Corporate and research work

Away from direct journalism, I have also a substantial experience in other areas: research, reports, analysis, conferences and training. This has been done not only for media outlets but corporate clients. Over the years this has included HongKong Telecom, HSBC, AT&T, Bank of Bermuda and Avaya, to name but a few.

But there are realities to some of the more focused corporate work. First, much of it included agreements on confidentiality, limiting my ability to either discuss the client or the project. Second, some of the projects were doomed to failure, but in the interest of science something that does not work is something learned about what might work. That will limit what I can reveal.

Web business

Currently, I working with a new business web site called CleanBiz Asia, not just writing for it but consulting on its direction and opportunities. During 2009-2010 I took part in a long confidential project identifying new opportunities for publishing in the area of investment, technology and innovation. This included co-developing and testing a web site.

My first direct step into the business of the internet, rather than reporting on it, was in 1995 when I consulted with AsiaOnline in Hong Kong.

An early job on my return to the UK was doing the first development of the design and content of a company called NetGiro of Sweden, which developed digital payment systems. It is now DigitalRiver Payments.

More recently, 2008, I was indirectly working for a group of investment houses seeking a new way of accessing the retail fund market online. Project Ivor required looking at how new media, social sites and interaction on bulletin boards.

By far the most interesting internet-related commercial project was researching and developing business and site models for a web portal and hub for the UK’s blind population under a confidentiality agreement.

Corporate writing

The bulk of high-level corporate work has been Asia-based. Apart from the usual corporate writing of annual reports, brochures and paid for features, it has also included commercial research reports and speech-writing for board-level executives.

By and large client confidentiality agreements restrict what I can reveal but it does include:

  • speech writing for senior executives at HongKong Telecom
  • ghost writing for financial institutions such as Bank of Bermuda
  • technical writing for AT&T, Northern Telecom and Intel
  • confidential commercial and market reports for 3Com

However other clients have included report writing for Richmond Events, telecom’s giant, Avaya, PIRA (print and packaging intelligence company).

Conferences

As a result of writing for Financial Times Business, its conferences’ department approached me to help with organising speakers and agendas for banking and financial events. High-level decision makers, including government ministers, heads of inter-governmental agencies, heads of banks and regulatory institutions participated. These conferences included:

  • FT Roadshow: ‘BOOMERS TO BUST: Anticipating and fulfilling the critical need of pensions education for employees, employers and the state’ (2003)
  • Banking on Bulgaira (2004)
  • Banking on Central and Eastern Europe (2004)
  • Banking on Russia (2005)
  • Managing assets for Life Insurers (2005)
  • Company Pensions – in sickness and in health (The society of pensions consultants’ annual conference 2005)
  • Banking on Romania (2005)

Other

Other corporate work included media training for company executives. On behalf of both Edleman Public Relations Asia and Hill and Knowlton Asia, I trained senior staff from companies like Eastman Chemicals and Northern Telecom in TV techniques and responding to media queries.

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