Eight Things Ogilvy PR’s Exec Learnt From Cannes

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under News

Richard Brett Square 2Cannes, the massive creativity festival in the south of France, may be over, but that doesn’t stop the plethora of lessons coming out of it. Richard Brett, managing director of consumer relations at Ogilvy Public Relations has penned his thoughts for B&T about this year’s Cannes and what we should know as an industry.

Despite all the exciting new data and technology developments, there is renewed talk of a creative renaissance in marketing communications at Cannes: because in 2015 a great idea has to be a shareable idea. Many speakers are reminding us or re-connecting us to some fundamental principles in effective creative marketing and creativity, and showing us how new technology will allow ever more interesting and exciting branded creative output.

Read the full B&T article here.

Speak from the heart when times get tough

June 17, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

Susan at IABC conference USA squareMaking a tough announcement – it’s something we’ll all face as communicators. It might be having to lay off staff – or dealing with an incident like fire or flood – or your service being shut down due to technical difficulties. Some of these can be forseen. Some simply can’t. Some will knock you sideways, like the Lindt Café siege in Sydney, which had far-reaching effects nobody would have predicted.

Here’s an approach will help you out. It’s all about bringing the human touch – a bit of heart – to communicating when it would be easier to hide behind corporate speak. I’d like you to join me in saying “not on my watch” when it comes to weasel words during issues or crises. When you’re dealing with a difficult issue, it’s time to speak clearly. This is what will win trust, and trust is the one thing you need if you’re going to come through the other side.

One great rule to guide you in communicating the tough stuff is C-A-P. That’s Concern, Action, Perspective.

First and foremost, ALWAYS, and I mean EVERY TIME, speak of your CONCERN for the people affected. Say one of your employees has been injured in a workplace accident. The concern you express is for that staff member and his loved ones. Then you speak of his workmates. Then, you might speak on behalf of the whole company – about how people are feeling. Remember – people first. Then family. Then workmates. Then company. Then community…..equipment, productivity, and profit should not even rate a mention. Resist any pressure to include them.

When it comes to action, outline the ACTION you are taking. In the first instance it might be providing support for family and workmates and halting production. Then it might be working with emergency services to determine what happened, and launching an independent investigation. Further down the track it could be announcing the cause and what measures are being taken…you get the picture.

PERSPECTIVE – this is one you must handle carefully. This is where you deliver the facts so that people get the whole picture. In this instance, it would be that an accident occurred in which one staff member was injured and taken to hospital. All other staff have been accounted for and the site has been closed for the day.

In the case of a company restructure, you might say that the number of staff has been reduced by 75, to 800 people. What you mustn’t do is use the word “only” – if “only” one person goes to hospital or “only” 75 people have lost their jobs, it’s hardly communicating with heart.

Remember, it’s always about the people.

Excerpt from Ogilvy Group Managing Director – Corporate Susan Redden Makatoa’s speech to the IABC Global Conference in San Francisco.

Pulse appoints new Director

April 13, 2015 by  
Filed under News

Jacqui AbbottSydney, April 13, 2015: Pulse Communications has announced the appointment of Jacqui Abbott as Director. Jacqui brings 12 years of PR and social media experience and arrives from Virgin Australia, where she was senior public affairs manager.

Jacqui’s role at Virgin Australia saw her oversee consumer and corporate public relations activities, internal communications and headed up the airline’s social media division. Prior to joining Virgin Australia, Jacqui held the position of corporate affairs manager at Optus, Australia’s second largest telecommunications provider. She also previously held senior client management positions at Hausmann Communications in Australia, and Shine Communications and Ketchum in the UK. Jacqui is leading key client accounts including Netflix.

The appointment complements the existing leadership team of Amanda Shannahan Moore, Brian Giesen, Rachel Byrne and Fred Chesher in supporting Richard Brett (Group Managing Director) as the agency continues to implement its new vision and strategic direction; Brave Ideas that Make Brands Famous.

This direction is built on three core values; Bold Insights, Brave Ideas and Brilliant Impact. Armed with this new vision, the team at Pulse has won a raft of new clients in the last year, including eBay, Netflix, Havaianas and Conga Foods.

Pulse’s Managing Director, Richard Brett, said: “2014 was an incredibly successful year for Pulse. We saw significant growth and a doubling of staff numbers, and with the addition of Jacqui to our senior leadership team, we believe that the agency is in a very strong place to continue to grow into 2015.”

