Proa Comunicación collaborates with the XIV Edition of the HANDS Charity Auction

Proa Comunicación will again participate in the Hands 2018 charity auction for the Emalaikat Foundation, an NGO dedicated to the creation and development of sustainable water resources in Africa. The auction will be held on December 4th in Madrid (Casa Club C/Pinar 17), and the entire proceeds will go to the Foundation for the development of water resources in Turkana (Kenya).

This solidarity event will bring together designers, artists and prestigious firms, outstanding professionals and wonderful people, benefactors of this event, who join every year, responding to the call of Ana López de Letona to, in her words, to bring “drops of life and hope to many people in Africa.”

The HANDS Charity Auction is a solidarity action that seeks to inform, raise awareness and sensitize society about the evolution of the situation in Kenya and Ethiopia. HANDS is also an exceptional opportunity to get to know first-hand the work carried out by the missionaries of the Community of Saint Paul the Apostle and the Emalaikat Foundation in Africa, where they have built, together with the local communities, more than 74 rafts and 83 rock dams, as well as promoting numerous actions for access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

If you want to attend the HANDS 2018 Charity Auction, or want to collaborate by sending a gift for the raffle or auction, just send an email to cristina.comitre@grupoascendent.com.

Lack of expertise and training, main cause of miscarriages of justice in finance

  • IESE Prof. Pablo Fernández opened the Encuentros Degussa, organized by Proa Comunicación, with a presentation in which he analyzed real cases he has encountered in the more than 150 lawsuits and arbitrations in which he has participated.
  • On the decision of the President of the Government to change the law so that the banks pay the Tax of Documented Legal Acts, he pointed out that “it is like saying that the citizens are not going to pay for the water and that the communities of neighbors will pay it.”

Madrid, November 8th, 2018. The lack of expertise and training, as well as not asking for advice from specialists, is the main cause of errors committed by the judiciary and legal world when it deals with financial cases, according to IESE professor Pablo Fernández, who inaugurated this morning´s Encuentros Degussa with a presentation on ‘Errors of judges and lawyers in financial cases’, held at Madrid headquarters of the leading European company in the physical investment gold trade.

With very clear language and the use of concrete examples from his participation in more than 150 lawsuits and arbitrations, in boards of directors and in acquisitions, he pointed out that this lack of expertise is already appreciated in the legislation itself. The person who drafts the laws, “mainly state attorneys and lawyers in courts,” often does not differentiate between accounting, finance, and financial economics. “Although I also know very sensible state lawyers who don’t make those mistakes,” he said. Moreover, in this area, according to Professor Fernandez, “a lot of facts and opinions are confused.”

He considered it very important when making valuations of companies to differentiate between accounting and finance, “because they are very different.” “Accounting is interpreted as something that has to do with the value of the companies or with the money they generate and the profit, the money that comes in minus the money that comes out, which is the most typical error,” he explained. “Finance has more to do with expertise and is based on common sense, experience and some technical knowledge,” he said. And to underpin this theory he equated the valuation of a company with that of a cow, “the same factors are involved.” Because, in his opinion, finances are based on simple concepts, “money that comes in, money that goes out, risk of money that is expected to receive …”, which are complicated by synonyms, words that have nothing to do with what they designate and confusing terms, “especially if you listen to radio, read expert reports, receive alerts on the subject or visits several specialized websites …”

Using textual phrases from real sentences, he summarized in ten the most frequent errors in finance and accounting. These errors were contested one by one with great subtlety and a sense of humor. To illustrate his analysis he also alluded to specific cases, such as the Supreme Court’s ruling on the soil clauses of mortgages, distilling all the inconsistencies he considers it contains. “How can something that is perfectly understood by the parties of a contract at the time of signing be abusive?” he said, exposing the high court. Thus, he noted that the consequences of judgments like this “increase the legal uncertainty of companies and individuals, diminish the attractiveness of investing in Spain and also create Jurisprudence.”

To avoid rulings like the one in the example, he recommended that judges “consult people who understand the subject and who are not normally those who are often considered experts,” with whom he was very critical. It also recommended mandatory courses for commercial judges on business, economics, accounting, finance, classification, operation and use of financial instruments, in addition to the creation of a section with Commercial Magistrates in the Supreme Court.

His presentation sparked a lively debate among attendees, who, among other issues, were interested in Professor Fernandez’s opinion on the recent and controversial ruling of the Supreme Court that applies to buyers the payment of the Stamp Duty and about the announcement by the Prime Minister that the law will be changed so that this tax is paid by banks. “It’s like saying that citizens are not going to pay for water and that the neighboring communities will pay,” he responded ironically to the last part of the question.

The Encuentros Degussa are stable forums for the dissemination and exchange of ideas with the participation of outstanding executives, academics, politicians and professionals. Its aim is to foster “a genuine dialogue involving customers, partners, friends and suppliers,” explains Tomás Epeldegui, director of the German company in Spain. They deal with current affairs, economic analysis and others related to Degussa’s own activity, investment in precious metals.

Pablo Fernández holds a PhD in Business Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Economics from Harvard University. He also holds an MBA from IESE and is an industrial engineer from the Universidad de Navarra (San Sebastián). Before starting his teaching career, he worked as an analyst and financial coordinator for Pepsi Cola in southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Libya and Malta) in Spain and also in Rome, at the same time as he combined it with the financial management of the Mediterranean region (Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan) and Sudan.

Degussa is the leading company in Europe in the trade of physical investment gold, ingots and coins. In addition, at its headquarters in Madrid you can find silver coins, platinum, palladium and also jewelry and other gift items. All of them can be engraved and stored in the company’s rental safe deposit box service. Its products can also be purchased through its online shop (http://www.degussa-mp.es/onlineshop), which is open 24 hours a day. It also offers the possibility of repurchasing ingots and/or coins. It is accredited by the LBMA, the London Bullion Market Association, the world’s largest association of gold and silver market professionals.

Borja Bergareche: “Fake news is a problem of the distribution of news by algorithms rather than the quality of information.”

“We have to differentiate between fake news and disinformation,” warned Borja Bergareche, Vocento’s digital innovation director, during his speech at the Proa Observatory, held at Degussa’s headquarters. Bergareche spoke about ‘Profitable journalism in the era of fake news and Silicon Valley platforms’, clarifying exactly what we mean when we talk about fake news, explaining what the new income lines of media sector are, and defending journalism as an industry, because “we have to be profitable day to day.”

In the era of fake news, the value of information and credibility has taken on a new dimension. In this sense, Bergareche acknowledged that “the debate has been oriented, in an interesting way, towards questioning the work carried out in the newsrooms.” He asked for several clarifications in this regard. On the one hand, he defended that “we are not dealing with a problem of production quality; fake news is, above all, a problem of accelerated and indiscriminate algorithmic distribution of human stupidity on platforms such as Facebook or Google,” he said, “the terms have been confused a lot.”

On the other hand, he demanded to proceed to a terminological clarification: “before certain situations, we must speak of disinformation, for example, in the context of the election of Donald Trump; fake news would be, being rigorous, false news spread by media, and it is true that certain media outlets do it; on another level it would be the hoaxes, which are the urban legends of all life.” Faced with this confusion of public opinion about the media, Bergareche has valued the newsrooms of the traditional media, claiming that they are “in themselves a process of verification of information with 150 years of history.”

Print isn’t dead.”

In relation to Vocento and the print media situation, he claimed the importance it still has despite the digital boom. “Print is not dead, it accounts for two thirds of our income. From there, the challenge for the media is enormous, and focuses mainly on optimizing the traditional business and the diversification and generation of new income.”

Along these lines, Bergareche wanted to highlight three main revenue streams that have been gaining prominence in recent years in the main media in general and in Vocento in particular.  He highlighted the branded content in the advertising field, the commitment to payment models, and the diversification of the business. The promoted content is gaining weight in the media, and “very creative things are being done that really add value.”

On the other hand, he acknowledged the progress made by the major media in terms of the paid digital subscription model, a path that Vocento has been determined to follow for some time now, as he explained, and one of the major trends in the industry at a global level. “It’s been three years since we made the strategic decision to lead the cultural change involved in paying for digital content: implementation is slow and requires even more training in big data and customer marketing, but the bet is unequivocal, now we must work to justify it to our most loyal readers.”

Alternative revenue streams for the media

Finally, with regard to these new sources of income, he highlighted business diversification and the development of new digital businesses. He explained Vocento’s commitment to new themes such as music and gastronomy, as evidenced by the purchase of Madrid Fusion, and also to new profitable digital businesses, such as infoempleo and pisos.com in the area of classifieds, Oferplan in e-commerce or Local Digital Kit in the area of digital services.

Finally, as a teacher and publisher, Bergareche has vindicated the importance of journalism as an industry in the face of “excess fascination” with entrepreneurship models. “We are a key part of a business, social and labor ecosystem, with more than 20 newsrooms and a staff of more than 2,700 people, of which almost 1,200 are journalists, the same number as the New York Times,” he said. “Entrepreneurship brings innovation and dynamism to that ecosystem, and in Spain very interesting entrepreneurial media have emerged, there is room for everyone, but we need large groups to ensure the industrial dimension,” he defended. “In addition, we have an obligation to be profitable every day,” he said.

In this context, and in a country where there are dozens of journalism faculties, he was optimistic about the question from one of the attendees: “The journalism students of today have the responsibility to aspire to create a part of tomorrow’s journalism, and almost anything is possible, but knowing that an important part of tomorrow’s journalism will be the journalism of a lifetime.”

Borja Bergareche, head of innovation projects at Vocento

Borja Bergareche is director of Digital Innovation at Vocento, the most widely distributed daily press group in Spain. He has led the creation of the new Vocento Media Lab and is responsible for driving the company’s digital transformation strategy and innovation projects. A lawyer and journalist, he has been the deputy digital director, London correspondent and the Senior International Editor of the newspaper ABC, and has also written for El Correo (Bilbao), El País and La Nación (Buenos Aires).

At the international level, he is a member of the Advisory Council for Europe of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in New York, and in 2011 he published “Wikileaks Confidential”, reflecting on the implications of leaks for the press and international diplomacy. In the past he has worked as an advisor for international and constitutional affairs in the European Parliament and the European Commission.

In the academic field, he is a journalism professor at La Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid and teaches classes for ABC/Complutense´s master’s degree in Journalism. He has a degree in Law from the University of Deusto (Bilbao) and a master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University (New York), with a Fulbright scholarship.

Proa Observatories

The Proa Observatories are stable discussion forums with the participation of prominent executives, politicians and professionals. They are born with the vocation of being a laboratory of ideas where a genuine dialogue is fostered to debate current business issues, as well as corporate reputation, brand and public affairs as important elements for the improvement of companies.

Among the personalities who have participated in these meetings are economist Manuel Conthe; former Minister of Public Administration Jordi Sevilla; former Minister of Education, Culture and Sport José Ignacio Wert; writer and priest Pablo D´Ors; the Director of External Communication of Deloitte, Antonio Belmonte; the Director of Communication and Institutional Relations of El Corte Inglés, José Luis González-Besada, the High Commissioner for the Spanish Brand, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, the writer and journalist Pilar Urbano, and the Director General of Information and Publication Control S.A. Publications. (OJD), Manuel Sala, among others.

Professor Pablo Fernández, next speaker at the Encuentros Degussa, organized by PROA Comunicación

Professor Pablo Fernández (IESE) will participate in the Encuentros Degussa, organized by PROA Comunicación, with a lecture on ‘Errors of Judges and Lawyers in Finance’ on Thursday, November 8 at 9:00 a.m. at the company’s headquarters (calle Velázquez, number 2).  Professor Fernandez will review the common mistakes he has encountered in dealing with lawyers and judges in more than 150 trials and arbitrations, in boards of directors and in acquisitions. The errors he will analyze are not exclusive to lawyers, but are applicable to many other people of varied training and professional activity.

Pablo Fernández holds a PhD in Business Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Economics from Harvard University. He also holds an MBA from IESE and is an industrial engineer from the Universidad de Navarra (San Sebastián). Before starting his teaching career, he worked as an analyst and financial coordinator for Pepsi Cola in southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Libya and Malta) in Spain and also in Rome, at the same time as he combined it with the financial management of the Mediterranean region (Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan) and Sudan.

The Encuentros Degussa are stable forums for the dissemination and exchange of ideas with the participation of outstanding executives, academics, politicians and professionals. The aim is to foster a genuine dialogue involving customers, partners, friends and suppliers. These sessions deal with current affairs, economic analysis and others related to Degussa’s activity, investment in precious metals.  These meetings will open in November 2018 with the participation of IESE Finance Professor Pablo Fernández.

To register you can send an email to cristina.garcia@proacomunicacion.es

Borja Bergareche, Chief Innovation Officer at Vocento, will participate in the next PROA Comunicación Observatory.

