To be in the Union or Not to be in the Union: That Was the Question

Yes. No. No. Yes. These are the simple words which have dominated political debate for the past few months across the entire UK. You couldn’t buy a pint, turn on the TV or pop to the shops without the inevitable conversation – street politics was back! The simplicity of the question as to whether Scotland should become an independent country has led to an unprecedented level of campaigning and engagement with a record turnout yesterday of 85%, a real fillip to democracy. Here, APCO Worldwide’s public affairs and campaigning team analyse 6 key lessons from the campaign which ultimately ended up 55% No and 45% yes:Read more »

Posted on September 19, 2014 By
Categories  Government UK Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s Next in Energy Infrastructure?

Jessyca SheehanLast week, I attended a Bay Area Council event on building a “21st Century Energy Infrastructure.” The forum focused in particular on the regulatory, infrastructure and consumer aspects of integrating renewables into our electric grid, an area where California continues to be at the forefront. Speakers Carla Peterman, a California Public Utilities Commissioner and former California Energy Commissioner, and Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy, offered several interesting perspectives on where we’re headed next.
•Distributed Generation There is no doubt distributed generation, particularly rooftop solar, will continue to become a greater part of our energy infrastructure. The lines are blurring between energy generator and energy customer. Going forward Commissioner Peterman expects to see more financial investment at the distribution vs. transmission level.Read more »

Posted on September 17, 2014 By
Categories  Energy & Clean Tech | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Three Major Trends Influencing Health Communications

the next 30Healthcare in the United States is a $2.8 trillion, rapidly-changing and increasingly complex industry. With increasing costs, information and decision-making power placed in the hands of consumers, there has been an explosion of personal involvement in health care and a dire need for a navigator to make sense of it all. Now more than ever, health communications professionals play a critical role in helping to navigate and make sense of this landscape. Over the past year, several trends have emerged that have a direct impact on the work of health communicators. Here are three trends that I expect to play a major role in influencing this personalized era of health care:Read more »

Posted on September 16, 2014 By
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The Truth about the “Spiral of Silence” on Social Media

the next 30Social media has intensified news coverage, allowing people to react minute by minute as stories unfold. The unrest in Ferguson is just one recent example, which begs the question: do social media platforms drastically change the nature of how we communicate, or do they stifle us from sharing our opinions?

Time and again we have heard people discuss how the Web, social media in particular, promotes the open exchange of diverse ideas. Recall reactions to recent news that took over your timeline or newsfeed: did you see voices represented on both sides of the issue, or was it a one-sided argument? Most likely your answer is the latter, and that may come as a surprise. While many tout social media as a real-time measuring stick for public sentiment around news and current events, there may be something else at play.Read more »

Posted on September 16, 2014 By
Categories  Online Social Media Best Practices Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New European Commission

Martin Selmayr, European Commission (EC) President-elect Jean Claude Juncker’s “transition chief”, promised “surprises” ahead of the announcement last week of who would get which of the 26 Commission portfolios [1]. Indeed, Mr Juncker seems, in the two and a half months since his nomination, to have confounded many of the critics who labelled him as the embodiment of the “old Europe” that European voters had so emphatically rejected at the European elections in May.Read more »

Posted on September 15, 2014 By
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Unpacking Inversions: Grassroots Concerns Over Deals

Zelkowitz_Jeff_tnIn a new NBC / Wall Street Journal poll, 59% of Americans say that Congress should “penalize and discourage” U.S. companies that engage in corporate inversions – cross-border M&A deals structured to reduce future corporate taxes on non-U.S. income and profits repatriated from abroad. Only 32% disagreed, saying companies “have a duty to their shareholders to lower costs and grow their business.”

As the WSJ put it, the poll suggests that “voters both are aware of the [inversion] tactic… and actually care about it.” Washington is taking heed, with proposals for new rules expected to follow. The data – and the interplay of grassroots, consumer, political and other reactions – also underscores the need for companies to consider issues and risks across the stakeholder landscape around transactions, whether they involve an inversion or not.Read more »

Posted on September 12, 2014 By
Categories  Finance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment