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.”
Challenge: In spite of storied history and impressive track record of delivering independent and scientifically significant reports since 2005, the general public’s attitude of the importance of ‘climate change’ and ‘climate science’ has been on the decline in Australia in recent years. This, coupled with a rise in the politicisation of the issue during an election year, led to a situation where The Climate Institute was having an increasingly difficult time mobilising stakeholder groups and convincing the general public of the importance of taking small actions to achieve a more sustainable and less-carbon dependent economy. And because the organisation is so focused on producing world-class scientific research, they weren’t in a position to be able to allocate resources to ensure their communications efforts were adapting to an ever-increasing social and digital communications model.
Strategy: Ogilvy Public Relations has supported The Climate Institute through a strategic communications partnership for the past several years, offering the Institute an integrated team that spans their media, policy, communications, and events activities. In 2013, Ogilvy recognised that one of the critical areas where The Climate Institute was most vulnerable was across its digital and social media efforts. To ensure that a series of upcoming Institute report releases and high-profile events were strongly attended, by both the general public as well as relevant climate stakeholders across government and industry, the Social@Ogilvy team embarked on a two-pronged strategy to better understand the social listening related to climate change in Australia (and how to best position The Climate Institute to participate in those conversations) and to develop a targeted influencer strategy that could greatly amplify the Institute’s thought leadership and positioning.
Results: Across a four month period (between mid-August 2013 and mid-January 2014), the Social@Ogilvy team worked closely with The Climate Institute to develop and execute two separate live events, that were also amplified in real-time via social media. The first event, dubbed “Climate of the Nation”, served as a mini-debate to take advantage of the impeding election and featured renown climatologist Dr. Graeme Pearman and researcher John Scales on 29th of August. The event was moderated by The Climate Institute CEO John Connor. In addition to the max capacity 85 attendees that joined in person (media, bloggers, government policy makers), the event was live-broadcast on twitter where questions were sourced from the platform and photos were shared in real-time. The #ClimateNation hashtag was used approximately 360 times during the 60-minute event and reached approximately 415,203 Australian twitter users (approximately 20% of the entire Australian twitter community at the time). The event’s social footprint was so successful that morning that the hastag was trending across Sydney for the majority of the morning. In addition to the Climate of the Nation Event, social@ogilvy also partnered with the Institute to run another event focusing on sustainable investment in the Australian Superannuation sector. During that 60 minute session, the Institute reached over 312,000 twitter users through 182 mentions of the #ClimateSmartSuper hashtag. Overall, twitter has proved to be an effective channel for The Climate Institute in reaching and engaging new audiences. On top of simple growth of the account, there has been a positive shift in sentiment and engagement as well. During the four month period, the twitter channel grew approximately 19.5% from 6775 ‘followers’ in August to 8093 in February.
Vets are recognised as essential to the welfare of animals and in turn to the health of people. Despite this however, no centralised data gathering and workforce planning mechanism existed. The AVA felt that such a mechanism was essential to ensure that the nation had the right number of vets to meet the needs of Australia’s animals and their owners, and that those vets were located in the places and positions where they were needed.
Strategy: The AVA saw the need for an initial comprehensive analysis that would cover the full range of demand, supply and future needs of the veterinary workforce – thus filling the data and analysis vacuum and enabling effective decision making and planning. Government ownership of the results was seen as an imperative, and consequently Parker & Partners was engaged to assist the AVA in identifying an avenue within the Federal Government where the study could proceed.
Parker & Partners recognised that a Coalition Government would be most responsive to a request for co-funding, ie: sharing the costs 50:50 with the industry. Initial high level political discussions quickly affirmed support for the initiative, while also warning of the unlikelihood of receiving “new money” given the Government’s fiscal circumstances. To succeed, funding had to be sourced from existing streams within or across Departments.
Results: Through its knowledge of the various Government-funded programs and its established networks at both the Departmental and political levels, Parker & Partners was able to identify a possible pre-existing and relevant funding source. With this in hand, Parker & Partners was than able to open the doors and integrate the AVA into deliberations at the Ministerial level. Ultimately a funding opportunity was isolated and supported by the relevant Ministry. The AVA could then confidently move ahead with its plans toward the commissioning of a co-funded workforce study, thereby achieving one of its prime strategic objectives and laying the foundation for the future health of the veterinary profession in Australia.
