Category Archives: c-word news

Conversations from a #CommsCorner Congregation


Reimg_1501cently, we hosted our first #CommsCorner Congregation. A congregation of communicators who have taken the chair in our #CommsCorner over the past couple of years.

As you would expect from a room full of communicators, the conversations didn’t stop – literally until the lights were turned off. Topics ranged from the creative to the cool and covered everything from errant commas to compelling TV shows.

Adding to the flavour of the event was the range of backgrounds represented in the room. Some communicators who had pursued communications from the starts of their careers (or before) and others who had found their way to communications after careers in law, property and travel.

The common thread was our passion for storytelling and understanding of the power of communication.

If you missed this one, don’t worry. We are already planning our next #CommsCorner Congregation and look forward to watching as the conversations kick off.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

C for Casting our eyes back over the year. In hindsight…


It’s that time of year again. The Kris Kringle presents are getting swapped and it’s time to reflect on another 12 months of c-words, and we as you know love communications and all things that go with it. So many c-words to look back on from the past 12 months. Wow 2015 you have been truly amazing!

The 1989 movie Back to the Future, Part II gave the world a fictitious view of what 2015 might look like through the eyes of Marty McFly, predicting things like flying cars and portable fusion power. the c word doesn’t yet have a time machine, but as the new year winds down, here’s a look at some of the real events that helped shape the communications landscape and the world in 2015.

There were no flying cars but we did have a chopper crisis in Canberra, a new royal cherub, Bruce Jenner transformed herself into Caitlyn, and Hillary Clinton continues to sprint towards the WhiteHouse!

Now sit back & catch up on our commentary:

And how could we forget the final moments of Mad Men … Coke or coastal contemplation?

Twitter has also released its top trends of 2015 – which highlighted the top 10 topics that people discussed. From Caitlyn Jenner to One Direction (all the really important stuff). Some did come as a bit of a surprise.

Social Media as usual was on top of all the breaking news. Here’s a look at their top trends for 2015. – a truly engaging platform!

And YouTube released its lookback at 2015 through a musical video of course. Take a look here:

YouTube has been doing these types of video summaries for a few years now. But 2015 is the brands 10th birthday – a special occasion.

Facebook has been so kind to let their members create a “year in review”. Who wouldn’t want to look at a years worth of selfies?

Now here’s the the final countdown to 2016. What will the year ahead bring?

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

EOFY is the perfect time to review your comms


With the end of financial year fast approaching, it’s time to either run on down to Officeworks (or Kikki K if designer stationery is more your thing) OR take some time to review your communications.

We have gathered some interesting articles from across the interweb to get you started and give you some inspiration to get your reviews underway.

Happy evaluations!

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew.

Closing comment – Becoming a Fellow

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 – A turkey called Clyde


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!

Closing comment – caffeinated classroom: axis of video



Our video production collaborator Burning House joined the c word last week for a caffeinated classroom focused on video. The result: a captivated class of communicators committed to creating cool video content!

The trends
Tim Anderson from Burning House covered off the latest trends in video including:

  • Knowledge
  • Native Advertising
  • Choice
  • Interactivity
  • Distribution
  • Mobile
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Quality

Who, how, why?
Every time Burning House begins a video project they ask the questions: Who are you wanting to communicate with; targeted? How will they consume the communication: which channel, platform, viewing environment? Why do you want to communicate: what do you want out of it?

Choose your own adventure

Tim shared a cool video from Peugeot, which allowed customers to choose their own adventure. The tip: give users the opportunity to take control of their video viewing!

The axis of video

Charlie Porter from Burning House gave us the axis of video. Apparently he’s obsessed with axes; we were the beneficiaries.

The class of September 2014 discovered the extremes of creativity and lifespan.

For creative it’s capture to crafted while lifespan deals with disposable to evergreen.

Capture – footage shot for limited use with minimal production
Crafted – scripted, well-developed story boards and skillfully shot video
Disposable – use once and then it hits the cutting room floor
Evergreen – to be played time and time again on a website, at meetings or via email.

Charlie conveyed that your answers to the previous three questions [who, how, why] determine where on the axis your video needs to sit.

Top tips

The top tips from the creative crew at Burning House:

  1. Share, share share – once you’ve spent the time and money creating a video share it through as many channels as possible
  2. Start with the who, why & how – solid answers to these questions will guide the video development project
  3. Sound is critical – whether you’re shooting on an iPhone or a professional camera: get the sound right
  4. Work with what you’ve got – get creative and re-purpose stills that have been gathering dust on the server
  5. Keep it short – about 90 seconds is as long as most videos need to be

And here are a few video ideas to start thinking about today:

  • FAQ’S

Head over to the Burning House website for a peek at some of their creative work!

Jack & the c word crew

Congregate for community caring

Congregate for community caring

It’s impossible to avoid. You know, a dreaded ‘C’ word that inflicts pain and suffering on so many. Cancer, yup that’s right we said it.

And, this week’s blog is lending a handing hand to support of our friend’s at the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) in the lead up to their Melbourne Field of Women event happening on Saturday, 10 May.

Sometimes when we join together it’s easy to deal with what we’re going through.
Together we are stronger. When we have the support we can get through anything.

Connecting people is part of the mission at BCNA to support those affected by breast cancer through their services, resources and programs.

Join the community and offer your support by connecting with 15,000 strong supporters to create a Field of Women at the MCG.

BCNA works to ensure that women diagnosed with breast cancer, and their families, receive the very best treatment, care and support possible, help them raise need dollars to support its 90,000 members (over 90% are breast cancer survivors).

Details of the Field of Women event:
Date: Saturday 10 May 2014 at 4.30pm
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Match: Melbourne v Western Bulldogs AFL match
Ticketing: Tickets are $55.00 inc. GST* and can be purchased online through Ticketek (includes poncho and free ticket to the match).
* Ticket proceeds go to support BCNA’s important work.

Use the social media hashtags and handle #FieldofWomen and @BCNAPinkLady to follow the conversation.

Visit the website to learn more about Field of Women and many other ways you can support the cause.

Closing comment – courting on rooftops & seeking top bird



This week’s c-word has been courting.

The courting started on, er, hump day, of course, when we chaperoned Melbourne’s media darlings on a blind date with #YourFootscray ambassadors on the Footscray Market roof.

Was the serenade at sunset a success? If you measure success by the level of impassioned conversation, then yes. As guests noshed on the Ethiopian banquet and crispy cannoli, the ambassadors expressed their love for Footscray for all to hear.

the c word caught the train home, warmed by the inner glow that comes from connecting complementary strangers – and of letting people in on a secret you know they’ll always love you for.

The #YourFootscray ambassadors, the crazy cads that they are, were just warming up. They’ll be spruiking their wares again when they provide winners of an online ‘win-a-date’ competition with opportunities to fall in love with their favourite suburb.

Think a cannoli-making lesson with Tony; an Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Abdul and Rozenn; a Vietnamese brew with Kevin at his café; tacos and craft beer with The Reverence Hoteliers; and a lesson in spotting the freshest catch with fishmongers, Paul & John. Did your heart just skip a beat, or did you have a little too much caffeine to get you through Friday afternoon?

Whichever the case, the competition is easy to enter: first, voters select a date (cannoli, tacos, fresh fish, Ethiopian coffee or Vietnamese coffee), then they visit, or and explain in 20 words OR LESS why they want to win. To be eligible, entries must be lodged by 11:59pm on Wednesday, 9 October, 2013.

Move over Casanova because we’re also concocting a rendez-vous of the three-way speed date kind for another client. Watch this space for a full update.

Our final Spring Fling for this week has been to announce that Australians are returning to the polls again next month, this time to vote for the most popular bird in the land.

The poll – BirdLife Australia’s way of encouraging us to ‘Meet the Neighbours’ (think: chick next door) during peak mating season – will run alongside events in cities and towns across the country.

The winning bird will get its own cover on the December edition of “Australian Birdlife” magazine, while one lucky human voter will win a holiday at the beautiful O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Brisbane Hinterlands. Vote for your favourite Australian bird at and look out for more plucky stories during National Bird Week 2013 which runs from 19 to 25 October.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – cochlear, cats & Chinese collaborations


This week, we helped our client veski welcome three leading researchers back to Australia to continue their groundbreaking research in three of Victoria’s leading research institutions.

veski innovation fellows Professor Colette McKay, Dr Ethan Goddard-Borger and Dr Luke Connal – and their groundbreaking research projects – were given a special welcome home at an official ceremony with the Melbourne CBD as a fitting backdrop.

Our day started with c-words when Colette McKay from the Bionics Institute and her incredible research with cochlear implants made the front page of the Herald Sun. Brigid O’Connell wrote about the difference Colette’s research will make to people of all ages suffering from severe deafness; her research will make it easier and quicker to program cochlear implants.

The c words continued with Ethan Goddard-Borger from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute and his research into a parasite carried by cats that can be harmful to expectant mothers and others. He’s a chemist who will be charting new territory in the area of chemical biology.

More c-words from the third innovation fellow Luke Connal from the University of Melbourne who was unable to attend the ceremony as he was in China developing collaborations for his work on materials of the future. Luke’s research could lead to the development of a range of new materials including anti-bacterial paints for hospitals, biofuels and new detergents.

You can hear all about Colette, Ethan & Luke’s inspiring research in three videos created by the c word crew in close collaboration with our client, the innovation fellows & the creative cinematographers at Burning House.

And if that wasn’t enough for one evening, the audience of science, government and business representatives discovered more about veski’s inspiring students (& teachers) program and the fact that the three fellows share a true passion for supporting the next generation of scientists and researchers.

Consider the c-words of science over the weekend and spare a thought for the men and women under the lab coats behind the research and the discoveries.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew