Multi-specialist best known for corporate communications
Founded in 1986, for most of its 20-year history The Communications Group has eschewed any form on self-promotion (even the firm’s name seems designed to ensure anonymity) while doing sterling work for a roster of clients that included big names such as Credit Suisse First Boston, IBM, McDonald’s, Motorola, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. But the firm has been positioning itself much more aggressively in the marketplace over the past 18 months, since the return of Michael Hayman as chief executive after a couple of years working on global corporate accounts at Hill & Knowlton. Founder Maureen Smith, a legend in the U.K. public relations business, remains as chairman, but Hayman has brought in a new generation of leadership including managing director of corporate affairs Emma Johnson, formerly of Fishburn Hedges; and Sally Hawkins, formerly of The Red Consultancy, as managing director of marketing communications.
While best known for its work in corporate reputation management and public affairs, TCG has five specialist offerings: the others are financial and City communications; consumer, where the focus is on developing a new methodology for “stimulating desire”; and business-to-business marketing. It also offers specialist services including crisis communications and media and presentation training. Like many firms, TCG is seeing increased demand for work that crosses the lines between those disciplines. It also has expertise in several industry sectors, most notably in natural resources (clients have included BP, de Beers, EDF, ICI and Shell); luxury goods (clients have included de Beers and Burlington Arcade); and destinations (earlier this year, working with the Wales Assembly Government, the firm produced a report called The Power of Destinations that drew on proprietary research and stakeholder engagement to examine the state of the art in industrial and tourism development).
One of TCG’s special skills involves helping clients position themselves as thought leaders in their industries or on issues critical to their business. It worked with the “new ICI” to focus on the sensory nature of its business, commissioning an