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    Corporate Affairs Roundtable Lunch – Managing Your Brand

    December 18, 2014 by  
    Filed under News

    L-R Susan Redden Makatoa, Kieran Moore, The Hon. Patricia Forsythe and Peter Taylor

    Ogilvy Public Relations again partnered with the Sydney Business Chamber to hear from Carnival’s Vice President of Corporate & Government Affairs, Peter Taylor, as he shared the journey from brand protection to brand promotion as part of the much discussed Corporate Affairs round table series.

    More than 40 selected Corporate Affairs leaders and CEO’s joined the lunch, in a week where Sydney was suffering incredible heartache. Peter spoke about his role, the increased demand and repeat customers of the cruise industry, as well as creating a brand where customers and staff ‘feel the love’.

    Peter was entertaining, informative, and hit a great balance of personal insight and corporate know-how. He could use real life examples to show how Carnival had benefited from proper brand engagement, and a drive for customer satisfaction.

    Ogilvy Public Relations have been long time supporters of the Sydney Business Chamber, and welcome the opportunity to provide the business community with similarly engaging speakers to open the conversation and bring greater focus on the Corporate Affairs function.

    The Parker & Partners’ guide to MYEFO 2014

    December 16, 2014 by  
    Filed under News

    It’s hard to argue with the numbers in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released by Treasurer Joe Hockey and Minister for Finance Mathius Cormann yesterday afternoon.

    • A deficit of $40.4 billion in 2014-15, over $10 billion more than the $29.8 billion deficit forecast just seven months ago in the Budget.
    • The first surplus not expected until 2019-20.
    • Unemployment to stay at 6.5% for some time, only dropping to 5.75% in 2017-18.
    • Economic growth of 2.5 per cent in 2014-15 and then increase to near trend in 2015-16.
    • Huge falls in commodity prices, which have led to the biggest drop in the terms of trade since records began in 1959, leading to company tax estimates dropping by $2.3 billion in 2014-15 and a further $14.4 billion over the forward estimates.
    • Weaker wage and employment growth will hit income tax receipts by $2.3 billion in 2014-15 and $8.6 billion over the next four years.
    • Delays in the Senate passing Budget measures will cost the budget $10.6 billion over four years.

    All up they’re pretty depressing figures – depressing for the economy and, it must be said, for the Government’s chances of being around for a second term, let alone the third term which would enable it to usher in the first projected surplus in 2019-20.

    After hanging their electoral appeal on the supposed economic mismanagement of the two previous Labor Governments, the rapid economic deterioration is likely to be worn by the current government. There is no doubt the Treasurer can legitimately point to the unexpected erosion in iron ore prices and other global measures as reasons behind the poor performance but the government’s call for understanding is diminished by the memory of their strident rejection of similar calls by former Treasurer Wayne Swan.

    The high unemployment rate – when it hit 6% in February it was the first time since 2003 that it had a number with a 6 in front of it – will prove another hurdle for the Government, especially as it is forecast to continue to remain stubbornly high up to and including the expected time of the next election.

    Unemployment causes economic, social and political problems – especially amongst the lower socio-economic groups which are normally disproportionately disadvantaged. It is this group – tagged John Howard’s battlers – which has been responsible for much of the Coalition’s success in recent elections.

    As the MYEFO showed, the Treasurer’s problems have been exacerbated by the continued rejection of elements of the May Budget – by both the Senate and the voting public.

    The highly unpredictable Senate is a political problem but one gets the feeling that the government has still to come to terms with the reasons behind the electorate’s rejection. History shows that voters will accept harsh Budgets if the measures are explain and the pain is shared. Voters judged this Budget to be unfair.

    Key measures

    Savings are the order of the day with foreign aid and the public service once again feeling the brunt of the Government’s commitment to return the budget to surplus. Although, the Government resisted the urge to sneakily include measures under the cover of Christmas ignorance as some have done in recent years. The key measures include:

    • $3.7 billion in savings over four years through cuts to the foreign aid budget;
    • $500 in savings over four years through the axing or consolidation of 175 government agencies; and
    • $373 million in savings over four years by increasing the application charge for visas within the Permanent Family Migration stream.

    The Government has used MYEFO to signal a shakeup to child care and paid parental leave in 2015. This comes as forecasts to social security payments such as the child care rebate and payment blow out by $2.4 billion over the next four years.

    Where to now for the Federal Government…149 sleeps from the Budget

    The Government has commenced the journey ahead for the next Federal Budget with meetings of the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) – chaired by the Prime Minster – well underway to identify spending priorities and importantly key savings on offer across portfolios.

    The Government seemed to change its tone today on spending, with the Minister for Finance suggesting that the Government won’t chase “chase down” losses to revenue through cuts to spending.

    The Government appears to believe it’s getting its spending back under control. Savings remain the order of the day though and are crucial to Ministers successfully getting any new expenditure through the ERC and Cabinet. With an increasingly bare cupboard of policy cuts that won’t hurt members of the community, the Government’s ears will be open to any savings measures on offer.

    In the meantime, the Government will return to the table to negotiate the remaining 25% of budget measures, including significant structural saves, from the 2014-15 budget. Failure to do so will make the job ahead of it even harder.

    Personal narrative creates change

    December 3, 2014 by  
    Filed under Blog

    Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner and named as Westpac’s 2014 Woman of Influence, shared her belief in the power of sharing personal stories to effect change at Executive Women’s Australia’s lunch event late last month.

    On the same day, two reports from the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce were tabled in Parliament, discussing historical abuses.  As Commissioner Broderick reflected on the news of the day she shared some of her approach to the work she is doing in investigating the current situation and ensuing change in our armed forces – and the power of stories in moving the issue from the head to the heart. She said she could see the penny drop when she brought women who had endured abuse face-to-face with the leaders of our armed forces.

    Commissioner Broderick spoke compellingly about enlisting men in positions of power to stand alongside women in order to commit to action as equals for the greater good.

    “Gender equality is not a zero sum game. It is an issue of balance with good, fabulous, decent men working with us and standing beside us.”

    She called upon both men and women to commit to activism by sharing information on domestic violence at the beginning of any talk they give, wherever they were and regardless of the topic they were there to discuss.  She spoke of the importance of acknowledging White Ribbon Day and of the urgent need to take on an issue impacting more women across the world than malnutrition. She also spoke of the 1.2 million Australian women currently living in an intimate relationship characterised by violence.

    Commissioner Broderick’s message was deceptively simple.  Small actions can have a powerful impact.  Sharing a story can change hearts, minds, and consequently, our culture for real improvement.

    Commissioner Broderick’s speech was an inspiring reinforcement to me of the power of storytelling, which is one of Ogilvy PR’s underlying tenets.  We can all play our part for social change.

    Georgina Morris, Account Director Ogilvy PR Health

    Victorian Election Wash Up

    December 1, 2014 by  
    Filed under Blog

    Yesterday’s Victorian election result was nearly 60 years in the making. For the first time since 1955, Victorians have removed a first term government with Daniel “Dan” Andrews and his Australian Labor Party (ALP) taking the helm of the nation’s second largest state economy.

    A highly disciplined and targeted campaign with an ability to motivate grassroots supporters delivered a 3% swing to the ALP who appear to have secured a likely 48 seats to the Coalition’s 39 seats. The election of Green’s candidate, Ellen Sandell, in the seat of Melbourne has made history for the party (their first seat within the Victorian Parliament) and a second seat remains within reach.

    While the result was considered a foregone conclusion for many; it’s the voting in the upper house that has put a smile on many political pundits’ faces. A wide range of minor parties including the Shooters, Fishers, Country Alliance and Greens are likely to hold the balance of power after the ALP fell short of a majority. This will add an additional level of complexity for the ALP to navigate in legislating its agenda.

    First priorities for the Premier-Elect

    Following the heady celebrations of last night, Premier-elect Andrews has woken up to reality and the sobering thought that it appears easier to win an election than to effectively govern in the current economic climate. Victoria owns the highest unemployment rate on the mainland and faces a tapering economy with thousands of jobs to go in the manufacturing industry alone. A growing population is placing additional pressure on infrastructure such as roads, public transport, schools and hospitals at a time when the budgetary pot looks empty.

    Chaos is one word to describe the likely Upper House that the Premier-Elect must successfully navigate in order to meet the community’s expectation that things will change for the better.

    Within the industry space, the Premier-elect Andrews has a number of commitments to meet including:

    • Establish a $100 million fund to support the creation of 100,000 full time jobs by providing payroll tax relief to companies hiring unemployed Victorians.
    • Create the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel of industry leaders to provide direct advice to the Premier on the expenditure of $500 million for jobs and investment.
    • Establish a $200 million Future Industries Fund to support job-creating projects in six identified high-growth areas, including pharmaceuticals, new energy, food and fibre, and international education.
    • Establish Infrastructure Victoria to identify and priortise infrastructure needs; and Projects Victoria to deliver them.
    • Set up Start-Up Victoria, a $60 million body to bring the most promising and innovative ideas to life through business case development, investment attraction and intellectual property advice.
    • Increase the funding and resources for Victoria’s leading research institutions.
    • Commission a review by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission to recommend new procurement guidelines for innovation, research and development.

    The immediate focus for the Premier-elect will be:

    • Ministerial responsibilities - Finalising his ministerial team with an announcement expected later this week.
    • Public Service reshuffle - Changes are expected to the Victorian Public Service in the form of structural changes to agencies as well as their leadership.
    • East West Link - Releasing the contract details for the East West Link with the aim to convince industry and the public at large that the road is not the number one infrastructure priority for Victoria.
    • Back to Work Act – Finalise the policy ready for introduction into Parliament during the first sitting week, which is expected to be brought back before Christmas.

    The Opposition must regroup

    “It’s time for renewal, it is time for change.” With that, former-Premier Denis Napthine stepped down as the head of the Victorian Liberals – a position he only held for some 630 days. The result is a further example that removing a first-term Premier without explanation is likely to hurt you at the ballot box. More importantly, the result demonstrates that the electorate wants action and measured improvement, and is increasingly likely to dump governments who they see as unable to make a marked improvement – and do so quickly – no matter the leader’s popularity.

    The majority of next generation of Coalition rising stars have managed to hold their seats resigning this election result to a potentially embarrassing road bump rather than longer-term damage. Former Treasurer, Michael O’Brien, and former Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy, appear to be in a two-horse race for the leadership. They must learn the lesson from this result that Opposition is more than holding the Government to account; you must present real policies to the electorate in order to be seen as a government-in-waiting.

    The big question is whether the Liberal and National Parties will move forward as a Coalition, or as separate parties, following the news that the Nationals will review the agreement following the party’s ‘grim’ campaign performance, which has seen them lose at least one seat.

    A shudder will be felt in Canberra . . . and Sydney and Queensland

    The reverberations from last night’s result will be felt all the way up the Hume Highway into Canberra as well as within the two Coalition-governing states of Queensland and New South Wales who both face the electorate next year for the first time since coming to power. The size of the buffer in these states means that a change in government is unlikely, but a comparable voter backlash would provide both governments with a fright, and a difficult second term.

    While state issues dominated the campaign, there can be no doubt that voters have struggled to isolate their concerns and hostility towards the Federal Government, its Budget, and its recent political performances, which will strike fear into the concerns of an already-fretting backbench.

    Parliamentary Secretary, Josh Frydenberg called the result a ‘wake up call’ and stated that there are ‘some very serious lessons’ with the party set to ‘go back to the drawing board’. At first glance, the Federal Government may just wish to survive the last sitting week of the year this week, and then take a deep breath when they consider that the next Federal Election remains two years away.

    Peta Lange – Associate Director Parker & Partners


    Al Jazeera brand campaign

    November 28, 2014 by  
    Filed under Case studies, Featured

    This month, the Howorth team were tasked with the job of launching the new Al Jazeera brand campaign into the Australian market.   The campaign, Hear the Human Story, focuses on the importance of telling human stories without prejudice, in the most authentic way possible. It was launched at Quay restaurant, where a cross section of influential journalists, academics and NGO’s came together for a celebration of courageous storytelling.

    Guests of honour were the family of detained Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, who heard Al Jazeera English Managing Director Al Anstey deliver an impassioned address calling for the release of Peter and his colleagues, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy.  The keynote speech was given by Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, who spoke about the vital role the media plays in raising awareness of human rights issues that might otherwise go unnoticed.

