Empowering communities through advocacy campaigns

When legislation changes are likely to impact entire communities, how can comms teams create campaigns that resonate with the public and decision-makers?

Our recent webinar Empowering communities through advocacy campaigns highlights important campaigns that have made change in Parliament, and sparked progress for people who feel unheard.

Featuring on the panel are the Commission for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland’s head of communications and PR Alana Fisher as well as the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s PR manager Gorki Duhra and local campaigns manager Lindsay Coyle.

 

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  • How to create campaigns that make a difference, from stakeholder mapping to creating messages that resonate
  • How to influence government policy
  • Which strategies pay off when time, and resource, is limited

How to build authentic connections with Gen Z

From ethics to activism — are Generation Z who you think they are?

Our recent webinar How to build authentic connections with Gen Z explores the diversity of personas within the Gen Z audience and how brands and organisations can successfully communicate with this younger generation.

Leading the discussion and breaking the stereotypes will be Vuelio’s Insights Content Lead Hollie Parry who will talk us through our audience analysis and the results of our recent industry survey on engaging with Gen Z.

Which industries are successfully engaging with this demographic? What do they care about? And, in what ways have we misunderstood their values?

 

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  • Which media platforms and social media channels are most used by Gen Z
  • What the most common misconceptions of the Gen Z audience are
  • How having a tailored Gen Z strategy can help you access one of the most valuable audiences
From Pitch to Published webinar

From pitch to published – a guide to media relations in 2023

What’s the best way to build relationships with journalists in 2023?

Remote working, emerging technologies and media fragmentation have reshaped media relations. Our latest research looks into the changing face of the industry and how PR professionals should approach media relationships in this new environment.

In our recent webinar From pitch to published – a guide to media relations in 2023, Stephen Waddington, Founder and Managing Partner of Wadds Inc. presented the findings including best practice tips for pitching to the media.

 

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  • How remote working has led practitioners to explore more creative ways to connect with the media
  • Whether press conferences and face-to-face meetings still provide value in 2023
  • How inbound tools and social media can help identify PR opportunities and to build strong rapport with journalists

The AI conundrum – paving the way for the future of comms

Love it or fear it, artificial intelligence is here to stay. 

Its impacts are transforming the comms industry and PRs must come to terms with the new technology both as creators and as communicators.

While there are several benefits to the adoption of new tools, crises are emerging. Increases in misinformation, biased results and lack of ethics and transparency in the information gathering process are just some concerns sweeping through the industry. So what does this means for brands? How can comms teams prepare for reputational risks brought on by AI?

In this webinar The AI conundrum – paving the way for the future of comms, Paul Stallard, former international MD of Berkeley Communications and the founder of Danebury Research talked through new research on how UK communicators are adapting to the use of AI in their day-to-day roles.

 

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  • Why PR plays a vital societal and organisational role in the deployment of AI
  • How individuals making AI-assisted decisions could become the new driving force of reputational issues
  • Why the focus now needs to be on upskilling teams

Six evidence-backed ways to survive a PR crisis

When a crisis is emerging and time is scarce, staying silent can feel like the easy option — yet recent research by the Vuelio Insights team shows that shutting down communications altogether can do much more harm than good.

So, what are the most effective steps you can take to limit negative coverage around your brand? How do you measure the impact of the crisis on your brand and the wider industry?

In our recent webinar we explored how world-leading companies have successfully survived short, mid, and long-term crises, and the mistakes made by those who did not do so well.

While we analysed data across a diverse range of industries and contexts, those who performed best often adopted similar methodologies. Here are some of the most effective tactics that have positively served brands undergoing reputational risk in the press.

1. Proactive > Reactive

Being vocal, transparent, and accessible in a crisis is essential, and our insights research backs it up. It shows that brands who choose to stay silent demonstrate less control over negative coverage than those who speak up.

But timing is key, and waiting too long to reach out can have the same impact as not saying anything at all. Proactive strategies that communicate your key messages ahead of, or during, the initial stages of a crisis generate much higher media interest than those who simply react when negative coverage has emerged.

Example:

During a prolonged period of strikes and cancellations across the airline sector last year, RyanAir chose to only be reactive by sharing positive news stories after negative peaks in coverage emerged against the brand. As a result, these releases did not get much media awareness in comparison to negative coverage. However, when Virgin Atlantic released consistent and positive messaging surrounding a wide diversity of ESG efforts, before, during and after the crisis, media interest was much higher and overall sentiment balance was more equal.

Our research showed the media were much less interested in reporting on positive efforts after a negative story has emerged against a brand, whereas Virgin Atlantic’s consistent comms paid off and they maintained a ‘low and controlled’ negative reputation throughout the crisis.

2. Get your timing right

The age-old debate that the press release is ‘dead’ simply doesn’t apply in a PR crisis. Our research shows that when used right, proactive press releases can make a big impact on how your brand’s talked about in the press. However, timing is key — but starting too early can waste precious coverage opportunities.

Example:

Six months ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Coca-Cola, a FIFA partner, began releasing messaging around social solidarity to support human rights controversies related to the event. However, by the time it actually began, coverage of these campaigns had already died down but negative discussion around the ethics of the event (and those who supported it) had only just began. On the other hand, partners who chose to release messaging 2-3 weeks ahead of the first match were able to successfully dilute negative coverage throughout the event.

3. Diversify your messaging

Time and time again, Vuelio research shows that no matter the industry, brands that successfully survive reputational risks always amplify and diversify communications throughout the crisis. Rather than just responding to the situation at hand with explanations or solutions, they also push out stories related to other positive contributions that are totally unrelated to the crisis.

An ESG investment usually has the highest reputational pay-off, like Virgin Atlantic’s genderless uniforms or South Western Railway’s LGBTQI+ trains, both of which were announced doing an extended period of industrial action.

4. Consider relevant metrics

The metrics you use when monitoring day-to-day performance is much different in a PR crisis. For example, while having high coverage volumes may be a wider goal, this may not be as much of a priority when your reputation is at risk. Sentiment or prominence may be more important in this instance, so you can measure negative discussion and how visible your brand was within this coverage.

Create a separate set of KPIs that reflects the goals of your crisis strategy. Using this information, assess which metrics would be most effective for measuring performance during and after the crisis.

5. Enhance your reliability

Having a reliable reputation in the press is a sure-fire way to have more control over sentiment scores in a crisis. Research by the Vuelio Insights team shows that established and wide-reaching news outlets are more likely to share positive news stories by brands that maintain an honest and respected status, rather than those who tend to make false promises.

Awards and accreditations are to earn respect from large-scale publications, though working to accrue these extra reliability points throughout the year is going to be much more effective than waiting until crisis strikes.

Example:

In a recent study, the Vuelio Insights team found that brands which are part of the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) have a much stronger chance of getting international coverage around sustainability efforts. This is because SBTi is an external, reputable organisation that ensures holds companies accountable for climate commitments through a strategy-based target system.

6. Use your partnerships

When crisis strikes, partnerships are a goldmine for offering a large-scale and unique solution to the issue and doubling down on high-reaching positive coverage. Last year, Utilta achieved a national peak in positive coverage – higher than the likes of EDF and Octopus – due to a well-received partnership with Iceland. The collaboration offered several money-saving opportunities amidst the growing cost-of-living crisis, such as energy-saving workshops and leading research on cheaper cooking alternatives.

Partnerships are also an effective method for communicating large-scale industry change, a particularly useful method when enduring a long-term crisis. A recent example of how successful this can be was during the COP27 event last November, when seven CEOs of global pharma companies came together to announce ‘joint action’ on net zero healthcare.  This ended up being the most popular story ahead of and throughout the world-leading climate event and paved the way for months of positive media discussion towards ‘green pharma’ objectives.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

Speak Up or Shut Down: The Value of Proactive PR in a Crisis

When crisis strikes, do you believe that the best PR is to be invisible?

Choosing discretion in a crisis can be highly damaging to your brand. In fact, our research shows that those who choose to maintain regular, proactive media outreach throughout the year demonstrate much higher control over negative coverage if, or when, things take a turn for the worse.

In this webinar,Speak Up or Shut Down: The Value of Proactive PR in a Crisis,we explored how companies across different industries have responded to short, mid and long-term crises over the past three years. Watch the recording to hear Vuelio Insights Lead Hollie Parry explain why choosing to stay silent in times of crisis can be highly damaging for your brand.

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10 ways energy suppliers can enhance their crisis comms

The causes of the energy crisis have been an international debate for almost a year, though gas and electricity suppliers are often first in line to carry the weight of public outrage – which was only exacerbated when claims of profiteering began to surface in 2022.

With several independent/large scale suppliers  set to reveal ‘bumper’ results in the coming weeks, comms teams need to be prepared for any potential onslaught.

Since 1 Feb, 102 national news sources have commented on the projected elevation of PR crises for energy suppliers. Speaking on one of the biggest profit scandals of the past year, Investec analyst, Martin Young said comms in this sector has ‘arguably gotten harder’.

Similarly, a former business analyst at E.ON was quoted extensively in an FT article earlier this week, stating that suppliers actually lose money through household energy and that the  ‘limelight should be on the producers’ instead.

Now more than ever, it is vital for suppliers to be closely monitoring industry news and measuring media presence, building preventative and reactive strategies based on the results.

Here are 10 tips to enhance your crisis comms process:

1. Measure regularly and efficiently

Whether internal or external, the diversity of crises in the energy sector is high and the ability to reflect on performance can feel limited. Making an effort to monitor your media presence comes with high rewards, primarily the ability to refine and target your strategic goals.

Fortunately, there are several ways to achieve these results with a quick and high-level analysis.  Check out our four-step guide to learn more.

