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Communication Strategy

Strategy can be elusive in communications, often substituted with tactics or plans. But, without a strategic approach, it’s impossible to create real change.

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Communication Strategy

Introducing a new brand to market, rebuilding a reputation after a crisis, changing stakeholders’ perceptions of a product or issue – they’re all significant challenges that demand a robust communication strategy. But, too often, tactical and reactive approaches are advised – and they don’t work.

Our unique understanding of strategy was forged in management consultancy, FTSE100 businesses, government, and political campaigns. We work with Corporate Affairs teams and senior executives to help them see beyond day-to-day distractions and build enduring communication strategies that achieve lasting results.

Public Affairs

Good political engagement blends skilled communication, an outstanding network, discretion, political insight and intelligence. We pride ourselves in having all five.

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Public Affairs

Navigating policy, politics, and regulation is now more complex than ever. Brexit, populism, and fragmenting politics are forcing companies with established public affairs teams to engage in new issues without the necessary knowledge or networks.

Equally, organisations that have never engaged with politics are suddenly finding themselves thrust into an arena that they don’t have experience of dealing with, but that threatens the way they work.

Our team has decades of experience in political engagement and government relations, and a broad and senior network to match. From policy development and legislative intervention to building coalitions of support, Blakeney’s approach to public affairs is strategic and focused on clear outcomes.

We are politically-neutral, with strong relationships across the political spectrum.

Media Relations and PR

Blakeney offers an exceptional network of media contacts, as well as the expertise to manage the media - whatever the situation.

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Media Relations and PR

Good PR cuts through the noise, gets a journalist’s attention, and reaches the audience you need it to reach. But great PR is an art.

With only seconds to peak a busy journalist’s interest in your story, the way it’s designed, crafted, and delivered is crucial. Dealing with reactive media is equally important, and can mean the difference between your name being the focus of a story, or not being mentioned at all. From creating a media strategy, to designing messaging, to finding the most effective news hooks, to selling in a story or running an outsourced press office, working with the media is central to Blakeney’s work.

Stakeholder Engagement

We help you to understand and influence the people who matter to you most.

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Stakeholder Engagement

Whether they’re politicians, employees, local residents, or activists, engaging with the broadest range of people who could influence the outcome your organisation needs is essential.

Strategic stakeholder engagement involves mapping a stakeholder ecosystem, desk and field research to understand sentiment and the drivers behind it, building deep and enduring relationships with influencers in the stakeholder community, and targeting resources as efficiently as possible.

We bring to client work significant experience at all levels of stakeholder engagement, from working with NGOs and activists to engaging local communities during major infrastructure projects.

Crisis preparedness

Good crisis management always takes place before a crisis hits. But failing to prepare properly can do lasting reputational and commercial damage.

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Crisis preparedness

We work with clients with operations in extremely demanding environments. From energy companies drilling for oil and gas to arena operators hosting tens of thousands of fans every evening, the potential for a crisis situation is ever-present.

Good crisis management relies on thorough preparation - scenario planning for every conceivable situation and practicing your response to it. We support our clients to understand and practice these situations regularly so that - when a crisis does occur - it’s only the things that couldn’t possibly have been imagined that need to be thought about.

Our extensive experience in managing communications when crises do take place includes accidents, fatalities, protests and activism, dealing with opposition campaigns, regulatory concerns, and social media issues.

Capability

Blakeney helps our clients to map, assess, and build capability to deliver their strategy, leading to more effective outcomes, less reliance on agencies, and lower costs.

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Capability

Capability and development are often overlooked in Corporate Affairs; many senior team members join a company directly from government or the media with no experience of the corporate environment, and yet they’re expected to hit the ground running.

Similarly, broader team capability is sometimes neglected – particularly in fast-moving communications environments. But failing to develop and build capability in your Corporate Affairs team will come back to bite you at the worst possible time, so ensuring your team has the right experience, capability and contacts is crucial to delivering your strategy. We use a range of capability assessment and development frameworks used by psychologists, and in the world’s most forward-looking companies to help get your team in the best shape.

Digital and Social Media

From social advertising to email marketing, campaigning, and creating compelling content, digital and social media is now an essential part of delivering any corporate communication strategy.

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Digital and Social Media

It’s not a panacea but, given the combined reach of social media channels in the UK far outstrips any other media, a digital and social strategy is essential for any organisation.

But cutting through the noise to understand the channels and content that will not only grab your audience’s attention, but also keep them engaged, can be tough. We partner with the UK’s leading digital and social media strategists to deliver outstanding, measurable, results online as well as offline.

Employee Engagement and Internal Communications

Strategic internal communication drives understanding, engagement, and productivity and is enormously valuable to any organisation.

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Employee Engagement and Internal Communications

Employees are vital ambassadors for your brand, but disengaged employees have a negative impact on everything from customer service to productivity.

Building on a deep understanding of how culture and communications drive employee engagement, we’ve worked with some of the country’s best-known brands to create high performing, highly-engaged, workplaces through times of significant change. We help you to understand what makes your employees tick, what derails them, and to create strategies to drive employee engagement when you need it most.

Our 5 Cs

There are a number of reasons that Corporate teams need consultancy support – one or more things they need to complement their current team. We call these our 5 C’s.

Capability

Creativity

Contacts

Capacity

Credibility

New capabilities take time to build in-house. The breadth of experience in our team helps you build and develop yours.

Objectivity is hard when you’re immersed in an issue. Our experience and world-class thinking helps you to overcome even the toughest of comms challenges.

You probably already have a great network, but new roles and new issues mean we need to help you make new friends. In the meantime, we’ll introduce you to some of ours.

Everyone in Blakeney has worked in-house, so we’re able to hit the ground running, boosting your team when you need it most.

Sometimes a consultant is able to deliver messages to a senior team that an in-house team can’t – that’s a valuable way to get sign off from an Exec or Board.

Ending Malaria

Saving Theatre Lighting

Kickstarting a Revolution in Heat

Transforming a Global Business

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“Blakeney is staffed by senior communications professionals, who have all worked in variety of in-house corporate roles, which gives them a unique insight into how to advise Corporate Affairs teams. No other consultancy in the UK can provide this level of support and value.”

Jonathan Refoy - Corporate Affairs Director, Amec Foster Wheeler plc