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A Historic Decision
By Richard Edelman

Culture
Equality_Edelman_Equal

Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman on the United States Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. Edelman proudly joined 400 other companies in signing an amicus brief to the Court in support of equality.

The United States Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality is a profound turn in the American culture wars. Edelman proudly joined 400 other companies in signing an amicus brief to the Court in support of equality. We also worked with Lambda Legal, the largest national LGBT legal organization to promote their mission in the fight for marriage equality.

Within hours of the historic decision Lambda Legal sent our team a note titled “A First:”

“Lambda has never gotten a victory out with the speed and muscle that we did with today’s historic win.  I know we’ll have a million misses today but on the day of our movements biggest advance, each of you and Edelman made sure the work of so many Lambda activists and advocates over the years was recognized.”

But the decision is only the beginning for business, in both the workplace and the consumer marketplace.

I was very pleased by the strong reaction by among others Salesforce, Microsoft, Hilton Worldwide, Pepsico, the NBA, Edelman and Eli Lilly to the proposed legislation in the State of Indiana that would have allowed retailers to discriminate against LGBT customers. But the need is well beyond public affairs and lobbying. We need to promote equality in the workplace. At Edelman, we have implemented Edelman Equal as a means of pushing forward with a diverse and empowered employee base. It is an employee affinity group that advocates on behalf of LGBT employees, it supports business objectives of our client base, and it builds community across our 65 offices. This is following in the successful footsteps of our GWEN initiative, which focuses on gender. The Out Now Global LGBT2020 study makes the business case for diversity and inclusion finding that U.S. business could save $9 billion a year if organizations were more effective at implementing diversity and inclusion policies for LGBT staff.

We are helping our clients reach into the LGBT community, whose spending power is estimated to be $884 billion in the U.S. alone.

As a family business, Edelman wants to push forward on social issues that matter. We took an early leadership stance on mental health and tolerance because of my mother’s depression. My father’s friendship with Rev. Jesse Jackson got us into civil rights. My brother John carries the torch now through the Edelman Foundation, our sustainability commitment and volunteer PR for dozens of local organizations. I am proud of the leadership displayed by Ben Boyd, president of our practices, sectors and offerings, on the LGBT issue.

This article originally appeared on Richard Edelman’s 6A.M. Blog.
Image by Rich Renomeron

Written by: Richard Edelman, President and CEO at Edelman

Immersing myself at #UberLIVE

Consumer Trends & Insight ,Entertainment
Edelman at Uber Live

Prior to #UberLIVE, Jade Beaty's relationship with the brand didn’t extend further than a couple of late night trips home from Soho. This all changed one fateful Thursday as they announced they would be bringing their hit activation to life once more across the UK.

Prior to #UberLIVE, my relationship with the brand didn’t extend further than a couple of late night trips home from Soho. This all changed one fateful Thursday as they announced they would be bringing their hit activation to life once more across the UK.

I arrived home to an empty flat with two options: stay in and watch Coronation Street or attempt to secure one of the hottest tickets in town. Despite both having their pros and cons, I opted for the latter. It was a great decision.

#UberLIVE began at 7:00pm and from 6:45pm onwards, users could swipe right to be in with the chance of securing an UberLIVE vehicle. If successful, a driver would collect you and a friend before taking you to your nearest top secret location for three intimate, never-seen-before, live music performances from rising and established stars.

I was friendless, but decided it was worth a try and within minutes an #UberLIVE car was outside my basement flat in the depths of Clapham South ready to take me to a top secret location. It turned out to be Peckham and three upcoming artists including The Shires.

To make it happen, Uber partnered with Sofar Sounds, an organisation dedicated to bringing the magic back to live music through unusual, secret gigs around the world. That’s exactly what #UberLIVE was about – bringing together curious music lovers in an innovative and intimate location to share a once-in-a-lifetime music experience.

The venue was well equipped with a complementary bar and food area. It didn’t matter that I was on my own, as conversations were flowing between strangers who had been brought together for the night. For the 100 of us, as the lights dimmed, we made our way to the floor, where we sat cross legged and waited for the performances to begin. Simultaneously, other people at #UberLIVE gigs in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Dublin did the same.

In the daily papers the next morning, I also came across a double page feature on one of the night’s bands, The Shires, who also performed at Glastonbury last week. Other acts across the country included Bipolar Sunshine, Swim Deep and Fyfe Dangerfield.

Fuelled by the excitement of those in attendance (and many who wished they were), #UberLIVE trended heavily across Twitter all evening. For those of us working in communications industry, it also highlights how brands are using events in new ways to create a fresh type of interaction with consumers. This is the age of intimate, immersive brand experiences that transcend the traditional model of media relations and broadcast advertising.

For our clients, such events are an opportunity to connect with people like never before. Whilst for the public, it’s a chance to enjoy a whole new type of experience – from discovering an unknown part of their city to simply listening to some great music.

After my night at #UberLIVE, that definitely sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Written by: Jade Beaty, Assistant Account Executive at Edelman

Memo to Self: A PR’s Guide to the Paris Air Show

Corporate Reputation ,Culture ,Energy
Paris Air Show Close Up

It has passed again, the Paris Air Show is over; everyone has returned home; the airplanes are gone; the chalets and stands have been cleared out; Le Bourget airport is back to being a very large, empty apron.