2. Define your key messages

Sentiment alone isn’t enough to ensure that you have successfully diverted a PR crisis. When the entire industry is affected, you need to know that the value of your positive/neutral coverage is stronger than your competitors.

While there are a few ways to do this, a strong set of key messages is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you are delivering highly relevant and reactive attitudes.

Key messages also allow you to measure your brand reputation against competitors within the specific crisis at hand. To get started, try the following:

  • Establish 3-5 key messages – what do you want to say?
  • Set your parameters – where do you want it to be heard?
  • Assess your coverage – what messages landed best? How did competitors perform?
  • Build out KPIs – how can you improve on messages that were not received well OR performed poorly?

Check out this five-step guide to learn more about creating key messages that actually land with your target audience.

3. Prioritise personability

Key messages in a crisis are as crucial as the tone set within them. Suppliers who maintain an approachable attitude with their customers maintain a much stronger ratio of prominent and positive coverage than those who do not — Octopus energy is a leading example of an energy company that holds a consistently strong relationship with the British media.

That being said, knowing your audience is key for drawing the line between personability and ignorance. OVO has been applauded for lessening its corporate tone across PR publications, but has also previously been called out for diluting the severity of the energy crisis by advising Brits to ‘cuddle pets’ to stay warm.

4. Produce more content

Among the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, better owned content equates to better earned content. In other words, those who publish regular blogs, newsletters and press releases have a much more valuable media presence than those who do not.

Another huge benefit of having a strong owned-media readership is that it presents an open opportunity to plug key messages and drive the brand attitude towards current crises.

5. Know how to apologise

When Shell was called out across international press for purchasing Russian oil in March last year, it rapidly resurrected some respect by following what Pink Elephant Comms refer to as the ‘Three R’s’ – Regret, Reason and Remedy.

While the story peaked around the world between 6 and 15 March 2022, the supplier’s negative sentiment rate dropped from 89% to 68% after it released an extended apology on 8 March 2022.

6. Prevention over cure

When the entire industry is baring the impact of an extended crisis, the biggest names are likely going to be in the media spotlight on more than one occasion.

In preparation for this, building early-onset preventative strategies is a much stronger method than trying to dilute a negative peak in coverage. For example, Octopus Energy’s electric blanket campaign is an ongoing success that has leveraged nationwide positive coverage throughout Winter over the past couple of years.

7. Don’t go silent

In a world where activism and ethics are at the forefront of consumer interest, the adage that ‘the best PR is invisible PR’ has become a risky perspective.

Throughout the 2022 World Cup, FIFA partners who promoted messaging in favour of human rights a few weeks ahead of the event demonstrated much more control over negative coverage throughout the competition than those who said nothing at all.

8. Explore the meaning of authenticity

Greenwashing, woke-washing and alike are some of many ways in which the media are capable of fishing out those who are authentic in their actions versus those who are not.

Fortunately, with some research, there are several visible ways to enhance legitimacy in a way that also generates media interest. For example, since COP27 in November, STEM companies that are part of the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) have seen a stronger positive Share of Voice in relation to net zero coverage than those who are not.

9. Internal alignment

Among the UK-based PR publications talking about crisis comms over the past month, approximately 62% mention the importance of internal alignment between comms, public affairs and legal teams.

A crisis comms committee with executives and key members of each department is an effective way to achieve this from a top-down level.

10. Managing misinformation

Since the start of the energy crisis, PR publications have demonstrated consistent interest in which suppliers are working with external agencies. While this coverage in itself is relatively neutral, it falls in line with ongoing accusations that PR agencies are to blame for promoting misinformation for energy clients.

Once again, prevention is the best method here – work closely with your crisis committee and agency to ensure total alignment and authenticity. Agencies are now much more cautious of how they choose to support energy suppliers, as their reputation is at stake too; total transparency from the start is the best way to mitigate any media allegations for all parties involved.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

Which energy suppliers are leading the renewable conversation?

At the start of what appears to be a long road ahead, the extent to which the energy crisis is being caused by net-zero policies has been highly debated across news and social media platforms for almost seven months.

Placing the blame on green levies is considered a ‘conservative’ perspective, shared by the likes of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), Nigel Farage’s ‘Power not poverty’ campaign and Jordan Peterson on the latest Joe Rogan podcast.

While The Guardian Australia’s environmental reporter Graham Readfearn has been one of the most prominent oppositional speakers, other UK news sources are taking a more neutral perspective. Rather, climate action is considered one of many root causes in a ‘deeply complex arena’.

Contrary to this international debate, the climate crisis and relative health concerns are pressing as inflation and public support for net-zero remains high. This, alongside the eventual reduction in overall costs, are some of the largest incentives behind why suppliers are choosing to continue investing in renewable solutions.

Key Takeaways

  • The impact of renewable energy is widely debated in the press, but British suppliers are retaining an overall positive reputation as the public continue to favour net-zero policies.
  • Shell was the most prominent in broadcast media, Octopus received the most valuable online coverage and EDF were the favoured supplier across print media.
  • Across all media types, Octopus has received the highest volume and most headline mentions compared to any other supplier.
  • Ecotricity Founder, Dale Vince, received a significant volume of biographical and interview-based coverage across both Europe and North America.

Since COP27 in November, UK media has been highly saturated with net zero energy coverage; climate-action press releases were 56% more likely to be picked up than others released by small and large-scale suppliers.

So, who is leading this conversation and what actions have earned the most valuable visibility?

Which media types are most common?

 

*Data samples were collected from 1 Dec, 2022 – 1 Feb 2022 and represent all UK news and industry publications discussing renewable energy in relation to at least one small or large-scale UK supplier(s).

Among the 2,268 articles measured by the Vuelio Insights team, 78% of coverage was digital, 11.8% was print and 10.2% was broadcast across television and radio.

Shell received the most broadcast coverage overall, with mentions on Countryfile, BBC Radio 4 and 5 live. Sentiment was mixed – the most prominent coverage was primarily negative, with an extended focus on how the company, at the time, had not paid tax in the UK for a number of years ‘in part due to significant investments in the North Sea’ (Countryfile, 18 Dec 2022). However, only a day later, Countryfile passively mentioned Shell’s ‘offshore wind projects’ in a positive light (Countryfile, 19 Dec 2022).

Online, Octopus received the highest volume of coverage due to extensive net zero efforts as an independent company and in collaboration with several other British suppliers, both in and out of ‘The Big Six’.

EDF was the most-mentioned brand in print media and had overall positive sentiment; the most frequent article being a passive mention on its involvement in the ‘demand flexibility service (DFS)’. However, the supplier’s most prominent coverage was in reference to its partnership with Luminous, which will create a ‘solar farm with battery’ in the East Midlands. This coverage reached 82 trade publications and 43 regional/local publications between 9 and 15 Jan 2023.

Who has the most prominent Share of Voice?

Octopus

Across all media types, Octopus has received the highest volume and most headline mentions compared to any other supplier. Its most successful story was both proactive and positive in sentiment: the decision to acquire a solar developer — which was a developing story from 1 Dec 2022 to 13 Jan 2023. Throughout this time, the media demonstrated continuous interest in the decision, the project development and the projected impact.

Ecotricity

Ecotricity’s coverage was much more specific in that the most prominent coverage generated was based on three significant stories, all of which placed a significant focus on the founder, Dale Vince.

Vince’s controversial statement that ‘greenwashing is a good thing’ created international media awareness between 2 and 6 Feb 2022, which came shortly after The Guardian referred to him as a ‘superstar’ that would be the ‘British Elon Musk if he didn’t detest Tesla’. Collectively, biographical and interview-based coverage consumed 75% of Ecotricity’s best-performing coverage, with some national/regional focus on its ‘super farm’ plans to power Gloucestershire, if turbine bans are lifted.

Good Energy

As the smallest supplier in the ranks, Good Energy generated significant local, regional and trade media awareness from 2 Dec to 31 Jan. The core focus was on several awards both nominated and won throughout this period, such as being shortlisted for a ‘Green Business award’ and maintaining its place at the top of the Which? Eco Provider ranking.

The company was also recognised within this coverage for being part of the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), an environmental accreditation that is rapidly growing across multiple sectors. The Vuelio Insights Team recently found that being part of the net-zero initiative earns respect within scientific journalism and has a direct impact on the likelihood of generating coverage.

SSE

Similar to Ecotricity, SSE’s most prominent, positive and high-reaching coverage featured direct statements from CEO Alistair Phillips-Davies. In an article by the Financial Times, Phillips-Davies warned that the UK is ‘not moving fast enough’ on green economy, outlining specific calls for action to improve planning and consent times for renewables development. Between 17 and 21 Jan, this story was syndicated a further 51 times across regional and trade publications.

EDF 

With the strongest proportion of positive and neutral coverage overall, EDF also generated the widest diversity of coverage, with long and short-term peaks over time. The highest-reaching article with the strongest prominence was the supplier’s decision to build a 100MWh battery at its new Energy Superhub in Bedfordshire.

Much alike to Ecotricity, this localised effort performed well in small and regional news publications between 7 to 12 Dec 2022.

Shell

While Shell faced a high-reaching negative spike in broadcast coverage through the middle of December, this was quickly diluted. Only two days later, coverage peaked for 1.5 weeks as local and national media publications expressed interest in its climate-focused partnership with Octopus.

On 15 Dec, Shell announced plans to supply clean energy from Dogger Bank to Octopus as early as 2024. While Shell did not offer a statement, this could have boosted its positive coverage rate even further given that Matt Bunney, head of energy at Octopus Energy, was quoted in 89% of the 104 total articles. ‘If the energy crisis has taught us anything, it is that we need to move fast to an energy system based on cheap renewables – and Dogger Bank will help to get us there’, said Bunney in a public statement.

Top Stories

Among the top ten stories throughout 1 Dec 2022–1 Feb 2023 (measured by reach and replication), three were proactive and seven were organic. However, proactive coverage performed much better in terms of brand prominence, sentiment and article syndication, which indicates the significant benefits of being vocal rather than silent in an extended crisis.

A clear example of this is Boralex’s acquisition of EDF Renewables’ five wind farms in North America. This story created an international peak between 4 and 8 Jan 2023 following a press release from the Quebec-based energy supplier, which created 89% headline prominence for them but only 10% for EDF, who did not release a statement.

Throughout most of the winter period, the term ‘total darkness’ was a trending term in regional, local and national outlets as some Brits were . While the reasons for energy inflation are debated in the press, 42% of national news sources reported on this as a ‘net zero shift’ rather than a consequence of several causational factors.

Several suppliers were asked to comment on this coverage, but coverage with quotes from Octopus Energy were highest reaching overall.

Better in numbers

More often than not, British energy suppliers are maintaining a positive brand reputation around net zero policies. While Shell received some negative coverage in relation to taxes, this was quickly saturated by its partnership with Octopus Energy — which performed best overall in terms of volume, sentiment and prominence.

Octopus Energy’s decision to produce regular, proactive coverage as well as independent and collaborative climate efforts are tactics worth considering. Both have visibly supported the continuation of media interest and its overall positive reputation throughout the entirety of 2022.

Additionally, Good Energy’s positive media breakthrough is demonstrative of the desire for authentic green strategy in the press, given that coverage was entirely associated with its recent awards and commitments to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Furthermore, while organic and ‘controversial’, Ecotricity’s coverage on why greenwashing can be a good thing is a sign that statements from brand leaders are highly valued and have the potential to generate international awareness — even for a small-scale supplier.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

Four ways to keep up with media evaluation in a fast-paced environment

When so much of your workload is fixated on promoting the next item on the agenda, it often feels like there is no time to stop and track the performance of your work.

When your performance is seemingly fine, it can feel tempting to put analysis aside —but in doing so, you miss out on essential insights that both improve strategy and demonstrate success to the board, C-Suite and wider business.

Fortunately, there are several ways to execute this process in a quick and efficient manner, without needing to do a deep dive into a random assortment of every possible metric.

Consistency is key — by sticking to a concise and regular set of parameters/metrics in each evaluation, you will have a much better benchmark of what ‘good’ looks like even when there is no other similarity between each campaign or news story.

If your turnover rate is high and time for reflection feels scarce, here is a four-step guide to streamline your media measurement and evaluation:

1. Consider your goals
Reflect on your PR objectives, both from a broader perspective and specific to this content. What are your wider communications goals for the year? Who and what are you looking to draw attention to? How would you like to be portrayed? What publications would you like to target?

2. Consider what is important to the organisation as a whole
Alongside your PR goals, consider what is important and achievable to your organisation as a whole? What does good look like to your stakeholders? What are the relevant pillars you can measure against to prove the value of PR, even in an ever-changing landscape.

3. Build a consistent framework

Using the information you have gathered so far, choose metrics that reflect the broader goals you are aiming to achieve and report on, as well as those specific to each piece of content. This will enable you to build a bigger picture of how the function is performing overall.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Visibility metrics such as volume / reach: if goals are linked to increasing overall media presence
  • Visibility specific to a target audience: if goals are linked with targeting specific audiences through relevant media titles
  • Link to website: if the PR goal is to drive call-to-actions through different campaigns
  • Sentiment: while cumulative improvements in sentiment may be desired, consider your industry and whether neutralising negative sentiment may be just as important as positive sentiment
  • Key Messages: while each campaign / content type might drive its own set of key messages, consider also monitoring overall organisational key messages as a pillar of consistency

The metrics chosen will be the same set you use to measure performance going forward in every evaluation, alongside your specific goals tied to each campaign/news story. By utilising a consistent framework of metrics based on wider goals, you can:

  • Draw a relative benchmark between each report, even if they have no contextual similarities to each other
  • Save time in conducting the analysis by knowing what you are measuring and how long it is going to take you

Tip: If you are new to the process, try picking two or three metrics to begin with. As you get quicker and more comfortable, more can always be added.

4. Ask for help when you need it

If you simply do not have the capacity to fit media evaluation into your schedule, there is still a solution.

The Vuelio Insights team partners with clients to produce bespoke reports that identify risks and opportunities, and demonstrate the value of your PR.

Emerging story reports are quick turnaround reports that we can deliver to support you in a fast-paced environment. Our experts work with you to ensure that you have the insights you need to understand your media performance and report it to your stakeholders, while supporting you to build a measurement framework that supports your overall goals.

Whether you need to understand campaign performance, KPIs, competitor analysis, media impact, crises, strategic decisions or your audiences,

Want to learn more about how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more here.

Work, Life and Balance: The PR challenge of 2023

Work, Life and Balance: The PR challenge of 2023

The world of work is changing. Gone are the days of 9-5, Mon-Fri in the office. Flexible, hybrid, remote, quiet quitting, AI, wellbeing, work/life balance – the future of work is now.

PR and comms teams are at the forefront of navigating these subjects both internally and externally. You need to position your employer brands against the needs of staff, investors and other stakeholders, while managing public perceptions and also growing and maintaining your own team in the face of an industry-wide skills gap.

In this webinar, we looked at the future of work and the impact it has had across PR and comms with our guests: Anna Geffert, founder and managing director of Hera Comms, and president of Women in PR; Robbie Steel, head of PR and communications at Atom Bank; and Sarah Beber, assistant director, communications and engagement at NatWest Group.

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In the race to net zero, how is ‘green pharma’ perceived around the world?  

Following the commencement of COP27 in November 2022, a report by the Office of Health Economics (OHE) declared that immediate action must be taken by health organisations to secure the era of green pharmaceuticals.

Europe, Australasia and North America have collectively committed to net-zero by 2050, meaning sustainability will evolve from an add-on to appease green stakeholders into a ‘business-critical strategy’ to protect operational licences.

The pharmaceutical industry is considered a‘major emitter’ of greenhouse gases, producing 55% more than the automotive sector. Greener mechanisms will need to be rapidly adopted to reduce such large-scale emissions and plastic production, which are ‘most prevalent’ in R&D, operational processes and medicine delivery.

When pharma’s contributions to climate change became a focus point at the COP27 event in Egypt, industry news and health publications began its continued interest into how the biggest players are making their first steps. The risk of ‘greenwashing’ accusations is high across all sectors — pharmaceutical brands must be vigilant in proving they can ‘walk the talk’ once their commitments to sustainability have been publicised.

Key Takeaways

  • Since 2022, ‘green pharma’ has evolved in the press from a public demand to a business-critical strategy
  • Unbranded headlines that outline the collaborative efforts of multiple pharma brands are outperforming those that list specific companies
  • Alongside the general discussion of green pharma growth, the UK produced 10.2% more coverage on brand-focused initiatives than the rest of Europe, North America and Australasia
  • Environmental accreditations like the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) can significantly enhance media awareness and legitimacy of sustainability claims

The UK continues to be a leading source of ‘green pharma’ coverage, producing approx. 2,369 articles since 1 Nov 2022. This is only 30% less than Europe’s collective output, where Switzerland is the most active speaker (approx. 940 articles) with Germany close behind (approx. 731 articles). North America has produced around 6,200 articles and just over 2,000 were produced across Australasia.

Most-mentioned brands

 *Data shown above measures all climate-focused pharmaceutical coverage published in national/international news sources and health-related industry publications (approx. 13,700 articles across Europe, N. America & Australasia) between 1 Nov 2022 and 9 Jan 2023.

Across all countries measured by the Vuelio Insights team, the UK produced the most brand-focused content (as opposed to generalised ‘green pharma’ discussion). Approximately 39.7% of all coverage focused on the specific actions of one or more pharmaceutical companies, whereas Europe produced 29.5%, Australasia 26.8% and North America 16.12%.

Collaborative efforts outperform specific brand stories

That being said, the highest-reaching and most prominent coverage on this topic has been that which summarises a collective of pharma efforts, such as ‘Seven pharma CEOs unite to achieve net zero healthcare’ or ‘Japanese drugmakers make greener packaging pledge’.

This overview style of article demonstrated incomparable engagement in all countries measured. As the most successful story of the entire period, the ‘seven CEOs’ piece was repurposed 2,486 times across international news sources and pharma publications.

Although 65% of general news headlines were unbranded, some trade titles opted for branded variations ie PRWeek’s ‘Merck, AstraZeneca, GSK CEOs announce efforts to curb emissions in healthcare’. Although this was a strong source of positive prominence for some companies, unbranded headlines received a 66% higher reach in all publication types. Ultimately, all article variations offered headline and/or significant mentions for all of the listed brands and accounted for approximately 82% of international coverage for GSK, Samsung Biologics, Merck Group and Roche.

Top Stories

*Data shown above defines ‘top story’ as that which has achieved significant national or international media awareness across 200+ news or pharma publications, also offering either headline or significant prominence for one or more pharmaceutical companies. Overall pos. sentiment is calculated as positive + neutral combined.

AstraZeneca 

While AstraZeneca and Samsung Biologics were also part of the ‘seven CEOs’ piece, both brands performed better overall with stories that produced lower volume. For example, across Europe and North America, AstraZeneca’s ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ initiative has produced 414 articles in 298 news and industry publications. While this is less than the article with the highest volume, 89% of coverage mentioned AstraZeneca in the headline, while quotes from CEO Pascal Soriot’s COP27 speech were featured in 38.6% of this coverage. Overall, positive prominence was much higher and therefore made the ‘accelerating toward net zero’ piece their top story.

Samsung Biologics

The same principle of prominence > volume applies to Samsung Biologics’ top story. Among all coverage on net zero healthcare across the studied regions, the company’s acquisition of the Terra Carta Seal  was the brand’s most positive and prominent piece across major international news publications and pharmaceutical media outlets.

Roche & Merck Group 

As for Roche and Merck, both brands performed best in the ‘seven CEOs’ piece in terms of volume, sentiment & prominence combined. However, Roche outperformed AstraZeneca as one of the most-mentioned pharma brands of those recognised for its ‘science-based targets’ and a ‘clearly-defined pathway’ to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals. With over 4,000 businesses following the SBTi initiative since 2015, it has become an established benchmark for success within scientific journalism.

Takeda

Across Australasia, Takeda has benefitted from a similar style of broad and unbranded coverage recognising collaborative environmental efforts. Alongside Astellas, Eisai, Daiichi Sankyo, its collaborative involvement in efforts to reduce pharmaceutical packaging was covered 733 times from 15 Dec 2022 – 5 Jan 2023, which made up 37.2% of the total coverage across the collective regions.

Bayer

On the topic of net zero healthcare, Bayer has been the only pharma company to receive a significant and international volume of negative coverage since COP27 in November. This was driven by one highly prominent story on Jeff Ubben, an environmental activist and prospective Bayer investor who is pushing for an ‘external CEO’ to better support net zero goals within the company.

Media awareness around this discussion peaked between 7 and 23 Jan. The Financial Times reported on this story from multiple angles between 9 and 23 Jan, as part of both general news and in its ’Moral Money’ sections. As a result, the publication produced the highest international readership and engagement on the story.

Ubben was quoted saying that an external hire would be a ‘clean break from the past’, referencing severe litigations taken against Bayer when it acquired Monsanto and its herbicide, Roundup, which is notorious for its lethal impact to environmental and human health.

Urgency from all sides

Over the past few years, media discussion around net zero healthcare has evolved rapidly. As an industry once known as ‘reluctant’ to prioritise sustainability, 2022 was the year of the public call to action for better ESG strategies. Now, as we begin 2023, it has evolved from a demand to an ‘urgent’ necessity — that will have a detrimental operational impact if neglected.

Nick Hoile, senior director of the Health practice at PR agency MHP, made a public statement in November stating that there is a ‘medical education and communications piece’ that needs to be done at all levels, including the conversations sales teams have with individual physicians. Further, Hoile argued that health communicators have a ‘pivotal role’ in shaping the green narrative and would be wise to acquire ‘environmental credentials’ as soon as possible.

As proven by the prominent positive coverage of AstraZeneca, joining the SBTi is a visible example of how such credentials can massively impact net zero brand awareness across international media sources.

In an article titled ‘Will ESG be 2023’s Hottest Business Topic in Bio/Pharma?’, Life Science Leader argued that joining SBTi is also a sure-fire way to prove authenticity and avoid ‘greenwashing’ allegations.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

How to create key messages that actually land with your target audience

When it comes to measuring your PR performance, numbers alone can – for better or worse – easily distort the real picture. For example, Share of Voice is always one of the first metrics Vuelio clients ask for – but what is the quality of the coverage? Brand A may have 10% more than Brand B, but how valuable is it to the brand? If it is mostly negative or passive commentary, then Brand B may have performed better overall.

Key Message Penetration is a great tool for diving deeper into your coverage to measure brand awareness and assess how well your brand messages are being delivered.

Try this simple five-step guide to get started:

1. Establish your key messages

Create a list of 3-5 key messages that highlight the main point(s) you want to get across. These are the messages you want to come to the minds of your consumers when they think about your brand, so tie them back to your brand strategy or a specific product launch, i.e.:

  • ABC Vets, pioneers in new holistic pet therapy 
  • ABC Vets, the charity for pets in need 
  • ABC Vets, providing affordable animal care to Britain since 1978 

    2. Set parameters 

    Once you have your key messages, decide on the channels that would be most valuable based on your target audience. For example:

  • What are the preferred media types of your target audience(s) i.e. print, broadcast, online news, social media etc?
  • Which publications are your audience(s) reading?
  • Which journalists/authors write these pieces?
  • Do you have a target reach i.e. regional, national, international?

3. Assess your coverage overtime

Now that you know what your messages are and the format(s) in which you would like them to appear, you can begin exploring your coverage results:

  • Establish a timeframe of how often you would like to compare your performance (i.e. monthly, quarterly, yearly).
  • When it is time to conduct your analysis, compile all earned coverage throughout your chosen period and ensure it is differentiated from owned and paid-for coverage.
  • Using your list of key messages, explore each media item for points of reference. In order to get your final penetration percentage, divide the number of key message articles by the total number of articles and times by 100.

Tip: Your coverage does not have to state the exact words in your list of key messages— it can be any earned content that fits into the category of one of your key messages.

For example, if one of your key message targets is to be a thought leader in your field, then a newspaper that cites a statistic or factual quote from your brand would count as message penetration.

4. Evaluate performance – which key messages landed best? Where?

Within your analysis, note down the parameters of when your key messages perform best/worst. For example, which key messages are most mentioned? Which media types/publications/journalists come up the most? What is the reach?

Using this data, compare the types of media that your key messages are performing best/worst in with the media that is most engaged with your target audience. For example, if the publications that are most often driving your key messages are highly engaged with your target audience, you know your brand awareness is performing well in the right places.

Reminder: You can use this type of evaluation (as well as things like sentiment and mention types) to explore the true quality and brand value of the coverage that is measured in your quantitative data.

5. Build out your KPIs

Once you have completed a comprehensive analysis, you should have a clear, qualitative and quantitative understanding of how well your key messages are being delivered to your target audience(s).

With this information, you can create a data-led set of KPIs on:

  • Your realistic and achievable penetration percentage
  • Which target publications, platforms, journalists etc. are delivering your messages
  • Who/what/when/where you would like to generate more awareness

As these analyses begin to accrue over time, you can use the former reports as benchmarks for the next. This way you can see how your key message penetration is progressing month on month, year on year.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

How has the FTX collapse impacted media attitudes towards cryptocurrency?

On 11 November 2022, international crypto-exchange platform FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. The company owes an estimated $3bn to more than one million creditors, a debt that international newspapers are blaming on a conscious breach of compliance laws.

Three months into investigations, global news coverage has remained consistent on the newest scandals and court updates. As a result, investors appear to be losing ‘trust’ in crypto-focused platforms and are seeking reliable, established alternatives — an opportunity that is being fervently explored by Goldman Sachs, Britannia Financial Group and alike.

Key Takeaways

  • International FTX coverage has peaked four times between 3 Nov – 4 Jan, the highest being Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged breach of compliance laws
  • While general news sources chose to report on major scandals and the future of cryptocurrency, industry publications chose to focus on the pros/cons of investors losing trust in exchange platforms
  • Binance and Twitter were the most-mentioned brands in relation to FTX’s crash, triggered by several exclusive revelations made by its CEOs
  • ‘Cascading contagion’ has been a trending term since December and is likely to be a continuous point of media interest throughout 2023

Volume over time

*Data shown above analyses all English-language FTX-related articles produced by international, national news and business/finance publications (approx. 13,951) from 3 Nov, 2022 – 4 Jan, 2023.

As news about FTX’s collapse began to decline around Christmas, coverage peaked once again between 22 – 24 Dec when Sam Bankman-Fried (also known as SBF) was released on a $250m bail, ahead of his trial facing eight criminal charges and civil suits filed by the SEC and CFTC. Approximately 2,270 international news and business articles were published over this period, while 63% criticised SBF’s ‘luxurious’ experience while in prison and under house arrest.

While bail-related coverage was short-lived around the holiday season, rthe story peaked again on 3 Jan when 611 articles across 460 international news publications reported on SBF pleading ‘not guilty’ to criminal charges by US District Court claiming he ‘cheated investors’ on his platform, using deposits to ‘support his Alameda Research hedge fund, buy real estate and make political contributions’.

Top Topics

The initial announcement of FTX’s bankruptcy had a similar impact on international news and business/finance publications, both sharing between 20-25% of total coverage. However, regular updates thereafter were more frequent in industry news as SBF’s arrest consumed 10.04% more coverage than in mainstream media.

On the other hand, general news sources produced 13.27% more coverage throughout Nov. and Dec. on how FTX breached multiple compliance laws. The Independent referred to SBF as ‘disgraced’ in 18 of its 32 compliance-related FTX articles, while the BBC focused on fraud and money laundering allegations in 18 of its 22 FTX pieces. Overall, the Financial Times has been the UK’s leading publication on allegations against SBF — producing 145 articles from 11 Nov to 23 Dec. Every piece released by the FT during this time focused on compliancy issues, with 40% of headlines calling SBF a ‘fraud in shorts’ and 15% focusing on the multiple counts of conspiracy against his hedge fund, Alameda research.

When things grew quiet for a short period between Christmas and the new year, international online news sources used the opportunity to discuss what the future of cryptocurrency may look like, though many used the term ‘crisis’ and coverage was 68% negative in sentiment. This attitude was likely impacted by public statements made by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and JPMorgan, who both referred to the downfall as having a ‘cascading’ impact on the whole industry.

However, finance/business publications used this brief pause in FTX updates to place more of a focus on how the crash affected investor confidence. While 58% of this coverage was negative in sentiment, such as Fortune’s piece on the loss of Gen Z investors, 42% of this discussion explored who may benefit from shaky grounds. Alongside Goldman Sachs’ interest in using this downfall to become the reliable alternative, Bitcoinist also reported on the companies that will profit from such insecurity — with particular mention of hard wallets like Ledger.

Most-mentioned companies

*Data shown above analyses all English language FTX-related articles produced by international, national news and business/finance publications (approx. 13,951) from 3 Nov, 2022 – 4 Jan, 2023. Excludes FTX and Alameda Research.

As more details of the FTX crash began to surface, Binance was the most-mentioned brand to receive either headline or significant coverage across international, national news and business/finance publications. The brand’s decision to acquire FTX, alongside its later withdrawal following due diligence concerns, was the leading story that created this level of awareness.

What was once an attempt at allyship swiftly became a feud, as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao went viral following an online Twitter battle, also calling SBF ‘desperate’ and ‘one of the greatest fraudsters in history’.

Twitter

Similar to Binance, more than one story from Twitter resulted in three significant peaks in coverage between 12 Nov and 5 Dec. The first and most prominent was when Elon Musk revealed that SBF tried to back his acquisition of the social platform, which was covered by 1,148 news and finance publications across the UK and North America. Musk, who stated that his ‘b*******t meter was redlining’ when he first met Bankman-Fried, also said something ‘seemed wrong’ about the legitimacy of his funds and predicted the capital would never actually come through.

The second peak in coverage was when Musk publicly criticised the Wall Street Journal for publishing an article that outlined the downfall of SBF’s philanthropic ventures. The Twitter CEO described the coverage as giving a ‘foot massage’ to Sam Bankman-Fried, a comment that made 638 international headlines in the following week:


 

BlockFi, Genesis, Gemini and Digital Currency Group

As much as FTX’s downfall has in itself been a significant point of media interest, so have the brands that have been — sometimes to the point of destruction — harmed by the crash.

Among the financial platforms of those that have suffered major losses, BlockFi, Genesis, Gemini and Digital Currency Group (DCG) have been the most prevalent in both general news and business publications.

When BlockFi declared bankruptcy, over 200 national/regional British headlines placed emphasis on its relation to the FTX crash. However, when crypto broker Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG) suffered similar losses for the same reasons, British news sources opted to focus less on FTX’s involvement and more on how Genesis/DCG are in debt of $900m to Gemini — an exchange platform owned by the renowned Winklevoss twins.

Of the collective 3,425 articles on this story, the Financial Times’ report was syndicated by 326  international outlets like Reuters and MSN.

Quickbooks

Global accounting software QuickBooks had a sudden spike in awareness when John J. Ray III, the new court-appointed CEO of FTX, stated what an ‘unusual’ choice it was for a multi-billion dollar exchange platform. In an expression to the US District Court, Ray referred to QuickBooks as a ‘very nice tool, not for a multibillion dollar company’.

As a result of this, the accounting software was mentioned in 303 international news sources and 426 business/finance publications between 12 and 16 Dec. Over 90% of this coverage was a significant mention, 6% was a headline mention and the rest was a passing mention.

Goldman Sachs

As fatal losses continue across the crypto market, the same goes for investor confidence. Goldman Sachs has been one of the most prominent voices on the call for more regulation, while also exploring the opportunity to become a ‘trusted player’ themselves.

Mathew McDermott, Goldman’s head of digital assets, told Reuters that FTX’s implosion will mean ‘big banks see an opportunity to pick up business’, and that Goldman is ‘doing due diligence on a number of different crypto firms’. Approximately 682 articles mentioned Sachs’ vested interest.

HSBC has been persistently vocal about its distrust of the industry.

‘Cascading contagion’ throughout 2023

With 115 years in prison now on the line, anticipation for SBF’s trial in October is likely to create consistent waves in international FTX coverage throughout the year. Between 11 Nov and 4 Dec, the term ‘cascading contagion’ was used 438 times across 386 national and international news sources, while also being cited by several public figures in the industry. Furthermore, given the deep dive into how Gemini, Genesis and alike have been impacted, the catastrophic effect on other crypto platforms will also continue to be an ongoing point of discussion throughout 2023.

General news sources across the UK have demonstrated a preference for discussion around major scandals and the future of cryptocurrency, meaning national newspapers may not produce significant FTX coverage again until the Autumn trials. However, as the Bank of England ‘throws its weight’ behind Sunak’s plans to become a ‘cryptocurrency superpower’, updates in regulation could potentially create some media interest.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

World Cup 2022 – is the PR value paying off for FIFA sponsors?

Since the start of the World Cup on 20 November, FIFA’s seven official partners have faced extensive backlash over decisions to support the event from politicians, public figures and the press. This critique follows a multitude of human rights concerns and bribery allegations against FIFA and Qatar, some of which have been referred to as ‘serious abuse’ in 482 international headlines over the course of the tournament.

Strong criticism of FIFA’s affiliation with Qatar has been widely distributed in the press since 2014. Approximately 1,876 international English-language publications have discussed ‘corruption’ since 10 November alone, with 11% citing that awarding Qatar the World Cup was a ‘bad choice’ – words used by Sepp Blatter, former FIFA president who resigned in 2015 amid the bribery scandal.

Since June, over 200 international charities and organisations have released statements on unresolved and ongoing crises caused by the event. In particular, the most discussed has been the ‘death, injury and rampant wage theft’ against migrant workers, which has been condemned by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, FairSquare and Equidem. Nick McGeehan, founding director of FairSquare, publicly accused FIFA of ‘benefiting from exploitation’ and ‘parroting Qatari authorities’, while Tirana Hassan, Human Rights Watch’s Acting executive director, called the organisation a ‘global embarrassment’.

Key Takeaways

  • Adidas, Hyundai/Kia and Visa have produced the most significant international volumes of positive, diverse and controlled coverage
  • Visa has demonstrated strong sentiment control despite coverage peaking later than other sponsors
  • Wanda Group’s lack of ESG comms contributed greatly to negative coverage
  • The Independent and The Telegraph were top publications for six out of the seven FIFA Partners, while CE Noticias Financieras led the print media conversation in Latin American regions

The labour disaster is just one of the negative news stories that have been pinned against Qatari World Cup. Partners have had almost a decade of negative news commentary in relation to their affiliation with FIFA, many of which used this time to prepare messaging on equality, union and perseverance.

Share of Voice
Between 10 Nov – 10 Dec, the Vuelio Insights team found 3,268 international news publications that released FIFA-related coverage mentioning one of the seven partner brands. Among this coverage, adidas achieved the strongest share of voice overall, of which 36% was proactive. Hyundai/Kia was close behind in 22.36% of all international coverage, of which 67% was proactive.

While its coverage peaked much later into the World Cup than for other brands, Visa has demonstrated extensive control over its public commentary throughout the event. The financial corporation’s earned content has been 82% proactive, either stemming from press releases and social media posts.

On average, adidas, Hyundai/Kia and Visa were each mentioned in 56% of international headlines. On the other hand, Coca-Cola, Qatar Airways, QatarEnergy and Wanda Group received a significantly lower quality of coverage, with an average of just 23% of international headlines mentioning one of the brands. Approximately 52% of their coverage was considered a substantial mention and 25% was a passive mention.

Both Coca-Cola and Qatar Airways offered extensive messaging on being ‘universal’ and ‘uniting’ fans in the face of controversy, but both campaigns were heavily diluted by several wider news stories evolving with adidas and Hyundai/Kia between 18 Nov and 1 Dec.

Top stories, sentiment and coverage overtime

adidas
While adidas received the highest international share of voice, overall sentiment was relatively balanced with 26.2% positive, 33.3% neutral and 39.7% negative. The sports corporation’s most widely distributed story was on how its bespoke technology ‘proved’ that Ronaldo did not score the opener against Uruguay, which was published 682 times across 598 international news sources. This story had a majority positive sentiment and peaked from 29 Nov – 1 Dec, of which 72% quoted various excerpts from the original adidas statement on how its tech was able to ‘definitively show no contact on the ball’.

Several global news stories have emerged around adidas’s ‘hi-tech’ footballs throughout the World Cup, making it the leading news topic among all FIFA Partners. The goal Ronaldo claimed proved to be a beneficial source of positive coverage among otherwise negative headlines that peaked in the same week.

Jordan Pickford was quoted 182 times as being ‘worried’ by the ‘menace’ and ‘rascal’ balls ahead of the England v France game, describing them as ‘a bit different’ to Nike balls used in the Premier League. Similarly, Kieran Trippier was quoted 203 times when he referred to the balls as ‘a bit lighter’ and like they would ‘fly away’. This coverage had a collective 57% negative sentiment rate but received less attention than the Ronaldo goal, leaving adidas less impacted overall.

Hyundai/Kia

While Hyundai/Kia had a slightly lower volume of coverage, it maintained a 14% higher positive sentiment rate overall. The most popular headline was in relation to the FIFA Museum presented by the motor company, which was covered 223 times by international news, sport and automotive publications. Within the body of the article, 46% mentioned how this opening is as part of Hyundai/Kia’s ‘Goal of the Century’ platform, which received a subsequently high volume of positive coverage for its dedication to sustainability and social impact.

This extended coverage was a strong source of recovery for Hyundai/Kia following a brief  negative peak in coverage from 18-20 November, when it was announced that FIFA stalled on a sponsorship renewal offer from Hyundai/Kia worth more than $600m (€580m) in 2019.

Visa

With an overwhelmingly positive coverage rate in comparison to other sponsors, Visa experienced two peaks in coverage between 10 Nov and 10 Dec. The first, which was covered between 16 and 20 Nov, was a direct press release on the brand’s ‘innovative payment experiences’ at the World Cup. This topic was discussed 268 times over four days across 203 international economy and news sources.

However, Visa’s biggest peak in coverage was from 8 to 12 Dec, when the brand released a report that shared spending data across all venues throughout the tournament. Furthermore, the prediction that the entire event will reach ‘record spending’ was quoted in 482 of the total 563 international finance and news headlines.

The only significant source of negative coverage associated with Visa throughout the period measured was around its decision to bring NFTs to the World Cup. While the move excited some, approximately 186 outlets reported on how the value of the tokens ‘stumbled’ as ‘upsets’ around the game evolved.

