Category Archives: Community

Social Media to the rescue

With so many of us now connected to multiple social media platforms, we are all aware what a powerful marketing tool social media can be. We are now also beginning to realise ways in which we can harness its power to help people.

Social media was a primary source of communication following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In disaster situations, after survival, there is a human need to connect. Conventional telephone lines often go down, or are overwhelmed, whilst internet connections are still active and usable. Thus people found they could use networks like twitter or facebook to send warnings, relay and receive information and news updates, ask for help and let friends and family know they were safe.

As a result, many international organisations are now implementing social strategies into emergency management plans. A great example is American Red Cross who have recently partnered with Dell to build a Digital Operations Center. During emergency and disaster situations, the center will analyse and use social conversation to make decisions and organise relief efforts.

One of social media’s greatest strengths is in the ease and speed that information can be disseminated. There is great potential for Government, council and humanitarian organisations to use it to connect with and build resilient communities.

Yours in realising potential,

Emerging local artists

The IMA: Institute of Modern Art is inviting artists who are 6 years out of art school, who have not yet exhibited at IMA and who were born or are living in Queensland to submit their portfolios to be considered for showcasing at the 2012 Fresh Cut exhibit at the IMA. All you need to do is submit your portfolio by 28 March via:
• email []
• post [IMA, PO Box 2176, Fortitude Valley BC QLD 4006]
• or drop it off at the IMA office [420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley BC QLD 4006]
Note: They will not be returned.

This annual exhibition has been running since 1997 and is a great platform for emerging artists to mingle and share their work and views.

Are you ready to put yourself out there? Hurry as you only have 7 days to enter!

Yours with Art Exhibitions,
Amber van Sloten

Project Possibility

Hear and Say Case for Support Cover

Hear and Say Case for Support Spread 1

Hear and Say Case for Support Butterflies

Hear and Say Case for Support Spread 2


If you are not already aware, we here at Brio are proud supports of Hear and Say. It is an honour for all of us here to be sponsors of Rhylee, who last year through the help of our donation, was given the gift of a cochlear implant. This of course was all made possible by the wonderful organisation, Hear and Say.

Hear and Say is one of the leading non-profit Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world. Since 1992 the Centre has taught children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak.

In this time they have seen incredible growth in the numbers of children and families that come through their programs. As the numbers grow each year, the current Hear and Say Centre location in Brisbane is reaching full capacity and the team want to help as many as they can. Looking to the future and thinking big are key ideas that Hear and Say live by. With this in mind they decided that to keep up with the growth, they needed a new premises to support them now, and into the future. Thus came about the ‘Project Possibility: Under Construction’. With new premises found and purchased, their aim now, is to raise the funds needed to build their dream Centre.

Through our relationship with Hear and Say it’s exciting to see their ideas for the future grow and become a reality. At the same time, it has been fun to work on the look and feel of this booklet which aims to inform who Hear and Say are, what they do, their dreams for the future and how you can help them reach their goals (see image samples above). Our aim was to develop the branding of Hear and Say to be fun and inspiring, because that is what the experience is to be a part of Hear and Say. Whether this experience is as a child and their family within the program, a team member of Hear and Say, or the experience of being a sponsor, it is inspiring and amazing.

So as we have done, we encourage you to help Hear and Say build a future that helps give the gift of speech and sound to so many, by donating here.

Yours in honour of giving,


How to create a successful LinkedIN Profile

I have been asked quite a bit lately about how a business professional should create a successful LinkedIN profile so I thought I should let everyone know my top 5 tips on creating a successful LinkedIN Profile.

TIP 1 – A Compelling Personal Headline and Photo. Firstly, your personal headline is the first thing that people see so make it compelling. You can put in there the top few things that you do or make a statement that covers who you are, who you help and how you help them.  Secondly, make sure you have a photo of you in your profile, one that represents who you are in a professional sense. It needs to be the proportions of a passport photo and make sure you are smiling.

TIP 2 – Think About Keywords. It is important to think about which keyword/s your prospects use to search for your type of product or service. Pick the strongest one and then get them into your LinkedIn profile in 5 key places. 1. in your headline, 2. experience 3. past experience, 4. summary and 5. specialities.  You will have to keep tweaking the keywords and monitor your ranking over time to keep improving it.

TIP 3 – Add Applications. Applications add more depth to your profile and also help build / support the information in your profile. To add applications click on the menu item – ‘More’ and then down the bottom ‘Get more Applications’. There are a number in here you can add. eg. If you have a WordPress blog you can stream your latest posts on your LinkedIn Page, if you are an author of a book you can link to it on Amazon on your LinkedIN page, if you have created presentations you can link to these via slideshare or google presentation and therefore add value to the people that view your LinkedIN page.

TIP 4 – The Awesome Power of Groups. Groups are a very powerful marketing tool that you can use to build your profile. You can join existing groups and have an expert voice when answering or posing questions. Better still you can start your own group. Make sure your group supports your niche and keywords and will add value to the network you will build. To start a group click on ‘Groups’ in the top menu, then ‘Create a Group’. The benefit of creating a group is you have your details as the owner of that group visible to everyone who joins and in your welcome message you can put in links to your website and also provide your contact details.

Tip 5 – Recommendations. They are great to have on your profile as they show visitors that you are credible. Recommendations are people who know you or have worked with you providing their personal recommendation about the service that you provide. There are many strategies you can take in order to generate recommendations but the best one is to give out recommendations in order to get some in return.

I hope you can see the power of LinkedIN and how it can be a valuable marketing tool for you and your business. Get started today or review and improve your current profile.

Yours in creating a successful LinkedIN profile.



Pinteresting Brands


Earlier this year I came across Pinterest – an online  ‘scrap book’ that lets you organise and share images (and now videos) you find on the web. It instantly appealed to me as a ‘digital hoarder / collector / curator’ as a way to visually organise and display ideas for events, work presentations, home decoration ideas, even destinations I wanted to travel to in future.

As with any new online service the next question and thought that runs through my mind is “How will brands begin to use this?”. I could see there would be certain brands that would fall into Pinterest easily and would be a natural fit amongst the growing online community. Australian stationery brand kikki.K, who was the first brand I noticed using Pinterest, is one such company that was made for a community like Pinterest.

kikki.K was always going to fit in seamlessly. Take a look through Pinterest and you’ll soon see why – if it is twee, crafty, street style, decor or design focused it will be on Pinterest. kikki.K took their product and gave it to a community that was going to adore it (as they do in many other channels already) and opened themselves up to a global audience – many of which are obsessed with “pretty” stationery.

kikki.K owner and founder Kristina Karlsson said the team instantly fell in love with Pinterest’s ease of use and clean visual layout and wants kikki.K’s presence on the site to be visually inspiring, motivating and useful.

“Our brand values are very consistent with Pinterest in that we both are passionate about helping people organise their ideas and inspiration in stylish and creative ways,” she said. “We noticed that Pinterest users were already pinning kikki.K products and styling images to their boards, so it just made sense for us to start contributing to the community and adding to the conversation.”

“Pinterest has given us the opportunity to start building a community around people who share the same passions we do and participate in those spaces in a strikingly visual way. We’ve integrated the Pinterest ‘Follow’ and ‘Pin it’ badges onto our site, to encourage stationery lovers to experience and share our brand in a fresh way. It’s interesting for us to track those products which are being pinned more heavily than others to see which products and interests will rise in this space.”

Brands that could be instantly pinteresting

Like any social media network it isn’t “one size fits all”. Just because everyone is jumping on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon doesn’t mean your company/brand/business has to as well. It is about what is going to work for you. That’s why for some Pinterest will be the best fit, for others it won’t. So what kind of brands will be a duck to water in the land of Pinterest?

  • Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Homewares / Interior Design
  • Food / Restaurants
  • Graphic design
  • Travel / Tourism
  • Architecture
  • Event service providers (weddings, christenings etc)

Of course, it is still a new online community and is going to be used in many ways. How it is used is up to the individual and the potential is only as good as the idea!

Who else is doing it well?

  • TED. That’s right – TED as in TED Videos. They are using the service to curate examples of Ads Worth Spreading. In a digital sea of ‘pins’ of highly stylised photos, motivational quotes, photos of food, puppies and everything cute it was refreshing to see Pinterest being used in this way.
  • Traveller’s Point – This travel guide is using Pinterest to curate lists of desired destinations and exotic locations.
  • Project82 - hand-selected interior design store

Stay tuned for the next installment where I’ll chat about Pinterest 101 – How to get started and “what is pinning?”

Yours in happy pinning,




Philanthropic Entrepeneurs

Philanthropy is emerging as a key activity of wealthy entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship in the field of philanthropy involves finding new and better ways for mobilising and deploying resources to make the world a better place The following entrepreneurs have each played a significant part in making this possible.

Stuart Zadel , the mastermind behind the Think And Grow Rich® Cashflow Conferences
Stuart runs the Think and Grow Rich® Seminars in Australia, as, over the next 10 years he intends to achieve 5 major goals, these being:
• To create 1,000 Prosperity Millionaires (individuals that choose to give back)
• To donate $1,000,000 to worthwhile causes
• To distribute 1,000,000 copies of our books
• To plant 1,000,000 Trees in Australian soil
• To educate more than 50,000 Australians live
Stuart says, “In short, we figure the best way to ensure we reach more than 50,000 Australians live within the next 10 years is to provide education free of charge!”

The Fred Hollows Foundation is inspired by work of the late Professor Fred Hollows, (1929 – 1993) , Eye Doctor (Ophthalmologist)
whose vision was for a world where no one is needlessly blind. 

Working to continue Fred’s vision, The Fred Hollows Foundation in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have come together to form a global network to increase our collective impact in eradicating avoidable blindness around the world.

Roger Hamilton – the creator of Wealth Dynamics.
Roger donates to and is a School Board Member of Green School – Bali, Indonesia. Green School opened in Sibang Kaja in Badung Province, Bali, Indonesia in 2008. It is an organisation delivering sustainability in education through the medium of an international school. Its students are children of locals and expatriates.
It is administered by Yayasan Kulkul – a not-for-profit foundation registered in Indonesia – and is governed by a School Board.
Green School is an amazing project, pioneering sustainability within education. It is pushing boundaries in schooling at a time when the world must review whether more of the same is acceptable.

Belinda Vesey-Brown – Managing Director – Brio Group Pty Ltd – 365 Ways We Care
A turning point in Belinda’s life was whilst trekking Kokoda, where she was confronted with realising her life’s purpose – to help people through giving vision. The foundation of Brio Group was formed and gives inspiration for its future through philanthropy.
365 Ways We Care – Brio Group’s Charity Program.
At Brio, Our team goal is to tithe 1% of our turnover to a charity every financial year. So the more successful we become, the more people we can help!
In the 2010/11 financial year Brio donated the equivalent of 365 gifts of sight by supporting The Fred Hollows Foundation. During the 2011/12 financial year we are supporting the Hear and Say Centre by sponsoring a child to give the gift of sound, changing their life forever. The Hear and Say Centre is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and Cochlear implant centres in the world. Since 1992, the centre has taught children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak.

Yours in Philanthropy
Angie Rapisarda

What has happened to our Communication?

Wow, I’ve just watched a fascinating TED Talk with the Brio Group Team this morning that really makes you think about what has happened with the backward evolution of our human interaction, communication and lack of personal contact.

Sherry Turkle, author of ‘Alone Together’, explains how todays generation of teenagers have been brought up competing with mobile phones from an early age. She gives examples of that feeling when you get picked up at school and you have that connection with your parent with instant eye contact at first sight and you feel like you’re everything in the world to them. Now all too often kids are greeted by their parents on their mobiles.

Parents have taken multi-tasking to an extreme which is affecting the kids of today. Another example Sherry shares is how a mum is reading a bedtime book in one hand and in the other hand checking her mobile. So multi-tasking has lead to multi-lifing.

We’ve all become so accustomed to instant gratification that we’ve dumbed down our communication online to get quicker responses and in turn less thought is required from all parties.

Even I admit that I prefer emails to phone calls as I’ve become so quick with them at work and I find it effective to keep the paper trail if I need to refer back to it. But not using the phone is almost impossible for me as a Studio Manager / Design Account Manager, not only is that bad customer service but that strong relationship gets lost and watered down.

I have overtime worked out a method that best suits my heavy workload and that is batching my work in zones; so I can be my bubbly happy self on the phone and on the other end of the scale I can zone out and do the serious stuff that also keeps my clients happy like quoting, research and invoicing.

I found Sherry’s talk pretty deep but also very true! Watch this TED Talk and let me know your thoughts and share what you’ve taken from it.

Are you going to become aware of your behaviour and possible change it for the next generation?

Yours in Communication,
Amber van Sloten

VonVintage at Urban Grind



Brisbane-based photographer Mark Lobo will host his first Von Vintage exhibition at Paddington cafe Urban Grind from November 27.

Von Vintage, according to Mark, showcases the keepsakes of the past as remembered through the eyes of a dying media.

“It’s an effort to preserve the beauty in objects that once were so common place, now slowly finding their ways into op-shops and land fill,” he said. “Using old vintage film cameras, the images appear almost timeless – they could have been shot half a century ago or yesterday.”

The exhibition will be at Urban Grind, 121 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington. From November 27th until December 10th. If you’ve not yet been to Urban Grind then this is your opportunity to sample the great atmosphere and check out this great photographic exhibition.

To find out more about VonVintage visit the website, follow on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook – whichever tickles your fancy.

Yours in photography,

Brio Talks: MiGoals (Now with added giveaway)


Every year around this time or earlier I begin my search for “the perfect diary” for the new year. I’m one of those old-school kids that still prefers to have a paper diary to organise my life. Despite being a digital strategist Google Calendar just doesn’t cut it or beat writing an appointment in my diary. This week I was introduced to MiGoals, the brain child of Adam Jelic, and I instantly loved the simplicity of the diary design. What also had me gravitating towards hitting “Buy Now” for the MiGoals 2012 Diary was the ethos behind the brand.

How often do we start a year, a month or every day with goals in our mind that are never achieved? If we wrote them down and had them right in front of us each day would we take more action? Would we achieve them quicker and with greater conviction? For me personally – yes. Seeing goals written down is a constant reminder for me that brings them front of mind. It also serves as a soft reminder that perhaps I’ve not taken steps to achieve said goals. It keeps me accountable.

I wanted to know a little more about MiGoals and Adam so I sat down for this Q&A with him. Enjoy!

Brio Daily (BD): Where do you gather your inspiration?

Adam Jelic (AJ): I generally gather inspiration from day to day activities such as reading the newspaper, going on Facebook, reading books, listening to music and surfing the internet. These daily activities tend to cover a vast amount of different subjects which in return help me become more aware of what’s happening around me. In most cases I tend to write a few ideas a week in my note book as a result of the above daily activities.

BD: What are you or have you recently read?
AJ: Recently I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and I am in the process of reading The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Both books challenge you as a reader to look beyond the status quo of what success is and how and why some achieve it and some don’t. One of the things I am now implementing in my reading is I try to swap categories, so I am not just reading about the same thing, again this helps with getting the balance right and not simply focusing on business and personal development.

BD: What do you think an inspired life should look like?
AJ: In my eyes an inspired life is: someone who is aware of who they are, are driven by their passions, are grateful for what they have, maintain a balance in different aspects of their lives and are doers as opposed to talkers.

BD: What was the idea behind Mi Goals and what have been the biggest challenges launching the site?
AJ: The initial idea for Mi Goals began when, as a young 20-something professional, I found there was a lack of practical tools for goal setting that spoke the language of my generation. After several years of research and product development, our first product Mi Goals diary was created and launched in late 2010.

The belief and logic behind creating Mi Goals diary was to deliver a unique platform and visually appealing product through which one could record and track their daily activities, while measuring the success of their goals.

The biggest challenges in regards to launching the Mi Goals website has been getting it completed and launched on the scheduled date we set. Secondly the look and feel has been another challenge, initially throughout the early stages of design the website was much more content driven and lacked that visual presence. After some more research and feedback we shifted our focus to a more visual and design based website, I guess our real goal was to highlight the products as best we can.

BD: Lastly, how would you like to see Mi Goals develop?
AJ: I would like to see Mi Goals develop into an international market leading lifestyle brand. The exciting thing about Mi Goals is it has the opportunity to develop into so many different industries and markets because people have goals in all areas of their life. In the short term, our goal as a business is to continue to create visually appealing and functional stationery products that inspire and help individuals achieve their goals.  You may see the Mi Goals brand develop and introduce new ways to inspire and help individuals achieve their goals.


You can register to be a part of Team Mi Goals and participate in events



MiGoals have generously given Brio Daily two (2) MiGoals packs to giveaway to our readers. Each pack contains a 2012 diary and Notes Book.

To enter email with ‘MiGoals’ in the subject and let us know: What is the biggest goal you want to achieve in 2012?

Winners will be drawn on Thursday November 4th.


You can purchase the MiGoals range via MiGoals | Notemaker or find a stockist in your local area.

Or why not keep up to date on the latest from MiGoals via Twitter | Facebook | MiGoals Blog

If you like Mi Goals you might also enjoy:

You can read more of Adam’s insights on PlanBig | Tips for sticking to New Year’s Resolutions (really this applies to any goals!)

Yours in old-school diaries,




Congratulations to Damon K and Sally B who are the winners of our MiGoals competition.

Spare Ticket announced as AMI National Finalist

Ok shameless plug warning! We’re super excited to see our client Spare Ticket announced as a National Finalist for the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence in the ‘New Brand’ category. We’re up against some ‘stiff’ competition: Warnie’s underwear brand SpinnersSimplot’s Quorn and Queensland winner Mater Mother’s Private Redland; so fingers crossed!

The awards are a part of the AMI’s two day conference, Focus on the Future, held at the Hilton Sydney from October 19-20. The conference will showcase a number of high profile speakers from Microsoft, Commonwealth Bank, Spreets, Telstra and Nestle, to name a few, bringing together some of the world’s greatest marketing minds.

Will you be going?

Yours in marketing coolness,