Closing comment: cities connected by characters & culture


J001272 30th Gala_eDM

If you’ve ever visited Boston, or chatted with a Bostonian, you’ll know our cities share some quintessential c-words: culture, cuisine, characters, creativity … and so the list goes on.

Not only do we share some great c words, we also share a similar urban landscape as the clever animation above, created by our collaborators at HM Group, demonstrates.

This year, our client the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association clocks up 30 years of connections between our two cities, and to c= celebrate we’re helping the Committee deliver an anniversary gala at Melbourne Town Hall on Thursday, 28 May.

The spectacular program of entertainment to mark their 30th anniversary, emceed by ABC News Breakfast’s Michael Rowland (who coincidentally spent more than a decade in the US for the ABC with his fair share of time in Boston), includes an exclusive performance from Melbourne’s very own New Palm Court Orchestra of their American Suite. Yes, a 12 piece orchestra served with a three course dinner!

The MBSCA is a not for profit organisation focused on expanding and enhancing the relationship between the innovative hubs of Melbourne and Boston, and the gala will help raise funds for the MBSCA to continue its annual Hugh Rogers Fellowships.

The purpose of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships is to encourage and support innovative people and ideas by funding research and projects that expand and enhance Melbourne’s and Boston’s reputations as centres of knowledge excellence in three areas of research and practice. The Fellowships are awarded to practitioners and researchers in the early stages of their careers to assist the longer-term development of the Fellow’s career by furthering their research or project and by providing them with opportunities to create new professional networks.

the c word is working closely with MBSCA in organising what promises to be a terrific evening of conversations, collaboration, creativity and culture.

A little taste of America right here in the heart of Melbourne, with leaders from across a range of industries.

Closing comment – 7up: 7 highlights for 7 years


There are seven days in a week (never enough), seven colours in a rainbow (leading to a pot of gold?) and seven years of c words (so far). This Sunday marks our seventh anniversary: seven years of creative copy, seven years of connecting characters, and seven years of collaborations. Why should anniversaries be celebrated? As creative types, we enjoy digging through our archives to take a closer look at the impulses, philosophies, triumphs, and setbacks that propelled our CEO Jack Walden to create the company we have today. An anniversary also provides a great opportunity to plan for the next seven years: strategy, messaging, goals and commitments. But before we begin planning for the next seven, here’s a look back at the first seven: 2008: Creativity ruled as we helped launch the 2008 exhibition of Moving Galleries with a live weather cross and painting class hosted by Network 10 weatherman Mike Larkan  MovingGalleries2008 2009: Designer runners: we helped our long-time design collaborators housemouse (now HM Group) re-launch their design bible Fluoro and their wrapping paper range Wrapped by HM, and we spent a month following a group of emergency services personnel around Australia during Run for a Safe Climate   2010: The year of the video, and the c word convenes a festival of ideas for staff at Consumers Affairs 2011: Cocktails to celebrate 4th of July, and co-location with our clients @veskiorg in the charming Milton House 2012: We welcomed BirdLife Australia and Bird Week to our nest 2013: Cannoli, Cavallaro family and characters for Your Footscray with media tours, festivals and rooftop dates 2014: Becoming a fellow, counting birds and celebrating our client’s 10 years Jack Walden FPRIA with Mike Watson FPRIA Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.41.11 pm the c word has become the company it is today: a crew of hard workers working alongside classic and contemporary brands with accelerated timelines on budget and with maximum innovative thinking. And this has paid off. Jack has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and an eagerness to take on the unknown to make it BIG. “As someone who’s been passionate about communications for my whole career, I found an opportunity to apply some of the most exciting things I learned from some incredible mentors…while being an entrepreneur at the same time.” — Jack Walden The c word has been an agent for collaboration, creativity, and has sparked many conversations for both the public and private sectors. Between 2007 and today, we’ve seen this company transform from a ‘one man band’ with few resources and a big goal to the popular creative agency we all know and love. We are proud of our work, and we sincerely hope you believe that our efforts now, and in the future, with a commitment to the vision that launched us, will merit a lasting future. Here’s cheers to the next seven years! Thank you to all of our clients, chums, collaborators, colleagues – and of course the creative, cool crew members who have helped make the c word the success it is today! Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Clinton champion of campaigns



Did you spend the weekend refreshing your Twitter account awaiting Hillary’s announcement like we did?

With less than 140 characters and a killer video, Hillary Clinton became the first Democratic presidential candidate to enter the race for 2016  by declaring “I’m running for president”. In a video pitch aimed at middle class Americans, she stated that “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion”. Clinton, has used the c word (champion) in a bid to let her potential voters know she is a ‘normal’ woman wanting to lead every-day American’s to a brighter future; to put it simply she’s in their corner!

How she is received — and how she performs when reporters and voters mob her after a seven-year hiatus from presidential campainging  — will tell much about the campaign journey ahead. But her enemies are waiting for any hint that she’s too out of touch to connect, even referring to Clinton as the Grandmother-of-State.

Hillary is using the word champion and also drawing on her own middle class upbringing to keep the spotlight off her current wealth and normalise herself to the everyday American citizen.

“Her mother’s own childhood — in which she was abandoned by her parents, taught Hillary that every child deserves a champion … that continues to be her core motivation,” read the talking points distributed to media soon after the video was released. They also added, “After law school, Hillary chose not to go to a big New York or Washington law firm. Instead she went door to door in New Bedford, Massachusetts, for the Children’s Defense Fun”.

Hillary Clinton’s new campaign logo, which shows a red arrow pointing towards… the future? the movement of change and progress?) superimposed over the letter “H” has been a massive talking point already. Many studies have shown that a company’s logo is one of the most important aspects of marketing and advertising a brand, or features that distinctly identifies a company’s product or service from its competitors. The colours chosen in Clinton’s logo identify with empowerment, confidence and trust. These are important element of any brand, but a must for a presidential nominee.

We’re looking forward to watching this campaign which officially kicks off in May. In our eyes: Hillary you’re a champion and we hope you win this race.

Hillary is also embracing social media, and we’ll be watching closely – and no doubt we’ll all be upping our intake of Chipotle given Hillary’s recent incognito dining experience, which compared to Bill’s visits to McDonalds in the 90s shows Hillary is a healthy, modern woman!

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – corporate & community organisations just do it (shared value)


You know a conference is going to be good when the chief organiser is this excited about the subject matter … cue, video … and you know it won’t be just another boring ‘talk fest’ but rather an action focused day of learning!

With only a few days left until the 2015 Shared Value Forum, Helen Steel, Executive Director of the Shared Value Project explains why the full day program is a great learning and development event, and well worth attending.

But don’t take her word for it, register now for Tuesday 14 April and join us at the NAB auditorium in Melbourne with a group of high calibre of speakers from companies using and doing ‘shared value’ in their businesses, rather than just talking about the concept.

Shared Value has been on the radar of the business world since Mark Kramer contributed to an article in the Harvard Business Review in 2011. And what’s even more exciting, Mark Kramer himself will be in attendance!

If that hasn’t wet your appetite for shared value, then get ready for a national conversation hosted by ABC News Breakfast co-host Virginia Trioli along with showcase presentations, a variety of workshops and networking.

What will you take away from the full day program of inspirational talks, case studies and workshops?

A greater understanding of the shared value concept from those already practicing it.

The event, which is sponsored by NAB is being attended by companies such as IAG, LBG, Qantas, Bendigo Bank and Social Ventures Australia.

If you can’t make it in person, follow the latest shared value discussions using the Twitter handle #SVF15.

Closing comment – Chin celebrates CommsCon


March has been a busy month for the c word, combining a client-filled calendar with two of the biggest awards celebrations of the season: CommsCon and The Quills.

For the second year in a row, our CEO was asked to be a judge for the CommsCon Awards held in Sydney. Sadly client commitments prevented our crew from attending the ceremony but we did follow via Twitter with much interest as couture-clad SBS newscaster Lee Lin Chin presented the awards.

Now in its third year, the CommsCon Awards have an increased emphasis on celebrating the role of in-house public relations teams with the first-ever, best in-house PR team of the year.

The CommsCon Awards also highlighted the growing importance of using owned media assets as part of a comprehensive media strategy with a new award recognising excellence by PR professionals in the best use of owned media – the winner being General Pants – Bashful.

PR agency Edelman came out on top, deservedly so, taking home three trophies including Large PR agency of the Year. Well done to our communications colleague Clever Media Girl and the rest of the Edelman team!

CAii67KVAAA_n2L.jpg-largeThe awards, decided by a jury of 48 people including the c word’s very own CEO Jack Walden, demonstrated the strength of communications in Australia. We can’t wait to see what the rest of 2015 has to offer.

Now to one of our favourite events in the calendar: The Quills hosted by the Melbourne Press Club. The Quills recognise excellence in journalism across all disciplines: print, digital, TV and radio … pretend we read that to you in our very best newsreader voice!

As Plato said, ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something’. Journalists (well most of them) play a vital role in helping people sift between the wise and the fools. They investigate and report on events, issues and trends to a broad audience for a wide variety of purposes, and awards such as the Quills are critical to recognising the important role they play.

The breadth of the awards (with more than 28 categories) demonstrates the many roles that journalists have to play as watchdogs, investigators, moderators, entertainers, analysts, informers, editors, commentators, advertisers, community activists, agenda-setters, voices for the voiceless, public servants, keepers of public record, protectors of democracy, and promoters of public dialogue.

Cheers and congratulations to all of the journalists recognised last Friday and the communicators praised in Sydney by Lee Lin Chin.

As we end the week, C truly equals content, creativity and courage.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – communities & companies converge through #sharedvalue


We are delighted to be collaborating with the Shared Value Project on their upcoming Shared Value Forum in Melbourne on 14 April with international expert and thought leader Mark Kramer.

Mark has been instrumental in the development of shared value alongside his colleague Michael Porter. Yes my communications companions, that Michael Porter.

As well as hearing from Mark, you’ll be able to hear first hand how Australian companies are making shared value a part of their businesses. There are some incredible case studies on the cards, and plenty of time to network and speak directly to people making shared value happen!

Visit for a full program, speaker details and further information on #SVF15.

In the meantime, here’s a question for you to ponder:

Why are more Australian organisations making shared value a key part of their business?

Find out why at the 2015 Shared Value Forum: Act. Measure. Grow. on 14 April 2015 with shared value expert and thought leader Mark Kramer leading the discussion and providing an international context.

Join other business leaders and practitioners from across Australia as they present case studies and examine key challenges and opportunities including how further measurement can demonstrate the full potential of a shared value strategy. The forum also includes an interactive workshop presenting ‘how to’ develop, deliver, integrate, and communicate shared value strategies within your organisation, and understand the role of stakeholder and community partnerships. Mark Kramer will also lead a session that examines the complexities involved in measuring shared value outcomes, with a focus on the tools and solutions that link business and social results.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – Communications lessons from the USA




At the end of 2014 (and the beginning of 2015) our CEO spent a few weeks in the USA visiting colleagues, clients and cheeky characters in NYC, Boston and Washington. We thought we’d share a few of our favourite communications-related snaps before the year disappears.

Our captions provide a little colour as you click through – and there are links to the various places to visit below.

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The links