As usual, Warren Buffett has the right advice. Talking about handling a crisis, the Sage of Omaha once said: “One’s objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over. You see, your problem won’t improve with age.”
It’s one of the first rules of crisis management and it’s the one that Tony Abbott should have heeded when the stories about politicians’ dodgy expenses first surfaced. Instead he did nothing and the extended political honeymoon that should have accompanied a thumping electoral victory over an unpopular government disappeared with unprecedented speed. So much so that now, a bare six weeks post-election, the brand new Abbott government has an old and second hand feel to it and the expenses story continues to get traction.
Crisis management is a much studied art and the new world of social media has changed the rules completely. People now have a voice, and they have no problem in exercising it. Just as on-line comments over the past three years were filled with an unending diatribe against Julia Gillard’s ‘carbon tax’ so will the next three years be preoccupied to the point of nausea with questions about probity and dodgy expenses. Every time Abbott takes part in one of the many athletic events for which he is famous, questions will be asked whether the taxpayer is paying for his recreation.
Social media has also added to the professional media’s armoury. Apart from the obvious benefits of news tips, on-the-spot reporting and feedback, crowd-sourcing was responsible for one of the biggest story in the never-ending expenses saga – WA MP Don Randall’s claim which related to a trip to Cairns for he and his wife, ostensibly for electoral business but co-incidentally at the same time the Randalls purchased an investment property in the city. Randall eventually repaid the disputed amount. Through readers with time on their hands, Fairfax was able to enlist a number people to trawl through the publically available data on political expenses claims, resulting in the bones of the story.
Politicians in power also need to ask themselves the question: ‘Did they vote the other mob out or did they vote us in?’ The last Federal election was certainly an anti-Labor vote, rather than a pro-Coalition vote; the same is true of the last NSW State election which delivered a huge electoral majority to Barry O’Farrell. That lack of positivity gives governments an even shorter honeymoon period because the problems that the other guy had are now your problems and without the cache of charisma things quickly turn sour – as O’Farrell found with the 27 per cent swing against his government in Saturday’s Miranda by-election.
Governments and companies regularly face crises, and the majority of those crises start from within. The public understands that problems arise and they normally judge on the effectiveness of the response, not on the crisis itself.
Trust is something that good crisis management stresses. Another study – by The Oxford Executive Research Briefings, Templeton College, Oxford – found that the share price of companies judged to have mishandled a crisis had fallen by an average of 15 per cent a year after the crisis, while the share price of those judged to have handled a crisis well had risen 7 per cent on average at the same time.
A Monash University study, Mapping Social Cohesion, released this week shows that trust in the Federal Government has fallen dramatically in recent years – from 48 per cent in 2009 saying that the government could be trusted ‘almost always’ or ‘most of the time’ to just 27 per cent this year.
With that study in mind, Buffett has another quote which politicians should remember: ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’
The challenge: Over the June Queen’s Birthday long weekend Ancestry.com.au wanted to promote their free open database, of over 250 million British records to encourage Australians to start discovering their story.
Strategy: Rather than embarking on a straight PR release focusing on the open data base, we worked with Ancestry.com.au to research the history of Australia’s ‘Rock Royalty’. Through trawling through the collections, we discovered that a lot of Australia’s rock the talent was in fact shipped in.
Ancestry.com.au discovered a celebrity link between famous Aussie rock legends who migrated to Australia from England in the 50s and 60s.
Records showed the Bee Gees, Red Symonds, Bon Scott from AC\DC and Olivia Newton-John, were all a part of the 10 Pound Poms migration influx.
Perhaps the most well-known names to stick out of the collections include Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb – commonly known as The Bee Gees. Arguably one of the most successful Australian imported exports, the Manchester-born trio dominated the industry world-wide.
Arriving in Sydney in the summer of 1958 aboard the Fairsea, the brothers weren’t the only future rock legends to step onto Australian soil, with Red Symonds, then to be future lead-guitarist for Skyhooks, also on board the ship.
We approached Channel 7’s, The Morning Show, with an exclusive story on these famous rock legends. We offered viewers of the Morning Show exclusive access to the open database on Ancestry.com.au in order to provide viewers with a unique experience.
Results: The live interview with Ancestry’s Brad Argent lasted over five minutes with the program reaching over 263,000 Australians across 42 Channel 7 TV stations within Australia. Within a 15 minute’s appearing on the show Ancestry.com.au, the website experienced a high volume of unique visitors and registrations that continued throughout the day.
The TV segment which can be viewed here.
