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Article

How to Actually Get a Laugh This April Fools’

March 30, 2021
By Maddie Hamb

While April Fools’ Day used to bring to mind innocent elementary school pranks and the occasional brand hijinks, the all-encompassing presence of social media and increasing desire to go viral has led brands in every sector to compete for ownership of the April Fools’ Day conversation with a moment that is funny, relevant and authentic. Easy, right?

What started as a few brands doing huge stunts or fake newspaper ads in the 1980s has evolved into an explosion of April Fools’ Day content. Via social media and owned channels, brands can reach their consumers directly and April 1 is the one time a year where they feel fully comfortable letting loose and showcasing their more “human side” and personality. While the majority of brands wisely skipped any antics last April Fools’, with positive vaccine news on the horizon, consumers may be more open to humor this year — but brands should still tread carefully.

April Fools’ Day offers brands the ever-elusive context to insert themselves in a relevant cultural conversation. Even if it’s crowded, it’s an opportunity to make fun of themselves and others and get away with some of the edgier PR and marketing techniques that normally wouldn’t fly. So how do you ensure your prank ends up on the “Best Of” lists and not the most-cringeworthy?

Be authentic to your brand voice

If you’re joining in on the fun, your prank should tie into your existing brand story. It can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon of April Fools’, but if your brand is known for a strictly professional, no-nonsense tone and content, don’t force it. Consumers can spot inauthenticity from a mile away and an out-of-the-blue joke will fall flat. If you’re not ready to laugh at yourself, consumers probably won’t be either.

Don’t overdo it

April Fools’ jokes should be short, lighthearted and to the point. It’s great to poke fun at yourself and even competitors, but avoid anything that could have a lasting impact on consumers or causes genuine — not playful — confusion.

Take a temperature check 

More than a year into living in a pandemic world, not every consumer is going to want to see brands focused on fun, quippy jokes. There’s been a growing sense of fatigue around brands trying too hard to jump on the current news cycle or make light of serious topics, and this feeling has only escalated in a confusing online world of “fake news” and disinformation. And, keep in mind that even if they’re positioned as lighthearted, some things shouldn’t ever be joked about. Remember, even the best intentions don’t always come across that way in execution, so it goes without saying to gut check with others and don’t ideate in a silo!

Before jumping in with a joke, don’t forget to ask yourself if it’s truly additive to the existing conversation. In fact, some companies have even gone so far as to ban April Fools’ jokes all together to avoid getting caught in a negative news cycle.

And if all else fails, the classic whipped cream for shaving cream swap is a surefire way to celebrate April Fools’.

Article

Looking Ahead to COP26 with Tom Clarke, ITV Science Editor: Five Key Takeaways

FleishmanHillard UK’s COP26 Unit hosted Tom Clarke, ITV’s Science Editor and one of the UK’s leading climate change journalists. Speaking to our Head of News, Pete Meikle, the discussion looked ahead to this year’s historic COP26 conference, its significance and impact on climate policy, business reputation and the media agenda.

Here’s our view on some of the key takeaways from the session and the lessons for our clients both in the UK and across the world […]

The post Looking ahead to COP26 with Tom Clarke, ITV Science Editor: Five key takeaways appeared first on United Kingdom.

Article

Regional Approaches and Shared Competencies, the Kryptonite for Anti-Vaxxers in Spain?

By Haven Hightower, Emma Cracknell and Enrique Marcos Collado

Vaccine trends in all EU countries are not entirely discouraging, offering some hope that summer holidays in a preferred destination for many European may be possible yet. […]

The post Regional approaches and shared competencies, the kryptonite for anti-vaxxers in Spain? appeared first on European Union.

Article

FleishmanHillard Secures Eight Finalist Nods at 2021 PRSA Silver Anvil Awards

March 29, 2021

ST. LOUIS, March 29, 2021 – FleishmanHillard received eight shortlist nods across multiple categories from the 2021 Silver Anvil Awards for work on behalf of Advance Auto Parts, AT&T, Elanco, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Lowe’s.

