Category Archives: Social Media

Cinema, customers and creativity – catch up on #CommsCorner from 2015

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It’s been a great year in the #CommsCorner with a wide range of communicators sharing what communication means to them.

Pour yourself a cuppa, treat yourself to an extra one of the advent calendar chocolates and spend some time in the #CommsCorner.

Cheers to all of these amazing communicators for spending some time in the #CommsCorner in 2015.

Watch out for the next round of #CommsCorner starting in mid January 2016.

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C = correspondence, conjecture and a classless platform

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Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch puts his thoughts out on the Twittersphere just like any other Joe Bloggs. Last month, Hugh Martin from La Trobe University wrote this great piece in The Conversation examining why a media mogul, billionaire and powerful person like Murdoch might bother with Twitter – and gives us an insight into Rupert’s tweeting style.

Why does Rupert Murdoch bother with Twitter?

Hugh Martin, La Trobe University

After one of his semi-regular visits to Australia, News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch recently let forth with a series of Twitter pronouncements covering Labor’s problem with unions, the need for a free trade agreement with China, the deadlocked Senate that is making Australia “ungovernable”, and the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef (which was cover for a dig at the Greens).

Murdoch is nothing if not a prolific tweeter. But why does he bother?

As the head of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, Murdoch has more media outlets at his beck and call than anyone. His editors famously either intuit or are told what he wants published and act accordingly. He has more reach than any single individual on the planet. And he uses it.

So, why would a man with so much media power at his fingertips, and political power on three continents to match, choose to expose himself to the raw landscape of the Twittersphere?

It’s a question that has exercised at least one of his biographers. Michael Wolff has said Murdoch uses Twitter to “express himself”, which really doesn’t explain why a global news organisation isn’t satisfying enough.

To anyone familiar with his newspapers and TV networks the views Murdoch expresses on Twitter are not surprising. It appears he is not “expressing” anything different on Twitter.

In the past week Murdoch has tweeted in support of Ben Carson as the potential Republican US presidential candidate, drug threats faced by rural communities, and the political situation in Australia. His news organisations comprehensively covered all of these topics and apparently represented his viewpoints accurately (pro-Carson, anti-drugs, pro-Tony Abbott).

So it’s clear Twitter serves a different purpose than simply allowing Murdoch to express a personal view. Nor is his use of the social media network about engaging directly with other users. His responses to specific tweets are rare – he uses it as a broadcast medium.

Murdoch has 609,000 followers on Twitter, which is tiny in the context of News Corp’s global audiences. He follows 110 people. Social media conversation is not what he is interested in.

Murdoch’s use of Twitter may be far more revealing on a personal and sentimental level than has previously been recognised.

In 2008, Wolff wrote:

Murdoch, at 77, can’t use a computer, doesn’t get email, can’t get his cell phone to work properly, can’t even imagine changing the variables on a spreadsheet.

Some of that, at least, is simply wrong.

While it is true that Murdoch isn’t a digital native, he has always demonstrated a hands-on approach to technology that pertains to the media industry. Whether that is sub-editing copy onscreen for early editions of The Sun, running printing presses during the Wapping strikes of the mid-1980s or tweeting from his iPad, he knows how to use the tools.

In November 2005, at a small gathering of News Limited editors in Adelaide that I attended, Murdoch said:

When I get up in the morning I check the news from all over the world. I am constantly amazed by the rich variety of offerings on the web.

This was at a time when News was gearing up for a digital fight with its competitors. Murdoch said very clearly that day that he wanted News to be at the forefront of digital publishing:

It’s where our audiences are moving to. And it’s where we have to be.

This is a man who has always led from the front. Murdoch is far more comfortable with technology than his legend would have us believe. And yet, something is odd about his use of Twitter.

For one thing, Murdoch’s style is unfamiliar to modern readers. Twitter is defined by its 140-character limit. But he uses this restriction to pack description via adjectives and terse use of verbs into the available space and make this relay his meaning:

Why should we be surprised at the incisive use of language? Murdoch has always identified as a journalist. He is, after all, the son of a celebrated journalist. But Twitter’s 140-character limit lends itself to a wonderfully eloquent and antiquated style of writing: telegraphese.

Rupert’s father, Keith, would instantly recognise his son’s tweets as exactly the sort of writing employed by journalists sending breaking news reports by telegram.

From the battlefields of the US Civil War to Murdoch senior’s own reporting from the Dardanelles in the first world war, telegraphese was the essential mode for journalists.

And that is how Rupert tweets, as if he is reporting to the world and paying for each word. The only thing missing is the characteristic “STOP”. If we were to add that into the above tweet the effect is immediate:

2 stories STOP Carson, Detroit ghetto to brilliant neurosurgeon STOP Obama white upbringing to community organizer STOP Sincere men, different values

In Rupert’s dotage, it seems the son is reliving the father’s glory years as a global correspondent.

