Lansons' newsletter - Summer 2018
Welcome to the Lansons Newsletter, summer 2018! In this edition we cover storytelling, Fintech Week, asset management and baby boomers and Volkswagen Chang
The homecoming: A storyteller's tale...
Claire Southeard, Director & Head of Content
The homecoming: A storyteller’s tale…
The trend towards ‘storytelling’ in business communications should be an absolute gift to classic PR and comms agencies. After all, it is our heartland.
For years, we’ve created content fit for the pages of the national newspapers and which can compete for space alongside just nine other stories in that day’s broadcast bulletin. We’re great at expressing ourselves through others and we’re really, really good at knowing what journalists want.
But, in this multi-channel world, where the opportunities to communicate directly with the people we seek to engage grow daily, that’s not enough. The plethora of channels available, coupled with the swelling demand for a relationship between business and society, means audiences want direct communication with brands. They want to see the ‘whites of their eyes’ and to understand, from personal experience, what a brand really is, what it stands for and whether it’s right for ‘me’. That simply can’t happen through third parties.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe, absolutely, in the power of the media to influence reputation, persuade behavioural change and deliver measurable business impact. In many cases, it is the most powerful communications tool we have. But it’s no good in isolation.
Content is consumed at such speed and in such a fragmented, ‘snapshot’ way, it’s crazy to think that, as communicators, we can influence people through a single channel, no matter how authoritative it is. We only have to consider the number of places we come into contact with original content in our own lives to realise the scale of the missed opportunities if we approach things that way.
Take my typical morning… now, I have three children of pre-school age so, admittedly, my day starts early but, before 8.30am, I have usually consumed content from; the BBC (online and Radio 2 or 4, depending on my mood, and I’m not sure if CBeebies counts, but hey, it’s in there); LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Email (work and personal). Any of those may have linked me to content on other platforms, which I follow because something has sparked my interest. I read messages on Whatsapp (friends, family – people I like and trust); and the front pages of most of the national papers. I chat with a few commuters I see regularly on my train, often about something interesting they saw or heard recently. About twice a week, I’m offered a freebie by people standing between my train and the tube entrance and I see about 20 different poster ads on the underground trains and escalators (I’d say I’m consciously aware of taking in three or four of them). One or two people attempt to give me a flyer on the walk from the tube to the office; oh, and I may get a text from my husband about a great thing he’s spotted on his (totally different) trip to work, which we store to talk about later.
If I were any good at visualising stuff (thank goodness we have a team of design wizards at Lansons), the picture of my morning interactions would look like an early sketch of the tube map.
All that means, for any brand targeting 39-year-old (and 23 months) professional women with kids, my journey to work alone represents so many opportunities to connect with me, it’s bonkers… and that’s without me proactively going onto Google to search for something I actually want which they might have.
Add to that the people with me on the 7.11 train and we quickly start getting into ‘Matrix’ territory.
What an exciting time to be in comms.
Which is exactly why, at Lansons, we have built on the rock solid foundations of our editorial heritage to fully embrace multi-channel storytelling; and it’s transformed the way we think, create and act on behalf of clients.
At the heart of it, it is taking the trouble to know the audience, before presuming we can infiltrate their lives with anything more important than what they already have going on. And that is where planning comes in.
We put the audience front and centre. We take the time to listen, to understand who they are, what they like, who they listen to, what they’re afraid of and, critically, where they are; and suddenly, it’s like being given the keys to the city. And all those years of crafting great stories for the hardest critics in the world – the media – is coming into its own. We have found ourselves the master craftsman of content we can put straight in the hands of those people for whom it was originally intended – in the formats they want, on the subjects they’re interested in and in the places they most want to see it.
And wonderfully, we can see it too! We now have visibility on how people respond to what we create; we can measure it, adapt and engage in a way that builds a relationship, creates trust, engenders loyalty and ultimately, inspires advocacy.
We all thought digital was the messiah. Then content was ‘king’. The truth is, it’s the audience who make communications effective – because it is they who decide if it’s any good. So, while digital enables a lot of it and data gives us the raw materials, insight is the code-breaker and with that, the possibilities are endless.
