27 April 2015
I am delighted to announce that today Edelman has appointed Lord Paul Myners as Chairman of Edelman UK. This appointment marks another important milestone in the evolution of Edelman's business.
I am delighted to announce that today Edelman has appointed Lord Paul Myners as Chairman of Edelman UK. This appointment marks another important milestone in the evolution of our business.
Lord Myners brings decades of experience at the highest level of business and politics. He spent most of his professional career in fund management with N.M. Rothschild & Sons and Gartmore, before chairing a number of major companies including Guardian Media Group, Marks & Spencer and Land Securities.
He has also been a member of the Court of The Bank of England and was City Minister in the last Labour government from 2008 to 2010, joining at the very moment that the Treasury was tasked with saving the banking system from collapse. He is chair of the London School of Economics & Political Science and a former Chairman of the Guardian Media Group.
Taking on this role, Myners said: “As a businessman, and in government, I always placed enormous value on the senior counsel and innovative thinking at which Edelman excels. I am looking forward to working with Edelman’s senior leadership team and playing my part in Edelman’s future growth.”
27 April 2015
With less than two weeks to polling day, the Scottish National Party is continuing to dominate the debate between the Conservatives and Labour, and we are hearing less about the concerns of the business community regarding the UK’s standing in Europe. In this week's Election Briefing, we explore how Europe and the United States view the General Election, as well as rounding up the latest on the polls and campaign highlights.
We are less than two weeks away from the General Election, and the Scottish National Party – a party that, when Parliament dissolved, held just six out of 650 seats in the House of Commons – is continuing to dominate the debate between the Conservatives and Labour.
What we’re seeing less of is any attempt to address the concerns of the business community regarding the UK’s standing in Europe. Neither major party wants to raise the issue – Labour because they recognise that the voters in their targets seats are predominantly Eurosceptic; the Conservatives for fear of fighting on UKIP’s territory. They may not want to talk about it, but the issue isn’t going away – and can only increase in importance in the next Parliament as pressure grows on the parties to deliver reform.
In the light of this, the latest in Edelman’s series of Election Briefings explores how Europe and the United States view our election, as well as rounding up the latest on the polls, the highlights and lowlights of the campaign and what we should be watching out for in the coming week.
To view the full Election Briefing, please click here.
24 April 2015
When reading an article about the difficulty publishers have in balancing the needs of advertisers against editorial independence, the ad that popped up in the middle of showed that there are always more tensions to business decisions than are apparent.
The irony was not lost on me that, when reading this very good article by Jane Martinson, the head of media at the Guardian, about the difficulty publishers have in balancing the needs of advertisers against editorial independence, the ad that popped up in the middle of the piece was recruiting for MI5.
Leave aside the intriguing thought process that led the Security Service to think of recruiting from among those who read Media Guardian, it showed that there are always more tensions to business decisions than are apparent.
The MI5 recruitment ad invited people to “create tomorrow’s headlines”. Presumably, they meant that MI5 officers could perform acts of derring-do in thwarting society’s enemies and thus be part of the newspaper stories of tomorrow.
But it was hard, especially given MI5’s history of subverting the press in pre-war and post-war Britain, recruiting spies within most national newspapers and leaning heavily on editors thought to be malleable, to think of other interpretations of that phrase.
And it showed that, while juggling simple concerns of “Church vs State” in the commercial sphere, publishers also have to be concerned at what role they play in the security of the state where they operate, and how they might be manipulated. The Guardian, with its Snowden revelations, has that concern more than others.
When I refreshed the page, as is the way with the digital display advertising model, the advertising space was occupied by a slot offering hair colouring products (a service I am equally unlikely to pursue) and MI5 was nowhere to be seen.
24 April 2015
The breadth vs depth debate: in essence, do we teach too much detail around too few subjects, causing students to study some aspects of a particular British era in depth, but with less idea of the broader non-British events which shaped it?
My memories of teaching A-Level History are pretty grim. Dragging a class through the ins and outs of, say, why the Whigs lost power in 1841 always seemed to me to be a peculiar waste of time.
This is called the breadth vs depth debate, which in essence is about whether we teach too much detail around too few subjects, causing students to rock up at University having studied in depth some British aspects of a particular era, but with less idea of the broader non-British events which shaped it. (Despite how clever our specialist knowledge might make us sound down the pub).
So students might be ignorant of the formation of the Paris Commune, but they can tell you the names of the maids fired in the Bedchamber Crisis of 1839.
Personally, I always felt that the weight of our own history prevented enough syllabus time being devoted to many significant events that happened to be done by others to others.
This matters, of course, because if we have not heard or learned of something by the time we leave school, doesn’t it imply that the event isn’t important, relevant or even real to us?
Take the utter slaughter of British troops during the First World War. Most young adults, and over the past few years most schoolchildren – in the UK can probably tell you about the Great War and the loss of lives in the trenches. A few more could probably name the battlegrounds of Passchendaele, Ypres, the Somme or Gallipoli. But what about the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians which began in 1915 and lasted a full eight years?
Our familiarity with the tragedy unfolding on the Western side of Europe has shrouded the suffering of the Armenian people as they endured the darkest years imaginable. These were events which have never been given the attention they deserve here in the UK.
Today’s centenary commemorating the beginning of the Armenian Genocide may begin to correct this by provoking global discussion and increased recognition of something that would otherwise pass under the radar of international consciousness.
While the centenary will pass, and the news crews move on, it is important that the Armenian Genocide is not parked in textbook, but is actively taught.
Edelman have been closely involved in the creation and delivery of the 100 LIVES initiative . It’s an enlightened, forward-looking way of engaging a wide audience on the impact of the Armenian genocide (and indeed all genocides), through recording and sharing stories of those who survived, and by recognising and offering gratitude to those who put their own lives on the line to save others. The initiative also includes the creation of the Aurora Prize, which is co-chaired by the Nobel prizewinning author Elie Wiesel and George Clooney.
100 LIVES was launched with a global call for stories from the survivors of the Genocide and those who saved them. The stories will then be shared on the site, and preserved for posterity.
100 LIVES helps build global empathy about a terrible event which has shaped the lives of millions.
If you take time to visit the site and read the stories, you’ll see that, even three generations later, the stories have not lost their power.
In his remarkable work “Night”, Elie Wiesel reminds us of the importance of testimony and recognition: “For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
We can’t change the past but we can continue to teach and educate, ensuring we are learning the right lessons from the past and that the most significant events in history are not lost to us simply because they didn’t happen to us.
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