It has passed again, the Paris Air Show is over; everyone has returned home; the airplanes are gone; the chalets and stands have been cleared out; Le Bourget airport is back to being a very large, empty apron.

As so while the memory is still fresh, here’s a memo to myself: a short list of things I want to remember for the next show and the one in between (Farnborough).

1. Plan, but not too much. An event that attracts over 40,000 people is a busy affair and while there are many knowns, such as booth size, location, display items, and marketing materials, there are many things which aren’t known despite the best planning – announcements, press engagement, industry news and much more.

2. No fixed strategy for announcement timing. Planning (i.e. a timing strategy) is particularly tricky for announcements. Some years the big boys announce orders on Monday, crowding everything else out. Some years, as with this one, they wait until Tuesday and Wednesday, which previously was the chance for the smaller players to get some media air-time.

3. Organize press events. Surprisingly, press events either with an announcement or not, seemed to work quite well and get a fair bit of media attendance. If companies can conduct press events to demo a specific piece of technology then all the better. Couple it with a customer and media is likely to be interested.

4. Take a little personal time. If you’re there with clients, be sure they are happy (even if you’re in-house). BUT, on top of doing what you’re there to do, be sure to take some time for the sheer entertainment of the event. I was reminded of this when sitting in an interview between a client and a passionate aerospace journalist. He cut the interview short with the CEO because he wanted to snap some shots of the Rafale fighter jet that was about to thunder overhead. And it was OK.

5. Show your passion. There are a lot of aviation geeks. Showing your inner geek is the easiest way to meet others at the show. The sector draws enthusiasts unlike any other sector, and most are useful contacts in one way or another. Take advantage of the huge networking opportunity this presents.

6. Transport is a nightmare. Stay in central Paris. Transport around Le Bourget is a nightmare during the show. Stay in town, in a lovely boutique hotel for which Paris is famous; take the RER from Gard du Nord to Le Bourget and then walk 15 minutes to the show. On the way home, book yourself a MotoTaxi and beat all of Paris’s rush-hour traffic. It’s worth every penny.

Edelman supported a number of clients on their media and social media programmes at the show. Get in touch if you would like more information about the work we do in the aerospace & defence sector.

Written by: Philippe Polman, Account Director at Edelman

How a golden lion gives permission to reach for the stars

Culture
Cannes_Lions_Gold_Award

Edelman's Global Chair, Creative Strategy Jackie Cooper reports back on Cannes Lions 2015. She saw how anything is possible with the raft of campaigns and submissions that harnessed passions and moved opinions.

It’s a week ago that I was in the green room at the Cannes Lions with Jamie Oliver and Richard Edelman as we prepped for their session in the main auditorium. There was a feeling of show business mixed with ambition at Cannes and the challenge is to deliver an experience on the stage that is more than having a famous person in the chair. While I am biased regarding Jamie (I sit on his board) and Richard (I sold my company to him and he is my boss…!) their session was indeed entertaining but also informative and provocative. Jamie is a man on a mission and his whole organisation is geared up to engage in noisy dialogue around better diet, kids’ health and the sheer love of cooking great food. Richard is also on a mission – leading this extraordinary company of 5,500 to continually trail blaze and set the agenda for communications marketing. What struck me as I stood in the wings of the stage listening to the audience laughing and responding is that with passion and hard work, truly anything is possible.

The hope of winning a Lion at Cannes turbo-charges our permission to create amazing work. We saw how anything is possible with the raft of campaigns that harnessed passions and moved opinions. From the super smart safety truck for Samsung out of Argentina to the haunting holograms for freedom from Madrid, the empty statues dressed in clothing of victims for the anti-gun campaign for Illinois – these campaigns wrapped themselves around your heart before reaching your head. All of human life was represented in the award submissions: safety, medical issues (and fantastic to see the epic ALS campaign get Lion recognition), education, diversity – a plethora of purpose.

Our six Lion wins made all of us so proud. The Gold win for Adobe Photoshop’s Murder Mystery campaign was a dream come true for the team led by Tom Parker who is always telling me we need to celebrate the work – well we certainly did!

The challenge is to bring this back to our daily lives when we are away from the Croisette – when our clients are also back in reality. The call of the Lion liberates us to move the needle and concentrate on elevating our creative delivery. This must be present every day if we are to deliver work that truly starts movements and fundamentally makes a difference. We ran a competition open to all our staff to win a ticket to Cannes. The price of entry? A great idea. This initiative not only gave permission to create but opened the world of ideas for any client they wanted. Our winners were amazing and acted as roving reporters for the week as well as totally loving the whole Cannes experience. But more than that we have now have a treasure trove of ideas from all our entrants that we will be reaching out to clients with – the only agenda being a passion for their business and a creative solution that comes with a ton of heart and a dose of smart.

Lions CEO Phil Thomas tells me they have data that shows that winning at Cannes increases business wins for agencies. If you show your mettle by winning the metal that is indeed both compelling and reassuring for clients. And so let’s keep the pull of the Lions present every day – the only restrictions are the ones we put on ourselves.

Written by: Jackie Cooper, Global Chair, Creative Strategy at Edelman

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