PR & Communications

Building & communicating compelling stories that resonate with your audience

In today’s 24 hours news cycle, companies have a much harder job of getting their messages heard. Not only that, but brands are under increasing scrutiny that was not possible in the pre-digital age. Reputations are now won and lost in a soundbite or tweet. The challenge for communications experts is to disseminate meaningful messages that resonate with target audiences. At the same time, reputations must be managed as a stream of social media posts quickly react to these messages.  Now, more than ever, deft communication planning is required to successfully manage the reputations and messages of brands and the C-suite and to connect with consumers.


Scroll through my successes
  • economist-app

    The challenge

    To launch The Economist Espresso, globally, acknowledging that this was the first time, in the 170-year history of the newspaper, that the publishing schedule was changing. There was the additional challenge of not knowing exactly when the Espresso app would be available to install on smartphones and tablets. The main objective was to drive app installs.

    The solution

    To drive as many app installations of The Economist Espresso as possible, it was key the global PR plan ran alongside the engagement campaign to the existing Economist readership, whether they access The Economist through

    social media, in print or via audio. I engaged Havas as our primary agency, who would work with our existing cohort of agencies, to secure in-depth interviews. Interviews were to be arranged for John Micklethwait, as editor-in-chief of The Economist and the architect behind Espresso, and Chris Stibbs, The Economist Group’s CEO, with top tier media in the UK and USA. Additionally, coverage was sought internationally and in the trade press who focused on the media, marketing and advertising industries. A press kit was made available via our PR agencies. An embargo was put in place and was only to be lifted the minute Espresso was available to install onto smartphones and tablets. I worked with the Corporate Communications Manager to ensure the internal comms plan was in place to make all Economist Group employees aware of Espresso, its purpose and how it could be installed, before launch.

    The outcome

    The Financial Times, The Guardian and The New York Times published in-depth articles following their interviews with John Micklethwait and Chris Stibbs. The Economist Espresso featured in more than 24,000 news outlets around the world. Most importantly, the app was installed more than 200,000 times in its first week.

  • economist-intel

    The challenge

    The Economist Intelligence Unit publishes two indices, The Global Liveability Index, and The Cost of Living Index, using hundreds of data sets for over 130 cities. BuzzData is an organisation that encourages data-sharing through its platform. I thought it would be beneficial to both The EIU and Buzzdata to make much of the data available from the two city indices available on the BuzzData platform and launch a competition asking entrants to add more datasets and create a new, Best City to Live In index. This competition would build awareness of BuzzData and The EIU among new audiences and engage in crowd-sourcing of new ideas demonstrating the modernity of The EIU.

    The solution

    I created a competition, with BuzzData, which asked entrants to use our combined data, and data of their own, to make an index of the world’s most liveable cities.

    The prize was US$10,000 and the publication of their index under The EIU brand. The winner was an urban planner from Venice, Italy who included data from Google Earth, the percentage of green space in a city’s metropolitan area, as well as flight data, to indicate the connectivity of a city to the world. The winning city was Hong Kong.

    The result

    The competition created new content for The EIU which was used as part of my content marketing strategy and was utilised by the audience development, engagement and retention teams within The EIU’s marketing function. Thousands of new prospects were added to The EIU’s marketing database. There was extensive media coverage with publications such as Time Magazine and the Best Cities Index was referenced in a book published by Springer, Conscious Coastal Cities: Sustainability, Blue Green Growth, and the Politics of Imagination.

“Charles has the experience, passion and the ability to lead campaigns; under his leadership, The EIU has been able to combine traditional as well as digital communications, delivering outstanding levels of growth. He is also an absolute pleasure to work with”.

Ravi Sunnak, EVP, Corporate, Executive Branding & Global at Havas PR North America