The big questions in media, politics, business and PR, apprehended by leading experts and thinkers in these fields. Amid the noise of the modern world, this podcast from Portland Communications seeks to bring you that increasingly rare thing: clarity.
Comms in the public glare
Working for institutions that are in the media, public and political glare on an almost daily basis presents a unique set of challenges. Each morning you might be met with a stack of press cuttings the size of a doorstep, and that’s to say nothing of the thousands of social media posts about your brand. In this episode, Mike Peacock, Portland Senior Advisor and former Head of Comms at the Bank of England, sits down with Andrew Whyte, who led comms departments at the BBC, Financial Conduct Authority and the Foreign Office. They discuss the hypervigilance required when working at institutions like these, and how you sift through the noise.
The false perception of doing business in Africa
‘Twitter opens HQ in Ghana’ is a typical African tech news story that will get reported around the world, but what about the 500+ tech companies operating in Ghana who aren’t getting the headlines? In this episode, Portland Consultant Georgie Ndirangu chats with Moky Makura, Executive Director of narrative change organisation Africa No Filter. They discuss a new report that shines light on persistent, problematic narratives on doing business in Africa, as the continent’s potential continues to be neglected.
The power of language in politics
Frank Luntz is one of the biggest names in the research business, a language expert who has made the reputations of presidents and prime ministers. In the first episode of season three of ’To the Point with Portland’, he sits down with partner Gabriel Milland to discuss the purpose of research, how to conduct focus groups and polling diligently and effectively, and what business can learn from politics.
What role does humour play in politics?
Humour is a long-standing tradition in the House of Commons, at times tickling the general public and at other times infuriating it. So should a politician be serious or light-hearted? For Matt Forde they can and should both. The comedian, podcaster and political commentator sits down with Portland partner Gabriel Milland to discuss the role of humour in politics, how it is employed among the Left versus the Right, and whether politicians come in for more flak than they perhaps deserve.
Lessons from the front benches, battles from the back
Politicians certainly take their lumps, to the point where one might wonder why someone excelling in a career away from politics would make the move to Westminster. David Davis did just this, becoming an MP after serving as a senior executive at Tate & Lyle. He talks to Portland senior advisor and almost-namesake David Davies about the lessons he learned in business that helped him in politics, reflects on the sea changes he has witnessed during more than 30 years in Parliament, and reveals why more power can sometimes be wielded from the back benches than the front.
How boards really operate
The boards of companies are expected to weigh in on an ever-widening range of topics and problems. But when are these new pressures good, and when do they distract from a board’s most crucial and fundamental responsibilities? Dambisa Moyo spent a decade at Goldman Sachs and World Bank, and is currently non-executive director at Chevron, 3M and Condé Nast. She discusses her time in a variety of boardrooms with financial commentator and Portland senior advisor James Ashton, and the pair consider how good, balanced boards can help corporations run better in a complicated world.