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27th September 2019
Signal Editors

Signal AI Weekly PR News Roundup 27 September 2019

Here we take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly, in the PR news this week:

Will London continue being the Start-up Capital of Europe as Brexit unfolds?

Immigration and diversity is a positive force for the UK economy; especially in the startup ecosystem. But the negativity surrounding Brexit and the tightening of visa controls, in particular the removal of the post-study work visa by Theresa May in 2012, have caused a tectonic shift in the UK.

The ripple effects of European political uncertainty are being felt across the board. Our co-founder and chief data scientist, Miguel Martinez, tackles this and the direct impact it is having on hiring and retaining skilled workers in technology and the startup ecosystem.

Source: Will London continue being the Start-up Capital of Europe as Brexit unfolds?, The Practical Academic (25 September 2019).

CTA for Glossary to increase downloads

Channel 4 celebrates diversity in TV and awards Starbucks £1m of free TV ads

Starbucks and its creative agency, Iris, have been crowned the pinnacle of LGBT+ TV representation. As their reward, they will receive £1m of free TV commercial airtime in Channel 4’s annual celebration of diversity. The coffee conglomerate, awarded the prize for challenging LGBT+ stereotyping on TV, will be able to capitalise upon the free commercials from February 2020.

Screwfix and Wavemaker were a close second, with a campaign focused on LGBT+ workers in the construction industry. Adam&Eve nearly snagged the top spot with not one but three of their clients – Virgin Media, Calm, and Booking.com. Together with Snickers and Coca Cola, the runner up campaigns will receive a match funding offer worth £250,000.

The LGBT+ theme marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. And as Channel 4 chief commercial officer, Jonathan Allan says “When it comes to LGBT+ representation in advertising, visibility has increased but as our research finds, LGBT+ people are still underrepresented or portrayed negatively.” The numbers speak for themselves as just 3% of people featured in UK ads are visibly part of the LGBT+ community. 

Previous inclusive ad winners featuring people of colour, differently able people, or LGBT+ people have received significant prejudice. With the issue being recently addressed in a harrowing film. There is still a great deal to be done but Channel 4 is definitely trying. 

Source: Starbucks edges Screwfix to win Channel 4 LGBT+ advertising airtime worth £1m, The Drum (24 September 2019).

Increase downloads of Rise of the Challenger Brands whitepaper

Welsh branch of ‘Women in PR’ opens

Women in PR, chaired by Bibi Hilton (UK MD, Golin), has opened its very first group outside of London. The network has expanded its reach by launching a regional group in Wales, WPR Cymru. Heading the Welsh hub are award-winning PR professionals Laurian Hubbard and Rachel Moss.

Rachel Moss is a former TV journalist and moved into PR in 2005. She is currently the Head of Communications for the Wales Audit Office. Laurian Hubbard is now working in the Brexit Communications Centre in the Cabinet Office, with experience in PR and communications for both the private and public sector.

The independent networking organisation’s core mission is to provide a platform for women to share and exchange ideas and experiences. Supporting them through mentoring and a whole host of events. It advocates increasing the female presence in PR and Communications leadership roles. Whilst 67% of the industry is composed of women, WPR observes that there is a gender and diversity imbalance in the boardroom and at senior levels that tend to be male dominated.

President Bibi Hilton commented on the launch: “This is the first step in growing the WPR network across the UK in order to better support our members and increase the number and diversity of women in leadership in the industry.”

Source: Women in PR opens branch in Wales, PRWeek (25 September 2019).

South-east Asian transport company GRAB contributes US$5.8b to economy in a year

Grab, the Singapore based transportation network company also offering food delivery and digital payment services, has contributed “US$5.8 billion to South-east Asia’s economy” in the last 12 months.

According to Grab’s inaugural social report, the micro-entrepreneurs on their platform has grown by 260% from 2.6 million to 9 million within a year and a half. The company announced three goals at their social impact conference in Jakarta. One of which is to work towards helping “over five million more traditional businesses and small merchants to digitise their workflow and processes.”

Grab are also going to address the shortage of tech talent, by partnering up with Microsoft. They aim to train 20,000 students through varies tech initiatives, along with implementing career development processes for current drivers.

Source: Grab contributes US$5.8b to South-east Asia economy in a year, The Business Times (24 September 2019).

Tune in next week for another Signal AI news roundup of the top PR news of the week. But for now, you can find out more about us here.