Tag Archives: public relations

Better business for all

On April 20, Gong Communications founder, Narda Shirley joined other signatories to the Better Business Act at the House of Commons to lobby MPs for a change in the law. If passed, the Better Business Act would amend section 172 of the Companies Act so that businesses are legally obliged to consider all stakeholders. As it stands, company directors are accountable to shareholders with profit maximisation as their primary fiduciary duty.

 

 

This change would mean companies are no longer able to pursue profit at the expense of workers, communities or the environment. It could help transform the way we do business and free decision-makers to act in favour of balancing in long-term interests, rather than chasing short-term financial gain.

Better Business Day kicked off with a panel discussion featuring CEOs from graze.com, Pukka Herbs and Ella’s Kitchen, moderated by Financial Times journalist Joy Lo Dico. Innocent Drinks CEO Douglas Lamont, co-chair of the Better Business Act Campaign, told the audience: “We must remove that hiding place for directors that all they have to do is maximise profit in today’s world. Companies must now balance the interests of people, profit and planet.”

Mary Portas, the campaign’s other co-Chair added her remarks and shared anecdotes about her early career as a young female company director at the luxury retailer, Harvey Nichols. She reflected on the role she and other company Directors played, believing it was their responsibility in the ‘80’s ‘greed is good’ culture to encourage consumer consumption of brands without thinking about the effect on the environment or the workers in global supply chains.

The campaign has already gained over 1,000 supporters, including The Body Shop, Oddbox and Virgin StartUp. It was initiated by B Lab UK, which serves the growing community of UK-based companies which are certified B Corporations.

Gong founder Narda Shirley says. “We know from the work we do with our clients that lots of businesses are already acting in a way that takes care of their employees, communities and the environment. But the law has not kept up with this change in business culture – that is what we’re trying to address with this act.”

One of the key actions of the campaign is to get signatories to write to their MP. There is a template letter on the Better Business Act web site that cites a survey of members of the Institutes of Directors as finding a majority think the current Companies Act focuses too much on shareholders and not enough on wider stakeholders.

It also references Research by the Better Business Act which shows that companies run in line with the principles of the Act can expect faster growth in turnover and headcount; greater levels of employee retention and diversity, and higher levels of innovation.

The same research found that 76 per cent of people in the UK want businesses to be legally responsible for their impact. They think that business has a responsibility to protect the environment and the majority favour brands that do good in the world.

At Gong, we urge businesses to add their voice in calling on the government to change section 172 of the Companies Act to make this official. Let’s ensure that all businesses are held to account and are legally required to make decisions that benefit workers, communities and the environment, while delivering profit.

To join the campaign, click here.

Unlocking the wildlife economy

Africa is taking the lead when it comes to realising the potential the wildlife economy has to offer. Home to abundant wildlife and diverse habitats, it is perhaps not surprising that the journey to unlocking and diversifying the wildlife economy begins on this continent.  


 

Investing in natural infrastructure is a win-win. It means habitats can be restored, species saved and jobs created. It benefits people, nature and business alike, but governments and policy makers often fail to see nature as a key strategic asset. Instead, conserving wildlife is frequently viewed as a direct threat to economic development.   

Helping to turn this view around is the School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC) at the African Leadership University in Rwanda. Its Director of Research Sue Snyman says the economic value of wildlife in Africa is still not recognised. To remedy this, SOWC has published a report on the State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa to show governments in concrete terms just how much the continent’s natural capital contributes to the economy.  

The report focuses on the ‘Big Five’ activities of the wildlife economy: ecotourism, carbon markets, forest products, hunting and fishing, and game ranching. Snyman hopes the research will encourage governments to invest more in nature.  

 

HOW DO YOU PUT A PRICE ON AFRICA’S WILDLIFE?

