Archive for December, 2011

Highlights of 2011 – What Were Yours?


It’s that time of year when we stop to reflect on the year that has been and began to plan and dream about the year to come.  This reflection is not just sentimental – I find it very useful to think back about what we achieved in 2011, and what we would do differently next year, and plan what we want to accomplish in 2012.

It’s not until I sat down and thought through just what we have achieved in the last 12 months that I realised just how busy and productive we have been.

Here are my personal highlights of our achievements at Publicity Queen over the past 12 months:

 

  • PQ Expands – due to new client acquisitions and overall growth in the company, Publicity Queen established a presence in NSW for the first time through hiring PR gun Valerie MacIver, based in Sydney.  This means Publicity Queen now have consultants stretching across a vast expanse of the Australian Eastern Seaboard – including Qld’s Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.
  • PQ Makes Front Page News – this year we maintained our strike rate in generating front page news.  We did this for our long-time client, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, securing the front page of mX in both Brisbane and Melbourne on the same day! We also made front page news twice on the Daily Telegraph in Sydney for media coverage of the Global Leadership Forum.
  • PQ features in Herald Sun – this year also saw a major feature article on me and Publicity Queen featured in Melbourne’s most-read newspaper, the Herald Sun; as well as an interview with me appearing in MyBusiness magazine.
  • 12 Months of Queentessentials – 2011 was the first year that we ran a complete annual set of our much-loved Queentessentials e-newsletter, featuring many fascinating interviews with such media heavyweights as Deb Thomas, Steve Speziale and David Astle to name a few.  Stand by for February’s first edition of Queentessentials for 2012, which will be filled with useful and entertaining snippets from the world of PR.
  • Making new friends – this year saw the power of association demonstrated in real terms, as Publicity Queen partnered with The Growth Faculty to bring to Australia George Clooney, Martha Stewart and four other leading business leaders and innovators for the Global Leadership Forum.  This event generated extraordinary interest and coverage for us (as well as a picture of George and me that is framed and sits proudly on my bedside table) and will propel us into an entirely different league in the PR game in Australia.

Our challenge for 2012 will be to harness the momentum that we created in 2011, as evidenced by the achievements listed above, and use these to create further growth for our business in the next 12 months.  I am excited to think about what those achievements will be by the time I write this same blog post next year.

Happy New Year to all of our readers, clients, friends and supporters, and I’d love to hear from our readers what your highlights of 2011 might be.

Yours in PR

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Word of the Year? What Word Would You Choose?


As we wind down the last few days of 2011, already folks are thinking about its most seminal moments, images, ideas, thoughts and… words.

Being in the word business, this is fascinating to us, and our friends at News.com.au have commissioned a snap poll, asking for nominations for word of the year for 2011.

It’s interesting…  here are the words they have suggested:

* Occupy
* Debt
* Minority
* Ear-Bashing
* Planking
* Winning
* Gestational Carrier
* Siri

Clearly, from reading this list of suggestions, there are people and events associated with these words.  Few will forget the use of ‘ear-bashing’ by the President of the United States during his visit, and of course the originator of ‘winning’ needs neither an introduction nor further publicity.

For me it might be, ‘inspired’ due to all of the amazing people I have met this year, or ‘golden’ in view of some choice opportunites that have come to pass, or maybe just… George.  Regular readers of this Blog will need no further explanation.

I would be interested to know which word sums up 2011 for you, and I wonder what words will be appropriate to sum up the new year that is about to start.

To participate in the News.com.au poll, click here

Late mail: Talk about having your finger on the pulse… as a neat corollary to this story, the Herald Sun just posted a story, sourced from the Plain English Foundation, that outlines Australia’s LEAST favourite NEW WORDS of the year, including:

* Inland Tsunami
* Fugitive Emissions
* Free to Roam
* Negative Good

To read the article in full click here.  So, which words sum up 2011, and which ones are your own personal least faves, let me know?!

Yours in PR

Cross-Promotion = Ca-CHING!


One of the great joys of working in PR is the fun clients that we get to work with through the year, and especially now in the lead-up to Christmas, we get all warm and fuzzy as the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal gathers momentum in the leadup to 25 December each year.

For years now, Publicity Queen has handled the promotion of the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal for Queensland and Victoria, and this year we had the great idea of featuring two of our clients in a Christmas cross-promotion in collaboration with mX.

