Hughes PR, Marketing, Public relations, Social media

Take outs from Marketing Week 2014

Marketing Week was held in Adelaide this week – a week-long conference dedicated to marketing, advertising, public relations and social media. It was fantastic to hear from local and national speakers on a wide range of topics. Hughes PR is a sponsor of Marketing Week and we always enjoy our association with the event.

Here’s a few thoughts and take outs that our team had from sessions they attended:

Tim Hughes

  • When discussing the ‘Challenges of Issues Management in a 24 Hour News Cycle’, it reinforced to me that when you’re in the middle of managing an issue or crisis, social media is both a blessing and a curse. It allows you to communicate quickly and easily with a very broad audience – but it also requires close scrutiny and management to make sure speculation doesn’t outpace the facts.

Maddie Angel

  • I really enjoyed the session featuring Andre Eikmeir from Vinomofo. He talked about his experience starting a business, and I loved his point: know what the business stands for before taking it to market then go for it.

Alli Evans

  • Dr Phil Harris hosted a session on ‘Neuro Marketing’. He discussed how marketers are able to subconsciously sell to consumers through the use of music, colour and design; explaining the music that we listen to in-store can directly affect our purchasing attitude – fascinating!
  • An interesting analogy from the ‘Brand Journalism’ session regarding current content being produced in news media caught my attention: “News is becoming like a child wanting chocolate for dinner, just because the child wants chocolate doesn’t mean we should necessarily give it to them. Of course they want it, but is it what they need”.
  • A great point in the ‘Big ideas’ session; organisations need to encourage creative thinking, and never put down someone’s idea even if it doesn’t work – at least they were thinking of ideas. And ideas, right or wrong, create opportunities.

Natalie Ciccocioppo

  • I enjoyed Jeff Bullas’ insights in to building his profile and blog to where it is today – achieving over 4 million page views per year from 190 countries worldwide. We hear a lot about ‘content being king’ but one of my key take-outs from Jeff’s session was the importance of not only having good content but marketing it in the right way – ‘build it and they will come’ doesn’t apply here.
  • I was inspired by the ‘Bringing Big, Brave, Game Changing Ideas to Life’ session and the questions that the panel members suggested considering when developing an idea: Why is this idea useful, what does it stand for, how will people engage with it, and what role will it bring to their lives? As a side, the energy of the panel and the way they bounced off each other was great.

Mark Williams

  • Darren Whitelaw from Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet pointed out the exponential growth in social media apps. In 2011 the US Patent Office recorded about 250 apps. In 2014 that figure has reached 4,383 social media apps.

Kate Potter

  • It was interesting to hear Jeff Bullas citing Coca-Cola’s content marketing approach, which was the 70/20/10 content plan: 70% of the content they create is “low-risk”, 20% of content “innovates off of what works” and the final 10% is “high risk” content.
  • Steve Brennen from eBay provided great insight into the future of e-commerce, in particular noting the rise in mobile. While here at Hughes PR we’ve all been taking note of mobile trends, it is fascinating to see how people’s use of mobile is impacting e-commerce marketing.
  • At the Marketing Week Community Manager Challenge, the panel of social media community managers were asked how they safeguard against risk. Julie Delaforce’s advice of considering all risks by categorising them as brand risks, user risks and legal risks was a great suggestion for community managers.

Kieran Hall

  • The ‘Brand Journalism and Native Advertising – the new PR?’ event provided some interesting insights from a panel of media experts about the future of paid content. While it’s opening up new revenue streams for media companies, brand journalism looms as a major challenge for editors who need to appropriately distinguish standard editorial from “commercial” content in terms of what stories are pursued, how they’re reported, and what prominence they’re given.


Digital Media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social media, Twitter

Can I use this image? You may be breaking the law!


“Can I use this image?” I have heard this question more times in the last few months than ever before – people are now starting to realise that there are copyright laws attributed to content (including images) on their social media platforms.

By sharing images on social media platforms, you may be breaking Australian copyright law.

The golden rule is simple – If you didn’t create the image, and you’re not aware of the copyright license the creator of the image attributed to their work – don’t use it and don’t share it.

Copyright law is complicated. Plus, copyright laws vary from country to country. It’s no wonder that many people using social media are unaware of their responsibilities regarding copyright.

If you’re a social media community manager and you want to use images, you need to own the image that you are using – or make sure you completely understand the license conditions of the image. Taking an image from Google won’t always be acceptable under copyright law – even if you credit it – because you need to know the copyright license conditions of the image.