Traditionally, the wildlife economy has centred on ecotourism. In Africa alone, the wildlife safari industry is estimated to bring in between US$12.4 billion and US$42.9 billion in revenue. In 1981, our client African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) helped found one of the most famous ecotourism projects on the continent – the Mountain Gorilla Project in Rwanda. Thanks to its work, the mountain gorilla population has grown from only a few hundred at its lowest point to over 1,000 today – giving them the dubious honour of being the only great ape species whose population is increasing.  

The project has been such a success that it is now facing another problem: a lack of space. The gorillas are so numerous that they are frequently roaming outside the park boundary, putting them in direct conflict with people. The Rwandan Government is planning to expand the park by 37.4 square kilometres, increase tourists’ viewing opportunities and invest more than $70 million in social housing and infrastructure for Rwandans living around the park. This will provide jobs for more than 7,500 people in tourism, construction, agriculture and service sectors.  

 

WHO BENEFITS?

 This is the wildlife economy operating at its best. A system where everyone and everything benefits – wildlife, habitats and people alike. But the Covid-19 pandemic threw this, and many other ecotourism projects across the world, into chaos. When the tourism industry shut down, it became very clear that the wildlife economy needs to diversify if it is going to survive.   

One way to do this is to find other uses for species. Developing a sustainable wild meat sector through game farming (think ostrich, crocodile, antelope) can bring benefits to local communities, like food security, and even to the environment if it is done in the right way. So can game ranching – if management practices are up to scratch. The South African government is working with experts to explore the potential for a certification scheme within the ranching sector.  

Hunting remains a highly emotive topic. Some countries, like Kenya, have banned it altogether. Others, like Zimbabwe, focus on foreign hunters rather than locals, and countries such as the UK have plans to ban the import of hunting trophies from Africa. Francis Vorhies, Director of the African Wildlife Economy Institute (AWEI) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, believes that 2022 needs to be the year we start a serious conversation about hunting. To this end, AWEI will be researching the role wild harvesting – including hunting – can play in conservation and economic development.  

It can be easy to forget that the wildlife economy is about more than just animals. Traditionally, definitions exclude plants but according to Gus le Breton, CEO of African Plant Hunter, that is wrong. Plants provide both the habitat and food for wild animals and are integral to the wildlife economy, he argues. In his vision, Africa is the new frontier for natural ingredient research. 

 

WHAT IS THE GLOBAL IMPACT?

The FairWild Foundation is trying to ensure that plant species, such as the baobab, rooibos, myrrh and frankincense, are harvested and traded responsibly. It has already certified 25 species from 14 countries. Newly appointed CEO Deborah Vorhies says she hopes the scheme will grow the market for wild-harvested plants and at the same time conserve landscapes and enhance local livelihoods.   

Plants and trees also form a central plank to another facet of the wildlife economy – carbon markets. Last year Gabon became the first African country to receive payment for reducing carbon emissions by protecting its rainforest, which covers 90 per cent of its territory and captures more carbon than the country emits. So far Gabon has received $17 million, the first tranche of $150 million from the UN-backed Central African Forest Initiative, by showing it has reduced deforestation.   

Private sector interest in natural climate solutions has also grown significantly. French multinational Danone, for example, has invested €3 million in a project to restore a mangrove forest in Senegal, which is expected to capture and store around 600,000 tons of CO2.  

Relationships between investors – be they from the private sector, governments or UN agencies – and those on the ground delivering conservation need to be nurtured if the wildlife economy is to blossom. In March, we helped AWF do just this at an event for more than 50 guests from the sustainability, finance and investment sectors and expert speakers from AWF Rwanda, Wilderness Safaris and FSD Africa, at the Royal Geographical Society in London.  

 

If you are a charity or startup business seeking investment and require PR support, please contact our expert communications team direct at info@gongcommunications.com and we’ll be in touch.

B Corp Month 2022 Part 3: A celebration of 10 international companies #BehindTheB 

PART 3: HOW CAN OTHERS B THE CHANGE?

