When your social media past catches up with you

March 5, 2014 (All day) / Posted in etiquette issues management social media

While we’re not all about to become the next political candidate for our local area, Liberal candidate Anthony Antoniadis’ recent error of judgement, which labelled his prospective constituents work shy and smelly, does serve to remind us that what we say on social media is there for eternity. In fact, it’s waiting for its moment to bite you on the proverbial.

Politics or not, Anthony is a business owner in Salisbury and should understand the consequences of such immature behaviour in such a public forum.

With no doubt a bit of guidance from Steven Marshall’s media team who would have quickly swung into crisis management mode to minimise the damage caused to the Liberal Party as a whole, Anthony did come out with a statement apologising for his “stupid” and “offensive” comments.

Despite what seems like a continuous stream of lessons in what not to do, with a never-ending array of case studies, there are still many who do not heed the warnings.

Here are some useful tips to consider before taking to social media: 

-  Be aware of what your social media privacy settings are set at and adjust them accordingly.

-  Don’t slander or write mistruths about individuals as defamation applies to social media also.

-  Don’t post or write anything your mother wouldn’t approve of!

-  Consider the repercussions of what you’re posting – not just for you personally but those associated with you.

-  And most importantly, think before you post or tweet. 

- Bec Tape, Account Director / Business Development Manager

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Apparently they play football at the Super Bowl?

February 3, 2014 (All day) / Posted in advertising communications marketing

The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world outside of Olympic or Commonwealth Games with over 100 million viewers in the US alone. But with all the hype and off field frivolity, it has become hard to remember that there is actually a game going on.

There has been so many incredible moments throughout the years from the precedent setting performance of Star Spangled Banner by Whitney Houston (may she rest in peace) in ’91, to the ‘get me back into the media spotlight’ “wardrobe malfunction” of ’04, Hillary Duff’s public service announcement, and of course the BOW DOWN show stopping performance by Beyoncé in 2013 (ever since this performance I have wanted to arrive on stage by being shot up from the floor).

So much attention has been paid the game that a major feature is now the ads themselves. A 30-second commercial now costs a staggering $4 million, which is equivalent to $133,333 per second!

Given the cost it’s no wonder company’s are not waiting to premier their ads during the event but get as much viral traction as they can ahead of time to help build and drive excitement.   

To follow is our team’s pick for 2014:

1. AXE PEACE: Make Love, Not War

Axe (or Lynx in Australia) has always produced ads that have been directed at hormone pumping teenage boys with the premise that using the product will make ALL THE GIRLS come running, like some sort of gender reversed milkshake being placed in the yard. This year, however, the company took a slightly different angle with the help of UK advertising agency BBH. To promote their new fragrance ‘Peace’, Axe has made a stunning 60-second ad inspired by the peace protests on the ‘60s that helps promote the need for peace in the world and steps away from the sexist ads the company has been known for. It should also be noted that Axe is so committed to this notion that they have partnered with international peace organization, Peace One Day, and have donated $US250,000 to the cause. Well played Axe, well played.

2. Toyota: The Muppets

It would be remiss of me to not include a car ad in this top three as they make up such a high proportion of the featured ads. There were some honorable mentions in this category including the James Bond-esk Jaguar ad starring Sir Ben Kingsley and a Matrix inspired KIA ad featuring an operatic Laurence Fishburne. We loved a little ad by Toyota where former NFL player Terry Crews gets high jacked by The Muppets. What happens next is a fun filled, sing along adventure through the country. The kids will love it, the sports fans will love it, and the women will love it at the end when a WHOLE lot of muscle gets shown!

Toyota’s agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, has really nailed the brief here and perfectly hit the target market. This ad is also in line with the release of a new Muppets movie this year, as well as moving forward from the Old Spice Ads.

3. Budweiser: Puppy Love

If you can’t watch this ad and feel even the smallest amount of ‘nawww’ then you aren’t human. You literally have no soul! There is a puppy and a Clydesdale becoming friends…what more could you want in an ad and especially if it is to become an internet hit.

The ad, developed by New York agency Anomaly, has already been viewed over  32 million times on YouTube, proving the success of the medium and the idea of pre-screening the ads. It should also be noted that the cast and crew who made the ad were given strict instruction to not pat or play with the multiple puppies as to not distract them. Now that is just plain mean!

- Adam Ross, Senior Consultant

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Death by social media

January 13, 2014 (All day) / Posted in HasJustineLandedYet Justine Sacco social media twitter

We have written a number of blogs about the dos and don’ts of social media, but a tweet by a (former) US-based PR executive at the end of 2013 that set off a social media lynch mob made me think about this once again.


Justine Sacco was not so long ago Communications Director for internet company InterActive Corp, which represents companies such as Vimeo, OkCupid, and Dictionary.com. That was until she mindlessly tweeted (immediately before boarding a flight) “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”


Almost instantly she was one of the most hated people in the world with #JustineSacco and #HasJustineLandedYet trending on Twitter worldwide while she was blissfully unaware mid flight. During the time that she was flying from the US to South Africa such commotion was made online that upon arrival she was greeted by media and the aforementioned virtual lynch mob and promptly cancelled her accounts. It was too late, since her tweet blew up in her face, her name was tweeted more than 30,000 times and the hashtag almost 100,000 times.


In a move nothing short of genius, quick thinking charity Aid for Africa secured the domain name www.justinesacco.com and redirected it to their fundraising website, successfully capturing those turning to Google for more information. 


Besides the obvious insanely stupid lapse in judgment from someone who spends their day ensuring the reputations of major corporations aren’t tarnished, this raises a number of interesting points - and subsequent lessons - that could be debated for hours at a dinner party.


Firstly, it would be remiss of anyone to say Sacco isn’t a fool for doing what she did. But one must also remember the age-old saying ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’. I know that in the heat of the moment I have said some things that I don’t believe and regret the second I start the first syllable. So let’s not jump to conclusions too quickly before we know the entire story, as context is an interesting beast. The flip side being that her previous tweets (to a measly 200 followers) included references to masturbation, rape and multiple profanities. So this, as it turns out, wasn’t a one-off.


Secondly, why has the world all of a sudden become digital law enforcement? People like to hide behind their avatar as they know they can say what they want and not really have to follow through. I know people who spend the majority of their time ‘liking’ Facebook posts, but have no idea what is really happening in that person’s actual life. Cyber bullying continues to rear its ugly head; I would love to know the statistics of how many virtual vigilantes have children, nephews, nieces, brothers or sisters, who have made an individual feel horrible but have done nothing about it.


Thirdly, don’t be an idiot on social media. The Internet doesn’t miss a beat and everything goes somewhere. If in doubt, don’t do it. If there is too much alcohol involved, DON’T DO IT. In PR we talk about our personal brands and it should be the same for everyone. Protect it with all you have as you don’t know when any damage done will come back to bite you. Put simply, don’t say or do anything you know you may one day regret – or at the very least don’t want your mother or kids to see.


Fourthly, I am a big believer in ‘innocent until proven guilty’. At the time, did anyone really know for sure that the post wasn’t a practical joke by someone else? What if Sacco’s account was hacked? The end result doesn’t really matter because Sacco was fired from her job (apparently mid-air) and dragged over hot coals by everyone and anyone who could piece 140 characters together.


Finally, AIDS is still a major issue and is no laughing matter. As is suicide, death, rape, animal cruelty, bullying, violence, sickness, equal rights…the list goes on. It’s no laughing matter, especially on social media. Also, instead of joining the digital lynch mob, why not make a difference. Tell your nephew or son that it is polite to open a door for a woman, or donate your coffee money one week to a charity, or call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while to see how they are. Less bandwagon jumping and more positive good. 

- Adam Ross, Senior Consultant

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Five steps to a productive and happy team

December 5, 2013 (All day) / Posted in culture five steps staff morale

During tough economic times it is tempting for business leaders to be preoccupied with the bottom line and cost-cutting, but making people and organisational culture the top priority can have significant and positive flow-on effects across the entire business. It can be easy to say you value your staff, but when push comes to shove staff engagement can take a back-seat, having a negative impact on morale, productivity and employee turnover which ultimately is costly to the business. Here’s five of our tips to fostering a happy and engaged team (and they wont blow your budget line).


