Acquisition strengthens Aberdeen's global reach

It would be difficult to find a better example of Aberdeen’s drive to strengthen its role as a global oil and gas technology hub than the Wood Group’s £600 million acquisition of fellow Aberdeen company PSN, announced earlier this week.

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Blinded by technology

I admit to being a bit of a geek. I am excited about the potential of new technology and, whenever there is a new update to any bit of software on my computer, I have to be restrained if I am to resist the temptation to hit the download button.

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Did they not know or did they conceal the truth?

The desperate news of financial meltdown in Ireland raises the question of how Western European economies, including our own, apparently turned from boom to bust so quickly.

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Is being ‘included’ really being excluded?

I’m following up my previous post with this moving story from Camphill School Aberdeen. It demonstrates how the work of the Camphill Aberdeen charities can make such a huge difference for individuals and for families in crisis.

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The call that began a remarkable journey

It was almost exactly seven years ago that Dr Stefan Geider at Camphill in Aberdeen called to ask if I could help with setting up a campaign. What was to follow tested my PR and public affairs skills to the extreme, but I would have been a lot poorer in so many ways had I not risen to the challenge.

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Putting the "public" back in public relations

There are still many people out there who believe that public relations is entirely about getting ‘name checks’ for clients in the newspapers.

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BT needs to build broadband confidence

I hoped it was our hub playing tricks when the internet went down this morning. But, no, it was a second BT Broadband outage affecting much of Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland.

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Seizing the marine renewables opportunity

The news that Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has called a summit meeting in Aberdeen on December 17 to examine how to secure “the biggest economic opportunity in a generation”, is timely and welcome.

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PR in action as Chilean miners emerge

The story of the Chilean miners emerging, after more than two months trapped underground, has captured the attention of the world, with good reason. This is a top-notch ‘good news’ story.

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Cutting off the Energy city

It is more than a little ironic that barely two weeks after business leaders wrote to Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson demanding urgent action to improve the offshore energy capital’s transport connections, news percolates from London that direct rail services from London to Aberdeen might be axed.

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Sort our transport system say energy capital business leaders

Today’s Press and Journal, BBC, Northsound and Original are leading on reports that business leaders in Aberdeen have written to Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson demanding urgent action on delayed transport projects in and around Europe’s Energy Capital.

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The blame culture

I was laughing at a cartoon linked on their Facebook page by a relative who is a teacher. The cartoon features two scenarios: 1960 and 2010.

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Good and bad news from world of politics

Reading today’s Press and Journal newspaper holds out hope and then dashes it. In the early pages is reference to moves to persuade the UK government to support the development of an appropriate infrastructure for Europe’s Energy Capital.

Then, on the letters page, is an example of the in-fighting that has hampered our progress for too long.

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Hyping the gloom?

Many of us will have spluttered over our cornflakes this morning when we read headlines saying “Spending cuts ‘will rise to £42 billion’ for Scots”.

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Stepping aside from IoD chair

So, after four years, it is time for me to step aside and let someone else take over as chairman of the Institute of Directors in Aberdeen. It has been a real pleasure and privilege to chair such a vibrant branch, which has a around 280 business leaders in the Aberdeen.

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A (good) picture is worth a thousand words

In this age of digital cameras and camera phones, it is only natural that – with an eye on reducing costs – businesses will question the need to spend upwards of £100 per hour on a professional photographer.

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Marketing Scotland’s new energy future

In the immediate years before setting up my first PR consultancy, I was responsible for marketing and promotion at the development organisation for the North East of Scotland.

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Would the Prime Minister elected on Thursday please stand up?

For those of us living in Scotland, the current political shenanigans in London are more than a little puzzling. The Conservatives, under David Cameron, won the UK election with the largest number of seats. Surely, therefore, they should have taken over the reigns of power by now?

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Sir Jackie's name still linked to Pagani crash

It is now five days since the first reports that Sir Jackie Stewart had been behind the wheel of the Pagani Zonda supercar that crashed in Aberdeenshire, producing an insurance claim of £300,000.

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Action needed now to secure UK oil industry

The message delivered by Sue Bruce to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) that action is needed now to encourage investment in the North Sea oil and gas industry needs to be heeded by our politicians.

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Innovation, technology and leadership theme for IoD Scotland chairman

Innovation, technology and leadership will be the themes of Thursday’s (March 11) IoD Aberdeen lunch, where the speaker will be IoD Scotland chairman Raymond O’Hare. Read More...
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How does City Square stack up?

In the 19th century Aberdeen made great strides. Union Street – a viaduct on huge granite arches – was built to extend the city west over the Denburn Valley. It was the realisation of a remarkably forward-thinking vision and a breathtaking feat of civil engineering in an era of wheelbarrows, picks and shovels.



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Toyota’s problems show how crises can devalue a brand

It might have been Volkswagen that actually used the advertising slogan “if only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen”. But, in terms of public perception, it could have been Toyota – at least, until now.

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One bark for Labour, two for Conservative

With the looming General Election, things have obviously got a bit desperate at the House of Commons. The Speaker has started sending out letters to encourage future voters to register. But something seems to have gone a little awry with the system.

Alba McEwen

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More evidence of distorted view of North Sea oil

Watching Jonathan Dimbleby’s otherwise excellent programmes on Russia. He was at a BP base in Siberia when he drew a contrast between the industry there and the oil and gas industry in the UK.

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The benefits of being social

Camphill Aberdeen City and Shire took the plunge into social media last month, with the setting up of a Twitter account and a Facebook page. Meanwhile long-term social media exponents, The Spires, continue to see the benefits.

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City Square aims to put the heart in Aberdeen

Plans to transform part of Aberdeen’s city centre into a large public open space, or civic square, have taken a step forward with the unveiling of a new name and identity for the plan. The City Square, would open off Union Street and build a new public space over Union Terrace Gardens and the Denburn.

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