Redefining communications to deliver meaningful change
The Independent Access to Cash Review was launched by LINK, the operator of the UK’s ATM network, in response to the lack of a defined strategy as the UK becomes an increasingly cashless society, with H/Advisors Cicero providing support across policy, media relations and research. We constructed a research platform surveying UK consumers to understand their relationship with cash and ran 14 focus groups across the country, inviting businesses, charities and trade bodies to attend and to participate in a Call for Evidence. H/Advisors Cicero devised a strategic campaign message around the need for cash in the UK and was responsible for the end-to-end design process of the formal Access to Cash Report, including developing brand guidelines, campaign logo and content platforms. The report secured over 2,000 media hits in every single national newspaper and widespread broadcast media. The Access to Cash Review continues to be seen as the gold standard on this debate, leading to the UK Government introducing legislation to protect access to cash.
The IRSG, a joint venture comprised of senior UK-based practitioners from across the financial and professional services industry, wanted to provide practical guidance on how to futureproof the integrity and efficiency of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings market.
We developed a global regulatory review of the policy landscape, an academic literature review of existing research into ESG ratings, and facilitated and hosted industry workshops with industry leaders, data providers and global regulators. Our report was published in February 2022 (accessed here: https://www.irsg.co.uk/resources-and-commentary/irsg-report-2/), and is used as the basis for an ongoing programme of global regulatory engagement, with the intention of introducing consistent regulation across the market. The Access to Cash Review continues to be seen as the gold standard on this debate, leading to the UK Government introducing legislation to protect access to cash.
H/Advisors Cicero began working with Copper.co, a digital platform infrastructure, in 2020 to provide public affairs support, to generate media coverage and to develop its social media strategy.
We developed a comprehensive approach to position Copper.co as the primary cryptoasset for asset managers, utilising contacts in the cryptocurrency and asset finance trade press to regularly cover Copper’s growth and development, while ensuring that bigger news stories – such as funding rounds, or the appointment of former Chancellor Lord Hammond as a Special Adviser – achieved prominent coverage in top national business publications.
H/Advisors Cicero has helped Copper become established as a thought leader in digital assets, with its coverage having exponentially expanded in frequency, range and reach. In 2021, Copper was mentioned in nearly 2,500 media articles with news announcements and analysis about the firm regularly appearing in Tier One publications.
H/Advisors Cicero led on the creation and implementation of global mining group Rio Tinto’s group public affairs strategy, with a strong focus on environment, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability.
We supported Rio Tinto in becoming a go-to industry stakeholder in Brussels on issues including the circular economy, clean transport and sustainable development, successfully building relationships at political and technical level with over 20 European Commission officials and relevant MEPs.
Working collaboratively with the science, research and innovation community, DECC wanted to tap into the public momentum and gain feedback on climate action involvement to shape its upcoming priorities affecting the Irish public.
H/Advisors Cicero undertook a programme of desk-based qualitative and quantitative research to provide a strong evidence base to inform Irish policy on how household behaviours can affect its Net Zero objectives, including hosting 15 in-person and online workshops, conducting an online public consultation open to the entire Irish public, and running a nationally representative online survey of the Irish population to capture the views of less engaged members of society.
We will be delivering DECC’s 2022 Climate Conversations Report in the second half of 2022, acting as a key level for subsequent activity.
IHA, the global voice for sustainable hydropower, wanted to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with increasing sustainable and environmentally friendly hydropower (consistent with the IHA San Jose Declaration) across 14 different global markets across Europe, South America and Africa.
H/Advisors Cicero produced a series of country reports using a combination of desk research and global academic and policymaker stakeholder research to develop a set of clear learnings and recommendations for how the IHA can develop its global engagement strategy in support of the global Net Zero agenda – including stakeholder mapping, key messaging and examples of best practice.
The findings have been used to support the development of IHA’s global strategy and messaging, which will be used to fuel worldwide engagement with policymakers in the lead up to COP27.
As part of ongoing work with Just (formerly Just Retirement), a specialist income provider, H/Advisors Cicero supported a public policy campaign to ensure positive outcomes for consumers from the ‘Freedom and Choice’ pension reforms announced by the UK Government. As a result of our work, the Work & Pensions Select Committee raised the issue repeatedly with senior officials at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), leading to the regulator ultimately confirming that it would introduce a ‘second line of defence’ for customers contacting their pension provider.
H/Advisors Cicero was appointed to support identity verification provider Onfido to develop a political communications campaign to elevate its reputation as a thought leader on topics including financial inclusion and security, AI, social media and biometrics.
Through developing a series of point of view (POV) statements in support of policies affecting the digital identity landscape and providing sharing of key policy documents, including consultation responses, H/Advisors Cicero succeeded in establishing Onfido as a credible and trusted source on the regulatory environment, helping to share the media agenda around key legislative and regulatory changes.
Onfido’s commentary regarding introducing online identity verification to social media, which advocated for a tiered anonymous and identifiable system, can now be found as part of the official commentary on the UK Government’s Online Safety Bill.
H/Advisors Cicero works closely with TISA, an industry body with the mission to improve the financial wellbeing of UK consumers by bringing together the collective expertise of the financial services industry. We support TISA across all of its workstreams, from Digital ID to ESG, with particularly effective campaigns within its retirement, pensions and later life lending work.
Notable successes include launching a Child Trust Fund campaign, which prompted a UK Government consultation on policy change.
TISA received over 200 items of press coverage in 2021 and is increasingly the go-to source for expertise on a range of industry topics.
H/Advisors Cicero has supported Barclays as its retained UK public affairs agency since 2012. Under intense scrutiny from politicians and policymakers, key challenges have included helping Barclays demonstrate that it has changed its corporate identity and culture, while continuing to engage in an active public policy debate. H/Advisors Cicero provides ongoing strategic counsel on messaging and positioning, ensuring Barclays is prepared for upcoming political and legislative challenges.