the power to influence outcomes
issue 1 October 2002
news • a question of trust • healthy outcomes • PR week awards • size matters
Influence is produced by Visual Communications @ Weber Shandwick,
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PACHA London was the
venue for the new Weber
Shandwick’s 1st Birthday
party. PR professionals,
journalists, business people
and the odd celebrity
attended the event!
Left to right; Julian Heynes, News
Editor at CNBC Europe, Katie
Comer from Bloomberg and Tom
Batchelar from Bloomberg.
Left to right; Colin Byrne, Joint CEO Weber
Shandwick UK & Ireland, John Leslie, Presenter of
ITV's 'This Morning' and Cameron Saul, son of
Mulberry Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Saul,
show off the handbags that were raffled for the
Mulberry bottle top campaign AIDS charity.
Rachel Faulkner, Senior
at The Prince’s Trust.
THE AUTUMN SEASON of Weber
Shandwick's popular Influence lunch
programme of media, City and political
guest speakers kicked off in September
with Matthew Gwyther, Editor of
Management Today (pictured). Further
speakers in the autumn series include David
Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday
Times and Charlie Burgess, Editor of Media
WEBER SHANDWICK’S Healthcare practice helped to turn around
the fortunes of Copaxone, a Multiple Sclerosis drug, in just two
Copaxone was launched in the UK in 2000 and immediately
submitted to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence
(NICE) for approval. Without positive NICE guidance it was unlikely to
be prescribed on the NHS, but the prognosis was not looking good.
"Our challenge was to raise the profile of Copaxone because the
drug was getting overlooked in favour of beta interferons – it was ‘lost
in NICE’," explained Caroline Lynch, who led the campaign.
"We did this by educating journalists and increasing the brand’s
share of voice so that awareness of Copaxone grew."
With no time for a traditional cascade of information, Healthcare
advised increasing Copaxone's profile in
NODDY RINGS THE
IT’S A LITTLE-KNOWN fact that children’s favourite Noddy was
once asked to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange to signal
the start of the day’s trading on Wall Street.
He may well be asked back if owner Chorion PLC has its way,
after it recently invested £10 million giving Noddy a computergenerated
make-over to bring him (and his friends) into the 21st
A TV deal followed and the new 100-episode series ‘Make
Way for Noddy’ is currently being shown on Channel 5’s
Milkshake breakfast programme, with Chorion expecting its revenues
to grow substantially from associated merchandising, publishing,
audio book and video and DVD tie-ins.
Maximising the potential from each deal is very important to
Chorion, who are working in partnership with Channel 5,
Universal Pictures Video, HarperCollins and BBC Magazines
to introduce Noddy to the next generation of young children.
Hilary Jeffs, Account Manager at Weber Shandwick, said: "When
you have this many partners involved in such a high profile project, it is vital that all
the activity is co-ordinated and that the Noddy brand is given a single voice.
"We have recently begun a wide ranging public relations programme to deliver the
message that this traditional classic retains all its core values, but has been updated to
cater for today’s audience through modern educational and entertainment formats."
A GRANDNIGHT OUT
BIG PLANS are afoot to promote two of the original ‘grand
dames’ of the London hotel scene - the five-star Langham Hilton
and the London Hilton on Park Lane.
A renaissance is taking place among hotel-goers, and the
fascinating history of these two residences makes them the
prime movers in the re-emergence of traditional English quality.
The London Hilton on Park Lane celebrates its 40th birthday
next year and, along with the Langham Hilton, it will benefit from
a programme of events to celebrate its history.
Weber Shandwick’s Consumer Account Director, Fenella Grey,
commented: "We are working with Hilton International to
enhance both hotels' reputations, increase reservations from
business and leisure travellers and boost revenue in the
restaurants and bars.