Friday, October 26th, a new edition of the Observatorios de PROA Comunicación will be held at Degussa’s headquarters. Borja Bergareche, Chief Innovation Officer at Vocento, will take part in the presentation: ‘Profitable journalism in the era of fake news and Silicon Valley platforms’.

In the era of fake news, the value of information and credibility has acquired a new dimension. The media, in their aim to adapt to the challenges presented by the digital environment, have to look for other formulas to make their contents profitable. Innovation is no longer an option, but an obligation.

Borja Bergareche has led the creation of the new Vocento Media Lab and is responsible for driving the company’s digital transformation strategy and innovation projects. A lawyer and journalist, he has been the deputy digital director, London correspondent and the Senior International Editor of the newspaper ABC, and has also written for El Correo (Bilbao), El País and La Nación (Buenos Aires).

At the international level, he is a member of the Advisory Council for Europe of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in New York, and in 2011 he published “Wikileaks Confidential”, reflecting on the implications of leaks for the press and international diplomacy. In the past he has worked as an advisor for international and constitutional affairs in the European Parliament and the European Commission.

In the academic field, he is a journalism professor at La Universidad CEU San Pablo in Madrid and teaches classes for ABC/Complutense´s master’s degree in Journalism. He has a degree in Law from the University of Deusto (Bilbao) and a master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University (New York), with a Fulbright scholarship.

Yago de la Cierva: “Crises affect all companies, not just poorly managed ones”

“Crises affect all companies, not just poorly managed ones,” warned Yago de la Cierva, professor of Corporate Communications and Crisis Management at IESE Business School, during his speech at the Proa Observatory, held at Degussa’s headquarters. Professor De la Cierva gave a lecture on ‘How to ask for forgiveness after a mistake: examples of corporate apology’ and did so in a very didactic way, explaining his premise through several relatively recent cases.

He compared the crisis communication with a milk jug that breaks and shatters, “there is no way to recover the milk and the jug”, but “you can always manage the post-crisis situation.” In his opinion, what we must try to do is to prevent and know how to ask for forgiveness, “which is very difficult for us because when we ask for forgiveness we reveal our weakness and become targets for the enemy, but it is the only way to overcome a problem.”

But how can you ask for forgiveness? Professor De la Cierva made three assumptions: if I am responsible, I ask for forgiveness immediately; if I am innocent, I defend myself; if I do not know if I am responsible, I open an investigation. The reason for this is “we have a duty to protect our organization.” He also pointed out that we must bear in mind that we will be judged not according to the law, but according to ethics, “the law is one of the least important things in crisis management.”

Using real-life examples, such as the mistakes made in the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey sexual abuse cases, he recommended showing sincere and brief pain and solidarity with those who have been offended. The crisis suffered by Amazon because of the sale of two books over which it had no rights to sell served to add that, in addition to the previous advice, something must always be offered. And a Starbucks employee’s incident, that led to the unlawful arrest of two people of color at one of the store´s locations, was used as an example by Professor De la Cierva. He recommended that CEOs are the ones who face public opinion, take the lead and not only apologize, but also communicate the steps they are going to take to try to prevent similar mistakes from occurring. Furthermore this policy extends to not only the CEO, but also any employee “because no company can say it won’t happen again, all risks are never eliminated.”

One of the aspects he considered most effective in the face of a crisis is to act quickly, as L’Oreal did after hiring a young follower of the Belgian team as a model that television made famous during the World Cup in Brazil. She turned out to be an experienced hunter with an important photographic imprint on her social networks, and the French company immediately dismissed her. “With social networks, companies are naked before public opinion,” De la Cierva said.

An episode triggered by the announcement of an H&M sweatshirt with a message that in some countries outside Sweden was considered racist led De la Cierva to recommend that companies that go international should first hire people who know the local market. Secondly, they should not only briefly apologize, but also connect with the sources that they have offended, try to hit bottom as soon as possible and maintain their unity in the spokesperson’s office.

During his speech, there was also plenty of humor, similar to the humor used by the American fast food company, KFC, to quell criticism when it closed its 900 restaurants in the United Kingdom because it ran out of chicken, the main ingredient in its culinary offering. KFC saved the situation with a creative campaign in which it asked for forgiveness by laughing at itself.