Coca-Cola

As the tournament has evolved, Coca-Cola has fallen short of significant news stories in comparison to other sponsors. The brand’s top story was on the British Conservative dispute against the drinks manufacturer’s decision to sponsor FIFA following a series of homophobic comments.

This story was covered 398 times between 19 and 21 Nov and was a large causational factor behind the brand’s strong rate of negative coverage. On the other hand, the brand’s World Cup campaign, ‘Believing is Magic’, received a 43% positive sentiment score across 435 international news sources between 31 Aug and 30 Oct. However, op-eds and PR news sources were generally sceptical, accusing it of undermining the severity of migrant worker abuse.

Qatar Airways

In many ways, Qatar Airways has mirrored the performance of Coca-Cola. Its most positive coverage in relation to the World Cup was published prior to the event, with the most significant being its opening ceremony which was covered by 182 international news and travel publications. Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, was quoted in 59% of this coverage stating that the ‘dream of bringing the world together has truly come alive’.

However, the most significant source of coverage since 10 November has been allegations that FOX Sports produced biased coverage to support a sponsorship agreement made with Qatar Airways. Between 18 and 22 November, FOX News ‘denied’ any potential production influence, while Qatar Airways ‘refused’ to comment.

Wanda Group

As for Wanda Group, earned coverage in English Speaking publications has been low and passive in comparison to other Partners. Similarly, any active contributions to the event – such as targeted campaigns, messaging or public statements — have not been picked up by the media throughout the event. Additionally, over 90% of high-reaching coverage came from a Chinese news or PR publication with international readership.

Wanda Group’s lack of comms meant there was little public content to change the narrative around earned media, which was certainly needed given that the overall sentiment score was 17.7% positive, 47% neutral and 44% negative. The top headline, first published by Campaign Asia, was titled ‘What are Chinese sponsors hoping to get out of the World Cup?’ which explored the expenditure and potential strategy of Wanda Group among other brands.

While the piece was neutral overall, the author concluded the ‘potential backfires’ in attempt to reach a global audience, stating it is ‘unlikely’ anyone would ‘view sponsors favourably amid human rights controversies and concerns that have dogged Qatar’.

QatarEnergy

Although overall volume has by far been the lowest, 39% of QatarEnergy’s international coverage was created by Qatari publications and an additional 46.5% across the UK (31%) and US (15.5%). Alongside passive mentions in reports exploring FIFA expenses, the most significant source of coverage for QatarEnergy has been related to ‘catastrophic’ climate concerns. Between 18 Nov – 10 Dec, 398 international news sources (83% of the brand’s total coverage) discussed the counterintuitive nature of FIFA partnering with the supplier in the face of its ‘#SaveThePlanet’ campaign.

Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister and chief executive of QatarEnergy, was quoted within the body of this coverage in committing to provide ‘reliable and credible LNG supply solutions to customers across the globe’, with ‘plenty of financial support’ from major banks.

Top publications

Between 10 Nov and 10 Dec, approximately 66% of adidas’s coverage came from its top five publications. Although the leading source was USA Today, 66% of this coverage were passing mentions in relation to generalised World Cup expenditure articles. In articles where the brand was the focus, USA Today most often discussed adidas’ charitable efforts, such as donating to Footballs for Schools or using recycled materials in football kits.

CE Noticias Financieras mentioned adidas in 311 FIFA-related articles throughout the World Cup period, with a much stronger focus on the brand overall. As the only print media source to have made it in the top publications chart, CE Noticias Financieras has also been the second-most popular news source for adidas overall. The publication’s most covered topic was Adidas’ intervention in the Ronaldo-claimed goal and a detailed ‘unveiling’ of ‘Al Hilm’, the official ball provided by Adidas for the semi-final and final.

The Latin American print publication was also the leading source of coverage for QatarEnergy, though the total volume was much lower (36 articles between 16 Nov – 3 Dec) and focused on its possible supply expansion across Europe.

British and US news sources leading the conversation

Throughout the tournament, The Independent and The Telegraph have been leading news sources for six out of the seven Partners – while MailOnline also made it into the top publications for three of the seven. Closely behind was NBC Sports and Washington Post, which were considered major sources of coverage for two out of the seven sponsors.

Hyundai/Kia has by far achieved the most geographical diversity among its top publications, with sources based in the UK, US, Korea and Qatar. Qatar Airways’ strongest coverage has been exclusive to the UK, Qatar and its sponsored coverage source in the US (FOX Sports).

When tactical loss is necessary

Among the seven sponsors, the top three highest-performing overall (significant volumes of positive, diverse and controlled coverage) were adidas, Hyundai/Kia and Visa. The key difference between these brands and the others was well-timed and extensive messaging on social solidarity and humanitarianism. While these attitudes were often criticised as ‘tone-deaf’ by op-eds and PR publications, the overarching positive message outweighed negative sentiment around Qatari controversies by international news sources.

While Coca-Cola did exactly that in its ‘Believing is magic’ campaign, media interest peaked when it launched two months before the event. If collateral had been gradually dispersed closer to the event, the brand would have similarly diluted negative peaks against sponsors and Qatar controversy when the event officially began.

Wanda Group, who opted to not release any targeted messaging this year, has been a strong example of how tactical loss is better than silence. Unlike its ‘women first’ campaign in the 2018 Women’s World Cup, the brand has not offered any targeted messaging towards human rights at a time when it is most desired from target audiences. As a result, the most influential and international coverage has been negative and theoretical commentary on Wanda Group’s ethics and strategy — without any level of public comms from the brand itself to steer the conversation in a more positive direction.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

From tactical to critical: Why PR belongs at the top table

All too often the role of public relations is unrealised, underrated and overlooked. Much more than a tactical delivery function, PR is vital to strategic planning and management decision making, securing its place at the top table.

Public discourse and concerns related to society, the environment, international developments and the current cost-of-living crisis, mean that it is more critical than ever for organisations to understand the scope of PR.

In our webinar, From tactical to critical: Why PR belongs at the top table, we discussed our recent white paper by Stephen Waddington and Dr Jon White, along with insights from Rachel Roberts, President, CIPR, and founder, spottydog communications. Together the panel explored the findings and examined the opportunities for public relations to form an essential part of modern management.

Fill in the form below to check out our webinar 👇

Which products are most likely to be bought second-hand this Christmas?

In effort to support Brits with the cost-of-living crisis, national coverage on how to budget for Christmas has increased by 486% since last year. Alongside this, discussion around ‘side hustles’ is up by 326%, with the resale of both luxury and high street goods as the leading topic of interest in this area.

During October, 186 national new sources reported that 60% of Brits plan to spend less this year. Furthermore, a widely distributed eBay report shows that 62% of luxury shoppers actively selling on second-hand sites have resold a luxury accessory for a profit. This rapid growth in resale is undoubtedly an international trend, with over 200 international newspapers across the UK and North America referring to it as ‘investment’, which some consumers ‘consider a safer store of value than stocks’.

Since the start of the cost-of-living crisis, the social acceptance of second-hand items has been widely discussed across general and retail-industry news. Between 27 and 30 October, the headline ‘Brits are no longer embarrassed to charity shop’ was syndicated across 89 national and regional news sources, while Oxfam were quoted 72 times in saying that ‘second-hand books are at the top of people’s wish-list’.

Key Takeaways 

  • Coverage on second-hand high-street/designer resale ‘side hustles’ is up by 326%
  • Research suggests Brits are no longer ‘embarrassed’ to purchase or gift second-hand items
  • Electric and cosmetic goods are some of the most likely to be refurbished or resold
  • Low-cost high street and supermarket items are producing higher resale profit than luxury items
  • National outlets are most interested in how brands are entering the resale market, whereas local/regional outlets are engaged in specific case studies of consumers budgeting and third-party resellers

Why are consumers rushing to resell low-cost items?

While the resale of luxury goods is gaining record-high interest, it is not the only sector affected by the dovetailed growth of inflation and independent resellers. Second-hand high street products are receiving a   significantly higher level of coverage, with national publications particularly interested in specific examples of high profit margins on low-cost items.

For example, Aldi’s ‘Kevin the Carrot’ toy caused the second-biggest upsurge in low-cost resale coverage throughout November, when 222 national and regional articles reported consumers successfully reselling it on eBay for up to £1,000. Similarly, 168 regional and local news sources wrote of how Primark’s Stranger Things range has returned to stores after reselling for up to £150.

Share of Voice: Top 5 resale brands

*Data analysis of all second-hand UK brand coverage with mention of the cost-of-living crisis or luxury/high street resale between 17 Oct – 21 Nov.

Over the last month, eBay has continued to lead the conversation around both luxury and high street resale. While 38% of coverage is a passing mention, 52% was positively attributed to the brand’s new pre-owned store in New York – where consumers can use ‘luxury as currency’. This term was featured in 92% of the total 686 UK headlines, which later evolved into a phrase used by international publications for the wider movement towards luxury resale.

Meanwhile, both Vinted and Depop’s coverage was between 40% and 50% passing mentions, while 32% of all resale brand coverage mentioned them both within the body of the article. Some of the most common examples were case studies in general news publications and research articles in PR and comms outlets. The overarching theme has been how both brands offer quality and affordable Christmas gifts in the cost-of-living crisis, which leveraged an 88% positive sentiment rate on this coverage.

Which brands are most mentioned within resale coverage?

*Data analysing mentions of all luxury and non-luxury brands within second-hand and resale coverage between 17 Oct – 23 Nov.

The risk behind refurbs

Since 17 Oct, the Vuelio Insights team has identified 1,862 articles discussing resale products across UK news and industry publications. Within 8% of this coverage, consumer charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) were quoted in a widely repurposed article titled ‘Cost of living pushes shoppers towards second-hand electrical goods, says charity’.