In the finale of our 3-part series zooming in to focus on 10 inspiring international B Corps, we’re heading out East Asia to spotlight 3 more certified organisations. Gong’s B Corp Committee member and Senior Account Executive, Ryan Witton, acts as your guide to the final fab three.

If you missed Part 1: Where it all started, click here for the full blog.

To catch up on Part 2: B Corps all over the world, click here.

TREE PLANET

Tree Planet began life as a simple tree planting game on smartphones in South Korea and led to the planting of over 1 million trees in areas suffering from desertification like China and Mongolia. Now environmentally conscious individuals can plant trees by ‘adopting’ a pet tree that will sit in one of Tree Planet’s many themed forests. 

Tree Planet aims to plant 100 million trees worldwide by 2050, and more recently began its ‘Make Your Farm’ project to introduce environmentally friendly and sustainable coffee production methods to independent farmers. 

 

MYCOTECH

In West Java, Indonesia, Mycotech binds agricultural waste with mushroom mycelia to literally grow 100% natural building and textile materials. These eco-tech building materials offer effective heat insulation while its leather-like durable fabrics are animal-free and used in a variety of fashion apparel like shoes, wallets and bags. 

Mycotech has a strong circular economy model, re-using, recycling and composting its side streams and waste products, with very little entering landfill at the end of the process. The company-wide mantra is, “Change is a choice – and we choose to take the steps forward towards sustainability.” We’re with you Mycotech! 

 

ETHIQUE

And last but by no means least, we head down to NZ to meet a cosmetics brand based out of Christchurch, with a core guiding principle: healthy products, made with sustainable, naturally derived ingredients. Ethique eschews plastic bottles and harsh chemicals and instead produces super dense beauty product bars. These types of solid cosmetics have a long shelf life and can be used endlessly due to a high concentration of ingredients. Ethique advises consumers that their solid bars last up to 5 times as longer than their liquid alternatives with the added bonus being chemical and preservative free – great for all budgets, skin types and local water quality. 

 

That’s a wrap! We hope you’ve enjoyed following us on this virtual trek to meet just 10 of the amazing7 4,700+ B Corps across the globe. If your organisation is on a mission to make positive change for people and planet, access B Lab’s free eLearning toolkit at https://gongcommunications.com/gong-tapped-for-danone-and-b-lab-employee-engagement-brief/ 

B Lab is the non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.

B Corp Month 2022 Part 2: A celebration of 10 international companies #BehindTheB 

PART 2: B CORPS ALL OVER THE WORLD 

Welcome back for part 2 of this 3-part blog celebrating the achievements and commitments of international B Corp organisations. With 4,700 of them already certifying as part of a movement that believes business can be a force for good, we’ve picked 10 companies dotted around the world to shine a light on their activity, creating change for people, community and planet.  

Here’s more from Gong’s B Corp Committee member and Senior Account Executive, Ryan Witton. 

If you missed Part 1: Where it all started, click here to read the full blog.

 

TAZE & KURU 

In the city of Ankara, Turkish brand Taze & Kuru (meaning fresh and dried) is using ancient methods of food preservation to reduce food waste and embrace cultural traditions. It has pioneered a unique renewable energy powered food-drying process. 

How does it work? Well, the facility produces healthy snacks free from preservatives and additives. And its carbon footprint? An impressive 0 tonnes of carbon emissions are released in the process. The company believes that health and happiness is driven by the food we eat saying, “changing our eating habits can create miracles.” 

  

INSPIRA FARMS

Heading to West Africa, we spotted our innovative friends at InspiraFarms who provide agribusinesses across Africa with off grid cold chain solutions to reduce food loss and waste. With operations near clients in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana and a UK HQ, the company provides tools, technology and expertise to support innovative farming and crop management. We salute its triple impact, reducing food loss and energy costs while helping farmers and coperatives unlock access to higher-value markets. Check out this agri-tech on a mission using the latest IoT and cloud-based systems, solar kits, cold rooms and other cool, cooling technologies. 