Never mind the football*, storytelling’s coming home… and to my mind, it’s absolutely where it belongs.
* Still a possibility (however unlikely) at the time of writing!
Director and Head of Content
Moving with the financial times
Rebecca Parlby, Account Manager
The challenge for traditional financial institutions
Remaining competitive, accessible and relevant is a challenge that all businesses in every industry encounter, not just the traditional financial services companies in the face of fintech disruption. It’s what drives innovation and keeps economies and marketplaces running efficiently, and ensures that Adam Smith’s notion of the ‘invisible hand’ plays its role in making free market economies as beneficial as possible for society.
In such a competitive industry, which is also highly regulated, it is imperative for finance companies to provide a high quality product in the most cost effective way possible, providing solutions to problems 24/7.
Reaching the customer in their living room
And that is quite possibly the predominant demand of consumers; being able to do everything in less than ten minutes, at the touch of a button, supported by a team of experts on standby, and without ever having to leave their home… Quite a challenge for traditional financial services companies that have an enduring reputation for long-lines and face-to-face meetings.
Despite this, traditional financial services have made huge strides in recent years to move with the times through fintech innovations such as developing user-friendly mobile apps, conducting research into and testing the applications of blockchain, employing Artificial Intelligence, and much more.
Gone are the days that consumers need to tirelessly filter through every transaction to review their personal finances, or wait all morning to apply for a business loan and pay huge remittance fees to transfer money abroad. New technology has provided an increasingly impatient and demanding customer-base with fast, cost-efficient and effortless products and services.
It’s not just about convenience and speed; it’s about trust. Any service or piece of technology in the world, no matter how sophisticated or innovative, can be rendered totally useless if the end-consumer doesn’t have trust in it's service.
This doesn't only refer to the reliability of tech, and the continuous cyber-security threats on the rise, but now companies need to appear that they are ethically trustworthy as well. They need to be taking their social responsibility seriously.
Environmentally-friendly initiatives, socially-inclusive campaigns and good governance can all play a part in instilling trust, and as a result, incorporate that competitive element to their offering. This is especially effective with younger investors who are more likely to choose a financial company based on their global impact and CSR than other generations.
So what advice can we give?
For these companies to remain at the forefront of the growing tech customer base and paradoxical though it may seem, they should be working with competitors and fintech disruptors. This will help them evolve and engage. They can blend their expertise and heritage with ground-breaking technological advancements, using the former to earn the trust of consumers, and demonstrating that traditional financial services as we once knew it hasn’t gone anywhere; it has simply raised the game.
Join us at London Fintech Week from Monday 9 July to meet the companies that are doing just this.
For more information, email us at FintechWeek@lansons.com
Room to Move
Angela Scaffidi, Managing Partner and Head of Change, SenateSHJ
Angela is Managing Partner and Head of Change at SenateSHJ in Australia. The agency is a fellow PROI Worldwide partner and Angela was recently appointed Vice Chair, Asia Pacific Region for PROI.
Change is one of life’s inevitabilities. It affects us all at some stage, and almost every organisation at some level. We know the theory: if we don’t change, we stand still. That makes change a strategic imperative that most directors will readily acknowledge.
But that doesn’t make it easy.
The Impact of Change
Change is most often driven at two levels: from the Board, who are looking for transformation, whether it’s exploring a new market, adapting to new technology or responding to economic pressures; or by management, who are seeking to improve productivity, refine customer service or change team dynamics.
Regardless of the size or scale of change – or whether its genesis is strategic or tactical – the reality and challenges of change are the same. It is people who have to change, to adopt new business processes and objectives, to create new relationships within and outside the organisation, and, in many cases, to make themselves anew.
It is the experience of people, who respond with both reason and emotion that will dictate the success of the programme. The extent and difficulty of these personal changes should not be underestimated by any Board or senior executive driving change.
Organisations that put in the effort to plan change rationally (and most do) must also put in the effort to understand and respond to its non-rational elements. While one can’t pretend to do it perfectly, people in any situation will respect a sincere effort to appreciate and connect with how they are feeling and responding.