The Conversation

Hugh Martin, Lecturer in Journalism, La Trobe University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Centre stage: #QandA, again

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You wouldn’t think it would be possible, but there is another crisis brewing (or perhaps brewed) at the ABC’s Q&A office. With staff just recovering from the controversy involving Zaky Mallah, accusations of being terrorist sympathisers and a government-ordered inquiry into the program, producers are now facing criticism over the tweets they choose to flash up on screen on Monday night.

Article Lead - wide999688241gj6rjrimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.gj6sdt.png1440460642172.jpg-620x349All was forgiven, and the questions and answers were flowing again, until some (opposite of a genius) decided to tweet under the Twitter handle @AbbottLovesAnal, which slipped through ABC’s moderators mouse clicks and landed Q&A back in hot water. The content of the tweet itself was not offensive (although an insult to the English language), it was the crude tone of the @handle.

With the right use, an appropriate handle and a “normal” person behind a smart phone, Twitter can really come into its own, especially when wanting to interact at a networking or professional development event.

The skill involved in live tweeting is common sense, a good use of language in 140 characters or less, and keeping content clear and precise. Here are our top five tips when attending a corporate event and using the tool.

  1. Make sure you’re using the correct hashtag – if it’s trending you want to be involved. There’s no point tweeting for the sake of it –unless you’re Kim Kardashian then you can do whatever you like.
  2. Engage with people prior to the event. Get Twitter handles of speakers in advance. Connecting with people before the event is the perfect opportunity to learn more about them, set up meetings and learn about their companies (and what they can do for you – or more importantly what you can do for them).
  1. Quote speakers correctly. Always add their Twitter handles to attribute their authorship. If they’re not on Twitter, simply include their name in the Tweet so you don’t confuse their ideas with yours.
  2. Add  visual content
    1. There is so much more to tweeting than just text. Add pictures of the speakers and the venue. This is engaging and shows your audience what you’re talking about. The quality of pictures taken by our smartphones is more than adequate for the budding photographer.
    2. People love seeing themselves in pictures. Take a selfie with your new “friends” and tag them to enforce your new connections and get more retweets.
  1. Live tweeting from an event is a great way to get high number of followers in a very short time. Be generous, retweet and favourite other posts to increase your social footprint. Using the event hashtag, your tweets will appear in the live stream and people will start following you. Make sure you follow them back so the newly created connections can extend to offline meetings too. Tweet consistently but wisely – keep your “digital footprint” out during the event to keep appearing in the tweet stream. This keeps your brand out there for everyone to see. More and more events are holding live streaming of tweets during the day which allows your content to be displayed. So if you don’t want it out there don’t tweet it. Think of it like a live campaign for your company and what you say reflects on you.

Lastly, if you are the moderator of the tweets. Set the ground rules, block any content that shouldn’t be displayed and be thorough. Make sure your hashtag is prominent and the audience knows it.

The moderators at Q&A blamed the large volume of tweets coming through for this recent mishap. It’s critical that you arrange a small bundle of tweets and sort through these. Avoid any anal abbott outbursts or any other overtly political statement for that matter.

Happy tweeting!

cheers

Jack and the c word crew

Closing comment: digital leadership

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Who would have thought that one of Melbourne’s Heritage listed buildings, the Old Treasury Building on Spring Street,  would provide the classroom for Victorian leaders to hone their digital leadership capabilities.

Our communications consultant focused on digital communications, Rosie Walden, spent Thursday and Friday this week participating in Leadership Victoria’s Digital Leadership Program.

Sitting in a building built to store the colony’s gold, and once the epicentre of a new colony’s growing power, Rosie has been thinking about how leaders from the past, including the Governor, the Premier (at the time called Chief Secretary), the Treasurer and the Auditor General would have coped with, embraced or responded to the challenges and opportunities we face in the digital age?

We’ll bring you a full wrap up of the two day program in coming weeks; but for the second here are a few highlights from day 1:

  • Leadership Victoria opened the discussions with The Age’s Michael Short @Shortmsgs talking about the openness of social media and and its ability to turn people’s opinions around
  • From open media to a young entrepreneur the group reflected on the fast pace of change with @willdayble, Director, Squareweave reinforcing the importance of taking time away from our devices to reflect. Will’s said that in a digital world we still need to make time to “break bread with real humans”.
  • @Liz_Bardwell from Telstra shared some fantastic practical approaches to managing digital communications

Rosie is responsible for engaging with the growing online communities across public health, education and innovation sectors on behalf of our clients. She is also the voice behind the cheeky tweets for @thecwordagency when our CEO is on classified assignments 🙂

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Commonwealth Games delivers gold with a Royal Selfie

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The Queen has made headlines [and been trending across the social media world] by photobombing a selfie at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

And it’s courtesy of a picture by our very own Hockeyroos Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris. The image with Queen Elizabeth smiling in the background has become an internet sensation with more than 7,000 retweets in less than 24 hours.

