BECG and Cavendish Advocacy shortlisted at PRWeek Awards

BECG and Cavendish Advocacy shortlisted at PRWeek Awards

BECG and Cavendish Advocacy, part of the BECG Group, are delighted to announce they have been shortlisted for two categories at the PRWeek Awards 2021.

BECG is shortlisted for ‘Mid-sized Consultancy of the Year’, which recognises the best PR consultancies generating annual fees between £5m and £15m. Despite the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we proved resilient and focused on adding and improving client service, alongside introducing new services and product support including our Building Safety Unit and Built to Engage. We took pride in our client work and were rewarded when our clients gave us an exceptional NPS score of 79 in our annual client survey.  

Employee wellbeing also remained a core focus, with an inaugural wellbeing week, cycle to work scheme, Fidlleaf, and financial education workshops just a few of the schemes available for employees’ benefit. 

Cavendish Advocacy is shortlisted in the ‘Public Affairs’ category for its campaign with leading housing association, Stonewater. The project – Pushing decarbonisation in housing to the top of the agenda – has highlighted the urgent need to tackle the decarbonisation of social housing, to meet the Government’s net zero target, and has established Stonewater as the go-to housing association on decarbonisation in housing. 

The multi-channel campaign included the publication of a new report by think-tank IPPR, ‘All Hands to the Pump’, securing meetings for Stonewater with Government Ministers and senior civil servants, creating a comprehensive stakeholder engagement programme of MPs and Peers, and establishing the Social Housing Fuel Poverty Working Group with the End Fuel Poverty. It has resulted in millions of pounds of government investment and Stonewater being called to give evidence to parliament twice this year. 

Stephen Pomeroy, BECG Group CEO, said:  

“We’re thrilled to be shortlisted for two awards at the prestigious PRWeek Awards 2021. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication from the team and clients over the last year and I look forward to seeing who the winners are in October.”

The winners will be announced at the PRWeek Awards 2021 on 20th October. Fingers crossed! 

The public wants net zero, but only when it’s affordable. Business needs to lead the way.

The public wants net zero, but only when it’s affordable. Business needs to lead the way.

 

This article first appeared on City A.M.’s website. You can view it here.

Combating climate change and reaching net zero is quite rightly at the heart of the Government’s agenda. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a significant acceleration of its ambitions to cut carbon emissions – now 78 percent of 1990 emissions by 2035.

This is mirrored by our recent polling in partnership with Yonder revealing that the majority of the public and MPs think that tackling the climate crisis should be the Government’s top priority, irrespective of the pandemic.

There is only one direction of travel in the climate change debate but hitting the ambitious targets in a way that is affordable to the average person is our biggest challenge.

At a quick glance, a decent electric family car is likely to set you back much more than a petrol or diesel one; whilst moving from your traditional boiler to a heat pump can cost anything between £11,000 and £15,000, which is a big stretch from the usual boiler change that is already a significant purchase for many of us.

We know that the public are willing to make lifestyle choices to reduce their impact on climate change, but when it comes to those that require a significant outlay, people are predictably less keen. Our polling showed that people are more likely to switch to a renewable energy provider or cut down on air travel but are less enthusiastic when it comes to buying an electric vehicle (37 percent unlikely vs 34 percent likely) or upgrading their heating systems to a low carbon system (35 percent unlikely vs 31 percent likely). These are precisely the measures that will make a real difference to emissions.

It’s therefore no wonder that conversation often centres around the targets being ‘unworkable’ or highlight a ‘lack of government detail’, but ultimately targets drive ambition and most importantly innovation. Innovation led by business will be at the heart of making sure measures to combat climate change are affordable to the public, and of course, Government must foster the right environment for innovation to thrive.

Innovation requires strong investment in research and development (R&D), but we’re lagging behind. The UK has a target of spending 2.4 percent of GDP on R&D by 2027, but our neighbours across the Channel and the Atlantic are committing more. The Government needs to be more ambitious, but business can also lead the way. Firms that consistently invest in R&D are 13 percent more productive than those that don’t, and with innovation central to hitting net zero, placing this at the heart of business strategy is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s of commercial benefit.

At our Net Zero event last week, the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng highlighted that the UK now leads the way in big businesses being signed up to the Race to Zero campaign, but called for more action – arguing that “without real engagement from business, there’s no way we can get to net zero. The private sector is critically important in this agenda”.

Inevitably we often look to Government for answers, but on net zero they may have set the targets and can certainly foster a positive environment for success; however, it will be the private sector that holds the key to unlock the challenge of meeting net zero in a way that is affordable, and sellable to the public.

 

To find out more about how we’re supporting businesses to tell their net zero story, please visit our Green Economy page, alternatively you can email us here.

BECG acquires Liberty One Communications to drive growth in Scotland

BECG acquires Liberty One Communications to drive growth in Scotland

It’s been a busy start to 2021 for Cavendish Advocacy’s parent company, BECG, who have acquired Scottish public affairs consultancy, Liberty One (L1) Communications, to spearhead its expansion plans into the Scottish market.