Of the many possible approaches to connect with people as they go through change, there are three that we would highlight.
Keep things real: avoid the language of the MBA and keep honesty and respect as non-negotiable values.
Engage people: use a narrative that is worthy of people’s efforts to change and tell a compelling story which connects both logically and emotionally, and which uses clear language.
Create a dialogue: give people the chance to express what they’re going through, and for the organisation to respond accordingly. Openness goes a long way: if a particular change is going to hurt, just say so.
For change to be successful, we need a decent working understanding of the people who are being asked to change. How are they feeling about what’s happening? What do they think of the future and where they’re being asked to fit in? What are their hopes and fears?
The Four Rooms
One way we’ve started to get a better picture of these emotions is with a tool called the Four Rooms of Change.
The Four Rooms was developed by Swedish organisational psychologist Claes Janssen in the early 1970s to help people reflect on their responses to change. Organisational development expert Marvin Weisbord describes it as “an enormously effective way of freeing people to experience whatever is going on”.
The four rooms – or psychological states of mind – are Contentment; Self-Censorship & Denial; Confusion & Conflict; and Inspiration & Renewal. What people feel and how they speak differ in each room.
In the Room of Contentment we feel relaxed and in control. If we’ve been challenged by some inconvenient truth, we might move to the Room of Denial, in which we talk about change behind a mask that might have been painted in the Room of Contentment, for all the outward calm it projects.
Such self-censorship won’t last through real change. Soon we might find ourselves in the Room of Conflict & Confusion, grappling the emotional demons such as sadness, anger, fear, self-doubt and illusive hope. Only by harnessing these emotions can we move to the Room of Renewal, in which our energy returns with enthusiasm and learning for the future.
Through the Four Rooms, people learn how they can influence change by taking responsibility for their feelings and actions. Those leading the change also get a much clearer picture of how people are responding, to better guide the direction and pace of change.
How these conversations take place has to suit the changes we’re seeking. Photographs might be used to start the conversation or draw out feelings, perceptions and desires for the change process. Avoid the temptation to over-facilitate; it’s all about what the people, not the facilitator, are saying. Other means – including informal conversations and pulse checks – may be used as well to find out what people are going through.
To reach the people caught up in change, you need to think beyond the rational.
Managing Partner and Head of Change
Do you have an affinity for ESG?
David Masters, Board Director
Do you have an affinity for ESG?
The asset management industry is facing a considerable intergenerational challenge. How can it best service the successor generations to the baby boomers to offset imbalances in wealth and the transfer of financial risk from governments and corporations to the individual to help those ensuing demographic groups secure their long-term financial futures?
Part of the solution will be to overcome the levels of inertia that are a natural offshoot of the considerable success that the fund management industry has experienced in serving the baby boomer generation.
In the US alone, the Investment Company Institute estimates that 50% of all mutual fund assets are owned by baby boomers. Put another way, some 15% of US corporate equity and 10% of all corporate bonds are owned by US mutual funds on baby boomers’ behalf (1).
The sheer weight of boomer money in the market does at least mean that the fund industry has a little time before the problem becomes critical. But it also makes overcoming inertia much harder, as the volume of money involved has had a direct impact on corporates’ behaviour.
One possible route to salvation comes from Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, investing.
Whilst it is expected to gain traction from the growth of millennial savings and investments, it also highlights how many asset managers tend to approach these issues from a “markets first” rather than “client first” approach.
In the institutional world, ESG in all its guises has primarily been driven by large scale long-term investors that have a shared belief system reflected in their investment philosophy, often (but by no means limited to) faith-based organisations. In short, they represent specific affinities, and the role of the investment manager has been to work with these groups to set up the appropriate investment framework often in a segregated mandate. Such has been the growth in demand for ESG, that many active managers are seeking to integrate ESG across their entire product suite.
At a retail level, whilst ESG is a hot topic, inflows are often harder to source because retail investors have vastly smaller pots and divergent views. Fund managers tend to develop their own investment strategies which may tilt to a pre-existing strength (either the E, the S or the G) and take that to market. Millennials and other investors are therefore charged with needing to sift through the products out there to find the one that fits their views (2).