So, what can you use? When advising clients, I inform them of the following options:

  • Use an image that you have taken yourself, or that someone you know has taken, who has provided you with their permission to use the image;
  • Use an image that your company has paid for (eg commissioning a photographer), ensuring that the photographer has granted rights for your company to use the images on social media;
  • Pay for a stock image (from a website such as;
  • Use an image that is free for you to use under a creative commons license (from a website such as – check out the different licenses available);
  • OR use an image that is deemed “no copyright” and the creator of the image has specifically said that they waive their rights to the work (such as the images on or

Google Image Search now also offers advanced tools to help you identify which images are free to use or share – click here for more details.

Remember, if you have specific questions about copyright you should seek the advice of an expert. A good place to start is or speak to a copyright lawyer. And as always, copyright law is subject to change. So the next time you ask “can I use this image?” remember the golden rule – If you didn’t create the image, and you’re not aware of the copyright license the creator of the image attributed to their work – don’t use it and don’t share it.


Hughes PR

PR and Marketing – it’s the framework that matters

Jamie Hershman writes…

At a recent networking event that Hughes PR held for Communications students from UniSA, I was questioned a number of times about the differences between public relations and marketing. This started me thinking, how can we minimise these perceived differences, and how can we ensure that PR and marketing tactics are strategically bound?

There are dozens of definitions of and opinions on the differences between PR and marketing.

Burson-Marsteller co-founder Harold Burson – who was once described by PRWeek as “the century’s most influential PR figure” – says “public relations is an applied social science that influences behaviour and policy.  When communicated effectively, it motivates an individual or group to a specific course of action by creating, changing or reinforcing opinions and attitudes”.

In contrast, US marketing guru Dr Philip Kotler says “marketing is the science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit”.

With the growth of corporate digital and social media communications, coupled with more commercially astute advertising agencies and PR consultancies, the line between PR and marketing has never been more blurred. Both are now jostling to provide clients with such activities as stakeholder analysis, social media management, video production, event management and e-newsletter and brochure content.

However, the truth is it doesn’t matter how you classify these and many other tactics. What is required is an over-arching framework to manage all forms of communication in an integrated manner – whether it is an earned media article, a post on Facebook, a paid broadcast message or a reply to an email.

Each communication activity should be driven by correlated principles and applied in subtly different ways in order to assist the client reach its goals – be it financial, technological or reputational.

Here at Hughes PR, we use a ‘Communications Calendar’ for each of our clients to ensure that each proposed client activity meets their communications objectives and utilises key messages to effectively and appropriately communicate with their target audience over an ongoing period.

What sort of framework does your organisation use to ensure PR and marketing activities remain strategically aligned?

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

Digital Media, Hughes PR, Video, YouTube

Music content in videos: Royalty free Vs. copyright

Watch this short video describing the advantages of using royalty free music content for your videos.


Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

Crisis management, Marketing, Public relations

Don’t wine about decline, invest in your brand


Photo by Mike DelGaudio.

Photo by Mike DelGaudio.

Tim Hughes writes…

I read with interest today of the decision by the new CEO of Treasury Wine Estates, Michael Clark, to increase the company’s marketing spend by 50 per cent in the midst of a $35 million cost cutting program.

In my view, it’s a bold decision with benefits.

Too often, when times get tough, businesses pull in their belt and put their head in the sand.

Seldom do they look up and out and re-invest in building their brand with a view to stimulating market demand and driving their business from the front foot.

Mr Clark’s reasoning makes good sense.

“TWE’s brands have suffered from a lack of consumer-facing marketing investment and we will address this in fiscal 2015 by increasing consumer marketing spend in fiscal 2015 by circa 50 per cent relative to the prior year.

“It is imperative that our marketing and sales capabilities are more in line with the company’s ability to make outstanding wines across all categories.

“Despite the continuation of challenging trading conditions in the second half of the year, I am determined to act upon opportunities to drive sustainable top-line momentum and margin expansion while at the same time, improving TWE’s brand equity and connections with consumers, retailers and distributors.”

In short:

“We cut too hard with our marketing in the tough times.

“We know we make a great product – but now not enough consumers do.

“Our brand is valuable and powerful so we’re going to invest in it – and that will drive our business.”

This strategy makes even more sense when competitors are going the other way. It gives a greater share of voice and – particularly with the volume of media consumed by such a large organisation – it should add significantly to buying power.

Using its increased marketing spend to build connections with retailers and distributors is also a smart move for TWE. Involving its “market gatekeepers” demonstrates TWE is putting its money where its mouth is – and will create shared ownership in the success of its brands.

At Hughes Public Relations, we are fortunate to work with organisations who also view adversity as opportunity and who have the resources and intelligence to invest strategically in brand building when others are not.

The result, a head start when markets pick up – and a greater buffer between them and their competitors when the cycle turns down.

Counter cyclical investment – particularly in marketing – can mean the difference between make or break!

Read the original article, Penfolds owner swings the axe, in InDaily here.

Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital media and social media strategy and implementation, community consultation, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.

Hughes PR

I’m a cancer survivor

By Lyndal Redman

I’m a cancer survivor! It’s a phrase that I have always shied away from using. I didn’t have to endure chemotherapy or lose my hair – but I have had the “Big C”, and no please don’t look at me like that! (That was always the hardest part – watching someone’s face drop and seeing that look in their eyes).

January 2004 – a Monday morning. I’d had a total thyroidectomy on the Friday prior and I was still waiting for the pathology reports. I lay in my hospital room waiting for the results. Just months earlier after finding what could be described as quite a lump in my throat (it was like an Adam’s apple which on a female is a little odd!) I’d headed to the doctors. I didn’t think at first that much was wrong. Sure, I used to go home and sleep straight after work, and I had put on weight but I put that down to eating too much KFC! Anyway, after two biopsies I was still referred to as “inconclusive”. It was my choice to go under the knife and wear the scar for the rest of my life.

Waiting was the hardest part. As Dr Isabel entered the room that Monday morning I knew that the results had shown it was cancer. Calmly, I took those words in and listened to what treatment was next. I’d have to spend a night or two in the RAH in isolation – after a high dose of radioactive iodine which is how they kill any remaining cells in your body.

I suppose I could say I was lucky knowing that my sister had gone through this at the age of nine, twenty years earlier, and she was fine. Six months after my treatment, my mum had her thyroid removed due to cancer, too. Half of my family can now claim to be cancer survivors! Now ten years on, I’ve seen friends battle the disease, lose their hair and come out the other side to realise their dreams. But, we are the lucky ones. There are many who succumb to cancer, and I’ve experienced the grief of losing them as well.

That’s why when Angie and Henri from Many Faces of Cancer approached me and Hughes PR to help support this year’s charity dinner I couldn’t say no. I saw this event as a great way to remember those who didn’t survive and to help those who will one day be sitting in that hospital room waiting for their diagnosis.

If you want to show your support to this great charity, please donate or buy a ticket for this year’s charity dinner on June 14.

For more information view the video on the Many Face of Cancer website.

Digital Media, Hughes PR, Media, Social media

I Wrote This Blog Post To Communicate A Message. But What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind.

If you’re active on social media, the headline of this article will no doubt sound familiar to you. Sites like Upworthy and Distractify have turned “click bait” into an art form with their overly dramatic and enticing headlines.

There are actually two articles on Distractify’s front page today, above the fold, that promise my “mind will be blown” by their contents.

As editor of, Rob Manuel, put it on Twitter: “Despite so many promises I can’t think of one instance an article on the internet has blown my mind.”

These sites use their headlines to demand an emotional response from their readers – be it inspirational, educational, funny or shocking.

(As an aside, it annoys me no end that these sites write their headlines with a capital letter at the start of each word. Drives. Me. Crazy.)

However, while some see these styles of headlines annoying, there’s no denying that they work. Their impact is seen all over Twitter and Facebook as people are attracted by the headline and then share the content on their newsfeeds.

I read a Facebook comment this morning from a user who received 10 times the traffic on their blog post when they changed their headline to be in the new provocative style (here’s the original post, and then the re-post).

Australian-based Mamamia has perfected the art of click bait – with headlines ensuring never to give away the story. You HAVE to click to find out what the headline is leading to. I must admit I enjoy the Twitter account Mamamia Spoilers (inspired by HuffPoSpoilers), who claim they are “Giving in to the Mamamia click bait so you don’t have to”.

What does this mean for traditional news sites? They too are moving to change the way they present their content to ensure the headline is as alluring as possible. While not quite going all the way to the “blow your mind” type headline, AdelaideNow’s “Thirty ways you know you’re a South Australian” is heading in that direction. Not only that, but they have search engine optimisation to consider too: saying “[Celebrity] dies: found dead” covers off people searching Google for both “[Celebrity] dies” and “[Celebrity] dead”.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the evolution of the headline – I think it’s a fascinating example of the way media is changing for the online environment. And meanwhile, it looks like I’ll continue to be sucked in. When looking at Upworthy and Distractify to write this blog post, I struggled to not click on multiple headlines as I scrolled down the page. See you after I’ve been tempted by “The 60 Most Powerful Photos Ever Taken That Perfectly Capture The Human Experience”…

What about you? Do you get enticed by these types of headlines? Do you think they work? Or do you resist them?