscuit brand, the Biscuiteers, have come out with a suitably cheerful looking pair of Gingerbread people, which frankly bear an uncanny likeness! For just £12 you can indulge in ‘the Royal couple jolly gingers’ – dunking Harry in your tea and lowly dismembering the future Princess. Well, at least it’s less weird than the Harry and Meghan themed condoms…

Whatever your choice, make sure you revel in the ingenuity of modern brands and their ability to piggyback every Royal event. A clever exercise in brand personality, and good packaging design, these many products are possibly my favourite feature of the whole merry thing. Any excuse to try new foods eh!

Did you like our choices? If you would like to talk about what PR could do for your business, speak to a member of our award-winning team today.

The Business Show – Ones to Watch

Next week marks the start of The Business Show – the UK’s largest business exhibition – taking place at the ExCel Centre on 16th and 17th May for a jam-packed agenda of innovative and thought-provoking keynote talks and workshops.

Here are our top speakers to check out at this year’s event.

Emma-Jane Packe, Managing Director of The Supper Club

Misleading as the name may be, The Supper Club is not a fine-dining experience. But it does represent the cream of the crop in enterprise and business.

If you’re an entrepreneur with revenues between £1 million and £500 million, chances are you and E-J are well acquainted. She has an eye for entrepreneurialism innovation, growth, and wealth creation. Through The Supper Club, E-J supports business owners and their teams and loves meeting some of the country’s most inspiring minds.

E-J will share insights gathered from 2,500 events to discuss what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in 2018, what helps SMEs to scale rapidly and why it is sometimes important for entrepreneurs to get out of their own way.

Hear her Secrets to Scale for a 21st Century Entrepreneur on Thursday 17th May at 2 pm in Keynote Theatre 1.

 Ben Jefferies, CEO & Founder of Influencer

 At 22, Ben has packed in more accomplishments in his career than most can hope for in a lifetime. At 15, he set up a clothing company which paved the way for the launch of Influencer – a web platform that allows brands to collaborate with social media content creators and is now one of the UK’s largest influencer marketing companies.

It’s no surprise to see Ben will be addressing the audience on “How to smash Influencer Marketing in 2018”, sharing his words of wisdom on how to make a ground-breaking campaign. We’re sure the Keynote Theatre will be filled, with attendees looking for guidance on how to use influencer marketing successfully in their business from one of the best.

Catch Ben’s keynote, How to smash Influencer Marketing in 2018, on Wednesday 16th May at 11.45am in Keynote Theatre 2.

Avin Rabheru, Founder of Housekeep

Who knew the house cleaning business needed a shakeup? Avin Rabheru recognised the gap in the market and set up leading house cleaning agency, Housekeep from scratch.

Avin is an avid early-stage investor and has been involved in start-ups such as Streetcar/Zipcar, Kabbee and Crowdcube to name a few. This gives him the chance to back the start-up community, providing young businesses with the financial injection they need to get their idea off the ground.

Avin’s keynote is not one to be missed if you’re a budding entrepreneur. This is a rare opportunity to hear from one of the UK’s top entrepreneurs and angel investors.

Catch Avin at his keynote, From Startup to Market Leader in a £4bn Market, on Thursday 17th May at 4.15pm in Keynote Theatre 2.

 Christian Samuel, Founder of University Cribs

Christian caught the enterprise bug early on. He got his first taste for business success aged 12, buying and selling antique pots, which nearly made him £3,000 for his efforts.

After being told he’d never succeed by teachers and adults around him, he now runs proptech business University Cribs. Founded in 2016, when Christian was just 23, the business connects students to accommodation providers across the UK. In 2017, he was crowned Welsh Young Entrepreneur of the Year, putting his name firmly on our list of ones to watch at this year’s Business Show.

Christian will share his experience on how, even as a school dropout, you can build a successful business with the right attitude. We expect University Cribs to go global in the coming years and are excited to watch this growth.

Hear Christian’s session The Journey of a 16-year-old Dropout, on Wednesday 16th May at 2 pm in Keynote Theatre 1.

Dominic McGregor, COO & Co-founder of The Social Chain Group

The running trend of young successful entrepreneurs continues, and at the tender age of 21, Dominic and his business partner Steven Barlett dropped out of university and set out to change the way brands engage with social media. And so, The Social Chain was born.

Their business model is based on the ability to leverage hundreds of social communities to control what gets talked about online through carefully created content. The pair claim to be able to make anything the top trending topic on Twitter in 30 minutes or less – a bold statement in a highly competitive market.

The Social Chain now operates out of four metropolitan hubs – London, Manchester, New York and Berlin – proving that these two really are wired in to what makes brands, millennials and influencers tick.

Dominic is set to a challenge the glamourised perception of being a young entrepreneur in his talk, The Darkside of Growing a Business in 2018, on Wednesday 16th May at 3.30pm in Keynote Theatre 1.

Is your company looking to reach a wider audience? Do you have a clear PR strategy? Whether you’re attending The Business Show or not, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today.

Putting The PR in GDPR

With less than a month until the new European legislation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), comes into force in the UK we look at what this really means for the PR industry, whilst putting some of those rumours and myths to bed.

Find out the basics

You can’t prepare for what you don’t know. So, the first crucial step is to make yourself aware of the key facts surrounding the GDPR. If you haven’t received training at your organisation it is probably worthwhile embarking on some personal research on the dos and don’ts when it comes to data protection. Sites such as the ICO are really detailed and can help you answer some of those burning questions.

Our Legal and Finance Director, Marina Hall says “Don’t panic, GDPR is a good thing and allows you to organise your data and the information you store. The legislation is enforcing best practice and requiring all businesses to have the same standards when it comes to processing and storing personal information.”

What data is included?

The GDPR may sound as exciting as watching paint dry but it’s important to know the details, especially as it will affect every business in the UK. You will need to know what qualifies as ”personal data”as you’ll probably find that you process it a lot more than you realise. The main areas could be:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Mobile number
  • Bank account details
  • Addresses
  • Driver/passport number

The legislation covers indirect identification of personal data, as well as direct. This means marketers will need to think about pseudonymisation, a data management procedure by which personally identifiable information fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers. When these elements are brought together, such as a postcode used with a surname, this could lead to someone being identified.

Do I have to get permission from every journalist?

No; if you are using aggregator sites such as Gorkana, Agility or Response Source you’re covered. These sites require the journalists or organisation to opt-in to have their details shared, meaning you have permission as a subscriber to the site to access that data. In addition, business emails that are published in the public domain such as are exempt from GDPR and you are able to make an approach.

Freelancers can be a murkier ground. There is a grey area within the new legislation around “legitimate interest”. If, for example, you were representing an environmental charity and you wanted to contact a freelance environmental journalist, you can argue legitimate interest as the journalist would more than likely want to hear about your story. However, if you included the same freelance journalist in a big promotional email about something totally irrelevant to them it would be deemed misuse of their data and could lead to other problems.

How does this affect my client work?

Our top tips for most PR professionals would be to focus on the following.

  1. Make sure you know where to find your new updated contracts and how to explain them if your client comes back with any questions.
  2. Ensure you are vetting any third-party suppliers you might be using, such as photographers, copywriters or website developers. It might be worthwhile having a supplier agreement in place.
  3. Password protect your spreadsheets. If you have media lists, client to do lists or simply a data capture from an event, make sure they are securely stored away and password protected. If you’re unsure how to lock your work down seek help from your IT team who will be able to advise you.
  4. Don’t pass on details you don’t have permission to share. If you haven’t got permission, make sure you don’t share data with any third parties. If you do, this could it could lead to larger issues. If you’re unsure, check with the Data Protection Officer within your organisation for the correct process.
  5. The right to be forgottenthe new GDPR rules provide “data subjects” (individuals) with the right to request that their information be erased completely. This is not optional.
  6. Finally, know who your Data Protection Officer is. Most organisations will have an appointed person or team. Make sure you keep them in the loop if you’re unclear about the process or just want to clarify what you’re doing is the correct way.

Finally, we’d just like to add we are not qualified to provide legal advice, so if you have some bigger questions please do contact your legal counsel.

We hope you enjoyed our top tips; if you’re looking for a PR agency to support you or your business please get in touch with our award-winning team today.

Ones to watch at the Global Group UK Investor Show

The Global Group UK Investor Show is taking place in London this week, celebrating the greatest talent in the investment world.

This year’s show has a global outlook, with keynote speeches looking at the emerging investment opportunities in Asia and Africa, as well as the impact of Blockchain and Bitcoin on the sector.

Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy expert advice and interactive investment tips from a line-up of experts in sectors as diverse as energy to entertainment, software to fine art.

Check out our ‘ones to watch’ this Saturday…

1) Dr. Johnny Hon, The Global Group

The Global Group is the lead partner of the show – and Founder and Chairman Dr. Johnny Hon’s speech on the main stage will be unmissable. Drawing on over twenty years’ experience as a world-renowned angel investor and venture capitalist, Dr Hon will talk about why there are so many China frauds on AIM and how to make money from Chinese shares.

The Global Group conglomerate is committed to developing UK-Chinese investment opportunities, and Dr. Hon is certainly one to watch if you’re thinking about expanding East, or if you are looking for best-in-class advice about global opportunities.

2) Nigel Wray, The Investor Show

Nigel Wray may be the owner of the show and one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, but he is best-known for his roles Chairman of rugby union team Saracens. He’ll be opening the show with a discussion and live-demonstration of value investment – all in the name of charity.

Throughout the day, Nigel will lead an alternative Dragons’ Den session on the main stage – perfect for picking up investment tips from a man with serious industry clout.

3) Vin Murria, Advanced Computer Software Group

Known as the ‘Queen of Tech’, Vin is going to be interviewed on the main stage about her experience as a leading tech entrepreneur, the rise of Advanced Computer Software Group, and the opportunities in the FinTech sector.
Vin sold her company for £765 million three years ago and recently took a significant stake in broker finnCap, so we’ll be seizing the opportunity to gain insider tips on how to take the financial sector by storm.

4) Luke Johnson, Risk Capital Partners

Luke Johnson is the Chairman of Risk Capital Partners and a serial entrepreneur – you may have read his advice in the Financial Times or his current column in The Sunday Times.

Luke will be speaking at various points on the day about how entrepreneurs can best appeal to investors. He will be talking from experience as is best-known for the acquisition and sale of Pizza Express and creation of think talk, The Centre for Entrepreneurs.

5) Dave Mutton, PrimaryBid

Dave Mutton is the COO of PrimaryBid, the leading online funding platform that offers access to new share issues from listed companies, at the same discount as institutions.

Dave has over 20 years’ experience at the helm of some of the biggest players in the technology space, including Amazon and Yahoo, so his speech will carry serious industry clout.If you’re interested in disruptive technology companies, make sure you watch out for Dave.

6) Keith Allaun, PowerHouse Energy Group

Keith Allaun is the Executive Chairman of PowerHouse Energy Group and is set to bring an interesting perspective on alternative energy to this year’s show.

The PowerHouse Energy Group create the industry’s most efficient and environmentally friendly waste-to-energy systems in the market today.

Impact investment is set to be a hot topic at the show, and Keith will share his leading advice on the Alt Energy panel.

Is your company looking to reach a wider audience? Do you have a clear PR strategy? Whether you’re attending The Global Group Investor Show or not, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line here.