21 February 2013 newsletter

21 February 2013

In this newsletter

Comment from your Chairman


2013 dates for the diary

Comment from your Chairman

The CIPR Corporate and Financial Group started 2013 with a great series of events, including a lively debate on whether the UK economy has the financial services sector it deserves. We didn’t reach a definitive conclusion, but a wide range of views on managing the sector’s reputation, and on the UK’s place in Europe, were eloquently expressed by panellists and audience alike.

Our regular lunchtime meetings continue to be popular, with Lucas van Praag – previously head of communications at Goldman Sachs – in thought-provoking form in January and Simon Nixon, European Editor of Wall St Journal’s Heard on the Street, offering practical insight in February. Photos from all three events are on our website, www.corporate-financial.com.

As many of our events sell out please do note the dates in your diary – the dates are available on our website or at the end of this newsletter.  Bookings can now also be made for our summer party on 25 June on the roof terrace of Olswang – we are fortunate to have the venue provided by Olswang, and Precise are once again sponsoring this very popular event. 
On 5 March we have a one-off  event -  'The seven big mistakes companies still make when dealing with the media' – full details are included further down this newsletter.  There are limited places available which are going fast (Tom Maddocks’ new book on handling the media is included in the £10 entry price).  MHP are kindly hosting the event. 

Our March lunchtime speaker will be Simon Walker, Director General at the Institute of Directors.  Simon has had an illustrious and varied career in communications, including being a former adviser to Buckingham Palace and Downing St. and Chief Executive Officer of the BVCA (British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association). He was previously a partner at Brunswick, Director of European Public Affairs for Hill & Knowlton in Brussels and Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing at Reuters.  In his current role as Director General of the Institute of Directors he is regularly called on to comment on the economy and issues that impact on British businesses large and small.Full details of confirmed events are on our website: www.corporate-financial.com.

Becoming a member of the group is the most economical way of attending events – for information about membership options (or to check whether you are currently a member) please contact Sue Owen. For special events we also often give priority to members.

And a reminder that you still have one week left to get your entries in for the Communicate Magazine Corporate & Financial Awards 2013, for which the CIPR Corporate and Financial Group is pleased to be a supporting partner. The closing date is 28 February 2013 (extended to 12 March). Visit http://communicatemagazine.co.uk/awards for more details.


Evening  meeting

Date: Tuesday 5 March 2013, 6-8pm

Time: Drinks will be served from 6pm for 6.30pm talk and short Q&A, followed by drinks and canapes

Venue: MHP, 60 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7RT

Cost: A limited number of places have been made available to group members at a cost of £10, which will include a copy of the book, normally priced at £14.99. To book: Click here

Contact: sueowen@corporate-financial.com. Tel. 01483 771932

Event details

'The seven big mistakes companies still make when dealing with the media'

On behalf of the CIPR Corporate & Financial Group I am delighted to invite you to an additional event on our calendar.  On Tuesday March 5, Tom Maddocks, Course Director of Media Training Associates and one of the UK's most experienced media coaches, will give a short talk on 'The seven big mistakes companies still make when dealing with the media' to mark the launch of his new book,  The M-factor - media confidence for business leaders and managers'.  The event will be held in association with the CIPR Corporate & Financial Group and is kindly hosted by MHP.

About The M-factor:

The ability to communicate a clear message, and deal with questions from the media, is now a vital skill for almost any Chief Executive or senior manager.  Yet many in the business world fear the media; instead of seeing an opportunity they seem to be much more worried that they will be misquoted, and think reporters’ only aim is to catch them out. This highly practical, down-to-earth book reveals the secrets of how to understand the media mindset, know what journalists are looking for, give a good press or broadcast interview, deal with a crisis, and understand the impact of social media. 

More information about the book is available at www.m-factorbook.co.uk

What they say about The M-factor:

This book is a goldmine of information for PR practitioners, as well as any business leader who wants to be able to work effectively with the media, in good times or bad. Tom has put many of my clients through training sessions over the years and really knows his stuff!

Gay Collins, Executive Chairman, MHP Communications

The media can be a threat or an opportunity, depending on how you treat them. If you want
to understand how to get the media on-side, in good times or bad, this book is a good place to start!

Sir Stuart Rose, former Chairman and Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer plc

Refunds will only be made if notice of cancellation is given not less than 48 hours beforehand.

Tuesday 12 March, lunchtime

Time: 12.30pm for 1 o'clock (sandwich lunch will be served)

Venue: AXA - 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD

Event: Simon Walker, Director General, Institute of Directors

Simon Walker was previously a partner at Brunswick, the public relations group, Director of European Public Affairs for Hill & Knowlton in Brussels and Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing at Reuters.  He has been a former adviser to Buckingham Palace and Downing Street and was Chief Executive Officer at BVCA.

