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.

Closing comment – Never forget, Caelius, that a great man makes his luck

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“Never forget, Caelius, that a great man makes his luck. Luck is there for everyone to seize. Most of us miss our chances; we’re blind to our luck. He never misses a chance because he’s never blind to the opportunity of the moment.”
― Colleen McCullough, Caesar

What a week to return to the typewriter. Thankfully we’ve got a fresh ribbon in our Underwood Touchmaster Five ready for the first closing comment of 2015.

Staying with typewriters, it was sad to hear about the passing of internationally acclaimed Australian author Colleen McCullough. She certainly knew her way around a typewriter and as ABC journalist Lorraine Horsely reported: “her typewriter may now be still but her words live on”.

Moving on from the topic of typewriters, let us make a carriage return to news of Mr Abbott.

Earlier this week the PM created quite a controversy when he awarded the Duke of Edinburgh an Australian Knighthood. Perhaps he was reading a memorandum typed on a government typewriter pre-1986? Or he may have just binged on the first three seasons of Downton Abbey over the holidays – we’ve all been there!

While I’m not against the appointment of Dames & Knights in Australia (note for readers in decades to come pondering of my Knighthood) I do agree with the crowd that it’s a little confused to present one to a fellow living thousands of KMs away, with a son who already has one!

What might be bad news for the PM is comedy gold for Clarke and Dawe!

Though are we reaching for the stars to think that Mr Abbott could have found another worthy recipient living in Australia – and even better a woman.

Thankfully, Australia Day 2015 saw all of the Australian of the Year awards handed over to women or sheilas as we fondly call them in Oz. Oh how I love our slang!

Congratulations to all four recipients and also congratulations to our client Obesity Australia’s former Chairman, Professor John Funder AC on receiving the Austrlaia Day Honour of a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.

From hot to cold, we have also been monitoring the chilly weather facing Americans on the East Coast. We hope our chums in the US are keeping warm as the snow falls around them!

Until next time, cheers from Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – Becoming a Fellow

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Jack Walden FPRIA with Mike Watson FPRIA

Our CEO Jack Walden receiving his PRIA Fellowship from PRIA President Mike Watson FPRIA

I moved from Brisbane to Melbourne about a decade ago to continue developing my career, soak up the coffee, cuisine and culture of the southern city, and chase the cold.

Even though I may no longer call Brisbane home, it still holds a special place in my heart. So it was very appropriate that on a humid 30-degree Brisbane night, about 500 metres from where I developed my first PR plan, and across the river from where I studied PR at QUT, I became a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).

The College of Fellows is a senior group of practitioners that brings their collective skills, experience and knowledge together to help guide PRIA through evolving issues in the industry – particularly in the area of ethics.

What does a fellowship mean to me? First and foremost it is a lovely recognition of my professional achievements combined with my contribution to the PRIA and the community. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on my career so far and the people who have helped me get where I am.

In addition to noting my professional achievements over more than 14 years, the PRIA President Mike Watson added “I can commend you for your contribution to the PRIA as State President, event organiser, national council member and as one of the team that delivered the 2012 World PR Forum in Melbourne”.

During my time as President of the PRIA in Victoria, I was fortunate to be invited to the quarterly state meetings of the College of Fellows hosted by Peter Mahon at Royce Communications.

Every time I sat down for lunch with these Fellows, I benefited from the wealth of knowledge around the table. These legendary communicators were more than happy to share their experience and wonderful stories gained from working for some of the biggest national and international companies, and they had plenty of wonderful ideas and insights for the PRIA as well.

As a Fellow, not only can I add FPRIA to my name in my email signature, I now have the opportunity to surround myself with an inspiring group of communication leaders on a more regular basis. There are too many inspiring people to name – but I look forward to working closely with them all as a new member, and possibly the youngest yet?, of the College of Fellows.

Thinking about my career to date, I would not have achieved so much without so many champions. Colleagues who are only ever a phone call away and armed with words of wisdom and advice. Chums who are prepared to point out an uncrossed T, an undotted i or a missed opportunity, and in turn help make every piece of communication better. And characters pushing me to think about the world in which we are communicating and develop better strategies and channels.

Congratulations also to the other Australian communicators recognised on Sunday night as Fellows of the Public Relations Institute. I’m proud to stand alongside you.

I am particularly delighted to have been made a fellow at the same time as another PRIA State President who served alongside me during my time on the board, Adam Thomson from South Australia.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – Communication critical in campaign to tackle obesity

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This week, we spent two days in Sydney live tweeting from our client’s third annual #ObesitySummit. The common call from politicians, economists, journalists, GPs, dieticians, public health specialists and researchers was the need for clearer communication.

There’s no doubt that communication is critical in tackling the obesity problem confronting Australia and countless other countries around the world. Whether it’s developing a consistent language to help GPs work with patients, less complex information for the communities and individuals, or campaigns to encourage people to take action, communications has an important role to play.

US economics professor John Cawley opened the summit with a keynote outline the range of costs associated with obesity, and the need to present an economic argument. This provided a clear outline of why we need to understand the economic impact and how we need to build that into communications about the issue.

Other speakers added further economic data on direct and in-direct costs to individuals and society. These included a great presentation from AusBIG, an organisation raising awareness of the complexity of safe and dignified physical management of bariatric patients.

News Ltd journalist Sue Dunlevy told the #ObesitySummit attendees that they needed to develop a much clearer message around obesity – because at the moment it’s far to complex. This was welcomed feedback, but is just further evidence of the complexity of the issue.

Other speakers included former Victorian Premier John Brumby, Victorian Cancer Council CEO Todd Harper & Obesity Australia board member Geoff Walsh AO.

Here are some of our tweets from the day:

 

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – A turkey called Clyde

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Gov. Robert Bentley pardons Clyde the Turkey Nov. 13, 2014. (Picture via Twitter)

A turkey called Clyde, cyber makeovers for Melbourne-Boston, and cocktails with a French horn player – they’re our c-words for the week: can you compete?

It’s not unusual for American leaders to flex their power muscles by pardoning a turkey or two in the lead up to Thanksgiving. What caught our eye was a turkey named Clyde who was pardoned this week by the Governor of Alabama as part of the state’s thanksgiving tradition to pardon a turkey named Clyde.

If you want to hear more about pardoned turkeys starting with C, then join us on Thursday, 27 November for ‘A Melbourne Thanksgiving’ cocktail celebration with other friends of Melbourne/Boston.

Onto cyberspace, and we’ve been coding (well actually we’ve left the coding to the professionals at ManageWeb, credit where credit’s due) the new website for Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association. Take a moment to catch up on all the connections between our two great cities.

And cocktails with a french horn player you ask. We helped host the presentation of the 2014 Hugh Rogers Fellowships on behalf of the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association during Melbourne Knowledge Week.

Among the five inspiring recipients of Hugh Rogers Fellowships, including a bioinformatician, two science teachers and a researcher building a low-cost, electricity-free oxygen concentrator, there was a french horn player.

Susan de Weger, who visited the New England Conservatory of Music in November, entertained the guests with a number of pieces on her French horn.

More c-words to follow in the coming weeks: curating content at the #ObesitySummit, connecting with other PRIA Fellows at the national conference, celebrating colleagues, chums & clan in the lead up to Christmas & controlled consumption of champagne & canapés!

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

PS. Here’s our favourite turkey pardoning scene from the West Wing – thanks CJ!