 

TRUTRADE AFRICA

Working out of Uganda and Kenya, TruTrade provides smallholder farmers with routes to market and fair prices for their produce. The social enterprise uses the ‘supply power’ of millions of small-scale producers connecting them with sustainable value chains. TruTrade also offers a mobile trading and payment platform which opens up new possibilities for farmers. This gives global commodity buyers the ability to connect with their smallholder farm suppliers. The B Corp is proud of its community impact too, helping local people drive rural development for future generations.  

  

LUBANZI WINES

Next stop, Cape Town! We’re shining the spotlight on the founders of Lubanzi Wines – they had a vision to create a social enterprise that would make a difference to the lives of agricultural labourers, with a strong focus on safeguarding the human rights of all their employees at every stage of production  

As part of Lubanzi Wines’ community pledge, 50% of net profits are recycled back into the Pebbles Project, a non-profit that supports families who live and work on South Africa’s wine farms. The company is planet-focused too and has achieved an impressive carbon neutral operation with 100% of its carbon footprint being completely removed or offset. 

 

There are a few more B Corps to reveal in our 10-stop international B Corp spotlight blog. Visit our social media channels for more in the finale of our 3-part series celebrating international corporate social responsibility (CSR) with 10 B Corp certified organisations. Can you guess where we’ll be going to next?  

B Lab is the non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. To learn more about how your organisation can change for good, take the free eLearning course with B Lab.

B Corp Month 2022 Part 1: A celebration of 10 international companies #BehindTheB 

With this year’s B Corp Month of March set to be the biggest on record, Gong’s B Corp Committee set off to learn more about the B Corp movement globally and how creating change from within our organisations can benefit people, communities and the planet. 

B Lab is a non-profit organisation on a mission to enable companies around the world to create a positive environmental and social impact. We think their mantra, “Make Business a Force for Good” embodies all the values of the B Corp movement helping to drive better standards and catalyse change – it’s already impacting more than 300,000 workers worldwide. 

Gong Communications, which celebrated its B Corp recertification this year, is a supporter of B Corp initiatives including the Better Business Act and related campaigns including greener pensions movement, Make My Money Matter, always striving to do more with other B Corps, both as clients and suppliers. 

In this new blog series, we hear from Gong B Corp Committee member and Senior Account Executive, Ryan Witton, who has been on the hunt for compelling B Corps based outside the UK to learn more about the diversity of impact around this growing global movement.  

 

PART 1: WHERE IT ALL STARTED

 

I’ve been engaged with B Corp for over a year now at Gong and in that time our B Corp Committee has learnt a lot about the different industries joining the movement. There’s a huge mix of products and services from various sectors, but one thing remains the same – a shared passion for social and environmental interdependence. 

At Gong, we feel it’s important to celebrate our fellow B Corps around the world using business as a force for good. There are currently over 4,700 certified B Corporations scattered across more than 70 countries, so whittling them down to just 10 was no easy feat! If you want to take a look at the wide range of certified B Corps out there, make sure to explore the online B Corp Directory. 

In the first blog of this 3-part series, we’re going to the Americas, both South and North – where it all started for B Lab. So in no particular order, let’s introduce our first B Corp. 

 

UNCOMMON GOODS

How much do you know about B Corp founding member, Uncommon Goods? The company founded an arts and crafts marketplace based in New York putting people and the environment at the heart of its business. Uncommon Goods offers consumers a place to discover creative designs by independent artists and craftspeople. Its catalogue is printed on recycled paper, delivered in environmentally friendlier packaging, and artists are also encouraged to use recycled or sustainable materials. Items available for sale are completely free of fur, feather, leather or pearl, and it donates $1 for each purchase to non-profits through its Better to Give programme 

  

ECO POOP

Sitting just north of the equator, Colombian company Eco Poop collects organic waste from pets and passes it through a bio-transformative process, creating excellent pesticide-free fertilisers for soils and plants. The enterprise installs kits in residential communities and provides all the tools (bespoke shovels and paper bags) that animal lovers need to create a culture of responsible pet ownership. 