Pulse Communications is part of Ogilvy PR Australia, a joint venture between WPP and STW, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications group.


About Ogilvy Public Relations:

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, visit our website at http://www.ogilvypr.com.au or follow us on Twitter at @ogilvypraus.

About Pulse Communications:
Pulse Communications delivers creative brand communications campaigns centred around a simple philosophy: Bold Ideas that Make Brands Famous. It’s a vision based on three core values – bold insight, brave ideas and brilliant impact. With 50 highly passionate people in Sydney and Melbourne, the agency works to deliver outstanding results for clients including Ford, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Netflix, eBay, Havaianas, Mars, Activision, Conga Foods, Nestle and Kimberley Clark.

The agency’s unique approach to strategy, content and measurement, together with a people-centric culture, ensures Pulse delivers award-winning campaigns, brought to life by the best people in the industry.

Recently the agency has been shortlisted or won the following: Shortlisted CommsCon Agency of the Year 2015, Shortlisted CommsCon PR-Led Activation 2015, Named Best Product STW Dashboard Awards 2015P, Shortlisted Campaign’s Agency of the Year 2014, Shortlisted MCV Agency of the Year 2014, Shortlisted CommsCon Event Activation of the Year 2014.

For more information, visit our website at www.pulsecom.com.au, take a look at our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

For more information contact:

Rebecca Tilly, STW PR, ph: +61 410 501 043

Ogilvy PR Australia Appoints Head of Digital

April 8, 2015 by  
Filed under News

Craig Page squareSydney, April 8, 2015: Ogilvy PR Australia, Australia’s largest public relations and public affairs consultancy, has appointed Craig Page to the newly created position of Head of Digital. He joins from Havas Worldwide, Sydney, where he was Digital Strategy Director.

Bringing traditional, creative, digital and social experience to the new role, Page has an enviable track record integrating social, digital and technology to form the heart of communication campaigns.

He has worked for world-class creative agencies both in Australia and overseas including M&C Saatchi (Sydney and London) supporting brands including Optus, SONY, EBay and Virgin Mobile, and as in-house leading Digital Strategy with Foxtel.

Ogilvy PR’s Chief Executive Officer, Kieran Moore said the appointment of a Head of Digital reflected the investment the agency is making to digital, social and content.

“We’re thrilled to have someone of Craig’s calibre spearhead our established team of digital experts,” she said.  “We are responding to briefs that require fully-integrated, digital business thinking; Craig is central to our strategy to deliver this.

“Craig has top notch skills in creative, strategy and execution which we know will immediately add value to our business, and his broad category experience is a fantastic fit with our existing client partnerships. His progressive approach to innovation aligns perfectly with our future business plans.”

Page said the decision to take his diverse skills to Ogilvy PR was made after seeing the integrated work the agency has been producing.

“Ogilvy PR is an outstanding agency with highly talented digital experts, producing brilliant, integrated campaigns. The chance to join this team and help develop increasingly powerful, next-level work was a prospect I couldn’t refuse,” he said.

Moore continued: “With almost 20 people now dedicated to social, and a dedicated content team, the creation of this new role means that the agency will be able to offer more integrated digital, social and content response to briefs.”

Ogilvy PR Australia is a joint venture between WPP and STW Group, Australia’s leading marketing content and communications 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, visit our website at http://www.ogilvypr.com.au or follow us on Twitter at @ogilvypraus.

For more information contact: Rebecca Tilly, STW PR, Ph: +61 410 501 043

North Point: Hope is not a strategy for crisis management

March 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

Sam NorthCome March 31, just two days before the start of this year’s season, the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal will hand down its verdicts on the 34 past and present Essendon players involved in the club’s supplements program.

Maybe that will bring the seemingly endless saga, which began with the possible use of prohibited supplements during the 2012 season, to an end. Or maybe not, because to date Essendon has written the book on how not to handle a scandal.

A column in The Age earlier this year pointed out the crux of the problem: “It is worth remembering,” the paper wrote, “that in 2013, when the story emerged, Essendon attempted to be proactive by commissioning former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski to review its management processes. As The Age reported at the time, he found a club that was poorly run and in need of repair. ‘The Essendon Football Club has been damaged, but not broken,’ he concluded; damaged enough to warrant such comments as ‘broke down, failed’, ‘poor internal processes’ and ‘failures in structure and accountability’.

