As 2017 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the year it has been, a year that just seemed to start low and then test the limits of how low low can go. And as we’re currently inundated with a continuing stream of awful stories about the misdeeds and sometimes crimes of high profile men, I thought a bit of reflection on the PR disasters of a more innocent time might remind people that it’s not that hard to stay out of trouble in the first place.

So, with that, here is the first in a series of posts that explore some of the most reputation-busting stories from 2017, looking at what exactly went wrong and how it could have been avoided in the first place.

There was a time when Black Friday was mainly an American phenomenon. The day after Thanksgiving traditionally signalled the start of the shopping season that climaxed at Christmas. However the growth of online shopping has taken the concept global . So given that Britons spent nearly £6 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year – of which £2.8 billion was online shopping and Americans spent ten times that figure – it’s critical that brands take steps to maximise their efforts to reconnect with existing customers and grow their consumer base.

Below are six tips to ensure brands make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. How many are you already implementing?

“When is the best time to send my email?” In marketing, there is a host of analysis, best practice and science behind answering that thorny question.

In public relations, not so much. This is an industry that has long relied on qualitative tactics and gut instinct.

Until now. Because data can, in fact, validate whether key press strategies can work for a brand.

Take the case of Ryanair. No stranger to publicity, Ryanair is usually keen to generate as many headlines as possible. But, when it was forced to cancel around 1,900 flights due to administrative errors last month, the airline resorted to a common industry tactic – minimising attention by sneaking the announcement out late on a Friday afternoon.

Why getting media coverage for Initial Coin Offerings is changing

Got your head round Blockchain yet? Become an authority on cryptocurrency? One of the key technologies of 2017 is, ironically enough, also one of the most complicated. For a quick primer visit here.

Yet Blockchain could potentially disrupt so many industries, which is why so many people in the tech, and especially fintech space are obsessing over it.

It isn’t just the preserve of the geeky hard core either. The WSJ ran this article recently which pointed out how Blockchain could become the conduit for companies attracting finance thereby rendering the careers of Venture Capitalists redundant.

How many B2B tech companies do you know that describe themselves as ‘innovative’, ‘agile’ or ‘disruptive’? So many tech companies have come to sound the same and that makes it hard to differentiate between them – brands need to be creative with content marketing if they want to stand out from the crowd.


Engaging, targeted and regular content not only ensures your brand ranks highly in search engines, it establishes your business as an authority in its field, which can prove to be an effective new business driver. With buyers now making so much of their journey without actually talking to anyone, it’s marketing copy that has to do the hard sell. Here are five B2B tech companies who are getting it right when it comes to content marketing:

It’s a word that keeps cropping up, and it’s supposedly set to transform a number of different industries in the very near future – so why can so few people seem to explain what blockchain is?


Just the name of the technology and the way the word is used generate confusion. Some argue that the word ‘blockchain’ is not a noun, others that it is a noun, but a concrete one and not an abstract one.


And when it comes to the actual tech itself, we have a whole new problem. According to one TechCrunch writer, understanding the technology is “level 10,000 on the nerd scale”. So to help clear up the confusion, here’s Clarity’s guide to blockchain.

As it’s London Fintech Week, we’ve taken a quick look at some of the fintech companies that are flying the flag for London right now.


London’s status as the world’s premier fintech hub is by no means assured, with strong challenges coming from Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. And with some doubt as to whether Brexit could lead to an exodus of financial companies from the capital, these are tense times for London.


However, there are many reasons to be optimistic, as fintech companies in London continue to keep themselves in the spotlight. While there are many fintech success stories in London – Currency Cloud, Funding Circle and RateSetter to name but a few – we’ve highlighted some of the companies that are currently grabbing the headlines.

It’s London Fintech Week this week, a series of conferences, exhibitions and parties where delegates from around the world gather to learn, network and promote this burgeoning industry.


While Silicon Valley, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore can all put forward a strong claim, London is very keen to flaunt its credentials and declare itself the global capital of fintech. London still very much leads the way in Europe, though it’s still uncertain what the consequences of Brexit will be for the city’s fintech scene.


However, to characterise fintech as a battle between regional hubs isn’t necessarily that helpful when it comes to understanding the industry as a whole. The plethora of different sub-categories – payments, remittances, peer-to-peer, digital banking, cryptocurrencies and so on – make it a very complex ecosystem to understand. Then there are the different startups, financial service companies, established banks and technology providers all competing for attention.

It is billed as the festival of creativity – so why were the meeting rooms and beachfront cafes at last month’s Cannes Lions buzzing with talk of machine learning, probabilistic modelling and blockchain transaction dispersal?


None of these things sound especially creative, but the hand of artificial intelligence is now beginning to touch every industry – and marketing is no different.


In recent years, the world of advertising has seen a wave of new technology tools enter the market, helping to automate the planning, trading and measurement of campaigns.

Over the last 12 months Insurtech has become one of the most overused words in the British startup universe. It seems everyone wants a slice of the action in an industry which looks ripe for disruption. More recently, the bigger companies have been getting their act together and embracing all kinds of technology from AI to Blockchain.

For the time being, it is the startups leading the way. A host of companies have emerged on both sides of the Atlantic that are looking to harness technology to make insurance easier to manage and predict on one hand, and simpler for consumers on the other. Here are five innovators worth keeping an eye on:



One of the most hyped of all the new Insurtech startups, Lemonade bills itself as offering insurance the way it is supposed to be. Put simply, it takes a fee from the insurance premium consumers pay – not the whole premium – and at the end of the period invests some of that cash back into the community. It also prides itself in being super quick in assessing and paying claims.


Get Some

  • If you're looking for a career with Clarity, you can find out more and submit your CV here.