Overview: In order to capitalise on a timely news cycle surrounding the Australian premier of The Great Gatsby, Ancestry.com.au set about researching the backgrounds of the lead characters to see if there was any angles to generate a news story.
Strategy: Through examining the research, Howorth uncovered a storyline of life imitating art a for a few key actors in the film. Following this discovery, we set about pitching the story to key entertainment writers and radio shows to drive broad coverage and awareness of Ancestry.com.au, while showcasing the wealth of information available on Ancestry.com.au
Through research we discovered Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Gatsby, great grandfather, went from a street sweeper in 1900 to a real-estate broker in 1930. Like the character he played in the film, the rise of the Nouveau riche, seems to be in the DiCaprio’s blood!
The Great Gatsby love story is epitomised in Tobey Maguire’s great grandparents tale of love conquering all. It appears Tobey’s Great grandparents, on his father’s side are from opposite ends of the world but, found true love. Bartholomeus Kropfl (Tobey’s great grandfather) is from Austria while Ana (Tobey’s great grandmother) is originally from Puerto Rico.
Director, Baz Luhrmann, it appears has his own tale of a rise from rags to riches. Baz’s 5th great grandfather, Pierce Collits, owned a famous inn in the Vale of Clwydd (near Lithgow) in the early 1800s. He came to arrive in Australia as a convict from Ireland in the early 1800s with his wife and children. For 10 years the Inn was the most famous landmark on the journey from Sydney to the ever-expanding town of Bathurst.
Carey Mulligan’s ancestors originated from England and Wales and were from all walks of life. Occupations in her family tree include ‘iron turner,’ ‘stock trader,’ ‘coal miner,’ and ‘colliary lampman’ (in the coal mines).
Results: Ancestry.com.au received broad consumer coverage, with hero pieces being achieved on News.com.au and Nova 96.9. Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa used the information as part of their interview with Carey Mulligan. Announcing her Great Grandfather was a colliary lampman in their interview. You can watch her reaction to the news here.
Sarah will work across all Ogilvy PR Australia companies, including Howorth, Impact Employee Communications, Ogilvy PR Health, Parker & Partners and Pulse Communications. Under Kaz Scott, Ogilvy PR’s Strategy & Planning Director Sarah’s role creates a traditional planning structure enabling her to be proactively embedded with clients.
Ogilvy PR’s Strategy & Planning Director, Kaz Scott said: “As the PR planning discipline evolves we too have to adapt and provide fresh new thinking from the worlds of visual storytelling, consumer movements and digital innovation. With Sarah’s addition we’ve up-weighted our strategic offering outside of traditional PR boundaries”
Sarah brings a diverse strategy background to Ogilvy PR, having spent two years introducing strategy to leading experiential agencies Urban and Play before holding strategic planning roles at pharmaceutical agency Ward6 and social agency TCO (STW Group). Prior to this, Sarah spent seven years client side in senior marketing roles at Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) and Ernst & Young.
Sarah has worked in a vast range of industry sectors earning a reputation for adding value both to brands and agencies, achieving exceptional results and building strong relationships. Clients include: Coca Cola South Pacific, Havaianas, Intel, EA games, Logitech, Optus, iNova pharmaceuticals, Reckitt Benckiser, Charles Darwin University, Coty (Addidas, Sally Hansen & Rimmel) and Volkswagen.
Based out of Sydney but servicing Ogilvy PR offices in Canberra and Melbourne, Sarah will focus on campaign development for new and existing clients, supporting the increasing demand for multidisciplinary programs which focus on audience insights and engagement, creativity and channel strategy and integration.
Howorth and Social@Ogilvy are celebrating today after scooping a Gold SABRE in Product Media Relations at last night’s 2013 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards in Shanghai. These awards celebrate the best PR campaigns in the region. It was also a good night for Ogilvy PR throughout the region, taking home six Gold trophies and the Platinum SABRE Award for the best PR program of 2013.
Howorth and Social@Ogilvy won the Gold SABRE for the “Making Australian Parents Say “OMG” About Office 365” campaign with Microsoft Australia. This campaign, to launch Office 365 Home Premium, combined public relations and social media to create conversation and excitement about the launch of Office 365 Home Premium. This included inviting parent influencers to crowd-source 365 ways – or #OMGTIPS – that Office 365 can help create more time for the family – from the kitchen to the classroom. generate positive conversation among Australian parents and excitement around all of the ways that Office can support the modern family, and begin a platform to build authentic relationships with online influencers.
The campaign rolled out in three phases, building interest and awareness among parent influencers over a two-month period culminating at the 2013 Digital Parents Conference – Australia’s largest annual gathering of parent bloggers and influencers. And, ultimately, we made Australian mums and dads so excited about Excel, Word, PowerPoint and other products in the Office 365 product suite that they said “OMG”!
Ogilvy Public Relations Australia has left its mark in the upcoming 2013 Asia Pacific SABRE Awards, with 12 campaigns recognised. The finalists were selected from among a record haul of more than 1,000 entries from across the region, and the Gold winners will be announced at the annual SABRE Awards dinner in Shanghai on September 18.
In the Gold SABRES, Howorth and Social@Ogilvy’s “Making Parents Say OMG About Office 365” for Microsoft Australia is shortlisted as a finalist in both the Australia and New Zealand Geographic Category and Product Media Relations. Howorth’s “The Block: If these Walls Could Talk” entry is also a finalist in the Product Media Relations category. In Technology (B2B), Howorth is a finalist with the “Microsoft: Innovation from Students to Start-ups” campaign.
Pulse has three campaigns shortlisted. “Being Silly for a Serious Cause: Carnival Cruise Lines Supports Red Nose Day” is a finalist in the Travel and Leisure category, whilst “FANTA Unbottle the Fun” is a finalist in the Social Media Campaign and “Get Smart at Ford HQ: A Dipped in Blue Immersion Event” brings up the trifecta in the Automotive Industry Sector.
Ogilvy PR Melbourne’s “BP Pink Pulp” is a finalist in the Retailers and Publicity Stunt.
Meanwhile, Howorth is already a winner in the Silver SABRE Awards, winning Earned Media Broadcast Placement for its “The Block: If These Walls Could Talk” entry. Howorth also took out a Certificate of Excellence for “Rock Royalty: We Have A Commonwealth of Rock” in the same category. But it didn’t stop there, as Howorth also secured a Certificate of Excellence for Print Placement with its “Did My Ancestors Have a Tattoo?” entry.
Finally, Ogilvy PR Melbourne’s “BP Pink Pulp” also bagged a Certificate of Excellence for Publicity Stunt.
All in all, an outstanding effort from Ogilvy PR Australia.
Congratulations to all the teams and fingers crossed for the finalists in the Gold SABRES.
Ogilvy PR Australia boosts content capabilities with appointment of influential TV producer and journalist to Howorth
Sydney – July 18, 2013: Ogilvy PR Australia has appointed TV journalist Helen Frost to join Howorth, business to business and technology specialist consultancy and part of Ogilvy PR Australia, as Content and Editorial Manager.
A journalist with 14 years’ experience, Frost worked at Channel Nine, Sky News and Haymarket Media. She has joined Howorth to focus on delivering new content capabilities for owned, earned and paid media.
“We’re delighted to welcome Helen to Howorth and Ogilvy PR, and excited to have someone with her editorial and content experience join the team,” said Graham White, Managing Director, Howorth. “Helen’s longstanding career as a TV producer and reporter for some of Australia’s leading broadcast networks will bring first class editorial and content expertise to Howorth and the Ogilvy PR group, growing our capability in this rapidly expanding area.
“With the ongoing shift in the communications and media landscape and the opportunity for brands to communicate directly with consumers through a wide variety of online media, Helen will be an enviable resource for both our current and future clients,” White continued.
Frost will play a specific role on some of the agency’s core clients, contributing to media and content strategy as well as production. In addition to her role in Howorth, she will also work closely with others in the agency to broaden Ogilvy PR’s content offer, which is being led by Social@Ogilvy’s newly appointed Managing Director, Yianni Konstantopolous.
Frost is excited about joining the communications industry at such a progressive time. “It’s a time of significant change in the media and PR industry, and this is a terrific opportunity to help drive that change in a way that‘s going to extend Howorth’s boundaries to the benefit of its clients,” she said.
“Storytelling is always at the centre of my experience. My background in TV, print and online, will not only help my colleagues and our clients, but it will also pave the way for PR and social to charge ahead in content creation,” Frost continued.
“I believe there are only a few PR agencies currently capitalising on these opportunities to create engaging and relevant content through traditional media – and owned channels at the same time. Howorth is a progressive agency and I look forward to ensuring we seize the opportunities and remain at the forefront of the industry.”
Frost was most recently a producer across Nine’s daily news bulletins, including The Today Show, and prior to that ran the Prime7 newsroom for Central Western NSW. As the senior reporter she covered issues important to regional Australia such as renewable energy, transport and most importantly innovations in health.
She also spent time as a senior producer and technology reporter for Sky Business News and as the managing editor of Haymarket Media’s business division.
Howorth is part of Ogilvy PR Australia, a joint venture between WPP and STW Group, Australia’s leading marketing content and communication group. Ogilvy PR Australia is the country’s largest PR and public affairs agency with offices in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. It is 51% owned by WPP and 49% owned by STW.
For more information contact: Sandra Renowden, STW PR on +61 403 823 218
Challenge: Australia Unlimited is a national brand developed by Austrade in response to global research that demonstrated Australia’s global reputation was based more on our physical attributes than our intellectual ones.
While Australia has a very strong international reputation, regularly ranking among the top countries in global studies, Australia Unlimited was tasked with promoting Australia’s credentials in business, technology, creative industries and science to overseas markets.
In an effort to draw attention to the depth and breadth of Australian talent around the world, Australia Unlimited was preparing to launch its Global 50 list comprising of expat Australians who are not household names, but who are doing work that deserves to be recognised.
Strategy: With a million Australians offshore at any one time and many more involved in international work, they are a ready-made corps of promotional ambassadors for the nation. Our people are the best evidence we have that Australia today is a creative, clever and globally engaged nation.
As part of this content driven campaign, Social@Ogilvy identified a list of 32 influential Australian expats living in the key markets of US, UK, Europe and Asia, so that Australia Unlimited could target them to build relationships with these key influencers while also sharing their international success stories and portray a contemporary Australia through its people.
In order to drive awareness of Australia Unlimited’s Global 50 list and mobile apps, and maintain conversation in the lead up to and throughout the Australia Day weekend, Social@Ogilvy developed a strategy encompassing content creation, influencer outreach, and conversation management, drawing new stakeholders to the Australia Unlimited brand.
Results: The integrated digital and social campaign was successful in driving traffic to Australia Unlimited’s website, with social media the top driver of referral traffic, and building key relationships with international influencers.
More than 2.174m Twitter accounts reached
80 retweets representing a 515% increase on the previous week and 100+ mentions over the campaign
8% increase in Twitter followers
70% of all traffic to the website referred from social media channels
184% increase in application subscribers
Challenge: Getty Images believes that mobile photography has made huge strides in a short time, so much so that the company provides its photographers with software tools that allow them to create smartphone-style images that are of high enough quality to be used by their commercial clients.
As the official photographic agency for the Australian Open, Getty Images’ team of photographers embraced the smartphone look by applying special effects to their portraits of quirky spectators, umpires, ball boys, media and event staff.
These images became known as the Faces of the Australian Open.
Strategy: To capitalise on the hype building around the grand final match; Howorth developed a two-fold media strategy.
Part one: offer national metropolitan titles the Faces of the Australian Open album to run as an online image gallery.
Part two: provide national lifestyle tech title, CNET with exclusive access to Getty photographer, Cameron Spencer, to develop a feature on the ever-increasing popularity of smartphone photography from a professional perspective.
Results: The result saw a ¾ page article featuring Faces of the Australian Open images published on page six of the Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media also syndicated an online image gallery across 24 metropolitan and regional news sites.
CNET published two stories including an online image gallery and an in-depth article on how professional photographers integrate smartphone technology in their work, featuring comments from Cameron Spencer.
In total, 27 news clips were generated from this campaign reaching a potential audience of 4,419,355 Australians.
Challenge: When Getty Images photographer Adam Pretty won the prestigious Getty Editorial Fellowship, he grabbed his camera and prize money and headed to the Japanese town of Kesennuma – one of the most devastated regions from the Tohoku quake and tsunami in 2011.
Overwhelmed by the scope of tragedy, Adam resolved to give something back to the people by reconstructing wedding portraits of couples whose original wedding photographs were destroyed.
Adam’s Bride Again project is a strong example of the depth and power of the work of Getty Images’ photographers.
Strategy: To coincide with the second anniversary of the Tohoku quake and tsunami, Howorth approached two media outlets – Fairfax Media and ABC – with the opportunity to speak with Adam.
Both interviews would discuss why Adam chose to focus on the Japanese tsunami and uncover stories of survival and love among the families involved in the project.
The story that Howorth and Getty Images wanted to tell was that of the strength, resilience and hope of the Japanese people living in Kesennuma.
Results: Following an interview with The Sun Herald, a half page article featuring a Bride Again wedding portrait was published in the newspaper.
This piece was syndicated to 157 online Fairfax metropolitan and regional news sites including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times as well as featuring in Fairfax’s tablet edition.
Adam’s interview with the ABC resulted in an online feature piece, exposing the news to a potential audience of 3,700,000 Australians.
This campaign generated a combined total of 159 clips and reached a potential audience of 18,022,235 Australians.