    In the lead up to the event, the Howorth team arranged a comprehensive media program for Al Anstey, who was interviewed by ABC TV breakfast, ABC Radio National breakfast, ABC 702, ABC Radio PM, SBS, AAP, The Guardian, B&T, Adnews, Mumbrella and Marketing Magazine.

    The Al Jazeera team left us with some kind words before heading back to Doha, “Thanks for doing such a great job for our trip to Sydney.  Your organisation, planning, and execution of the event and all the PR was excellent.  Well done.  And thank you.”


    Australia wins Ogilvy PR Professional Achievement Awards

    November 21, 2014 by  
    Filed under News

    Ogilvy PR Australia received some great news overnight that we won an award at the Ogilvy PR Professional Achievement Awards.

    The PAA’s are Ogilvy PR’s worldwide internal awards where we share and celebrate the best work from across the globe.

    Ogilvy PR Australia has won Public Affairs category for our entry titled “Ogilvy PR Australia joins up with Microsoft to ignite an innovation movement”.

    Microsoft and Ogilvy PR partnered to create a compelling thought leadership program on innovation that would be unique and actionable, to help Australia improve its innovation potential.

    First, a position was developed that was based on research and analysis of policy trends of global leaders. This found that whilst Australia generally has the right conditions in place to innovate, it happens in pockets and silos. Joined-Up Innovation (JUI) is Microsoft’s approach to addressing this problem by improving connections within our innovation ecosystem to create a better environment for all Australians to innovate.

    The JUI vision was tested by designing and convening a roundtable discussion with hand-picked Australian innovation experts, who also developed a set of recommendations for accelerating innovation in Australia.  The first phase of the Joined-Up innovation campaign was then rolled out internally and externally via a public relations campaign that is still generating conversations today.

    This campaign also was awarded a 2014 Gold Asia Pac Sabre Award.

    More on Joined-Up Innovation here.

    We are continuing to work on the program with launch elements planned across the next 18 months.  A very big congratulations to the Microsoft team on this well-deserved win.


    Pulse Communications shortlisted for Campaign Asia-Pacific Agency of the Year Award 2014

    November 20, 2014 by  
    Filed under News

    For 21 years, Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year is Asia-Pacific’s most prestigious awards, recognising inspired leadership, management excellence, outstanding business performance and overall achievements in the region’s advertising and communications industry.

    Pulse Communications has been shortlisted for the Australia/New Zealand PR Agency of the Year.

    Good luck to the team with the winners announced on the 10th December.

    Read the full shortlist here.


    Senator Lambie suspension likely to cause headaches

    November 19, 2014 by  
    Filed under Blog

    The cracks have turned to chasms as Palmers’ not-quite-so United Party succumbs to its own inner turmoil. Somewhat spectacularly, Party Leader Clive Palmer this morning suspended Jacqui Lambie’s rights to attend future party meetings (noting that she’d already missed the past three). At the same time he also demoted her as the Party’s Deputy Leader and Deputy Whip.

    The tensions started to emerge publicly back in August when Senator Lazarus attempted to quell any suggestions of a rift when he told reporters “It’s just a load of rubbish …Jacqui and I are tighter than ever….We love each other deeply.” Astute political observers could not help but see such words as evidence that there was trouble in paradise.

    The tension within the Party has clearly been brewing for some time, and finally came to a head last week when Senator Lambie criticised her PUP colleagues on ABC 730. That same evening Lambie’s chief of staff Rob Messenger was expelled from the party for what Clive Palmer calls his “disruptive influence” and for making “false and misleading statements” about PUP Senators, while Palmer himself dismissed Lambie as “a drama queen”. Lambie removed the PUP logo from her website, leading to speculation that she may choose to resign from the Party and follow the lead of Senator Madigan who in September resigned from the Democratic Labour Party to operate as an Independent. Such a move has today become the odds-on favorite.

    If (as looks increasingly likely) Lambie defects and becomes an independent, what will be the repercussions?

    Firstly, there is some legal issues to be considered. Senate practice suggests that should a vacancy arise within a Party, that position must be replaced by another member of that same Party. Senator Madigan was able to work around this point, and there will certainly be discussions and investigations underway both in Lambie and Palmer’s offices to work out logistics as far as PUP is concerned.

    More significant will be the impact on the Senate vote as the Coalition attempts to have its legislative changes passed through the Upper House.

    The Senate comprises 76 positions. The Coalition hold 33 of those seats, Labor hold 25, and the Greens have 10. That leaves 8 seats in the infamous “cross bench”. Assuming The Greens continue their practice of voting with Labor, the Coalition will require 6 of the 8 crossbenchers to vote with them to pass legislation, while Labor will require only 4 of the 8 to block.

    The crossbench had been considered as comprising three separate voting “blocks” where Bob Day (Family First) and David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats) vote together; John Madigan (Independent) and Nick Xenophon (Independent) vote together, and Ricky Muir (Motoring Enthusiasts) votes in a block with the three PUP Senators. The PUP block has already broken as Ricky Muir proves his capacity to think for himself and, with Lambie, pulled away from the PUP position and added their names to the disallowance motion which is likely to unwind the Coalition’s changes to Labor’s Future of Financial Advice reforms.

    If/when Lambie splits from PUP she will be confirmed as a free radical who will be unlikely to vote in a set block but will bounce toward any position where she feels her vote will win a better deal for her state of Tasmania. Her statement that “I just want to do something that is positive for Tasmania,” will surely to ring loud in the ears of the likes of Minister Christopher Pyne who will be doing all he can do woo her vote, PUP or no PUP, in his quest to see his higher education reforms passed into law.
    By Michael Hartmann, Parker & Partners

    Executive women gain tips on building their professional profile

    November 11, 2014 by  
    Filed under Blog

    Susan Redden Makatoa, our very own Group Managing Director – Corporate at Ogilvy Public Relations, was Executive Women Australia’s latest Masterclass speaker, sharing her tips on a critically important issue for women – raising our professional profile.

    Drawing from her own experiences, which includes over 20 years working in corporate communication, change and advocacy roles, Susan assured the audience that everyone has a story to tell.

    Urging women to stop being selfish and by reminding them they have a responsibility to share their experiences and knowledge, Susan provided her tips on how to do this.

    Her three rules of thumb to those that want to build their professional story in a credible way are:

    1. Get amongst it –  grow your circle through channels such as Twitter, conferences, professional groups, LinkedIn, NFP boards and alumni committees.

    2. Be generous – help others out without expecting anything in return; and

    3. Make yourself useful – make sure your story is authentic, delivered in a way that makes sense to others (no corporate bingo), and is meaningful and useful to your audience.

    A mother of four young children, Susan is not immune to the time pressures facing many women. She handles this by what she calls ‘sweating the assets – making her content work across multiple channels. So, if she writes an article for an industry newsletter, you can be sure she’s also shared it via her social media channels to expand her credibility and reach.

    Given the notes being taken during Susan’s presentation, we expect to be hearing more professional stories from women soon.

    Arli Miller – Parker&Partners/Ogilvy PR

    Ogilvy PR and Canon in full focus at PRIA State Awards for Excellence

    October 31, 2014 by  
    Filed under Featured, News

    Ogilvy Public Relations and Canon have been acknowledged for some outstanding work by the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).

    At yesterday’s glittering PRIA NSW State Awards for Excellence ceremony in Sydney, Canon with Ogilvy PR picked up a ‘NSW Highly Commended’ in the Consumer Marketing category for its Canon Shine communications campaign.

    “I am so proud of the work done by the Ogilvy Canon team, who all worked tirelessly on this campaign in collaboration with Andrew Giles at Canon. It’s an incredible honour to be acknowledged alongside some truly excellent campaigns,” said Kieran Moore, CEO, Ogilvy PR Australia.

    Canon Shine was centred on elevating the power of images to do more in a world that is saturated with meaningless photos.

    “It is an honour to be acknowledged by the industry among so many strong campaigns,” said Andrew Giles, head of Communications and PR at Canon. “We recognised from day one the special opportunity that we had with Canon Shine for Public Relations to spark conversation and influence opinion on truly large scale. The team executed with excellence to make it happen, and this is the icing on the cake.”

    Read the full list of winners here.

    The strength & beauty of women, Lisa Wilkinson



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