Pressure Chamber

An eclectic view on the news of today from team Flagship… if it’s in the media (from plot developments in Glee to the financial pages of the FT) there’s a strong chance you might read about it here

Getaway Ship Launch – A Photoblog

Norwegian Getaway breezes across the Atlantic towards Miami, where it will be home-ported year-round Calm before the media storm… Getaway shines at night Prepare to be amazed… The very first Illusionarium at sea! Value added prize… TTG competition finalists wine and dine with our...

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Merry Christmas from Flagship Consulting

A Merry Christmas from everyone at Flagship Consulting. Here's our festive countdown in GIF form

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What is the state of communications for the cruise industry in 2013 | Infographic

As the cruise industry continues to show strong growth year-on-year, we recognise that it is now even more important for individual cruise lines to be heard. This infographic shows just how noisy the market has become, and why the effectiveness of communications is paramount...

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How to find strength in numbers: Thomas Cook Group unites

This morning, Thomas Cook announced its plans to unify its brands and market activity as part of a new corporate strategy launched earlier this year. The first travel company ever to be established – dating all the way back to 1841 – Thomas Cook...

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BT sport launch is indeed a ‘game changer’

Two things happened last week that marked a shift in how the media operates. Former state telecoms behemoth BT launched a series of sports channels to much fanfare, whilst News UK launched Sun +, a paywall for the UK’s best known tabloid brand. These...

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Is our personal space bubble about to burst?

From subliminal cinema advertising trials to the increasingly sophisticated online behavioural targeting, every now and then you see a development in marketing and communications that makes you think: “can they really do that?!” Thanks to a wave of new technologies, we could well be...

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Pity the poor PR

After months of planning, the launch of that really important gadget has been upstaged by the late arrival of HRH Prince George of Cambridge which filled every page of every newspaper during the week.  As a result, there’s one tiny mention on page 22...

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From public to private: a changing social media landscape

It’s no secret that the social media world is a fast and furious one, with new platforms, trends and user behaviours moving quicker than a six-second video. It is no surprise then, that with social media users becoming savvier, the awareness of privacy ownership...

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The threat of tourism cuts to the UK

Visit Britain chairman Christopher Rodrigues recently warned government ministers about creating a “giant self-inflicted wound” by making cuts that would throw away the Olympic legacy. These cuts would occur, just as official statistics reveal that tourism visits to the UK are beginning to tail...

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Likes don’t save lives… or do they?

Likes don’t save lives. At least, that’s the message emanating loud and clear from Unicef’s latest online campaign, which castigates the ‘slacktivists’ who aren’t as generous with their money as they are with clicking the ‘Like’ button on Facebook pages.  The campaign even includes...

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Why we should support paywalls

Working in PR, we are very aware that the world of newspapers, both online and in print, is changing. In a constant battle to remain at the forefront of breaking news and information, newspapers have had to offer their content online in competition with...

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The Flagshipometer: what we think is hot, or not, right now

We had a bit of a discussion the other day on what we at Flagship think is “on trend” or “so yesterday”.  By no means a scientific study, but we are a pretty cosmopolitan lot, wide age range, a few girls, a few boys,...

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Lessons for PR from the commentary box

I am a football fan; if you’re not then please don’t necessarily stop reading this blog. What I’d like to do is show that being a good media commentator – one that gets printed or put on camera and, once there, gets people’s attention...

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Breaking News and Chinese Whispers – how the media reported the Boston Marathon

The recent attacks at the Boston Marathon were shocking and distressing. News channels went into overdrive as the story emerged, developed and grew into a chaotic frenzy driven by journalists all clambering to get their hands on the latest facts and figures, the latest...

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Who polices the police’s PR policies?

It has all been going wrong for Paris Brown, the 17-year-old “Youth Police and Crime Commissioner”. Last week, the youngster became the first person to hold this new, essentially PR, role which was created so that the good constables of the Kent Police Force...

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Facebook paid messaging: another head scratcher

From system updates and privacy issues to a much-debated IPO, Facebook has certainly had its fair share of criticism since launching back in 2004 – but its latest move is a particularly puzzling one. Having floated the idea before Christmas, the social network has...

