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Helping your clients prove their expertise

By Seamus Byrne in Marcoms News on
It’s not uncommon to be pitched offers of quotes about news, or interview opportunities or guest articles (increasingly common, which is its own thing) where a company wants one of its executives to say something about things that are going on in the news.
It definitely fits into an important vein of pursuing a place of thought leadership in an industry. But quite often these pitches are coming in very cold, so it’s hard to say yes when you just don’t know what the person actually has to say on a topic.
If you want to help those clients build that position in the industry, they need to be more proactive about offering interesting things to say not only in response to a ‘moment’ that may be happening in the market, but also at other times of the news cycle.
In fact, being willing to say interesting things at times when a company isn’t launching something and also when there isn’t much else going on in the news would be the ideal time to speak up. It’s more likely to catch the eye of a journalist looking for something worth writing about.
So how do you do that? One is to work harder on those internal blog posts to give executives the space to genuinely say what they’re thinking, and to offer advice and insight to both your direct customer base and to anyone else on the hunt for valuable information. But part of that is also to not be afraid of letting them push their thoughts into a space that is a little controversial or a little provocative.
I’ve been doing some thought leadership work this year, ghost writing to help executives to express their ideas in a form that both captures their most passionate thinking while also making it readable to those without technical expertise. And I’ve realised that using the interview format to help them convert ideas into helpful and interesting first-person articles can be a great way to help them get that job done.
But after doing some of this kind of work, it does become valuable to offer up regular quotes to journalists in response to what’s happening in the news.
I’m reminded of the Scimex daily alerts, where academics across the country offer canned quotes in response to some of the biggest science news of the day. More tech leaders should be doing a paragraph comment about the big news out there. Remember that journalists are ridiculously time poor today. Making an offer of a comment is not enough. If they have to reply and then wait for a further reply to then arrange a time for a call? They’ve already moved on because it’s too many delays. But a few meaningful lines in that first email? There’s a good chance that someone out there will find a use for that.
I emphasise ‘meaningful’ there too. Too many times I’ve been offered similar comments which have turned out to be nothing but standard corporate words that don’t really say anything. 
Never forget that if you’re chasing thought leadership cred, you need to offer thoughts that show leadership. And leadership means being willing to stand apart and be noticed.

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PRIA’s national conference goes online

By Elliott Richardson in Marcoms News on
The Public Relations Institute of Australia’s annual conference, due to be held on 27 and 28 October has been shifted entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s conference will be focused on the government and business responses to the pandemic and how the PR industry will be impacted by such dramatic changes in the way we work.
PRIA national president Leigh McClusky said the theme of this year’s conference came from a desire to analyse how the pandemic had benefited some but impacted others.
“The theme for the conference was borne out of the tumultuous year that 2020 has been and the impact it has had on our industry, where for some it has been a major challenge whilst for others it has delivered new opportunities,” McClusky said.
She adds that COVID-19 has changed the way PR professionals now interact with their audiences and this will be a key component of the conference.
“I think in the short

360PR lands BATHEFEX account

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

NSW agency 360PR has become the agency of record for the BATHEFEX home spa essentials line.

Produced by Chemcorp International, the BATHEFEX line comprises Epsom salt baths available in various fragrances, hand/leg masks, and soaps. It is being angled as an end-of-day relaxation product.

Select outlets in Sydney are currently carrying the products.

“BATHEFEX believes in the art of bathing, it is a ritual we live and breathe. We are excited to re-launch this brand into the market. They are affordable, readily available and contain sought-after ingredients, wrapped up in beautiful packaging,” said Chemcorp International marketing manager Erica Galea.

New clients are in at Polkadot

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Polkadot Communications is marking spring with four new clients on the rolls.

Nomo Chocolate and fast food chain Rashays have been added to Polkadot’s food practice. Nomo and Polkadot previously worked on an Easter 2020 project. Rashays, meanwhile, joined a market tiff between McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks by introducing its own signature stacked burger.

For the beauty practice, the agency will handle the account for international beauty tech company Foreo. Specialising in skincare and oral hygiene devices, Foreo had spent some time searching for an agency of record but Polkadot’s pitch stood out among a number of candidates.

The health and wellness portfolio has Tasmanian company VBreathe pencilled in. The account was secured as more demand for air purifiers rose as a result of the pandemic. 

“Whilst we have certainly seen some setbacks in our travel client portfolio, we have added some really exciting new brands to our agency this year; each with their

Mango Communications wins Teachers Health account

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Mango Communications has been accorded the PR account for the Teachers Health support fund.

The agency will be tasked to handle the Fund’s media relations over the course of the pandemic, and throughout 2021.

The news comes as the Australian academe is struggling to cope with mental health problems in light of the pandemic prompting more online classes and the operations of the Teachers Health Centres.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Teachers Health, working to amplify their voice during a pivotal and challenging time for its members. This partnership is demonstrative of Mango’s continued growth in the sector across a wide range of health and wellness-focused clients,” said Mango Communications managing director Tabitha Fairbairn.

Icon Agency takes on Carers Victoria account

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The Icon Agency is in action with Carers Victoria on a new integrated campaign. 

The campaign involves building public awareness and marshalling of support for 726,000 carers in Victoria who look after people with a disability or special-needs people without compensation. Specific carers will also be highlighted. 

A new platform called “Truly Incredible Care” will carry associated content. 

“This subject is something that deserves greater awareness, it’s a human story that isn’t told enough. Hopefully by telling these stories we help enable more carers the help they need with theirs,” said Icon Agency creative director Ed Bechervaise.

Tide.PR lands Vranken-Pommery deal

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The Australian arm of international winemaker Vranken-Pommery Monopole has appointed as its official agency of record in Australia, reported B and T.

The new partnership will see handle three specific Vranken-Pommery brands.

For Maison Champagne Pommery, will raise brand awareness ahead of the Spring Racing Festival, plus the Pommery 2020 World Collection.

The other two are Vranken-Pommery Rosé vineyards based in France – the Château La Gordonne in Provence and Domaine Royal de Jarras in Camargue. Both vineyards have a combined land area of over 700 hectares.

“We are delighted to be appointed the prestigious Vranken-Pommery Australia account and are looking forward to further educating the Australian market about this remarkable group through a strategic public relations campaign,” said director Stacey McArdle.

Steedman bows out of WPP AUNZ

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

John Steedman has retired from the executive tier of WPP AUNZ.

He stated that after a 45-year run with the WPP global organisation, the time was ripe for him to move on.

“I have been through cycles of both positive tailwinds and tough downturns, and through each one, it is the fantastic clients and colleagues whom I have had the pleasure to work alongside, that has made this journey so rewarding and colourful,” he said.

Steedman joined WPP AUNZ as its director in April 2016, later adding roles such as executive director and executive chairman for media investment management. 

His industry contacts and experience later led to an appointment in 2018 as interim CEO following Mike Connaghan’s departure, then to COO as Jens Moonsees came aboard last year.

“With his deep experience, Steady has provided invaluable support and leadership as COO over the past year as we faced the very challenging external circumstances and successfully changed our workplaces to

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