Friday Takeaway – 22 January 2016

“Improving Diversity can turn ‘issue’ to ‘opportunity’”

In the news

Good Week: EU Debate
David Cameron received praise for his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday where he outlined the benefits of the UK’s membership of the EU in a bid to rally support from business leaders. CBI Boss Carolyn Fairbairn echoed the importance of business leaders making their views heard. Despite uncertainty over the Prime Minister’s negotiations and the referendum date, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have recently announced their support by giving donations to the ‘Stay’ Campaign. A small victory for Lord Rose, leader of the Britain Stronger in Europe Group, and Mr Cameron who will be on his best behaviour when meeting political leaders leading up-to next month’s EU summit.

Good Week: Blue Monday deals
New research by the Co-op shows that January is when British people are at their loneliest, with 26% claiming it is the month they feel the most isolated. The combination of post-Christmas blues and cold weather makes January a difficult month for people to get through but the most depressing day of the year – Monday 18th January – came and went, serving as a great media hook for marketers across the country. Twitter became the go-to site for brands promoting products and competitions using the hashtag #BlueMonday – a communications technique that seemed to work particularly well for Superdrug who gained over 3,000 retweets by lunchtime.

Bad Week: Markets
European equity markets plunged dramatically and the FTSE 100 index has officially became a bear market for the first time since 2009. Low oil and energy prices, which have been central to the discussions in Davos, continue to threaten market volatility; the International Energy Agency announced yesterday the possibility that the oil market “could drown in oversupply” throughout the course of 2016.

Bad Week: Diversity
The recent National TV Awards has sparked a debate on the lack of diversity in British TV. Although Big Brother presenter, Rylan Clark, was quoted saying that there is in fact enough diversity on British screens, only two nominees, Richard Blackwood and Rakhee Thakrar, from a total of 16 different categories belong to ethnic minority backgrounds. The disparity in the recognition of talent has been voiced by Hollywood actors, such as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, planning to boycott the Oscars next month over the all-white nominee list. It serves as a glaring reminder that diversity is a global issue across many different sectors including the creative industries.

Linstock News

Keith Brookbank shares his thoughts on why diversity has become a reputational issue and what organisations can do to tackle the problem in our latest blog: ‘Improving Diversity can turn ‘issue’ to ‘opportunity’’

Client News

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of TheCityUK, was quoted in City A.M. and the Financial Times today responding to David Cameron’s speech on the EU at the WEF annual meeting in Davos. The membership body has welcomed “the Prime Minister’s call for business to play our part”, whilst warning that speculation around when the referendum will be held “is bad for business and investor decision-making.”

Dr. Matt Flynn, Director of the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce and Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Newcastle University commented on the impact of skills shortages across SMEs. Recent statistics from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) show that 30% of SMEs face skills shortages, hampering business growth, especially in business services and construction. According to Dr. Matt Flynn, it is crucial that these industries adapt to the ageing work force.

Coming Up

We’ll be attending a panel discussion with the PRCA, chaired by John Harrington, Deputy Editor at PRWeek, looking at the top trends for the PR Industry in 2016.

Click here to read more thoughts from Linstock on our blog.