7 facts you never knew about The Budget

7 facts you never knew about The Budget

In honour of the opening of the first Autumn Budget today Madano decided to brush up on Budget trivia with seven key facts.  Admit it, everyone likes trivia …

  • The word Budget comes from the French “bougette”, a little bag, which explains why the Chancellor “opens” his Budget.
  • Only a Chancellor delivering his Budget can take alcohol in the chamber.
  • Parliamentary reporter Sir Alexander Mackintosh attended 60 Budgets between 1881 and 1941.  He was quoted as saying: “Speeches get shorter as figures get bigger.”
  • The scarlet briefcase was made for Gladstone in 1860 and was used by every Chancellor since, except for James Callaghan in 1965 and 1966 who used a brown one, before the Tories returned to the original.
  • The longest Budget speech was four hours 45 minutes by Gladstone in 1853. Disraeli spoke the previous year for almost the same length of time, and also holds the record for the shortest ever Budget: 45 minutes.
  • John Major’s Budget in 1990 was the first to be televised live.
  • In his 1953 Budget Chancellor RA Butler announced that the sugar ration would be increased from 10oz to 12oz a week to help the nation make celebratory cakes for Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation that year.

Madano is a strategic communications advisor to clients in regulated sectors and industries and has practice areas in Energy, Healthcare, the Built Environment and Transport.

Ten transport issues that can make or break your organisation, and how you should be thinking & communicating about them – Part 2

Ten transport issues that can make or break your organisation, and how you should be thinking & communicating about them – Part 2

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Missed part one? Read it here.

Transport underpins everything we do. Transport is also undergoing one of the most radical upheavals of any sector, and the stresses and strains of this upheaval manifest themselves in a plethora of issues and controversies, ranging from industrial disputes to radical technology development, from restructuring huge manufacturing systems to conserving scarce resources, and from integrated transport systems to individuals’ bicycles and roller skates. To manage this complexity, insightful and clear strategy and communication are key.    

Madano has identified ten key issues impacting the transport sector: Decarbonisation; Air quality; Electrification; Infrastructure; Congestion, Efficiency and productivity; Disruptive technology; New entrants; Safety and services; Trade and jobs; Transparency, ethics and trust. All or some of these impact every economic sector, all organisations, and all people in one way or another. All need to be managed, in whatever sector an organisation operates.  

In this article we look at the first five of these issues: decarbonisation, air quality, electrification, infrastructure and congestion, efficiency and productivity.  These are five very tangible ‘hard engineering’ challenges shaping whole economic sectors today. 

1. Decarbonisation

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport has been a policy priority for nearly a decade, since the passage of the UK Climate Act and arguably before. Yet despite the reduction in UK new car CO2 emissions from 181g/km in 2000 to 120g/km in 2016 (SMMT data) recent government data showed UK transport emissions are rising, driven largely by commercial vehicle traffic volumes, much of it associated with the delivery of online products and services. The decarbonisation target remains, and as the deadline looms the action on greenhouse gas emissions will increase. Paris has banned petrol and diesel cars from 2030. London will cease buying purely internal combustion engine public transport vehicles. San Francisco’s city attorney is calling on the oil industry to be held liable for climate change. Decarbonisation will continue to be one of the major forces restructuring transport for the next twenty years, with profound consequences consumers, retailers, manufacturers, policy-makers as well as transport operators. The focus to date has been on road transport, but as the regulators wrestle with delivering reductions the big guns will swing to cover aviation and shipping; two modes of transport relatively un-touched so far.

2. Air Quality

Diesel vehicles are reported to kill 38,000 people prematurely each year due to the failure to meet official limits in real driving conditions.   Chinese-made goods bought in western Europe and the US are reported to have killed more than 100,000 people in China in one year alone as a result of the air pollution associated with their manufacture. Policy instruments – like London’s new Toxicity Charge for road vehicles – are emerging to address the problem, partly in response to legal challenges.  Such policies – a £10 charge for driving a dirty vehicle, for example – are blunt instruments, designed to tweak the consciousness of buyers, users and the ultimate beneficiaries (consumers, employers) of transport and force change upon them.  Simply relying on  charge, without mandatory vehicle change, risks delaying vehicle upgrades to new and better technology, and risks penalising drivers of older cars who are the least able to pay.  Ultimately bringing air quality emissions within recommended limits will depend on significant changes to both the vehicles we drive and the way we use and drive them. Electrification, automation, and improved utilisation will all be accelerated by this pressure. This will be so particularly if attempts to pinpoint liability are successful. The London toxicity charge is payable by the driver, so is the driver liable for the pollution, and the resultant health impact?  If San Francisco can hold oil companies liable for climate change, can local authorities hold you liable for air pollution in areas where your car or fleet operates?  