Furthermore, Dyson was most often mentioned as the product worth buying second-hand. For example, ‘Refurbished Dyson airwraps on sale at eBay in time for Christmas gifting’ was published by The Independent on 21 November and has been syndicated 102 times since. Dyson is the certified seller of these refurbished products, meaning this coverage is not as much of a loss to the brand as if it were a third-party seller. However, because of this peak in refurb interest, local and regional outlets have started picking up on ‘horror’ stories on the most sought-after brands. Almost 200 articles with similar headlines to ‘Ebay won’t refund my £475 faulty  Dyson airwrap’ and  ‘Amazon Prime Day £35 hair styler shoppers say is ‘much better’ than Dyson Airwrap’ have ultimately outweighed Dyson’s positive coverage as a certified eBay seller.

The CEO of second-hand tech seller Back Market has been heavily quoted in coverage around electric resale, stating that its ethos is to close the ‘trust gap’ and ‘make refurbs cool’.

Third-party partnerships

As for the fashion brands mentioned within resale coverage, 86% of the discussion is tied to global retailers partnering with third-party resellers as a means to offer second-hand luxury items. While many designers refuse direct distribution of their products, over 448 publications across general news, fashion and beauty have reported on the growing availability.

For example, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Prada and Gucci were mentioned in 289 headlines between 16 Oct – 30 Oct when Amazon announced it would be listing the brands’ bags as part of its Luxury Store launch, through second-hand distributor What Goes Around Comes Around.

Amazon was not alone in its well-timed partnership, in among this courage Primark was also praised for a similar launch. Between 18 Nov and 23 Nov, 82 news and fashion publications shared 106 articles about the high street store’s ‘WornWell’ collaboration with The Vintage Wholesale Company. As a result, brands often spotted there such as Burberry, YSL, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Converse, Levi’s and Dr. Martens have all received a significant upsurge in passing mentions.

Competitor strategies

In a bid to compete with the likes of eBay, many high street brands have attempted to regain control by promoting or launching their own resale and refurb lines. For example, Zara received a significant peak in coverage from 18-28 Oct following the announcement of its repair and resale shop ‘Pre-owned’. Similarly, Coach was mentioned in 86 regional outlets 26-28 Oct, following the opening of its London pop-up ‘Tomorrow’s Vintage’.

On the other hand, some brands are opting to take the consumer-led route. For example, local and regional outlets have used the phrase ‘Bargain Box’ in 102 headlines since 20 October, referring to return palettes that can be bought from John Lewis, Argos and Very. M&S is leading coverage around fashion rental, a proactive peak in coverage at the beginning of November following a successful press release on ‘putting value and versatility at the heart’ of its rental collection. This quote was used in 56% of the total 202 national and regional news articles until 5 Nov.

What are the most common types of coverage?

*Data analysis of all luxury and non-luxury brands within second-hand and resale coverage (1,862 articles) 17 Oct – 23 Nov.

Since 17 Oct, the highest-reaching resale coverage has been produced by general news, celebrity/gossip magazines, tech and business publications. Aside from the wider industry discussion of ‘luxury as currency’ and high street resale strategies, product reviews were one of the most prominent article types and are up 62% from 2021. These articles are comparative in nature by putting a luxury product against a budget alternative, i.e. ‘Aldi shoppers rave over Le Creuset dupe’. Alongside Dyson, brands like The North Face, Adidas and the White Company were found within a collective 369 articles similar to this.

Case studies have also increased by 8% since last Christmas. The cosmetics industry has gained the most awareness within this coverage, primarily due to headlines like ‘Makeup Artist saves hundreds buying second-hand makeup on eBay’ which was shared 86 times by local and regional news outlets. This increase produced an upsurge in resale risk for brands like Dior and Charlotte Tilbury.

Unaffected markets

Given the level of investment from second-hand brands and retail competitors, the rise of luxury and high street resale is not predicted to cool-off any time soon. However, this is not a call to action for all brands.

Unlike the pandemic, the cost-of-living is not a crisis that affects everyone equally. Over the last month, 16% of coverage approached the resale discussion from a wealth perspective. For example, an article by The Independent titled ‘Luxury goods boom in Britain as the young, rich and mortgage-free buck the recession’ explored how high-end watches are now seen as an ‘investment’, when they are purchased new by consumers for the purpose of profiteering.

James Ison, the self-styled Deal Maker For The 0.1%, was quoted 89 times within this coverage when he stated that that those who can afford very high-end luxury products appear to be ‘having a Yolo moment’ following the pandemic, often ‘spending five figures in an afternoon’. This consumer psyche also appears to take place outside of retail, such as the emergence of ‘The Lipstick Effect’ within the dining industry.

Vuelio’s Top 3 Recommendations

  1. Measure the crisis – Take some time to measure the impact of inflation in your target market(s). Following the pandemic, many brands have automatically applied another blanket crisis comms strategy to their entire audience, even though the degree of financial struggle varies greatly. If you are a very high-end luxury brand, the likelihood of consumers investing and profiting on your products is a greater risk than a visible loss in revenue.
  1. If you cannot beat them, join themResearch how prominent your brand is within resale media coverage and on second-hand sites. If you find your brand is at risk, the success of Zara, Coach and M&S’s rival lines suggest it would be better to invest in the trend than attempt to eliminate it.

  2. Prioritise sustainibility comms While cost-of-living is the leading reason for the rise in second-hand purchases, resale will likely hold value long after the economy stabilises. Over the past year, sustainability has transformed from an ethical preference to a consumer demand. It is the most-used word in relation to ‘The Rise of ESG’ and, as over half of Brits worry about the impact of Christmas on the climate, it will continue to hold an important place in the lifecycle resale trends.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

Vuelio is proud to be supporting AMEC’s Measurement Month – a month-long focus on best practice and new emerging trends in the measurement and evaluation of communication. Check out all the Measurement Month events here.

Journalist Voices by Vuelio

How do you achieve cut through in a packed news cycle? When a journalist receives hundreds of pitches a day, what makes them notice yours?

In our inaugural live Voices by Vuelio event, we have lined up a panel of expert journalists to share their advice, tips and professional opinions on how to make your content stand out – both in inboxes and the media.

Discussing the current wave of stories around the cost-of-living crisis, the upcoming seasonal spike and discourse around diversity, our panel can provide valuable insights that can help you secure coverage.

Joined by Yolanthe Fawehinmi, features writer at The Daily Telegraph; Isabella Silvers, freelancer working with Cosmo and Elle; Hannah Ajala, freelancer working with the BBC across radio and podcasts; and Ally Head, health & sustainability editor at Marie Claire.

 

Fill in the form below to watch the event 👇

International Perspectives of the new Prime Minister

In the six weeks running up to the Conservative leadership election, world leaders and international new outlets provided a heightened commentary on the state of UK politics. While optimism towards Liz Truss’s election differs greatly across borders, headlines mentioning the ‘long list of challenges’ ahead of her were widely agreed upon.

Throughout the race, the Vuelio Insights team monitored all local and national coverage across Europe (excl. UK), North America, Australia and New Zealand to explore the overarching international perspective of the British political system.

Following Truss’s victory on 6 September, many political figures around the world rushed to offer their congratulatory messages of hope and solidarity. Terms like ‘strategic partnership’ and ‘friendship’ were shared across Italy, Israel, Romania and the Netherlands, while Lithuania and Ukraine expressed their gratitude for Boris Johnson’s support against Russian aggression — in hopes it will continue with the new PM.

Having been repeatedly referred to as a former ‘anti-monarchist’ in almost 3,000 articles of the studied regions, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II put added pressure on Truss’s election. The majority of coverage — which came from the US, France and Canada — reported on Truss’s support and attendance to the memorial service. However, an article first published by Agence France-Presse that confirmed she would not ‘accompany’ King Charles III’s tour of the nations due to ‘ongoing criticism’ was syndicated 218 times by region European and North American media outlets.

Euroscepticism and demands for respect

While local and regional coverage within each region has reported positive messages from world leaders, international news sources have favoured the growing EU concerns around Brexit and the NI protocol. Thomas Gift, founding director of University College London’s Centre on US Politics, told Newsweek that Truss ‘is more of a Eurosceptic than Rishi Sunak,’ meaning she is less in favour of co-operation with the EU.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and VP Maros Sefcovics both congratulated Truss, while emphasising the ‘great strategic importance’ of a ‘constructive’ and ‘positive’ relationship between London and Brussels. This will depend upon ‘full respect‘ of the NI protocol, Withdrawal Agreement and Trade and Co-operation Agreement. Both members of the EU were quoted in 386 national articles across Europe and North America.

In light of this condition, Jacinda Arden used the election to recognise the UK’s ‘exceptionally strong’ relationship with New Zealand, acknowledging Truss’s ‘staunch support’ of the UK’s tilt to the Indo-Pacific and Free Trade Agreement. This statement reached online and broadcast media across Australia, New Zealand and Canada 382 times over the six-week race.

In North America, approximately 1,682 US news sources picked up on growing tensions between the EU and Liz Truss over this time, with a key focus on how this could affect the Biden administration. While Biden’s hopes to ‘deepen’ the ‘special relationship’ was shared in 31% of this coverage, it was also coupled with Truss’s controversial comment that the UK US relationship is ‘special but not exclusive’, comparing approval of the US to a ‘beauty parade’.

Conservative leadership race: volume and sentiment

Throughout the six weeks of the leadership race (12 Jul – 6 Sept), the Vuelio insights team found that the international sample produced approximately 8,562 total articles in reference to the race between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Coverage started slowly, with the first major updates made on both the 5 and the 11 of August. However, publications began to peak over 1,000 on 24 August – around the time that Sunak said it was ‘wrong’ for scientists to ‘scare people’ into lockdowns throughout the pandemic. Following this initial spike, coverage grew significantly within the final week of the election.

