Data – it’s everywhere.

We are surrounded by huge quantities of data generation every day in our personal lives and at work; from the number of steps we’ve taken, to a company’s sustainability footprint.

There are currently 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day at our current pace (according to Forbes). Over the last two years alone, 90% of the data in the world was generated. This point is worth re-reading!  Google processes more than 40,000 searches EVERY second (3.5 billion searches a day).

When it comes to corporate websites and data, there is a wealth of information available via analytics. But how do you understand if your website is a success and if your website is supporting your business strategy?

Our breakfast seminar will help you better understand your website analytics and will show you how to utilise your data to inform website improvements across the year.

We will cover:

  • Understanding your website vision and objectives
  • Defining measurement strategies that align to your objectives
  • Identifying meaningful insights using a measurement framework
  • A process for ongoing site optimisation
  • An opportunity to share and discuss

Be prepared to participate in some group activities that will give you the tools for better website development and audience engagement. Can you afford to miss this?

This breakfast seminar will run on Thursday 7 March 2019.

Venue
The RSA
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ

Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Embankment (5 min. walk)
Start: 8.45am arrival for refreshments, for a 9.30am start
Finish: 11.30am

Presenters on the day include:

Clare Bennett, Director of Digital
Mike Riches, Digital Account Director
Lynn Dickinson, Director of Sustainability

To reserve your place now, please RSVP to clare@gather.london or call 020 7014 3325

 

We’re pleased to share the news of Workspace’s highly commended award at the PWC 2018 Building Public Trust Awards.

The PWC 2018 Building Public Trust Awards recognises excellence in Reporting on Corporate Governance, Executive Remuneration, Financial Services, Purpose and Impact, Strategic reporting, Tax, and Workforce Fairness.

The Workspace Group were highly commended in the executive remuneration category. Judges’ comments stated:

“Workspace is highly commended for an honest and engaging remuneration report, which is enlivened by a schematic showing at a glance how the company’s incentive performance metrics align with its corporate strategy”.

The judges praised the open discussion of the link between executive pay and that of staff, and the inclusion of the ratio of the CEO single figure against average worker pay over the previous nine-year period.

“The cascade of pay structures is really useful,” commented a panel member. Another added: “I like how the graphs include an explanation of how people should read them. That’s really helpful for the everyday reader.”

View the 2018 Workspace annual report case study here.

How can you tailor your content to deliver your message and communicate more effectively?

Join our breakfast seminar at Fleet Street Workspace Centre on Thursday 18 October 2018 to find out more (see details below).

“62% of companies said a lack of content strategy across their organisation, prevents them from achieving content maturity and 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy.” (Curata)

We believe that a content-first approach to developing your website highlights real world requirements early. It is content that connects design, user experience, devices, technology and your organisation’s own capacity planning. It is the catalyst for getting audiences talking, sharing and taking action.

Aimed at web managers, content owners and corporate communications professionals, we will share insights and guidance to help you better implement and deliver digital content that meets your audience and business needs

Our breakfast seminar will cover:

  • Tailoring a strategy to match in-house resources, ambitions and budget
  • Balancing mandatory corporate stakeholder content with more customer facing features
  • Empowering your teams to own your content strategy

Into the future

Our Virtual Reality partners Uniq will do a live demonstration of their web apps on iPad Pro tablets at the end of the session and you will also be able to try out their Samsung Gear Virtual Reality headset experience.

When: Thursday 18 October 2018
Where: Top Hat Meeting Room, Fleet Street Workspace Centre,
154 – 160 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2DQ
Nearest tube: Blackfriars (5 min. walk)
Start: 8.45am arrival for networking, for a 9.30am start
Finish: 11.00am

Presenters
Clare Bennett
Director of Digital
Experience: Shell, Syngenta, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Laing O’Rourke

Mike Riches
Digital Account Director
Experience: Workspace, KAZ Minerals, Micro Focus, Rio Tinto

RSVP
Clare Bennett
clare@gather.london
020 7014 3325

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

It’s the 31st January. Is it me or does it feel more like the 331st day of January?

In some ways it’s lucky that January has been such a long month as it has given the Gather team more time to pack in all the incredible work we’ve been doing.

We’ve really hit the ground running in 2018 by kicking off exciting new projects with four new clients across Brand, Digital and Reporting this month already.

We’re really looking forward to seeing what happens in February. If January ever actually ends that is. 

We are delighted to announce that the AO World annual report (2017) won the award for the Best Annual Report in the Small Cap market at last night’s award ceremony.

We have worked with AO World since 2014, helping them translate the energy and passion of their staff for customer service into a tangible point of difference in the annual report. The task this year was to tell investors the story of how the business is using its unique culture to expand into Europe.

“The Judges applauded the clear and innovative design of the report, as well as a brilliant use of case studies. Judges noted how the business model engaged the reader. A personal and believable report overall, well done AO!” – The Investor Relations Society

Now in their 17th year, The IR Society’s flagship Best Practice Awards acknowledge companies that have demonstrated a strong understanding of, and proactive efforts to promote, clear and consistent investor communications. Judges are drawn from the investor relations profession and the investment community.

We are very pleased to announce that Langsford Corporate Design has joined Gather. With 22 years experience of designing and producing Annual Reports for FTSE 350 companies, Langsford Design’s expertise and history really complements and strengthens Gather’s corporate reporting capabilities.

For more information please contact:

Simon Lake
simon@gather.london

Paul Langsford
paul@gather.london

From 6 April 2017, companies with more than 250 staff are required to annually report on their gender pay gap. This must be published on both their own and government websites.

The following information is required:

  • mean gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • median gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • mean bonus gender pay gap
  • median bonus gender pay gap
  • proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment
  • proportion of males and females in each pay quartile

Although some companies have chosen to include this information in the annual report, an article in the Financial Times today (08.05.17) states that of the 9,000 companies who must now comply, only 5 (including a window-blind manufacturer, an umbrella company and a cleaning company) have published their data on government websites.[1]

Business, charities and public sector organisations are all required to publish the data under the new regulations.

Employers have until April 2018 to publish the figures, but given the pre-emption, the government had hoped that there would have been a larger number of early adopters.

It is possible that there are reputational and technical reasons that companies are slow to release their figures. Companies are likely to be anxious about how the statistics will make them look to both the public and their employees.

When taking into account full- and part-time employees the current national gender pay gap was 18.1% at April 2016, although the lowest this has been in the economy since 1997, it is hoped that the new regulations will reduce this further.[2]

But many companies are publishing figures that are much higher than this. At April 2016, Virgin Money had a gender pay gap of 36%.

Companies should seek to publish the information in the most accurate and timely manner. It is likely that larger companies will take their time, ensuring correct figures, appropriate accompanying narrative and managing the associated risks. That said, there is a reputational risk involved in not doing so. As always, it is often more telling what you don’t say.

 

[1] https://www.ft.com/content/a0b4e202-331d-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/
earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/
2016provisionalresults#gender-pay-differences

The head of marketing at Mondelez has quit her job. The company says “Our search for a successor will focus on finding a digital-first, disruptive and innovative leader who can build on Dana’s legacy and mobilise breakthrough marketing in a rapidly changing global consumer landscape.”

In today’s Financial Times Lucy Kellaway says that in this single, shortish sentence Mondelez has evoked not one, but many business clichés, each begging to be banned.

Why do clichés exist at all? Some say they’re useful because they are a form of shorthand. In fact they obfuscate meaning rather than convey it. What clichés sometimes convey amongst groups of people is a vague sense of belonging and invariably of being more clever than everyone else. But it’s a club of the clueless, making you and what you say forgettable.

Why do marketing clichés seem especially repellant? Other professions have their own, but perhaps it’s down to the volume and frequency with which ‘marketing speak’ is used. It spreads like wildfire if that’s not too clichéd a thought for you. A politician these days who doesn’t say ‘fit for purpose’? Unthinkable.

Most important of all, why do we need Lucy Kellaway to tell us what we all know to be true anyway? We need her because clichés are easy and comfortable. We fall into them because we are often lazy, sometimes stupid and occasionally both, and expressing ourselves precisely and thinking about things clearly is hard work.

So, thanks Lucy Kellaway for reminding us that we really ought to do better than spout this nonsense. In the meantime, to emphasise its absurdity, here are some definitions that may or may not be helpful:

Game changer

You’re playing Assassins Creed and you switch to Overwatch.

Granular

Often followed by the word ‘detail’ which is a kind of doubling up of the idea. Unless you’re talking about general detail of course. And phrases such as ‘let’s get granular’? Mildly unpleasant.

Value-add

‘What’s the value-add?’ you hear people say when they are asking about where the added value is. Apart from anything else, it’s a really ugly, car-crash of a phrase. Always sounds like a chopped off, half-a-thought. 

Thinking outside the box

Assumes that you’re already thinking in a box and begs questions such as if your thinking comes from outside the box how do you bring it back in again? And does it still have straight sides?

Low hanging fruit

This cliché, referring to ‘the simple or easy’, must rely on some kind of shared memory, given the separation of the growing process from many or our lives. This is probably the reason why people have forgotten that low hanging fruit often rots quickly or is the most damaged from disease.

Singing from the same hymn sheet

My upbringing as a Methodist allows me safely to say that this is no guarantee of a satisfactory, let alone harmonious result.

Killed in action

When it happens in war it is a tragedy. When consultants tell you it has happened to them, it is proof that they often over-estimate their importance and lead very dull lives. Killed in Acton could be both true and worse.

Names have ‘Handle With Care’ written all over them. These ticking bombs of emotion can go off any time you’re developing or launching them, provoking love, hate and everything in between. And that’s just among the people who are creating them.

So it is with caution that one approaches reports that Verizon will be launching ‘Oath’ – some sort of rebranded combination of Yahoo and AOL.

What is our response?

First, what will ‘Oath’ really be the name of? It is hard to believe that Verizon would purchase Yahoo and then immediately jettison the brand equity they paid money for. Yahoo (minus the Alibaba bit) cost Verizon $4.83 billion in July 2016, though thanks to the revelation of massive data breaches the deal has taken time to complete.

Despite this, of course, the Yahoo name has value. It remains among the biggest destinations for Internet users, particularly people who just use its email. And AOL is still a pretty big name.

Digging a little deeper into the story, it seems the Yahoo brand will not disappear, but rather that it will remain as part of a typical ‘house of brands’ strategy – a media brand sitting beneath ‘Oath’ and alongside Verizon’s other media entities, AOL and the Huffington Post.

Second, merging AOL and Yahoo is no surprise. In buying Yahoo, Verizon’s goal was to create a group of internet destinations with enough visitors so it could provide a credible alternative to Google and Facebook.

The Twittersphere is lit with the usual outrage reserved for the launch of pretty much anything new, but particularly a new name.

No doubt things will settle down as people get used to the new name and put it in context. But, interestingly, one test this name doesn’t really pass is the international pronunciation one. ‘Oath’. That ‘t’ and ‘h’ combination. For the French? For the Spanish?

 

The Government has triggered Article 50 on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

But what does this mean for corporate reporting? Unfortunately, all it tells us at the moment is that we should be braced for uncertainty.

Following the referendum in June last year, the Financial Reporting Council issued a statement regarding reporting and legislation in the UK going forward.

“Stakeholders have asked about the implications of the referendum result for our regulatory work. Our regulatory framework is unchanged and we will continue to apply it. The FRC will also continue to play its part in representing the interests of the UK internationally. We will pay close attention to the decisions now taken by the Government and Parliament, and continue to work in collaboration with our key stakeholders, particularly investors, business and the professionals we regulate, in order to ensure our work continues to support economic growth.”

We believe this still stands. Going into the divorce period, businesses should be transparent and comprehensive, particularly in assessing their principal risks. The fall out of Brexit is likely to be a risk that will be directly impacting a number of large listed companies in the UK and the discussion of risk management and identification of principal risks should reflect this.

To understand how best to ensure appropriate risk assessment see our recent white paper on ‘The importance of risk reporting’.