That seems an extremely counter-intuitive approach.
Since the asset management industry seems to fear the potential emergence of an “Amazon Asset Management” or a “Google Ventures”, perhaps we should extrapolate how those currently only theoretical businesses would approach this problem.
One can imagine that the answer would be first and foremost to understand the client need. These businesses have proximity to their users and through that can study their behaviour and also are well placed to actually ask them what they want. From that, they can derive a suite of investment products that seek to fulfil its clients ESG needs as they evolve. Effectively, they would set up a small number of groups whose ESG needs are aligned under certain affinities.
Matching this would bring the asset management industry into a more client-focused, co-creative approach, and away from a “one size fits all” mentality. Without that, it’s hard to see ESG really gaining the levels of traction that it is expected to. Many asset managers justifiably lean on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, but these do not align with all investors’ views.
Obviously, this partnership approach presents a few obstacles. Asset managers are not close to retail investors as a rule. However, distributors are – particularly the more digitally savvy ones. Moreover, there are plenty of affinity groups that exist in the UK that can be partnered with to help in the co-creation, and potential co-branding, of ESG frameworks that are likely to be of widespread appeal.
This collaborative approach should also create a greater sense of alignment with the end investor, and therefore a link with them that exists on emotional as well as financial sensibilities, which is also likely to help the asset manager retain assets during periods of challenging performance.
It is increasingly important that the fund industry better aligns itself with investors and partner organisations to ensure that when it is delivering solutions and positive outcomes that these do meet the ultimate beneficiaries’ actual needs and wants.
This article has been revised from the original which appeared in the Transparency TaskForce White Paper "Ideas to help improve the Future of Asset Management" https://lnkd.in/ehFpnG4
Source. Investment Company Institute Year Book 2018
- “Millennial Money: When ethical funds aren’t so ethical”, Kate Beoiley, Financial Times, June 13, 2018
HighTide & Lansons
We're celebrating our decade-long partnership!
Lansons and HighTide are thrilled that 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of our award winning partnership. Our partnership was founded on the simple idea of HighTide becoming a resident in Lansons’ offices, to enable us to invest arts funding in theatre production, rather than office space and administrative support. Since 2008, the partnership has grown into a multi-faceted relationship that we are both extremely proud of. The HighTide team have been busy working away in our office at Lansons HQ pulling together the programme for the 12th year of HighTide Festivals and are excited to finally shout about it!
This summer, we’re incredibly excited to present five world premiere productions at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, before transferring them to the HighTide Festivals in Aldeburgh, Suffolk and Walthamstow London, as part of a brand new mentoring scheme for new playwrights and producers. The launch of the programme marks our commitment to creating a bridge that supports new theatre makers starting out on the fringe and is indicative of HighTide’s proven ability in providing a platform for launching professional careers with the UK’s leading theatres.
The fringe remains the key development ground for new writers and producers, so HighTide helping these artists to make the most of it artistically and as a launch pad is an exciting new element of HighTide’ s unique work in championing new talent. In then presenting the plays at our Aldeburgh and Walthamstow festivals, HighTide can both further support the artists in their career development and also ensure a wide range of audiences see the work.
Over more than a decade HighTide has built a reputation for commissioning and producing the country’s best new playwrights at its festival in Aldeburgh, and in theatres across the UK. Last year we launched an additional HighTide Festival after 11 successful years in Suffolk, bringing the HighTide Festival to London’s Walthamstow, recognising both the opportunity for new plays to be seen by as wide an audience as possible, and the lack of performance venues in the borough. The ten day event welcomed over 6,000 new audiences and following this year will return in 2019 as part of Waltham Forest’s London Borough of Culture programme.
HighTide’s centrepiece production this year, co-produced with associate company DugOut Theatre, is a song laced coming of age tale by Aldeburgh-based writer Tallulah Brown called Songlines, and features live folk music from the award-winning band TRILLS.
