Archive for March 1st, 2013

Friday Fiver

posted by dannycalogero

Wow, what a week it has been in the FPS team, we’ve barely had a chance to catch our breath! This week the news agenda has been much more serious – not like last week’s horsing around (sorry, couldn’t resist). Here are a couple of the things that have been keeping us busy and entertained over the past seven days

1. Rating GeorgeSo the UK lost its AAA credit rating last Friday, who cares? Well, not that many people apparently. After a brief wobble on Monday morning, the markets shrugged off the downgrade like a hangover from the night before. However, while the downgrade may not have had a major economic impact, its political impact remains to be seen. Rather than assessing the credit worthiness of the UK, it could turn out to be more of a rating on George.

2. Fear and loathing in the Eurozone – Speaking of politics, it has been a big week in Italy. As a result of the country’s inability to form a government, the Vix Index, or, to use my preferred name for it “the fear gauge” (say it in a Jack Bauer style voice), soared by 34%, its largest one-day gain for 18 months and its 10th largest spike since 1990. With this level of impact in the markets, you have to wonder how long it will be before the rest of Europe’s patience wears a bit thin with Italy.

3. Newcomer advantage - The days of long, peaceful reflection and idle doodling in the university library may be long gone, but every now and again you spot a little something which suggests you did indeed learn something from the dusty text books.

Today’s FT reports how Asian banks are turning retail banking business models on their head, skipping branch models and heading straight for new mobile banking services. Oliver Wyman are quoted in the article with research indicating China already accounts for more than 40% of online banking customers.

By skipping years of slow banking evolution, relatively new banks in Asia are establishing themselves as leaders in mobile banking services. In the late nineteenth century, German industries skipped past their more established UK rivals with new production techniques and more modern factories. Ah, Economic History 101…

4. Bonus points – The European Union announced details this week of its plan to cap bankers’ bonuses at twice their salary. Whilst David Cameron was opposed to this, the FT’s Lex Column clearly adopted the “don’t get mad, get round it” philosophy.

5. #Twésumé – But for any banker who is considering a career change, getting a Twésumé sorted will be perhaps be essential. This week The Evening Standard reported that Twitter is playing an increasing role in recruitment with employers ditching the traditional CV in favour of a candidate’s Twitter profile.  The Twésumé (as it has been so cleverly coined) appears two-fold:

  • The generous 140 character biography becomes your selling point. Writing “I love cats and beer” is unlikely to win you any fans (except of course other like-minded individuals)
  • Your Twitter feed must be regular, interesting and offer your opinions on topics rather than just pinching other people’s funnies

Unfortunately, in mine there is little room for anything else beyond Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

That’s all for this week folks. Thanks to Jonathan Henderson and Linzi Goldthorpe for their contributions. Have a great weekend!

Intern Insights: Do Not Make Cross-Pod Tea

posted by Tess Harris

My name is Tess and I began an internship in the Financial and Professional Services team at H+K strategies last Monday. Intern insights is an account of my ‘FPS first impressions’ (blogger alliteration mastered) and will give my fellow PR wannabes the low-down on interning at H+K.

So here goes…my first day…

I arrived at the Hill and Knowlton offices in Soho Square, dressed up in my best suit, clipboard at the ready and Blackberry in hand. All-in-all I was feeling thoroughly grown-up.  Moments into meeting the team, however, this sentiment was dissipated as word spread around the office that I was a 90s child, and the youngest in the team.

After a whistle-stop tour of the building, I settled down at my desk and tried to make a seating plan of names from the snippets of conversation I could hear. This was made difficult though, as it seemed that everyone in the team was called Claire.

I was then introduced to the workplace jargon. At H+K, groups of desks are called pods and in the FPS team, we have ‘superpod’, ‘squash pod’ and ‘tea pod.’ In honour of my position on ‘tea pod’, and in an attempt to make some friends, I called across the room to see who wanted a cup.

Big mistake. Whilst this might not seem like the biggest of faux pas, I had actually violated one of the most important rules of office politics and four runs to the kitchen later I had learnt the first lesson of my internship:

Unless you want to waste a good hour of your life, you do not make cross-pod tea.

Lesson learned.  I’ve since been able to move on to the real meat of my internship and have already found out so much about the exciting world of PR and communications. In the coming weeks I hope to discuss more intellectual topics– but for today- in honour of my place on ‘tea pod’ – it seemed fitting to focus on the humble hot drink that gets us all through the working day.