Challenge: In 2012, not-for-profit organisation febfast engaged Ogilvy PR to raise awareness and drive participation in the 2013 febfast campaign which encourages people to give up alcohol for a month and raise money to support young Australians affected by drug and alcohol issues.
Given the extreme media fatigue around thematic months such as Facebook Free February, not to mention other dry months such as Dry July and Ocsober, we faced a number of challenges in promoting the cause. Furthermore, investigation by febfast suggested that although many people actually participated in febfast, they did so unofficially and without registering. In addition to media fatigue and converting unofficial participants, previous campaigns indicated that there was only a very small window of opportunity to drive a large amount of registrations. With Australia Day marking the end of the silly season, a majority of Australians would not consider signing up until after the festivities, leaving only 5 days to drive registrations before February.
Furthermore, on the day of our official launch, the floods in Queensland had reached a crisis point and only a few days later, Julia Gillard announced to the nation the election date, both of which dominated media coverage nationally.
Strategy: Our strategy ensured continuous and consistent coverage throughout the month of January leading up to the official national launch of febfast on the 28th, allowing us to capitalise on the nation’s collective Australia Day long weekend hangover and to leverage the small window of opportunity we had to drive a high number of registrations.
We surveyed over 1000 Australians on their attitudes towards drinking and their favourite and strangest hangover cures. As part of a two-pronged approach we released statistics regarding generational attitudes to drinking and Australia Day prior to the long weekend and then officially launched on the 28th releasing Australia’s favourite and strangest hangover cures.
Results: The campaign continues until the end of February, with participants still able to register and also the launch of ‘half-arsed febfast’ a 14 day version of the 28 day challenge.
To date, a total of 278 pieces of coverage have appeared locally and nationally through radio, print, TV and online.
Challenge: Despite 212 years of history, some of the most ubiquitous products in the world, and a strong corporate profile globally, DuPont has struggled to develop a strong profile in Australia – particularly in the agriculture sector.
Parker & Partners was engaged to build DuPont’s profile among a number of stakeholders, including government, industry, customers and the media so that it could be involved in public and policy conversations that ultimately affected its business.
The chosen vehicle was the launch of a DuPont-sponsored research paper developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to support the Global Food Security Index (GFSI).
Strategy: Our strategic approach was to develop a whitepaper report that highlighted DuPont’s interest and expertise in food security and Australian agriculture.
Parker & Partners chose a topic that has long been on the radar of DuPont’s stakeholders, but of which no company has yet taken the initiative to own: Feeding Asia-Pacific: Australia’s role in regional food security.
To enhance the newsworthiness of the report we planned an event in Canberra to launch the report, including compiling a panel of experts from various relevant fields to discuss the findings of the report and food security more broadly.
The success of the event would depend on our ability to gather a high-calibre panel whose views would attract interest to the report and the event from DuPont’s government and industry stakeholders, and media who were pitched stories.
Results: Parker & Partners helped develop an insightful report that produced compelling findings and exhibited DuPont’s expertise in agriculture and food security.
We delivered a high profile panel including former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer AO, AFGC CEO Gary Dawson, and moderated by Sky News anchor, David Speers.
The event was well attended and highly praised. Media coverage exceeded expectations, including four national television, one national radio, two print and nine online clips.
In the week following the event DuPont received over 200 enquiries for more information into their work in agriculture and food security.
Challenge: Getty Images is among the world’s leading creators and distributors of award-winning still imagery, video, music and multimedia products. The challenge to Howorth was to generate mass awareness and positive coverage across ANZ business, technology, marketing, creative and photography media for the global launch of Embed – a tool that, for the first time ever, allows people to easily embed and share content from Getty Images’ huge library of editorial, creative and archival imagery, free of charge, for personal sites, blogs and social media posts.
In addition to securing media coverage, the brief also required Howorth to position Getty Images’ role in educating social media users on copyright and licensing infringements.
