The show is all about the real challenges and opportunities in business. Laura Sutherland talks to a range of business owners and communication professionals, demonstrating that although we face challenges, we can overcome them. It aims to give listeners hope! The name of the show comes from the fact that by building relationships, we build trust and we end up ’buying’ from people - that’s why it’s so important brands have purpose, values and a relatable personality. It’s relatable content and often with a laugh thrown in for easy listening.
Thinking out loud about public relations and communication
Since I started working in public relations 20+ years ago, things have changed big time!
From technology evolving to consumer habits changing, the economy, Brexit, COVID, Russia's war on Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.
But some things remain the same. We focus on engaging real actual people and we still need to listen, act, adapt and build relationships, in order to build trust.
Plus a few other thoughts!
Thanks for tuning in, don't forget to leave a review and subscribe!
ESG and governance - board and corporate
Since relaunching Aura on World Environment Day, with a specific focus on sustainable business, I’ve been conducting a lot of one-to-one webinars. The webinars are meant to help explain my proposition and how the Synergy Framework© works.
Along the way, I’ve been tweeking my slides for different audiences, (agencies, consultants, business owners, CEOs…) and taking note of things people have taken an interest in and also noted that may have been missing.
On a recent webinar where I was talking to the Head of Corporate of an agency and the person asked me about governance, as I focussed a lot on sustainability.
Sustainability is more than ‘just’ the environment
This is a misconception about sustainability, that it only focuses on environment. It’s one I try and address head on in the presentation by explaining sustainability is about people, communities, the economy and the planet. Sustainability means that there is a future because you’ve future-proofed your business/organisation having recognised that change is inevitable.
So, we were talking about that then I flicked back to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and referenced inclusion and equality. Then looked at Synergy© at the very first point, ‘Clarity’, where we would clarify the current governance of the business/organisation before we even start. Why? Because how we can make it part of the transformation if we don’t know where we are and where we are going?
Don’t leave it until the end
Governance in ESG is also something I was talking to a fellow consultant about, and how it’s often not considered until the end of the process, after a strategy and plan has been developed, often because part of the governance structure is broken in the first place and needs fixed for the strategy to work.
It comes back to purpose, the make-up and role of the Board of Directors, values being aligned, ethics and transparency. Also, if there are shareholders, structure, reporting, risk and systems are measured.
Listen and act
Good governance means listening to stakeholders. Things that matter to them and high on the corporate agenda could include benefiting customers, employees and communities, as well as shareholders.
This is why the stakeholder relations part of Synergy© is so important - you need to know them intimately in order to represent them and engage them.
Diversity and equity is also much talked about, although not always acted on, with better representation, equal compensation being top of the list. The financial benefit of creating inclusive workplaces has already been proven, so what’s stopping them?
In summary, although the ‘G’ of ‘ESG’ is at the end, don’t leave governance until the end of your process. It, like all other aspects, need to be fully integrated in order to be a) lived/practiced and b) have an impact.
Please remember to subscribe to my podcast and also leave a review! And if you'd like to get in touch with me to work together, collaborate on a project, discuss my private client mentoring and development, or just to connect, drop me an email email@example.com or find me on socials @laurafromaura :)
PRCA’s Misinformation and Climate Research Results
Last week, the PRCA's Misinformation and the Climate Crisis Strategy Group launched its annual findings of the industry and the consumer research.
It revealed that we must be more brave and lead the way in ethical communication.
More than 9 out of ten (96%) of PR professionals now advise their clients and colleagues to understand the climate crisis and how they can effectively communicate the part they play - up from 82% last year
Almost half (45%) have noticed their clients or organisation attempting to greenwash, however 89% have pushed back on this and 57% managed to change the approach as a result
Almost all (97%) said they have taken action to address the climate crisis but only 48% measure their carbon footprint
71% of consumers say they would stop buying from a brand if they knew it had misled its customers about having a positive environmental impact
57% of the general public don’t know the outcome of COP26 and a third (33%) felt the agreements made at the conference didn’t affect them
You can read my blog here and PRCA's news release and infographics here.
I mention Aura's ground-breaking Synergy Framework again and I urge small businesses and agencies to get in touch to have a chat to see how I can help you get started. The worst thing you can do is nothing! I'll help guide you and give your teams the tools to do the graft. View the framework here and please do get in touch!
Summary on today’s Climate Change Committee Report for UK’s NetZero
In this episode, I talk about the 7 key messages from the Climate Change Committee Report, specifically on the UK's progress.
Edie has kindly done the work for me and so I'm just picking out points to discuss for the show. Here's the blog and link to the report.
1) The UK is almost halfway to net-zero emissions…
2) …But less than 40% of future required emissions reductions are covered by policy
3) EV sales are ahead of predictions and trajectories
4) Buildings are a real problem point
5) The energy crisis hasn’t been accounted for by Government
6) There could be too much reliance on unproven technology
7) The UK’s land use needs a revamp
I refer to the Zero Waste Scotland funding and you can find that here www.circulartextilesfund.scot
I refer to the PRCA/Work Crowd sustainability event and you can find that here https://theworkcrowd.com/events/twc-prca-achieving-sustainability-in-2022
SCDI Business Purpose report for Scotland https://www.scdi.org.uk/business-purpose-commission-for-scotland-about/
If you need more information on how I can support businesses and organisations to a sustainable future and how to bring along your stakeholders, then do get in touch.
Please leave a review and subscribe! Thanks!
The 21st century CEO
Laura refers to the article she read on McKinsey recently, about the 21st Century CEO. You can read it here.
It talks through the six components of a great CEO:
- Be bold
-Treat the soft stuff as the hard stuff
- Solve for the team’s psychology
- Help directors help the business
- Start with “Why?”
- Do what only you can do
Laura talks through the article and her thoughts about each of the points. There is a lot of resemblance to Laura's former campaigns, blogs and thinking.
Please do share the podcast if you enjoyed it and don't forget to leave a review.
You can follow me @laurafromaura or my consultancy @AuraAdvisory and my new website is www.auraadvisory.co
Aura relaunches to help businesses accelerate to a sustainable future
Today is World Environment Day and it seemed appropriate to relaunch Aura on a day which mattered. Visit www.auraadvisory.co for the new website!
Laura has been thinking and developing ideas over the last couple of years and these last few weeks everything has come together. Aura's senior communication and business advisory is now launched and ready to help organisations accelerate to a sustainable future. Responsible businesses are sustainable businesses.
Aura also launches its ground-breaking ‘Synergy Framework©’, which aims to bring businesses and organisations, their strategies, policies and decision-making, into alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through research, collaboration, integration and strategic communication.
It’s flexible and scalable depending on sector and size of organisation, and the starting point for any business which wants to work towards a sustainable future. To be sustainable, a business has to be profitable, it has to recruit and retain the best talent, it has to advance and modernise with technology.
Stakeholders demand that businesses and organisations be more sustainable but too often businesses don’t know where to start or jump right into offsetting, or worse, greenwashing.
The only inevitable is change and will only accelerate further in tech and innovation, ways of working, culture and more. Organisations need to consider the impact of their decisions on their staff, customers, community, and environment, to ensure a sustainable future, good reputation and great relationships.
Tangible SDG successes and failures are felt most directly in towns, neighbourhoods and villages, in homes, workplaces and communities, and that’s where the work of public relations and communication professionals impacts – everyday lives.
Aura’s integration of strategic communication and stakeholder relations fits seamlessly with the framework, bringing everyone along on the journey.
Fancy a chat about how we could collaborate and accelerate change? Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or a DM on Twitter @auraadvisory @laurafromaura
The only inevitable is change. Are you ready?
Great insight; good chat
Good, open conversations around all aspects of the ever-changing PR world