Professor De la Cierva’s ‘commandments’ for success in a crisis communication can be summed up in seven principles: to manifest grief, to explain what went wrong, to acknowledge responsibility, to express regret, to communicate readiness to offer compensation, to commit to informing the public about the recovery plan and to make oneself available. Additionally, companies must be aware at all times that “it is impossible to prevent the company from having a crisis again, even if you are prudent.” Nor can we forget, the professor stressed, to have a protocol drawn up that establishes how to ask for forgiveness, “learning to do so is part of a healthy corporate culture.”

The Proa Observatories are stable discussion forums with the participation of prominent executives, politicians and professionals. They are born with the vocation of being a laboratory of ideas where a genuine dialogue is fostered to debate current business issues, as well as corporate reputation, brand and public affairs as important elements for the improvement of companies.

Among the personalities who participated in these meetings were the economist Manuel Conthe; the former Minister of Public Administration Jordi Sevilla; the former Minister of Education, Culture and Sport José Ignacio Wert; the writer and priest Pablo D´Ors; the Director of External Communication of Deloitte, Antonio Belmonte; the Director of Communication and Institutional Relations of El Corte Inglés, José Luis González-Besada; the High Commissioner for the Spanish Brand, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros; the writer and journalist Pilar Urbano, and the General Director of Information and Control of Publications S.A. (OJD), Manuel Sala, among others.

The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation presents its XIII Scientific Conference at the headquarters of PROA Comunicación

Leoncio Areal, patron-secretary of the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, and Dr. María Concepción Guisasola, scientific coordinator of the Foundation, presented the Foundation´s XIII Scientific Conference during a press conference held at the headquarters of PROA Comunicación. The conference will be held on 25 and 26 October at the Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Madrid. In this edition the presentations and round tables will focus on ‘Mental health in adolescence (13-17 years): Healthy development, risks and opportunities’, thus closing the cycle that began two years ago, when the Foundation decided to address mental health in the different stages of the life cycle of children and adolescents.

This vital period, informed the Foundation’s scientific coordinator, is one of the most productive stages of life, “but not all development during these years is positive, especially given the increasingly digital and competitive environment in which most of our adolescents live.” Among the most common mental disorders at the time, she noted “anxiety, depression, alcohol and substance abuse, or eating disorders,” in many cases caused by the search for self-identity. Additionally, she put special emphasis on cyberbullying, a phenomenon that has appeared with technological advances and the emergence of social networks and will also be addressed in the conference. The doctor cited as an example a Microsoft report that shows that 37% of users between the ages of 8 and 17 around the world have reported being victims of cyberbullying, and 24% are authors of said cyberbullying.

He also added interesting data such as that 25% of the world’s population are adolescents, and 40% of pregnancies at this age are unwanted. In this sense, he stressed that “today’s adolescents will be the parents of the next generation and are not aware of how, for example, alcohol affects the mental health of the fetus.”

The Alicia Koplowitz Foundation has 175 scholarship holders specializing in Psychiatry, a specialty that in the European Union only Spain and Bulgaria lack. However, Dr. Guisasola hopes that by 2020 it will have been implemented into the curriculum, given that “the Ministry of Education recognized it last January.”

The XIII Scientific Conference of the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation will be inaugurated by Dr. María Concepción Guisasola, who will give a brief introductory talk on adolescence, and will include five round tables, two master conferences and a conference for scholarship holders, as well as the ceremony for the awarding of Research Project Grants, which will be given by the President of the Foundation, Ms. Alicia Koplowitz.

The first keynote lecture, late Thursday morning, the 25th, will be given by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Deputy Director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London, who will illustrate to attendees ‘Adolescence as a sensitive period for the social development of the brain’. It will be presented by Dr. Gisela Sugranyes, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona.

The round tables will be attended by renowned professionals such as Dr. Susana Monereo, Dr. Javier Urra, Dr. Marta Rapado, Dr. Veronica de Miguel Luken, Dr. Rosa Calvo, Psychologist Patricia Escriva Martínez, Dr. Josep Matali, Dr. Dolores Mosquera Barral, Dr. Hilario Blasco Fontecilla, Dr. Pedro Manuel Ruiz Lázaro, Dr. Cristina de la Cuerda, Dr. Luis Beato, Dr. María Mayoral, Dr. Blanca Reneses, Dr. María de Gracia Domínguez and Josefa Aymat Molina, the president of Adaner (Asociación para la Defensa de la Atención a la Anorexia Nerviosa). They will address issues such as hormonal changes in puberty and the psychosexual aspects associated with them, risk behaviors (behavior disorders and transgressions), affective-sexual education in the 21st century (gender violence, sexuality in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders), the reward system and risky behaviors (new technologies, self-injurious behaviors), eating disorders and the transition to adulthood.