Strategy: A two-pronged media strategy was developed to engage traditional media and key influencers and bloggers on the significance of Getty Images’ new business model; the practical applications of the tool; and, the importance of sharing licensed digital content. In executing the traditional media element, Howorth developed targeted pitches offering pre-brief interviews with Getty Images’ spokesperson, Craig Peters to titles across the business, consumer tech, social media and IT spaces – Australian Associated Press (AAP), CNET Australia, Technology Spectator and New Zealand Herald. Howorth also engaged an Australian Getty Images contributor to provide ‘grass roots’ comment on how the Embed tool affects professional photographers.
The second element of the media strategy is to be executed in the months that follow the launch of the Embed tool and will cultivate momentum among key influencers and bloggers by offering practical activations of Embed so users begin to understand the relevance and ease of using licensed digital content in a ‘right-click and share’ era.
Results: The pre-briefing interviews paired with the distribution of a media release generated 24 pieces of media coverage in the ANZ region, with a potential global audience reach of 159,187,660. Each article was positive in sentiment appearing in key business, technology, creative, marketing and photography titles including: The Australian, BRW, CNET Australia, CNET global, Gizmodo Technology Spectator, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, SBS, Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand Herald, Desktop Australia and Good Gear Guide. The news was also shared across social media sites such as Twitter, reaching millions of users across the globe.
March 24, 2014 by KatrinaOKane
Filed under ACT CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE DEATH REVIEW COMMITTEE, Case studies, Public Affairs
Challenge: Parker & Partners was engaged by the ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee to provide media management services as the second annual report into child deaths in the ACT was released.
This was of course a very sensitive issue, and the Committee were particularly concerned that the interpretation of the data may be skewed or sensationalised, particularly with regard to deaths concerning families that were under the watch of Child Protection Services.
The Committee were also quite upset that they couldn’t get their own message out to the media as their releases tended to be ignored –even when the issue was of real importance
Strategy: As a first step, we were successful in gaining media interest for the co-sleeping story, getting a run on Page 1 of the Canberra Times, WIN TV news, Prime TV news, ABC Radio news and talkback, ABC 24, Sky TV and Channel 10 news.
We then worked closely with The Canberra Times, to ensure the right messages were conveyed as the annual report was made public. The strategy was to give the Canberra Times the exclusive. We provided an embargoed copy of the report to a respected journalist whom we’d previously successfully pitched the original co-sleeping story to. We maintained continual contact to assist the journalist and in return she provided the Committee with a proof for approval prior to print (the holy grail of media management!) We also maintained contact with the Minister’s media advisor to ensure they were in the loop and had no surprises.
Results: The resultant article was printed on page 3. Additionally, we wrote and pitched an opinion piece which was also printed in the same edition, attributed to the Chair of the Committee:
We then also contacted WIN TV and ABC radio to offer assistance if they wish to run a story, however as expected both have declined saying “there’s nothing more we can add to the story”. That was exactly the result we were hoping for.
So concluded the assignment. The client stated that they were “absolutely ecstatic” with the outcome and will certainly be recommending our services in the future.
Improve upon the previous year’s hugely successful thought leadership campaign, by sustaining the campaign & coverage over a longer period, instead of creating one large surge of activity.
- Create a voice for Kronos on a national workforce issue to drive broad awareness in general business, consumer, HR and technology media
- Develop research-based content including visual content (infographics) and thoughtful whitepaper commentary with corporate positioning and customer testimonial
- Premeditate a three-stage launch with multiple storylines to create sustained coverage
- Engage with third party industry bodies to encourage them to join the public discourse and lend credence to the debate
Campaign Concept: Howorth proposed a narrative about a missed opportunity in Australia to tap its “Hidden Workforce”. The story would highlight the failure of employers to cater for specialist groups’ need to work in a more flexible way and how a focus on a certain profile of worker worked to the expense of parents and older people.
The campaign was staged to be released in three parts, so we could target specific headlines aligned with the messaging. The whitepaper was finally released with the last phase and made available to all interested parties.
Alongside the positioning whitepaper, individual infographics were prepared to accompany each release, to provide sharp context for the issues raised and give media content to use in their stories.