1. An apple a day

Offer a bowl of fresh fruit in your lunchroom to encourage staff to curb afternoon sugar-cravings the healthy way and give their diet a daily vitamin-boost. At communikate et al, we replenish our fruit bowl once a week and keep things interesting with different seasonal fruits – it doesn’t need to be expensive. Or try Keane’s Organic Food, who delivers boxes of super fresh organic fruit straight to your door.


2. Set targets

Keep staff motivated and engaged as a team by setting business targets for the group to achieve in fun and interesting ways. We assign a theme to each quarter with associated activities and targets, tracking progress at fortnightly staff meetings and rewarding achieved targets with treats like free movie tickets and an espresso machine for the staff kitchen.


3. Time out

Managing stress levels and encouraging staff to take time out can make all the difference to their wellbeing, and happy and healthy employees can make all the difference to your bottom line. Each month we offer half-hour massages onsite, offering everyone a little indulgence while also looking after neck and back issues that come along with daily deskwork.


4. Let them be heard

Giving your staff the opportunity to contribute to business planning and strategy will keep them involved in broader activities outside of their immediate roles, and motivate them to be as invested in the success of the business as you are. Regular one-to-one catch ups with the management team also provide a forum for staff to raise any concerns or discuss other matters in depth.


5. Peer support

Give your staff plenty of opportunities to learn from and connect with their colleagues and peers. We coordinate mentoring programs, both internal and external, and offer a professional development allowance for each staff member to use on industry memberships, training courses and networking events. End-of-month drinks and regular team building afternoons punctuate our busy working year with some fun and allow colleagues to connect with each other away from the office.

- Holly Sparrow - Manager, People and Culture


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Social media and fundraising – getting a bang for your buck!

August 30, 2013 (All day) / Posted in Crisis Management crowd funding engagement fundraising social media

This week I co-hosted a breakfast panel on social media and fundraising with the Fundraising Institute of Australia (SA Chapter). Moderated by CK’s managing director Kate Hannemann, the panel also featured Tania Cavaiuolo (National Manager, Marketing & Communications, Leukaemia Foundation) and Marta Harbuzinska (Executive Manager Fundraising, Women's & Children's Hospital Foundation)

The informative discussion covered several hot topics surrounding social media and was full of practical advice and real-world case studies from the panelists.

On the topic of branding, Tania explained how the Leukaemia Foundation integrates social media into the marketing mix and use it as a way to amplify what is going on in other channels. In comparison, the Women's & Children's Hospital Foundation use social media primarily as a relationship building tool to develop personal connections with its community.

From a strategy and planning point of view, I believe it should all start with the audience and understanding how social media can cut through the noise and add value in every engagement.

The panel agreed that resourcing should not be a barrier to getting started in social because you can always start small, even just by monitoring, before scaling up into engagement.

When it came to measuring the return on investment, website referrals was the most common metric used by each of the panelists along with the usual reach and engagement metrics. The University of Adelaide is an organisation that has integrated social media and its CRM allowing it to track the impact of social media engagement on both student engagement and retention.

One of the most hotly debated topics of the session was crisis management with some great examples including how to deal with persistent Facebook and Twitter trolls, and losing control of the message by not responding fast enough during a crisis. This segued into discussion on the value of legal advice where an aversion to risk can sometimes come at the expense of creating a genuine two-way engagement.

On the topic of platforms, there was a lot of interest in the promise of crowd funding platforms like Pozible and Kickstarter. While P2P platforms like Everyday Hero are still incredibly valuable for Marta and the Women's & Children's Hospital Foundation, there is a growing shift toward crowd funding to give donors a greater sense of ownership. Google Analytics’ social media report is also a great way to identify which social media channels to focus on.

With the session drawing to a close, the panel gave its final tips on control versus engagement. Listening, understanding your audience, varying content, resourcing appropriately and knowing who you can go to internally for answers were all listed as great ways to generate engagement while still maintaining control.

- Mal Chia, Digital Strategist 


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