The scholarship holders’ conference, which will open on the afternoon of the first day, will be given by Dr. Laia Villalta, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Unit 0 to 5 years old and Functional Unit for Child Sexual Abuse Care (UFAM) at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona and former scholarship holder of the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation. It will be presented by Dr. Marta Casanovas, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Esplugues (Barcelona) and also a former scholarship holder at the Alicia Koplowitz Foundation, and will talk about `Emotional Dysregulation and Trauma in Adolescents’.

The meeting will conclude late on Friday morning with a keynote address by José Antonio Marina, professor and PhD in Philosophy, educator and writer, who will speak on ‘The talent of adolescents. The second golden age of learning’, after being presented by Dr. Luisa Lázaro, head of the Department of Psychiatry and Child and Youth Psychology at the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona.

Manuel Sala, Director General of OJD, participates in a new PROA Comunicación Observatory

“The audit of media coverage and audience is required by advertisers, and quality content must be paid for,” acknowledged Manuel Sala, general manager of Información y Control de Publicaciones S.A. (OJD), at the PROA Comunicación Observatory, held at Degussa’s headquarters. “This is something that is already working in other countries,” he added, while expressing his conviction that “The media that makes an attractive product will be profitable.”

This was one of the premises he defended in the course of his speech, in which he began by explaining what the OJD is and its areas of action, who its main shareholders are, what its objectives are, how it works, the reason for the need for reliable dissemination and audience data, in addition to explaining the situation in other countries. And, since advertisers are the ones most interested in having correct and audited data on the media in which they are going to place their brands, he went into great detail about how advertising works. At that point, he alluded to a quote from marketing pioneer John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising goes to waste; the problem is that I don’t know which half.”

In this sense, he pointed out that “Any advertiser can trust information with an OJD seal”, a private and independent company, founded in 1964, member of the IFABC (International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations), which controls more than 450 titles and 370 websites, and whose shareholders are present advertisers as well as advertising and media agencies. Its main objective is “that any company or institution can rely on the dissemination data offered to the market on the reliability and effectiveness of the media in Spain,” which it does by adapting to the market and its digital evolution and ensuring transparency in the sector.

He stressed the importance of media planning and, by way of example, showed a simple 20th century marketing plan, in which the only decisions to be made were what part of the investment was for the press, what part for radio and what part for television. And he compared this with the situation in the 21st century, where, in addition to the three classic media, digital media (with both display and search advertising), social networks and digital outdoor advertising appear with a strong presence in the form of interconnected circles. Today, he said, advertising “requires media planning that is made more complex by fragmented audiences and doubts about new digital media data.”

Monthly reports

OJD publishes its written and digital media reports on a monthly basis and the certifications twice a year. Its CEO supports his motto, ‘OJD data you can trust’, to the very end. “On one occasion we had to expel a customer because he was buying traffic,” he admitted. However, he also pointed out that this is not the norm and was optimistic that advertisers are giving more and more importance to the codes of good practice of the media in which they insert their campaigns. He remarked, “They have realized that it is safer for their brands, and no advertiser wants to make the market cloudy.”  In this sense, he summed up that “The advertiser holds the key to increasing the level of demand.”

However, Manuel Sala pointed out that it is not possible to eradicate fraud 100% “because it is reinventing itself.” But he said that with weapons such as artificial intelligence, which as well as serving to defraud,  is good for fighting crime, compliance with the rules (“few, but if they are complied with”) and consensus on good practices, the situation will improve.

He stopped at institutional advertising, which, in his opinion, should take special care to go “to approved, serious means”, since the use of public resources should be based on objective criteria (audited data) and not in a discretionary manner, since “The media are a basic pillar of democracy.”

The lunch concluded with an interesting debate, in which attendees were interested in the control of audiences of all types of media, but especially digital and television, and the ways in which new generations consume information and leisure.

PROA Observatories on Communication

The Proa Observatories are stable discussion forums with the participation of prominent executives, politicians and professionals. They are born with the vocation of being a laboratory of ideas where a genuine dialogue is fostered to debate current business issues, as well as corporate reputation, brand and public affairs as important elements for the improvement of companies.

