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Serendipity PR’s New Client: Constructive Voices

 

When we work with clients, there is nothing like working with clients that are pushing boundaries and shaking things up, and is why Serendipity PR & Media is enjoying working with Constructive Voices, a new and exciting podcast platform for the construction industry. Constructive Voices is bringing the latest stories from the construction industry globally and is creating the best conversations with industry leaders and change makers, on topics shaping the sector from the economy to sustainability, social good, to mental and physical health, and diversity and inclusion. These are all values that matter to Serendipity PR as a brand.

All the podcasts aim to inspire positive change and it has a strong, talented team of diverse experts behind it, which includes Peter Finn, Ireland’s well-known and favourite TV builder; Henry McDonald, investigative journalist; Jackie De Burca, author and award-wining podcaster; and Steve Randall, radio presenter and podcast trainer.

Constructive Voices latest powerful podcast is out now, where acclaimed journalist and media commentator, Henry McDonald interviews Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, Honorary Professor at the University of Liverpool and Ambassador for its Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place. Professor Parkinson speaks in detail about the proposed Everton football stadium project and Liverpool’s regeneration.

This latest podcast with Professor Parkinson has been well-received and Paul Gallagher

Head of Creative Partnerships, National Museums Liverpool says, “This is a brilliant podcast, incredibly enlightening and insightful. A highly recommended listen.”

 

Here’s a taster of some of the other episodes from Constructive Voices:

Cas Heuvelmans, PR Manager Europe | Trimble says: “I’m truly impressed by what the team have pulled off here.”

Guy Woodford, Aggregates Business says, “A real diversity among the guests, which gives the show pace…Great success story.”

Peter Finn, Ireland’s favourite TV builder says, “At Construction Voices we want to bust those stereotypes that people may have of this sector and showcase the best things that are happening within this sector globally, including bringing to the forefront the latest industry insights and trends. We are creating quality content and we are proud that in such a short space of time we have become the go to podcast in the construction industry and have gained sponsors.”

Constructive Voices is consistently producing original content and future episodes lined-up includes, Peter Finn, TV personality taking listeners on a journey into the highly sensitive restoration of the building, which houses the Book of Kells at Trinity College, Dublin; while Henry McDonald, journalist will be discussing the renovation of the Real Madrid Bernabéu Stadium.

 

The Role Of Nature, Wellness & Wellbeing In The Digital Age

 

On 2 June from 1pm to 2pm, come and join me and this panel for this free event, where we are discussing wellbeing in the workplace in this digital age. Now, wellbeing at work has finally become important, particularly during this global pandemic and is very much part of a company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Come and find out more and hear from this great panel. Details to book click here

Irish Tech News Podcast

 

My latest book, Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Public Relations has been so well received and am thrilled to say that award-winning podcast platform, Irish Tech News has enjoyed the book and offered me to run a mini podcast series focused around the topic of the book, which is corporate social responsibility and sustainable business news.  I have done eight podcasts, which are a variety voices of people within my book and some new ones.

Each conversation tells a story and I have interviewed business leaders and change makers who are doing wonderful things from learning about the stories that bees tell us to the clowns making children laugh in refugee camps; to food waste and fashion;  animalltea, a brew that is empowering endangered animals story to artificial intelligence doing good, and so much more. You can have listen to all these podcasts and the all the other great content at Irish Tech News.

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Public Relations: The Book Is Flying

It is Spring, Easter has come and gone and here in the UK we are about to re-emerge from lockdown and suddenly, we have a lot to look forward to…time has flown and yes, it has taken me this long to write about all the wonderful and positive things that have happened and are happening for my new book, Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Public Relations

 The Launch

I cannot believe that it has been a full month since the book had its official publication day on 18 February this year. Like everything that has been happening, the launch event was virtual, and on the day we had just over 100 people join from all over the world. It was great to see so much support for the book, which has continued. The book has been warmly received by both the media and the public.

Irish Tech News & Podcasts

Interest in the book has led to different opportunities and conversations, which includes me creating a special mini podcast series for the award winning, Irish Tech News. The first podcast from this series, launches this April. I have interviewed a mix of people, some of whom are in the book and some new voices, who are all talking about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the things that they are doing to create change and make impact.

The first podcast is now live and is with entrepreneur, Leigh Kathryn Bonner who is one of Forbes Under 30, who is behind her CSR led-business, ‘Bee Downtown.’

In this particular podcast, Leigh gives us an insight into bees, who we discover are one of Mother Nature’s best storytellers!

The other, Irish Tech News podcast interviews I have coming up, are with – a  new purposeful tea company; a clown who is helping to make children laugh in refugee camps; an expert on sustainable and ethical investments; an ethical fashion entrepreneur and more.

Publicity Received

The book has been featured on Reputation Today, who ran a few pieces; India CSR Network also showed the book a lot of love and ran four stories; Asian Voice Newspaper; India Global Business; Viewdigital; Digital Journal; Enfield Dispatch; and Irish Tech News did a podcast with me about the book, which led to the mini-series.

Coming Up

I also have a few interviews just around the corner, including being interviewed on other podcasts. In fact, I am looking forward to joining Books and Friends on 19 April.

The book launches in the US in May and there’s more exciting news to announce soon.

Gratitude

But, the most important thing right now is to thank everyone who has bought the book! Thank you!! As an author, there’s nothing like the thrill of knowing someone is reading ‘your book.’

 

SHORTLISTED FOR WOMEN IN MARKETING 2020 AWARDS

Sangeeta Waldron, founder of Serendipity PR & Media has been been chosen by the judges for the shortlist of this year’s Global WiM Awards organized by Women in Marketing (WiM). The prestigious awards celebrate excellence in the industry across the world and highlight those professionals with a distinct commitment to the future of marketing.The WiM Awards launched in 2010 and were established to recognise the economic, social influence and impact of women to millions. The WiM Awards has given recognition to inspirational women and male equality advocates across the globe, from some of the biggest brands – Google, Facebook, Hearst, HP, WPP, Diageo, Unilever, Burberry, SAP and Live Nation to name but a few.

Sangeeta Waldron said, “To say I am thrilled and honoured is an under-statement; to be recognised in the industry with big global brands is indeed uplifting, particularly in the current climate, which has been challenging for everyone.”

WiM CIC is network created to educate, inspire, connect and recognise women in the marketing and associated professions through the cycle of their lives. It takes a holistic approach to the education and wellbeing of women through collaborations and partnerships with organisations that complement its work. From women working in large corporations, charitable organisations through to female entrepreneurs, WiM reflects the evolution of the marketing world.

Born in 2004 by Ade Onilude – a then member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Central London team – out of a need for women in the industry to be recognised, celebrated and empowered to fulfil their potential. This led to Ade conceiving and delivering the first WiM event to coincide with International Women’s Day on Work-Life Balance. Since then, the annual WiM events have grown and tackled topics such as ethical marketing, the creatives, branding and diversity in marketing, with the purpose of provoking discussion and inspiring women in the industry and the wider business community.

Over the years, WiM has enjoyed the support of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Marketing Academy and sponsor organisations such as ITV, Mondelez, Vodafone,HPInc and IPG. And the support of some very special individuals: Gail Gallie, co-founder of Project Everyone, Sarah Speake, Daryl Fielding, Antonio Lucio, and Heide Gardner. WiM has evolved over the past decade, and now serves a global network of influential individuals across the sector.

 

 

WiM Awards 2020 marks its ten year anniversary, reflecting the evolving landscape of marketing.

 

 

My Love of Podcasts!

During lockdown and our changing world, I have been keeping myself busy with writing and podcasts, not just listening to them, but being fortunate enough to be invited on to various shows to share my stories.

I enjoyed sharing my business wisdom and stories and have recently been on two popular US based podcasts shows – CurryUp StartUp Podcast and the #365FirstChallenge

Both shows are hosted by great podcasters who have the mastery of asking great questions and importantly, good listeners, knowing just when to come in to ask that timely question.

Podcasts are great for sharing knowledge, experiences and stories with a wide audience. You can listen to podcasts about politics, business, cooking and more; the options are endless. Data shows that two million podcasts are registered by Google.

According data released from Buzzsprout, Latino podcasts are flourishing due to the large number of Spanish speakers in both the US and South America, with Chile in the lead with a podcast growth rate of 85 percent; followed by Argentina; then Peru and Mexico. The country with the fifth-highest rate is China; and I know that in India, podcasts is a growing market.

While in the UK, 12 percent of adults listen to at least one podcast per week and are the most popular among millennials (21 percent) and only five percent of Baby Boomers have caught the podcast bug.

Other research by Music Oomph shows that brands that advertise products and services during business podcasts have a 14 percent lift in purchase intent! There is plenty of research on customer behaviour proving that podcasts impact brand lift.

Other interesting podcasting statistics on customer behaviour:

  • Brands that have ads in podcasts about society and culture are most likely to have a 9.2 percent lift in purchase intent.
  • Brands that advertise in news and politics podcasts are most likely to have a 12.8 percent lift in purchase intent.
  • Brands that advertise in comedy podcasts are most likely to have a 7.3 percent lift.
  • Brands that advertise in sports podcasts are most likely to have a 9.3 percent lift.

According to Forbes – 36. 39 percent of US small and medium-sized businesses owners are podcast users and 65 percent of them listen to podcasts weekly, according to 2018 podcast listenership stats.

So, if you happen to be looking for something to listen to…give CurryUp StartUp Podcast and the #365FirstChallenge a try.

Twenty Twenty

I have been working on the PR campaign for this is incredible book(which came to me serendipitously), Twenty, Twenty by the highly-acclaimed author, Nigel Watts, which is a blueprint for 2020, which was originally published in 1995 by Hodder and Stoughton.

The book eerily and accurately predicts a global pandemic that occurs in the year 2020 causing the world to communicate largely through virtual technology, with people wearing masks, a drastic reduction of air travel leading to ‘virtual tourism’, and nature fighting back for its survival due to mankind’s destruction of our planet.

Tragically, Watts took his own life in 1999 and now 25 years later, his very brave widow, former BBC presenter and broadcaster, Sahera Chohan has republished this timely and relevant book this August; the book’s anniversary month.

At the time, when it came launched, the book received rave reviews from The Times, Time Out, Sunday Times and more. The Times said: “Twenty Twenty is about the end of the world, viral apocalypse, virtual reality…[it] asks the big questions at a time of global destruction and spiritual uncertainty…an intriguing synthesis between ancient mysticism and the brave new world of virtuality. It is a book to make the pulse race, the mind dance and the heart sink.”

Twenty Twenty foretells the events of the year 2020, where an ageing writer infected with a deadly virus and despairing of mankind’s continuing damage to the planet retreats to a derelict factory in the icy wastes of northern Canada. Meanwhile, at a remote research institute in the Californian desert, William Morrison, a virtual reality test pilot, and Julia

O’Brien, a British anthropologist, are working on a VR simulation of the Amazonian Kogi tribe. William and Julia appear to have little in common, until they discover an uncanny connection that finds them being drawn towards a derelict factory in northern Canada. As the story escalates to its dramatic conclusion, Watts powerfully manipulates the reader’s perceptions of reality, whilst blurring the boundary between creator and created.

Nigel Watts has drawn his name in the sands of time, putting him side-by-side with some of the greatest futuristic authors – Orwell, Huxley and H.G.Wells – securing Twenty Twenty not just as a book of our time, but an enduring and influential novel. Needless to say the book has been drawing lots of media attention and it has been such a great book campaign to work on…to know how it ends you will need to buy the book, which is available on Amazon.

 

 

What Will Mainstream Media Look Like Post The Pandemic

When we all emerge from this pandemic, it will be a very different media landscape. We have seen that movies and television shows have delayed productions around the world and many of our much loved media titles, might not exist, as they struggle for survival.

Though television can be consumed while we are in lockdown, the creation of it still involves bringing people together on set. Widespread efforts to curb COVID-19 has triggered unprecedented change in the TV business. Where productions have stalled, writers’ rooms have moved to teleconferencing and radio presenters have guests either zooming or phoning in.

Many alternative weeklies have stopped printing and laid off employees, because of sharp advertising declines, as many businesses have stopped operating or sadly gone bust.

Journalists, photographers and advertising staff at print titles have lost their jobs and fear they will fear that they will not be re-employed when the crisis is over as sales and advertising revenues are not expected to return to pre-virus levels. Long-term, this crisis could have a devastating effect to the news industry’s bottom line.

