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Why Everybody Hates You
An audio support group for reputation professionals. New episodes every two weeks.www.whyeverybodyhatesyou.co.uk
Nov 29, 2021
Why and how your company should be talking about sustainability
Daisy talks to Imogen Hitchcock, owner of communications agency Beaumont. Imogen helps companies to tell better stories and has a particular expertise in employee advocacy programs and in this episode the conversation is all about why and how organisations should better articulate their work on sustainability. This episode brings us to the end of our season focused on sustainability and reputation. It was actually the first interview recorded but we deliberately pushed it to the end because it is a really neat summary of why companies should care about sustainability at all, and how to get started on the journey towards changing corporate behaviour and communicating more effectively so you gain some credit for doing so. You can find the all the data and analysis from the BRODIE Public First Sustainability Sentiment tracker here: http://www.publicfirst.co.uk/sustainability-sentiment-tracker.html
Nov 16, 2021
Communicating the value of waste
Daisy talks to Dr Adam Read, External Affairs Director for SUEZ Recycling & Recovery UK, about how crucial it is that we talk about waste - and why it is hard to do. Along the way, this discussion touches on Roman waste-management practices, the huge changes in the sector over the past decade, the power of communicating through images, and the need for cross-industry co-operation. And what does it all mean for you? Adam's main pieces of advice for communicators in unglamorous sectors are relevant for all of us: * Hang in there, don’t give up. Gaining recognition can take years – decades. * Demonstrate the value of your sector in really simple, earthy terms. Think about what it is that you do that makes you valuable, even if you’re out of sight, out of mind. If you stopped doing your job, what would they notice? * How do you communicate that value? It's about real people, real lives, real opportunities, it's about small change. Engage your stakeholders, whether that is one-to-one or in focus groups, to understand what they really think and care about. That could be quite resource intensive but it pays off. * In parallel, you need national campaigns. Cross-sector campaigns can play an important role in changing perceptions and allow space for individual firms to spend more time thinking about local interventions, including… * Find champions. What's your ‘in’ in the sectors that you're thinking about? Who's your gatekeeper? Who's your champion? Who's your infiltrator? There are people out there that do get it and do want to do it, and you need to give them the information and support they need to help take the community on the journey. You can find the all the data and analysis from the BRODIE Public First Sustainability Sentiment tracker here: http://www.publicfirst.co.uk/sustainability-sentiment-tracker.html
Nov 2, 2021
Net Zero jargon and the evolution of COP
Hayley Baines-Buffery, a Director at sustainability agency BRODIE Consulting talks to Daisy about why it matters whether we talk about net zero or carbon neutral, how climate talks have changed over the past decade, and what all of this means for businesses. And what does it all mean for you? Our key takeaways are: * Companies that really look at their impact holistically (for example, B&Q) think about and measure emissions from products they sell and help consumers change behaviour * But the general public would not feel confident explaining terms such as net zero, carbon neutral, so it is really important that we find better ways to engage with people on these issues and start to cut through the jargon * Even if COP26 doesn't live up to expectations we can still be hopeful for the future. Copenhagen paved the way for Paris, and we wouldn’t have the commitments we do have now without Glasgow as a deadline * Businesses have leaned into COP26 and it's been a great hook for their campaigns - the best way to keep momentum post COP is to commit to long-term, clear plans You can find the all the data and analysis from the BRODIE Public First Sustainability Sentiment tracker here: https://www.publicfirst.co.uk/sustainability-sentiment-tracker.html
Oct 18, 2021
Social Impact and Sodexo
Angela Halliday from Sodexo talks to Daisy about how best to measure impact, how to choose what you focus on – and whether customers care. And what does it all mean for you? Our key takeaways are: * Make clear commitments where you can get some depth and meet those commitments publicly in order to drive impact * Don't just measure the easy KPIs - try to measure what matters most to your stakeholders. That might be best tracked as a qualitative, nuanced feeling instead of a ticked box * We've got to be realistic that most businesses are here to make either a profit or a surplus. That means demonstrating the return on investment of 'social' programmes for the business, for clients, and for communities. * We cannot look at environmental performance without looking at social. And in doing so, the economic debate almost takes care of itself. Find the full Sustainability Sentiment Tracker report here: http://www.publicfirst.co.uk/sustainability-sentiment-tracker.html
Oct 4, 2021
Corporate reputation and human rights
Georgie Erangey from BRODIE Consulting talks to Daisy about how new human rights is as a concept, what the reputation risks are for companies, and whether there is any upside to getting this right. TLDR; don't do this for the accolades, do it for your conscience and as risk mitigation. Human rights and supply chain due diligence passed swiftly from a novelty to becoming a hygiene factor. You will rarely get credit for getting supply chain right - but it will protect you from supply chain instability, legal threats and reputation problems down the line. And what does that all mean for you? Our key takeaways are: * Understand where you have the greatest leverage and greatest potential for impact - this will be unique to your company. * Focus on that sweet spot because that will also be what you can communicate most credibly. * Think about all those audiences that might have questions about that, whether that's your consumer, your peers, the regulator, investors - credibility is what will win. Find the full Sustainability Sentiment Tracker report HERE
Apr 26, 2021
M&S stay focussed on guiding principles
Daisy why retail is a lot like working in politics and also offers lessons on leadership - as well as gems on reputation and communication. Five key lessons stood out – three about leadership and two about communications. Let’s start with leadership: * Define what you believe in, your starting principles and use them to inform all of your decisions. It will make those decisions easier – because you aren’t starting form scratch – but it also sets you up for the holy grail of reputation protection, the moment when your stakeholders begin to believe that even if you did something wrong, you were probably doing it for the right reasons and will sort it out. * Explain your decisions and share the pain. Give the bad news yourself, as well as the good. That simple step will help build trust internally and externally. * You team are capable of extraordinary things. Every interviewee this season has described feats of stamina and ingenuity. So how can you help? Make clear the problem and the constraints. Let them wow you. And for communicators in particular, * If you want customers to ‘vote’ for you with every purchase, you need to understand them, and that means having a team that reflects them and is curious to understand their needs. Sometimes that is going to mean engaging with some more extreme elements to get a feel for whether this is the start of something big, or a viewpoint that is truly peripheral – to make that judgment you can draw again on those core principles, but you also need a team that has a feel for what really matters to your target audience. * And finally, vitally, don’t undersell yourself. Communicators often feel stifled in the boardroom because they are different to other executives but that is why you are there. Learn to speak their language but never forget they need you to be the voice of your stakeholders into the business – as well as the line of communication out.
Apr 12, 2021
TUI's Covid journey
Liz Edwards, Head of Communications at TUI, tells Daisy about repatriating thousands of customers and why IT systems were actually the biggest challenge that TUI faced when Covid hit. This insight into what goes on behind the scenes at a holiday company was totally fascinating. Some key lessons from Liz: * Put the customer at the heart of whatever you are doing. This is an oldie but a goodie. And it can mean challenging some really important assumptions. For example, customers don't care how you categorize them internally, so don't make that their problem. * Allied to this is an important reminder about transparency. Liz asks her team whether they would feel proud to explain a policy or decision on morning TV. * Sometimes what's needed is an apology, or at least an admission that things are going to get a little rocky. I think the key word for this whole episode has to be 'journey'. Take your stakeholders, both internal and external, on a journey with you and show them how you are fighting to deliver better for them. * TUI's experience shows that even the best prepared organizations get caught out when new systems come under strain. Let this be a useful reminder to look at your own org charts and think about what you would do if any one of those departments went down? Do you have a plan? The key is to do that even for the systems that don't seem mission critical right now. * Also crucial to your crisis plan is including breaks for all personnel. That means you too. How would you ensure continuity if something happened to you? How will you delegate more of your tasks swiftly so that you can concentrate on urgent triage and strategy?
Mar 29, 2021
How McDonald's repurposed 26,000 eggs
Beth Hart, Vice President for Supply Chain and Brand Trust at McDonald's UK & Ireland talks to Daisy about how it felt to shut down McDonald's - and the important work that went on behind the scenes so that food did not go to waste. This discussion has it all: how to be a responsible member of a supply chain, the difficulties involved in quantifying trust, and even a cameo by Brexit. Beth shared some powerful reminders that are useful no matter which sector you work in: * That doing the right thing makes business sense * That your organization needs to evolve over time in order to not only meet stakeholder demand but pre-empt changes in society and consumer desires * That the most important way of keeping your teams and your stakeholder groups in the loop is to communicate in a manner that is clear, consistent and frequent – even if there isn’t anything new to tell people. * Being a responsible business also means showing up at the level of responsibility that your organization represents. McDonald’s have re-evaluated their importance to British and Irish farmers in the wake of Covid and decided to deepen their engagement with that industry so that their commitment is at the same level as their potential impact. * Finally, Beth echoed what we have heard from every interviewee so far this season – that if they had their time again they would have done more to shield their team from the impact of such a long-lasting crisis. We all hope that covid will remain an outlier in our careers, nonetheless it is sensible to avoid crisis comms plans that rely heavily on a small group of people and don’t make allowances for rest and information sharing.