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Who’s liable?

3. Electrification

Electrification of transport is not only a strategy for the tackling climate change and cleaning the air; it is also a strategy for motor manufacturers to sell a whole new generation of vehicles, a strategy for new entrant manufacturers to overtake existing suppliers and establish leadership positions in a global industry, and a strategy for electricity suppliers to supplant oil companies.  The stakes could hardly be higher.  Electric vehicle global market share has been projected by some analysts to reach 80% by 2025.  However in the UK, which is relatively advanced in the adoption of electric vehicles, the market share for pure electric vehicles remains below 1%, with a market share of circa 2% for electric and hybrid vehicles combined. Many hurdles remain, which will receive intense political and commercial focus in coming years. The key ones are the provision of recharging infrastructure to enable recharging where and when it’s needed, and the development of batteries able to store sufficient energy and charge rapidly without adding weight.  Depending on the success of each, it remains to be seen how much additional electric generating capacity is required to charge the vehicles despite electric vehicles being inherently more energy efficient, and how this capacity will developed.  

4. Infrastructure

Most infrastructure projects are also transport projects, and most infrastructural shortcomings relate to transport infrastructure provision. Better roads, railways and train lines are aspired to nearly everywhere, but the resultant environmental impacts are not. In the next 20 years in the UK, Heathrow’s third runway, Gatwick’s second runway, HS2, Crossrail, Crossrail 2, Hinkley C, Birmingham City Centre, and electric car charging points will continue to fill the news, generate controversy, suck-up resources, inform house purchasing decisions and vehicle ownership patterns, and help facilitate the transport transformation. There will be significant winners and losers. Which are you?

5. Congestion, Efficiency and Productivity

It’s well known that stagnant productivity is one of the UK’s greatest strategic challenges. When average traffic speeds in the capital city grinds to a stupefying 9 miles per hour it hardly helps. Neither does a succession of tube and train strikes. Traffic jams alone are estimated to cost the UK economy £9 billion per annum.  While our airports reach record passenger throughput levels, trains reach record passenger utilisation and roads reach record traffic levels, efficiency declines and productivity falls. Time, energy and human motivation are unproductively expended, and shortcomings in mobile technology provision (think 5G and wi-fi on the move) don’t help. As our population steadily rises, the requirement to address congestion, efficiency and productivity increases, with potentially huge rewards for organisations delivering solutions.

These five issues affect all organisations, not just those directly engaged in transport. They have the potential to render your car, your fleet, your business model, and even your industry, obsolete.  They are each therefore worth making a plan for. Yet many organisations treat transport as an activity outside their operation, not fully realising that their own activities require transport, their own business models are dependent upon actively managing transport, and their own risk-reward profile (and therefore shareholder value) is inextricably linked to transport.  Every organisation involved in transport needs a strategy to mitigate the risks and capture the opportunities, and a stakeholder engagement plan to ensure this is achieved.

In the third article in this three-part series we will look at the next five issues: disruptive technology; new entrants; safety and Services; trade and jobs; transparency, ethics and trust. These are five ‘softer’ issues that are only just beginning to re-shape the global economy.

Darran Messem is Director of Transport and Sustainable Development at Madano

Madano helps clients define strategy and deliver their objectives through insight, creativity and communication in complex highly-regulated sectors including transport, energy, building and infrastructure, and healthcare.

How do we ensure energy equality in a digital world? Three key takeaways

How do we ensure energy equality in a digital world? Three key takeaways

Written by Michael Zdanowski and Matt Dolman, Madano Energy

This week Madano’s Energy Practice hosted a roundtable event exploring the neglected issue of energy equality in a digital world.

Senior figures from across the energy industry, Government and Ofgem gathered to hear speakers including James Heappey MP; Dr Nina Skorupska CBE (CEO, Renewable Energy Association); Jon Ferris (Strategy Director, Electron); and Peter Smith (Director of Policy and Research, National Energy Action).

With the energy revolution upon us, we wanted to find out whether the UK is in danger of creating a ‘two-tier’ energy system for the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. We weren’t expecting to find all the answers, and there’s still more to learn, but here are our three key takeaways:

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1) ‘Digital by default’ risks leaving the most vulnerable behind

Technology and innovation can do incredible things for energy, leading to a smarter, cleaner and more efficient world.

However, a digital-led and prosumer driven energy market, based on a plethora of connected devices, could mean that many homeowners lose out.

