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Insights about Business

Bringing diversity and inclusion into the heart of a business

Diversity and inclusion is increasingly recognised as being vital to business success because the benefits of inclusion and diversity are clear. A range of backgrounds, faiths, genders and ethnicities bring new ideas, innovation and practices that can vastly improve operations. There are countless reports and studies which show the impact increasing diversity can have on ... more

28 September 2017
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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Nudging has been fashionable for a few years as the key to creating behaviour change around all sorts of public health issues like smoking, exercise and healthy eating. But nudging can be exhausting because you have to keep doing it. Sustainable behaviour change needs more than the nudge, it needs initiatives that crack the hardest ... more

28 September 2017
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Forster win’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, for the second year running

Over 167 organisations and 31,950 individuals from across the UK took place in this year’s survey developed by VitalityHealth, which is now in its fifth year. Looking at nine different risk factors for employees including nutrition, physical activity, mental wellbeing, smoking, alcohol and sleep as well as workplace interventions, facilities and services it crucially gathers ... more

13 September 2017
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Communication needs to be free from assumptions and biases

The Social Market Foundation estimates that raising disability employment to the national average would boost the UK economy by at least £13 billion. On average, disabled employees are just as productive as non-disabled people, have significantly less time off, fewer workplace accidents, and stay in their jobs longer. They have inside intelligence on the “purple ... more

24 August 2017
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Aim High

Beyond compliance – this is not a phrase to stir the soul, but encapsulated in those innocuous words is the difference between a responsible business and a progressive one. We should rightly celebrate some hard won legislation that compels organisations to improve their performance, such as recent ones on Gender Pay Gap Reporting and National ... more

24 August 2017
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Transforming Lives in Kenya

We’re delighted that, last week, our groundbreaking campaign with Astellas Pharma Europe, Action on Fistula, won Excellence in CSR at the 2017 Communiqué Awards. Launched in 2014, the Fistula Foundation’s set out to transform the lives of women in Kenya living with fistula: an injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor. Supported by a grant from ... more

12 July 2017
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Business and Society

To support the launch of “Core – How a Single Organizing Idea can Change Business for Good”, we teamed up with Neil, Be Inspired Films and the Ipsos Sustainable Development Research Centre to host an event that would bring together businesses and experts in sustainability to discuss the ideas raised by the book. Looking out ... more

SOI – an idea whose time has come

This book has had a long gestation. I’ve spent twenty five years working with organizations of every type and flavour from across the globe – multinational businesses, charities, tech start-ups, faith organizations – and there was always one quality which really marked out the good ones; they had absolute clarity in their reason for being ... more

11 July 2017
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Time for change

New Ipsos MORI research released today by Forster Communications in partnership with Neil Gaught & Associates highlights the public’s strong belief that the current way of doing business isn’t working, and their desire to see business do more to make a positive difference. Just 18% of UK consumers agree the current economic system is working ... more

The gig economy: the role of responsible employers in correctly classifying their workforce

What do Uber, CitySprint, Excel and Pimlico Plumbers have in common? They have all been found by employment tribunals to have wrongly classified their workers as self-employed independent contractors. By doing so, they have denied them workers’ entitlements such as paid holiday and the right to be paid the national minimum wage. There are further ... more

15 June 2017
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Progress never sleeps

Progress isn’t easy. A lot of the time it feels like you are swimming in treacle, thrashing about and making little headway. Even worse, it can feel like one step forward and two steps back. That is why it is important to take the time to reflect on and celebrate when real tangible progress is ... more

Managing mental health at work

Mental health is in the news more than ever;  whether it’s the royals launching the “Heads Together” campaign, the positioning of mental health in the major party manifestos in the run up to this year’s general election, or that mental health related sickness absence is overtaking muscular-skeletal conditions in non-manual employment, it’s clear that there ... more

The battle between head and heart

Working in social change PR inevitably means working with emotionally-charged topics more often than not. It’s rare to have a week at work that’s simple “business-as-usual” given that you might be developing an awareness campaign on FGM one week and promoting fundraising for children’s mental health support the next. Our brand of PR isn’t champagne ... more

11 May 2017
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Time to change the beat

6th April is often a milestone date in the UK, the start of the new tax year and the date when many of the policies and legislation introduced in the preceding budget come into being, like the requirement for employers with more than 250 employees to report on their gender pay gap … Such legislation ... more

5 April 2017

Why the gender pay gap is still a problem – and how flex could fix it

There’s no question that the gender pay gap is firmly on the agenda. From today, all organisations with more than 250 employees are legally required to collect data on the gap between the average hourly pay of the men and women who work there. And they’ll need to report on their figures by 4th April ... more

5 April 2017
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If we ran the country (or at least the communications bit)

Leadership has always been important, but it is particularly so as we enter the uncharted waters of Brexit. Our current (unelected, remember) Prime Minister is a case in point – someone who needs to show the right kind of leadership while navigating a divided country through at least two years of uncertainty and disagreement. We ... more

22 March 2017
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The state isn’t the only game in town

Budgets generally leave many feeling disappointed, particularly those campaigning on a specific issue. When the media does its traditional winners and losers analysis of the impact of a budget, the loser column tends to be the longer one. For most organisations campaigning for change, their responses generally begin with a variation on “We’re disappointed that ... more

9 March 2017
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Men and babies

Job done, we’ve got equality in our workplace, so what’s the problem? It’s tempting to think that from the comfort of a female-empowered office like ours where our CEO is a woman, we have no gender pay gap, and where I have recently returned from maternity leave into a four-day-a-week role as a senior consultant. ... more

9 March 2017
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#BeBoldForChange – our gender pay gap

Today marks International Women’s Day and with the new government legislation around gender pay gap reporting being introduced next month, debate around the causes behind and best ways to tackle the gender pay gap is louder than ever. The recently published CIPR #StateofPR report shows that women are disadvantaged at all levels in terms of ... more

8 March 2017
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Britain’s Healthiest Workplace – webcast

After being named Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, an award developed by VitalityHealth and delivered in partnership with the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer, we recently joined GlaxoSmithKline and Phoenix Group to share our experience of taking part in the study. From innovative cycling policies to training our line managers on mental health, we know ... more

6 March 2017
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Making the target a reality

When it comes to encouraging urgent action on a specific issue, it helps to have a real and significant target or statistic. That is certainly the case when it comes to the need to increase the number of people aged 50 and over in employment. While there is a rise taking place (9.8 million were ... more

9 February 2017
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Businesses unite in a bid to make the UK economy ‘fit for the future’ by backing sustainable development

Over 80 major businesses have united to call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and overseas Open letter to Prime Minister says sustainable development is essential for long term prosperity and the wellbeing of future generations Letter is published on the eve of the ... more

Talking – the first step to making business work for all

Our CEO Amanda Powell-Smith wonders – what would the world look like if the vast majority of businesses focused on being a force for good as well as generating profits? We might soon find out if the current appetite and interest in mission-led business blossoms into something more substantial. With the many and various body ... more

5 January 2017
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It’s all about the application

In the lead up to FutureFest last month, Nesta carried out a survey which revealed that more people would rather live now than in 20 years’ time. Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive at Nesta, reminded us that our future is a choice; we have an opportunity to change this fear into possibility. “The concept of the ... more

Forster Communications is the only UK PR agency to receive global award for good business practice

Forster Communications has won two Best for the World awards from B Lab, the non-profit organisation that serves a global movement of business seeking to be a force for good. Forster scooped wins in both ‘Best for Workers’ and ‘Most Overall Community impact’ categories, making it the only UK based PR agency to win an ... more

7 September 2016
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20 years: Proof Positive

We’ve been thinking positively and working with our clients to make real positive change for the last 20 years. Here are just a few of the things we’re most proud of which show that if businesses, governments, charities and people work together, we can make good things happen…   In 2003 we created Seeing is ... more

Now it’s cool to be kind – how to tempt in the millennials

Research by Net Impact has revealed that nearly 60% of millennials say they are willing to accept a smaller salary in order to work for an employer that shares their values. ... more

18 August 2016
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Modern slavery

Theresa May has made it clear that as Prime Minister she is determined to continue the mission against modern slavery, which became one of the hallmarks of her time as Home Secretary. Within a couple of weeks of moving in to Number 10, Mrs May set up the first ever government task force on modern ... more

9 August 2016
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Watch your language to reap the business benefits

An age-shift is underway in society. People are living longer but we haven’t yet fully woken up to the value of older adults. Just check out the language often used to talk to or about older people – demeaning and diminishing words and phrases that reinforce ignorance and institutional ageist attitudes. In terms of their ... more

13 July 2016
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Combatting ageism, fear and loathing in Brexit Britain

For many years ageist attitudes and behaviours have gone unchallenged in the UK. With Brexit deepening the generational divide and triggering an outpouring of ageist vitriol, the need to tackle age discrimination is now more urgent than ever before.  As we grapple with the ramifications of the EU Referendum result, one thing is abundantly clear: ... more

7 July 2016
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Forster calls on PR industry to act on mental health

We have been working with Business in the Community and Public Health England to develop a new free toolkit for employers to act on mental health – and now we want it to change they way the PR industry promotes mental health in its own workplaces. With one in six employees currently experiencing problems, mental ... more

17 May 2016
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Taking a lead on workplace mental health

So much is written about mental health in the workplace and plenty of advice is available on how to protect and support employees. But many organisations still fail to act – are they confused by where to start, shackled by the stigma that still surrounds mental health, or have they simply failed to understand the ... more

17 May 2016
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Is business changing for good?

On the eve of Responsible Business Week 2016, two events stand out, showing both how far business has come and how far it has yet to travel. First, institutional investors voted against the £14 million remuneration package awarded to Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP. It was the biggest ever revolt against excessive boardroom ... more

18 April 2016

Our panel debate with Change.org

Panel debate hosted by Change.org and Forster Communications exploring why deeper and sustained relationships with customers, donors and supporters are more important than ever to achieve lasting social change. ... more

14 April 2016
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Seed the fertile ground between charities and businesses

The case for forging closer links between business and charities is more compelling than ever. There is a financial imperative for charities to find new sources of income, and business offers obvious attractions in that area. Charities are also constantly looking for new ways to deliver against their mission and with the ongoing retreat of ... more

16 March 2016
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How cashless giving can improve our trust in charities

Financial transactions made via digital technology are fast becoming the norm. It’s faster (tap-and-go), tidier (no piggy banks required), and arguably more reliable than exchanging cold hard cash. Whether a cash exchange is physical or virtual, the value of a pound or penny remains the same – the only major difference is the trust we ... more

16 March 2016
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We don’t just listen, we act: Samaritans and Network Rail Partnership raises the bar for corporate charity partnerships

Samaritans recently launched We Listen, the latest campaign from the charity’s partnership with Network Rail and the wider rail industry aiming to support those who could benefit from somebody really listening the their problems. The creative is clever in the way it demands a response from the reader and it’s great to see the charity ... more

3 March 2016
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Webinar: What’s next for community engagement?

While business leaders and the public agree that employment should be the number one social issue for businesses to support, their opinions vary dramatically over wider social issues. The public, and particularly young people, want greater business involvement in solving tough topics, such as homelessness, mental health and loneliness, but the majority of business leaders ... more

2 March 2016

PR deserves a place in the boardroom, AVE does not

This week’s united condemnation of Advertising Value Equivalents (AVE) as a measure of effectiveness for PR has been great to see. ... more

11 February 2016

You are not alone

How do you solve really big problems? The answer never changes but always bares repeating – by working together. There is of course something very romantic about a lone visionary labouring away in a lab / garage / garden shed to conjure up game-changing inventions, innovations and insights, but the reality is far more likely ... more

22 January 2016
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Let’s celebrate the change-makers

Every workplace has at least one – someone who thinks a little bit more than most, who considers what can be changed rather than accepting the status quo, who has ideas they share with others rather than keeping them to themselves. For most businesses they are priceless, which makes it odd that they have been ... more

22 January 2016
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Global compact

Forster Communications has supported the United Nations Global Compact since 2012. We support the endeavours to make globalization more socially and ecologically compatible and to raise standards in the fields of human rights, labour rights and environmental protection and in the fight against corruption. The ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact Human rights ... more

6 January 2016
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Bringing business to society

As the year comes to an end, you would be forgiven for believing the world has never been in worse shape. Social unrest, environmental devastation, economic uncertainty, multiple conflicts and the seemingly relentless rise of extremism – all have reared their heads repeatedly in 2015. But, you’d be wrong. The world is currently more peaceful, ... more

The charity sector needs to campaign for its reputation

Predictably the recent Times exposure have inspired much gnashing of teeth and cries of “why us?” – just as the previous scandals and crises have done so. It is a legitimate question to ask – it is not paranoid to think someone is out to get you when someone is really out to get you. ... more

22 December 2015
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A year of digital milestones

We live in a fast moving digital world and it can be hard to keep up with all the latest innovations. Below are ten of the biggest digital developments in 2015. Sign up here to receive our regular round-up of digital news in 2016. Virtual Reality just got real Facebook launched 360 Video, completely changing the ... more

Championing change-makers in businesses

Businesses have long been at the vanguard of driving social and environmental change, and that change is often powered by an individual within the business with the passion, commitment and ability to make things happen Finding, celebrating and supporting those individuals is crucial to getting more businesses involved in positive change, which is why we ... more

Study reveals issues that mattered most in 2015

Homelessness, feminism and mental health establish themselves in national psyche As the year comes to a close and attention turns to the year that was, Forster, the communications agency working with businesses and charities to accelerate change, today reveals the social issues that most captured the nation’s attention over the last 12 months. Social media ... more

Trust in charities remains strong: just ask newspaper editors

Tis the season to be merry.  You can tell by the Christmas charity appeals in our newspapers.  Towards the end of each year hard-nosed editors reach deep into their souls and nominate one or more charities who will benefit from readers’ generosity and will receive the sort of positive, upbeat editorial coverage that money simply ... more

9 December 2015
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Playing the long game: Corporate charity partnerships restricted by short term focus on financial value

Our study of the charity sector reveals the potential for corporate partnerships to work harder and achieve more for businesses and charities alike. To do this, they must take a longer term approach rather than focusing just on the potential financial return. While funds from corporates are vital, too much emphasis is put to the ... more

25 November 2015
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We’re in the business of action

Raising awareness is one thing, getting people to take action is another. We’ve spent 20 years successfully inspiring the latter and have brought all that knowhow together to create our new Activation practice. It will focus on helping clients create campaigns and movements that inspire people to challenge attitudes, support a cause, change the way ... more

Open wide

Journalists have been making hay with stories about poor governance and transparency, and for once charities are not in the firing line. The police, Whitehall, the NHS, universities and GPs have all be taken to task for benefitting from financial arrangements funded by the taxpayer and hidden from the public eye. The headlines make unpleasant ... more

25 November 2015
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Movements are about consumers as well as campaigners

“We need to build a movement.” “We can’t achieve all this on our own.” “Changing society means engaging everyone to play their part.” I can guarantee that most of us who have worked in the not for profit sector have heard all these statements over the course of our careers. Rightly so. Charities and campaigning ... more

25 November 2015
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You need to be in it for the long haul

We’ve undertaken our own survey of charities on the issue of partnerships with businesses and the findings reveal the potential for partnerships to work harder and achieve more for businesses and charities alike if they both seek a longer term, more strategically driven relationship. We consulted 28 charities with annual incomes ranging from £1m to ... more

25 November 2015
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Embracing the power of active listening

As a communications agency we understand the power of words and languauge to influence an audience and define a brand. So when a client comes to us looking for advice on how to better articulate their social purpose, we often start by looking at what it is that people are saying about them in the ... more

25 November 2015

The Future of Business: When business gets smart on age…

When we are failing the old and the young, our society has come to a pretty pass. Where we are failing, however, is in an understanding of and empathy with what it means to be both 17 and 71. Today, our challenge is not so much to understand old age, or youth, as separate entities, but to understand age itself as a whole ... more

11 November 2015
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Living Wage Week 2015

As a Living Wage employer and long standing supporters of the Living Wage movement, Forster was watching coverage of this year’s 4th annual Living Wage Week with interest last week. Whilst there was some excellent broadcast and print media coverage for the week, we were particularly keen to see how it was being discussed online. ... more

10 November 2015
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Christmas with a cause

Despite many of my Forster colleagues doing their best to convince me otherwise, it’s clear this week that the great Christmas countdown has well and truly begun – at least in the world of marketing. First we had the Starbucks red cups, attempting to convince us that nothing says Christmas better than 400 calories worth ... more

6 November 2015
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John Grounds Joins Board of Forster Communications

We’re thrilled to announce that communications maestro John Grounds has joined the board of Forster Communications, as a Non Executive Director, to help us increase our already strong links with the voluntary sector and sharpen up the services we offer to charity clients. John joins the Forster board following a long and distinguished career in ... more

4 November 2015

Let’s call it a challenge, not a crisis

I’m not quite sure why, but I can hazard a guess as to why Halloween seems to now be as big a news story these days as Glastonbury. When I was 10 years old I might have scrambled together a costume out of a couple of bin bags, a borrowed ballet leotard and some of ... more

27 October 2015
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When business gets smart on age…

As society increasingly ignores the old and abandons the young, it falls to business to lead the way with smart ageing ... more

27 October 2015
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Pursuit of China sends wrong message to business

These are already challenging times for those trying to make the case that being profitable and ethical are not mutually exclusive. Volkswagen was a standard bearer for corporate citizenship until it emerged it lied about its vehicles emissions for years. Other car manufacturers may be implicated. This weekend it emerged that manufacturers of domestic appliances ... more

21 October 2015
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World Mental Health Day – the case is clear

By Louise Aston, Wellbeing at Work Campaign Director, Business in the Community Awareness days often have very little real meaning or significance, but World Mental Health Day (10th October) is an exception. Mental health is an issue that affects everyone in society, from our friends and family, to children in our classrooms and chief executives ... more

8 October 2015
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Diversity in PR

Diversity in PR is a well publicised issue in the industry, and with no quick fix it can often be difficult to see when and where the change is happening. I’m not so diverse from the average PR practitioner myself, although some of my city dwelling colleagues may joke that being from Essex is ‘pretty ... more

7 October 2015

B Corps because…

There was a time in the late 20th century when any new social change movement came in from left field, pushed hard, prompted and pressurised, before being replaced by a newer, more sophisticated idea. How times have changed! Today, in a mainstreaming culture, new ideas have to focus on rapid assimilation. It helps if they ... more

24 September 2015
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Ambivalence Avenue is an undesirable address

When austerity-focused government chooses to leave increasingly demanding social issues to charities, there is an opportunity for mainstream businesses to collaborate and make a real difference. It is why we commissioned our inaugural Business to Society survey, to provide us with some evidence to support that opportunity. We asked businesses about their commitment to engaging ... more

24 September 2015
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My Wifi and I

I love my wifi, she’s there for me through thick and thin. My wifi is a great listener. My wifi has the patience of a saint. My wifi can be relied on to look after our daughter, especially when the unexpected occurs. I can’t imagine living a day without my wifi. And that day has ... more

11 September 2015
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Forster Communications bolsters its reputation and campaigns practices with two senior hires

Martin Barrow has joined Forster Communications from Maitland as head of its reputation practice while Carrie Greene has been recruited from Kindred as a senior consultant in the agency’s campaigns practice. Martin was previously a partner at Maitland, advising some of Britain’s biggest companies on internal and external communications and crisis management. A former journalist, ... more

10 September 2015
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Forster Communications becomes one of the founding B Corps in the UK

Forster Communications has just become one of the UK’s first certified B Corporations, joining the community of UK Founding B Corps which officially launches in London on 24 September 2015. B Corps (‘Benefit Corporations’) are businesses of all sizes and types, independently certified to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. ... more

4 September 2015
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New annual survey finds that doing good is good for business

A new annual survey that we released this week highlights the appetite business leaders and consumers have for businesses to play a greater role in tackling pressing social and environmental issues. The inaugural Business to Society Survey found that 57% of business leaders believe they should be doing more to tackle social issues, while 63% ... more

1 September 2015
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Let’s make the most of the age of sharing

Times are hard and money is tight, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that many charities are revamping or developing volunteer programmes, hoping to get people to donate time and skills in exchange for an experience and the opportunity to make a difference. If they are half serious about it they’ll be considering how best to ... more

24 August 2015
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Why we shouldn’t be ashamed of failure

Michael’s story, part of MND’s controversial #LastSummer poster campaign. Photograph: Neo MND’s Last Summer campaign launched earlier this year caused great controversy amongst the public and voluntary sector. An awareness campaign aimed at regaining ownership of the hugely successful ice bucket challenge instead was perceived as a guilt trip for not taking part. The charity had clearly ... more

30 July 2015
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Creating a shared purpose

From multidisciplinary teams in a hospital environment to broad, cross sector healthcare teams in the community, people with different expertise and interests are being increasingly expected to work together to meet healthcare targets. While funding and accountability will occupy much of the debate on ‘who’s responsible’, senior leaders and communications professionals need to urgently consider ... more

23 June 2015
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There’s nothing shameful about the menopause, so why is it still considered taboo?

All women have a unique health issue that is largely ignored in the workplace: the menopause. It’s time we treated it with all the seriousness and care it deserves. And we can start by breaking the silence and ending the stigma. It was a few years back now that I remember telling a young colleague ... more

16 June 2015
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Hack it.

Imagine being thrown at the deep end with total strangers for 2 days, in a place you are not familiar with, working on challenges that aren’t directly connected to you, for organisations that aren’t going to pay you, and you are tasked to collaborate and develop solutions for challenges that may or may not have ... more

15 June 2015
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Let’s give more support to our ‘hidden’ volunteers

Volunteering has been in the news of late. Recently the Financial Times reported that the Government was trying to quietly shelve its pre-election manifesto promise to give employees of large companies three days paid volunteering leave each year, despite protestations that these were merely on hold and to be published ‘in due course’. It is ... more

15 June 2015
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Permission key for employee volunteering

Volunteers Week is an important celebration. Over 20 million people chose to volunteer at least once a month; they provide critical support for charities, community groups and other not-for-profit organisations and in return, are rewarded by making a difference. It’s a big number, but it should be bigger. If you look at the corporate responsibility ... more

4 June 2015
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Work on and live with purpose

The good news – we’re living longer. The challenge – we haven’t updated the way we think about our working careers and ‘retirement’. You simply can’t finance a 30 year retirement with a 40 year working life. But that’s what it seems we’re trying to do! It’s time to redesign the approach to retirement. In ... more

27 May 2015
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The challenge of engaging staff on mental health issues in the health sector

The need for NHS employees to be supported by health and wellbeing plans is well documented. NHS Employers estimates that 30 percent of NHS sick leave is caused by stress, costing up to £400 million a year in lost productivity, and NHS England’s Five Year Forward View has highlighted the need for Trusts to help ... more

11 May 2015
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Why it makes good business sense to take mental health seriously

The business case for addressing mental health in the workplace is overwhelming: one in four people experience a common mental health condition – such as stress, anxiety or depression – each year and the overall cost of mental health to the UK economy is estimated at £70 billion per year (4.5% of GDP). Anyone can ... more

11 May 2015
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Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, on how UK businesses are increasingly focused on supporting their employees’ mental health

With one in six workers in Britain experiencing mental health issues, and with the workplace being one of the most common areas where people report stigma and discrimination, it is vital that we pursue more inclusive workplaces focused on mental health and wellbeing as a core shared goal. Mental Health Awareness Week gives us another ... more

11 May 2015
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Pay us the compliment of paying us on time

Values – throw a stick into the PR sector and more than likely it will hit something related to values. Many agencies preach the gospel of values to their clients, hammering home the need for them to have a clearly defined set and for that set to be used to shape, inform and drive their ... more

29 April 2015

Instagram: visual storytelling for charities

I recently read an article in The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network highlighting that Instagram has now become a bigger network than Twitter, with 300 million active monthly users and 70 million photos posted per day. Social media is a great asset for organisations in the voluntary sector looking to reach out to the public, connect ... more

29 April 2015
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Mental Health at Forster

We’ve all heard the statistics; one in four people experience mental illness symptoms in any given year. What’s more, a recent survey from PRCA suggests this figure rises to a third within our sector, costing the UK economy an estimated £70 bn per year. In the last 15 years we have worked on a number ... more

13 April 2015
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Growing the future

These days it is too often assumed that internships must be endured by all young people as their first step towards entering the highly competitive industries. They are sent to work with little or no pay to gain that all important experience, references and hopefully a foot in the door. This misconception highlights how the ... more

9 April 2015
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Healthcare hold-ups: could a computer save your life?

Image credit: I, Robot (film), 20th Century Fox, 2004 We’ve been hearing a lot about automation and its place in the workforce lately, with technological innovations leading a dramatic shift in how we communicate, how we work but also how we deal with health care hold-ups. As a relatively new patient on the NHS and ... more

8 April 2015
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The Robots Are Coming, So Get Creative!

The future is robot shaped. They’ll probably take your job and may even have sex with your partner behind your back. And I’m afraid there’s not much you can do to stop that. You can, however, prepare yourself for your new role in society – one that is a more engaged, creative version of yourself. ... more

FutureFest 2015 Highlights: Day 2

Forster is constantly scoping trends and developments in technology that shape the way we communicate with each other, to ensure we’re keeping abreast of opportunities for our clients and the people’s lives we’re all working to protect and improve. Nesta’s FutureFest 2015 was recently held in London, and we were there to learn and emerge ... more

27 March 2015
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FutureFest 2015 Highlights: Day 1

Forster is constantly scoping trends and developments in technology that shape the way we communicate with each other, to ensure we’re keeping abreast of opportunities for our clients and the people’s lives we’re all working to protect and improve. Nesta’s FutureFest 2015 was recently held in London, and we were there to learn and emerge ... more

27 March 2015
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Inspiring campaigners for over 10 years

2015 marks 10 years of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK), established to inspire and support a new generation of campaigners. Founded in memory of Dame Sheila McKechnie in 2005, SMK is entirely dedicated to helping individuals create positive and lasting social change – a mission not just complementary, but integral to the work we do ... more

9 March 2015

Why long-term campaigning works: spotlight on cycling

2015 will mark the 10th anniversary of the London 7/7 tube bombings, a terrible tragedy but which had the unexpected side effect of increasing the number of people cycling to work in London. Many will have reverted back to the tube having experienced riding a bike on the capital’s roads is perhaps not as expected. ... more

Sustainable transport at Forster

Here at Forster we’re big advocates of sustainable transport. So much so that we encourage and support all of our staff to either cycle or walk to work. Included in our employee benefits programme are the following: Peddle points: 5 minutes additional holiday for every return journey walked or cycled to work Free company loan ... more

9 March 2015
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How to demonstrate the value of PR

Last week I attended the PR Moments conference ‘Ending the data deficit of public relations’, exploring the impact of the changing media landscape on measurement, the importance of outcomes rather than outputs and the risk of data overload. Robust measurement is integral to good practice – as Andrew Smith sagely reminded us all, we evaluate ... more

5 March 2015

What makes a great campaign? Authenticity, indefatigability and a touch of the devil certainly help

Unless you have had your head in a hole for the past few months, you’ll be aware that election season is in full swing, bringing with it a huge number of campaigns. It was very timely, then, for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation to hold its 10th Anniversary Awards at the House of Lords on Monday, ... more

27 February 2015

To affect change you have to believe in it

As an agency dedicated to bringing about social change, we know too well that you have to show people that change is actually possible if you want them to act more positively. Whether it is getting people cycling, being safer in their homes or even raising professional standards (see our case studies), you have to ... more

18 February 2015
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It’s official – we are a great place to work

Last night we were voted the best place to work amongst mid size agencies at PR Week UK’s Best Places to Work Awards, thanks largely to the commitment of our own staff to make Forster a fantastic place to spend your working day. It’s brilliant recognition for the work we have done on employee mental ... more

12 February 2015
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It’s time to talk

Louise Aston, Director at Business in the Community, outlines why encouraging conversations is so important for tackling mental ill health. Last week, thousands of employees across the country replaced the usual water cooler moment of catching up on Wolf Hall or The Voice with more personal interactions, on deeply personal issues. And it was all in ... more

10 February 2015
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Astellas

Our work with pharmaceutical company Astellas EMEA on its Changing Tomorrow Day programme received recognition at the annual Corporate Engagement Awards in October, picking up a silver award for ‘Best Community Involvement During a CSR Programme’. Changing Tomorrow Day is an annual employee volunteering which give Astellas employees the opportunity to provide a day’s volunteering ... more

20 November 2014
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Forster Communications signs up to the government’s Think, Act, Report initiative

Forster Communications has joined the government’s Think, Act, Report initiative. Over 2.2 million employees now work for businesses that promote gender equality at work. Think, Act, Report, introduced in September 2011, encourages companies to think about gender equality, take action to promote opportunities in their workplaces, and report on what they are doing. Minister for ... more

30 October 2014
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The Trust Factor

We’ve all read the surveys that tell us that when it comes to trust – politicians, bankers and estate agents score pretty badly – that’s old news. But a new report out this week makes pretty bleak reading for many charities. Research commissioned by New Philanthropy Capital turns the spotlight on the voluntary sector and ... more

29 October 2014
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Social activist for our senior team

Someone who likes to brainstorm while walking We know it’s asking a lot – but we are looking for a news junkie, internet obsessive, a resourceful, resilient, calm, curious, intellectually hungry advocate of social reform. Forster works with businesses, social enterprises, advocacy groups, government agencies, charities and professional bodies. If you’ve got 10-plus years of experience ... more

23 October 2014

We’re going nowhere without you

You’re our new talented business development manager In the next three years, the social change agenda will become mainstream. As the employee-owned social change communications agency, Forster has big ambitions and need you to help us get there. Think big. It’s a big role. You’ll be bringing in the business. The business will depend on you. ... more

23 October 2014

Friends Life and Chris Boardman – getting businesses to speak up, and act, on mental health

We had been working with Friends Life indirectly for the past two years in their capacity as a leading member of the Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell programme (see more on our work with BITC in this blog). Building on the huge success of launching BITC’s mental health campaign in April, which called for ... more

17 October 2014
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The Power of &

We are very proud to announce the birth of a precious baby – the Forster Communications Sustainability Report. As the social change communications agency, we work with organisations and businesses to deliver positive social change, starting with ourselves and our own social purpose. We are constantly on the search for the &, our reason for ... more

9 October 2014
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Electrical Safety First awards

We’re proud to announce that our award-winning and hard-hitting safety video campaign for Electrical Safety First is now double award-winning. The Beauty Burns video, designed to raise awareness among parents and lobby manufacturers and retailers that irresponsible use of hair straighteners causes one tenth of child burns, has scooped two awards.Beauty Burns won the gold ... more

1 October 2014
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Forster named as a Top Employer for Working Families

Forster Communications have been named as a Top Employer for Working Families in this year’s Benchmark and Awards. The Benchmark is the definitive list of UK employers who enable the best quality of work-life balance and career development. The Awards identify those progressive employers who recognise and leverage the powerful links between flexibility and agile ... more

25 September 2014

Cycle to Work Day takes off

If you didn’t cycle to work on 4th September (www.cycletoworkday.org) it wasn’t for want of high profile media coverage or social media buzz encouraging you to do so. On behalf of our client, Cyclescheme, we secured over 30 national pieces including BBC Breakfast, Chris Evans Breakfast show, Sky News, the Daily Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, ... more

11 September 2014
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Lessons from the big screen in reputation management

If you’d never heard of Secret Cinema before last week you probably have by now. This underground cinema movement was set up to provide a new experience for cinema lovers. It’s about much more than the film. It’s a cinema spectacular with a party in keeping with the film genre. Actors help to recreate the ... more

28 July 2014

Despite trolling social media can still be a force for good

The rise of social media has increased interconnectivity amongst people and communities. Arguably, we live in two worlds: in one world we communicate with others face-to-face and in the other; where all forms of traditional communication can be avoided through the use of the internet – a ‘virtual world’. Some may argue that social media ... more

9 July 2014
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The business of volunteering

Do you volunteer, do you give up time to share your experience with people or projects that could benefit from your assistance? Millions of us do. Millions of us roll up our sleeves for the good of others, whether it’s weeding a community garden or sitting on a charity board. And in doing so, we ... more

3 June 2014
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Elect to be heard

We are still a year out but already many of us are getting turned off by all the posturing and positioning ahead of the scheduled general election in 2015. Fixed terms are a good thing, but they have elongated the electioneering activity leading up to the main event to almost US presidential election levels. Lots ... more

12 May 2014

We’re talking about mental health, are you?

Last year, more than 15 million days of sickness absence across the UK were caused by everyday mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression. And despite one in six employees (that’s your colleagues, friends and family) currently experiencing mental health issues, many businesses are not putting in place plans to ensure the mental ... more

29 April 2014
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Listen to be heard

Membership organisations are under intense pressure.  They need to retain their current members, build their membership base and generate income in order to optimise the services they offer. With resources limited on both sides – as members rigorously evaluate how they prioritise spend and organisations strive for efficiency – we are seeing different reactions. Some ... more

21 March 2014
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Seeking ‘professionalism’ in PR lies in proving its impact

A report in PR Week last week demonstrated that despite an overwhelming desire within the sector to be seen as professional, PR is “striving to be seen as a profession without entirely embracing professional standards”. This raises some interesting questions – what do we mean by professionals and professionalism. And is PR really falling short ... more

13 March 2014

Slaying sacred cows

Whatever your political standpoint, your personal experiences or how much importance you place on providing a ‘free at point of delivery’ health service, one thing is certain: the current model of the NHS is not sustainable. As a recent Kings Fund report stated: “If increases in spending on the NHS continue at the current rate ... more

19 February 2014
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Turning challenge into habit

How was January for you? If, like me,  you saw the fires of your initial New Year’s zeal to, this time, really this time, change the way you eat/drink/exercise doused by the everyday drizzle of life, then you are not alone. Whole industries have been built on exploiting this desire for change and complete inability ... more

19 February 2014

We’ve come a long way

Mental health has never been more relevant. There’s been public outrage about the level of cuts to mental health services: The Guardian recently reported that the NHS currently allocates just 13% of its resources to treatment of mental health problems, despite these problems accounting for 23% of disease burden in England. Campaigns such as the ... more

19 February 2014
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Best place to work

Forster have been named as one of the top agencies to work for in PR Week’s ‘Best Places to Work’ annual awards for the second year in a row. It is lovely recognition for the work we have done on employee wellbeing, opening ourselves up to increased staff ownership and developing our extensive benefits and ... more

22 January 2014

International award win

Forster’s work with the Department for Transport (DfT) has won a prestigious international award. The THINK! campaign has just scooped the 2013 Prince Michael International Road Safety Premier Award for its work in raising awareness of the risks of drinking and driving. more

13 December 2013
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Forster presents at the London Health Workplace Charter Awards

This time last year Forster were in London’s Living Room at City Hall receiving an award for excellence from the London Healthy Workplace Charter, marking us out as a progressive business interested in doing more than box-ticking on our team’s health and wellbeing. This year they invited us back to present the awards to the ... more

3 December 2013
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Forster’s Rosie Warin has been chosen as one of PRWeek’s top 30 under 30

Rosie Warin, project director at Forster has this month been recognised as one of the UK’s top young professionals in a nationwide search for the best young talent in the PR industry, having been selected from over 200 entries. Joining Forster back in 2010, Rosie has risen from junior account executive to project director in ... more

2 December 2013

The movement to foster greater wellbeing at work is growing. But let’s not forget what work can do for us.

Wellbeing is a hot topic. A spate of high profile cases recently have highlighted the growing pressure we all face, especially at work – from the death of a 21-year-old banking intern to the resignation of senior Barclays executive Sir Hector Sants following a leave of absence due to stress and exhaustion. The 9 to ... more

14 November 2013
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What’s in it for you?

While businesses are used to getting into the hearts and minds of their customers, Jilly Forster wonders how come empathy is dropping away and how can companies revitalise this most important of human emotions? We all understand sympathy. Someone is suffering. We see it, we may do something about it. We may not feel it. ... more

13 November 2013
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Future positive

Rip up the past, make new rules Unlike governments, which seem enfeebled and out of time everywhere, more and more businesses are realising that they can change the world for the better by putting purpose at the centre of everything they do. In the UK, when we need to be looking ahead, much of 2014 ... more

Rip it up and start again

Today we’ve launched our new winter insight report, “Rip it up and start again” to inspire businesses to think differently about how to create change 2014.. It’s full of provocations, ideas and inspiring examples of businesses bringing their energy, flair and innovation to bear on a range of issues from an ageing population through to reducing wasteful ... more

Head versus Heart

Rejoice, as today OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) announced that the UK is a great place to live and work. The trouble is, as I stare out the window at leaden skies and a road of throbbing, mud-slinging traffic soaking passers-by in a spray of grit, it doesn’t feel that way. So ... more

5 November 2013

Tattoos and social norms

I don’t do drugs, I’ve never been in prison (or been a sailor), and I hold down a good job. And I’m pretty sure I’m not having a mid life crisis. So what makes a 30-something professional like me want to get a tattoo and still be career-focused? My mum would really like to know. ... more

23 October 2013

Social Media – It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

Fresh from the world of university and here spending a week in the Forster office, I am perhaps typical of my generation in at least one sense: I am in danger of becoming a social media addict. more

1 October 2013

When companies campaign

It is no longer enough for companies simply to provide a product or a service. Many consumers, employees even shareholders and senior business leaders are looking beyond the bottom line and considering the social purpose of what they do. more

26 September 2013
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Civil Partnerships?

Dr Catherine Walker, Head of Sector Trends, Evidence, Analysis & Metrics at the Directory of Social Change, considers the sometimes harsh reality of corporate – charity partnerships “The proper basis for marriage is a mutual misunderstanding.” Oscar Wilde If Oscar Wilde is correct then we may be alright, but I fear he is not. Business ... more

26 September 2013
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Be prepared

The Chancellor’s much mooted green shoots of recovery are not visible for everyone so it is no surprise that more and more charities are looking at, and creating partnerships with other charities as well as businesses and public sector bodies. You can’t move for partner or coalition campaigns, from the IF campaign on international development ... more

25 September 2013
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We’re looking for a Consumer PR manager

Fed up with peddling Tango or anti-ageing cream to the under-20s? Had enough of flogging broadband services or marketing Jensen Button’s latest racing gloves? If you’re ready to turn your proven consumer PR ability and ambition into positive social change, Forster is looking for a stand-out account manager. Forster is the UK’s leading social change ... more

3 September 2013

We’re not allowed to discriminate… but we do

Last week Forster had a session on becoming a dementia friends. For those not familiar with the scheme this is an hour’s interactive briefing run by Alzheimer’s Society, designed to make people more aware of what it is like to have dementia and the problems those with the disease encounter on a daily basis. As ... more

Thinking clearly about cosmetic surgery

The latest series of The Apprentice has raised new questions around the ethics of cosmetic surgery. In such a vitriolic and heated debate, how can we help to ensure that the right voices are heard? The inaugural series of The Apprentice saw winner Tim Campbell become Project Director of Amstrad’s new Health and Beauty division. ... more

26 July 2013
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Plan together. Act together

Plan ahead. That’s usually good advice for any organisation considering brand development. Our recent work with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance is a case in point. Looking to enhance its engagement and relationships with all stakeholders, as one part of its ‘global 2020 strategy’, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance commissioned Forster to develop a new brand model ... more

16 July 2013
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Employee recognition is a communication strategy

Should sports personalities get MBEs for just doing what they do? The political positioning following Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win was somewhat sickening. I’d rather recognise and celebrate people who have dedicated themselves long-term to tackling and making a difference to the root causes of injustice and unfairness in the world. more

16 July 2013
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The B Team- questionable name, great initiative!

Last week I listened to a very familiar conversation about the role of business in society. The usual issues were covered: the short-sightedness of businesses chasing the bottom rather than triple bottom line, the need for a new generation of business leaders with a more holistic understanding of corporate accountability and the need to remove ... more

24 June 2013
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It’s Bike Week! Get your workforce cycling and reap the benefits

This week we launched national Bike Week for the sixth year running – but our proudest achievement lies within our own four walls. Yesterday morning, I couldn’t fit my bike into Forster HQ because there were too many there already. For many this would be a real annoyance, but as I trundled off to find ... more

21 June 2013
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MBO at Forster

A management buy-out sees Amanda Powell-Smith becoming MD and Peter Gilheany PR Director, as Jilly Forster takes the role of Chair. Forster will be a company owned by staff offering a re-energised and strengthened service offering to clients. Jilly Forster founded Forster in 1996 and fellow directors Amanda Powell-Smith and Peter Gilheany have now joined ... more

18 June 2013

Just call me

Email, texting, tweeting, linking in and facebooking – none of this is really ‘talking’. In the business world, we can pride ourselves that we’re more connected than ever. Yet the underlying message we often send to people through these media is, more

18 June 2013

Demonstrating social value

Jilly Forster notes how Google’s Global Impact Challenge shows how commercial organisations can demonstrate their social value and gives some tips on how they can make, retain and develop good working partnerships with non-profits who eat, live and breathe social purpose. How does a commercial business demonstrate social value? Given the direction that private business ... more

18 June 2013
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Taking an open-minded approach to mental health

Forster recently helped Business in the Community’s Workwell programme to launch its first ever FTSE 100 benchmark results. This gave an insight to how some of the world’s leading companies manage the health and wellbeing of their people. There was one particular set of findings that was most compelling – only 6% of the FTSE ... more

4 June 2013
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What is your purpose here?

It wasn’t that long ago that brands with a clear social or environmental purpose were seen as marginal or flaky. Today, brands perceived as lacking either are viewed as anti-social and destructive. Now, every brand has to take an active approach to its social reason for being. more

22 May 2013
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We’re better together

At Forster we have long recognised the value of collaboration, the leverage gained through getting different parties working together in common cause – it has always simply made sense. 2013 is rapidly shaping up as the year of partnerships, so now is a good time to have a look at our own recent take on the ... more

23 April 2013
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Pint of best? That’ll be £50,000, sir

How would you incentivise young men not to drink and drive? Tasked by the Department for Transport to develop a PR programme, Forster decided to hit them in their wallets. Over the years, many a creative approach to convey drink drive messaging has been developed, with varying success. When Forster was asked to create a ... more

22 April 2013
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Technology for good

I’m a communicator, not a technologist. Yet even I know that technology is not so much about finding what’s new, as using what is already here. That’s why I’m a firm believer that digital technology can be woven into the fabric of our society to tackle the most important social challenges. Throughout history we’ve seen the application ... more

22 April 2013
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For charities, commercial is good

‘The idea of commercialising charities is something that can trigger a collective gasp among sector stalwarts,’ says GEORGE AMES. ‘But money doesn’t have to be a dirty subject. Without funds to operate effectively, an organisation can achieve no good – and nobody gains from that.’ Although it is commonly accepted that, for a charity to effectively ... more

22 April 2013
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Saying No to Tesco: The Power of Community

Let me introduce you to Sherborne, a small market town in north Dorset. It’s more than 1300 years old and was recently named as one of the best places to live in the UK by the Sunday Times. It is celebrated for its heritage, green spaces and culture and for the benefit of this article, it is ... more

27 March 2013

Social Purpose is now a Necessity

If this prolonged recession has taught us one positive lesson, it’s that we no longer pay much heed to organisations without a business philosophy or demonstrable values. They may get past us on price or as the flavor of the moment, but they won’t last unless they mean something to us. From an organisational viewpoint, knowing what ... more

25 March 2013

Business for Better UK

Business4Better UK  is UBM’s voluntary and private sector partnerships event taking place at Olympia on 9-10 July. A good partnership is a powerful thing – it brings together the best of different organisations, creating greater reach, impact and positive change than individual organisations could ever achieve on their own. B4BUK is designed to enable, encourage ... more

25 March 2013

Google launches £2m hunt for Britain’s most innovative social entrepreneurs

How would you use technology to change the world? If you are a British non-profit, Google is inviting you to tell them how you would use innovation to solve a specific social issue on a grand scale. On 25 March,Google launched the Global Impact Challenge, inviting British non-profits to tell them how they would use ... more

Apprentices – they’re not just for Lord Sugar

This week starting from 11 March is National Apprenticeship Week, which was implemented six years ago to commend the scheme as beneficial for all those involved. more

12 March 2013

Comms tips for the new development framework

The deadline for the Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching. We have just under 2 years to achieve all 8 goals, and while there has been great progress on eradicating poverty, many of the others now appear woefully unattainable. more

28 February 2013
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Different ways of working

At the beginning of February, the tiny West African country of Gambia introduced a four-day working week for its public-sector workers.  The President’s office supported this decision by stating that the extra day ‘will allow Gambians to devote more time to prayers, social activities and agriculture’ and ultimately make for a healthier and happier nation. more

20 February 2013
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Work with the world

How did we arrive at the horsemeat scandal? What led to the need for Hugh’s Fish Fight? Jilly Forster, says it’s time for organisations of all kinds to work in partnership with the world. An increasingly watchful, digitally remastered global public cannot be duped for very long by policies or practices that defy the rational ... more

13 February 2013
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Let’s work together

Forster is looking for new associates, collaborators and co-workers. While these are tough times, we have plans for growth and are on the look-out for new freelancers to complement our core, permanent team. We’re also looking for new associates who can further boost our offer to the market. So if you think you can help ... more

13 February 2013

The currency of true networking is generosity

Many of us are addicted to networking – attending events, linking in, spending time doing everything but acting on the purpose of our organisation. NB: it only works if you give. If networking were a way of earning money, many of us would be millionaires. We spend most of our time connecting to other people, ... more

13 February 2013

Five ways to be a great digital date…

Digital is the first technology where having the means to consume also gives you the means to create. People’s expectations of how organisations will engage and the choice and power they will wield are irreversible. Here are a few tips to get it right… Proposing is not a first date activity… Sounds obvious, but organisations ... more

13 February 2013

Generations Talking Together: a new debate

At the end of January, Forster and United For All Ages came together to run Generations Talking Together, a series of discussions in News International’s boardroom examining intergenerational tension. The debates were attended by 80 people from a wide variety of backgrounds from CEOs of major charities, to the Head of Economics at a trade ... more

11 February 2013
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Joining up the dots on wellbeing

Forster currently works with Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell which is leading employee engagement and wellbeing action in order to improve business performance and productivity. I recently attended a brilliant session on DIY Happiness run by Sherry Clark from NHS South London and Maudsley (organised by Better Bankside). As Mental Health Promotion Co-ordinator Sherry ... more

8 February 2013
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The social value of our archives

It’s amazing just how much is stored in our archives – not just the volume but the variety. I have spent the last month immersing myself in the world of archives and have found myself extolling the (widely undervalued) significance of them to anyone who asks what I’ve been up to recently. Most of us benefit indirectly ... more

5 February 2013

Generations Talking Together: stimulating a new discussion on work and technology

Last week we hosted the first two sessions from a new series called Generations Talking Together, examining intergenerational tension with a diverse panel including academics, senior corporate influencers, charities and influential individuals. The initial session examined housing issues with Rosie Bennett, some points from the discussion were written about in this Bricks & Mortor column ... more

28 January 2013
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Your New Year’s resolution: improve employee wellbeing

As we enter year two of measuring national wellbeing through the ONS, the subject continues to create speculation and debate. Can we accurately measure it? What should we do with this data once it’s collected? What impact does wellbeing have on the government, the economy, businesses and society? Whose responsibility is it? And most importantly ... more

9 January 2013
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The year that was 2012

As we reach the end of the year, roundups are as much of a tradition as mince pies and mulled wine. more

13 December 2012

Charity websites – how are they responding?

If you work in digital, you’ll know about responsive websites. And if you don’t work in digital more

23 November 2012

The Ground Beneath Our Feet

Our biennial sustainability report, The Ground Beneath Our Feet is published today – warts and all. In our 2012 Sustainability Report we reveal the small, but important, changes we have made at Forster in the last two years to maximise our positive impact from the point of view of employees, suppliers, clients, the environment and our ... more

21 November 2012
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Sexism and female only spaces

‘Do you think there’s a difference in the way that you and your female colleagues are treated?’. It was a tricky question for a man to be asked in a panel discussion with an audience of three hundred women. But Guardian journalist Tim Dowling replied without hesitation: ‘Oh yes. I get away with murder.’ This ... more

20 November 2012
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Looking out for Mental Wellbeing

More than 6 million adults and 700,000 children suffer from depression or anxiety conditions. A third of families have a member suffering from a mental illness and mental problems account for nearly half of absenteeism at work. Despite years of campaigning, some aspects of mental health remain taboo, unrecognised or misunderstood, especially in the workplace. ... more

24 October 2012
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Your Active Ingredient

Many organisations are already working with their own employees to improve their activity level. The NHS Challenge is an initiative to support 300,000 NHS staff to become more physically active. Morrison’s ‘Miles for Smiles’ campaign challenges all employees to see how far they can walk, run, swim, cycle – and fundraise for Save The Children ... more

24 October 2012
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Recognising, rewarding and encouraging good care skills

Last week Barchester Healthcare spoke publically about their difficulty in recruiting young talent. Jeremy Coleman, the HR director at Barchester Healthcare outlined his frustrations at having hundreds of jobs that they struggle to fill due to the poor level of applicants. From his experience many of the potential young candidates he meets are either not ... more

22 October 2012
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A more equal society

So, it seems that I have mostly lived out my career in a working world far removed from that experienced by most people. more

11 October 2012
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The colour purple

How much does colour matter to brands? An enormous amount if this week’s Cadbury’s trademark ruling on the use of Pantone 2685C or ‘Cadbury’s purple’  is anything to go on more

5 October 2012
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Are UK workers well-connected?

It’s a no brainer that employee wellness matters. Staff turnover can be reduced by up to 87% through wellness programmes according to figures from Business In The Community (BITC) and the number of absences due to illness and recurring health conditions such as backache can be significantly reduced. But, while taking care of wellness leads ... more

27 September 2012
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Digital creativity: the web’s your oyster

Marketing and design teams are constantly coming up with innovative ways to express ideas and information. The good news is that, given an open mind and the right developer, new technologies mean the scope for online creativity has massively expanded in the last two years. It’s just as well because as users we’re expecting a ... more

18 September 2012

Creativity is best done in a crowd

Everyone is familiar with that horrible sinking feeling when you’re staring at your screen or note pad, scratching your head and waiting for a genius moment of inspiration to arrive. As Elizabeth Gilbert beautifully describes it; genius was originally thought to be a little creature that visited you with good ideas if you were lucky, ... more

18 September 2012

Charities are in the business of interruption and creativity is often the key

I like to mind my own business and lead the sort of atomised life that is increasingly the norm in our culture, where the people and issues outside my immediate circle are very effectively zoned out and kept on the margins. I have become, like many of us have, incredibly good at blocking messages and ... more

18 September 2012

Is User Generated Content dying or has it just come of age?

There are countless forms of user-generated content (UGC) which we accept as the norm: tweets, blogs, forums, comments. One of the commercial forerunners of UGC reviews is TripAdvisor. But with experts starting to question the site’s future, is there still a place for user reviews? And if there is, should non-profit-making organisations be harnessing this ... more

3 September 2012
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Shock no more?

A new report from the Advertising Standards Authority is making waves for fundraising and advocacy campaigners, forcing us to re-examine the way we connect with the public, but what do its conclusions really mean and how best can we respond? The key line of the report which has charities most worried, states that many of ... more

28 August 2012
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Isolation in the elderly, facing up to the challenge

Vicki Purewal, Head of Nesta’s Centre for Challenge Prizes writes a guest post for Forster Today we work longer hours, later into our lives. Jobs continue to cut deeper into our existence as our work ethic intensifies and this has had a profound effect on many people’s social lives. Longer working hours have left many ... more

20 August 2012
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Moving beyond discrimination: 50+ interns

Depressing statistics were revealed in the latest analysis by the Resolution Foundation which showed the UK is lagging behind other countries in the employment of older workers. In fact the number of older workers who have remained out of work for more than a year has risen from 33.2% to 44.5%, with women particularly affected. ... more

17 August 2012
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The Weight of a Tweet

Last week Twitter featured heavily in the media. Tom Daley was publically harassed and threatened by one of team GB’s disappointed fans.  Police found themselves arbitrating a cyber-row unsure if their intervention was necessary or even legitimate. The media swiftly weighed in. Although the tweet was unanimously condemned, the incident left a bad taste in ... more

9 August 2012

Suspicious minds: can the public, private and voluntary sector really get along together?

This week’s DEMOS Beyond the Games event kicked off with a reminder of the long term ambitions of the Olympics: Regeneration of a deprived community where average life expectancy is a staggering seven years less than the London average Inspiring the next generation of athletes, as well as the general public, to take up sport ... more

7 August 2012
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Wiggins and the yellow jersey: sporting ‘personality’ for a cautious media age

“Have a safe journey home and don’t get too drunk!” – the parting words of Bradley Wiggins, addressing the crowds along the Champs Elysées on Sunday, having just become the first Brit in history to win the Tour de France. His casual humour – as trademark as his weighty chops – was not undone by ... more

23 July 2012
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Asking questions will drive change

At The Work Foundation’s Annual Debate last night, key speakers debated whether our economy needs a new type of business. more

1 June 2012

Free campaigning advice at our Campaign Canteens

Knowing what makes a successful campaign, particularly when it comes to creating positive social change, is what we are constantly striving towards at Forster. While we can draw on our wealth of experience there are always new challenges in campaign development and implementation. We believe that one of the best ways of tackling this is ... more

30 May 2012

Beecroft not the best route to better peformance

As a director of a small company, I am all too aware of the importance of every employee performing to the best of their ability; just one person not pulling their weight can have a big impact on clients, on colleagues and on the bottom line. But Beecroft’s ‘no fault dismissal’ proposal is not the solution. ... more

25 May 2012
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Let’s merge together

Collaboration, merger, joint ventures – increasingly, the realistic method of surviving and thriving for many organisations involves getting together in one form or another. Forster is helping organisations to plan and manage the stakeholder engagement process right from the start – when it really matters. By bringing together organisations with a similar mission, mergers can ... more

8 May 2012

Let’s work together

There are jobs out there. Good jobs. Worthwhile jobs. Creative jobs. With growth in mind, we’ve got several vacancies on offer here at Forster. We’re also looking for new associates and freelancers. In the spirit of co-working, we’re offering free desk space for up to 6 freelancers. At Forster, we’re not hanging around waiting for ... more

8 May 2012

Good news for citizen journalism

The Daily Mail, The Sun and the now defunct News of the World, were all implicated or exposed as players in the dirty business of phone hacking. Over the past six months we’ve seen countless celebrities queue up to tell their stories of violation, bribes and door stepping. Some would say not entirely unexpected of ... more

19 April 2012
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Campaigning lessons from ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’

When the second series of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ returned to our screens in February it was accompanied by a high profile advertising campaign, unfortunately that profile was raised for all the wrong reasons. The posters, showing images of members of the travelling community with the words ‘Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier’ over them, were quickly ... more

18 April 2012
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A lot of noise about ‘Quiet’

I find it interesting that Susan Cain’s book entitled Quiet: the Power of the Introvert in a World that can’t Stop Talking has generated so much noise. Her opinions on society’s bias towards extroverted behaviour are resonating with people on a personal and/or professional level, as evidenced by the many views, tweets, blogs and reviews ... more

13 April 2012

Social enterprise…business as usual?

‘To be a social entrepreneur you have to be misunderstood for at least ten years’ according to a much re-tweeted quote from the 2012 Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship that took place last week. more

5 April 2012

Social media checklist

It’s rare these days to have a communications strategy that doesn’t involve a Twitter feed or Facebook page. But before you try to find a handle that hasn’t already been taken and pick your profile picture, it’s worth thinking through if you can sustain the account with the following checklist: Do you have a clearly ... more

29 March 2012

We’ve been busy

We’ve been a bit quiet of late on announcing new clients and projects we are working on, not because we haven’t had anything to say and more because we haven’t had a moment to catch breath and say it. So, here is a whirlwind round-up of developments over the last few months: We’ve been working ... more

22 March 2012

Work is good for you

Disability and work has been a theme this week.  I heard Chris Grayling outline his vision for supporting people with long term health conditions back into work, alongside progressive employers like BT who have helped hundreds with chronic conditions stay employed. But it wasn’t by accident that the conference was held at KPMG; the business ... more

Jilly Forster joins the search for the next Ben and Jerry’s

Jilly Forster has joined the judging panel for the latest Ben & Jerry’s initiative to find innovative sustainable business models. Join Our Core is offering a €10,000 cash prize as well as business mentoring and an inspirational challenge trip to Uganda to the 5 winners of the competition. “This is a great opportunity for a socially ... more

19 March 2012