Instant news straight to the customers
Global strategic communications consultancy CNC – Communications & Network Consulting needs its staff to be well informed on a variety of specialised sectors and business matters, to enable them to help clients with their communications and media strategies.
A corporate subscription to the FT means the agency has access to global news and data around the clock, presenting opportunities for client coverage strategy planning and more effective issues management.
CNC is furthering its own reputation as one of the world’s leading communications consultancies in the corporate and financial communications space, retaining clients and winning new business.
CNC is an international strategic communications consultancy group which advises large corporations, mid-cap companies, institutions and individuals on all aspects of strategic communications within their specific markets, focusing particularly on cross-border mandates. It is part of MSLGROUP, one of the world’s top five PR networks, with more than 3,400 people across over 100 offices in 22 countries worldwide. The firm offers corporate and financial public relations, investor relations, transaction support, employee and employer communications and issues management.
Working in such highly specialised markets all around the world, it is essential that media professionals at CNC are well informed about the markets they serve. “As a strategic communications adviser, we need a credible news source that offers both speedy information and high quality analysis" says Olivia Griffiths, Director.
For CNC, the FT is a vital source of information, helping to keep staff informed and ensure they are able to speak with authority to clients about developments in their sector. “We mainly access the FT for news and comment pieces as well as for the latest information on global developments,” explains Marina Jané Sánchez, Senior Associate. “We read a lot of publications as part of our job, but the FT is the main one.”
The financial news section is particularly well valued by the team at CNC, and – as media professionals themselves – they also appreciate the tone and approach of articles. “It’s a highly respected source of global financial news,” says Jané Sánchez.
A particularly valued feature is FastFT, which gives readers access to market-moving news and views around the globe 24 hours a day, five days a week, using the FT’s global team based across different timezones. “The introduction of FastFT has been an incredible addition in our opinion,” says Jané Sánchez. “It includes instant coverage of breaking news and allows us to respond to our clients immediately with a more informed opinion.”
Having a good level of understanding around relevant industry issues means the consultancy is well placed to take advantage of possible opportunities for clients. “We regularly seek clients' opinions on both breaking news and themes and topics that appear in the FT, to make sure that they are part of the big debates shaping their respective industries,” says Griffiths.
The FT also acts as a good guide as to the types of topic that might be considered newsworthy, says Jané Sánchez, creating further opportunities for clients. “By reading the articles we see what kind of topics a journalist from the FT might be interested in but also if there is a gap that our clients can cover,” she says. This is particularly true for the more specialist areas, she adds, where it can be harder to identify the issues that are currently top of mind for professionals working in that space.
Staying up to speed on industry developments can also help the agency adapt its clients’ communication strategies accordingly, says Jané Sánchez, allowing them to respond to particular situations. “Sometimes we have had to respond to an issue following an article in the paper, not necessarily relating to the client but the industry,” she explains. “One example is where we have had to move forward an announcement because we saw a better opportunity following reports in the paper.”
Keeping up to speed on market developments and trends has also helped CNC demonstrate its credentials to new clients. “When we put together proposals for new clients, the FT is one of the sources of research that we use,” says Griffiths. “We want to see how that potential client is viewed in the media and find out the latest news about them and their industry, but also to see what their competitors are saying. Sometimes it also helps us spot new business opportunities. For example, if a company announces its plan to list, we might get in touch with them to o er our services ahead and during the IPO.”
Information on the go
The FT Corporate Licence provides the team at CNC access to the FT through a variety of channels, including print, online and increasingly via smart phones and other mobile devices. “The new format that the paper recently launched has certainly improved its appearance,” says Simon Evans, Senior Consultant. “The layout is clearer and the content on the website is more interactive and ultimately useful.” Videos are particularly useful too, he says, as these complement the main stories with particular viewpoints, while the economic calendar also helps with longer-term PR and strategy planning.
Evans himself makes use of the FT on his way into the office and throughout the working day. “I read the main stories on my phone and typically one of the first things I do when I get to the office and I’ve gone through my emails is go to the FT website,” he says. “I check the main news and I read a couple of articles to identify if there is anything relevant that I can highlight to clients in my sector. I go back to the website a couple of times a day and I normally keep a close eye on the Financial Times' Twitter feeds as well.”
Ft.com is particularly useful for the information it provides around specific companies and commodities. “We do a lot of work with UK PLCs and need all sorts of information to assist us,” he explains. “This can be anything from the price of gold over the past month through to a historical company KPI. The FT website is a lot easier to use and is far more accessible than many other sources and, for UK equities in particular, provides a good level of information.”
For CNC, the FT has proved critical to its ability to stay up to speed with new developments and take advantage of opportunities to generate coverage or shape media strategy. “It helps all of our clients because it keeps us informed about all the relevant issues. If it relates to our client or the industry they operate in, we want to be the first to know”, says Evans.