Closing comment – Chin celebrates CommsCon

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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

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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 forum.sharedvalue.org.au 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

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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

Closing comment – Country characters champion cutting-edge programs

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Yesterday we joined our client veski for a road trip to Shepparton to launch their new national sustainable agricultural fellowships with the Victorian Minister for Agriculture The Hon Jaala Pulford MLC.

Following a media call at a local peach packing facility, owned by father and son farmers Santo and Rocky Varapodio, we jumped back in the car and headed straight to an official launch with farmers, researchers, industry leaders and community representatives.

The exciting new program is calling on farmers, researchers, scientists and industry leaders from across the country to work together to stimulate and further develop Australia’s food and agricultural industries with funding for innovative solutions.

It was truly a day of connecting with country characters with the Minister for Agriculture sharing pictures of peaches on Twitter, wonderful support from the CEO and Chair of the Committee for Greater Shepparton, videos of an agronomist, researcher and farmer all from the Goulburn Valley talking about innovation, and great conversations with regional media.

Do you know a country character with an innovative idea? Send them to veski.org.au/agri and encourage them to apply.

The funding will support research and development solutions tailored to suit local conditions and emerging international markets for food, fibre and agricultural services, and will address key areas such as sustainability, food security, traceability, innovative technologies and process improvement.

Now back in the city after a day in the country, it’s time to clean up the inbox & prepare for the long weekend!

Cheers,

Jack & the c word crew

Closing Comment – Consistency and Content Marketing

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hashtagThis week on Twitter we’ve been talking about #companyculture and what makes a good work environment. One theme resonated and it was respect and consistency at all levels. Then as usual, being the creative types we are, we got off track and started talking about our biggest fears. Some were what you’d imagine: spiders, heights, budgie smugglers, and one that stood out from the crowd was the fear of losing the internet.

After consoling our colleague with a coffee cup full of chardonnay, we began a deep reflection about the internet and the influence its content has on us. Let’s face it, it’s here to stay. No one is ever going to say “Oh, the Internet? I read that, didn’t get into it.” I came close a few times back in the days of dial up. But now we live in a world of uninterrupted Wi-Fi, Netflix and John Travolta freaking every other celebrity out at the Oscars.

Without the internet our ‘marketing world’ wouldn’t be the eclectic, crazy mix it is today.

On the topic of eclectic, crazy content, our social media team has focused recently on content marketing and engaging emerging consumers. The assortment of content to work with, and what to reveal can be a never-ending task.

Forbes describes Content marketing as a “marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. Our aim is to manage our clients brands and keep their customers informed with creative, consistent content.

Think about what crazy content you can conjure up to engage a new audience for your organisation.

Cheers,

Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – Communicating and leading #likeagirl

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Image via Sadhbh Byrne @sadhbhbyrne

Last week marked another historic moment for Victorian and Australian women doing leadership #likeagirl with two high level positions of power being succeeded by women.

Ms Linda Dessau is set to become the first female Governor of Victoria, and distinguished medical researcher Professor Anne Kelso AO has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Interestingly, Victoria is the last Australian jurisdiction to appoint a woman as a vice-regal representative. Well done to all the other states for beating us to it!

These significant appointments represent great achievement and change in government and science sectors, with leadership positions traditionally being held by men.

What are the benefits for increasing gender diversity in senior roles? According to research more women in leadership roles means better decisions, better performance, and better representation of the consumer base.

Comedian Amy Poehler would agree and issued a call for women across the world to reclaim the phrase “like a girl” and flip its derogatory meaning on its head.

Through her online community Smart Girls, Poehler has asked women to take to social media and list all the things they have achieved #likeagirl.

Poehler’s message is not only that women around the world are making astounding achievements; they are doing it without needing to adhere to male-focused notions of success and leadership. They are doing it #likeagirl.

The campaign set out to turn #likeagirl into a compliment, rather than a denigration, and through social media, namely Twitter, Poehler has taken this message and spread it to as many corners of the world as possible.

Poehler’s campaign – and the appointment of these two inspiring female high flyers – highlight a small fraction of the gender equality issue, the revolution of women taking charge and leadership in the workplace and the importance of using modern tools to educate and keep people informed.

On the topic of doing it #likeagirl, our client veski is delivering an inspiring women program with the aim of supporting career progression of Victorian women through the provision of resources, information and opportunities; partnerships with government, industry, community and academia; and professional development and networking opportunities. Make sure you save the date for their next event on 16 March 2015.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment: #LeadershipIS communication

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This month we have been working closely with our client Leadership Victoria on a Twitter campaign #LeadershipIS. With their mission to bring visionary leadership thinking and practice to the broader community, we asked what the word leadership means to people.

The #LeadershipIS tweets have truly shown that “leadership” means different things to different people but there are a number of common threads. Here are some of the responses.

Leaders themselves set examples for others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way. This is where leadership and management intertwine, and a successful leader needs to combine both into that perfect ‘cocktail’ to map out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organisation; while remaining dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.

There are many people that come to mind when you think of a leader:

  • A political leader, such as Mr Abbott or Obama – passionate for their countries.
  • An explorer, like Cook cutting a path through the unknown to conquer and for the rest of his group to follow.
  • An executive, developing a company strategy or idea to beat the competition.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of listening to some Leadership Victoria alumnus reflecting on their Folio experience. The key points we took away were that during this developmental leadership program they meet inspiring people, undertake deep reflection, and are challenged to get out of their comfort zone.

We at the c word believe that leadership leads to a to a culture where we are capable, creative and co-operative team. This in turn creates great corporate culture and creativity spawns.

Some c words that spring to mind when thinking of leaders:

  • Creative
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Crazy (but just the right amount)
  • Constructive

Cheers,
Jack & the c word crew.