Results: The communications-led thought leadership platform formed an integrated marketing strategy, informing everything from sales/enquiry-driving eDMs, customer roundtable briefings, email signatures and website content, to social media content and media relations.
Media coverage included:
- Phase one: 21 pieces of print and online coverage, including general and business titles such as The Sun Herald, Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane Times, ABC News Online and Business Review Weekly. 22 pieces of broadcast coverage from pre-recorded TV interviews and radio sound grabs aired on the evening and breakfast news slots of 22 stations across the ABC network.
- Phase two: 2 pieces of broadcast coverage including Sky News and WSFM as well as 4 pieces of launch coverage in major titles including Business Review Weekly, Reuters, Human Capital and Smart Company
- Phase three: 7 targeted pieces of coverage in IT media, including ComputerWorld, CIO Magazine, Computer Daily News and Technology Spectator
- Use of the infographic on key news sites such as Business Review Weekly and Human Capital
As well as driving conversations with existing customers and prospects, the media campaign also attracted attention from a number of interested third parties, including government agencies for equality and other working groups and consultancies on diversity. Enquiries and active media commentary (in response to the Kronos news) was seen from:
- The Workplace Gender Equality Agency
- Nareen Young, chief executive of the Diversity Council of Australia
- Elizabeth Broderick, Human Rights Commission
- Helen Conway, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency
- Joshua Price, GM of Symmetra, a Diversity Consulting company
- Pollyanna Lenkic, founder of Perspectives Coaching
- Infoxchange – a NFP community that delivers “technology for social justice”
Challenge: UnitingCare NSW.ACT has been building a shared services model across their marketing and communication services over the last 18 months, as part of a strategic direction for sustainability and streamlining of the organisation. Communication and Marketing services for UnitingCare Children Young People and Families were next in line to be consolidated into this new model. UnitingCare wanted to ensure consistency of service through this transition, however did not have a clear picture of the activities currently taking place.
UnitingCare knew that an independent audit would be necessary to subjectively capture the complete picture of activities across the organisation. With a strong background in communication audits and effectiveness research, Ogilvy Impact successfully responded to the request for proposal.
Strategy: Ogilvy Impact were based onsite for the audit, to enable close working with the UnitingCare Communication and Marketing team. This also allowed us to see the organisation in action and pick up on nuances that would have been missed if working offsite. We also conducted focus groups with key stakeholders to develop deeper insights into perceptions of effectiveness of marketing and communications activities.
Although not part of the initial brief, Ogilvy Impact also undertook a survey of all the division’s employees, as it was also important to get the wider view.
Results: The combination of the completed audit, focus groups and survey gave UnitingCare a rich picture of the current marketing and communications work to be transitioned. While the initial brief was to audit, Ogilvy Impact was able to provide additional value. We identified opportunities for efficiencies through the transition, and developed recommendations of how to improve the new structure. We also provided insights into employees’ concerns about the move to a shared services model, and what they would like to see change.
As a result of this work, Ogilvy Impact has been asked to undertake a further audit and research project, to assess the rest of the organisation’s communication and marketing activities.
Challenge: An FMCG company intended to move manufacturing offshore, meaning the loss of jobs in Australia. The announcement occurred at a time when consumers, unions and media in Australia were particularly concerned about the decline of manufacturing. Careful engagement of all stakeholders was needed to maintain employee trust, minimise productivity loss, prevent industrial action, and maintain the company’s reputation and share of shopping basket.
Insight: Our strategy was to minimise negative reaction from all stakeholders through consistent messaging communicated via open, transparent dialogue, supported by well-equipped leaders who were always on-message.
Solution: Taking an ‘inside-out’ approach we ensured all communication was undertaken with care, thoroughness and sensitivity and focused first on those employees most affected. We facilitated workshops to align senior leadership around agreed key messages, and trained line managers to lead their teams through change with confidence. Our recommendation to communicate early, ensure affected employees were aware of their entitlements, and highlight benefits for the continued success of the business meant everyone felt well-informed, and trusted the organisation’s leaders as the credible source of truth on the decision.
Outcome: No adverse impact on absenteeism and productivity metrics during the transition. Employees, including those who remain in the organisation, remain positive ambassadors of the brand in their communities and in media.