This isn’t the Queen’s first Royal photobombing selfie. Back in June, her image was spread around the world after a cheeky boy jumped in front of her and nabbed a selfie during her Belfast tour.

The Queen has always had her finger on the technological pulse:

Enjoy the weekend and make sure you snap a selfie or two!

Cheers, Jack and the c word crew

Instant feedback boosts engagement

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When you plan your next event, don’t forget to include a Twitter hashtag to ensure the conversation continues long after the last guest has departed.

We have been in event planning mode for the past few months to celebrate our client veski’s significant milestone – 10 years of inspiring innovation – and make it as memorable and as momentous as possible.

Last week was chock-a-block full of events, media and celebrations, culminating in a gala dinner over the weekend on the evening of the actual anniversary. More to come on these events in upcoming blog posts!

It has involved a plethora of plans, run sheets, speech notes, venue theming, collateral writing and design and to top it all off ensuring there’s a Twitter hashtag for audience participation and to capture the conversation.

Among the events to celebrate the milestone was an industry symposium: Smart Australia 2030 at Federation Square.

When you bring an engaged audience and leading minds together to talk about the future of the country you’re going to get lots of involvement.

So, if you don’t have the right hashtag you’re going to miss out on all the valuable comments and ideas from the audience.

 

Here are some of the tweets from the #veski2030 symposium

veski live tweets_FA

 

Listen to your audience

When you listen to your audience you get instant and valuable feedback.

The next time you’re planning an event, don’t forget to include social media as part of your engagement strategy—what’s your hashtag, how are you going to manage the comments during the events and how will you ensure all participates by know how to follow the conversation.

Closing comment – Is social networking the new smoking?

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IsSocialTheNewSmoking

The way to tell you’re addicted to something is to take this gut check: Does the thought of giving up the habit for a week produce anxiety, panic and even a feeling of physical sickness? If the answer’s yes, then you may have a problem.

At least you’re in good company – ours!

Jokes aside, for a lot of us, social media (SM) is now embedded in our workday the same way the phone and email have become. And who doesn’t take work home with them?

The big question is: could SM addiction be bad for our health? Our relationships? Our sanity?

Just as non-smokers have a catalogue of gestures, grimaces and frowns to convey their displeasure at second-hand smoke and stale, smelly cigarette breath, our friends and partners are starting to protest – and they’re getting louder. They may not have given your iPhone a bath or hidden your power cable – yet, but an intervention may be just around the corner.

Don’t wait to be told. Take this quick quiz. If you answer YES to more than five questions, occasionally step back, look at this oh-so-indulgent of habits, and recognise you’ve become too dependent on SM. For more help, we suggest you seek counselling.

Here’s our SM-addiction litmus test:

  1. Do you sneak in Tweets between cuddles?
  2. Do you check Facebook if you get up ‘to go’ in the middle of the night?
  3. Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you haven’t checked your social media for an hour?
  4. Do you struggle to complete non-social tasks within a defined timeframe?
  5. Have you ever had to ban yourself from Facebook?
  6. Do you stress when you’re not retweeted?
  7. Do you ever compare the number of followers you have with your friends’ and colleagues’?
  8. Do you check your Instagram before you have a shower?
  9. Do you have to ask yourself how many times you’ve ‘Liked’ something on Facebook today?
  10. Do you stress when your battery power is running low and you can’t recharge?
  11. Do you take an SM break at work because you think you’re entitled, as you don’t take smoko’s?
  12. Do you take a selfie every day?
  13. Is your phone filled with pictures of last night’s dinner?
  14. Do you refer to your friends by their Twitter handle?
  15. Do you find yourself stopping yourself from saying “I know, I saw it on Facebook” when you catch up with friends?
  16. Do you check-in from airports, stations, cafes… everywhere?
  17. Do you say LOL instead of LOL-ing?
  18. Do you say hashtag [something] in conversations?
  19. Do you have another examples you could add to this list?

Tweet your examples to us! Not only will you be keeping your addiction alive, you’ll help others with their own diagnosis. Because, as we all know, the first step to solving a problem is recognising we have one. And a problem shared is a problem halved. And misery loves company!

Ok, got to run & see who just @mentioned me … my phone beeped!

Until next time, ciao.

Jack and the c word

PS. Thanks to @mirandaschuppan for inspiration!