Reputation Advisors International: Day One

Pitt Building Cambridge University

Our Director of Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Haslem, is in London this week to attend the annual meeting of Reputation Advisors International. He gives us an update after the first day of action.

I have just completed a busy day in and around London ahead of tomorrow’s annual meeting of Reputation Advisors International (RAI) - a worldwide association of senior communications professionals with expertise in high-stakes issues related to reputation management, brand positioning, legal and regulatory communications, crisis planning and response, and related areas.

One of the day’s highlights was travelling to Cambridge by train (the Brit’s rail system is certainly a quantum leap on the service back home) where I met with Sarah Reakes, Managing Director of KISS Communications.

Sarah’s agency, like Icon, is a member of PROI - Public Relations Organisation International, a global network of 90 entrepreneurial communications firms in more than 65 countries.

KISS’s office is in the iconic Pitt Building, built in 1831 and the first home of Cambridge University Press.

KISS is a creative agency that primarily works in the B2B space, with a focus on the agriculture, education, science and technology sectors.

Being in Cambridge, a large number of its clients have links with or tap into Cambridge University’s strong innovation and tech ecosystem.

Best of all, Sarah took me on a walking tour of the town. I was tempted to take up Sarah’s advice and go on a punting ride on the River Cam but time was against me.

Then it was back on the train to London and a meeting with another PROi partner, reputation management firm, Lansons, where I met Board Directors and Partners, James Dowling and Ralph Jackson and learned about the firm’s public affairs, corporate communications and reputation work.

It’s been a big week for Lansons, which announced on Monday that it is joining Team Farner, the rapidly expanding European alliance of integrated communication consultancies, as its flagship UK consultancy.

Then it was a short stroll to PROI member SEC Newgate, where I sat down with Managing Director of the firm's consumer team, Paul McCaffrey.

Finally it was a dinner with RAI members, James Haggerty, Dirk Schmitt, Kajsa Stenstrom and Martin Hofmann ahead of the official annual meeting.

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