LINSTOCK’S FRIDAY TAKEAWAY – 18 NOVEMBER 2016

“Linstock’s latest thought leadership newsletter explores what comms directors can learn from persuader-in-chief, Donald Trump; looks back at Chancellors past ahead of the Autumn Statement; and delves into the psychology of crisis.”

Good Week: Truth and facts

Donald Trump’s shock victory in the US presidential election has ignited widespread debate about the increasing existence and potential impact of fake or misleading news. This comes as the Oxford English Dictionary declared ‘post-truth’ as its international word of the year. Its definition of the word is “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”, and according to the OED use of the word has increased by 2000% in the last year. However, the level of scrutiny on Facebook over the last week for letting fake stories spread, and the subsequent debate, only reinforces the importance and value most still place in truth and fact.

Bad Week: Prisons

About 10,000 prison officers took industrial action on Tuesday to protest inadequate safety and security measures in the workplace. This came after several high-profile incidents, including the Bedford prison riot which caused £1million of damage. However, it is illegal for prison officers in England and Wales to strike and before the planned 24-hour walk-out was up, the Government had won a legal injunction from the High Court that ruled officers must go back to work. The disruption caused delays to many current court cases, including the high-profile murder trial of MP Jo Cox, due to the lack of resources available to transport prisoners to court.

Good Week: The Climate

The UK signed the Paris Climate Agreement yesterday, committing the nation to a series of objectives to reduce global warming. This comes after a less positive week for the climate last week, after Donald Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax, won the US presidency. Barry Gardiner, shadow minister for international climate change, said: “This strong signal of the UK’s commitment to international co-operation on climate change is even more important following the US election.” More than 100 countries have already signed up to the deal.

Bad Week: Department for Education

New plans to extend the collection of nationality data to children as young as two came under fiery controversy from the media and campaigners this week, who said that this would be ‘dangerous and divisive’. After meeting campaign group Schools Against Borders for Children, the Department for Education has been forced to announce that the census would not be extended to children under five. Though the census will still include primary and secondary school children, cross-party opposition, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, continues to put pressure on this legislation. Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “Schools are central to cohesive and happy communities and should not be used as a border force for the Government. Our hope is that they extend it across the board.”

Linstock News

Linstock’s latest thought leadership newsletter explores what comms directors can learn from persuader-in-chief, Donald Trump; takes an irreverent look back at Chancellors past ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement; and delves into the psychology of crisis and how companies can better react under pressure. To read it in full, click here.

Client News

Dr Volodymyr Bilotkach of Newcastle University Business School commented in City AM on why the airline industry’s concerns about Brexit should be taken seriously by the government.

The Our Chance safer pregnancy campaign launched its latest film this week to raise awareness about mental health issues during and after pregnancy. The launch was covered in the Huffington Post and features the new video.

Coming up

Managing Director Jon Bennett will be attending the Care and Retirement Living Conference to explore the challenges (and opportunities) presented by changing demographics.