“The Switkowski report was a good start, but the club then reversed direction, adopted the role of victim rather than perpetrator, fled to the bunker and bolted the doors.”

When in doubt, tell yourselves how unfair it all is and hope it will all go away: it’s a common enough attitude by organisations big and small – from governments to corporations to individuals (remember Tiger Woods’ pathetic attempts to, first, ignore his serial womanising, then to arrange for a choreographed media conference to deliver his mea culpa?).

And while rugby league has certainly has certainly had ample opportunity to learn from its myriad of previous crises, the manner in which the Gold Coast Titans – led by CEO Graham Annesley – has handled the latest footballing drugs problem should be used as a primer for all organisations.

The Titans have operated quickly and decisively, while Annesley has not only been available at all times to the media but has spoken in a forthright, honest manner, with a recognition that players have duties and obligations that accompany stardom.

Warren Buffett has pointed out that a crisis never improves with age. He has also noted that it “takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

“If you think about that,” said the sage of Omaha, “you’ll do things differently.”

For the Titans, the recovery started with Annesley’s forthright honesty on the day the scandal broke in February. Essendon, more than three years down the track, has yet to reach that point.

Sam North, Media Director Ogilvy Public Relations

Ogilvy PR Melbourne and Howorth honoured at CommsCon 2015

March 19, 2015 by  
Filed under News

The Mercer team

The Mercer team

The CommsCon awards recognise excellence in the fields of PR and communications. This year, Ogilvy Public Relations was shortlisted for five awards.

Ogilvy PR Melbourne and Howorth were announced the winner of the B2B campaign, Mercer: Expectations vs Reality of Retirement in Australia at last night CommsCon awards for PR and communications professionals.

B2B campaign:  Mercer: Expectations vs Reality of Retirement in Australia. Launching a game changer – Mercer with Ogilvy PR (comprising Howorth and Ogilvy PR Melbourne)

PR-led event or activation of the year:  eBay: Christmas Shoppable Windows – Pulse Communications

PR Leader of the year:  Richard Brett – Pulse Communications

Large PR agency of the year: Pulse Communications

Best use of research / insights:  Kronos: Australia’s Dilemma – Live to work or work to live? – Ogilvy PR

The work was judged over a two-stage process by a panel of around 30 jurors from PR agencies, internal communications leaders and independent consultants.

Read the full list on winners here.

Howorth team 2



2015 NSW election – it’s all down to the polls and wires

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

Peta SquareSome 5.5 million people in NSW will head to the polls on Saturday, 28 March as the Mike Baird-led Coalition Government becomes the third first-term government in four months to face the voters.

The election mathematics of the 2015 NSW state election defies belief. Despite an overwhelming majority, a popular Premier, and a general feeling that NSW is in a better place than it was four years ago, the election campaign has tightened as a result of Federal leadership tensions, and the impact of first term losses in Queensland and Victoria seeping across the border. The task is large for the Opposition – they require approximately a 15 per cent swing to pick up the 24 seats to form Government in its own right.

Two new faces sit at the helm of the major parties. Mike Baird has held the premiership for only 11 months after former-Premier Barry O’Farrell resigned after misleading the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over a $4,000 bottle of Penfold’s Grange. Leader of the Opposition, Luke Foley has held the position for a little over two months. Both leaders have reinvigorated their parties – throwing a fresh enthusiasm into the mix however this campaign, and governing once the result is known, will put them to a new test.

The O’Farrell/Baird Governments face the electorate with significant ticks to their name. They came to office with a broad agenda to kick-start NSW and a significant list of priorities. Four years on, they are reaping the benefits of hard choices made in their first years of governing including cuts to government spending and government agencies, and a hard line on enterprise negotiations with a number of public services. As a result, and the former Treasurer and now Premier can take some of the credit, the economy in NSW has performed well, government debt has been reduced and the State Budget has all but made its way back to surplus. Trains and hospital services no longer make the front page of the Daily Telegraph once a week.

Despite this success, it appears that much of the campaign will refreshingly focus on the future, rather than the past. The Baird-led Coalition will put the partial privatisation of the state’s electricity distribution assets firmly at the heart of its campaign. It’s a bold move considering the poisonous affect privatisation had on the recent Queensland election result. However governments are increasingly having to realise their infrastructure priorities in the face of smaller revenues.

Hanging over the campaign like a fog on Sydney Harbour are the ICAC investigations. Neither side is keen to highlight them given the taint they have applied to both sides of politics however they have altered the prism through which this election campaign is fought. Electorally, the Coalition will struggle to hold onto seats on the Central Coast, while fundamentally it has decreased the level of trust of the electorate in its elected officials.

Ninety-three seats in the lower house are up for grabs

Four years on and the election pendulum and its 93 seats bares only a slim resemblance to the results of the 2011 NSW state election. The ICAC has torn apart the political landscape with a number of liberal parliamentarians falling foul of the Commission’s into illegal developer and lobbyist donations. Bi-elections and party resignations leave the Liberal and National Parties with 61 seats in the Legislative Assembly (down 8 seats from 2011), the ALP with 23 seats (up 3 seats from 2011).  With the one seat of Balmain sitting with the Greens, 8 MPs now sit on the cross-bench.

If ICAC has altered the chess pieces – including the queen – then a significant redistribution is changing the board of play. New boundaries, some seats created and some seats abolished has produced significant political shifts, which won’t be fully understood until election night. In some cases (including Toongabbie, Macquarie Fields, Menai) the incumbent faces an uphill battle to be re-elected.

The Upper House has troubled the O’Farrell/Baird Governments throughout their first term – blocking legislation and holding them to policy ransom. With half of the 42 seats in the upper house to be contested, both parties will be campaigning hard to reduce the power and influencer of the crossbenches during the next parliamentary term.

Peta Lange, Director Parker & Partners

A roadmap for the future but will the community listen

March 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

Peta Square2015 Intergenerational Report

Treasurer, Joe Hockey, today released the Government’s 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) – the third of its kind since first handed down in 2002.

As the ink dries on the report, journalists and analysts alike will be pouring over the figures to assess what they really mean; are they accurate; and to locate the elephants in the room. One may query whether the IGR has outlived its usefulness and simply represents a means for the Government to find some much-needed evidence to support its politics.

The Treasurer has defined the IGR as the fuel to ignite community discussion, something that will make all Australians want to stand around the barbeque, tongs in hand, and discuss the changes coming. In doing so, Hockey will certainly be hoping that Australians conclude that the Government has been future-focussed and established policies that will frame the nation to prosper amidst those changes.

In some ways it all seems quite reminiscent of last years’ Commission of Audit which was used by the Government to provide evidence that strong measures were needed to save the country from financial ruin. This led to a 2014 Budget which Abbott and Hockey now agree “went too far”. One may feel that the IGR is giving us a sneak-peak at the main themes of the 2015 Budget. Certainly it’s confirmed that the Government will not back down on two of its major future-proofing plans – the establishment of a Medical Research Future Fund, and the reforms to higher education.

Despite the opportunities presented in today’s report to start discussions on participation, productivity, social services and our desired future for Australia – one wonders whether, as a result of recent politics, it may just be too much for the community to swallow? Will we take Joe’s advice and discuss the report around the barbeque, or will we just stick to talking about the football?

One suspects the only person who’ll really take notice of the projections within this IGR report will be Prince William. It seems that in 2055, as King William, he will be required to send some 40,000 letters to those Australians celebrating their 100th birthday!
The IRD in numbers:
By 2044-45, the IGR is projecting:*

  • Australia’s population to climb to 39.7 million from 23.9 million.
  • Participation rate will fall from 64.6% to 62.4%.
  • Seniors’ participation (Australians aged over 65 years) will increase from 12.9% to 17.3%.
  • Female participation will increase from 66% to 70%.
  • Male life expectancy will increase from 91.5 years to 95.1 years.
  • Female life expectancy will increase from 93.6 years to 96.6 years.
  • For every person aged 65, there will be 2.7 people aged 15-64 years; down from 4.5 today.
  • Economic growth to average 2.8 per cent annually.
  • Spending to reach 31.2 per cent of GDP.
  • Net debt to reach almost 60 per cent of GDP.

What does the IGR mean for the health portfolio?
We now have another report to add to the library of research projecting that health costs will continue to rise. While non-demographic factors (rising income, wage costs, change in disease rates and technological change) were responsible for much of the growth in health costs over the last 20 years, this report along with recent research, finds that the growth of spending is slower than previously projected and will keep pace with Australia’s growing and ageing population.

