Linstock’s Friday Takeaway – 18 March 2016

“Budget 2016: What communications lessons can we learn?”

In the News

Good Week: Affordable homes
There may be light at the end of the tunnel for the housing crisis, and footballer Rio Ferdinand is leading the way. Inspired by his childhood growing up in a council home, the former England captain has joined forces with housing minister Mr Brandon Lewis to front a scheme to build thousands of affordable homes across the country. The new scheme, called Legacy, is supported by a number of other football players who will work in collaboration with local authorities and major private sector investors. As well as houses, Legacy also hopes to empower communities by building schools, surgeries and sporting facilities.

Bad Week: David Cameron’s PR team
David Cameron’s declaration of love for a number of areas outside the South-East didn’t go down as well as he may have hoped as his PR team broke one of the cardinal rules of public relations. Ahead of English Tourism Week, press releases were sent to regional publications across the country. The Prime Minister’s attempt to highlight the scenic spots and cultural institutions of each region was shot down by the Yorkshire Post, who refused to publish the article, saying it had “all the hallmarks of a carpet-bomb PR drop”. The generic comments, repetition of phrases such as “this county is one of the many jewels in Great Britain’s crown” and misspelling of names were branded as insincere across social media and left many locals unimpressed.

Good Week: London workers
Recruitment website Indeed published its Job Happiness Index this week, revealing that Londoners are the second happiest workers in Europe – just behind Dublin. The index, which takes into account more than 10 million company reviews, also showed that the UK’s capital ranked higher than the rest of the country on key measures including work-life balance, management and salaries. The data serves as a reminder of London’s appeal but may raise questions about whether its dominance is causing a ‘brain drain’ across the country.

Bad Week: The UK economy
Despite efforts by George Osborne to paint a positive picture of the Conservative Party’s achievements, official data revealed by the Office for Budget Responsibility suggest that the UK economy faces a ‘cocktail of risks’ which have weakened its growth prospects. The fiscal watchdog announced that GDP would only grow by 2 per cent in 2016. Failure to reach deficit targets has had a negative impact on confidence, especially among small businesses; the London Small Business Index, published today, measured a significant drop in net confidence from 25 to 4 points.

Linstock News

Insights from social listening tools following George Osborne’s Budget announcement highlighted the disconnect which often exists between big statements, news reports and discussions on social media. Linstock’s Jennifer Evans argues that there are three key communications lessons to be learnt from the Budget in our blog: ‘Budget 2016: What communications lessons can we learn?’

Client News

Grant Thornton’s report entitled, ‘The Power of Personalisation: Hotel’s roadmap to 2020,’ featured in global trade publications following the International Hotel Investment Forum that took place in Berlin. The professional services firm highlights the importance of balancing cutting-edge technology to personalise the customer experience with the traditional human touch.

Newcastle University’s Professor of Nutrition, Paula Moynihan, featured in a Marketing Magazine article discussing the sugar tax announced in this week’s Budget. Her study, entitled, ‘Dietary advice in dental practice,’ argues that sugary drinks are the biggest source of sugar in the diets of children in the UK, shedding light on the health benefits that will come from the soft drinks levy on beverages announced by George Osborne.

Coming Up

We’ll be attending a masterclass at the BBC Radio Theatre to explore the role of broadcast radio in 2016.