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Coronavirus PR: ‘Show don't tell’ has never been more important

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Show don't tell. Show don't tell. Show don't tell. 
You can't overemphasise it. But there's always plenty of companies who think that in the heat of a crisis they just need to tell us how good they can be at helping us if only we'll listen to their spokesperson.
Let's put it in the simplest terms possible. If your client has only asked you to put them forward to be quoted in stories about the changing face of the workforce in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it'd be good to set their expectations to 'stunned mullet'.
I've been flat out writing pieces about remote working. Strategies. Technical solutions. Cultural impacts. The works. The biggest thing I need is real stories about what's changing and how people are dealing with the situation. Case studies. Showing the work happening in real-time.
Yes, case studies are HARD right now in PR terms. It's too soon. There's no way to control the message or know exactly how well it's working. But that's what I'm asked for more than anything else. Examples of people getting on with work thanks to digital environments and tech hardware that is helping them to do whatever it is they do.
I don't want a spokesperson telling me what they're offering or what they're planning to do differently. I want the customers and the clients and the consumers.
Zoom has crushed it as a tech company in this crisis, and at first it was largely not by design. One of the biggest examples of a top down experience instead of the recent history of bottom up tech adoption, it moved from business tool to mainstream consumer usage within a matter of weeks. But they did also step forward to offer something real to schools, removing barriers to entry and adoption to help make this moment easier for those who needed video conferencing solved in new ways.
Australia's Rode, a great audio hardware company with a worldwide reputation for excellence, announced a donation of millions of dollars worth of podcasting hardware to help NSW schools to produce content for students remotely at a high quality.
Instead of this, they could have sent out a press releas talking about how good quality microphones are important in remote work conditions and that their spokesperson is available for comment. Instead they offered value to people who needed a solution, and I don't doubt in coming weeks there might be some interesting case studies of how that hardware has been used.
It's been great to see new initiatives from many organisations. Even online hackathons and events going digital, and the stories of how some of these have enabled people who have never been able to participate before to take part. Stories of how remote has become an opportunity, not just a band-aid.
Video games have been launching early to take advantage of the downtime. Online games have been offering premium access for 30 days, or boosting in-game progression to attract people to spend time in their games. They're not just saying "games are a great way to relax and distract from bad times we can give you some quotes if you would like." They're just encouraging people to play.
As we exit the 'early phase' of this crisis and enter the long middle of whatever is to come, companies should be careful to avoid looking like they're just trying to be visible and focus on what they can do to help. Help customers. Help charities. Help just one person. Do something real. Then maybe there will be a great story to tell about it. Maybe in a few days. Maybe on the other side.
Just remember to show us something real.

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Sams assumes AFR fashion editor post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Lauren Sams has been appointed to a fashion editor position with the Australian Financial Review (AFR). 

She had spent the past year with the paper as correspondent and luxury editor, which included editing the quarterly Luxury insert.

Follow Sams on LinkedIn.

Camilleri takes up Herald-Sun opinions post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Rosie Camilleri has moved up at the Melbourne Herald-Sun as its new opinions editor.

The post will also see her process opinion materials for the Herald-Sun’s weekend edition.

She had previously been subeditor for the paper and Leader Community Newspapers.  

Follow Camillieri on LinkedIn.

Dutton promoted to Canberra Times news director post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Chris Dutton has been appointed news director for the Canberra Times.

He had spent the past five years at the sports desk as editor. 

Follow Dutton on Twitter @BlockaDutton.

Marshall to edit Camper Australia

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Veteran outdoors writer Glenn Marshall has joined Camper Australia as its new editor-at-large.

Chris Jefferson, GM of Camper Australia parent firm Adventures Group Holdings, said Marshall’s experience in covering Australia’s outdoor adventure scene made him the perfect fit for the magazine. 

Marshall is well-known for his contributions to leading travel publications including 4×4 Australia, Pat Callinan’s 4×4 Adventures, Camper Australia, and Caravan World.

“I will continue doing what I love: Living the dream, Sharing the Experience,” said Marshall of his new appointment.

AusGamers and the fight for a better game culture

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
AusGamers is approaching its 20th anniversary, a rare feat of longevity in the digital domain. But its success is in no small part thanks to a passionate core of staff and fans who have known and loved the site since its earliest days as a file mirror and forum.
Stephen Farrelly has run AusGamers since its shift toward covering games, and with a monthly audience in the 250,000 per month ballpark he’s proud of what the site has become since then, and proud that he pays the people who contribute to the site.
“We were the first site that Metacritic invited from Australia, we were the first site invited to be part of Geoff Keighley’s voting processes for E3 judging and The Game Awards,” says Farrelly. “From those early times we got access to all the good stuff and all the good people.”
Farrelly is quick to call out Kosta Andreadis as a big part of the site’s success – “I think he’s the most underrated write

Ahern leads new STEM publication

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Ex-Cosmos Media CEO/co-founder Kylie Ahern has come forward with a new STEM newsletter called The Brilliant.

Scheduled for release every Thursdays, the publication is designed to educate the public on STEM-related matters, including profilers on leading researchers and new scientific advances. 

It will also support the advocacies of industry body STEM Matters, of which Ahern is the CEO. 

“There’s definitely a hunger from within the STEM sector, and from the wider community to hear from the experts and be inspired by the progress and results in meeting the biggest challenges that we face as a society. The Brilliant plugs that knowledge gap,” said Ahern.

The plan calls for The Brilliant to be published as a free newsletter, with paid advertisers to follow if readership grows.

Catching up with David Hague on the Australian Videocamera journey

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on


David Hague is an industry stalwart and has been carving his own path with his Australian Videocamera website and e-magazine for a good long time now. We asked him a few questions to help catch us up on his approach and how the efforts have been going.
How long have you been running in this format now? How often has it been tweaked along the way?
About 7 years now. Major tweak was going from web only to jointly with an interactive approximately monthly PDF once I discovered how to embed video into a PDF as a streaming file (NOT an easy task!). Adobe tell me they have made this easier in the latest updates of InDesign and I am investigating this now.
We have also changed from the original monthly magazine template designed web hosting system to a flexible WordsPress one (3 years ago). We did a brief flirt with a name change to Film Video and Virtual Reality (and the website still reflects this behind the scenes) but it didn’t have the right “ring&rdq

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