Hughes PR, Marketing, Public relations, Social media

Loud and clear: fundraising campaigns that work

Natalie Ciccocioppo writes…

From Oprah to Mark Zuckerberg, Jamie Oliver to David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow to Mark Wahlberg, then extending to your neighbours, workmates and friends, about a month ago, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was literally everywhere.

Mainstream media and social media was awash (see what I did there) with people taking on the challenge – to dump a bucket of icy cold water over their heads and nominate their friends to do the same – raising awareness for a debilitating illness that had previously not garnered a lot of publicity or widespread public thought.

As a direct result of the Ice Bucket Challenge, more than $100 million has been raised for ALS or as we know it here in Australia, Motor Neurone Disease.

There’s little doubt the Ice Bucket Challenge has been an incredibly successful campaign. This article in The Age outlines some of the reasons why the Ice Bucket Challenge cut through and went viral.

Health and cause-related fundraising isn’t new. For many years, various charities have been encouraging the community to take on a range of activities to support their fundraising efforts.

I remember taking part in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine – a popular fundraising initiative when I was in school. Going without food for 40 hours seemed like a real struggle at the time, but served as an important reminder to my 13-year-old self about children of the same age around the world living in poverty and dying as a result of malnutrition and hunger-related illnesses.

In those days, fundraising efforts involved pestering encouraging teachers, classmates, friends and family to sponsor you, and then running around and collecting money in an envelope, which you’d then exchange for a money voucher or cheque, and send off in the post to the designated charity.

Digital and social media has added a new dimension to the rise of cause-related marketing. A successful viral campaign like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge wouldn’t have been able to reach the sheer volume of users that it did prior to social media.

The advent of digital communications means that we can share updates with our Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter and Instagram followers, and invite them to pledge their support as we take on fundraising activities, and they can directly donate using their credit card online within seconds.

Movember, which raises funds and awareness of men’s health, is another example of cause-related fundraising done well. I lose count of the ‘mo’ updates I see on my Facebook News Feed every November! And it’s not always about asking for money – participants, or as Movember Australia calls them ‘Mo Bros’, are regularly posting photos of their moustache styling, opening themselves up for admiration (or sometimes ridicule) from their friends.

A simple fundraising idea, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge or Movember, that invites people to take action for a cause, can result in a globally successful campaign.

The calendar year is full of fundraising initiatives. In October alone, there’s Girls Night In, Walktober, Frocktober, Octsober, Adelaide Stair Climb, and Buy Nothing New Month, which all invite people to ‘do something’ for a cause.

To cut through the noise, cause marketing ideas need to:

  • Ask participants to challenge themselves or do something fun and visual, to provide a story that they can share with their friends;
  • Relate back to the cause;
  • Have a strong social media engagement element;
  • Share compelling stories of those they support to encourage others to support the cause.

Here at Hughes PR, we are committed to supporting the community. We have several not-for-profit clients that we provide our professional services to on a discounted or ‘no fee’ basis.

We also take part in fundraising events where we can. Over the past few years, our team has helped out at McDonald’s restaurants for McHappy Day, taken part in the JDRF Spin for a Cure, Hutt Street Centre Walk a Mile in My Boots, Jeans for Genes Day, Vinnies CEO Sleepout, OCRF White Shirt Day and worn red to work for Red Nose Day.

Today we are taking part in Loud Shirt Day – proudly wearing our loudest clothing to work to raise funds for First Voice to help give the gift of sound and speech to deaf children.

Who do you think is wearing the best loud shirt? What fundraising initiatives do you take part in?

loud shirt day 2

Standard
Hughes PR

Igniting the “spark” with corporate team building activities

Maddie Angel writes…city scramble

Even though the Hughes PR office culture ensures that we have a lot of fun while working hard for our clients, sometimes it’s important for us to get out of the office into a new environment, and get stuck into something completely different.

We have a small team here at Hughes PR – a dozen of us work day to day in our offices in Rundle Street. Therefore a unified team of employees is very important to the success of our business. This quote from Inc. Magazine sums up why small businesses find high-performing teams critical: “people must work closely together, wear many hats and work effectively across the organisation to get tasks accomplished quickly enough to remain competitive.”

Because teamwork is so critical to our business’ success, team building activities are a great way to “spark” and grow our team: they allow us to get to know each other outside of the “daily grind” and work on unique challenges – often exposing each other’s strengths and weaknesses!

Way back in 2010 we made our way down to Port Adelaide to the studio of artist Mark Lobert. After a Pink Hummer ride to Port Adelaide we arrived at the gallery – where we intended to release our inner Monet and van Gogh! After Mark introduced himself and showed us some of his beautiful paintings we were asked to create a collaborative painting: start with one colour, pass the canvas onto the person next to us for them to then add to it, and repeat three times before putting it down to dry.

Mark then separated the group into two and placed large canvases on the work benches. We were then to put our creative minds together and paint something spectacular that we could bring back to the office. One team painted an abstract piece with colours of red, orange, yellow, pink and white, while the other team painted Rundle Street with a beautiful red sky, the buildings which line the street and the car lights.

The next task for the day was to create our own canvas. There were a few blank looks but once the paint was down there was no stopping us. I have to admit that I am not the most creative type and my painting resembles something that a two year old would be pleased with – but it was fun, and that’s the main thing!

With all the painting done for the day it was time to head back to Rundle Street – but not before Tim got distracted and purchased a beautiful red sculpture for our office space.

The ride back to the city was certainly louder than on the way there, we had found the Hummer’s karaoke machine and were all belting out our favourite songs! This Fun Friday was one we all remember and is certainly a talking point with all our paintings now hanging proudly in the office.

In 2013 we all piled into a stretch limo and made our way up to Stirling to spend the day at Sticky Rice Cooking School. What better way to get to know each other than by preparing a meal together? As we sliced, diced and chopped, we got to share our “kitchen personalities” – some of us were more comfortable with it than others! Of course, the best part was sharing a delicious meal together at the end of it. I would highly recommend this team building activity – it was great fun.

This year we worked with City Scramble to put together a team building exercise with a difference – a scavenger hunt throughout the city. It was interesting to see how nervous everyone was at first about the challenges that were put to us, but it took all of about 30 seconds for us to shake that off and for the competitive edge to kick in!

What was interesting about the City Scramble was the way in which it well and truly bought us out of our comfort zones – but with a great result. Many of the challenges required cooperation from the general public. Kieran and Mark commented after the event that they were surprised at how easy it was to ask people for assistance once they were armed with the confidence and purpose of the competition.

City Scramble also showed us the importance of strategy, prioritisation of tasks, and required a lot of problem solving.

The Scramble was then followed by a delicious lunch. It is such a great way to get to know each other away from the office and have plenty of laughs that always last well after the usual knock off time.

We’re always looking for great ideas for our next team building day. Let us know in the comments – have you ever participated in a team building day? Any recommendations for us for next time?

Hughes Public Relations, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a communications and PR 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.

 

 

 

Standard
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.

home-header

Hughes Public Relations, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a communications and PR 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.

Standard
Digital Media, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social media, Twitter

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

tumblr_n3tsqf8jzD1st5lhmo1_1280

“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 http://www.istockphoto.com/);
  • Use an image that is free for you to use under a creative commons license (from a website such as https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ – 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  http://unsplash.com/ or http://www.freeimages.com).

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 http://www.copyright.com.au/ 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 Public Relations, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a communications and PR 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.

Standard
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 Public Relations, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a communications and PR 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.

Standard
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 Public Relations, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a communications and PR 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.

Standard
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 Public Relations, based in Adelaide, South Australia, is a communications and PR 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.

Standard