New Homes Ombudsman could help restore consumer confidence in housebuilders

A cross-party Parliamentary group has set out proposals for a New Homes Ombudsman to help provide better redress for dissatisfied home buyers. Poor experiences with housebuilders are common factor in many people’s perception of the construction industry; promoting better behaviours in the housebuilding sector would therefore contribute to improving the image of construction. New Homes …

Carillion, PR, and corporate resilience

The inquiry into the collapse of Carillion has highlighted the pivotal roles played by company directors. By focusing on short-term financial goals rather than the long-term interests of the company’s stakeholders, Carillion’s board fatally undermined the business’s resilience, ruined their own reputations, and reinforced popular stereotypes of the construction and services sectors as outdated and …

The blunder of Crewe

Crewe Alexandra belatedly tried to change its communication strategy, but its continued silence regarding the football sexual abuse scandal attracts attention for the wrong reasons. This week marks four weeks since former Crewe Alexandra defender Andy Woodward first went public with his allegations of sexual abuse by Barry Bennell, and set in motion a scandal …

Watching a news story unfold on Wikipedia

The English football sexual abuse scandal is being extensively covered in newspapers and on TV and radio. It is also being captured in Wikipedia articles; articles about organisations or individuals involved are being eagerly read. Wikipedia statistics can help indicate interest in a subject, but care is needed in editing articles relating to an ongoing …

To change the ‘image of construction’ first change construction

We need to tackle some of the fundamental issues in the UK construction industry before we can effectively change “the image of construction”. The image of construction has featured heavily this week for me. On Tuesday, I attended a CIMCIG-led roundtable discussion in London with Mark Farmer, the consultant helping the Government’s Construction Leadership Council …

Desperate – and false – PR?

“I know, let’s invite some construction industry people and have a round-table discussion. We could use the conversation as the foundation for a white paper…. We could share the outputs with influential bloggers, issue a news release ….” Similar conversations probably happen more than most PR agencies or in-house teams would like to admit (I’ve …

Rallying independent PRs

It’s about eleven months since a CIPR independent practitioner roundtable galvanised me into action on behalf of solo, or isolated, UK PR practitioners. Since then we’ve updated the CIPR’s freelance guide, done a podcast, started a CIPR Independent Practitioners group on Linkedin, surveyed the state of solo PR, and held a very lively tweetchat. These …

Be authentic, not automated, on Twitter

A UK consulting engineering firm has a fatally flawed Twitter strategy: tweeting 246 times a day but engaging with hardly anyone. Regular twitter followers will know that I tweet prodigiously from some construction industry events. Yesterday was no exception. Between two other events, I tweeted from an education and skills event (Alison Watson’s #5050London; see …

CIPR taking more active role in construction

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations is to take a more active role in the UK construction industry, having joined the Construction Industry Council (CIC) as an associate member. The CIC represents professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the construction industry in the UK. The CIPR will be represented at CIC meetings …

PR use of public images under FOP threat

Photographs including modern buildings and other creative works may fall foul of new European Parliament copyright proposals. New constraints on ‘freedom of panoroma’ may stop PR businesses using photos and videos taken in public places for professional purposes, including reuse on social media. Do you take photographs on your foreign holidays? Perhaps share some of …