Colour is a powerful communication tool, used to signal action (green = go!), influence mood (calming blue) and even cause physiological reactions (red = hunger).
Just as pure white light passing through a prism separates into the visible colors, taking a moment to step back and reflect reveals the past 12 months (which whizzed by) provided the c word with a veritable rainbow of rewarding work.
Thanks to the contribution of our clients, colleagues and collaborators, 2012 definitely was a colourful year at the c word. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this kaleidoscope of milestones…
January took on a UN-esque cobalt blue hue as we commenced a partnership with the Melbourne-based secretariat of the United Nations Global Compact’s Principles for Social Investment, helping UNGC signatories implement social investment with four guiding principles: purposeful, accountable, respectful and ethical.
A 1920s-style Summer fete for Bare Elements Productions in February injected a Cerulean ‘flapper’ blue into the year’s shortest month. It also marked the beginning of our relationship with the Public Record Office Victoria, on their VERS refresh project. Cathy Meynell-James, Senior Manager at the Public Record Office Victoria said she chose the c word because she knew our quality of work and level of commitment and “didn’t want to risk our flagship project with just anyone”.
In our conversation with Cathy, she said our approach was to be “engaging, approachable and accessible to the staff across the organisation”. She also praised our “clear and accessible language, which made all participants feel part of the process, which equalled a great outcome”.
In March, we rolled out the crimson carpet with a special event at Zinc in Melbourne to welcome three new veski innovation fellows back to Australia.
A half-day PRIA event in April, with the talented Miss Sally Branson from the US Consulate, capped off another great month. April of course had a chocolate brown tone in time for Easter.
The 2012 Women in PR luncheon, with the lovely Sara James from NBC Universal as MC, brought a rosy Candy Pink glow to our May – and to the faces of hundreds of PR ladies in attendance. Speaking of stylish gals, our chief associate Helen Steel continued to bring a range of exciting clients and campaigns (including the OHL Group and the Sustainable Melbourne Fund) to the c word in 2012.
June marked the year’s mid-point so we used the month to take a break from storming through our to-do list and draw a Cyan-coloured breath in Bali (oh the myriad of colours of that place!).
No prizes for guessing the colours of celebrations on the fourth of July, spent in the company of US Consulate staff and supporters – on the eve of the biggest date in the red, white and blue calendar: the US presidential election, no less. The festivities continued with the announcement of a Royal Medal for veski innovation fellow Professor Andrew Holmes AM, marked by fantastic media coverage on ABC TV and radio.
It was a distinctly ‘Cafe Noir’ (make that a double) theme in August as I was re-elected by peers and colleagues as the Victorian President for PRIA. Doesn’t everyone have a second job?!
A verdant camouflage green ushered in September – and Neil O’Sullivan (from the Emerald Isle) to the PRIA Victoria team and the c word offices. Also springing to the c word’s side in September, Danielle Johnston flew in to help promote Bird Week 2012 and create killer content for our social media accounts and clients.
Could October have been any other colour than canary yellow? We took the ‘Birds in Backyards’ message to the masses for BirdLife Australia’s Bird Week 2012, as well as celebrating c-worder Patrick Walden receiving the Chancellor’s Medal from his University. Definitely worth tweeting about! Diana Gibson, Head of Communication at BirdLife Australia, said we provided them with “an excellent first-time national media program to complement the more traditional activities associated with October’s BirdWeek”. We learned a lot about our native feathered friends through the work and it seems Diana was happy with our contribution, especially the fact that “the c word takes the time up front to understand what you want to achieve and why, works with you and the team to get the best outcome, while making it hassle -free for the client”. A case of wing-wing. Pun intended.
Ramping up the champagne and canapé consumption in November, we took ourselves off to the technicolour Spring Racing Carnival with the ABC’s lovely Karina Carvalho, from TV News Breakfast. Our research in the Bird Cage marquees revealed 2012’s colour du jour, donned by many a fine filly at Flemington, was amped-up, eye-popping chartreuse. Then it was a succession of quick changes from the bluestone Melbourne Town Hall for the announcement of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships, with the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association to the side of the murky riverside at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the convergence of communicators at the World PR Forum; and into cyberspace for the veski website and brandmark relaunch. Julia Page, veski’s chief executive officer, engaged the c word 18 months ago to help raise veski’s profile. This year, as well as continuing the profile-raising, we assisted with the development and implementation of a new brandmark, and website. Julia appreciated the c word’s work on the announcement, via media releases, electronic bulletins and website content, of the inaugural veski innovation fellow Professor Andrew Holmes’ Royal Medal and was “delighted” with our energy and efforts, “which often go above and beyond the norm, so much so that [Jack] is considered by the veski staff, fellows and directors as an honourary member of the veski family”. What a great note on which to finish the year!
Which brings us to the clear blue Summer skies of December, Kris Kringles and other end-of year festivities, cleaning up the coffee cups around the office, and finally clearing the decks for a short break before careening into 2013.
What colours will the New Year bring? January’s coffee-coloured comms check-ups, and croissant-fuelled comms classes – all complimentary (get in quick!) – will be our first spin of the colour wheel to kick-start the year.
The festive season, much like meanings attached to individual colours, reflects the plethora of different cultural perceptions held by each of us.
For me, I follow the man in the jolly red suit but I think I can safely say, for all of us, this time of year is really all about communing with family and friends, contemplating how fortunate we are, and embracing charity – taking a moment to think about those who aren’t quite as lucky.
We’ve been very lucky – you could say we’ve enjoyed a purple patch – in 2012 and we thank everyone who has contributed to this success.
Jack and the c word crew