Category Archives: public relations

Putting the “FUN” back into theory

The Fun Theory (a Volkswagen Initiative) argues, “fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better”.  They held a competition for people who had fun ways of encouraging good behaviour.  For example: a ‘bottle bank arcade’ to encourage recycling, ‘piano stairs’ to encourage exercise, ‘the world’s deepest bin’ to encourage people to properly dispose of litter and ‘The Speed Camera Lottery’

 

 

 

The theory is obviously a bit of fun and good marketing but it did have impressive results.  For example, the Speed Camera Lottery ‘game’ reduced the average speed of cars on that road by 22% and the piano stairs meant that 66% more people than normal took the stairs over the escalator.  This gamification of everyday things seems to ‘nudge’ people’s behaviour in profound and measurable ways.  This begs the question, how far can you nudge people and in what ways?

 

 

The Fun Theory: that “fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better” seems to have some solid foundations and is becoming more widely accepted and made use of.  Gamification seems set to be a common feature in our lives and one that may make our lives much more fun.

 

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

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,
Janet

What is Good Customer Service?

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back, about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others. It is the livelihood of all businesses.

Good customer service must be provided to customers before, during and after a purchase or service. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.

I recently watched an episode of Undercover Boss Australia where I saw what I believe to be one of the best examples of good customer service. I enjoy watching this program, as I like to observe the different operational and management styles of the companies and executives featured. Each week a different high-flying executive leaves the comfort of their office to take up a highly pressured job at the forefront of their businesses. Completely immersed in their undercover role, these bosses must relinquish control, buckle down to follow orders, and prepare to hear some home truths about their head office strategies and plans and to also see how these strategies and plans are being implemented. Working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where problems lie within their organisation, plus get the chance to discover the “unsung heroes”, who ultimately make their company a success.

The featured executive who went out to work in some of her brand’s franchises in disguise, was Pippa Hallas, CEO of Ella Baché Australia. Ella Baché was Pippa’s great aunt who originally founded the company in Paris in 1930.

One “unsung hero” featured in this episode was the manager of the Ella Baché Salon in Carindale, which is one of Ella Baché’s top performing salons in Australia. I was very impressed with the operational and management style of this lady, and it was easy to see how the salon achieved this status. Personal grooming and presentation of the therapists was of the utmost importance. The hygiene standards and cleanliness of the salon was second to none. Even the topic of conversation with the client was under scrutiny as Pippa soon discovered what was appropriate and what wasn’t, as the conversation lead to Pippa asking if all four of the clients grandparents were still alive. The manager suggested to always steer away from personal questions, as in this instance, you don’t know whether one of the grandparents may have just passed away the day before, and you don’t want to upset them as they have not come to the salon to get upset. The conversation should always be kept on a professional level, and should centre around the services or products. The overall salon etiquette and professionalism was of the highest standard and all procedures were followed “by the book”. Nothing was left to chance. The client was the main focus of attention from the moment they stepped into the salon to the moment they left. The client is never left unattended. They are personally greeted by the therapist in the waiting room on arrival, then, at the end of their appointment, they are accompanied by the therapist back to the reception area and introduced to the receptionist, who then takes over to check the client out.

You may watch this 11 minute segment of the episode via this Undercover Boss Australia link by selecting the yellow taxi one.

Have you observed an example of good customer service recently?

Yours in Good Customer Service
Angie Rapisarda

Gruen Planet’s first episode airs tonight

 

images (3)

The Gruen Transfer is my favourite show. Hands down. It’s required reading (or watching) for those in our industry and gives the rest of the world an insight into what we advertisers do each day.

So naturally I’m busting with excitement for Gruen Planet which airs tonight on ABC1 at 9pm.

Over an eight-week season Gruen Planet will delve into the world of public relations – the world of ‘spin’ with Gruen Transfer host Wil Anderson and panelists Russel Howcroft and Todd Sampson.

“Persuasion is persuasion,” says Sampson, pointing out that the techniques used in PR and damage control are not dissimilar to those used to persuade consumers to buy a product.

Topics will include a proposal to run an ad during grand final week asserting that footballers should not be role models, the rebranding of Rupert Murdoch and a pitch to persuade Australians they hate the Melbourne Cup.

Tonight’s episode will focus on the political survival of prime minister Julie Gillard, described as ‘The only leader on Earth more besieged than Gaddafi’. The show will look at how she should be repositioned as a political brand but will also cover SABMiller’s acquisition of Fosters to tackle the question: How do you sell Aussie beers that are no longer Aussie? And do brands really need to worry about patriotism?

The last part of the show will ask contestants to come up with a campaign to convince Australians that they should stop expecting our footballers to be role models in the run up to grand final week for the NRL and AFL.

And for those of you miss tonight’s episode: a repeat of the show will air on Thursday at 9.30pm on ABC2 or you can catch-up with iView.

Will you be watching?

Yours in spin,
Janet

Sources: mumbrella.com.ausmh.com.au

SmartClinics opens at Westfield Chermside on September 19

I’m impatient, work long hours and not loyal to any particular doctor – I guess I’m fitting right into the Gen-Y stereotype! But seriously, when I need a basic prescription or need some basic medical care I just want to pop in and out of the doctor’s as quickly as possible – and I’d think many working Australians would be much the same (gee, that was a bit ALP wasn’t it…”working Australians”).

This is why I’m excited about SmartClinics – the new medical clinic run by Nurse Practitioners, opening at Westfield Chermside on September 19. Now full disclosure, SmartClinics is a client of ours and we’ve been busily working on their design and advertising in preparation for the launch, but really I can’t wait until it’s open.

I think SmartClinics is going to be a really great service for those of us who are fed up with trying to sneak out during lunch and then suffer the long wait in reception before our 10 minute appointment (although I love the trashy mags, do we really need to spend 45 minutes in the waiting room?). SmartClinics will open from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week – thank you weekend and night trading! Plus the appointments are quick and cheap – only $28 for a basic consultation. Now they just need to come to the south side of Brisbane!

Clinics like this have been operating in the US and UK for quite some time now so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about but obviously some GPs think SmartClinics is a teeny bit controversial…check out this piece on Channel 10

Check them out at www.smartclinics.com.au

Yours in innovative health care,
Janet

Brio Group’s running the Bridge to Brisbane!

 

That’s right! The kids at Brio Group are going to attempt to run (yes run) the Bridge to Brisbane next Sunday. It’s going to be tough – my body is really only equipped to exercise in short bursts (lasting no longer than a hornpipe – sometimes not even that long) and as we’re glued to our computers most days, we aren’t the fittest bunch. But we think it’s time we all got out and did some exercise for a good cause.

We’re raising money for the Hear and Say Centre, our charity for the year. Hear and Say is one of the leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centres in the world, teaching children who are deaf or hearing impaired to listen and speak since 1992.

We’ll be sponsoring Rhylee for the next 12 months and following his journey. Rhylee is a 4 year old boy who lives in the south of Brisbane, who needs a cochlear implant in each ear to regain his hearing. On August 10 we were invited to join Rhylee’s family and friends at his ‘Switch On’ ceremony where his cochlear implants were switched on for the very first time. It was an incredibly moving experience to see Rhylee hear again and see the beginning of his sound and speech training.

We’d love it if you joined us on our run or if you spared a few clams here: http://fundraise.bridgetobrisbane.com.au/briogroup

And remember donations make us run faster :)

Yours in fun and fitness,
Janet

Office Etiquette

 

I just took off my scarf and flung it over the back of my chair, ate my muesli bar and left the wrapper on my desk (which I promise I will put in the bin), and took a look at my sticky notes all over my computer to remind me of whats next. As you can see, I have amazing office etiquette! (cough)

I thought I would take a 2 second break and take a look at the Brisbane Times Website just to have timeout from typography, bleeds, and crop marks. I then thanked my lucky stars that I did not work at BHP Billiton.

This mining giant (BHP) has just structured and handed out a new office Etiquette to their employees. This memo states:
– Post-it notes are to be removed from your monitors and keyboards at the end of the day;
– Other than workstation identification and first aid or fire warden signage, nothing is to be placed on workstation dividers, walls or doors at any time;
– Additional clothing must be stored in designated storage areas during the workday and not on chairs or at workstations;
– Food must not be eaten at your work station;
– Food that emits strong odours is not allowed at all;
– Mobile phone ring tones kept at low volume and forwarded to voice mail when out of office; and
– No iPod or MP3 players to be used in the office.

So maybe my office etiquette doesn’t match theirs?

Yours in Office Etiquette,
Tanya.

New social network to rival Facebook, Twitter and Google

I was reading the Brisbane Courier Mail on Friday and came across this story by Alex Dickinson about “the next big” social network, created right here in Brisbane.

Kondoot – a social network based around live streaming video – was quietly launched last month by a small Brisbane team of young technical programmers and already has users from more than 100 countries signed up, with most interest from the US.

It started out as just an idea last year and has taken a little over a year in the making when a few of them got together to see if it was possible. The tight-lipped technical crew has managed to keep it quiet until now.

Mr Hoad, 24, one of the team’s programmers, said Kondoot was a mash-up of the best features of the major social media websites. “Most of them do only their thing – nobody really covers more than that,” he said. “YouTube, for example, is big into video but the social side is not so good. We add that other dimension.”

The team of 10 who work full-time on the site’s business, legal and IT needs is currently working 18-hour days to develop new features.

Users can “friend” others, just like Facebook, but the main point of difference is the wide range of streaming video options.

Kondoot will allow users to broadcast streaming video from home or work live to the world.

“The video calling and text chatting is there and posting to profiles, but we add another dimension,” Kondoot spokesman Nathan Hoad told The Courier-Mail. “It’s mostly about connecting people and video is just one way to do that. “We think we can make a massive splash in the social media scene.”

Will you make the change to Kondoot?

Yours in social media
Angie Rapisarda

‘Anti-endorsement’ – the clever, new marketing tactic

 

It’s no secret that our world is full of product placement and celebrity endorsement. Brands pay big bucks to have their products interwoven into TV shows and movies and throw wads of cash at celebrities to wear their gear at public events.

Usually things go to plan and the celebrity is a great ambassador for the brand, but when trashy celebrities are seen to be endorsing un-authorised products (read: Jersey Shore), the brands can sometimes get a little cranky.

The new trend of ‘anti-endorsement’ might be a better (and much cheaper) strategy and is starting to rise.

Last year a rival fashion house allegedly sent Jersey Shore’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi some Gucci bags—in an effort to make Gucci look bad. Now Abercrombie & Fitch is purportedly pleading with Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino not to wear its clothes. They’re even offering to pay him to back off as they’re worried about ‘significant damage to our image’.

Personally I think this is a genius PR strategy – it costs you next to nothing and gives you maximum impact. But what do you think? Is this a cheap shot?

Yours in PR,
Janet