Communicator’s Corner – chic creative Audrey Bugeja

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This week we chat with chic communicator @AudreyBugeja‪ Marketing Manager at @agencyhm and Associate Editor of @fluoro_official. Audrey’s style and passion for all things design can be seen in fluoro magazine, which displays distinctive reports on art, culture and design.  Fluoro showcases the latest innovations, projects and products from within Australia and beyond, analyses trends and highlights the most important news. Wearing another hat, HM. is one of Melbourne’s leading creative houses and Audrey leads the marketing side of things. She is a creative and confident communicator and her passion for design is evident in her work.

 

audrey copyYour elevator statement – who are you professionally and personally?

I am a communicator, creator and a lover of travel, languages, and culture. I am the Marketing Manager for HM., an award-winning full-service agency working in design and marketing with over 19 years of experience and the Associate Editor for fluoro, a design publication that provides readers with thought-provoking content from around the world.

I AM Audrey Bugeja.

Tell us about your typical work day?

I work in two very diverse roles that cover a number of creative projects. My job allows me to wear different hats across the marketing, media and editorial fields. I don’t really have a ‘typical work day’. One day may consist of event planning and working with media around the country for clients under HM., and another may see me attending media previews, running interviews with international artists and curating features for fluoro.

When did you first know you wanted to work in media?

I enjoyed that stage of studying journalism and marketing and communications and getting my foot into the industry. However it wasn’t until a few years after I had really stepped into the big wide world of full-time work that I knew I’d found what I felt passionate about.

Working in an organisation as diverse as HM Group allows me to dabble in different fields and keep my days inspiring, creative and challenging in a good way.

Which tools can’t you live without?

A sharpie and butcher paper. I’m a scribbler and nothing beats getting back to basics and away from a screen for a moment. I feel my mind works in a different way when I start with the basics.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Working on such a diverse range of brands is a pro, but it’s also sometimes a challenge as I need to know so many different industries, markets, consumer behaviours, cultures, etc etc. I guess this “challenge” is what I seem to love most about my role!

Which campaign do you most admire?

Recently: Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2015 campaign featuring Carolyn Murphy, shot by David Sims. Love. Back to the roots of de la Renta and features a model, who is as timeless as the pieces she wore. Check it out at www.fluoroDigital.com

Overall, there are quite a few campaigns that I admire that range from Dove’s stance on equality and femininity to Dolce and Gabbana’s family focused campaigns, which to me show quite well what is engrained in the brand’s culture. These campaigns, in my eyes, repositioned the brand slightly, giving them a more emotional touch.

What’s been the biggest change to communication/marketing/public relations since you began your career?

I think most communicators would say this – the changes in technology and the digital spectrum. Things are faster, more accessible, and connected.

I remember working on a project that used this social tool called Facebook. Ever heard of it? Ha! Well then we were required to test and trial and keep notes on how this platform allowed people to connect. Nowadays my 70-year-old father wants to be on Facebook and 15-year-old nephew lives his life on there! It’s a part of life for so many of us, and the way we use technology and weave our way online changes each and every day.

Good/bad/not sure? I think embrace it for the good and use it to your advantage.

What quality do you look for in your communication team members?

Honesty, integrity and the willingness to push boundaries and really look and think outside the square.

What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?

Book – Work Smarter, Not Harder by Jack Collis (thanks to my sister for getting me onto this). Thrive by Arianna Huffington.

Online: Design diversity – fluoro, Monocle, News – BBC, Marketing/Biz/Comms – Seth Godin, and all the Marketing Mags (Aust, UK, US).

I find new resources everyday that I take bits and piece from.

What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in communications?

Be willing to work hard and be pushed out of your comfort zone, in a positive way. Nothing comes without the hard work and earning your place.

Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is…’ … a way of life.

Campaigns, Camels and Change

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Do you remember the last time you saw a cigarette advertisement?