Households able to afford efficient appliances, connected devices and their own personal energy generation and storage devices could see lower energy costs.

Putting it another way, those that can’t afford to upgrade are subsidising the home improvements of a few.  As one speaker argued, inequality is already built into the system.

Solving this problem isn’t easy. A price cap might help a little, but it won’t address the institutional inequalities built into the system.

Conversely, many will question the fairness of imposing higher tariffs on those households that have upgraded their energy systems, another possible option for addressing the gap. 

2) New homes and infrastructure need to be fit for the future

We need to create the physical infrastructure, digital systems, and regulatory regime to enable the energy system of the future.

Take electric vehicles – deployment will be stifled if homeowners have to worry about sorting out their whole street or paying higher tariffs when they need to charge both cars at once.

While plans for millions of new homes are welcome, it’s imperative that new-build properties are built with energy efficiency, smart devices, and high capacity connections to the grid as standard.

Without managing these issues properly, there is a risk that EV owners and first-time homeowners will not benefit fully from the emergence of these new energy technologies because the full implications of the energy transition haven’t been thought through. 

3) We can’t predict the future – but we can regulate for innovation

As one speaker put it, the only thing that’s certain in the energy market is disruption.

The key is to embrace the inevitable changes and build a policy and regulatory regime that allows for future changes and takes consumers along with it.

We need to make sure that people don’t ‘switch off’ from engaging with energy because a sophisticated algorithm or artificial intelligence is managing their bills. And we need to avoid the trap of regulating for today’s system when tomorrow’s technologies will render well-laid plans moot.

In planning for the new digital future, we can’t forget about traditional technologies like boilers that need to be replaced and repaired, especially in fuel poor homes. Energy efficiency is a huge issue – simple improvements can be made easily to many homes.  A new energy system must account for late adopters of digital technologies and for those 1 in 5 UK households without access to the internet.

Madano is a fully integrated communications consultancy that specialises in advising clients in sectors where communications are critical to success.

We would very much like to hear your thoughts about the issue of energy equality – please feel free to reach out to us.

What’s the point of your communications anyway? A quick guide for developing better strategies and showing off

What’s the point of your communications anyway? A quick guide for developing better strategies and showing off

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The point of communicating is to create change. Change in someone’s thoughts, or in what they do. It’s really very simple.

Thinking about what you want to change is the best way to start planning any communications. That might sound really obvious, but one of the keys to developing more effective strategies is to consider what the change looks like for the actual people that you expect to be impacting, rather than from your own perspective (e.g. ‘we want to sell more stuff!’).

There have been a few frameworks developed by experts in the field to help do this. Whilst they are all quite similar, the four areas of the framework below are taken (roughly) from one by Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist Avinash Kaushik

  • SEE: What do the audience see?
  • THINK: What do they think because of what they’ve seen?
  • DO: What do they do because of what they think?
  • REPEAT: What do they do next time? 

Again, so far so simple. But there may well be a huge range of things that your audience will think and do that should be considered within this. As well as being more specific about the expected outcomes, it also helps think more broadly about the strategy:

  • Change is a journey: press releases don’t lead straight to purchases, and simply saying that PR is about brand perceptions is a cop out.  Change is a journey that your stakeholders and customers go on – and that journey might have a lot of steps. When you outline the changes that you want the audience to go through, identifying what steps (i.e. activity) that you could put in place to help this happen is much easier.
  •  The journey is a lifetime: A lot of attention goes on the first-time outcomes – ‘we do X activity, and Y happens’. The last aspect of the framework above is extremely important, and often overlooked – how can you ensure that the audience keeps behaving in a certain way? What about if they advocated for you, instead of just being a one-off?
  • Measurement is life: You wanted something to change, you measure whether it did or not. Measurement is often seen as a troublesome afterthought, when it’s really just checking if what you wanted to happen actually happened. If you’ve articulated that well enough it will make identifying what measures will demonstrate that change – and showing what impact you had – much easier to do.

The framework above is a very common one we use at Madano to guide measuring the impact of communications and helping clients set KPIs – but it’s a great starting point for developing communications strategies too.

Jonathan Oldershaw is a Director in the Insights practice at Madano.

Our expert Insights Practice provides specialist analysis and evaluation for clients across multiple sectors.

Ten transport issues that can make or break your organisation, and how you should be thinking & communicating about them – Part 1

Ten transport issues that can make or break your organisation, and how you should be thinking & communicating about them – Part 1

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Transport underpins everything we do. Our daily commute, weekly shop, routine business trip, visit to friends and family, and annual holiday, all depend on transport. For many, the machine we drive is integrally associated with our views of ourselves, and others’ view of us. Transport is one of the key economic and operational sectors in any developed economy. In the UK transport directly contributes round 6% of UK gross economic value added (House of Commons research), directly employs 1.4m people, and is the lubricant for the bulk of the economy. 

Even in the digital age, delivery of a product ordered online generally relies on an inefficient internal combustion engine based on a nineteenth century design. But in the next ten years transport patterns will change as drivetrain technology overcomes both fossil-fuel and human-intervention dependency, and demand for previously-unseen benefits from the transport transformation take hold.  Transport is undergoing one of the most radical upheavals of any industrial sector, and the stresses and strains of this upheaval manifest themselves in a plethora of issues and controversies, ranging from industrial disputes to radical technology development, from restructuring huge manufacturing systems to conserving scarce resources, and from integrated transport systems to individuals’ bicycles and roller skates.

In the last few weeks alone, we’ve seen Ryan-Air tell 400,000 passengers of cancelled flights, the Mayor of London accuse Volkswagen of contempt for Londoners, Ford recall 400,000 vehicles for safety and compliance issues, Monarch collapse, Stagecoach lose the South West Trains franchises to First Group and MTR, Volvo launch a new car brand, train companies face new requirements to remove diesel engine units, and the postal unions clash with Royal Mail management. 

Such issues present huge opportunity for organisations navigating the changes well.  They also present immense potential for misunderstanding, misreporting and therefore conflict. In the IT industry, when Microsoft needs to improve its software, users receive an ‘update’, yet when Ford needs to improve its cars users receive a ‘recall’.  When Jaguar Land Rover recently increased in-house production of engines rather than buying them from another manufacturer, the move was reported as “Fears for jobs as Jaguar cuts contract”, not “Jaguar invests in increased production”. Even well informed industry observers could be excused for fearing there’s a chaos of disorganisation and conflict in the industry rather than feeling reassured there is a managed progression. So what are the key issues, and how can clear strategy and communication help? 

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Recall, or Update?

At Madano, we believe organisations must get their strategy and communication on transport right, even if they are not typically ‘transport’ organisations. To manage the issues and opportunities developing in transport, insightful strategy and clear communication are key. We’ve identified ten key issues impacting the transport sector:

1. Decarbonisation – the ongoing quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport
2. Air Quality – the health imperative to reduce concentrations of oxidants of nitrogen and of particulates in the air
3. Electrification – the accelerating trend towards electric vehicles and electric re-charging points
4. Infrastructure – an array of key construction projects targeting increased connectivity and economic growth 
5. Congestion, efficiency and productivity – the interlinked challenges of increased congestion and static productivity
6. New entrants – non-traditional competitors threatening established business models 
7. Disruptive technology – new technologies creating new channels of communication, distribution and delivery 
8. Safety and Services – changing expectations of safety and service in transport operations and services 
9. Trade and Jobs – the battle for growth and employment 
10. Transparency, ethics and trust – the increased risk/reward profile resulting from technological and social change. 

These ten issues affect all organisations, not just those directly engaged in transport. They have the potential to render your car, your fleet, your business model, and even your industry, obsolete.  They offer the potential to transform productivity; to create life-changing disruption, as well as life-changing opportunity.  And social media has the potential to amplify the effects. They are each therefore worth making a plan for. Yet many organisations treat transport as an activity outside their operation, not fully realising that their own activities require transport, their own business models are dependent upon actively managing transport, and their own risk-reward profile (and therefore shareholder value) is inextricably linked to transport.  Every organisation involved in transport needs a strategy to mitigate the risks and capture the opportunities, and a stakeholder engagement plan to ensure this is achieved.

In the next two articles in the three part series, we will be looking at these 10 issues in more detail.  The second article in this series will focus on five very tangible ‘hard engineering’ challenging shaping whole economic sectors today: decarbonisation, air quality, electrification, infrastructure and congestion, efficiency and productivity.  The subsequent article focuses on five ‘softer’ issues that are only just beginning to re-shape the global economy: disruptive technology; new entrants; safety and services; trade and jobs; transparency, ethics and trust. We will argue that all organisations, not just transport ones, should be analysing these issues, and finding engaging and creating ways to communicate about them to their staff, customers, investors and stakeholders.   

Darran Messem is Director of Transport and Sustainable Development at Madano. 

Madano helps clients define strategy and deliver their objectives through insight, creativity and communication in complex highly-regulated sectors including transport, energy, building and infrastructure, and healthcare.

Read part 2 here

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