Mar 15, 2021
Asda: Communicating for a supermarket during a global pandemic
Chris Lowe, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Asda talks to Daisy about what happens at a supermarket when a global pandemic hits, how Covid has changed his relationships with MPs, and the innovations he'll be keeping when the pandemic is over. Key takeaways include: * First, be realistic. In many situations the chances of your organization pleasing 100% of your stakeholders may be zero. So how else can you judge success? Are there better indicators that you can use to understand performance? * Second, be wary of the signals you are sending. As Asda improved its Covid security, MPs and civil servants began to assume that they were relaxing the rules. This shows how important it is to look out for hints of the proxy measures that your stakeholders use to assess your performance – something that you should be picking up in stakeholder audits but you will also need to be attentive to in your everyday conversations. * Third: Be thoughtful about how you deploy your team. Chris told us that if he could repeat 2020 he would be faster to draft in support from other areas of the business in order to safeguard the wellbeing of his team. * Finally, we could all do with remembering Chris’ exhortation to pick up the phone – it really can make all of the difference.
Mar 2, 2021
How it felt to work at Zoom in 2020
Charlotte Holloway, UK&I Government Relations Director at Zoom talks to Daisy about joining a company that is growing at an extraordinary pace, what happens when Prime Ministers use your product and the importance of agency support. Key takeaways include: * Growing fast is hard but exciting and that communication is key to mitigating any growing pains – that puts an extra burden on us as reputation professionals but also gives us an exciting role to play * You can’t tell the positive stories unless you've got the core nailed on. For Zoom that core is trust and safety – what is it for your organisation? * And finally, what really stood out to me was a perennial lesson about communications: even if you are doing the right thing, you cannot assume that your stakeholders, or your customers will have noticed. You need to keep telling them – over and over again, until you are sick of mentioning it. Only then might you have got the message across.
Oct 19, 2020
Why everybody hates the financial sector
Rebecca Park, Managing Director of Corporate Affairs at UK Finance talks to Daisy about the real role of communications professionals, why working in an industry body is more interesting that you might think and, of course, why everybody hates bankers. She also dispenses some excellent advice, including: * One of the most valuable roles we can play is to be the person in the room who identifies and manages risk. * Building reputation isn't about talking to your customers about trust. Instead, focus on delivering what they expect from you - trust and reputation will follow. * Don't destroy your credibility by defending the indefensible. * Sometimes the right answer isn't to try and grab the headlines: communications takes many forms and the answer might be much more low key than that. And finally, * Remember that not every decision needs to be taken right now. It might be even better to wait and observe. For all this as well as insights into how the financial crisis helped…
Oct 5, 2020
Why everybody hates Centrica
Nick Baird, Corporate Affairs Director at Centrica talks to Daisy about how important (and challenging!) it is for businesses to partner positively with government. We discuss how big corporates can speak authentically about climate change and community, and the challenge of communicating about big topics when you are in the midst of constant reorganisations. We also discuss: * Why he moved from government to the private sector and how they differ * The interaction between climate change policy and corporate reputation * The enormity of climate transition and the increasing importance of ESG * Green jobs * How big companies can talk authentically about community * The overwhelming importance of relationship building for both commercial goals and reputation, and * Why reputation professionals need to talk the language of business.
Sep 21, 2020
Why everybody says sorry too much and how to stop
Sean O'Meara, founder of Essential Content, publicist and co-author of The Apology Impulse, tells Daisy how the business world ruined sorry and why we can't stop saying it. We talk about why you should think twice before apologising, how to avoid making an awful apology, and what the best apologies include. With lots of horrifying examples and practical tips thrown in. The main lessons?: * Stop making promises that you can’t keep * Have a plan for when things go wrong – not just a full blown crisis plan but one that includes minor messes and medium embarrassments * When bad things happen your first step should be to decide whether you are, actually sorry at all * If you are, in fact, sorry then take time to decide HOW sorry you are and what you are going to DO about it. The best apologies explain what will change as a result * Try to do all of this without resorting to jargon or dehumanising legalese Find out more about the podcast here: http://whyeverybodyhatesyou.co…
Sep 7, 2020
Why corporate reputation needs to learn from politics
James Frayne, co-founder of Public First, campaign strategist and author of corporate communications primer Meet the People, tells me why no organisation can truly avoid politics these days - no matter how much they may wish to. We talk about what that means for your communications strategy, how you should structure a communications team, and what to make of the whole 'purpose thing'. The main lessons?: * *Integrate all of your comms teams under one leader and one strategy* * *Prepare for battle - no one likes being shouted at, so you need to plan rigorously* * *Actively listen to conversations about you - online and offline* * *Learn to distinguish between the parts of that conversation that actually matter and the elements that are ephemeral, by understanding what actually matters to the people who matter most to you. *
Aug 24, 2020
Corporate reputation and the Black Lives Matter movement
Something a little bit different from our usual format. I recorded the first episode of this series - covering diversity and corporate reputation - before George Floyd was killed, catapulting the Black Lives Matters movement into a much wider audience. And so, we talked about the importance of diversity for corporate reputation but we didn’t discuss recent events. It is now three months later and I have brought together three guests, each with a different area of expertise: social media; diversity and inclusion; and corporate affairs. I ask them what has changed, what lessons companies can learn and how organisations will be held accountable. Take a listen for insight and comment from: * *Bieneosa Ebite* from the podcast News Bants * *Becky Brynolf* from Shelter, and * *Bola Gibson* from Osborne Clarke
Aug 10, 2020
Why does data matter to corporate reputation?