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Take me to the bridge

Despite trying desperately hard to appear like men and women of the people, it’s generally not a good idea for politicians to promote or defend their policies by suggesting that they know how ‘normal people feel’, especially when said politicians are Conservatives. This was...

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Blustering Boris’ PR crisis

Boris Johnson, our floppy-haired Mayor of London, was caught in a pickle this weekend when he was interviewed by Eddie Mair on The Andrew Marr Show. The usually eloquent and nimble-tongued Johnson seemed utterly unprepared for Mair’s dogged questions on his extra marital affairs,...

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A funny thing happened on my way to becoming a UK citizen…

If you want to remain in the UK indefinitely, or become a UK citizen, you need to take a “Life in the UK” test, a test I bitterly complained about for months. The study guide was dry and boring and so were the facts...

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When is a launch not a launch?

When you have nothing to launch, that’s when. This week techies and gamers whipped themselves up into a frenzy of excitement at the prospect of the launch of a new Sony PlayStation. The now ubiquitous tech launch stage, as made famous by Apple, was...

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Where are you Delia? Not on the telly that’s for sure

Those who know me will be surprised that I am writing this blog. As a lifelong Ipswich Town supporter I have to dislike Delia Smith, not because her Yorkshire pudding recipe is unsuccessful for me, but because of her devotion to Norwich City football...

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Tainted Love

Chris Huhne has fallen on his distinctly rusty “sword of truth” and is awaiting his (custodial?) fate.  The spotlight is now on his ex-spouse. Let us, for the purposes of this article, assume that Vicky Pryce’s plea of ‘marital coercion’ is accepted and that...

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What am I on? I am on Oprah confessing…

The confirmation last week that Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career is a bit like the moment you realise as a girl that Disney has given you totally unreal expectations about love – a cruel and all too real blow. Last...

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Is it ‘rs4950′ or just chance?

I trust you’ve all seen the latest issue of Leadership Quarterly­. This learned journal has announced a momentous discovery: the identification of a ‘leadership’ gene – the prosaically titled ‘rs4950′. But the journal is, of course, hedging its bets: it accepts that leadership skills...

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Man I feel like a woman

First it was Bic’s range of girl-friendly pens, next came the Cadbury Crispello chocolate bar and now Fujitsu has launched a pink laptop called the ‘Floral Kiss’. These products have been met with a significant level of disdain from the public: how dare brands...

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Friends Forever

I was interested to read recently about a new approach to charity fundraising being used by Joshua Malina (Will Bailey in The West Wing). Malina has recently said he will follow on Twitter anyone who donates at least $10 to Mazon – a Jewish...

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Chained off

Despite most of us spending half our lives shopping and interacting with large corporations (most  of us work for them in one way or another), so many consumers these days seem to have an aversion to ‘chains’, ‘corporates’, and ‘multinationals’. The latest company to...

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Rising rail fares off the tracks

I’m not usually the first to complain. In fact, I’m usually the one to ask my bossier/bolder friends to return my food and drinks if they aren’t up to scratch in a restaurant, or suffer in silence at the idea of returning a top...

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The year that was …

2012 has been a humdinger at Flagship Consulting – we have welcomed some new faces, said some fond farewells, executed kickass campaigns, marvelled at the Olympics, organised once in a lifetime events and generally enjoyed this most British of years. Here are the key...

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What’s mine is yours

The latest saga that seems to have infiltrated my Twitter feed is the furore over Instagram’s change to its terms and conditions. Recent rewording states “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos”. This suggests...

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Let’s get Quizzical

Tuesday evening saw Flagship pop round the corner to local watering hole, the Lukin, for their annual charity Pub Quiz in support of the Family Holiday Association. Now in its third year, the Family Holiday Association’s Big Pub Quiz Challenge 2012 is a nationwide...

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Ceefax bites the dust

Apart from being surprised that Ceefax – the BBC’s teletext service – was actually still in existence, the news that the service has now been turned off made me realise how much the media landscape has changed in the past fifteen years. Growing up...

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Timeshare for the next generation

As a timeshare novice, I found it interesting to attend a session at the RDO conference this September, entitled “How much PR does the industry need?” The session was facilitated by our managing director, Jackie Murphy, and discussions varied from the (murky) history of...

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Waitrose Twitter hashtag failure invites ridicule, or does it?

Was the supermarket asking for trouble when it challenged tweeters to finish the sentence ‘I shop at Waitrose because…’? This week, Waitrose found itself in the infamous ‘posh’ spotlight for its upmarket image and largely middle-class patronage, as Twitter jokers piled in to ridicule...

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It’s all in the name

A wave of excitement hit the office recently when we discovered that Crayola will be releasing its own range of nail varnish. Yes, you did read that right. The popular brand of crayons and other great children’s stationery is launching a range of pretty...

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Like a Virgin…dumped for the very first time

If anyone ever doubted the power of a brand, then one need only look at the public support for Virgin Rail’s campaign to get the Government to reconsider its award of the ‘West Coast’ rail franchise to rival operator First Group. Under normal circumstances...

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Is Livestrong bigger than Lance?

Lance Armstrong is more than a man who has won seven Tour de France titles. He is more than a man who has beaten cancer. And he is more than a man who has raised £300m for his Livestrong Charity. Lance Armstrong is a...

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Perceptions successfully changed

After what was such a spectacularly successful two weeks for Great Britain, on and off the sporting field, it’s hard to not write something about the Olympics, so I’m not going to resist. As we glow in the aftermath and wonder at our athletes’...

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Whither Boris?

Image from The Daily Mail The Olympics circus is in full swing and, as expected, Boris is bouncing – and occasionally dangling – for London and Team GB. Boris – he of the redundant surname – has contributed massively to the gaiety of the...

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Will Facebook leave users Wanting?

Rumours of a Facebook “Want” button are fuelling discussions about what this could mean for social commerce in the travel industry. Acting in a similar way to the “Like” button, “Want” is predicted to allow users to create and share a virtual wishlist of...

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Proud sponsor of gender stereotypes?

I can’t work out whether I think P&G’s  ‘Proud Sponsor of Mums’ campaign is good, bad, indifferent, sexist, demeaning or just quite sweet. For the uninitiated, P&G, the global consumer products giant, has for a while been running a campaign that aims to champion...

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Guest Post: Mind the gap

I just performed stand-up comedy in London. But, I did so with a quite a bit of trepidation. That’s because I’d been forewarned by denizens of both sides of the pond that the American sense of humor (humour?) didn’t translate well. I was also...

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Show us the funny

If we’re being stereotypical, cynicism is a right British trait, and cynicism was rife amongst the Flagship Consulting team when we were presented with the daunting task of performing a stand-up comedy set. But we were too quick to pass judgement… In order to...

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Report: Social media in accountancy

‘Social Media in Accountancy’, an evaluation of the top 60 (by fee income) firms, conducted by Flagship Consulting, has identified those organisations with the strongest presence across social media channels. The study used our own algorithm to evaluate performance via a mixture of online...

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Their own worst enemy?

“Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin”.  Sir Josiah Stamp, President of the Bank of England in the 1920s, was a blue moon rarity – a banker prepared to question the probity of his profession.  The default setting for bankers these days...

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Why are professionals so afraid of having personalities?

Go to any networking event for any industry and you’re guaranteed to find groups of professionals actively discussing the latest trends and gossip with their peers.  They have opinions, insight and personalities. However, move these discussions to an online forum and far too often...

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(Not such) great expectations

There is sometimes a lot to be said for managing expectations. As England continue their progress (steady and unspectacular progress granted) the nation is pleased and, if we’re honest, pleasantly surprised. Unlike previous tournaments, we went into this one expecting the worst and hoping...

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Don’t rain on her parade – Flagship celebrates her Majesty’s reign in style

It’s not often I get to take part in a once in a lifetime event but on Sunday it happened, I became part of living history. Along with Lewis, Ellie and Sophy, I was lucky enough to be involved in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee...

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Flagship’s comedy night and summer party!

Thursday 19 July, Vanilla, Great Titchfield Street, London Flagship is looking forward to welcoming clients and contacts to a summer drinks event in celebration of its partnership with US PR firm Peppercom. After an introduction from Jackie Murphy and Diana Soltmann, the evening’s comedy...

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The Great British Summer of 2012

The promise of summer leaves most people ecstatic.; excited about the prospect of longer days, enjoying a pint after work outdoors and baring enough skin to get even a smidge of colour. As an Australian, I usually take summer for granted. This summer however,...

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Rocking the boat

Our little blue boats were well and truly rocked last week with the news that Blue Peter will no longer be shown on BBC1. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the news has caused outrage in the media, with...

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Why a holiday means more than you think

The understanding that a holiday can do us good is not exactly a revelation – most of us appreciate the need to get away from work / life / the rat race and relax a few times a year. And why shouldn’t we? The...

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#craphashtags

Only three years ago the hash sign suffered a meagre existence.  Its purpose unknown to the upcoming generations, hash’s humble façade was seen only as part of an emoticon or on a sheet of music. And then came Twitter. Twitter did for the hash...

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The million mitten question

What will come to symbolise the Olympics in London this summer? The Vancouver Olympics were remembered by many (admittedly by people who were there) by the red mittens that were worn by spectators in their millions. These proved very popular and created a lasting...

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Nick Clegg, The Voice and chair turning.

There’s something strange going on when you start drawing parallels between Saturday night TV talent shows and government strategy, but on this occasion the similarities are definitely there. New BBC talent show ‘The Voice’ is all about giving singers the chance to demonstrate their...

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Tax gets personal

One of the series of managed leaks preceding tomorrow’s Budget is the news that we are all to receive annual personalised tax statements telling us not only how much we’re paying in income tax and national insurance, but also where it is being spent....

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Tourism Ministers and representatives “grilled” at the Best of British

Last week at the BoBI show at Birmingham, I attended The Tourism Society’s “Minister’s Question Time”, chaired by Bernard Donoghue FTS, Director, ALVA. In a lively question and answer session, John Penrose MP Minister for Tourism and Heritage, was put on the spot a...

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Is your brand totally flawsome?

I’m not overly fond of dull people.  People who talk endlessly about nothing, don’t talk at all, or simply go on about how wonderful they are.  I like the eccentrics, the conversationalists and the real people of the world who share their real thoughts...

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What does the Guardian’s Open Journalism campaign and America’s Next Top Model All Stars have in common?

… Brand comprehension “What!?” I hear you say. “Woah!  Hold your horses. You are putting one of the UK’s leading papers, the one which blew phone hacking wide open and is championing a new era of  journalism, together  with a looks-focused, formulaic, cable reality...

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Social media will run the Olympics

Recently I attended a conference titled the ‘Socialympics’ which, as the name suggests, focused on the role of social media throughout the upcoming Olympic Games. The heavy debate about the impact of the Olympics guidelines, brought in last month by the International Olympics Committee...

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Have you got the write stuff?

Yes, I admit it; I’m a spelling, punctuation and syntax pedant with a capital – illuminated manuscript – ‘P’. When I chose to walk the mean streets of grammatical exactitude, I knew I was taking on a perilous assignment. There would, of course, be...

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Social media shop fronts for travel agents

Social media is changing for brands with both Twitter and Facebook rolling out new profile formats. Twitter brand pages have just launched in the UK with a handful of large consumer brands such as Asda and Cadbury’s, and Facebook is expected to announce its...

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Is the media simply collecting tokens?

Recently a former Radio 4 controller called for more ethnic minority representation on flagship programmes ‘Today’ and ‘The Archers’ which came weeks after the decision by Neighbours to move its first Asian family into Ramsay Street. This should be applauded as a proactive step...

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News from Flagship to combat the January blues

How did you get through Blue Monday? Or should that be both Blue Mondays? That’s the problem with pseudoscience (harsh? Check out The Guardian on this): first, you’ve got to devise an absurd “formula” for ‘the most depressing day of the year and then...

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Why I think the South West has so much to smile about this year!

What ISN’T there to smile about in the South West?  We are so lucky with spectacular countryside, miles of coastline, a laid back lifestyle and – of course – cider (there is always need for cider)! I am always amazed (though, on reflection, I...

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Feel good news from Flagship

Winning Awards We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for the new ‘Golden Hedgehog Awards,’ a new awards programme run by PR moment and sponsored by Precise and the PRCA. Our work on the English Language Day ‘Location Lingo’ campaign has been nominated.  The campaign...

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Case study: Making people smile can lead to award winning work

Humour can be a creative way to capture the attention and imagination of the public and this is what Flagship used at the heart of its campaign for the English Project when it reached out to the nation and asked people to nominate their...

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Guest post: A funny thing happened on the way to a rubber chicken dinner

To the best of my limited knowledge, Peppercom is the only strategic communications firm in the United States that offers clients a comedy experience. Some clients may think our work is a joke, but that’s a different matter entirely. We use the words ‘comedy...

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Is augmented reality the next game changer for travel brands this year?

Kunoi’s foray into the world of augmented reality is just one of a number of digital initiatives being launched by the brand in 2012. During the last two years Kuoni has worked hard to position itself as a younger, more ‘in touch’ lifestyle brand...

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When PR stunts hit home! Bravo Wikipedia

This morning, like every morning, as I drove my way into work, I listened to Radio 5 Live (easing my way into the day).  The show was, like many I have heard rumbling around on the net, on TV, on twitter and amongst colleagues,...

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Two screens are better than one

Picture this: a Tuesday night in, your favourite cooking show on TV, cell phone beside you and laptop on your knees.  Your attention switches between catching up on Facebook, sending texts and learning a great new recipe for bouillabaisse. The recipe impresses and you...

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Fined to get fit

Now here is a clever idea. A new app has been developed that fines people when they don’t stick to a pre-agreed gym programme, and rewards those that do with the money collected in fines. According to the people who developed www.gym-pact.com it’s all...

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Never work with children

Apparently over 20,000 people contacted the BBC to complain about Jeremy Clarkson’s latest outburst.  Now, I’m no flag-waver for the bejeaned buffoon, but I think we should cut him some slack this time.  After all, most of us know what Clarkson’s for.  In short,...

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Intern-al politics

As the graduate recruitment market continues to tighten, internships have become the Holy Grail. So much so that an event was held at Number 10 last month to discuss social mobility and internships with the main topic of discussion being whether a good internship...

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Keep Calm and Carry On…with the commercialisation: it’s good for our spirits

Reports published today suggest Brits are demonstrating ‘Blitz spirit’, and despite the economic doom and gloom, we’re actually pretty resilient here in the UK. The idea of ‘Blitz spirit’ conjures feelings of nostalgia and we do indeed have a current enthralment with objects and...

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Mike Tindall situation threatens accessibility of rugby stars to fans

On Friday Mike Tindall was fined £25,000 and dropped from the England team following his behaviour at the World Cup. A truly sad end for a man who has earned 75 England caps and was part of the winning World Cup squad in 2003,...

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Events we’ve organised

Our events team is highly experienced and just as excited about organising launch parties on the high seas, running ‘the event of the summer’ in London for client Greenwich or coordinating a design festival across central London. If you’re interested in the types of...

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Flagship news

In October we announced the exciting news that Flagship Consulting and Peppercom Inc, a leading US communications agency headquartered in New York (“Peppercom”), are forming a strategic alliance to provide clients with a broad range of marketing and communications services in the UK and Europe....

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Creating local waves around national events

The theme of this newsletter is “events” – happenings in the real (and now virtual) world which gather a group of like minded people together. We are pretty good at events in the SW – from the America’s Cup regatta, which has just happened...

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Advertising is dead. Yeh right.

There have been many debates lately around the power of advertising and whether consumers are becoming numb to it, or simply taking every opportunity to avoid it, especially on television with the rise in online viewing and catch-up TV. I’m in the camp that...

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A question of trust

Research results this week urged companies to improve the way they communicate with consumers and to strive to exceed regulatory requirements instead of seeing them as a barrier they have to find a way around. The report carried out for DLA Piper by polling...

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Is this the return of the golden age of justice?

What do judges do?  Well, if you want to be po-faced about it, they conduct court proceedings and dispense justice.  But we all know what they’re really for: they’re there to be gloriously politically incorrect, to demonstrate their contempt for, and ignorance of, popular...

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Sport shows that leadership takes many forms

At a recent Football Association breakfast event I heard Fabio Capello, supported by a panel of Stuart Pearce, John Barnes, Dennis Wise and Sir Trevor Brooking, take questions from Club Wembley members on a range of topics such as the future of the England...

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Blackberry’s comms outage overshadows service issues

Blackberry has never been a trendy brand.  Secure, safe, functional, great for dads – sure, but certainly not a phone you’d have to worry about flashing around on the train. But that’s fine – that’s exactly what Blackberry is known for, and that’s why...

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Big Bang or Damp Squib?

Twenty-five years ago – well, give a day or two – the City resounded to a very Big Bang.  Whether we feel that Mrs Thatcher’s de-regulation of the financial markets was positive or pernicious, none of us would deny its immediate and lasting impact. ...

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Making progress on malaria

Yesterday I attended the launch of Roll Back Malaria’s Report on a Decade of Partnership and Results, alongside our client Sumitomo Chemical (maker of the life-saving Olyset net). Held at The Commonwealth Club, the event was attended by representatives from the WHO, London School...

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Guest post: Why do young people fare so poorly in the media?

Post by Trudy Kilcullen, Chief Operations Officer at the Jack Petchey Foundation Following the recent riots in London and across the UK, headlines such as ‘Feral Scum’ and ‘Youths on the Rampage’ were rife within the media. Looking at the ages of those who...

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Guest post: Can local media be rebuilt after the riots?

It was no surprise to me when I read Roy Greenslade’s blog post “Local newspapers fail to rise to the occasion to report on the riots” on Media Guardian. Greenslade is a respected media commentator and professor of journalism at City University – he...

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Are law firms too posh to tweet?

If you’re after entertainment, I urge you to check out the reader responses on the The Lawyer’s website; usually they’re marvellous mix of vitriol and superciliousness. In short, lawyers, love a good ‘hate’ and a recent piece on who’s up and who’s down in...

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And in the meantime…Flagship organised the event of the summer

It’s not often you get to watch the jaws of over 250 travel media and PRs literally drop in  amazement, but that’s what happened when they arrived at the recent TravMedia event we held for our client Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.   After...

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How do you unlock the entrepreneur within?

Entrepreneurialism doesn’t always have to be linked to starting and growing a business: it can flourish in any commercial environment.  That’s why head-hunters are always being asked by large, established businesses to find people with entrepreneurial skills. And we’re helping corporates to promote their...

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Entrepreneurs are flourishing in the SW

Summer in the SW is always a time of renewed life.  The influx of people, surfers on the beaches, walkers on the moors and, yes, even the jams of campervans on the A303 demonstrate just what this corner of the UK is all about...

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It’s been a busy few months at Flagship…

We’ve been appointed to handle the launch of Altaia Partners, a consultancy specialising in advising corporates on people-related ‘change’ issues.  The three partners have all worked in-house at a senior level and have a deep understanding of the impact of takeovers, restructuring, disposals or...

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Introducing…Sarah Catterick

Hello Flagship watchers.  I’ve recently joined the team as an Account Manager.  I’m from North Yorkshire via Geordieland, where I took a Business and Marketing degree at Newcastle Business School, which involved a year’s placement at market research specialists TNS. Up till now –...

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News of the World is now the news of the whole world

On Sunday the News of the World ended. Or at least we thought it had.  Instead what has followed is an increasingly scandalous, spiralling web of events worthy of a big screen debut. A week later, the headlines of one paper (or three if...

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When cyber space knocks at the door – brands caught up in News of the World phone hacking

Well, once again it’s been quite a day in the world of journalism and social media. Following on from the super-injunctions debacle, we are now witnessing a collective coming together on social media to pressure companies to stop advertising in the News of the...

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James Brown to get the Boots?

In a world where the power of the celebrity endorsement continues to grow, there aren’t many large high-street retailers who don’t have a piece of this lucrative pie. Lily Allen, Kate Moss and Daisy Lowe are just a few examples of celebrities who have...

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An age old debate – Facebook for under-13s?

Last weekend, comments made by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were taken to mean that he wants to get younger children using the social networking site. When asked about the issue at the e-G8 Internet forum in Paris on Wednesday, he claimed his comments were completely...

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TravTweetup returns for the Summer

TravTweetup, the travel industry’s hottest social media meetup, will return on 21 June.  We’ve teamed up with Flight Centre UK to host the event in Jetlag Bar – giving an aeronautical feel to the event, which lands on the longest day of the year....

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Do super injunctions generate public interest?

It has been an interesting week in the world of privacy. In the past two days there have been approximately 30,000 tweets relating to super injunctions and the footballer allegedly caught up in the middle of this media cyclone. In real time, this represents...

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