Archive for July, 2012

Publicity Queen Scores a Howling Good Story

Publicity Queen has scored howlingly good results this week for long-time client Animal Aid, organising this delightful snap and story that appeared in Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun.

The story features the very young and very talented Caitlin Marks who stars in the title role of Annie in the hit musical currently showing in Melbourne, alongside Ginnie, a young Papillon-cross who is currently being sheltered by Animal Aid in Victoria.

What makes this story so appealing is the great combination of an appealing photo with a heart-warming story.  Publicity Queen is very fortunate to work with a client like Animal Aid, whose animals provide us with a never ending source of adorable photo opportunities that have assisted us no end in generating great media angles for them.

The challenge for us is to constantly think of new, exciting and innovative ways to feature our client, attracting media attention and always finding new and fresh perspectives.

What is especially pleasing is that this story came about as a result of wonderful teamwork between two of the Publicity Queen team members, one of whom developed the story idea, and the other who pitched it successfully to the Herald Sun.

Our thanks go the cast and crew of Annie the musical who helped us to make this story opportunity happen, and to Sunday Herald Sun photographer Tony Gough for taking such a great shot.

I wonder what the next big splash for our clients will be?  Stay tuned to find out.

Yours in PR

Which Company Has the Best (and Worst) Newsroom?

Ever wondered which companies in Australia that feature on the ASX Top 100 have the best in-house news hub? Well, wait no longer.. drumroll please… The winner of this prestigious accolade, according to a research report by Comnicate, is: Rio Tinto!

In Comnicate’s Report, the survey they conducted studied content, distribution and user experience (i.e. what news is online, how easy it is to access, can news be shared), and found wide disparities between the best and worst online media newsrooms for ASX100 companies according to key criteria.  The research produced some interesting results about the ASX100 companies as to how well they communicate their news.

The highest score was achieved by Rio Tinto at 91, and the mean average score for the ASX100 was 52. Disappointingly for Bank of Queensland, they came in at the bottom of the list.  I thought you might like to know who featured in the top ten, so here goes:

1. Rio Tinto
2. AMP
3. Telstra
4. ANZ Banking Group
5. Woodside Petroleum
6. Origin Energy
7. Treasury Wines
8. Commonwealth Bank
9. Qantas
10. Iluka Resources

From looking at this list, some thoughts occur to me.  Little wonder that a resources company like Rio Tinto should perform best in this survey, and that Iluka, Woodside and Origin are featured, as resources companies tend to have deep pockets plus a strong corporate imperative to communicate their messages, given the negative press that has attended their sector in recent years.  Similarly, from a tech point of view, you might expect Telstra to be in this list, as surely their team would have access to the latest and greatest gizmos.

What is surprising is that a relatively unknown winery like Treasury should be in the list, and this news is encouraging for SMEs.  While it certainly helps if you have the resources of one of the big four banks to run a good online newsroom, in the words of the classic “it ain’t necessarily so.”

So, what are the key learnings from this? Your online newsroom should be focussed on:

a) providing good content
b) making the user’s experience as easy and enjoyable as possible
c) ensuring good news distribution – and by good, I mean not spamming about every little thing, but quality news, sent out before everyone else knows about it.

How does your online newsroom rate? To read the report in full, click here to find out.

Yours in PR

Ita’s Take on Media Ownership

When Australian media icon Ita Buttrose adressed the National Press Club last week, she was speaking as an advocate for Alzheimer’s Australia, but given what a tumultuous week it has been for the Australian media, question time soon turned into a fascinating exchange about editorial independence.

These National Press Club events can be rather droll affairs, but not this one!  Following her warm and funny speech about Alzheimer’s, the assembled media pack, who rightly recognised they were in the presence of a giant in their field, asked Ms Buttrose about the latest machinations at News Ltd and Fairfax, and her answers delivered a genuinely fascinating insight (from close range and long experience) about what it is like for a senior reporter, publisher and editor to work for different media masters.  Her remarks were also picked up by Milanda Rout of The Australian.

She called on the media industry to stand up for itself against calls for government regulation and tell politicians to “get out of our turf”, and called on journalists to start advocating for themselves in the face of “knee-jerk” reactions by politicians to regulate the media.

In the face of concerns about what the potential influence of media wannabe owners, like Gina Rinehart, she said what really mattered was that the public understood proprietors influenced their publications, “balanced by good journalism of the kind that provides an impartial point of view”.  Journalistic impartiality and independence – I remember that!

Ita said: “It seems a new blood sport to guess what Gina Rinehart might or might not do if she was to get a seat or two on Fairfax media,” she said. “It is all too readily assumed that the Australian public are mugs who buy any line that is spun to them, whether by politicians or the media.  My experience tells me that this is simply is not true . . . the public eventually has the good common sense to make up its own mind about what is being said. I find it disturbing that the knee-jerk reaction to events in the media is that it should be regulated.”

Rather than being pessimistic about the future of Australian journalism, she said the future for newspapers was bright and journalists might all become publishers because “you will be able to do it from your bedroom”.  “We will be able to do things in digital publishing that we have not been able to do before,” she said. “It’s a good world we are moving to and we should be excited about that, not negative.”

For her fellow media colleagues Buttrose expressed concerns about the number of job losses that were anticipated under the restructure.

What was also fascinating was her recount of the real and actual influence exerted by media moguls she had worked for in the past including Sir Warwick Fairfax and Kerry Packer, who according to Ita, left their staff in no doubt about the kinds of stories they wanted covered in their newspapers.  Is it realistic to expect any modern-day media barons to hold back from similar influence? Surely this is naive at best.

There is a universal truth that applies here, and it is about the intrinsic quality of the reporting done for a media outlet will always tell – as Oscar Wilde once wrote – the truth will always out.

Any journalist worth their salt will not play it safe and run the ‘party’ line – they will continue to do investigative reports about matters of serious import, they will break the news, not repeat it or quote it from a media release, and they will continue to provide an invaluable service to the Australian people in reporting the big stories that reflect who we are as a nation, and inform our national identity.  If they don’t, people just won’t buy their newspapers, or sign on for their digital subscriptions, and the media companies will be penalised accordingly.

To watch Ita’s address in full, click here.  It is thoroughly worth a look.

Yours in PR

%d bloggers like this: