All change for community engagement?

The recently-published white paper – Planning for the Future – sets out the government’s plans to overhaul town planning, with implications for how local councils and property developers will need to consult communities.

There’s a strong emphasis on the need for local authorities “radically and profoundly to re-invent the ambition, depth and breadth with which they engage communities as they consult on Local Plans,” giving them “an earlier ...


Does size really matter?

This article, ‘Thinking Big Matters in Marketing’ by LinkedIn’s Keith Browning, argues the bigger your company is, the more successful it will become … and so on in a virtuous circle. Browning sets out a robust case and attempts to explain it. Big businesses grow faster because their products or services are more available and they're more likely to spring ...


Shocking 114 year crisis denial by New York zoo

I’ve just read this shocking account of how New York's Bronx Zoo exhibited a kidnapped African boy in a monkey cage in 1906 – and spent 114 years denying its wrong doing. It’s a stark example of doing the wrong thing in a crisis – exacerbating reputational damage by denying the undeniable instead of taking responsibility. It’s finally taken the Black Lives Matter movement to prompt ...


“I thought I’d just ignore it”

“I thought I'd just ignore it,” he told me. There are many cases where I’m sure this is absolutely the best policy. Junk mail. A minor insect bite. An insult from someone you don’t care about. But an approach from an investigative BBC journalist isn’t one of them. I was a bit surprised the other day when I first got the call the other day to ...


Mastercard ad

Look at these coronavirus TV ads!

Take a look at this clever compilation of current American TV ads, with brands attempting to show solidarity in a COVID-19 environment. It vividly illustrates how they’re all pretty much the same - down to the exact phrases and even near identical music! I think most are well-intentioned and would be fine on their own. They're seeking to show empathy rather than deliver a hard sell. But, viewed alongside ...


Send-up of PM – with serious point

I’ve just seen this Twitter clip from Matt Lucas, sending up PM Boris Johnson’s last coronavirus directive to the British people. Lucas mimics Johnson well — and, in the space of 17 seconds, hits an important point square on the head. The PM’s first lockdown address, backed by the ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save lives’ slogan, deserves credit for being ...


COVID-19: time to change your tune

My last post looked at whether you should cut or continue your marketing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I said some should cut back or stop, while it’s wise for most to press on or increase their marketing. But if you are continuing your marketing, one thing's certain: this can't mean carrying on exactly as before. These are extraordinary times. Everything is being seen through a coronavirus lens — and your focus and message need to ...


Time to axe your marketing?

When tough times hit, marketing is one of the first activities some companies cut. Is that wise? And is it the right thing to do now — to survive the turbulence of the coronavirus pandemic? Every company’s situation is different, but I think the answers are ...


Coronavirus crisis communications

Your coronavirus communications – 7 questions to ask yourself

British businesses are quickly waking up to the reality that the coronavirus is no longer just ‘something happening in China’ but about to become a UK crisis, too. Firms are scrambling to put operational measures in place but — judging from conversations I’ve had in recent days — some are struggling with the crisis communications aspects, while they realise it's vital to protect their reputations and maintain confidence during any disruption ...


Brewdog - offensive ad

Boldness of the UnderDog

I see Brewdog’s latest billboard ad — for its alcohol-free beer — has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being offensive. It wasn’t helped by being outside a primary school. It reminds me of the Scottish brewer’s previous run-in with ...