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Kev O’Sullivan Joins First PR Mental Health Charter Committee

February 26, 2021

Kev O’Sullivan, senior vice president, senior partner and executive creative director joins a cross-industry group of PR leaders forming the inaugural PR Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter Committee. The committee includes PR and communications leaders from large and small PR consultancies, plus senior representatives from industry trade bodies PRCA and the CIPR. […]

The post Kev O’Sullivan joins first PR mental health charter committee appeared first on United Kingdom.


FleishmanHillard Wins at PRovoke Innovation SABRE Awards (In2SABRE) – North America 2021

February 25, 2021

ST. LOUIS, February 25, 2021 — FleishmanHillard received recognition for transformative work at PRovoke Innovation SABRE Awards (In2SABRE) — North America 2021. The global public relations and marketing agency earned awards for its FH Perspectives initiative and innovative client work on behalf of Fitbit.

The PRovoke Media In2SABRE Awards – North America program celebrates campaigns that demonstrate excellence in branding, reputation and engagement through a creative lens, as well as PR agencies that authentically engage with stakeholders and drive results.

  • FleishmanHillard, “Expanding FH Perspectives with True MOSAIC” (Most Innovative Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative)
  • Fitbit, “Future of Fit” (Best in Online/Virtual Events)

Winners were announced during a virtual award ceremony on February 24. View the complete list of winners here.


Matt Park to Judge PRCA Digital Awards

Matt Park, partner, director and head of social & innovation at FleishmanHillard UK is announced as a judge of this year’s PRCA Digital Awards! These awards recognise the best of digital and PR comms and assemble a judging committee of the biggest names in global brands, digital leadership, communications and journalism. […]

The post Matt Park to judge PRCA Digital Awards appeared first on United Kingdom.


The Next Foodie: How Two Consumer Groups Are Impacting the Food Industry

When: Wednesday, March 3, 11 a.m. CST

Where: Webinar

Register for the virtual event here.

In late 2018, research from FleishmanHillard’s Food, Agriculture and Beverage (FAB) sector uncovered “Gen Food” — food-forward and food-engaged consumers more connected by shared values that far outweighed their demographic differences.

While the latest FleishmanHillard TRUE Global Intelligence (TGI) research shows the “Gen Food” consumer group still has strong influence, there is a new foodie group with a greater focus on indulgence and escape that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join FleishmanHillard hosts, Kristie Sigler, North America FAB lead, and Paul Crispell, one of the U.S. TGI leaders, as they unveil and highlight the latest data. They will provide research, insights and thought-starters for food organizations wanting to authentically connect with these consumer groups.

Learn more about and register for the webinar here.


Building a Culture of Workplace Belonging through DE&I Communications

February 24, 2021
By Katie Lommen

Throughout the past year, the pandemic drastically has changed our everyday lives — especially at work. Many employees long for the in-person interaction that’s been lost to a more isolating remote work experience. For others working on the front lines, increased preventive safety measures — such as social distancing and personal protective equipment — often serve as a barrier to connection in the workplace environment.

In fact, FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence “The Future of Work” study reports that 39% of remote workers rate not feeling part of a team as one of the biggest challenges of the pandemic. Additionally, heightened political and social tensions continue to drive polarization in the workforce – leaving many employees feeling more disconnected from one another.

At all times, but especially in these isolating times, having a strong culture of inclusion where every employee feels they belong can be a critical factor in driving employee — and business — success. Gartner reports that organizations with sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts demonstrate a 20% increase in inclusion, which corresponds to greater on-the-job effort and intent to stay, as well as high employee performance.

Organizational culture comes from within. And, internal communications provides a conduit to engage leadership in inclusive workplace practices, foster a culture of belonging and drive forward DE&I as a business priority. Consider the following best practices to advance these efforts.

  • Embed DE&I in your onboarding experience. Joining a new company, especially in a remote work environment, can be overwhelming and isolating. From day one, ensure employees are aware that their diverse and unique perspectives will be recognized and celebrated. Infuse onboarding communications with DE&I goals, commitments, initiatives and highlight existing programs, like Employee Resource Groups and mentorships, as an opportunity for new employees to get connected.
  • Equip managers with the tools they need to support their employees. Employees typically look to their immediate supervisor as their most trusted and sought-out source of information, so it’s important employees feel comfortable and safe when engaging with their managers. Teach managers how to effectively talk about DE&I and have meaningful and open discussions with their direct reports. Consider providing DE&I-specific training, key messaging and FAQ that build manager understanding and confidence in communicating in an inclusive and open manner. Whether formally or informally, encourage managers to celebrate and recognize employees living out desired DE&I behaviors.
  • Be intentional about demonstrating diversity in internal storytelling. Give employees a voice by using internal channels to tell their stories and build understanding across the organization. This is a great way to humanize the concept of DE&I and demonstrate that every employee brings something unique and valuable to the organization. Employee storytelling also helps colleagues see desired behaviors in action and sparks conversations that otherwise might not happen.
  • Set DE&I content guidelines to inform employee communications. Develop a resource for leaders, employees and communicators to use when developing internal content. Include best practices for using inclusive language, avoiding insensitive phrasing, incorporating gender neutrality and promoting conscious inclusion.
  • Measure and report on progress toward DE&I commitments and goals. Communicating your DE&I narrative and commitment means nothing without true, actionable change. Regularly share progress toward your goals, communicate planned actions and take responsibility for any shortfalls to foster authenticity and employee trust.


If Your Organization Includes Represented Employees, Remember to Engage the Union

By David Saltz and Marty Richter

Employees, customers and partners will be interested in a company’s stance on employee vaccinations – and as you develop your communications plan, remember to engage the union as a key stakeholder if your organization has union-represented employees in its workforce. Existing union agreements may influence policy decisions, including limiting the ability to mandate vaccinations. Not to mention that when proactively engaged and consulted, unions could be an important voice encouraging employees to be vaccinated.

1. Consider relevant law and collective bargaining obligations when developing vaccination policies.

Employers with union-represented employees should consider collective bargaining obligations and relevant law when developing and communicating vaccination policies – such as National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions in the United States. If employees are represented by a union, an employer unilaterally implementing a mandatory vaccination program could lead not only to union opposition, but possibly to an unfair labor practice charge before the NLRB, unless the current collective bargaining agreement and relevant NLRB decisions allow the employer to do so.

2. Consult with the union to gain its support.

For an employer with union-represented employees, surprising the union is rarely a good thing. Even if an employer believes that its collective bargaining agreement gives it the right to institute a vaccination program, consulting with the union before finalizing and communicating the approach could help to maximize buy-in. Securing legal guidance in advance of such outreach is strongly advised. Many unions favor early access to vaccines for their members, and if they are on the same page, the union could help build support for the company’s program and encourage participation.

3. Many unions are pro-vaccination.

A number of major unions – including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters – have publicly pushed for access to vaccines for their members. The SEIU characterized vaccination as safe and effective in a Dec. 21 press release laying out seven principles for vaccine distribution: “Vaccines are a proven technology to prevent the spread of disease. The COVID vaccine is a critical tool to protect our families, ourselves and our communities as we fight to put an end to this deadly virus. We encourage SEIU members to take the vaccine.”

On its website, the UFCW urges members to “protect yourself with the COVID vaccine,” calling both available vaccines safe and effective.

In its release, the SEIU pushed for vaccinations to be free for employees, and for employees to be paid for time spent being vaccinated: “Vaccines must be provided free of charge, and workers should be provided with paid time off if the vaccination process requires them to miss work.”

4. But some unions have opposed making vaccinations mandatory.

Some unions, including the SEIU, have opposed mandatory vaccinations. The SEIU said in its Dec. 21 press release: “The best approach to encouraging universal vaccination is through education and outreach, not through making vaccination mandatory.” Still, many employers can make a strong case for requiring employee vaccinations if they make exceptions (for disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs), and vaccinations are job-related and a business necessity, according to EEOC guidance provided in December. The more likely it is that non-vaccinated employees put customers, fellow employees or the general public at risk, the more compelling the case will be for a vaccination mandate.

5. Consider how your COVID-19 vaccine program may affect your different employee relationships.

Employers with no union-represented employees, and employers with a mix of represented and unrepresented employees, should thoughtfully consider how they implement and communicate a COVID-19 vaccine program across these different audiences. Helping to ensure that all employees feel they have a voice and are treated with respect in an environment free of favoritism and discrimination will help support good working relationships with unions where those exist … and reinforce direct relationships with employees where those exist. Communicating strategically across internal audiences can help to strengthen existing relationships while continuing to grow competitiveness.

View the “Your Next Defining Moment: Navigating the COVID-19 Vaccine Landscape” report here.


Black History Month: Combating Natural Hair Bias in the Workplace

February 23, 2021
By Faith Golden

Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from the workplace because of their hair. From the interview process to promoting diverse talent, organizations need to recognize and address such microaggressions that impede the success of their Black employees. Every company will face its own challenges, but this one in particular – hair – starts at the top.

Prior to my first job in corporate America, I had been wearing my hair natural for two years after chemical perms and extremely damaged hair from straightening it consistently for 25 years. It had been a journey and a struggle, one that every Black woman shares even if her route is not specifically about transitioning, but one that I was proud of. Even so, upon graduation I feared going to an interview with my hair in big, wavy coils. So, I straightened it. For me, securing a future for my child was more important than remaining true to myself.

It took some time, but I come to work as I am now.

With even more Black women choosing to wear their hair in its natural, textured state or in protective styles, such as braids, twists, locs and knots, in the workplace, leadership needs to create a company culture that embraces the shift and, in fact, encourages authentic self-expression not only with hair, but in all aspects.

Hair discrimination among Black women has captured so much attention that U.S. federal legislation was initiated in 2019 with the goal of protecting Black women from being discriminated against – being seen as less professional or competent or risk losing their jobs – when choosing to wear their naturally textured hair or protective hairstyles. This legislation is still pending.

While some states and cities have enacted the bill, there are some where this type of discrimination is still legal. I’m happy to see laws are being put in place to protect us, but there is more work that needs to be done to normalize Black hair within company culture; to value a woman’s professional performance instead of combatting her natural physical appearance. This may seem like a small problem to some but embracing this much-needed change symbolizes eradicating the choice between surviving and thriving for Black women.

To combat hair and other biases, organizations should follow these best practices:

1. Eliminate discriminatory language in policies around appearance. Dress code and appearance guidelines are standard for most organizations, but policies should be evaluated to remove language and actions that discriminate against employees’ immutable characteristics. Even implicit language should be evaluated.

2. Train employees. When conducting interviews or promoting staff for achievements and accolades, bias can unconsciously creep in due to societal norms, limited exposure, etc. This often leads to unintentional or purposeful discrimination which perpetuates the advancement of individuals from the majority group over those who are Black. Training on conscious inclusion is needed to break down these barriers and level the odds for diverse employees and candidates with similar aptitudes and abilities as their peers.

3. Ensure diversity is reflected both within and beyond the walls of your organization. This is twofold. Internally, it’s important to have people of all backgrounds represented throughout your organization. Black interns are just as important as Black vice presidents. This ensures everyone has a voice and is exposed to a diversity of topics and POVs, helping to nurture a culture of understanding.

Externally, it’s just as important that organizations reflect diversity accurately on websites, social channels and resources that potential employees may encounter. For example, when researching new job opportunities, if I see someone who looks like me on the organization’s website, it reinforces that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is touted as a priority for the organization.

While keeping all this in mind, remember that hair is only one of many barriers to hiring and retaining Black employees. As your organization reflects on commitments and initiatives, check out True Self x True MOSAIC to learn how to authentically engage on DE&I. As we continue to put in the work, I hope to see future generations, including my kids, being valued for themselves – not having to choose between their livelihood and remaining true to who they are. This must be accomplished through the united efforts of advocates, leadership and organizations enforcing DE&I.


FleishmanHillard UK Release New Food and Drink Communications Report

NAVIGATING A UNITED VS. DIVIDED NATION: FOOD & DRINK COMMUNICATIONS IN 2021 Coronavirus, climate change and Brexit have all had a profound impact on the way in which we purchase and consume our food and drink, as well as our outlook towards the sector in the UK. […]

The post FleishmanHillard UK release new food and drink communications report appeared first on United Kingdom.


FleishmanHillard UK’s Ensemble Studio win ‘Best Annual Report’ at PRCA City and Financial Awards

FleishmanHillard UK’s Ensemble Studio with Barclays has won ‘Best Annual Report’ at this year’s PRCA City and Financial Awards! The collaboration re-engineered the strategic narrative from the ground up to define the long-term possibilities of the bank, the priorities and relevance for stakeholders, and how these are being achieved. […]

The post FleishmanHillard UK’s Ensemble Studio win ‘Best Annual Report’ at PRCA City and Financial Awards appeared first on United Kingdom.


UK After COVID-19: A Panel Event by FleishmanHillard UK

February 22, 2021

When: Thursday, February 25, 12:30 – 13:30 p.m. GMT

Where: Webinar

Register for the virtual event here.

With COVID-19 vaccines underway, many UK citizens are wondering what the “new normal” will look like.

FleishmanHillard in the UK will host three guest speakers who will share their experiences and understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic, give attendees a glimpse of the anticipated political events following the vaccination rollout, and discuss broader strategies for the UK’s economic recovery. The panelists include:

  • Gagan Mohindra MP, PPS to the Department for Transport, chair of the APPG on Regeneration and Development and Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire
  • Nicolas Bosetti, research manager at the Centre for London
  • Molly Blackall, political journalist

Learn more about and register for the webinar here.