News & Ideas


No more Fords: A challenge for PR, politicians, journalists & citizens

Ethical PR, strong journalism and greater participation are keys to better governance

Image source: Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Toronto’s long local nightmare is over. After generating global attention for the unethical and illegal behaviour of Rob Ford, the outgoing mayor – and the city’s incomprehensible inability to remove him from office – Toronto City Hall is in saner, wiser hands.

Why is this topic relevant to an international public relations blog? When practised at its best, PR is the discipline that aims to build mutual understanding and trust, and to aid in the essential accountability between leaders, organizations and society. Yet the Ford administration used public relations as a tool of deceit and distortion, often with alarming success. We cannot assume this will not happen again in Canada; indeed, it occurs too frequently from leaders of governments, businesses and other institutions all over the world. What can we learn from Toronto’s example?

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December 3rd, 2014 | Posted in Ideas | 0 Comments

TRUST: The currency of resilient business

‘Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.’ Warren Buffett

Elements of Trust

Source: PwC UK, adapted from the “Trustworthy Organisation” by Dr Andrew Tucker

Business has always been about trust and relationships – but never more so than today. With non-physical and non-financial assets now comprising the vast majority of most companies’ valuations, intangibles such as trust and reputation have become critical to long-term success.

What are the keys to earning trust – and keeping it? This was the topic of a panel I chaired at the International Integrated Reporting Council‘s recent conference in Madrid. As a member of the IIRC’s Working Group, I was joined on the panel by two experts, Helen Tuddenham and Helen Reeve Morris, both of PwC UK. This post summarizes our discussion.

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November 17th, 2014 | Posted in Ideas | 0 Comments

Canadian families: What they mean to political parties

Who represents the Canadian family?
Fiscal update frames pre-election debate for stakeholders

The battle for the hearts and minds of Canadians in next October’s election officially begins as Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered the annual fall budget update and fiscal projections.

Moving the normally stuffy fiscal update out of the House of Commons and into a Toronto hotel conference room – and the media centre of the country – the governing Conservatives were clearly hoping to get their message directly into the media streams of every day Canadians.

In addition, this approach made it harder for the opposition leaders to respond to the message and splintered the location and ability of news organisations to cover the reactions from all major political players.

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November 13th, 2014 | Posted in News | 0 Comments

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