In this episode we look at data use, misuse and abuse. Is data morally neutral? Can there be such a thing as too much data? I’ll answer these questions, explore how data capitalism is shaping our world – for better and worse – then take you on a brief gallop through the politics of algorithms and data breaches. To tell you more, I'm joined by three excellent guests: * Hellen Beveridge, Privacy Lead at Data Oversight * Rachel Williams, Research Director at Populus, and * Line Kristensen, from Nationbuilder
Jul 27, 2020
Why everybody thinks the government hates them
Mark MacGregor from Stonehaven tells me how every company he has ever worked with feels victimised by the government and explains what reputation professionals have to learn from the Conservative Party and from tobacco companies. We talk about how trust in companies has taken a dive in recent years, why that might be and what companies can do to buck that trend and reap the rewards. The main takeway: if you don't do anything, nothing will change.
Jul 13, 2020
Why investors care about reputation
Investors play a major part in the success of plenty of businesses. For some companies the relationship with investors will be direct and personal, others are mediated by the stock market and media. All are impacted by the reputation of the company. How so? Surely professional investors only care about the hard numbers in the business case? But investment is about far more than just the numbers – Investors need to trust the people running the company and the strategy they have laid out, and they need to believe that others – consumers, regulators and investors – will trust that company too. The ability to trust is based upon reputation. In turn, investor loyalty is a factor in reducing volatility in share price and in reducing the cost of capital. To tell you more, I'm joined by two excellent guests: * *Marte Borhaug*, Global Head of Sustainable Outcomes for Aviva Investors * *Patrick Thomas*, Investment Director, and Head of ESG service at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Managem…
Jun 28, 2020
Why everybody hates the property sector
Ghislaine Halpenny from the British Property Federation explains why everybody hates the property industry: they are seen as big, pinstripe-suited, Bentley-driving, cigar-smoking men. As well as issues with diversity, the sector has struggled to articulate the social and environmental value that it adds. We dive into all of this, talk about the role that an industry association can play in improving the reputation of a sector, and the discuss why investor and member reactions to the Covid-19 crisis have been a pleasant surprise – even as a challenging reputation has impacted the sympathy and financial aid available from the UK government.
Jun 16, 2020
Why diversity matters to corporate reputation
Diversity and inclusion policies have made headlines over the past few weeks as organisations respond to the protests following the death of George Floyd. In this episode we step away from the important social arguments for equality and inclusion and instead take a commercial view: how does diversity impact reputation and, in turn, my bottom line? A lack of diversity harms your organisation’s reputation in two ways: because you appear to lack diversity and therefore can be accused of unequal opportunity or tokenism (direct reputational harm) and because of the results of that lack of diversity (indirect harm). That indirect harm happens because less diverse team can perform less well, create products that have troubling flaws and communicate in a way that speaks to the few rather than the many. Taken together, these harms represent a massive risk to your reputation. To tell you more, I'm joined by two excellent guests: * Sarah Atkinson, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation *…
Jun 11, 2020
Are you responsible for the way people think, feel and talk about your organisation? Does it sometimes feel as if everybody hates you? You are not alone! Why everybody hates you is a new podcast launching on 16th June 2020, an audio support group for reputation professionals. Join me, reputation coach Daisy Powell-Chandler, for episodes that summarise the answers on important topics such as diversity, climate change and governance, as well as interviews with people who are just like you – fighting to improve their reputation one day at a time. Find us at whyeverybodyhatesyou.co.uk or subscribe on all good podcasting platforms.