The result is the stunning image that you can see on the left of screen – featuring Lydia Lim from Soul Mystique – the dynamic dance and illusion duo that we have worked with this year, creating for them opportunities for media coverage including a return appearance on the Seven Network’s high rating show Australia’s Got Amazing Talent.

Lydia looks smashing in this picture, dressed entirely (almost!) in gift tags provided by the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.  This image appeared on Tuesday on the front covers of mX in both Brisbane and Melbourne, reaching hundreds of thousands of busy commuters on their way home from work.

I encourage all of you who have multiple clients in diverse fields (or even in complementary ones) to think about ways that you can harness the contacts, content, visuals and events of your clients, partners and staff so that you can get a double-whammy through cross promotion, just as we have done here.

It has spurred me on to think about many more wild and wonderful ways that we can bring together all the members of the Publicity Queen family, generate some publicity, and build that spirit of inter-connectedness between us all.  Stay tuned!


Yours in PR

Who Are The New Women in George Clooney’s Life?


Prior to George Clooney visiting Australia this week there was much discussion about exactly whom he was travelling with, and whom he might meet up with in Sydney during his brief stay.

Well, you heard it first, George was spotted in Sydney with these two beauties… Publicity Queen’s very own Sally Romano (me!) and Valerie MacIver.

It was a great pleasure to meet the man himself who gave so generously of his time during his stay, and did much to raise awareness about his good works in support of war-torn parts of the world.

It would be fair to say, this pic is going in a frame and then STRAIGHT TO THE POOL ROOM!


Yours in PR

George Clooney Scores Slamdunk at Global Leadership Forum


George  Clooney scored a PR slamdunk this week when he travelled to Sydney as part of the Global Leadership Forum, hosted by The Growth Faculty and proudly supported by Publicity Queen.

The arrival of the Hollywood megastar had Sydney’s media all a-Twitter, with coverage starting early courtesy of Edwina Bartholomew of Seven’s Sunrise programme, who did an early live cross from the venue.

Clooney, pictured left with Emmanuel Acouth of the South Stars Basketball Team scored extra points by donating his sizeable appearance fee to his human rights advocacy work, in particular the Not On Our Watch Project, which focuses attention on the prevention of crime and supports the world’s most vulnerable people.

In an interview with Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Clooney said: “What I am trying to do is continue to keep a satellite that we’ve been using to monitor war criminals on the border between the south and north Sudan. We’ve been trying to keep an eye on them.”  “It’s not cheap but we’re doing something governments can’t do because that would be called spying.”

“I kept asking why can you Google my house, and not Google war criminal’s homes. It seems like these guys should be afforded the same amount of celebrity as I am. That seemed fair.”

Clooney was just one bright spark in a firmament of stars that descended upon the harbour city yesterday, including homemaker turned tycoon Martha Stewart, webpreneurs Jeff Taylor and Michael Fertik, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and music industry entrepreneur, Russell Simmons.

Publicity Queen was proud to support the event, and to continue their collaboration with The Growth Faculty, who continue to do great work in bringing to Australia the very latest thinking in innovation, entrepreneurship and business knowledge.  The next must-see event to mark in the diary is the National Growth Summit scheduled for 14-15 March 2012, that will feature an all-star lineup of business thought leaders including:

  • Jim Collins, author of best-selling business management book – Good to Great and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth;
  • Fred Reichheld, business author and business strategist best known for his research and writing on the loyalty business model and Loyalty Marketing;
  • Lucy Cornell, Designated Linklater Voice Coach, Master of Applied Science in Voice Research;
  • Halley Bock, President and CEO, Fierce Inc – a leadership development and training company that drives results for business and education by developing conversation as a skill;
  • Jack Daly, expert and world leader in sales management with 20 years of proven field experience, and
  • Verne Harnish, aka the “Growth Guy” – CEO of Gazelles, Inc and of Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO), author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast Growth Firm.

To find out more about the National Growth Summit click here  I’ll be there, and I hope to see you too!

Yours in PR

What People Say and What They Actually Mean


In the world of PR and as practitioners in the art of persuasion, it is a source of constant surprise and confoundment to me about how few people actually say what they mean, and mean what they say.  The classic that has crept into Australian parlance in the last 5 years or so is “Yeah… no”.  The actual translation of this might be: “Yes, I understand your meaning and I empathise with your question, but in reality, that’s not what we were after.”  I do ponder about how people who are learning English as a second language cope with the subtleties and nuances of our language as it is practically applied.

I think what happens sometimes it that politeness gets in the way of clarity.  The absolute worst offenders in this game of manners are the British.  They are the undisputed championsof the understatement.  You could imagine asking the Queen how her recent visit to Australia went.  “Did many people come out to see you, Your Majesty?”, “Oh yes, I did see a few here and there,” she might reply in a self-deprecating way.  Translation: “Didn’t you see, there were thousands and thousands!  I was well chuffed.”

Contrast this with our American friends who commit the ‘hooray for everything’ crime of overstating the case and are the worst offenders in the use of corporate goobledigook, particularly when it comes to business and sales.  “Buy now at this once in a lifetime, never to be repeated offer that will totally change life on this planet as we know it.”  Well, perhaps but not quite.

And so it is that there is a new list of English translations of expressions used by British people that explain, what people say, and then contrast this with first what they actually mean, and then finally, what the listener might have misunderstood them to have meant in the first place.

For example:

British person says: “I only have a few minor comments”
What they actually mean: “Please re-write completely”
What the non-British person understands: “He/She has found a few typos.”

It would be fascinating to develop a similar matrix for what Australians say and what others understand.  For example:

Non Australian asks: “Did you enjoy the Christmas party this year?”
What an Australian says: “Not half!”
What an Australian means: “It was great, thanks for asking”
What the non-Australian understands: “Hmmm… not sure…?”

This exercise is a pertinent reminder for all of us to go boldly into the bravery-filled world of clear speech.  To read the article in full, complete with hilarious misunderstandings of Brit-speak click here

Please feel free to share with us your communication and mis-communication corkers.

Yours in PR

Martha Stewart: How To Build an Empire


Martha Stewart has built a one-woman empire that spans media, publishing, homewares – her signature style has been applied with great care and to great effect across so many industries that she is now like an institution.

Her opinion is sought across the United States and around the world on all matters relating to good taste, and she is a textbook study in how to begin a business driven by personal passion, added with drive, determination and hard work, to create a business profile that is genuinely unique.

What you may not know about Marth Stewart is that she grew up in the working class town of Nutley, New Jersey, and her first chosen profession was actually modelling, who originally considered becoming a historian and an architect and then worked as a stock broker, but found the high-pressure world of finance markets was not her style and returned to her true calling of catering, gardening and homemaking.

Like many women around the world, she took great care and pride in learning about and cooking amazing food, creating a beautiful garden and interior design, but the difference is that Martha found a way to turn those interests first into a thriving publishing career and then ultimately into a billion dollar business.  Before there was Nigella, or Donna Hay, or MasterChef, there was Martha Stewart.

Although her career has not been without controversy, she is the ultimate survivor and still one of the world’s most fascinating and influential women. 

Perhaps her greatest contribution is to lead by example in showing the women of the world that they too can be at the top of the business world.  In a recent interview she said: “I think people who have a real entrepreneurial spirit, who can face difficulties and overcome them, should absolutely follow their desires. It makes for a much more interesting life.”

To see Martha Stewart in person and hear her personal insights on how she built her business empire, there are still tickets available for the Global Leadership Forum that will be held on Monday 12 December 2011.  To book, visit The Growth Faculty’s website at http://www.thegrowthfaculty.com.au  Limited tickets are still available, so book now to avoid disappointment.

The Global Leadership Forum is proudly supported by Publicity Queen.

Yours in PR

The Russell Effect: How Mr Hip Hop Changed Music and Business Forever


Earlier this week on this blog we shared insights from Muhammad Yunus, a man who had an idea that has literally changed the world, and although he works in an entirely different field, the very same can be said of Russell Simmons.

Russell is the Father of Hip Hop music, and has individually created, fostered, promoted and developed that genre of music to be a global force, not just for expressing the urban experience of a generation, but for the creation of wealth.

As he explained in a recent interview, at the ripe old age of 21, Russell Simmons flew economy class to Amsterdam with a rising rap star named Kurtis Blow on a mission to share with the world a little thing called hip-hop. When they landed, the college dropout turned would-be impresario stepped off the plane and found himself being addressed as Mr Simmons. “That was the best payment,” says a man who can touch down on the tarmac in a private jet these days. “It reminded me that I deserved it, that I was doing something worthwhile. I haven’t gotten anything better than that since.”

A quarter century later, having built a half-billion-dollar music and fashion empire, it’s a message he’s delivering to fellow entrepreneurs when he speaks at the Global Leadership Forum in Sydney next week.

While he is a household name in America, those here in Australia may be familiar with his impressive list of achievement including the creation of Def Jam, the pioneering record label he co-founded, which brought hip-hop to urban and suburban teenagers alike and made household names of Run-DMC and LL Cool J. He is also the brains behind Phat Farm, whose sweaters and jeans now share shelf space with Polo and Tommy Hilfiger.

Beyond the energy drink, the debit card, and every other venture bearing his personal stamp, and beyond his work in the fields of charity and political outreach, perhaps the most enduring legacy of Russell Simmons will be his emergence as an entrepreneurial role model, providing guidance both directly and indirectly. If nothing else, he serves as the very case study that was missing when he started out. Humbly, he says: “All of the businesses that I’ve gotten in,” he jokes, “I got in because I didn’t know I couldn’t.”

What has now become known as The Russell Effect has spread elsewhere in hip-hop, with a new class of serial entrepreneurs following his model, and the genius of Simmons is his ability to create buzz, growth and sales in industries with little or no connection to music.  He has follow their personal passion, and made it pay… and then some!  He scoffs at praise of his accomplishments, but does admit that in relation to his own influence as a business leader that for young people: “Maybe because of my luck and success, they believe me.”

To get a personal understanding of The Russell Effect, and to see the man himself in action, it is not too late to book tickets to The Global Leadership Forum, a one-day event that will take place in Sydney on Monday 12 December 2011, proudly supported by Publicity Queen.  To learn more about this event or to book, visit The Growth Faculty‘s website.

Yours in PR

By George! Have You Seen the Christmas Edition of Mindfood?


It would be fair to say that esteemed magazine Mindfood has never looked so good!  On the cover of the Christmas edition of the magazine is none other than George Clooney, whom as you know is heading to Australia in only a few days time to participate at the Global Leadership Forum.  Here George is pictured with Australian supermodel Gemma Ward.

In this article, Clooney reveals some intriguing insights inside his high-gloss world, where he spends equal time on set or in Hollywood, interspersed with months ensconced in his luxury villa in Lake Como, now unofficially re-named Lake Clooney.

Although George is officially born of entertainment royalty, being the nephew of 1950s music star Rosemary Clooney, not many people know he is actually the son of a TV newsman Nick Clooney, and despite his obvious charm, good looks and talent, fame did not come early for him, which in large part accounts for why he remains so obviously good-hearted an unaffected.

It is no secret that George has used his star power to shine a light on dark places around the world including on the civil war in Darfur, and more recently he was an instrumental co-founder of a global force for good known as the Not On Our Watch Project.  The organisation raises awareness and calls for action to support the world’s most vulnerable people and mobilises funds outside of the limits of nations and the UN to support grassroots action.

George arrives in Sydney next week and will be sharing his personal insights and observations along with 5 other inspirational and world-changing figures in business and innovation, including Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, music industry legend Russell Simmons, webpreneurs Jeff Taylor and Michael Fertik and home-maker turned media tycoon Martha Stewart.

There are still tickets available to get up close and personal with these 6 visionaries – to find out more visit The Growth Faculty’s website.  The Global Leadership Forum is proudly sponsored by Publicity Queen.  I’ll be there – I hope to see you too!

Yours in PR

Oh Tweet! What a Year!


Ever wondered what might happen if you aggregated a year’s worth of tweets from around the world and then looked back at what everyone had tweeted for the last 12 months?  Well, British author Kate Bussmann has done just that.  Her new book A Twitter Year is a fascinating rear-window view of just what has had everyone Twitterpated over the past year… it makes for interesting reading.

By far the most interesting and observable trend from a media and PR perspective is the democratisation of news, whereby global citizens, armed just with their mobile phone cameras and a twitter account have reported the news that no-one else could get to – such as the Arab Spring breaking out across the Middle East, and many other news stories.

So many times it has been grainy mobile phone-captured images that first break the story once they have been captured, uploaded and then broadcast around the world, long before the world’s media camera crews could get there.

As well as disseminating news, Twitter has also become a global instant feedback loop, where corporate failures (re: Qantas, BP oil spill in) or personal brainmelts have been met with a resounding, world-wide BOO in the form of Tweets on various topics, the most recent of which as we reported recently related to the onair antics of Kyle Sandilands.

Equally, happy news such as Beyonce’s pregnancy or the most recent royal wedding, got the Twitterspace all in a happy bustle as people shared the love.

Watch this space to see the ever-evolving social media space that is quite literally, changing the way we learn about important local and world events, and how we gauge public opinion on a variety of subjects.

Yours in PR

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