What a week it has been dear readers. Many in the City are still taking down the bunting and tidying up the party-poppers from the, somewhat flaky, news that the UK is out of recession.
I must admit, we have allowed ourselves the luxury of turning the heating on for an extra seven minutes at Yeti Towers, instead of the recession busting five that we usually allow the staff, but it looks like we are not the only people being a bit flamboyant.
The past week has seen positivity galore seeping out of the FTSE 100.
BP is paying a larger than expected dividend, Standard Chartered, whilst still mired in Iran-gate, has reported stronger than anticipated growth in emerging territories and even the purveyors of mass doom and gloom, The CBI, has reported that UK sales figures in October are higher than expected.
Hell, even Royal Mail, the Post Office or whatever their mainstream brand is called nowadays, decided to get in on the act and pushed out a story about them creating 1000 new jobs and investing £75m into its Express Parcels division.
One man who is hoping that his Express Parcel containing financial aid arrives quickly is Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy. Analysts from Reuters reported a stinker of a third quarter for Spain with “shrinking growth, high inflation and high unemployment”. Ouch!
So, whilst the UK corporate types are trying to gear up for Christmas and prepare for potential sunnier times, the public relations message still needs to remain cautious.
The Investment Managers Association (IMA) is saying adios to Spanish recession fears and issued a stats story highlighting that, for the first time since the Eurozone crisis, investors are favouring shares over fixed rate bonds.
I should point out that the supportive comment issued by the IMA is one of the reasons I left financial services; I am just a bit too thick to understand what is being said.
The following comes from Jane Lowe, the IMA's director of markets,
"Net retail sales were again above £1bn in September, reversing the unexpected outflows seen in August. Overall net retail sales of equity funds outstripped fixed income for the first time in a year.
"Global funds took the lion's share of these net sales, against a notable outflow from UK equity growth funds. However, substantial inflows were seen in both UK and Global equity income funds, and a focus on income was apparent in three out of the top five selling sectors.
"In sectors, the Absolute Return UK sector secured the highest net retail sales – its best monthly performance for three years."
Wow! This was obviously aimed at high flying, concentrated-during-maths, city analyst types but I always wonder if it could not be made simpler.
I remember my first ever attempt at, as an in-house PR person, a results-type release, done for a now Borg-esque assimilated Building Society.
I thought my work was stonkingly good. The city agency we retained at the time, Wriglesworth, headed up by the mighty John Wriglesworth, took one look and (quite rightly) questioned my boss as to my ability to do the job. He was right.
Along with cutting out all financial jargon, I had tried to make it easy to understand and consumer facing and not city-analyst facing. I quickly learnt, this was not the done thing in the financial world.
What a great tip for all the corporate PR newbies for me to end on: if you want to get on in the corporate world, ignore the common sense approach and make it confusing, if nothing else, the Actuarial department will love you.
Along with writing a weekly corporate PR column for The Drum, Andy Barr runs the PR agency 10 Yetis
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