HighTide’s associate productions selected through an open script submission process are: Sparks; Jessica Butcher’s two-hander musical about the brain’s response to grief; Danusia Samal’s gig-theatre piece Busking It, drawing on a decade of busking on the tube; The Extinction Event from David Aula and Simon Evans an examination of what happens when science starts thinking for itself; and finally, Harry Blake’s fierce, fabulous new comedy musical about Norse gods Thor and Loki.
In a new partnership for HighTide, four productions will be presented by the Pleasance, one of the leading and biggest Fringe venues. The partnership is part of a wider commitment by both organisations to increase support to new writing across the Fringe and wider Festival circuits. Songlines, Sparks, Busking It and The Extinction Event will run at Pleasance throughout August. Thor and Loki will run at Assembly.
In addition to these five premiere productions, both festival programmes in Aldeburgh and Walthamstow feature a stellar line up of high quality theatre, comedy, music and family events as well as our popular series of talks, sponsored by Lansons. Our talks see esteemed much celebrated artists reflect on their careers and work – previous artists have included Sheila Hancock and Celia Imrie.
The full HighTide Festival line up will be announced and on sale from the 3rd July and you can catch our five productions up in Edinburgh before they make their way to HighTide Festivals this September.
Roll on a summer of theatre and fun!
Edinburgh Fringe Festival: 1 – 27th August
HighTide Festival, Aldeburgh: 11 – 16th September
HighTide Festival, Walthamstow: 18 – 30th September
Tickets and more information here.
Evolution, not Revolution, at Volkswagen Group
Ben Stokes, Account Director
The changes to Volkswagen Group’s management structure, including the departure of its CEO, announced in mid-April were in part designed to draw a line in the sand following the diesel emissions scandal of 2015. $31 billion dollars in fines later, the company is in rude financial health with operating profits and sales at record highs.
VW now finds itself in the early stages of a large transformation which clearly demonstrates the importance of stakeholder engagement when changing a business. This article will consider some of the steps it is taking to meet its long-term strategy, the focus of which rests in strengthening its ability to innovate whilst transforming the core business.
Chairman Hans Dieter Potsch spoke of the “most profound change that the automotive industry has ever experienced” when announcing the new management structure at a press conference in Wolfsburg on 13 April. In a bid to create a sense of urgency, he argued that VW had faced parallel challenges in recent years – the biggest crisis in its corporate history alongside “epoch-making upheaval” in the automotive industry – and that extensive revision to VW’s organisational design would help ensure that the company “vigorously accelerates its transformation.”
VW’s powerful trade unions voted in favour of the appointment of Herbert Diess as CEO, but not without getting something in return. As part of the changes the general secretary of the works council is to replace the head of human resources, meaning that employee representatives will have more influence on company strategy than ever before. In addition to getting the unions on side, the new Chief Executive has given three colleagues (sales, IT and production respectively) significantly more responsibility, with a view to building a new guiding coalition of executives at the firm.
"Emphatically address the special challenges that lie ahead of us, especially in electromobility, digitization and new mobility services."
Herbert Diess at his first press conference as CEO
He made the case for making the VW Group a world-leading provider of sustainable mobility and articulated how changes to its organisational structure would help achieve this. This mantra was repeated when announcing VW’s Q1 results in late April, and again at its annual shareholders meeting in early May.
The big question is do the changes go far enough?
An excellent article by the FT’s Patrick Jenkins argued that the underlying ills at VW – the ills that facilitated the fitting of “defeat devices” on 11 million of its diesel cars – are not those of group structure but poor governance systems. Staff representatives hold half the seats on the 20-person supervisory Board with the Government of Lower Saxony, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and the Porsche/Piech founding family holding nearly all the rest. VW has only two independent directors.
The other glaring governance issue is that 40% of the 500 million VW Group shares have no voting rights, meaning that the views of ‘ordinary’ retail and institutional investors are ignored at the expense of those three powerful controlling shareholders.
What is the answer?
Fund managers such as Hermes and Royal London are calling for the appointment of more independent directors to ensure that people are asking difficult questions of the management team. Without this, it seems that change at VW Group can only really take place at a structural level –not a cultural one.