"Various projects are under way including using celebrity
guests to reposition the hotels as 'the place to be', increasing
the profiles of the executive chefs and working with creative
industries to use the hotels as film, television and fashion-shoot
the consumer media to put pressure on
decision-makers and encourage patients
to ask doctors about it. Communication
messages were highlighted and faceto-face
briefings took place with
The campaign resulted in 143 pieces of coverage reaching 25.5
million people and Copaxone’s sales increased by 23 per cent in two
Finally, Copaxone was not recommended by NICE, but public
pressure means it has been included on a revolutionary new
Department of Health scheme to make MS therapies available on the
NHS – the first time this has ever happened following a negative NICE
MPS PLAY BIG MATCH
YOU RARELY find eminent politicians
running round a football field, but this year
the football season had an unusual curtainraiser
in the form of the Parliamentary
McDonald's, the new sponsors of the FA
community programme, hosted the match in
Cardiff the day before the newly launched
FA Community Shield.
The match pitted the national pride of the
Welsh Assembly against a Westminster 11,
in aid of Sven Goran Eriksson's Truce
International football charity.
Sir Geoff Hurst, McDonald’s Director of
Football, was all smiles as he led the
Westminster team to score twice in 20
minutes. The Welsh side needed to fight
back, which almost happened literally when
Welsh ringer, and (rugby) football legend,
Gareth Edwards, squared up to Jim Murphy
MP after a few feisty tackles!
The Welsh began to outplay the
Westminster 11 and the game resulted in a
two all draw with a good time had by all.
Not only did MPs and Welsh Assembly
members play a (largely) fun match for charity
but, with the help of Weber Shandwick’s
Public Affairs practice, McDonald's found a
novel way to inform politicians about their
new investment in community coaches.
ADOBE, MICROSOFT, Managed Objects
and Easynet are working with Weber
Shandwick | Miller Shandwick, on projects
ranging from free broadband access for
schools to product launches.
MD, Michelle McGlocklin, said: "Clients
were impressed by our expertise in digital
media, knowledge of influencers, knowledge
of target audiences and the political input
that we can provide."
Weber Group Europe has been hired by
TSYS - one of the world's biggest card
processing payment companies. Other wins
include Telecom Service Centres, Eclipse
Internet and smartcard vendors Datacard.
MD, Zoë Arden, said: "We are growing
existing clients and attracting new ones - all
of whom appreciate our technology
expertise and results-focused approach."
This is the 16th year of the PR Week Awards and the quantity and quality of entries keeps
increasing. There are more than 700 entries for 2002, with new categories added for Public
Sector Department of the Year and Corporate Communications. Winners are announced at an
award ceremony on 30 October and hopes are high as Weber Shandwick’s clients have been
nominated in seven categories.
Young PR Professional of the year
AT JUST 27, Becky Green, an Associate Director at Weber Group
Europe has developed a deep expertise in enterprise software and
leads some of Weber Group Europe’s biggest client accounts. These
include the world’s largest privately held software company, SAS
Institute, the market leaders in enterprise server software, BEA
Systems and J D Edwards, collaborative commerce experts.
Becky expanded the first two accounts from a purely UK brief to
an EMEA responsibility as well. Together these clients make up over
a quarter of Weber Group Europe’s annualised revenue for 2002.
Zoë Arden, Weber Group Managing Director, said: "Her office is
WOOLIES NEWS was due for a make-over
when Weber Shandwick was given the goahead
to relaunch it in 2001. The 12-page
tabloid was the only regular
communication to reach the 30,000
workforce but was losing effectiveness.
Weber Shandwick proposed
replacing the 12-page, tabloid with a
full colour, A4 magazine, taking a
lead from Bella, Best and Take a
Break – magazines popular with
Moving away from staff
pictures, the front cover was
devoted to a ‘celebrity’ picture
with a Woolworths
print run was split between
Ant and Dec, who appeared in
the company’s Christmas advertising.
Popular features were retained, new ones
were introduced, and requests for more product
information were met by introducing a double page spread
of new products. A double page business file was added and
regular articles from the managing director give the magazine
Anna-Marie Muldowney, Woolworths Account Director, said:
"By mirroring the mainstream magazines popular with its
audience, Woolies News has been transformed into a vibrant,
informative and easy-to-read magazine.