Among the personalities who participated in these meetings were the economist Manuel Conthe; the former Minister of Public Administration Jordi Sevilla; the former Minister of Education, Culture and Sport José Ignacio Wert; the writer and priest Pablo D´Ors; the Director of External Communication of Deloitte, Antonio Belmonte; the Director of Communication and Institutional Relations of El Corte Inglés, José Luis González-Besada; the High Commissioner for the Spanish Brand, Caros Espinosa de los Monteros, and the writer and journalist Pilar Urbano, among others.

How to create value in Private Equity through communication

Proa Comunicación has conducted market research on the communication habits of private equity firms in Spain. The study analysed the practices of the main GPs, LPs and advisors of the Spanish private capital industry. Our analysis concluded that despite the fact that the communication of the sector has evolved significantly during the past few years, there is still considerable room for improvement.

In the same way that Spanish SMEs must internationalise their activities to create value, GPs have to increase their international communication efforts. Mid-market and lower-mid GPs are the ones doing the worst in this aspect.

Most GPs and communication agencies assume that small ticket transactions are of no interest outside Spain. However, in actuality there are a large number of specialised media outlets reporting every day on this type of deals. Examples include Unquote, Real Deals, The Drawdown, Private Equity International, Private Equity News, Alt Assets, PE Hub, Private Equity Wire or PitchBook News, among others.

Each one of these media outlets has their own specialisation within the specialisation. For example, while Real Deals and Unquote’s core readership are mid-market GPs, Private Equity International and Alt Assets are more for LPs. Meanwhile, The Drawdown focuses on Chief Operating Officers. Other media outlets, such as Dow Jones or Bloomberg, save their energy mainly for large buyouts while they spend most of their time chasing scoops.

There is a bad habit of sending press releases in Spanish firstly to national media companies and a few days later that same information translated into English to international media outlets. Doing so diminishes the impact of press releases in international publications because their editors have a lower incentive to publish exactly the same information that others published before them, especially if an Anglo-Saxon competitor picked up the information in Spanish and translated it into English before he received the press release.

That’s why in an ideal world the agents involved in the private equity market should upload their press releases in English and Spanish to the news section of their website. If possible, those press releases should also include images of the portfolio company or investment team so that media professionals can illustrate their articles. Press releases should also specify whether there is a spokesperson available for comment in order to maximise the probabilities of getting more space and of better quality in the publication.

Imperfect information

Many GPs and advisors believe that once they upload their press releases to their website the whole community will instantly know about their news. This would happen if the market worked like an economic model with perfect information, but the reality is that messages have to be distributed through various channels to efficiently reach their destination. This diffusion effort is of ever-growing importance in a world with overabundant information, where messages have to be not only sent but also flagged to generate interest.

When one media company publishes something online their competitors tend to follow the same day. That’s why private equity firms should distribute their press releases to national and international media companies the same day that they upload their press releases to their websites. Furthermore, the stakeholders interested in receiving alerts on the activities of the GPs should be able to subscribe to their newsletters by filling out a form.

Reaching out to foreign media has great value for national GPs because at the moment Spanish LPs invest less than 10 per cent of their capital in Spain, and most international LPs don’t have the mandate to allocate to the country. It is therefore difficult to be recognized abroad if your firm doesn’t communicate outside Spain. On the other hand, there are many examples of Spanish GPs that received phone calls from international LPs to invest millions in their funds following the publication of news about them in specialised media, saving them several thousands of euros on placement agent fees.

International funds with offices in Spain have different problems than national players. They usually have to be very cautious with their communications to avoid contradictions or conflicts with their headquarters. The most appropriate communications strategy for them is to carefully coordinate the timing and content of their message with the headquarters. However, sometimes the headquarters and the subsidiary have different interests. On those occasions they can leak their messages with off-the-record statements and provide background information in order to convey their message to the market without seeming like they did.

In a similar way, advisors must obtain approval from their clients to communicate the processes in which they have been involved. This helps them to build their brand and position themselves as experts on a particular sector or type of transaction without incurring advertising costs. Publishing sector reports and guest comments are another way to achieve the same objective.

Beyond media 

Apart from connecting with specialised international media, GPs also have to communicate periodically with alternative assets data providers such as Preqin, Pitchbook, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones or S&P Global Market Intelligence. Many LPs, GPs and advisors use these tools to find opportunities, thus it is important to have accurate and updated profiles on those platforms.

Participating in events like SuperReturn or the Iberian Private Equity Conference is another way to generate business and grow networks.  In order to maximise their chances of success it’s good practice to know beforehand who will attend each event in order to arrange meetings with whomever they want to do business with.

Internal communications are often as important as external ones. Some good practices are to celebrate meetings and events with all your portfolio companies as a team-building exercise that may lead to collaboration. Another interesting option is to invite LPs to your offices to meet in person your investment team and attend presentations from the executives of your portfolio companies.

In an increasingly competitive market with a record number of active private equity firms, it is crucial to understand exactly who you are and what makes you different from the rest. Therefore, conducting surveys to understand how your firm is perceived among stakeholders is always a step in the right direction.

If you want to receive more information about how your firm can create value through communications send us an e-mail to info@proacomunicacion.es or call us at (+34) 910882334.

The Vanity Fair breakfast with Iñaki Gabilondo

Last Wednesday, June 13th, Vanity Fair, advised by Proa Comunicación, celebrated a #VF Breakfast at the Orfila Hotel with Iñaki Gabilondo and the Director of Vanity Fair, Alberto Moreno. The occasion celebrated the presentation of the II INTERNATIONAL VANITY FAIR JOURNALISM AWARD to the prestigious journalist.

During breakfast, a tribute to journalism, in addition to calling for the immediate dismissal of the current Minister of Culture and Sport, Gabilondo reviewed a variety of current issues such as:

  • Women in journalism: “Women are the most dynamic group in society.” The journalist believes that we will remain in prehistory as long as we do not resolve key issues in the feminist struggle such as conciliation.”
  • The future of the news company: “I believe that journalism needs to invest and spend, but only by paying can journalism be first class. Free everything is a touching illusion, but it’s completely impossible.”
  • The Lopetegui case, to which he expressed his surprise: “the Lopetegui case has all the ingredients of madness.”
  • The current political situation: “tax fraud cannot be considered a problem of the past.” In addition, he recalled that this argument was also used in the past with GAL.
  • The Royal House: “Some called Philip VI a radical because of the firewall he established with his sister, but it has been proven that his actions were intelligent.”
  • Even his current “true curiosity in the context of the extraordinary effervescence of the world in which we live, is in constant change.” He also stressed the need for research and resources to be devoted to education.

Iñaki Gabilondo, the favorite voice of the Spanish people for decades, received the award from Vanity Fair in recognition of his successful and professional career, a reference for several generations of journalists.

During his professional career, it is worth noting that his radio and television programs have enjoyed large audiences, marking a milestone with the radio program Hoy por Hoy, a leader for almost 20 years. Through these, he has consistently conveyed the restraint and reflection that have always characterized his journalism, acting as a backbone and integrator of all voices.

He is the protagonist of three books: Testigo de la Historia  (a selection of interviews), Verdades como puños  (a review of the politics of the moment) and El fin de una Época  (a book that analyses the threats and pinnacles of journalism). He has received and continues to receive numerous awards, including four Doctor Honoris Causa degrees in Madrid, Valencia, Lérida and Burgos. A list to which we add our recognition to the man who modernized Spain with a radio, where his indispensable voice always treated as equal to that of his guests, whether they were ordinary citizens or political leaders.

Award Ceremony

The award ceremony took place during a dinner held June 12 at the Hotel Santo Mauro, in collaboration with Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Attended by:

Ángel Garrido, president of the Community of Madrid; Miguel Ángel Oliver, Secretary of State for Communication, Jaime de los Santos, Councilor for Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Community of Madrid, Ángel Gabilondo, Spokesperson for the PSOE in the Assembly, Ignacio Aguado Spokesperson for Citizens in the Assembly, Begoña Villacis, Councilor for Citizens, Andrea Levy, Deputy Secretary of Studies and Programs of the PP; the designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada with Luis Miguel Rodriguez; the journalists Luis del Olmo, Maria Guerra, Daniel Gavela, Sandra Barneda, David Jimenez; the Hon. Marquis of San Vicente del Barco, Fernando Martinez de Irujo, also representatives of the film industry such as producer Fernando Bovaira and director David Trueba, among others.

Photography:

Leticia Díaz and Elena Olay.