Fran Ashcroft, senior director, EMEA Communications at Intel on the PRmoment Podcast

Welcome to the PRmoment Podcast with Ben Smith. Today on the show we’re chatting with Fran Ashcroft, senior director, of EMEA communications at Intel.

Fran has worked for Intel for nearly 15 years at the firm and is currently preparing for an 8-week sabbatical.

We’re going to talk about Fran’s 15 years in-house at Intel. we‘ll cover what modern international communications looks like, how the in-house side has changed and what a modern agency partnership looks like.

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And thanks so much to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors the PRCA.

Here is a summary of what Fran and Ben Smith discussed:

1.30 mins Fran talks about her excitement that she’s off on sabbatical in a few week's time.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had 8 weeks off work”

3.00 mins Over 130,000 people work for Intel globally - what is the role of comms in an organisation of that size?

5.00 mins Fran gives an insight into the complexity of running a global comms programme.

“You have to focus our energy on what is going to make the biggest moments”

“We have to make music not noise”

“A key point of 360 communications is that anything you put out internally there is always the possibility of a leak”

7.30 mins Fran talks about the globalisation of communications and the implications of that on strategy and team organisation.

12.00 mins What is the mix between leadership, coordination and strategy in an international communications role?

“Our corporate narrative was inconsistent depending on where you were in the world”

“We were quite dictatorial when it came to managing who could be a spokesperson”

16 mins What do communications as a strategic function look like for an organisation like Intel?

“Communications became absolutely critical when COVID hit - whether you’re talking to your employees, whether your talking to external, whether you’re helping your customers… Because of that comms become the spearhead of all company activity - communications has never been more respected than it is now.”

“Everything that we do we measure…having the data that supports our activity makes us accountable for what we’re doing.”

20 mins Outside of the PR team - who are the biggest cheerleaders for PR inside Intel’s senior leadership?

“We do very few third-party press releases because the return on investment on it is tiny”

21 mins If Intel’s comms and marketing department were in the same function would comms be less effective?

“Nowadays the recognition and understanding of our craft has changed that (the understanding of the different role of comms compared to marketing) rapidly.”

23 mins What does the business demand of the comms dept?

“Our number one goal is to protect and promote Intel's reputation and share our vision with the world”

26 mins Fran explains Intel’s hub and spoke model including in-house and agency teams globally.

27 mins Fran talks about Intel’s quarterly scorecard for the communications team - including what KPIs are included in the scorecard.

29 mins Fran describes Intel's comms team as an “outcome-driven team” - what outcomes do they concentrate on the most?

“Think about why are you doing it - if you can’t come up with an answer for that then stop doing it”

“It’s not just about the skills, it’s about people's capabilities”

34 mins As the breadth of PR/comms responsibilities has increased - have budgets increased as well?

36 mins Fran talks about what the biggest challenges are for in-house teams currently.

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