Madano launches kiite

Madano launches kiite

Key Influencer Insight, Targeting and Engagement’ from Madano on Vimeo.

Kiite: Key Influencer Insight, Targeting and Engagement

Madano has created an innovative new approach to identifying and targeting influencers and other key stakeholders. Our kiite methodology combines web-harvesting techniques, advanced analytics, machine learning and visual mapping technology; enabling us to deliver quicker, more objective and more strategic insight.

Working closely with our clients we identify the most important metrics – including reach, relevance, and connectivity. The outputs support strategic thinking and efficient resource allocation for engaging influencers, can inform the development of advisory boards or conference line-ups, identify rising stars and quiet connectors.

The Kiite Interactive Dashboard

Our in-house digital team have developed an interactive web tool for understanding and mapping influencers – the kiite dashboard. It maximises the value of our insights through bringing the landscape to life, and allowing teams to explore and understand influencers in an engaging way.

Want to learn more? Contact Madano’s Jon Oldershaw, Director, Insights & Intelligence – for more information. 

Spot the difference – the common energy thread between the Conservatives and Labour

Spot the difference – the common energy thread between the Conservatives and Labour

Written by Philip Armstrong, Account Director, Madano Energy Practice

So now we know. The Conservative Party go into the election with a pledge to take the UK forward, together (in a ‘strong and stable’ way, of course) while the Labour Party are offering eye-catching policies for the many, not the few.

On the face of it, there’s a huge gulf between the two manifestos. On marquee issues – migration, taxation and deficit reduction – that’s absolutely the case. But, on at least one issue, there’s a substantial convergence with significant implications – energy.

Despite the bluster, it is now clear that the UK’s main political parties are committed to intervention to ‘fix’ the energy market. While it’s fair to say their approaches differ in style and substance, both parties pledge some form of price control for energy suppliers.

Even if the Conservatives bow to pressure to water down their ideas, this is still a big shift from their traditional market-friendly approach. Meanwhile, Labour is continuing a policy trend that has been developing since the Ed Miliband years.

It’s not just consumer bills though – both parties support greater levels of Government intervention across the energy sector. The Conservatives are moving towards relieving councils of their planning role in fracking and will set up new bodies to enable a major push to exploit UK shale reserves. Labour proposes to give new publicly owned companies control of regional energy infrastructure and has grabbed attention by pledging to nationalise the whole grid in the longer-term.

Now, some will claim (not unfairly) that the energy market is not functioning as it should and so government needs to step in and ‘do something’. It is also fair to say that governments haven’t really stopped tinkering in the energy sector since privatisation. However, the manifestos signal a new, more populist, interventionist mind-set that carries real risks for the sector.

Significant and persistent intervention by government will likely knock investor confidence, which in turn could increase the cost of capital and harm inward investment. This is a serious issue, particularly given how dependent the UK’s energy economy is on foreign funding. Companies will need to be alive to the risks no matter who wins the election.

There also remain many unanswered questions on energy policy, which won’t be resolved until after the election. The Conservatives say little in detail, offering a post-election policy review and commitments already made in the Industrial Strategy Green Paper. Labour might argue that they have made the more ambitious pledges, including making 60 per cent of the UK’s energy low carbon by 2030, but it’s not clear how they would achieve this (if elected).

This means that what the energy sector craves – policy certainty – is unlikely to be forthcoming when the smoke clears on 9 June. We already know that investor confidence in the UK’s energy sector is weak – EY’s latest renewable energy investment attractiveness index found investors are “underwhelmed” by the state of UK energy policy. Continuing uncertainty in areas as wide ranging as market pricing, the competition for small modular reactors, sign-off on a pathfinder for tidal power or support for renewables, is deeply unhelpful.

So now we know, whoever wins, we can expect another shake-up in the energy sector, by a government that is willing to intervene more directly. In this environment, it will be crucial for companies working in the energy sector to communicate early, clearly and effectively. They will need to state the facts but also social purpose – their positive role in society. And they will need to go beyond just government and speak directly to consumers, those ’hard working families’ whose anger at rising costs is a key influence on political parties’ policies.

Madano hires Michael Zdanowski as Head of Energy

Madano hires Michael Zdanowski as Head of Energy

Madano has hired Michael Zdanowski as a Director and Head of Energy.

He joins from Edelman where he was UK Energy Lead and played a strong role in developing the firm’s UK and European energy business.

Michael will oversee a specialist energy practice that has grown year on year since its formation in 2013, with clients focused on renewables, nuclear and innovative energy technologies.

He said of his appointment: “I’m thrilled to be joining Madano which has one of the most impressive teams in the market dedicated to the energy sector. The expertise in the team is second to none and I look forward to leading the team as the energy market rapidly transitions to a low-carbon future. As new energy technologies shape and disrupt the market, the communications required to support these changes will be as important as the initiatives themselves.”

