Three questions to Volker Schmidt and Alexander Fink on the new powerhouse for IT and disruption PR

Akima Media and Clarity PR have announced their cooperation. It will create a new full-service provider of PR and digital communications consulting in the DACH region, with an international network for extensive national and international client support in more than 20 markets worldwide. That is good reason to talk about the new setup with the two directors. Who benefits and how? What precisely is the business model and why are new agencies needed in the first place?

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It’s been nearly two weeks since Bill Shine announced he was resigning his post as White House Communications Director, a position he was the sixth person to fill. In theory, the search is now on for Comms Director Seven, and under normal circumstances, you’d think any public relations professional would jump at the chance to hold such a high-profile, career-making job.

But these are far from normal circumstances, at least according to a survey conducted by Clarity. We asked 100 communications professionals: If you were offered the job of White House Communications Director, would you take it? Why or why not?

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If current trends continue, “What’s your favorite podcast?” may replace “What’s your favorite TV show?” as conversation opener.

Last week, Edison Research and Triton Digital released the 21st annual Infinite Dial report, which reconfirmed what we all already know: podcasts are getting really popular. In fact, this year’s data revealed that about one-third of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the past month. That’s over 90 million people! The report also showed that the once largely male dominated medium is increasingly being enjoyed by women.

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Today is a big day for Clarity.

Clarity Amplify – our first proprietary technology product – officially launches today.

Amplify automates the process of extending the reach and longevity of earned media and owned content via paid channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

We noticed our clients love to see earned media coverage live-on beyond the day it’s first published.

After doing so much work on messaging, positioning and pitching to land that amazing coverage hit, it makes total sense to further sweat the investment through paid channels. So far, those clients who have used the service have loved it.

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Today we launch our new brand and new website.

Developed 100% in-house, our visual identity has undergone a radical transformation.  

Our original brand was functional but uninspiring. It was cold, boring and clinical. All adjectives you couldn’t possibly ascribe to Clarity today.

The same could be said for our old website, which failed miserably when it came to bringing-to-life the spirit and culture of our company.

In contrast, our new brand and website is vibrant, dynamic and bold, which are all characteristics I’m proud to say Clarity exhibits in spades, every single day.

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Creating predictions for the new year is, in some ways, a bit of a mug’s game. That’s because twelve months on and anyone can see instantly whether you were right or wrong.

Still, here at Clarity we have never been afraid of sticking our necks out a little. We asked the team then to come up with predictions for 2019 and here’s what they came up with from brand activism through to the growth of owned content.

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Ok, the first thing I needed to do was unload my dogs. And for three weeks, this is no easy task. After considering doggy camps and extended doggy daycare, a generous relative came forward and offered to take them off my hands (yay). Once that was arranged, and my landlord agreed to watch my cat Sylvester, I was ready for my extended London work-cation.

I arrived on my birthday, which just felt right. Thanks to Clarity CEO Sami, my Marylebone Airbnb was perfectly located and ample for one, down the block from all the essentials including Sainsbury’s and plenty of luxuries including some of the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted.

My most 5 significant non-professional takeaways from this incredible visit:

1 Don’t put your Oystercard away after getting on the Tube. You’ll need it to get out.
2 Vegans are much better off in London than they are in NY.
3 There are old pound coins and new pound coins. If you had them left over in your bag from your last trip to the UK, they’re probably old.
4 Everyone has a story about an interaction with the Royal Family.
5 Always look both ways when you’re crossing the street. That way you’re bound to be right at least 50% of the time.

My most important professional takeaway was really more of a management learning, applicable at work and in life.

The best way to overcome cultural dissonance is personal connection and time spent together. Understanding – and this is ever so critical in our world today – is deepened when people take time to know each other. So, by far, my biggest professional takeaway – in addition to a few more tactical lessons – is to reach across the pond and get to know our international colleagues ‘up close and personal.’

P.S. My dogs were really happy to see me upon my return, as were their caretakers, needless to say.

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Kathy Sampey from our New York team writes…

If you were browsing the news online and saw an ad served up next to a story about a brutal murder, a plane crash or sexually graphic content, chances are you would take notice. You might also wonder why a brand marketer would have one of their ads in such close proximity to something negative or unsavory.

You’re not alone. In fact, if you’re like a lot of consumers, you might have even concluded that the ad was placed next to such content intentionally to gather more eyeballs and drive awareness and possible purchase intent. And you would probably think poorly of that brand. Read More

=&0=&It’s fair to assume that the chances of dying of a shark attack are greater than dying from a coconut hitting you on the head, but the truth of the matter is that the latter is 30 times more likely to kill you.  Not surprisingly, there is far more news coverage of shark attacks, so, voila, we think they’re more common. This is called “the availability heuristic.”

The true power of news coverage is how it impacts the way humans process information and make judgments; it’s a mental shortcut that our brains naturally take where we assume that when a brand is mentioned frequently, it’s automatically more important, more “valuable”, just because it’s been included.

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At Clarity we have had an intriguing year working with a number of clients who are either preparing for an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) or are looking to consolidate and increase brand awareness after a raise.

We have written about ICOs in the past – but now is a good time to take stock and look to see if we can spot any emerging trends that will shape ICOs in the new year. Has the ICO had its day? Will it evolve into something else? Here are our thoughts. Read More

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