Kudos to Eco Poop whose ingenious business model makes communal outdoor spaces healthier and free of pathogens for all. It’s also reducing CO2 emissions and helping to tackle climate change. 

 

ECOFACTORY

Next we’re heading further south to sunny Buenos Aires to give a shoutout to Ecofactory which makes reusable, recyclable shopping bags. Each month it produces more than 5 million plant-based bags with biodegradable textiles made from crops home-grown in Argentina. As well as pledging carbon neutrality by 2030, Ecofactory believes in Fair Trade and has a commitment to fairness across its entire commercial chain. In 2021, it won a B Corp award in the ‘Best for the World’ category. 

 

B Lab is the non-profit network transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. To learn more about the movement take the B Corp 101 – 4 super accessible and free eLearning modules that you can complete on any device, designed by Gong in response to an idea generously gifted to the community by Danone working in partnership with B Lab.

Come back for more in part 2 of our B Corp series where we shine a light on 10 B Corps who are using businesses as a force for good. 

B Corp’s Wonder Women

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recognise the historical, cultural, and political achievements of women across the world. The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BreaktheBias, this campaign calls for solidarity against gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping. In the workplace this includes the need for gender parity, equal pay, inclusive work practices, and education opportunities.  

Inclusivity is one of the key principles in the B Corp movement, centred around the idea that a business’s impact should focus on the planet and community benefit and not only shareholder profit. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to showcase some of the B Corp movement’s most inspiring certified founders using business as a force for good. 

KRESSE WESLING CBE 

Kresse Wesling, an award-winning environmental entrepreneur and Young Global Leader, is the Co-founder of apparel brand Elvis & Kresse. After a chance encounter with the London Fire Brigade in 2005, Elvis & Kresse was launched to use London’s decommissioned firehoses that could not be repaired.  

Elvis & Kresse donated 50 per cent of the profit from its first line to the Fire Fighters Charity and now donates 50 per cent of its profits to various charities related to waste management. It collects from 12 different waste streams and has several charitable partnerships, including a five-year partnership with the Burberry Foundation. Their dedication and passion for sustainability has garnered both public attention and a high B Impact score of 147.6 points, which is 67.6 points higher than what is needed to qualify for B Corp Certification. 

JO-ANNE CHIDLEY

Jo-Anne Chidley, a sustainability advocate, is the Co-founder of Beauty Kitchen UK. She has won a variety of industry awards, including the ‘Who’s Who in Natural Beauty’ and business award, ‘Scale Up Entrepreneur of the Year’. Her goal behind the creation of Beauty Kitchen UK was to be a pioneer in sustainable beauty, creating products that are effective but also work in harmony with the natural environment.  

She inspects everything, including the efficacy of the products, where ingredients are sourced, and ensures that all packaging is sustainable. The product line includes compostable pouches, FSC approved cardboard, vegetable inks, and pre-cycled containers that can be returned for reuse. Every aspect of the business process is transparent, ensuring that stakeholders can see the hard work and care that goes into the product line. This has contributed to the business’ overall B Impact Score of 139.8 points. 

PIP MURRAY

Pip Murray is the Founder of Pip & Nut, the fastest growing Nut Butter brand in the UK, after realising that current products on the market were lacking a healthier and more playful brand alternative. Although nut butter was not new to the market, Pip’s creative spin was the differentiator needed to launch a successful product. Pip & Nut is now stocked in over 7,000 stores across the UK, including Tesco, Morrison’s, ASDA and Holland & Barrett.  

Pip & Nut is committed to leaving a positive environmental and social impact, sourcing ethical chocolate from Colombia  and supporting community initiatives in the country. It has also committed to transitioning to net zero by 2023 and has prohibited the use of palm oil in its production process to protect rainforests. Based on their B impact assessment, Pip & Nut earned an overall score of 81.2 points which is almost double the median score for ordinary businesses who complete the assessment. 

AMELIA HARVEY

Amelia Harvey is Co-founder of The Collective Dairy UK. Amelia had past success in the FMCG sector before joining The Collective team. She started her career at Kellogg’s and L’Oréal before a segue into the start-up sector with a sales director role at Gü Puds. Amelia loved working in a high-growth business and felt ready to start something new. So, when she met Angus Allan and Ofer Shenhay, creators of The Collective Dairy New Zealand, she knew this was the perfect product to bring to the UK market.  

The Collective’s aim is to create great tasting yoghurt and leave a positive impact on the environment. Its climate friendly initiatives include the creation of the UK’s first carbon neutral dairy yoghurt, and it has committed to a carbon neutral production process by 2025.  

MICHAL ALTER

Michal Alter is the Founder of Visit.org, a platform created for social impact travel experiences that allows users to discover, support and interact with organisations that leave a positive impact on their environment, both virtually and in-person. 

As one of the first female pilot cadets in the Israeli Air Force, a Computer Science Engineer and the Director of Refugee Affairs at the City Government in Tel Aviv, Michal was able to use her skills in technology and social development. This subsequently led to her idea to combine the two and create an online platform that helps HR, CSR, and D&I teams in enterprise companies engage their employees.  

CAROLINA MIRANDA

Carolina Miranda is the Founder and CEO of Cultivating Capital, a company that helps small businesses implement sustainable business practices. As a B Corp consultant, she specialises in helping companies align their business operations with their values by integrating social and environmental responsibility into business processes. She has helped organisations such as Pixar, Bayer, the City of Emeryville and the California Department of Transportation develop sustainable action plans, while also leading training sessions and providing coaching and mentoring services. 

She served on the executive committee for the B Corp Women CEOs ‘We the Change’ movement and supports B local activities in the San Francisco Bay area. She was awarded the 2020 Community Builders award from B Lab for her contributions to the community.  

BRIANNE WEST

Brianne West is the Founder and CEO of Ethqiue, a regenerative beauty and lifestyle brand. In 2020 she was named one of the ‘One Young World’s Entrepreneur’ of the year, and in 2019 the Ernst & Young ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’. 

The concept behind Ethique was to create a product that would help eliminate plastic from the global beauty industry, proving that beauty brands can be environmentally proactive while being financially sustainable. Ethique is described as a regenerative brand because its purpose is to give back more than it extracts. All the products are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free and are wrapped in compostable packaging.  

ANITA RODDICK

Dame Anita Lucia Roddick DBE was a British businesswoman, human rights activist, and environmental campaigner. Most recognised as the Founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company that sells natural beauty products which shaped ethical consumerism, Anita built the brand on empowering women and integrated this purpose into each business decision.  

The Body Shop’s mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives by retailing good-quality products that use natural ingredients. Its most recent campaign, “Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics”, was a collaboration with Dove, PETA, CFI, and over 500 leading animal protection organisations. Its aim was to campaign for urgent action against animal testing requirements in Europe, highlighting its ongoing commitment to better business.  

This month at Gong, we will continue to reflect on gender bias in the workplace and the role of businesses in a changing world – because we can use business as a change for good. We are committed as a B Corp to keep striving for an inclusive, equitable business that keeps people, community, and planet at its centre. Follow our B Corp Month campaign and International Women’s Day celebration on our social media channels: 

Twitter: @GongComms 

Instagram: @gongcomms 

While there is so much to celebrate this month, we want to acknowledge the deeply saddening and difficult crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring territories. Refugee Support, who we work with on a pro-bono basis to publicise their work supporting refugees across Europe and the UK, are working to help the humanitarian emergency facing the people of Ukraine. You can help them to support those fleeing Ukraine via the Just Giving page below. By donating you are also supporting the border communities that are receiving the people who have fled, as all the funds will be spent locally: 

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/RefugeeSupportUkraine 

Advice for Graduates wishing to pursue a career in PR

The good news is that according to the IDS (Income Data Services) there is an eight per cent increase in the number of graduate roles being advertised.  The tide is definitely turning and we are certainly feeling it here at Gong. Our numbers have more than doubled in less than a year.  A third of our new starters were graduates. Our international client base and the expansion of Gong Creative has allowed us to stretch upwards and outwards.

However, there are still 2.49 million unemployed people in the UK and last year one in 10 graduates were unemployed six months after graduating.  We have a way to go yet.  CVs and covering letters have never been more important.

We have seen a lot of CVs here at Gong. Here are my top five tips to help you write a standout application and make a lasting impression:

1. Research: Dig deep into agency websites and thoroughly research the company you wish to approach.  If you can drop in a subtle one liner, something you’ve noticed, or are interested in, or impressive company stats and achievements, this will show you have done your homework and impress potential employers.

2. Covering letter: This should detail a little about you, why we should employ you and what attracted you to us. Keep it brief, informative and relevant. 

3. CV’s: They should be no more than two pages. Make sure the layout is clear and sectioned off neatly, so that if someone is scanning through it, they can find information fast.

4. Internships: Do as many as you can. You cannot beat office experience.  Internships have become an elongated  ‘interview process’. They are a fantastic way for you to gain experience and re-confirm your career path.  As an employer, it gives us the chance to see how you work and fit in, so make the most of it, be keen and get stuck in.

5. Stay in touch: Link up with everyone and stay in touch via the usual social media networks. Generate a strong presence out there, keep it up to date, but be mindful of your output.

These may sound painfully obvious, but very rarely are such simple guidelines followed.  If you are interested in joining the team, I would be delighted to hear from you.  Gong continues to grow both in London and internationally, particularly East Africa and the US.  We have a wonderfully diverse culture in our London office alone: 50 per cent of our employees are non-Brits and between us we have a huge array of skills, languages, experience and creativity to bring to the table.

For more information please go to our ‘about us’ page and get in touch at careers@thewilful.com.

What do journalists want?

 

Sally Maier

Last week I attended a Gorkana media briefing with Jonathan Grun, Editor at The Press Association. In his view, “interesting stories” and “speed of response” are the secret to building long-lasting relationship with journalists.

Having worked in the PR industry in various cities for almost a decade, I wondered if other journalists shared the same view. With this in mind, I asked a few media industry friends what they thought made a good PR. Here are their responses:

  • TV producer, Channel NewsAsia TV news station, Singapore: “Journalists want to tell the best story within deadline, outshine rival media outlets, and be first with the news. PR folk who understand this and help provide the stories they need (with good multimedia elements) earn lots of goodwill and become good friends”
  • Reporter, Oriental Daily News, Hong Kong: “Regular catch-ups help and casual chats can build up friendships. If possible, say lunch every few months. For those who are in a different country, call or send a Christmas card”
  • Freelance writer, The Guardian, UK: “I generally contact PRs when I need information or a quote, often at short notice. The PRs that I go back to time and again are those who are quick to respond to inquiries, who are competent in their subject area and who have the ear of their clients so they can get the ball rolling”
  • Reporter, China Daily Europe: “I think it’s personal interest and friendship as opposed to work. My PR friends don’t talk about their clients when we meet for lunch, coffee or other things. We just become friends.”
  • UK-based freelance writer, Billionaire.com, Singapore: “Keep supplying relevant information that can be used going forward – or that builds a clear picture of the fields in which your key strengths/contacts lie”

 

So, my unscientific poll suggests Jonathan Grun is right – interesting news stories and speed of response are key to cultivating long-lasting relationships between PRs-Journalists. But so are regular, informal face-to-face catch-ups. Lunch anyone?