At your own risk

Just rediscovered this feature I wrote for Communicate Magazine November 2013 issue on the growing importance of Corporate Affairs Directors (and of Corporate Communications in general). I still think it’s appropriate, and it’s still one of my favourite published articles to date.

More use than smoke signals

The 2007 financial crisis caused society’s confidence in business to hit an all time low. Since then, companies have been under increased public scrutiny from many angles. This scrutiny has only been exacerbated by the advent of web 2.0 and the public forums and social media channels it supports.

The growing influence of the corporate affairs function in FSTE 100 companies The growing influence of the corporate affairs function in FSTE 100 companies

The influence of corporate affairs directors however is thought to have grown steadily over the past number of years. However, it has become more and more important for the reputational dimension of strategic and operational decisions to be considered at an early stage.

It was with this in mind, that a study was conducted by executive search consultants, Spencer Stuart. Jonathan Harper, who leads the consultancy’s consumer practice in Europe and partner in the consultancy, says “We thought it would be useful for us to find out and…

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Managing alignment with the Highlands on the line

I’m half Scottish. That may come as a surprise to some of you since I have a non-regional accent (perks of growing up abroad) but if you met my father, it really wouldn’t. Typical Scotsman with a pride in his homeland that would rival anyone’s despite his now living in England. This of course gives me the opportunity for a decent debate when it came to the topic of the Scottish Independence vote and the approach of Alex Salmond/the SNP. Simply put, my fathers opinion of Salmond’s politics is not a positive one and I’ll admit that the term ‘propaganda merchant’ was used repeatedly.

Alex Salmond, Head of the Scottish National Party that is at the forefront of the Independence debate.

Alex Salmond, Head of the Scottish National Party that is at the forefront of the Independence debate.

Despite my own misgivings about the referendum, and my own feelings that a ‘No’ would be a political, economic and social disaster for both Scotland and the remaining countries in the UK, I can’t help but admire Salmond’s technique. From a Comms perspective, his winning near 50% of my fellow Scots over to his ‘Better off alone’ viewpoint (compared to only 23% two years ago) makes for a fascinating case study on strategies for change management.

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