The ‘Reset’ opportunity

While national UK headlines have been predominantly negative over this period, international media has been predominantly neutral or positive. A strong causational factor behind this is the global agreement on how Truss could be the precedent for a great ‘reset’ opportunity among the many pending bilateral conflicts triggered by Boris Johnson.

Among the 1,492 articles discussing this potential, over 90% is in relation to France, Ireland and Brussels, while the remainder comments on humanitarian matters like the Rwanda refugee scheme. Despite Truss’s globally viral comments towards Emmanuel Macron, both he and France’s European and foreign affairs minister, Catherine Colonna, have said that the two countries are most definitely friends. Their hopes that Liz Truss’s appointment will lead to a ‘new start’ in Anglo-French relations was widely distributed across French and Canadian news sources.

Similarly, Taoiseach Micheál Martin shared hopes that Liz Truss offers a chance to ‘reset’ the fractured relationship between Britain and Ireland, which would be triggered by full respect and implementation of the NI protocol. Martin expressed desire that her premiership could herald a ‘change in direction’ for Irish/UK relations after recent years of tension over Brexit and the protocol. Of the 768 articles discussing this opportunity, 74% of news sources were either US or Ireland-based.

Total volume by region

Overall, national US news sources produced the most national coverage on the Conservative leadership race (3,788 articles), while Europe shared the most in one day (1,068 articles) — which was the final day of the election.

While Biden’s uncertainties have been widely reported, overall media response has been either positive or neutral in sentiment across the United States.

Truss’s ability to switch from a ‘Remainer’ to a Brexiteer was mentioned in 48% of all US coverage over the six weeks – by far the most widely syndicated discussion point within the country. While this switch has often been frowned upon across Europe, it has been positively received by US media — key journalists in outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek seeing it as a ‘testimony’ to her ‘political ambition’ rather than her convictions.

John Bolton, who served as the president’s national security adviser, told WSJ that both her assertion and ambition are some of many reasons that Truss is ‘the prime minister that America needs’.

In Canada, the media response was 32% positive, 48% neutral and 20% negative. Justin Trudeau offered one of the most extensive congratulatory messages to Liz Truss, referring to the UK-Canada relationship as ‘one of the strongest in the world’, a phrase used by 128 national news sources in the week following the election.

Sentiment across EU media

* UK excluded; countries displayed are those that produced over 250 relevant articles between 17 Jul – 6 Sept 2022

While the EU remains ‘wary’ of Truss, a term that reached 462 national headlines across the continent during the election, sentiment across tracked regions has been mostly neutral or positive. Among the positive regions, 52% was positive due to shared words of admiration for their relationship with the UK following extensive Ukrainian support, while the remainder often used Truss’s cooperative contributions as a Foreign Secretary as a positive outlook on her potential as PM.

Among the two countries that were negative in sentiment, Austria had a slightly higher ratio of coverage related to Starmer’s belief that Truss is ‘out of touch’ and ‘not working on the people’s side’. Similarly, Greece produced a fractionally higher proportion of negative coverage due to a spike in local media on 28 August, when Truss refused to answer if France was a ‘friend or foe’.

Thatcher connotations

Much to her displeasure, Truss has been repeatedly referred to as a ‘Thatcherite’ in both UK and international media – though regional media differs greatly on whether this is a good or a bad thing.

For example, the US used this term 1,794 times between 12 Jul – 6 Sept, but predominantly used the term as a compliment to the ‘powerhouse’ opportunities Truss could create for the US and UK. This perspective may be in part due to the ‘special relationship’ that the UK and the US share, a reference famously created by Regan and Thatcher in the 1980s.

This term has been consistently repeated by US media over the decades, with 238 headline mentions during the race. Biden’s use of this phrase in his congratulatory message to Truss suggests desire for a similar allyship in current global affairs.

On the other hand, Canadian news has a higher volume of negative coverage in response to Truss’s ‘Thatcherite’ reference. Many national news sources covered the controversies behind her idolisation of the former PM, calling many of her strategies a ‘short-term’ relief.

Similarly, leading Australian news sources used this term as an avenue to disclose Truss’s journey from ‘anti-monarchist’ to ‘next Margaret Thatcher’, with 38% of all national media featuring the viral YouTube video of Truss in her teens.

National news sources across France, Germany and Belgium also used the ‘Thatcherite’ reference on a more neutral basis, referring to both positive and negative outcomes of Thatcher’s ‘long’ and ‘looming shadow’ in 28% of the collective 218 relevant articles. The term ‘iron lady’ has also been used regarding how Thatcher plans to handle Russo-Ukraine conflicts, with 582 headlines across Europe using this title to reference Truss’ communicated approach.

In a slightly unexpected turn of events, Joe Lycett, UK comedian, also made international headlines for referring to Truss as ‘Thatcher 2.0’. His ongoing satirical commentary of the term made 448 headlines across Northern Ireland, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Top Topics: International and Regional Media

Energy Crisis

Aside from general election results, the energy crisis consumed 32% of all international headlines and has by far been the most discussed topic on an international scale. European media most often featured quotes in their headlines due to strong ‘warnings’ from EU leaders.

Both Nicola Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan echoed these concerns, with 486 European media outlets quoting the ‘need to act fast’ as winter emerges, as well as the ‘disaster’ that would unfold upon Truss’ election.

Humanitarianism

Overall, the topic of humanitarianism in British politics has produced a stronger ratio of positive headlines due to vast and ongoing Ukraine support. However, negative coverage regarding concerns of women’s rights, climate change and the Rwanda refugee policy has equated to 38% of the total 2,443 international news articles discussing humanitarian matters.

Of these topics, the most popular was the Extinction Rebellion protest that led to climate change activists gluing themselves to the speaker’s chair in parliament on 2 September. This story was most popular in the US, with a total of 882 articles on the event.

Economy

Aside from the cost-of-living crisis, further concerns about Truss’ impact on the future economy has been overwhelmingly sceptical or negative across European and U.S. online media. Headlines on the projected ‘£50bn loss’ ahead of Truss’s plans were shared 411 times over the course of the race, coupled with concerns that the poor will be ‘on the streets’.

As US, German, Irish and French media reported a ‘2.5 year low’ of the sterling following the announcement of the new PM, Deutsche Bank reported risk of a ‘sterling crisis’ rising as Truss becomes UK prime minister. This publicly released analysis was shared by 193 national news sources and financial publications across the commonwealth, US, Italy, France, Austria and Germany.

In relation to this drop in sterling value, another strong topic within international economic coverage has been Truss’s ‘pro-crypto’ reputation. This topic was covered 248 times by national news sources and financial publications, of which 89% were US-based, 9% Canadian and 2% Greek.

Truss’s statement that the UK ‘should welcome cryptocurrencies’ was a headline or body feature in 48% of all related coverage throughout the election period. While Truss has expressed desire for the UK to ‘adopt blockchains and digital property’, Richard Fuller, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has told international media sources that Truss’s leadership will allow the UK to become a ‘dominant global hub’ for crypto technologies.

Conclusion

As it stands, the international media perspective of both the new PM and British politics is far less pessimistic than that of UK. A change in leadership has birthed waves of hope and optimism by international figures and leading news sources, with commonwealth leaders like Trudeau, Arden and Albanese expressing their long and positive relationships with Great Britain.

In the US, many believe Truss’s ‘black and white’ Thatcher qualities could actually serve as a great resource that will allow us to prevail through challenging global affairs. Furthermore, the UK’s globally renowned quality of support in eastern European regions has replenished levels of respect and allyship that many feared were lost during Boris Johnson’s leadership.

However, it appears that these words of unity and prosperity are very much conditional — the outcome of which will strongly depend upon Truss’ decisions with Brexit and the NI protocol. If she honours ‘full implementation’ as requested by Brussels and Northern Ireland, a harmonious relationship with the EU is within reach.

Eric Mamer, the Commission’s spokesperson in chief, had told reporters that they are ‘always looking for new beginnings’ with the UK and hopes Truss’s election will help to ‘move forward’ to a stronger and more peaceful future.

Want to know more about this data or how media insights can support your PR and communications? Find out more.

Communicating the cost of living crisis for charities

The cost-of-living crisis is impacting households and families across the country, but especially those who are most vulnerable. As charities adapt their media strategy, campaigns and lobbying tactics, how has their communication changed and how are stakeholders responding?

In our latest webinar, Communicating the cost of living crisis for charities, we were joined by Ali Gourley, public affairs, comms and PR consultant at FareShare, Kim Manning-Cooper, head of media and campaigns at Refuge and Harry Watkinson, national media manager at the NSPCC.

We discussed findings from Refuge that show the clear impact of the cost of living crisis and examining how to change public affairs and communications strategies to impact the right audiences.

Fill in the form below to watch the webinar and learn:

  • How the cost of living crisis is affecting vulnerable people
  • Why stakeholder management and lobbying is more important than ever
  • How to keep your comms reactive throughout the crisis

How to plan and boost your campaigns with social listening

How do you create stories that resonate?

People’s emotional reactions vary – so should your organisation’s messaging.

The creation of a memorable campaign starts with a thorough understanding of your audience. Our webinar, How to plan and boost your campaigns with social listening explores the benefits of using audience intelligence for campaign planning with examples of how to analyse your target audience and prepare for any trends that could affect your campaign performance.

Watch this webinar to hear Rob Hill, Audience Insights Specialist at Pulsar explain how carrying out pre-campaign analysis will help you create data-led, audience-centric campaigns that hit the mark and go further to reach broader audiences.

Fill in the form below to watch the webinar and learn how social listening could help you:

    • Understand a target audience
    • Create more targeted messaging
    • See where a campaign should be placed
    • Find the right influencers to help make campaigns go viral