The acquisition provides us with presence across Scotland through L1’s offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, and a client base across the property, energy, infrastructure, renewables and waste management sectors.

L1’s founder and Managing Director, Steven Park, will continue in his current role and lead the company’s expansion in Scotland. Following the deal L1’s clients will have access to BECG’s full service offer across digital, PR, marketing, government relations, corporate communications, placemaking and social value services.

For existing Cavendish Advocacy clients the deal provides additional in-depth knowledge and insight into Scotland’s political landscape, helping them identify opportunities within the distinct policy agenda of the Scottish Government.

Managing Director of Cavendish Advocacy, Alex Challoner, said;

Over the past year working in partnership with L1 on projects in Scotland we have built a strong relationship that we are now ready to take to the next level through this acquisition, and we are excited about the opportunities for Cavendish Advocacy clients. I’m delighted to have Steven and his team join BECG and work more closely with Cavendish Advocacy. With them on board we have the opportunity to become the lead communications consultancy in Scotland across the full range of services BECG offers.

Steven Park, L1’s founder said:

Becoming part of the BECG team provides an ideal opportunity to accelerate our plans to be the leading communications consultancy in Scotland. BECG has a breadth of offer in digital, marketing, PR, government relations, corporate communications and placemaking that complements L1’s planning communications and stakeholder engagement expertise. I’m delighted that we can now offer current and future clients in Scotland this full-service approach and importantly the growing demand for digital solutions in particular.

The acquisition of L1 is BECG’s second in the past month following the purchase of software developer, Crowd Technologies Ltd, owner of social media management platform Crowd Control HQ.

You can find out more about Liberty One (L1) Communications on their website libertyonecomms.co.uk.

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s UK Branch Appoints Cavendish Advocacy

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s UK Branch Appoints Cavendish Advocacy

We are pleased to share that Cavendish Advocacy have been appointed as public affairs adviser to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s UK Branch, following a competitive pitch.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is an international foundation that has been making profound contributions to the arts, education, science, and social welfare for 65 years. Building on its unwavering commitment to tackling complex global problems, the Foundation’s UK Branch is leading a Citizen Engagement on Climate strand that will help build and evidence the public mandate to tackle climate change.

Their climate change efforts come at a critical time as the UK prepares for COP26 and works to be a global green leader as it builds back better. Cavendish Advocacy is thrilled to utilise our extensive experience in climate change and sustainability to help the Foundation drive social change.

Andrew Barnett OBE, Director of the UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, said:

“The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has an immense history of championing some of the most pressing challenges facing society. The UK Branch’s focus on climate change builds on what we have accomplished and learned through our work on ocean conservation, and will demonstrate the value of public engagement in creating conditions for meaningful change.”

For nearly 20 years, Cavendish Advocacy has been helping clients with their political and corporate communications, both nationally and locally. The green economy and climate change have been key areas of growth for us, and will continue to be through 2021. We combine insight with influence and utilize digital and creative teams to clearly and powerfully land clients’ stories with target audiences, ensuring clients’ ideas change minds when it matters most.

In the past year, Cavendish Advocacy’s client teams have secured prestigious industry awards including the PRCA Public Affairs Awards’ Trade Body Campaign of the Year and ICCO’s Crisis & Issues Management Award.

If you would like to discuss this further, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with James Bird here, who will be the lead consultant on the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation account.

Does the Government’s ‘First Homes’ consultation raise more questions than answers?

Does the Government’s ‘First Homes’ consultation raise more questions than answers?

In one of his most important announcements as Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick has launched a consultation on allowing first-time buyers to purchase new homes with a 30% discount.

Tackling the housing crisis, the proposals will focus on young first-time buyers, key workers and veterans and will apply to a proportion of new homes. The discount will have to be passed onto future buyers, and it will all be funded by contributions already paid by housing developers through the planning system.

However, questions remain, such as: does this mean less shared ownership or social rent homes? Will the money allocated to First Homes be taken away from provision for key infrastructure in local areas already provided by CIL and S106 obligations? Also, will the Government’s commitment to build infrastructure before new homes affect delivery of these homes?  Will the rigidity of the system to preserve the one-third discount in perpetuity really work?

All these nagging questions may be be addressed by the consultation which runs until 3rd April and asks:

  • What are First Homes and who should be eligible for them?
  • How the scheme should work in practice?
  • How to deliver more of these homes through developer contributions
  • The requirements for delivering these homes through planning or legislation
  • How to maintain the discounted element in perpetuity

Following the failure of the Governments Starter Homes scheme, it’s crucial for them to get this right second time around.

Schemes such as this and Building Better, Building Beautiful design initiative could be a legacy of Robert Jenrick’s tenure as Housing Secretary and Boris Johnson’s first term in Government.

And with the Government’s Help to Buy scheme set to end in 2023, this scheme could be part of a wider shift in the planning system, as developer contributions are used to target benefits for key demographics and political priorities.