Presented by PRSA since 1944, the Silver Anvil Awards celebrate organizations that address business challenges with skill, creativity and resourcefulness. Judges evaluate submissions based on strong research and insights, planning, execution, and evaluation.

  • Advance Auto Parts, “Yippee Ki Yay! #DieHardIsBack at Advance Auto Parts” (Content Marketing, Consumer Services)
  • AT&T, “AT&T: An Essential Service Provider’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis” (Crisis Communications, COVID-19 Challenges, Business)
  • Elanco, “BUILDING TO LEAD: An Unprecedented Acquisition During Unprecedented Times” (Internal Communications, Business, More Than 10,000 Employees)
  • General Motors (Financial Communications)
  • Johnson & Johnson Vision with FleishmanHillard and Bravely, “Prioritize Your Eyes: Protecting Our Most Precious, But Neglected Sense” (Public Service, Business)
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, “Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Gives Graduates Their ‘Senior Moment’ During Pandemic” (Events and Observances, Seven or Fewer Days, Business – Products)
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, “Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Brings a New Light to Times Square During Pandemic” (Integrated Communications, Consumer Products, Retail Stores and Restaurants)
  • Lowe’s with FleishmanHillard and IMG Fashion, “New York Fashion Week Goes Home with Lowe’s” (Integrated Communications, Consumer Products, Retail Stores and Restaurants)

Winners will be announced on June 10. View the full list of PRSA Silver Anvil Awards finalists here.

Article

Swipe to Meet… Amity Harrold, Account Director — Brand Marketing

March 26, 2021

As a team, all the brilliantly talented, unique individuals that work at FleishmanHillard deliver amazing work for our clients. Each person’s individual strengths, passions and ambitions are what makes FleishmanHillard UK an incredible agency, a diverse talent pool of creative minds solving complex communications challenges and a certified ‘Best Place to Work’. […]

The post Swipe to Meet… Amity Harrold, Account Director — Brand Marketing appeared first on United Kingdom.

Article

The Changing Insurance Landscape and Advisory Role of the Broker

March 25, 2021
By Tom Laughran

Today we launched a new report, The Changing Insurance Landscape and Advisory Role of the Broker, responding to customer needs in light of COVID-19 and growing cyber disruption.

Businesses across the world have faced great headwinds over the past year. From the myriad ramifications the global pandemic has — and continues — to present, to the rising threat of cyberattacks, business leaders and owners are tasked with defending against a broader range of threats than ever before.

Risk mitigation and protection need to be top of the agenda — not just for the leadership team, but for employees throughout an organization. The very survival of the business is at stake and everyone has a vested interest in protecting it. The leaderboard of threats and challenges may change, but the sheer number continues to evolve. And whilst the world is heartened by the positive news in the fight against COVID-19, it is imperative that businesses continue to guard against the ongoing threat and interruption as we learn to live with the virus.

An important piece of the puzzle for many business decision makers to mitigate their risk is insurance. Protection now needs to sit firmly at the center of strategic discussion, as businesses navigate an environment that continues to evolve.

The role of insurance providers — and indeed brokers — is paramount in helping businesses to identify and understand potential solutions. And those brokers with specialist knowledge and expertise, the ability to act as a true advisor to clients and balance proactive management and communications with nimble reactive response, will be those who are sought out and valued most.

To better understand the insurance landscape through the eyes of key business decision makers, TRUE Global Intelligence, the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard, and the agency’s global Financial and Professional Services practice fielded an online survey of 200 primary decision-makers at businesses in the U.S. and UK in Q4 2020.

Findings include:

  • With 50% of U.S. decision makers seeing an increase in cyberattacks and more people working remotely, the majority of businesses are concerned about the potential threat of an attack, with many increasing coverage to protect data and loss of income.
  • 84% of U.S. decision makers and 75% of UK decision makers say they are extremely concerned or very concerned about the possibility of cybersecurity threats.
  • 40% of decision makers in the U.S. and 27% of decision makers in the UK have changed their property and casualty insurance since the onset of the pandemic.
  • Business decision makers want brokers/insurers to provide insights, guidance, data, trends and trainings.