Cost: £15 for Corporate and Financial Group members; £20 for non-members on the first occasion and £25 for subsequent meetings. Early booking is advised.

For full details and to book click here

Simon Walker became Director General of the Institute of Directors in October 2011.

He was Chief Executive of the BVCA, the organisation that represents British private equity and venture capital, from October 2007 to March 2011.

Between 2003 and 2007 Simon worked at Reuters as Director of Corporate Communications and Marketing. He was Communications Secretary to HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace from 2000 to 2003. Earlier he served as Director of Corporate Affairs at British Airways and a non-executive director of Comair Ltd (South Africa). From 1996-1997 Simon worked as a special adviser in the Prime Minister's Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street.

Simon Walker was previously a partner at Brunswick, the public relations group, and Director of European Public Affairs for Hill & Knowlton in Brussels. He has been a member of the Better Regulation Commission, a Trustee of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Trust, the New Zealand-UK Link Association, and the UK-US Jamestown Committee. He is a governor for the environmental foundation, The Hillary Summit, a Council Member of the European Policy Forum and a member of the Parliamentary Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Public Engagement.

Simon was born in South Africa, and has worked as a journalist and consultant in New Zealand, Belgium and the UK. He was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

Refunds will only be made if notice of cancellation is given not less than 48 hours beforehand.


In response to feedback the committee have agreed a new type of transferable membership. The discounted membership already available – 15% for 4-7 members and 25% for 8 or more members – will now be transferable between members of the same company/agency.  This type of membership is fully flexible across your communications team. Don’t forget that if you join as an individual member the £75 annual fee also includes free attendance at 2 lunchtime meeting and reduced entry to the other Corporate and Financial Group events. For details please email sueowen@corporate-financial.com   

Please remember to renew your membership and let others in the PR world know about the CIPR Corporate and Financial Group (contact Sue Owen for details).  We continue to offer free attendance at meetings to members who are between jobs.

The Corporate and Financial Group exists to provide you with:

  • access - to leaders in business, the media, and the City, at our events

  • networking - amongst our peer group and other senior practitioners

  • guidance on best practice - particularly on matters which directly support the credibility and effectiveness of our profession in delivering value to senior decision makers in business and corporate life

  • representation - on regulatory issues or other matters affecting our collective licence to operate, acting as an authoritative voice for our profession.

Our events include our regular lunchtime meetings (usually the second Tuesday of the month), our annual summer party and annual dinner, visits to places like 10 Downing Street, the Guardian and Sky News, best practice seminars, and events for those new to the industry (Tomorrow’s Talent).  From time to time we organise special events like the book launch on 5 March.

Membership details can be found here . You can join the group either through the CIPR or directly – please contact sueowen@corporate-financial.com for details.

2013 dates  are on our calendar

Tuesday 5 March, evening             The seven big mistakes companies still make when talking to the media

Tuesday 12 March, lunchtime                   Simon Walker, Director General, Institute of Directors

Tuesday 9 April, lunchtime                Linda Grant, Managing Director of Metro

Tuesday 14 May, lunchtime            Lisa Buckingham, OBE, Editor, Financial Mail

Tuesday 11 June, lunchtime              John Hughman, Editor, Investors Chronicle

Tuesday 25 June, evening               Corporate and Financial Group summer party

Tuesday 9 July, lunchtime              Martin Waller, Tempus Editor, The Times

Tuesday 10 September, lunchtime   David Hellier, Deputy Editor, City AM        

MONDAY 7 October, lunchtime      Clare Harbord, Corporate Affairs Director, Heathrow

Tuesday 12 November, lunchtime   TBA   

Lunchtime meetings £15 for members; guests £20 for the first occasion and £25 for subsequent meetings.  Booking forms can be found on our website

Early bookings are advised as there are occasions when the events are fully booked.

Money saving and CPD 

You can buy a book of vouchers for the speaker lunches and make a 10 per cent saving. You are entitled to 5 CPD points for attending the meetings too.

Through the Thicket – a guide to financial PR

If you wish to buy copies of the third edition of Through the Thicket, the Group’s guide to financial PR (a summary of the rules and regulations for those doing PR for listed companies), please email sueowen@corporate-financial.com.  Cost £15 with discounts for larger quantities.

Communication with other members

We now have over 760 members of the Corporate and Financial Group LinkedIn group and this is growing. People are using it for discussions and to flag up events and jobs. It’s free to join so please get involved and add to the conversation.

Annette Spencer

Chairman – CIPR Corporate and Financial Group

(Accredited Practitioner)


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