Your feedback tells us we need to work harder to boost the reputation of ACCA, our members and the profession in the media. How did we do in 2015/16?
Quality and quantity The primary focus for 2015/16 media relations in the UK was to improve the quality of coverage received. A key part of this strategy was to increase coverage levels in the major UK national newspapers such as the Financial Times, The Times and The Telegraph and the major broadcast outlets such as the BBC (TV and radio) and Sky.
In 2015/16 media mentions in these target publications totalled 46% of ACCA’s overall UK coverage, up from 27% in 2014/15 and 25% in 2013/14.
In order to reinforce ACCA’s brand with our key stakeholders, regular and repeated coverage is key. Particular successes in this regard were:
ACCA research became a feature in Alistair Osborne’s City Briefing in The Times. As chief business commentator, his influential column sets the agenda for the business world, and through the year ACCA led on topics as diverse as the slowdown in the oil industry, the VW scandal, tips on being a better CEO and improving the reputation of apprenticeships among young people.
ACCA’s excellent relationship with the Financial Times saw coverage on at least a weekly basis over 2015/16. In addition to regular commentary on tax, pensions and savings ACCA saw mentions on a wider range of issues, notably employment, with the FT’s new employment correspondent, Sarah O’Connor, quoting ACCA 15 times in articles across the year.
To ensure ACCA was seen to be speaking the language of business, there was an increased focus on securing coverage on SME issues. Key coverage on this came from regular expert comment supplied to:
Rebecca Burn-Callander, enterprise editor at The Telegraph
James Hurley, enterprise editor at The Times
Vicki Owen, SME editor at the Daily Mail
The Guardian Small Business Network
ACCA also saw a significant uplift in coverage across the broadcast media. A high point came at the Autumn Statement in November. ACCA spokespeople were featured on BBC radio and television, along with Sky News, Bloomberg, Reuters and Al-Jazeera in the three days prior, during and after the event. This has led to key relationships being established with business producers at these outlets and a regular stream of appearances for ACCA spokespeople has been forthcoming since.
To maintain and improve ACCA’s dominant share of voice over our competitors, it was important this focus on quality did not come at a cost in terms of quantity. In the UK, media mentions in 2015/16 were up by more than 10% from 2014/15, with 1,558 across the year, compared to 1,410.
Supporting members regionally Our push to increase coverage in the major national media outlets was supplemented by a focus on placing stories regarding member and student success in targeted regional news media.
Target publications included The Herald in Scotland, the Manchester Evening News, City AM in London and the BBC regional radio stations and TV channels. In 2015/16, these targeted stories in regional news outlets across England, Wales and Scotland created 34% of ACCA’s UK media coverage.
Influence in the Industry The remaining 20% of ACCA’s UK media coverage in 2015/16 came from the ‘top read’ sites in the accountancy trade press – Accountancy Age, Financial Director, Taxation and The Accountant. This reinforces ACCA’s position in leading the industry forward into the future.
Coverage in 2016 Since 1 April 2016, ACCA has been featured in the UK national media 50 times – an average of just over once per day. This is broken down across the following publications:
The Financial Times – 15 articles on topics such as taxation, global economic conditions, careers, corruption, corporate governance, sustainability, diversity and the EU Referendum.
The Times – eleven articles on topics such as corruption, sustainability, corporate governance, apprenticeships, global economic conditions, taxation, personal debt and the EU Referendum.
The Telegraph – eight articles on topics such as SME business issues, corruption, taxation, careers, taxation and the EU Referendum.
CityAM – five articles on topics such as corruption, apprenticeships, global economic conditions, personal debt and the EU Referendum.
Daily Mail – four articles on topics such as taxation, personal debt, apprenticeships and SME business issues.
The Independent – four articles on topics such as apprenticeships, personal debt, taxation and SME business issues.
Guardian/Observer – two articles on social mobility and careers.
Daily Mirror – one article on personal debt.
In addition, ACCA has been featured in the UK regional media 68 times – an average of 10 times per week. This coverage came as a result of a strategic plan to place stories regarding member and student success in targeted regional news media. Publications that have seen ACCA featured include The Herald in Scotland, the Manchester Evening News, the London Evening Standard and a range of BBC regional radio stations and TV channels.