However, changes to the Supervisory Board are not in the hands of the new CEO, so what should he be concentrating efforts on now? To get to the point of instituting change he needs rally the support of many VW’s 640,000 staff, and it is therefore key that he has been able to recruit the support of the trade unions early on in his tenure. Mr Diess calls for creating a culture of “constructive dissent” which will strengthen accountability at the firm – right out of the playbook of John Kotter’s model for change, which argues that you enable action by removing barriers to change, such as inefficient processes and hierarchies. He will then need to be able to point towards the short-term wins that he is generating and, after the first successes, use the credibility he has gained to press harder still.
Only at this point will Herbert Diess be able to articulate the connections between the new behaviours and organisational success, making sure they continue until they become strong enough to replace old habits. It’ll be fascinating to see over the next few years whether evidence of a changing culture and governance does indeed appear.
Mindfulness and Change
Naomi Goodman, Associate Director
From mountains and meditation to managing change and mental health
Becoming more mindful
In 2012 I’d had enough. Enough of work, enough of London, enough of stressful relationships. Enough, enough, enough. So I packed up, switched off and headed to Asia.
The next few months were centred around mountains, meditation and mindfulness. One of the toughest moments being when I spent 10 fully silent days, in a temple in the Himalayas, seated crossed legged on the floor doing 11 hours of meditation a day.
It was here I started to see more of a shift in how my mind reacts to the world and the environments that surround me. And it was something that I continued to be conscious of seven months later when I came home. So, over the past few years I’ve been a regular at the London Buddhist Centre and a consistent attendee of meditation retreats both in the UK and abroad.
My initial driver was a personal one. It was about how I could become more aware of how I was responding to my life and more mindful of what I needed to do to make sure I was on the best path for me; and the people that surround me. It was my personal journey of change.
Change Management Stress and Mental Health
But I’m a change specialist, with a real passion for managing people through change; and from my experience, it feels like most change management methodologies are missing a trick. They’re so centred on process – impact and mitigation, stakeholders and communications, capabilities and training – that they miss the psychological impact working in challenging, changing environments can have on individuals; both the teams involved in implementing the change and those on the receiving end.
As humans, we are hardwired to resist change. In the workplace, change can often be seen as stressful for both individuals and teams. It doesn’t have to feel this way for employees. Individually, employees may have their own coping mechanisms inside and outside of work. This could be a walk at lunchtime or evening tennis lessons. However, as change practitioners, mindfulness can be a powerful tool we can teach to empower groups of employees. Both to own how they psychologically deal with change and to help them to become more resilient and accepting of it.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindful.org defines mindfulness as ‘the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.’ I see my meditation as the practice that helps me to reach this mindful state – on and off the floor.
In change scenarios, helping people to be ‘not overly reactive or overwhelmed’ is key. Traditionally we do this by listening to employees to understand what their concerns may be; crafting communication messages to align key stakeholders and help mitigate employee concerns, creating the right tools and training to inform, educate and equip people to confidently work in a new way; and celebrating success to show that the changes – and the people making them happen – are working. A very proactive process to instil change.
Traditional processes have merit. But at Lansons, we’re also talking to companies such as Mindfulness at Work, founded by Louise Chester in 2010, and Cubex who offer a corporate CALM programme run by Michael James Wong and a team of audio and cognitive specialists. They are both working with companies – from global banks to local businesses – to give leaders and employees their own personal tools through mindfulness training to improve their own and their employee's mental health. Their work aims to encourage balance and resilience, build more confidence in periods of change and enhance professional wellbeing.
For me, this is the right move forward in change management, with more focus on mental health. My role as a change practitioner is about understanding the individual ways people move through change and how we can both support and empower them. I believe that the ability to empower people to embrace any change comes from practical support (knowledge), physical support (training) and psychological support (e.g. mindfulness).
News and events
Lansons Co-Founder and Chair, Clare Parsons named as Global Chair of PROIWorldwide
PROI Worldwide, the world’s largest partnership of integrated independent communications agencies, has appointed Clare Parsons as its Global Chair of its International Board of Directors with immediate effect. This is the first time PROI Worldwide, formed in 1970, has appointed a woman to the role. The announcement was made at PROI’s Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal on May 5, 2018 and Clare will serve in the post for two years. Clare will be taking the role over from Hong Kong based PROI Global Chair Richard Tsang, Chairman of SPRG Asia, one of the largest integrated communications firms with offices throughout Asia.
Clare co-founded Lansons in 1989. During the three decades of running Lansons, Clare has led Lansons’ international business and been actively involved both in the PR industry as a whole and with the not-for-profit sector. Clare has sat on a wide range of industry and not for profit committees including the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Moreover, Clare is a trustee of HighTide, the British Theatre Company and charity that has an unparalleled eleven-year history of successfully launching the careers of emerging British playwrights. She is also a member of the 30% Club championing diversity inclusion and has recently joined the advisory group of Trustee Recruitment Pathways. Clare was recognised with the Stephen Tallent medal, an award by the CIPR for her contribution to the industry through which she was also made a fellow, and she is one of Real Business Magazine’s Top 100 Women UK Entrepreneurs.
“I’ve never defined myself as a woman in business, but it is a huge honour to be the first female Global Chair of a company I’ve worked closely with over the last 12 years. Across the world, clients are recognising the strengths of independent public relations and communications agencies and that’s why so many PROI Worldwide partner agencies are growing rapidly at present. Collaboration and cooperation are key themes that, as Chair, I will continue to actively promote to develop closer working relationships with all PROI Worldwide partners around the world , by tapping into local market experts who, understand the nuances and the opportunities in all key markets across the world. An increase in sharing best practice and insights will maximise opportunities and synergies across our international partnership. By continuing dialogue and exchanging ideas, we continue to learn and grow together, becoming more effective strategic partners and better consultants for our clients.”
Clare Parsons, Co-Founder and Chair of Lansons, Chair of PROIWorldwide
QEII Centre, London
The week-long event is coming back to London after five years and Lansons is thrilled to be the official PR partner. An exciting week of conferences, exhibitions, workshops, meetups, hackathons and parties covering the momentum that has built within the finance sector and the disruption that continues. Each day is focused on a different topic so no subject goes uncovered. The main event will be held at the QEII Centre in Westminster, with other events taking place across the City of London, Canary Wharf and ‘Tech City’. - Get Your Tickets here- Full pass or day pass Delegates are attending from across the globe, including from the leading financial organisations, influencers and decision makers. Never has there been a time more relevant to share ideas and information, especially with the uncertainty of Brexit looming and the instability this will cause.
US AND EUROPE RELATIONS, WHERE DO WE STAND?
5 July, 8.15am - 9.30am
In the aftermath of the G7 showdown over Donald Trump’s decision to impose protectionist tariffs, what is the future of US economic policy including trade cooperation? And how might Trump’s leadership affect the upcoming US mid-term elections?
Scott Widmeyer, Founding Managing Partner and Chief Strategy Officer in Washington of public affairs firm Finn Partners, will be in discussion with Michael Stott, Head of public affairs at Lansons to discuss:
Trump Insights : What lies behind the President’s decisions?
- The future for US/Europe relations, including how the rise of populism in Europe is viewed in America
- The US perspective on Brexit
- How to engage with Washington in the Trumpian era
Associate Director, Change & Employee Engagement, Naomi Goodman hosts an intimate breakfast, in partnership with Louise Chester, MD of Mindfulness at Work and Country UK Director of Potential Project.
Sharing the latest Potential Project research from Harvard Business Press bestseller ‘The Mind of the Leader’, Louise will guide us through why organisations and society are now starting to judge leaders based on three surprising traits. Together, we will consider how they are developed and why this is important not just for those who society calls leaders, but for all of us. During this session, we'll learn tools and techniques to develop these traits and embed them in our lives.
Corporate Engagement Awards
We are delighted our 10-year partnership with HighTide has been recognised with two awards!
Best Arts and Culture Programme, Bronze
Best Collaborative Approach, Silver
Investment Marketing & Innovation Awards
Our work with our client TEMIT saw us win the Award for Social Media Innovation at Investment Week's annual awards for Investment Marketing & Innovation.