Snakes and Ladders game wins over London members

Eva Maclaine, chair of Professional Practices Committee, joins the new game in town

As the Greater London Group (GLG) members broke up after the Snakes and Ladders event, the room was abuzz with discussion, laughter and chatter.

This latest event, based on a game developed by Casilda Malagón and Stephen Welch, had clearly been a success in galvanising everyone’s thoughts around the various business dilemmas posed throughout the evening.

We played in teams and were given three different scenarios, each with three different solutions and had to agree on the best one for each. Some choices led you to lose reputation points, while others gained, and with some you lost short term but gained long term.

Not one scenario elicited a unanimous response from all teams, let alone from all team participants. Many people agreed with writer and consultant Kevin Taylor that there is not always a right answer. As Darryl Spacey, Business and Development director from hosts Hotwire PR and GLG committee member, observed: “There is never any one answer – you’re always weighing up a lot of things”.

Tim Hitchen, Senior Employee Comms manager at HSBC, valued the interaction: “It was good to hear different takes on things.”

“There were two aspects to the evening,” said GLG’s new chair Ant Cousins. “First, we organised it as part of CIPR’s Ethics Festival 2016 to help spotlight the ethical issues that PR practitioners face in external relations. The other focus was on the internal challenges we face with and how we can and should influence our leaders.

“The second aspect was particularly well dealt with. PR people have to align themselves with business values and make difficult decisions in the face of sometimes morally ambiguous challenges. But not only do we need to reach such decisions ourselves, we then need to be able to influence our leaders to follow our advice.”

Getting either wrong can be career ending he adds. “When I was in the government I saw that it wasn’t enough to make the right call from an external perspective because if you play it wrong internally, it could be equally damaging.”

Ant especially enjoyed being told off! “In terms of the learning experience, the uncertainty about some rules promoted team bonding as we had to help each other to win. It didn’t always seem fair, and sometimes it was about luck, but isn’t that life?”

In summary Ant said, “If anything during the evening caused someone to read up on the Decision Tree or check out the CIPR Code of Conduct we’ve done our job. And, of course, attending the event gains you five CPD points on ethics straight away!”

“The USP of the Greater London Group is that London is about who you know. So next year we intend to enable as much networking as possible across sectors and specialisms, whilst focusing on our mission of making London the capital of PR. That’s why we’re holding a Brexit event at the end of February. It’s something that impacts all of us in London PR and we need to work together to make the best of it.”

If anyone wants to learn more about the Greater London Group please contact Ant Cousins on

For further information about the Snakes and Ladders game please connect with Carmen Spinoza @carmenspinoza11

  1. Yes – thoroughly enjoyable. Easy to play, but sufficiently detailed to create value. Any communication team looking to grow their skills would do well to speak with Stephen or Casilda!

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