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The communications briefing: Change isn’t happening fast enough to tackle gender inequality in PR

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 


Growing UK tech sector needs broader PR talent
Blooming UK tech clusters – particularly Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast – are increasingly competing with London and the south-east for growth, according to the Government's latest Digital Economy Council report, which indicated that the tech sector is now bigger than construction. The report also highlights the inclusive nature of the tech sector – with firms of all sizes hiring staff with broader business skills including public relations staff and marketers.

Sorrell poaches former WPP executives
Sir Martin Sorrell has poached Scott Spirit, who left WPP three months after Sir Martin himself resigned in acrimonious circumstances last year, as chief growth officer at S4 Capital – stoking further tensions between the two companies. Elizabeth Buchanan, an advertising industry entrepreneur who also previously worked at WPP, is also joining S4 as a non-executive director.
Yahoo Finance

'Energy and commitment to change' in PR's gender equity drive
Cassie Werber explored female public relations leaders' attitudes to improvements in gender equity in the industry – and uncovered an overwhelming mood of "change isn’t happening fast enough". Colleen DeCourcy, co-president and chief creative officer at US agency Wieden + Kennedy, asserted that in building her career she tried to build an identity composed of her own tastes – but struggled against a male-dominated industry. While women make up 70% of the industry, they only accounted in 2015 for just 30% of its CEOs. Weber Shandwick and FleishmanHillard had more women than men in top leadership roles in both 2015 and 2017, while Ogilvy PR and Blue Focus had no women at all in their top leadership teams in 2015 but 25% and 50% respectively by 2017. Helen Matthews, chief people officer at Ogilvy UK, said of the mood at present: “I think there’s an energy and a commitment to changing and challenging ourselves and nurturing different voices.”

W opens Malaysia office ahead of Asia push
London-based public relations and social media firm W is opening an office in Malaysia on July 8 – its second in the region after opening in Singapore in 2015. Operations will be headed by Kiranjeet Kaur, most recently national PR manager at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, and founding clients for Malaysia are AppNexus, Marc Jacobs and Women of the Future Awards.

 Golin wins Porsche PR mandate
Golin has won the regional public relations mandate for Porsche Asia-Pacific, across 13 markets including Brunei, Cambodia, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The award follows Porsche's consolidation of its Asia-Pacific and Singapore operations communications.

 India must update its public relations regulations
Adage India asserted that India, now a mature communications economy, must update its public relations regulations. Times have changed since the Advertising Standards Council of India was set up in 1985, the article argued, and PR in all of its forms now can be as misleading as advertising.
Adage India

Reputational Risk

Concerns over online advertising aimed at children
Natasha Bernal explored concerns over online advertising aimed at children. Dr Emma Boyland, a researcher from the University of Liverpool, said kids consider vloggers to be "everyday people" like them, and so are more influenced by their behaviour, and underlined a study which found that children who watched Zoella, who has 11.7m followers, and her partner Deyes, who has 3.9m, went on to eat 26% more calories than those who did not. Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, claimed that young people are being "bombarded" with ideas, images and advertising which set a high and often unrealistic bar for what they should look and feel like.
The Daily Telegraph

Blewer defends Dubai property scheme
Paddy Blewer allayed concerns over a scheme whereby investors who buy property in Dubai are being offered a "backdoor into Europe" via citizenship of Moldova – paid for them by The Kleindienst Group property firm. Blewer, public relations director for London-based Henley & Partners, which designed Moldova’s CBI scheme and is accredited as one of its agents, stressed that applicants would face due diligence before any passports are granted: “The Moldovan government knows who they are. The information on the application is shared with various organisations – Interpol, Europol and various other friendly intelligence services. It goes through various internal and international verification processes, including international banking systems.”
The Times


Carphone Warehouse puts Crouch up front
Former England international Peter Crouch teamed up with Carphone Warehouse to launch its “Switcheroo” advertising campaign. Crouch, who has represented a number of teams during his career including Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City, will appear for three weeks on TV, radio, VOD and digital audio, alongside a four-week content partnership with Global across Heart, Smooth, Capital and Radio X.

And finally…

Handling your personal PR? ‘Owzat?!  Warner hitting PR for six
Australian cricketer Dave Warner is smashing it out of the park in the World Cup at the moment – with awesome public relations. Warner gave his ‘man of the match’ prize – a replica World Cup trophy in an engraved wooden box – to a young Aussie fan after the victory over Pakistan, prompting a raft of glowing media coverage and #spiritofcricket tweets. If this was a deliberate strategy from Warner's manager Roxy Jacenko, suggested sports editor Ant Sharwood, then "it was brilliant."
10 Daily

This briefing has been prepared by Early Morning Media.  If you are interested in a customised bespoke news briefing for you or your client across any vertical, please contact

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