Though there have been faint glimmers of light, where I have read how online news platforms have seen a spike in web traffic and subscriptions, as the pandemic has attracted record-breaking audiences for online news sources. Traffic to The Guardian’s website has increased more than 50 percent exceeding all previous records, and there had been a substantial surge in the number of readers taking out digital subscriptions or signing up to make regular contributions to support its journalism.

However, it’s worth noting that media outlets like The Guardian have long struggled to earn substantial revenue from digital advertising.

Yet, while we are now all addicted to the news, wanting accurate information. UK national print newspaper sales have fallen by as much as 30 percent since the start of the government-ordered coronavirus lockdown, according to industry sources, with journalists at many local newspapers placed on leave and warnings that hundreds of reporters could be left without jobs as the advertising market collapses.

On top of this, so many independent newsagents have closed, and supermarkets are expected to cut the numbers of copies of media titles they take because of reduced footfall. Free newspapers have also been hit by the collapse in commuters and ad revenue, with London’s Evening Standard adopting an improvised door-to-door delivery model, with a reduced circulation of just over 400,000 copies being posted through letterboxes in the center of the capital.

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute at the University of Oxford told The Guardian that he predicts “huge declines in advertising revenues” owing to the looming recession that is likely to result in hundreds or even thousands of job losses in British journalism. He has predicted the economic effects of the pandemic could potentially remove 10 percent of all frontline journalistic jobs in the UK.

Nielsen voiced a concern of many in the industry, when he said a particular worry for British newspapers was that remaining print readers would lose the habit of reading a physical product during the lockdown.

No industry is being left untouched, many will have to innovate and change their business models to make a comeback and be part of the new world…a phoenix rising from the ashes.

 

Photo Credits: Sean McMenemy and Geralt

 

How To Manage Your Business Comms During Coronavirus

The world is going through very difficult times with the dreaded coronavirus and everyone is in the same boat. It feels like one of those Hollywood action-packed blockbusters, only there’s no hero to save the world right now.

However, during these times of crisis of complexity, brands are rising to these new challenges and are really engaged with consumers. Over the last week consumer brands such as Holland & Barrett; Boots UK; Riverford; Nanuska; Space NK to big global brands such as JCrew have been emailing their customers to reassure them of measures taken in-store to deal with the virus. Their messages have been mindful of others and reflect their company’s values.

This is an extract of what Seb James, MD of Boots UK sent out to the customer mailing list last week:

“For 171 years, Boots has been at the heart of community care, providing support, advice and healthcare to communities across the U.K. Never has this been truer than today, as our colleagues work tirelessly to support you and your families whilst the COVID-19 situation is ongoing.

We are doing everything we can to help our customers and our team to stay healthy and safe; whether that’s through the products we sell, the experience in our stores, or the support we provide to our employees”.

Brands in today’s chaotic world have a key role to play, especially in these new times of dealing with public health challenges. Companies need to imbibe lots of empathy with a balanced tone that is understanding, cautious and optimistic. Trust needs to be reflected along with the ability for everyone to work together and find solutions. This engagement is so much easier with all the multiple social media channels; and apart from engaging externally, internal communications is also crucial to inspire confidence in the brand.

So, what can you be doing right now as a business or brand? Well, there are three simple things you can be doing to manage your business communications during these times:

  1. Understand and know the role your brand plays in people’s lives, how it has changed and how your brand can help or be useful during this crisis. Look for opportunities to do the right thing, where it makes sense for your business. One brand who is doing this is, LVMH Moët Hennessy, the French company behind major brands like Louis Vuitton, Fenty Beauty and Benefit Cosmetics, announced on 15 March that its factories, which normally manufacture perfume will shift to manufacture hand sanitizer gel.

In a statement according to Reuters LVMH said,

“LVMH will use the production lines of its perfume and cosmetic brands … to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gels from Monday.”

The brand said it would be delivering the products to French healthcare authorities for free.

  1. Stay on top of the news and conversation. Everything is changing fast and what was the right message yesterday, might not be appropriate the next day. Recognising this, is the UK government who has decided to step up its external communications and hold daily briefings to keep the public informed.
  2. Understand the needs of your customers. As people are being asked to self-isolate, or stay home, there will be a number of behaviour changes that might impact their needs, as well as how they interact with your business.

Organisations and brands and that includes governments who continue to communicate factually and with empathy at this time, have the chance to resurface from the crisis with deeper consumer, customer and public connection.