Tag Archives: PR

Gruen Planet’s first episode airs tonight

 

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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

‘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

Sharing is caring: how social media can transform your business

A majority of brands understand the importance of communicating their message clearly to their audience, however the most successful brands are also very aware that as social media continues to bring people together – creating a global village – it’s increasingly important to engage in clear, open, two-way communication.

With this in mind I’d like to introduce Gary Vaynerchuk, who is a perfect example of how engaging consumers (or simply those who share your passions) can lead to brand success.

In 2006, Gary Vaynerchuk created WineLibrary.com, and as part of that The Thunder Show was born – which is part wine advice, part sport commentary and all exuberant personality and passion. He also began searching for ways to engage with people who shared his passions, but  this was all outside of his role running a million dollar wine business. What set him apart was that instead of simply communicating to his audiences, he engaged with them by answering questions and providing instant information. These people in turn began following his online programs, comments and posts, all without prompting by Gary.

So what did he do differently to gain this organic following? Gary cared. He cared enough to cultivate relationships the old fashioned way – by listening, responding and not plugging his services to get something back. He communicated in a real and meaningful way – not simply dictating information to yield a sales result.

Through sharing his passion, Gary has morphed into a social media guru, dispersing priceless advice on the significance of online engagement and more importantly the power of The Thank You Economy. Now, I could explain what it’s all about, but part of Gary’s brilliance is the passion he exudes when discussing the topic.

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/2UkiM3OaHxw[/briotube]

Viewer advisory: This program contains explicit language

Yours in social media for business,

Sheri

Designing our environments

Nothing screams “rubbish day” like row upon row of bleak grey bin bags piled along the curb. But what if we could take those boring (and let’s face it, depressing) bin liners and create art from waste, at least until the rubbish collection truck finally makes its way to the front gates or sidewalks?

Well the people of Auckland have done just that with their “Beautify Your City” campaign which aims to prevent the illegal dumping of rubbish in city flowerbeds, as well as making the rubbish placed on sidewalks impressively “disappear” before our eyes. The result of this campaign turned ugly sidewalk displays like this:

…into beautifully hedged CBD pathways and gardens like these:

So as we move towards a more environmentally friendly world, where recycling is encouraged more frequently, it’s nice to see even our unrecyclable waste can be beautified and reused, if only for a short time.

The only question I have now is when will they be coming to Australia so I can stop taking out the rubbish (which is a personal hate chore of mine) and start designing my environment?

Yours in urban design,

Sheri

NAB’s social media win: the clever Valentine’s Day tweet

I think I’m in love. No, not because it’s Valentines Day and love is in the air, but because I’ve just seen the whole roll out of the cheeky PR stunt National Australia Bank (NAB) pulled over the weekend as part of its new campaign. A stunt which the bank timed perfectly with Valentines Day, and even had competitor Westpac tweeting in response!

The Twitter stunt very briefly goes like this: @NAB tweets on Friday night – it appears to be that of a “staff member” who had a bad day, and accidentally tweeted their personal message on the NAB profile instead of their own. People commiserate – after all who hasn’t posted something they wish they hadn’t – but the faux pas takes off and is re-tweeted 100+ times, each time growing in momentum and linking people back to the NAB profile. It appears so genuine that even rival bank @Westpac jumps on board and shares in the commiserations – humanising the banking world yet again.

Regardless of how you view the stunt – and there has been wide criticism for its “unprofessional” approach – Friday night’s tweet probably achieved all initial objectives: it humanised the banking world, proving NAB do have a sense of humour; it used social media to generate conversations with potential consumers; and on a more measureable level it increased NAB’s Twitter followers. Combine this with a relatable and memorable tone and perfect, if not unconventional timing and it’s full steam ahead for kickstarting NAB’s cheeky new campaign. (One which could have followed suite of expected and previous bland banking campaigns had they been too afraid to take a risk).

I don’t advocate deceiving the public merely to pull off a campaign, but in the right context and aligned with the perfect mix of media to provide accurate information (and to let the public in on the joke quickly)  social media is opening more and more pathways for re-inventing how businesses can communicate with their consumers, especially if they’re willing to take a chance.

I’m excited to see how the remaining “big 4” roll out their upcoming campaigns, after all, Barbara will probably have something to say about social media not belonging in “Bank World”.

Check out the NAB YouTube or visit the NAB Twitter page to see the bank’s social media for business efforts.

Yours in social media for business,

Sheri

Biggest PR disasters of 2010

As 2010 draws to a close I thought it might be time to remember those who’ve made our time at the hairdressers reading trashy mags just that little bit more exciting. So I started to do a little searching and came across this article on Mumbrella about the top 10 PR disasters of the year. Quite amusing…

The worst media disaster of 2010 was the Qantas A380 emergency, public relations blog PR Disasters has said.

According to the list, compiled by blogger and PR Gerry McCusker, the near-catastrophe and its aftermath was a bigger PR disaster than CommBank’s controversial interest rate hikes, Labor’s bodged mining tax and the Melbourne Storm salary cap rort.

The ten PR disasters:
1. Qantas – A380 fleet consecutive engine issues and passenger delays
2. Commonwealth Bank – premium interest rate hikes
3. Labor Party – corporate backlash against the proposed ‘super tax’
4. Melbourne Storm – salary cap scandal
5. Stephanie Rice – homophobic comments posted via Twitter
6. Canberra Raiders – Joel Monaghan ‘dog sex’ photo
7. Virgin Blue – reservations and check-in system crash
8. Matthew Newton – after alleged assault of then partner Rachel Taylor in Italy
9. David Leees – CEO sexual assault scandal
10. Lara Bingle – media relations following split with Michael Clark

McCusker worked with online and social media monitoring agency Cyber Chatter to analyse the blunders.

McCusker said: “We’re seeing that social media is increasing influence in determining the impact and duration of PR disasters. As citizen media clearly aids commentary and sharing of bad news stories. It’s essential to have strategies to cope with online sniping and gossip.”

Source: Mumbrella

What do you think was the biggest PR disaster this year?

Yours in Schadenfreude,
Janet

5 helpful press release writing tips

A poorly written press release can be what stands between getting press and not getting press. It’s important to communicate your news angle clearly and draft your press release professionally – both in content and format.

1. Write like a Journalist
Your lead sentence should aim to get across your story angle, start answering the “who, what, when, why and how” and be squeezed into one sentence of about 28 words. If your press release is written in a style and language that’s natural to a journalist, you’ll have better chance of your content getting reproduced (sometimes verbatim!).

2. Develop a Newsworthy Angle
Sometimes businesses think their press release is newsworthy; but in fact, depending on which media you’re targeting, it may not be newsworthy at all. A health-related story will have better chance of getting a run in a health industry title, than say a local paper. But, tailor your press release with a localised angle and you’ll have a better shot at grabbing the attention of the local news journalist. Refer to some news angle basics: timeliness, proximity, and human interest.

3. Craft each Release per Media Outlet or Journalist
Research the specific journalist who covers the round your news item best fits, i.e. community news, health and beauty, business or entertainment. This information is often found in the credit box of the title, or located on the media outlet’s website – alternatively, just make a quick phone call. This is important to ensure your press release gets under the news-hungry nose of the right journalist.

4. Format the Press Release Professionally
Content wise, remember to keep your press release simple and newsworthy. Include a striking headline, a dateline, and contact details. Should your topic require additional background information, facts, statistics or a biography, include this in a paragraph labelled “Background Information” at the end of the press release. Stylistically, keep the press release between one to two pages. Include “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” at the top left hand corner. And finally, a press release that contains images (emailed or provided on disc) is advantageous.

5. Elect a Media Liaison Contact
If you’re looking after your own business’s PR, and do not have a professional PR Practitioner, you’ll need to elect a contact person who is skilled at answering media requests. These requests may be anything from lining up an interview, issuing photographs, to providing additional information. Ensure your elected contact is briefed on the basics of what is public and non-public company knowledge.

If you found these tips helpful, and would like to uncover ways to generate brand awareness through PR or marketing activities, Brio Group can help.

Yours in PR,
Julia

Oprah to host her Farewell Season show at Sydney Opera House

[briotube]http://www.youtube.com/v/yJrQIsqvoCM[/briotube]

Who would have thought the invaluable exposure Australia received on The Oprah Winfrey Show during the Tourism Queensland “Best Job in the World” could be topped? Just this morning, it’s been announced that Oprah will host part of the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Australia! It’s a major, major PR win for Tourism Australia, giving our great land the sort of magical exposure that money simply cannot buy.

The big news was announced by Oprah to her fans, who collectively flew into a frenzy of excitement when she invited them to come along. Oprah told the audience: “This is my last chance to do something really big. Maybe I should take all of you with me to the other side of the world. We’re going to Australia!” As the audience erupted in excitement, the nose of a Qantas jet edged onto the set before John Travolta stepped out of the jet to greet the ecstatic audience. More details of her Farewell Season show can be found here.

Oprah and her audience are believed to visit Australia for about ten days in December where they will explore our country before filming the show at the Sydney Opera House (expected to be dubbed, ‘The Oprah House’!). The show will be part of the 25th and final season.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today announced that Oprah will visit Cairns during her visit, and told the Cairns Post “it was a phenomenal opportunity” for the tourism industry after the Global Financial Crisis. It’s believed a holiday package based on Oprah’s Queensland trip will be developed and marketed to tourists.

This incredible PR opportunity follows the remarkable  2009 “Best Job in the World” global campaign that searched for an Island Caretaker to set up camp in a beautiful Whitsunday Island’s pad and report back to the world of their experiences. News stations world-wide picked up on the story and the campaign catapulted to massive heights, even landing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah interviewed the UK winner Ben Southall.

The marketing influence of Oprah is enormous. 2011 looks to be a very interesting, and hopefully very lucrative, year for Tourism Australia. We will be keeping an eye on this story!

Yours in PR-wins,

Julia