"Since the relaunch, feedback has been very positive with staff
saying they are reading it for the first time. There has been an
unprecedented level of requests for copies, the distribution list
has been overhauled, and the print run and pagination has been
frequently filled with flowers from grateful clients
who send her ‘get well’ balloons when she is
sick and one had to be physically restrained
from bringing in magnums of champagne when
they heard about her recent promotion. One of
Becky’s biggest strengths is her skill at growing
her teams. Every single person on her teams
who joined before 2002 has been promoted at
least once – she is a great advocate and
CHANGING THE NAME of the Royal Ulster
Constabulary to the Police Service of
Northern Ireland (PSNI) was one of the most
challenging and politically charged rebranding
events in policing history. The
programme’s key objectives were to
position PSNI as a progressive,
professional service; to provide practical
public information on issues such as the
new uniforms, the new police warrant cards,
and code of ethics; and to foster internal
ownership of the new service.
Communications were developed to enable
District Commanders to drive the message internally
and ensure staff support. A video, which was watched by over
10,000 staff, was produced to motivate staff and promote the key
Externally, previews of the new service crest and uniform were
held in Belfast and Derry to engage politicians, the Policing Board,
community and business leaders and the media. Politicians, council
members, business leaders, church representatives and other
interested parties attended the graduation of the first new PSNI
John McCandless, in Weber Shandwick’s Belfast office, said:
"Communications reached over 85 per cent of the service’s 14,000-
strong police and civilian network within three days of issue. Media
coverage ensured maximum recognition of the new crest and
uniform, with public awareness levels recorded at above 70 per
cent. A website explaining the new policing ethos to the wider world
recorded over 550,000 hits during the launch month."
This campaign has also been nominated in the Public Sector
WEBER SHANDWICK helped scrap the One 2 One brand and
introduce its 8,000 employees to T-Mobile! With 24 offices and
108 retail units nationwide, accessibility was key and
communications had to reflect T-Mobile’s ‘Get More’ strapline.
A special website explained the reasons for change and the
company vision. The Loop, the monthly corporate publication,
ran two special editions focussing on the T-Mobile launch day
and posters explained what it meant to become part of a global
organisation. ‘Experience T-Mobile’ events highlighted the
business case for change and gave an opportunity for questions
On the day itself, offices were decorated, a special T-Mobile
Day CD was played and plasma screens ran T-Mobile Day
videos. Employees received free food and drink, and a cube gift
box containing a T-Mobile fleece and a camera to take part in a
photography competition. Gifts were accompanied by a letter
from T-Mobile’s CEO, the special edition of The Loop and a Daily
Telegraph T-Mobile supplement.
A giant cube, supporting the new corporate identity, was built
at the head office as the focal point of the day’s celebrations.
The top 40 stores around the country celebrated the day with a
selection of circus performers.
Vouchers were sent to all employees for an ‘experience’
appropriate to them to enjoy at their convenience and they were
given a bottle of pink champagne!
Evaluation has shown that staff are proud to be part of a global
organisation, feel appreciated, inspired and are great
ambassadors for the brand.
Dick Lumsden, Managing Director of Weber Shandwick’s
Visual Communications practice, said: "This was a complex
internal communications project involving a number of different
channels and a very tight timetable. It is a tribute to all involved
that it succeeded so well and met all of the pre-set objectives."
EDINBURGH PARK - one of the UK’s largest business parks - has
grown steadily since its inception in 1992, and now has over 7,000
employees. As a result of this growth and Edinburgh’s lack of
effective transport facilities, rising traffic volume was impacting on
those who work at Edinburgh Park. In order to gain planning
permission to construct of a second phase of the Park, the
developer needed to address transport issues.
Lesley Clark, Account Director, said: "We recommended a number
of green transport initiatives and worked with Edinburgh Park to
develop ep-online, Scotland’s first multi company car-sharing
scheme, managed via ep-online.
"ep-online is essentially a multi-site intranet, linking the Edinburgh
Park community. The task was to launch www.ep-online.co.uk with
a short, sharp burst of activity that would ensure every employee
was aware of the site URL."
A launch day ‘stunt’ was staged to create a bit of a buzz. A team
THE BLACKPOOL CHALLENGE Partnership
(BCP) called in Weber Shandwick’s Public Affairs
practice to progress its vision of regenerating the
town through building Las Vegas style 'Resort
Casinos’. Unfortunately for Blackpool, the
proposals required liberalisation of Britain’s
archaic gambling laws. A government gaming
review was under way and the task BCP set
Weber Shandwick was ‘to achieve a liberalisation
in gaming legislation allowing the development of
Resort Casinos in Blackpool.’
Pete Bowyer, Public Affairs, said: "We focussed
on a solid regeneration case and evidence of local
support. We had to move quickly to be heard by
the review body and had to appeal to
government, Parliament and journalists. Despite
the consultation deadline having passed, after
intensive lobbying and research we presented to
the review body. Our efforts worked as the
Gaming Review Report came out in favour of
Following the release of the Report, it was vital
that Blackpool was established as a preferred
area to develop Resort Casinos, and Public
Affairs had to build parliamentary support and
keep the issue on the agenda.
Pete added: "We wanted to combine the
glamour image of bringing Las Vegas to the UK
with a serious political message of regeneration.
Glamour was provided through holding ‘Casino
Night’ receptions at the party conferences.
Gaming tables, chips and entertainment were
provided and the political punters flowed in.
"When parliament returned, support-building
continued with mailings, advertorials and
briefings. This resulted in numerous politicians
backing Resort Casinos in Blackpool."
By keeping the gambling issue in the spotlight,
the Government felt pressure to respond to the
Gambling Review Report, and produced its White
Paper early. This White Paper supported the
liberalisation of the gaming laws that would
enable Resort Casinos in Blackpool.
The potential impact of resort casino hotels on
Blackpool gained blanket coverage to the value of
£4 million on the day the announcement was
made, despite the fact that the word Blackpool is
not mentioned once in the White Paper. BCP’s
case of using resort casino hotels to regenerate
Blackpool was made.
of ‘corporate hitch-hikers’ were let loose on the Park during the
morning and afternoon rush hours, displaying the web address
on hand-written cardboard signs, and chatting to motorists.
Posters were displayed in the public areas of each company
and an e-mail flyer was sent directly into the inbox of all
employees. To be sure that absolutely no one had missed the
web address, it was displayed in three-foot high lettering at the
most prominent area of the Park, next to the busiest traffic light
junction, where it stayed for one month.
Edinburgh Park’s shuttle bus, which ferries passengers to and
from the nearest train station, also displayed the website
The launch was a great success with the site receiving
215,810 hits in month one and more than 10 per cent of
employees are already signed up to car share. Ongoing
initiatives are under way to increase this number still further.
Business leaders and politicians are finding they have more
and more in common, argue Colin Byrne and David Brain,
Joint CEOs of Weber Shandwick in the UK & Ireland.
Trust is the Holy Grail of politics and the corporate and consumer
worlds, and the appeal to public trust is increasingly competitive.
Tony Blair built his entire 1997 election platform on trust. His ‘trust
me I’m honest Tony’ appeal was a powerful call to voters let down
by the sleaze and lack of direction of the Major Government.
Five years on and accusations of spin and sleazy donations have
tarnished Blair’s ‘trust appeal’. But he’s not alone as big business is
now under unprecedented scrutiny and scepticism.
No surprise you might say. But anger at ‘fat cat’ pay rises a
decade ago was little threat to the legitimacy of the market
economy, compared to the current collapse of public faith.
Today business leaders find themselves behaving more like
political candidates in the race for office. Even well managed
companies see the need for transparency and visibility in these
post-Enron times. Witness BP’s Sir John Browne giving
unprecedented access to the FT recently, despite being a very
Interestingly, when looking for a communications advisor for BP,
Sir John chose Anji Hunter, one of Tony Blair’s closest aides. When
a New Labour figure like Anji moves from politics to business some
of the media ritually cry ‘sleaze’, without understanding why those
who cut their teeth in Blair’s political revolution are in such demand.
Business leaders are fascinated by how Blair, Mandelson et al
revolutionised media management. It is that battle-hardened
experience of transformed reputation, media rebuttal and constant,
proactive communications campaigns they seek to share.
The story of New Labour is not quite the triumph of ‘spin’ its critics
would suggest, but a textbook case of focused and strategic
communications reconnecting a brand with its ‘consumers’. It is that
strategic approach, in an intrusive 24/7media environment, that
business wants to learn from.
US business leaders have long understood that every day is a mini
campaign you have to win – whether it’s for votes, market share or
confidence in your stock.
UK business leaders are now following suit. Increasing pressure on
CEOs (who now average three years in post) means they have to act
like politicians. Executives face a relentless media and must
demonstrate their leadership to investors, customers and employees
through communications. Some business leaders – in the low cost
airlines for example – are using political campaign techniques to
attack commercial rivals.
Communications help move their company’s agenda forward and if
they are not defining their firm’s reputation the media will find
someone else. Every piece of communication must add to the
central campaign message and stick in the mind of their target
audience. As in politics, the message must be repeated constantly.
Whilst much of the debate about ‘spin’ comes from a few
Westminster-centric reporters, it has made people question the
validity of Government communications. Tony Blair was elected on a
‘trust’ ticket and the view that everything the Government says is
‘spin’ and therefore suspect drains that reservoir of trust.
Blair’s response has been to claim that spin is out and action (in
the form of public services spending) is in. But the odd televised
press conference or select committee grilling alone won’t restock
the reservoir. Action must impact on people’s daily lives and open
communication must be sustained and not dismissed as clever PR.
Business is also undergoing a trust crisis. Although not a nation of
shareholders on the scale of the US, corporate governance
concerns, auditors getting ticked off by regulators and worry over
the security of our pensions are fracturing the UK public’s trust in
The response must not be window dressing. Communications
must be transparent and the commitment to good governance
based on action, not words. That includes clarity over the relations
between business and government, and an end to political
donations that are not in shareholders’ interests.
Business and politics share a destiny. They must earn trust as well
as market and mind share in a daily competition for the hearts and
minds of voters, consumers, investors and stakeholders.
Business and politics have more in common than an appreciation
of the financial things in life!
In PR terms, Healthcare is one of the fastest growing areas
worldwide as more and more companies see the bottom line
benefit of implementing creative and intelligent communications
Lee Tomkins, Executive Vice President, Global Healthcare,
explained: "Pharmaceutical companies operating in Europe are in an
awkward position as the law prohibits them from advertising directly
to the public about the benefits of their products.
"They can’t communicate with patients like they do in the US,
creating dilemmas that must be addressed before products are
successful. Companies must highlight the medical and cost benefits
of their products to government and the medical profession.
"Drugs must be linked into targets and public health initiatives so
companies can explain how their product improves public health.
This political emphasis is why we work closely with our Public
Affairs team to lobby aspects of health policy as PR can do a lot
within the healthcare industry to shape the environment and the
debate into which a new brand is launched."
Operating in the ethical sector of the market worldwide, Weber
Shandwick’s Healthcare practice specialises in promoting
prescription-only drugs and disease awareness through initiating
debate, product launches, media relations and market expansion
Lee added: "Pharmaceutical companies operate on such a
massive scale that it is vital that their communications plans are
consistent. They can then be cascaded down to local offices in
each country, so the product messages are the same wherever they
"Alongside formulating these global communication plans, we offer
a one-stop shop for advice in every area from consumer profiling to
public affairs, education and finance."
The London Healthcare team, which is a hub for both European
and global operations, boasts a pharmacologist, pharmacist,
microbiologist and a nurse, and is the agency of choice for Eli Lilly,
Pharmacia and Pfizer.
Every person sits the ABPI exams and attends training sessions on
everything from disease progression to the workings of NHS trusts.
The team is currently using its unparalleled industry knowledge to
build up its network of 10 European offices to complement the
existing worldwide network.
Practice in focus
Lee Tomkins, Executive Vice
President, Global Healthcare
• 1975 - 83
NHS Health Visitor
• 1983 - 86
Farley Health Products
• 1986 - 92
• 1992 - 95
• 1995 - 02
Tolstoy may or may not have been correct, but it is fair to say
that many a CEO has felt like jumping under a train at some
stage in a change programme.
All organisations are alike in that there are three key elements to
making your organisation a happy family by effecting successful
change. These are communication, which changes attitude,
leadership, which models behaviour and reward and recognition
processes encompassing the three ‘P’s’ of pay, promotion and
publicity, which then perpetuate those desired behaviours.
"All happy families are happy
alike, all unhappy families are
unhappy in their own way…"
Organisations become unhappy families during periods of change.
This is partly because those at the top don’t take into account that
the type of organisation they wish to change requires a different
emphasis for the chosen programme.
Many variables affect this, but the principle differentiators are the
size of the organisation and the relative power of - and hence
relationship between - the employer and the employed. There are
many shades of course, but in terms of managing change
programmes they tend to polarise into four; the patriarchal family;
the semi-feudal, the unmanageables and the quasi-cooperatives.
A ‘patriarchal family’ can be found in small organisations where
employee power is low and one or a few people make decisions.
Everyone else essentially swaps their labour for being ‘looked after’
and the key to effecting change will be the behaviour of the ‘head of
Basically everyone will follow his or her example, but
communication will be useful for (and used for) retrospective
justification. Many local ‘own’ businesses such as hairdressers or
small food outlets, where the skills required are in plentiful supply,
fall into this category.
Leadership and communication are also key in ‘semi- feudal’
larger or even global organisations. These are where employee
power may be low due to geographical concentration of industry, or
because the product or service involved is both standardised and
complex e.g. car manufacture or retail banking. These tend to be
career-based organisations with low staff turnover. In effecting
change, reward and recognition will form a back up to essential
communications, which unite the diverse parts of a complicated
organisation. Meanwhile leadership programmes should ensure they
target those ‘Robber Barons’ who might cause trouble within the
Dawn James is Managing Director of Weber Shandwick’s
Change Management practice.
The ‘unmanageables’ have earned this soubriquet not because
the organisation is undisciplined, but because they manage
themselves and resist solutions thrust upon them.
Barristers' chambers, graphic design partnerships and the like will
never follow a leader other than in name but can be drawn together
by a common purpose, which can be supported by communicating
a compelling and attainable shared vision. Because those on the
right hand side of the matrix can, although not necessarily will, be
more venal and self-serving than those on the left mainly because
they can, then reward and recognition policy will be key...if you can
get them to agree on it!
The ‘unmanageables’ do tend to stick together in close networks
unlike the ‘quasi-cooperatives’. Usually decentralised, tending to
be highly skilled and mobile and deriving much of their professional
identity from outside of the company.
When asked what they do they will answer ‘I am a management
consultant’ or ‘I’m in PR’ rather than
‘I work for X’. The organisation
depends on their cooperation and so
Large ‘Semi feudal’
needs to present a compelling case
for change. Leadership will again be
less of an issue; although ‘nice to
have’ in completing the programme,
and change will be more difficult to
achieve without it. Communication,
politics and lobbying will be key, but
heaven forfend you don’t pay them
in line with how you want them to
behave. We’re in the PR industry...we’re venal after all.
Most effective focus for Change
Power of employees