Fifty years ago, on 1 August 1965, television advertising of tobacco products was banned in the UK. America followed suit soon after with the Health Cigarette Smoking Act, signed by Richard Nixon on 1 April 1970. And six years later, Australia joined the club under PM Malcolm Fraser.

Up until this point, cigarette advertising was the single biggest money-spinner in the marketing and advertising industry. Nowadays the campaigns are anti smoking, showing the risks and consequences of the addictive habit.

But let’s jump back a few more years to understand why … it’s 1945 post war Australia, the government is running campaigns such as “populate or perish”, immigration is high on the agenda, and a packet of Camel cigarettes can be found in most households.

More than three out of every four men and one in every four women were regular smokers. Fast forward sixty years and the figures are well below 18 per cent of the population.3953270062_e0e72623f6

But why did the change take so long?

Two major social forces of the late 20th century kept cigarettes between our fingers.

First, the arrival of television in the late 1950s brought an avalanche of advertisements for cigarettes straight into family lounge rooms. These glorious black and white images distracted people from their concerns about cancer with images of European sophistication, American-style affluence and Australian sunshine and fun. These images resonated with the optimism and aspirations of a generation wanting to build a new life after two long decades of war and Depression. So they kept on puffing.

4015830797_0ce93d86aeAnd then there was the new breed of advertising men in the United States (think the real Don Draper), Britain and Australia. They helped tobacco companies to side-step the health issue with appeals to emotion combined with reassuring, if vague allusions to filters and reductions in ‘tar’. Using thought-provoking words associated with harm reduction, such as mild, golden, light and fine. Cigarette smoking was seen as sexy, cool and the social norm.

The Hollywood-style television and magazine advertisements made the “cancer stick” seem like a need, not a want. The clever ads and product placement waged a war against the health warnings.

And Twiggy, her mini skirt and the Beatles brought the social and sexual revolution of the late 60s and early 70s. This era saw a rejection of conservative ‘older generation’ values such as worrying about financial security and future health, and many young women taking up smoking as a statement of independence and equality. Advertisements reflected this, using celebrities and catchy slogans to keep the consumer hooked and happy.

Thankfully, most of us have seen the light – and put down the lighter. Cigarettes no longer claim the cool factor thanks in a large part to the end of cigarette advertising that began fifty years ago.

What advertising would you like to see the end of?

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Communicator’s Corner: Citizens of the world

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citizens-of-the-world-meghan-mctavish-dominic-loneraganThis week we chat with Meghan Loneragan, one half of the creative duo behind the lifestyle blog Citizens of the World .

COTW is a collaborative effort with her husband: lifestyle and portrait photographer Dominic Loneragan. This cute, candle-creating couple have created an intriguing brand and blog. Meghan’s writing explores with beautiful depth the people and places around her, with intriguing stories capturing the essence of the COTW brand. From her Sydney home to African plains, Meghan’s lifestyle blog captures the cool, the creative and the current.

Your elevator statement – who are you professionally and personally?

I run a lifestyle website that focuses on people and places.

Tell us about your typical day in communications?

I work from home so I like to make the most of the zero commute and start work as soon as I wake up. Coffee in hand, responding to emails that’ve come in overnight. I normally have a list of articles and news pieces I aim to produce for the site but to be honest, most of the day is spent liaising with PRs and other writers.

When did you first know you wanted to work in communications?

Ever since I was in school, although back then it was all about magazines. In university my best marks came from digital based subjects and blogging was still a new-ish thing and so my passion started there. It’s taken a few years to be able to make it a full-time career.

Who’s your communication hero/mentor?

I don’t know if anyone has just one hero or mentor. You could have one for business, one for life and one for editorial. Have to say though that my husband and business partner is my sounding board and always has the best advice when I need a little ‘back bone’.

But my ideal mentor would be a mix between Leandra Medine + Jacques Fresco + Paul Theroux.

Which tools can’t you live without?

We always joke that a healthy Wi-Fi connection is a basic human right and I do feel a little warm feeling of comfort when I see at least three bars on my phone.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Finding that balance between writing stories, sourcing content and talking to advertisers on collaborations. Our job is to essentially make it all look free and easy but like a duck swimming, we’ve got our legs moving pretty fast under the water.

What’s been the biggest change to communication/marketing/public relations since you began your career?

We can’t believe how much social media following has influenced how brands select their spokespeople. It feels like people are chosen on how large their digital footprint is rather that their expertise. In some ways it has levelled the playing field and opened up the world but in other ways we feel for ‘old school’ talent that didn’t embrace digital so much. Maybe the pendulum will swing? I say this knowing that we really appreciate having a large social following but there has to be more depth there, a skill or an educated opinion.

What quality do you look for in your communication team members?

A unique point of view.

What’s your favourite brand?

It used to be anything food related but lately it’s more North Face and adventuring.

What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?

If you work in social media than Jon Loomer’s site www.jonloomer.com is the bible for all things Facebook marketing.

For editorial inspiration we love the work at thisrecording.com – they have some incredible writers.

What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in communications?

It’s a naturally competitive industry but supporting others and having a warmth about you is what draws people in. Aim to stay childlike and enthusiastic.

Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is…’ easy, GOOD communication is everything.

The Big O returns to Oz & other event inspirations

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Source: Oprah.com; George Burns

Whether it’s a surprise milestone birthday, a large gala dinner or a royal visit, events can be crazy or cool depending on the amount of planning put in place. With the announcement of Oprah’s return to Australia in December, we have been thinking about everything that goes into planning an event for the ‘lady of talk’.

From dawn until dusk, Oprah’s events during her 2010 visit went off like a rocket and appeared to her audience: flawless. Each provided a carefully staged managed glimpse at the country we call home.

From the audio visual spectacular of the lighting of the Big O on the Sydney Harbour Bridge during her official welcome event  to an intimate dinner in the Block Arcade in Melbourne, no detail was left unplanned.

There are things that can be controlled, like the venue, the food, the people you invite (not who turns up). But, there are also the uncontrollable elements of events from timing to weather to guest behaviour (tsk tsk).

Here were 5 event highlights from her time in 2010. We wonder what will be in store for December.

Here are 5 tips we took from watching Oprah and her crew dart around Australia:

  1. Plan for the unexpected –Hugh Jackman gets a black eye after a mishap
  2. Ensure you have the basics covered – for Oprah this means a motorcade
  3. Be prepared for extra guests and double check your guest list – don’t forget Russell Crowe
  4. Learn from your event – Tourism Australia review
  5. Have an event bible – 8 days in Australia

Mistakes at events are hard to hide. And one error generally leads to another. Timing, food requirements can all lead to disaster. So it doesn’t hurt to double and triple check.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Communicator’s corner – cluster of communicators

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This week, we have curated a selection of Q&As with communicators from around the world for our communicator’s corner. We hear from a White House speech writer, an international magazine editor and a panel of PR professionals.

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First, a speech writer from the White House shares his passion and drive for communication

“I showed up on Monday morning in my $150 power suit, ready to make a name for myself in Congress….i threw myself into it.” – Chief Speechwriter Cody Keenan

Read the full article here.

 

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Second, the Editor of Time Magazine reflects on a road well travelled

“In order to grow, we need to be able to change,” she said. “We need to stop doing things that it doesn’t make sense to do, and start doing things that it does make sense to do. We need to divert resources into the areas with the greatest growth opportunities. We need to be much more nimble and entrepreneurial.” – Nancy Gibbs, powerhouse of the magazine world. The first to shatter the glass ceiling at Time magazine back in 2013.

Read her story here.

 

And last, but not least, The Guardian convenes a panel of PR professionals for a live Q&A

Collection of colour, creativity and caches

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The best (or maybe the worst) thing about the internet, is the ability to get lost or distracted when you’re doing research.

We’ve been glued to our screens this week researching for a number of clients as they prepare to refine their websites. We have come across so many sites, some awe inspiring, and some just plain hard to navigate, and have decided to share five with beautiful design to draw you into  the content and stimulate the imagination. Some inspiration if you’re on a similar journey.

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Cooking with manners

Martha’s website offers up recipes, cooking tips and home and lifestyle blogs. Martha’s flair for all things home and decoration is evident on this site. It is user friendly, incorporating mouth watering images and Martha’s infamous flair for decoration, design and perfection is evident.

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A lovely French designer

This amazing site for Parisian designer Mahedine Yahia is a real masterpiece. It acts as a resume and portfolio for Yahia, who most likely will never be out of work again given the site’s flawless design work and concerted focus on great imagery.

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Strong Russian coffee anyone?

Check out this beautiful page from coffee (yes finally a c word) roasters in St Petersburg. Fresh like roasted coffee, this site is definitely up to date and beautifully designed. They’ve combined beautiful colour graphics with parallax scrolling and different types of navigation. It really brings the website to life and keeps the reader intrigued.

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A little bird

We still think that Twitter’s simple design and user friendly experience is one of the best social media sites out there. Perhaps that’s why it’s becoming more and more popular.

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And finally, a crisp classic Apple.com – simple, elegant, beautiful

It’s a question that will go unanswered: just how did Steve Jobs get something we use everyday to be so damn pretty? The Apple website and specifically the iTunes site are flawless. You could keep exploring the vivid colours and images for hours. (and just been us, we often head there for a little inspiration drooling). Macs are so beautiful that they’d probably be fixtures in movies and on TV even if product placement didn’t exist. They are artwork on their own. Their slim lines, the simple colours, the shape of that iconic apple on each piece. So of course the website is going to follow suit in its design.

 

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Say cheese… composition, cameras and capturing the crew

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This week we chatted with Fiona Hamilton, one of Melbourne’s best freelance photographers. She spent more than 28 years at the Herald Sun as one of their photojournalists, and has snapped frames of people and things from John Howard’s eyebrows to the Queen. We were lucky enough to have Fiona as our photographer for our latest round of head shots for our company credentials.

Keeping with the theme of photography, we thoughts we’d discuss some tips for getting the best out of your corporate head shots.

Firstly, you don’t want your photo to look like your passport shot from the millennium, so wear simple clothes and hair that won’t date. No point wearing this season’s Oscar De La Renta if you’re going to regret it in 12 months time. And using your selfie from last Saturday night just won’t do.

Try and look a little bit happy, research from New York University, has found that people sporting positive expressions — with upturned eyebrows and an upward curving mouth, even if they weren’t overtly smiling — are more likely to be perceived as trustworthy. So potential clients or employees are going to see you in a positive light.

Fiona used a simple set up, complete with white backdrop and lights at all angles to avoid the unwanted “double-chin”. She maintained constant communication to keep you moving and looking your best. Our tip: work out your ‘best side’ and stick to it. There are some pretty simple do’s and don’ts including not showing too much teeth and never having your mouth completely shut – this can make you look “smarmy”.

We did a couple of cheeky candid poses, but being professionals here at the c word we did as we were told (mostly).

Here are 5 tips for keeping your corporate profiles looking their best. Remember once your image is out on the world wide web, all it takes is a simple “Google” and they are anyone’s for the taking.

  1. Take a deep breath and prepare.
  2. Keep your look simple – nothing too distracting – also use an iron if you own one. It’s worth it for the overall outcome.
  3. Remember you’re posing, not performing – find a look that suits you and stick with it. Make sure it looks like you too.
  4. Listen to your photographer – this isn’t their first rodeo you know.
  5. Make sure you check the end result and you’re happy with it – you don’t want to be stuck with something you don’t like. In the digital world, the turn around is quick so your feedback is important.

If you use a professional, you’ll be directed through your shoot and although they’re just “a photographer not a miracle worker”, they will show you what to do.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew