Corporate Social Responsibility (or ESG or whatever it might be called by the time you read this) is a realistic recognition of the interaction of social and community interests with the absolute sustainability of the business. Communicating through and with these communities demands sophistication. It demands a modulated appeal both to altruism and self-interest, as well as a way of talking inclusively which is not presumptuous.
I’ve written internal and external materials for BT’s CSR function and worked over several years on the website and membership communication for BP’s Target Neutral initiative, designed to encourage more responsible car use. I’ve also written positioning and most of the original website for the dCarbon8 consultancy (now absorbed into Deloitte) and its offshoot Planet Positive initiative. I keep a close eye on developments in this space.
In the health sector the fundamental issue is escalating demand, and there’s a proper concern across the political spectrum to make health systems more responsive to patient needs. Communication can’t fix those problems, but badly handled it can compound them. I have wide experience in different aspects of healthcare provision and public health campaigning, going back to the early 90s and the European Commission’s Europe Against Cancer initiative, with the NHS on its national burns unit strategy, with GlaxoSmithKline on various internal communication and briefing materials, positioning material for Boots Healthcare, Hammersmith Hospital, and the Guys and St Thomas’ hospital charity.
The UK education system is crassly divisive, and increasingly out of line with the needs of our economy and the general health of our society. Politicians are forever tinkering with elements like measurement systems, but all they’ve achieved is the wholesale demoralisation of the teaching profession. We need an approach that nurtures individual flexibility and creativity, which exploits the liberating potential of information technology, and which is focused on the development of learning skills and enthusiasm. I have worked extensively with the (now defunct) national agency for technology in education (Becta), on materials ranging from internal communication strategy, through annual reports and senior management presentations to ad copy. I’ve also written presentations for senior people in what is now the Department of Education. I’ve written white papers on technology in education for Microsoft, and a range of materials for City University in London, including prospectuses and community action reporting.
Having trained as a literary critic I still know a great deal about literature, and have always maintained a strong complementary interest in visual art, architecture, music, and film.I’ve been involved in the art-led regeneration of Folkestone (where I lived till recently) in many ways, having written the original website for the town’s Creative Foundation, and worked on several other projects including a community newsletter and the presentation of planning applications (designed to persuade the essentially conservative local authority to allow more adventurous design in the refurbishment of the old town). I validated the professional writing degree curriculum for the University Centre here (part of Canterbury Christchurch University), which was fostered by the Creative Foundation as a regenerative initiative. I’ve written catalogue materials to support some of BT’s art sponsorship activity and revamped a quarterly newsletter/programme revamped a quarterly newsletter/programme for Turner Contemporary in Margate. In the past I’ve also written in depth about architecture for Pilkington Glass. I blog regularly about film, writing, art, politics and culture. I care about creative practice for its own sake