Bank PR may haunt Labor

Prime Minister Ben Chifley was responsible for the worst media release in Australian history.

In 1947 Australia’s banks launched a PR campaign against Prime Minister Ben Chifley.

This article first appeared in the Canberra Times, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

You can almost hear the ghost of Prime Minister Ben Chifley applauding Bill Shorten’s calls for a Royal Commission into Australian banking.

Yet while Chifley might approve Shorten’s efforts he would probably think they do not go far enough. In 1947 Chifley, the train driver turned politician, led a Labor Government that legislated to nationalise Australia’s banks. In doing he triggered one of the largest public relations campaigns in Australian history, one that finally led to the defeat of his Government.
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Hold the flowers – newspapers ain’t dead yet

Two newspapers literally worlds apart are growing readership and developing new business models. And that’s good news for communicators.

Courtesy of Statistica

Courtesy of Statista

In recent times many people have questioned how newspapers can survive in the digital age. With so much online information how can a traditional newspaper break even let alone turn a profit?

Yet some mastheads are doing just fine and redefining what it means to be a newspaper.

Which is good news for content marketers and PR people because the oldest of the traditional media is reaching more people than ever before and telling stories in new and different ways.
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Be a PR leader by asking these 3 questions

(Courtesy: Tech n' Marketing)

(Courtesy: Tech n’ Marketing)

As PR professionals we attend numerous meetings each month.  Probably too many for our liking. They can range from plotting a campaign to discussing tactics with your team, a client or colleagues.

You can establish yourself as a PR leader at these gatherings by posing three simple questions and in the process save at lot of time and trouble:

  • What are the media and social media implications of our issue?
  • Where are the stories?
  • Who’s got the images?

Media implications

At any meeting touching on PR ask those attending two simple questions. ‘How will the media react to our issue’ and ‘can the media tie this topic to something else?’

These inquiries get people thinking about the media implications of the topic on the table, and how to best present it to journalists and through social media channels.
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The man who invented content marketing – in 1917

Today content marketing is all the buzz but its origins go back to 1917 and a newspaper man named George Creel.George_Creel_view1

America dons khaki

When the the Unites States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the Allied Powers had been fighting since 1914.  America mobilised over 4 000 000 military personnel and the infusion of American manpower and materiel into Europe changed the course of the war.

Close on 2 000 000 Americans served in France and by November 1918 nearly 10 000 soldiers or doughboys were arriving in France every day. By the end of the War America had suffered 110 000 deaths – almost twice as many as the number of Australians who died in that brutal conflict.
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Who’s telling your story?

Australians expect Ministers and CEOs to shoot for the positives and downplay the negatives when presenting an issue. But do we trust authority figures and could ordinary people do a better job?

Jules and Amber

Real people can be the best spokespersons. Norma, Adrian, Amber and Jules spoke during the Cocos campaign.

Who’s your spokesperson?

Default setting

Most organisations choose a default setting when it comes to presenting an issue to the public. They choose the most powerful individual in their agency or company, then he or she steps forward to speak on everything for everyone.  It’s fine if they succeed but if they don’t then everyone in the organisation tumbles over the metaphorical cliff.
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When to use social media?


I have been attending the Conference of the International Association of Volunteer Effort (#IAVE2014).  With 1000 delegates from 40 countries it has been a fascinating gathering.

Communications and marketing have been high on the list of topics, and I went along to a great session on online and new media.  Emma Trapski of Volunteering Gold Coast (VGC) shared thoughts on how social media can work for not for profits.  I was particularly impressed with how she sequences VGC’s social media accounts.

Would this work for you?

(Thanks to Connor McGoverne for compiling this table.)

Platform Frequency Predominant Users
Facebook 2-3 times a day 18-29 year old females, 45+ growing fastest
Twitter 14+ times a day Urban residents aged 18-29
Youtube 1-2 times a month  Everyone
Linked-in 2-3 times a week 35-54 year old males
Pinterest Once a week 35-44 year old females
Google+ Once a day 18-24 year old males
Instagram Once a day 18-35 year olds

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Content marketing clock ticks for government

Todd Wheatland is pioneering content marketing in Australia

Todd Wheatland is pioneering content marketing in Australia

This week Todd Wheatland spoke to Canberra communicators about governments and  content marketing. With extensive international experience Todd is pioneering content marketing in Australia.

Todd has an understated, relaxed style and his presentation unfolded logically, and with lots of case studies.  You could see many government PRs and marketers in the audience, nodding in agreement, as he smoothly built his case.
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Do media want my picture?


Provide media with newsworthy images

Recently the Central Connecticut Valley Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America hosted a luncheon with top media executives who shared ideas on the shifting role of imagery in media.

For starters they all agreed social media has drastically altered how journalists operate. Outlets are under continual pressure to get out the news first and fast. Which means accuracy of information often suffers. We know Twitter can break news at lightning speed but spare a thought for the editors and producers who need to monitor and react to tweets and simultaneously check their accuracy in a breaking news story.

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