As a nation, we are getting bigger and older, and our health system will cost more as a result. Health expenditure is projected to increase to 5.7 per cent of GDP in 2054-55 from 4.2 per cent today – that’s $260 billion in today’s dollars or $6,600 spending for every single Australian.

Over the next 13 years:

  • Medicare will grow from $855 to $1,071 per person (in today’s dollars) and be the fastest growing component of health expenditure.
  • Pharmaceuticals will grow from $420 to $474 per person (in today’s dollars).
  • Public hospitals will grow from $647 to $680 per person (in today’s dollars).
  • Private health insurance rebate will grow slightly from $280 to $283 per person (in today’s dollars).

While the report contained no alarmist statements for health, it will be used to underpin the Government’s motivation to structurally change the health portfolio and drive efficiencies, which will benefit the budget in the short and longer term.

It has taken a hit on the GP co-payment and read the community’s apathy towards further changes, however the Minister for Health, only three months into the job, is pushing for fiscal responsibility and ‘outcomes’ driven policy.

The projected growth of an ageing population (with some 40,000 centenarians in 2055, rising from 4,500 today), entwined with the rising rates of participation and longer working life, will also doubtlessly be used by the Government as continued justification for the establishment of a Medical Research Future Fund.

* Statistics based on “current situation” forecast

Peta Lange, Director Parker & Partners

MYOB appoints Ogilvy Public Relations as its Australian agency of record

March 4, 2015 by  
Filed under News

MYOB logoOgilvy Public Relations will be responsible for the development and execution of communications strategies to support the continuing growth of MYOB.

The account team has been created drawing on expertise from Ogilvy PR’s business to business, corporate, technology, media and social media specialists.

Caroline Ruddick, GM Group Marketing, MYOB, said: “MYOB is experiencing record growth and recently achieved a milestone of more than half a million regular paying clients, of which more than 116,000 are cloud subscribers. With a suite of exciting products that make business life easier for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, we have a great story to tell. We have enlisted the help of Ogilvy Public Relations to help us tell our story.

“The team impressed us with their ideas, their knowledge and their passion for our business and have already hit the ground running. We are entering an exciting time in our business and look forward to a great partnership with Ogilvy PR to ensure we deliver outstanding results together.”

Working closely with MYOB’s in-house communications team, Ogilvy Public Relation’s remit includes strategy and campaign implementation comprising corporate affairs, business to business and brand communications.

Susan Redden Makatoa, Ogilvy PR’s Group Managing Director – Corporate, said: “MYOB is a fantastic brand and business and we’re thrilled to be working with them. MYOB plays an important role in the Australian SME landscape and is experiencing tremendous growth. They have just announced some impressive growth numbers and we’re looking forward to what promises to be an exciting year.”

Ogilvy PR Australia is a joint venture between WPP and STW Group, Australia’s leading marketing

content and communications 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, visit our website at http://www.ogilvypr.com.au or follow us on Twitter at @ogilvypraus.


Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, CRM, websites, job costing, practice management, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing client support via many channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and spends more than AU$35 million annually on research and development. For more information, visit www.myob.com.au.

For more information please contact:


Sandra Renowden

0403 823 218

Caroline Ruddick


0431 250 860

Ogilvy PR shortlisted for 2015 CommsCon Awards

February 26, 2015 by  
Filed under News

The shortlists have been announced for this year’s CommsCon Awards for PR and communications professionals.

Ogilvy Public Relations has been shortlisted for five awards which include Howorth, Pulse Communications and Ogilvy PR Melbourne.

B2B campaign:  Mercer: Expectations vs Reality of Retirement in Australia. Launching a game changer – Mercer with Ogilvy PR (comprising Howorth and Ogilvy PR Melbourne)

PR-led event or activation of the year:  eBay: Christmas Shoppable Windows – Pulse Communications

PR Leader of the year:  Richard Brett – Pulse Communications

Large PR agency of the year: Pulse Communications

Best use of research / insights:  Kronos: Australia’s Dilemma – Live to work or work to live? – Ogilvy PR

Congratulations to all of the teams and Richard Brett and we wish them the best of luck at the awards dinner on Wednesday 18th March.

You can view the full list of awards here.

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