View The Changing Insurance Landscape and Advisory Role of the Broker, Responding to Customer Needs in Light of COVID-19 and Growing Cyber Disruption here.

Article

Business Communication in the COVID-19 Era

It has been more than a year since coronavirus transformed our lives forever, both professionally and personally. With the new normal still unfolding, has the behaviour of UK business decision-makers continued to change since the pandemic first took hold?  […]

The post Business Communication in the COVID-19 Era appeared first on United Kingdom.

Article

The Topic of Vaccines Is Complicated — Employee Education Is a Good Place to Start

March 24, 2021
By Andrea Myers

With COVID-19 vaccine distribution well underway, many employers are expanding their internal pandemic-related communications to include the topic of vaccination. Some employers may choose to mandate vaccinations, while others may choose only to encourage them. Either way, educating employees about why vaccination is important to their personal health and safety, public health, and business continuity is a critical step in inspiring and driving participation. Here are key considerations if you are examining this issue.

1. Understand the global/national/local landscape.

Vaccine types, availability, distribution policies and protocols vary widely across the globe and in the U.S., by state and county … and some are regularly changing. If vaccines are not broadly available, the manner in which you encourage vaccination may be counterproductive. That’s why the timing and location of communications will be important. If your organization is global, evaluate how vaccinations are being distributed in countries where you operate. Encouraging employees to be vaccinated may not make sense in countries where governments mandate it.

2. Position vaccination as one of many important COVID-19 safety steps.

Even if your company is mandating vaccinations, there will be employees who will not or cannot be vaccinated due to health concerns or firmly held religious beliefs. Additionally, in most cases you won’t know if others your employees interact with, such as customers or suppliers, are vaccinated, so other safety protocols like mask-wearing and social distancing, are likely to continue long into 2021, if not longer. With this in mind, it’s important to reinforce the full scope of your COVID-19 safety protocols in your communications, with vaccination being one of them, and set expectations for employees that vaccination is just one step in the long road ahead.

3. Focus first on health and safety.

While business continuity is an important outcome of employee vaccination and should be a message within your strategy, it shouldn’t be the first message. Ultimately, keeping employees and their families, customers, partners, suppliers and the community at large healthy and safe and minimizing the spread of the virus are the most important reasons – and messages – for vaccination.

4. Articulate the impact to business continuity.

Once employees understand their health and safety is your top priority, you can also reinforce the importance of moving the business forward. This is especially relevant for companies that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and experienced layoffs or furloughs. Getting vaccinated is one way most employees can be a part of getting the company back on track and improving job security. While that shouldn’t be your main message, it could still be an effective rallying cry.

5. Engage leaders in reinforcing messages and addressing employee concerns.

There are a multitude of reasons employees may feel concerned about or opposed to getting the vaccine. Prepare managers to address these concerns with talking points, FAQ and other resources. Depending on your workforce, you may find it valuable to conduct training with HR professionals and managers to support them in navigating potential tensions between those who choose to be vaccinated and those who will not.

6. Reference third-party sources to stay credible and on topic.

Cite respected health authorities for vaccine information. These may include the World Health Organization, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and country, state or local public health authorities. Because vaccines of all kinds – including the COVID-19 vaccines – have been targeted for controversy, stick to the facts provided by health authorities and steer clear of political talk or unfounded conspiracy theories.

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

Article

What’s Driving Vaccine Hesitancy and What Can We Do About it?

By Haven Hightower

We explore trends and our own recent survey data to see where EU markets differ and converge on their trust of vaccine information It’s been over a year since COVID-19 became a health crisis with global proportions. […]

The post What’s driving vaccine hesitancy and what can we do about it? appeared first on European Union.

Article

Vaccine Information: Many Europeans Trust Local Doctors over National Governments

By Haven Hightower

Measuring vaccine confidence in Europe: Exclusive FleishmanHillard research reveals trends in four European markets As vaccination plans are being rolled out across the European Union, it’s important to understand what sources of vaccine information Europeans trust when it comes to COVID-19. […]

The post Vaccine information: many Europeans trust local doctors over national governments appeared first on European Union.