Michael’s expertise in energy stretches back throughout his career. He previously worked for Hill+Knowlton Strategies in London and Moscow, focusing on major reputational issues for energy, mining and industrial companies. During his time at H+K he was also seconded to Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Egypt.   

Michael Evans, Managing Partner of Madano, added: “We continue to expand the talent across our business and build out what is already a leading energy practice. By combining tailored communications expertise with data-driven insights alongside creative and digital, we can offer integrated solutions delivered by talented people who truly understand our clients’ needs.” 

The UK’s Air Pollution Plan – for the power sector, is it more than smoke and rear-view mirrors?

The UK’s Air Pollution Plan – for the power sector, is it more than smoke and rear-view mirrors?

Written by Matthew Dolman, Senior Account Executive, Madano Energy Practice

The Government’s Draft Air Quality Plan has finally been published, just over a week after the UK’s High Court quashed an appeal to extend the deadline. Having tried to avoid publishing it until after the General Election, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published both the plan and a formal consultation earlier today (Friday 5th May 2017).

A long time coming, the plan is fairly weighted towards the transport sector, headline proposals including a potential scrappage scheme for diesel vehicles and further funding for developing hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure.

There’s also a clear emphasis on concerted action from devolved governments and local authorities, which will be required to consult on establishing ‘Clean Air Zone Frameworks’ and leading the way on reducing transport sector emissions in their respective local areas and regions. Ministers are clearly also banking on the UK’s R&D sector to deliver new technologies and solutions to help clean up the country’s air.

I’d argue that the Air Quality Plan is just as important for those in the power sector, because it carries significant implications for the Government’s overall energy strategy.

While the plan doesn’t have many concrete policy proposals for energy – DEFRA and the devolved governments will announce this year new measures to tackle emissions from generators and Medium Combustion Plants – there’s a clear move towards tapping into the national electricity grid as a way of decarbonising the energy used by transport. It commits to further decarbonising and electrifying public transport, the UK’s freight network, and even shipping.

The Government’s approach won’t be surprising for energy experts, who will remember last year’s Smart Power report, published by the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission argued that the UK’s demand for electricity is set to increase massively as heat and transport shift away from using fossil fuels.

That’s all well and good, but it means more demand on electricity sourced from ultra-fast charging stations dotted across the country. So in trying to decarbonise the transport network, the Government is adding to the challenges for a power sector still largely reliant on carbon-intensive fossil fuels and inflexible baseload generation.

The implication is that the power sector will have to rapidly decarbonise if the UK has any hope of meeting its climate objectives – all while ensuring shrinking supply margins don’t endanger energy security or spike consumer bills, both being major priorities for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Given the noises coming from the UK’s main political parties, reconciling these myriad challenges probably means:

  • Increasing reliance on natural gas, in place of aging coal-fired plants, due to be phased out by 2025.
  • Emphasis on new nuclear power – be it through large plants like Hinkley Point C or a fleet of more flexible small modular reactors (SMRs).
  • Further uptake of evermore cost-competitive renewable energy sources, following a trend towards distributed generation paired with energy storage and demand-side response (DSR).

I think it will be difficult for Ministers to sell this Air Quality Plan as part of a cohesive strategy. The document is clear that everyday activities like power generation and industrial activity cannot be reduced in order to improve air quality. It also states that “action to improve air quality must not be done at the expense of local businesses and residents”. And the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper has already promised to review opportunities to reduce the cost of decarbonisation for power and industrial sectors.

I suspect experts across Government will now be scrabbling to develop an approach that lets them improve air quality and decarbonise transport and industry without kneecapping the power sector’s ongoing efforts to decarbonise or having a significant impact on the daily lives of ordinary voters.

Weaving this into the Industrial Strategy will be critical, but joined-up policy isn’t something UK Governments are renowned for, and a High Court battle to delay this latest consultation will hardly mitigate that perception.

Madano wins a place on the UK’s Best Workplaces™ ranking

Madano wins a place on the UK’s Best Workplaces™ ranking

The prestigious awards are announced annually and showcase the best workplaces in the UK. Judging is based on honest feedback from employees, analysis of management of the company and evaluation of company culture.

The award comes on the back of a strong period of growth for Madano, now 35 strong, working with over a dozen new clients and having its most successful year yet. 

Michael Evans, Managing Partner of Madano credits the team with this achievement. “Being named one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ is all down to the team of people at Madano who all make our culture so special.”

Congratulations to the whole team at Madano for helping ensure that we are truly a ‘great place to work’.

More information about the awards can be found here www.greatplacetowork.co.uk