Porter Novelli presses PR advantage in agribusiness, energy sectors
From left to right: Porter Novelli's Damien Batey, Quantum Market Research Managing Director Imogen Randell, Government Relations Australia Director Richard King, and Porter Novelli's Patrick McClelland discuss the future of agribusiness and energy in Australia at the launch of PN Agribusiness and PN Energy specialty public relations offerings.
Porter Novelli Melbourne has unveiled two specialist public relations divisions to meet growing client-side demand for expert knowledge of Australia’s agribusiness and energy sectors.
PN Agribusiness and PN Energy are embedded in the broader agency, and draw on deep experience of existing staff under the leadership of Patrick McClelland (agribusiness) and Damien Batey (energy).
Porter Novelli Melbourne Managing Director Peter Kent says the initiative is a natural response to heightened social, political and economic dimensions for both sectors.
“Australian agribusiness is so much more than farming and supermarket pricing. Our work in the sector is already assisting investment, productivity, market access, land use change and transformation from the paddock to the plate,” he said.
“Consumer energy pricing might well be the current barbecue stopper, but behind the headlines of retail pricing are factors including structural change, policy challenges and technological innovation across the supply chain. These demand experience and a deft touch of communication and persuasion.”
Mr Kent said both sectors were already strongly represented in the agency’s client roster in Australia, New Zealand and globally, with experience that could be deployed into Australia and on behalf of Australian interests pursuing international markets.
We’re after someone who is creative, can think on their feet, can find solutions to problems, is a strong team player and enjoys working under the spotlight with minimal supervision. You would be working on a client portfolio that focuses on business technology. Ideally, you will have at least three years experience in this space.
This is an exciting opportunity to work on a small group of high profile brands. We’re after an outstanding Account Manager (AM) who understands what makes great work and makes it happen. You’ll be a key part of a team that delivers integrated campaigns ranging from brand communications and media relations to retail campaigns.
As an AM your role will be the hub of your account team, the go to person responsible for managing day-to-day projects.
Desired Skills & Experience
- 3+ years in a similar role within an agency
- Strong account management skills
- Strong integrated experience
- Excellent communications skills
- Strong media and influencer relationships
- Have the ability to lead, manage and motivate agency collaboration
- Manages up and down effectively
Please note: all applicants must have valid Australian working rights.
If you would like to hear more about this exciting role, please send your CV to Kirilly Mallard at email@example.com
Social creative? Join our growing social media team!
We’re looking for a creative and experienced designer to join our strategic social media team, PN Social, in Porter Novelli’s Sydney office.
PN Social’s client portfolio includes some of the biggest and most exciting consumer brands in Australia. All our clients demand thought leadership and campaigns that have “award winning” potential.
We need a person with huge amounts of design skill, creativity and wit. In our social media world turnaround times – from initial brief to final product to go live online – can be less than an hour and rarely more than a few days. Working together with our social media strategists, the new designer role will be one of the cornerstones of PN Social.
All applicants must live and breathe social media and have a drive to always be ahead of the curve. The candidate we’re looking for sees the potential in the vertical social media arena and is as excited as we are about it – i.e. as an end destination and not a stepping stone for more traditional design work.
We are looking for someone with:
- The creativity, smarts and wits required to quickly turn around design briefs in the social media space
- An excellent eye for design and thorough understanding of how to work within brand and campaign guidelines
- Proven experience working on genuine social media campaigns
- At least four years digital design experience gained within a fast-paced agency setting or as a full time freelancer
- Extensive experience with design for social media platforms (apps, photos, memes, infographics and video) across mobile, tablet and web
- An understanding of the difference between the social platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Pintrest etc.
- A seriously impressive design portfolio of digital/social media campaigns
- Expert knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
- Experience in web-design and video content scripting/editing for social media platforms
- A mix of creative and strategic thinking, to produce sharable content that links back to a client’s business objectives
Interested? Please contact Povel Torudd (PTorudd@PorterNovelli.com.au) or Toby Clark (TClark@PorterNovelli.com.au) for more information.
Trolling – A Part of Our Life
Our recent recruitment drive on Twitter, and the media reaction to it, provides a case study for brands on the importance of understanding and managing social media trolls.
Brands having a presence online will, at some point, confront a troll. Anyone who uses social media on a day-to-day basis knows there will always be trolls. The important thing is to know how to manage them.
With any social media campaign, you’re opening yourself up for both quality engagement, as well as the not so relevant, as our #socialCV recruitment call out on Twitter has shown.
Porter Novelli is approached every day by people eager to get into the PR industry, either proactively asking about any available positions or offering to work for free just to get their foot in the door. Our Twitter call out was designed to give graduates another way to get noticed, while also showing they understand the space we now work in.
Working in this space every day, we were expecting trolls to jump on #socialCV, and as with all our clients, we have a set escalation plan for dealing with them. In most cases trolls are simply ignored.
But beyond trolling itself, brands must also be aware that traditional media sometimes takes trolling out of context and over-emphasises their impact on campaigns. As such, trolling can result in negative media coverage, even when they have little to no impact on the desired campaign outcome.
Our campaign is working the way we intended. We have already seen some great examples come through and will be interviewing our preferred candidates next week.
Brand campaigns driven through social media are often misunderstood and referred to as stunts aimed at gaining attention – our recruitment call out is a case in point. It’s this old fashioned way of thinking that results in trolling being given more credence than it deserves.
It shows that we still have a long way to go in Australia before social media is woven into the business of communication.
Make us love you in one Tweet and we’ll give you a job
To join Porter Novelli Sydney as an Account Executive or Senior Account Executive, just send us just one Tweet that will make us love you – our Twitter handle is @PN_Sydney and please include the hashtag #socialCV.
You can include a link to any one supporting page or site (not mandatory), whether it be LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram, YouTube or your own blog. So get creative!
If you’re after a glimpse of a typical day at Porter Novelli, we’ve created a Vine… http://bit.ly/16YQ8Zx
The top three Tweeters will be invited in to discuss their entry, and the most persuasive one will be offered a job… it’s that simple! All we ask is that you have a university degree.
All Tweets must be received by 23:59 on Sunday 14th July and we’ll announce the top three on 18th July. Good luck and have fun!
Why PR is winning the marketing war
This article by Porter Novelli New York’s Loretta Markevics, who recently dropped by our Melbourne and Sydney offices, originally appeared in B&T on 9 May, 2013.
The war of the marketing disciplines is one that will never die.
As long as there are agencies, there will be opinions on which agency type dominates. Having been in integrated communication for my entire career, I have worked in virtually every marketing discipline and have espoused each for their virtues.
I also listened closely while the industry shifted its spotlight from one trend to the next as consumer marketing consumption behaviour changed.
Well, now the spotlight is shining brightly on PR. Having been in PR for three years now, I can understand why. Marketing consumption behaviours have now landed in the sweet spot of PR. Consumption trends dictate: small bites of information, credible, unbiased and unbranded sources that deliver an ongoing, authentic relationship between a person and a brand or company that the public expects.
Of course, the world of push communication is still alive and serves its purpose. There are people who still watch ads and there are still marketing executives who feel comfortable with the old way because it is testable and perceived to be a “guaranteed” way of making an impact (typically because a testing company said so.) The TVC still has a place, yet advertising agencies must refer to them as “film” so they can be viewed on something other than a television and be considered relevant.
What cannot be refuted in today’s marketing world is that content, no matter where it is distributed, must be authentic. And that is something that most marketing communication outputs cannot claim.
I mean, how authentic is a print ad, spot or pre-roll video that is overproduced and features actors? Most of the general public does not know that most endorsements, media support and is created by PR agencies on behalf of a brand. What an edge to have.
PR professionals must work for placement of a story that someone else deems good enough to report on and must do this through relationships that are earned, built on trust, and not bought. That is half the battle for brand acceptance and respect today – to come across like they are not trying too hard, even if they might be. This can be tough for engineered, branded content having to break through loads of rogue, unpaid, and consumer generated marketing messages to get noticed.PR has been doing this for decades.
This thirst for credibility is not only being seen in how people consume marketing communication, but in how they consume information in general. We are seeing the resurgence of the professional journalist because citizen journalists have got it wrong too many times.
That means consumers are beginning to second guess, or at the very least verify the news they obtain against more reliable sources. This desire for trustworthy, influential sources can only bode well for PR. As stakeholders seek more and more direct contact with the public – be they politicians, CEOS or CMOs – they are looking for PR professionals to craft their message in the social space because they cannot risk getting it wrong.
Our world changes from moment to moment, and being credible ‘out of the gate’ is important, but that’s only good if it can be executed in real-time.
Long-lead production timelines are fleeting. There is less need to tiptoe delicately around creative directors on whether or not they agree with the creative manifestation of your messaging. Because creative opportunities are moving so fast, everyone in the agency has the opportunity to suggest a creative approach because things need to get out the door fast.
PR has always been able to move on cultural happenings and conversations, but with the advent of social media, what they are used to doing already, can be done even faster and with greater impact, whether serving a brand by pushing information out or responding to a crisis. The responsiveness of PR as a discipline is undeniable.
So if you want a story told on your behalf, and to have it considered, discussed and not perceived as being self-serving, brand drivel, call a PR agency that has earned a spot for your story to be told
I’m pleased to be working in a discipline that I believe will continue to have its virtues in the long term.
The future of PR looks bright.
Loretta Markevics is EVP and global director of strategic planning at Portern Novelli, based in New York.
April 2nd, 2013
- by Tristan Price
/ Tags: Tags: April Fools'
, Australian Financial Review
, BMW Australia
, Channel TEN
, Dick Smith
, Michael Sebastian
, practical jokes
, Ragan's PR Daily
, Social Media
, Steve Fielding
, TV Tonight
/ Comments (0)
PN’s top five April Fools’ hoaxes
April 1 – that dastardly day of deceit that often gets the media in on the customary pranks one way or another, and is now an annual maelstrom of sometimes-plausible social media stunts.
Here are our five favourite Australian April Fools’ pranks this year:
- Bigger is better: Kudos to the team at Mumbrella for their report on the Australian Financial Review announcing plans to move to broadsheet format. The AFR overhaul even had its editor Michael Stutchbury and CEO Brett Clegg voicing support, with the backing of ‘neuroscience research’, no less
- Life in the fast lane – BMW owners only: BMW Australia (that’s German auto-maker Bavarian Motor Works) promoted the Australian Bureau of MotorWays’ (cue side-splitting laughter) decision to restrict the use of right-hand lanes to BMWs only for Easter Monday. The prank, which featured on BMW Australia’s Facebook page and was also noticed on page five of The Australian, included a nice mention for Hertz car rental
- Gina’s triumph: TV blog TV Tonight had a whopper of an exclusive - mining magnate and media mogul in the making Gina Rinehart supposedly took the reins at Channel TEN after the company’s board unseated CEO Hamish McLennan. Special mention for the creative, if a little stinging, remarks about McLennan from an unnamed source
- Raiders’ star has an inkling: Chinese telecoms technology company Huawei might not be rolling out high-speed fibre optic cabling any time soon, but it’s certainly doing its bit for Canberra’s NRL club, the Raiders. Raiders’ star Sandor Earl was so thankful for Huawei’s sponsorship, he decided to express his affection for the brand by having its logo tattooed to his right thigh. Or did he?
- That’s Krafty: Self-styled champion of truly Australian products Dick Smith got in early this year to remind us that one of the nation’s best loved most recognisable flavours is in fact owned by American fat cats. A mock press conference saw one of said fat cats announce a re-branding of the Australian classic to ‘Yankymite’ in honour of manufacturer Kraft’s owners overseas
Of course April Fools’ pranks aren’t always appropriate. As Michael Sebastian of Ragan’s PR Daily noted yesterday, a hoax, like the recent Whitehaven Coal scenario, can often mean adverse effects for companies, PR practitioners and journalists.
Unless you’ve been learning from April Fools’ prank master and Family First Senator Steve Fielding. Senator Fielding proposed that the April Fools’ tradition be banned on the grounds that people had the right “to not be molested by pranks”. Given his campaign against the annual day of high-jinks took place on said day, this proved to be the ultimate prank of all. Inception.
Bloggers take their bow on A-list red carpet
Porter Novelli Melbourne’s Mandy Griffiths offered her two cents on the ‘twitterati’ phenomenon in The Australian newspaper today. You can read the original article (paid) on The Australian website.
TRADITIONALLY, the A-list targeted by every PR company was a combination of media, celebrities and politicians, depending on what best suited the client. A simplistic yet effective formula to get your message heard.
But change is in the wind, as a new breed joins the ranks of coveted guests.
Those who used to qualify as key opinion leaders are moving down the totem pole in terms of influence. Moving up to meet them? Connected consumers: the twitterati.
Bloggers were the first to join the A-list and many have certainly earned their place.
In fact, Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influencer Report indicates that bloggers are the fifth-most influential source of information when making a buying decision, and even more influential than traditional media.
Blog events and Tweet-Ups (where tweeters come together to meet in person) have been around for years and companies have been quick to adopt these trends. Now we are seeing the emergence of a new trend: the “social media call”, an event for people with an established presence online among the right demographic.
Twitter lends itself perfectly to this because it is easy to digest, easy to execute and has the ability to reach a lot of people very quickly.
It is also not asking much of the tweeter to write under 140 characters or to use a hashtag, as opposed to spending hours on an article or blog post.
The Victorian Opera recently held a social media call, inviting Melbourne tweeters identified as “influencers” to attend a dress rehearsal for its new production of Sleeping Beauty.
They were asked to use dedicated hashtags and meet and take photos with the cast (using Instagram of course).
Securing publicity in advance with thousands of followers validated the time taken to identify and approach the select twitterati.
This is an easy exercise for an event-based company with an attractive offering or those with a retail focus underpinning brand value.
However, the corporate sphere should not discount the twitterati.
There are always tweeters interested in what is happening with your industry and brand.
However, Twitter is a transactional relationship.
If you want people to take to their smartphones on your behalf, then you need to take the time to identify your online influencers and build a strong connection.
The twitterati carry a lot of influence in their hands, and like bloggers, that influence is likely to increase.
Mandy Griffiths is a social media strategist at Porter Novelli Melbourne.
Shoving back: using social media to respond to old media
If the spat between Tesla Motors boss Elon Musk and the New York Times has taught us anything, it’s that social media has the power to answer back to its more established counterpart, traditional news media.
Through his Twitter account, with some 140,000 followers to date, and his electric car company’s blog, the American entrepreneur has been able to effectively hit back at an unfavourable car review in the NYT.
The article reported that the company’s flagship model, the Tesla S, ran out of charge on a lengthy test drive.
For a radically different car hoping to break ground in a significant auto market, a photo of it on the back of a tow truck in a major metro newspaper is not good publicity.
However, unbeknownst to the NYT, Tesla had installed data logging equipment in its test car.
The company decided to do so for all media drives after a segment on popular BBC motoring program Top Gear showed an older Tesla model running out of power. Tesla subsequently sued the program, although the case was thrown out on the grounds that Top Gear’s test drive of the Tesla Roadster was not equivalent to a real-life, road-going situation.
Tesla’s CEO first revealed on Twitter that the data logs existed and published a blog post that refuted the NYT‘s claims about the car’s limitations.
Media coverage ensued, which escalated the dispute with the NYT.
The NYT journalist fired back on the newspaper’s motoring blog proclaiming his honorable intentions and a point-by-point rebuttal of the data log.
Other reviewers have since claimed the route attempted in the article is perfectly doable, if one abides by the car’s recommended driving patterns.
Whether the NYT review was accurate or not, the bigger question that emerged is; which medium is up in the credibility stakes?
What this slugging match has shown is that, with enough influence in the online sphere, someone can strike back at traditional media and make editorial teams sweat. Does that mean the NYT has lost its core impression of reliability among its readers? No, and it wouldn’t do so based on an issue like this alone. But, it did make the venerable publication sit up and take notice.
Written by Porter Novelli Melbourne consultant, and former journalist, Tristan Price.
10 Things You May Not Know About Pandora
“My dream is that when teenagers tell their parents they want a career in music, those parents won’t be horrified and wonder where they went wrong, but say ‘Great, that’s a solid career’”
- Pandora founder Tim Westergren at the first Melbourne Pandora Town Hall event on Tuesday 11 December 2012
2013 will no doubt see the quest for music platform dominance between Pandora, Spotify and (possibly) the new MySpace as we increasingly turn to smartphones and online for music inspiration. Did someone say iTunes? No? Good. Probably too busy downloading that new update that doesn’t change anything.
So what does Pandora bring to the table? It distinguishes itself by allowing you to create your very own personalised radio station, learn what music you like through a thumbs up/thumbs down function, and introduce you to a whole lot of artists you never knew you liked. It has no concept of genre, user connections or ratings. It doesn’t care what other people who like Coldplay also like. Having manually analysed 400 musical structures present in the songs you like for a catalogue of hundreds of thousands of songs, it plays other songs that possess similar musical traits.
In a frank and open Town Hall session to coincide with the Australian launch of the Pandora app, we learnt a lot about the founder, the organisation, and the Pandora employees who went two years without pay to get their version of internet radio off the ground.
Because, according to Tim Westergren, internet radio is the future.
1. WHAT DO MOVIES AND MUSIC HAVE IN COMMON? Taste. As a musician, Tim spent five years scoring film soundtracks, and in the process discovered the key to success in this job was understanding the personal music taste of the director. There, the hint of an idea was born.
2. PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR STUFF. We already know this, but a good reminder. Pandora was originally introduced in a format that allowed the free listening for the first 10 hours per month, and after this you had to pay $3 per month for unlimited hours. They thought that was pretty reasonable. So what happened? People listened up to 10 hours then stopped, until the next month resumed. They do have a freemium model now, whereby the free version includes some advertising between songs, and the premium model which has no advertising. Of 175 million users, only one million have opted for the paid subscription, so advertising is by far the biggest revenue stream.
3. RUNNING A START UP REQUIRES INCREDIBLE DEDICATION…and belief in what you are doing. After an initial round of funding from venture capitalists, the money ran out and 50 Pandora staff worked TWO YEARS without getting paid (it’s actually illegal to defer payment of staff, although they didn’t know that at the time and could have gone to jail). Tim was $250,000 in debt to family and friends, had 11 maxed out credits card to a value of $120,000, and the dotcom bubble had burst. They hung in there for three uncertain years, until finally getting another round of funding and back-paying all staff in full.
4. THE BEATLES AND THE BEE GEES? After nine months of painstakingly working out an algorithm to analyse 10,000 songs, the team tested the program on – what else – a Beatles song. And the Pandora algorithm played… a Bee Gees song. They were devastated until they realised that early Bee Gees were really just a knock-off Beatles band, and even shared a producer. When they listened to the song they realised it was actually a very good match.
5. EVERYONE LIVES IN BEVERLY HILLS: Except not. Pandora initially only had license to stream music in America, so on signing up you had to enter your US Zip Code. So what are foreigners to do? Enter the only zip code they know, and that explains why the majority of Pandora uses were from 90210. When it became obvious that people outside the US were using Pandora, there was pressure to introduce IP filters and shut off foreign users. This is why Pandora was available in Australia before we were blocked some years ago.
6. YUGOSLAVIA HEARTS PANDORA: Tim said the saddest email he received after other countries were shut out was from a man in Yugoslavia who lived in a town of 300 people. They had little access to new music, and so every Saturday night was “Pandora Night”. Everyone would gather in the town’s one club, and listened to their own Pandora station, which they finessed and added to every week. The town was devastated they could no longer have these community nights, and Tim looks forward to the day when Pandora will be available everywhere.
7. THE iPHONE APP CHANGED THE GAME: Originally Pandora use was tied directly to office hours. People used it between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday…and that was it. Since the app launch (initially iPhone only) it not only doubled the sign up rate (to about 40,000 per day) people were listening at all hours, and plugging their phones into speakers and cars so everyone could listen to it. Now their most popular times are Friday and Saturday nights
8. HOW THEY SOURCE MUSIC: There are three ways. 1) A team crawling the net looking at charts and trends. 2) Direct musician submissions. They listen to every song submitted, no matter how rough, and their curators make the decision to include or not. 3) Listener suggestions, and search failures. If people search for a band or a song and it isn’t there, they will make a note of this and look it up so they’re not missing anything.
9. THEY RESPOND TO EVERYONE: I can vouch for this as Tim personally responded to my multiple emails adding people to the RSVP list. They get 70,000 to 80,000 emails a week and have a team to respond to every single line of communication. This is similar to Pinterest in the level of personal interaction driving an engaged community and improve the product. While it may take time, in both cases it has definitely worked.
10. DAMN BECK AND FRANK ZAPPA: They are apparently the hardest musicians to build a station around as their songs are so inconsistent. They use the ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ to essentially crowd source what people are responding for these artists so they can still deliver the right songs. They really pay attention to this data, and will increase and reduce its usage based on this simple feedback.
11. FIRST AUSTRALIA, THEN THE WORLD: One thing you may not know about Mandy – she lies. There’s 11 things. Tim’s first Town Hall meeting in New York saw two people show up. But he persisted and more than 1,000 attended his most recent. Pandora is now available in USA, Australia and NZ, and they want to include more local and international bands (they are researching Melbourne talent as we speak). They are working towards creating “Pandora for artists” pages which musicians can use to find out which songs get the most thumbs up, which postcodes are the most popular so they can arrange tours, and potentially email those users directly (through Pandora) to notify fans that they are coming to town. Unknown bands have had great success with this, with one band in LA seeing 3,000 people attend when they previously struggled to get 30.
12. $250 MILLION PAID IN ROYALTIES THIS YEAR: What? I already told you that I lie. There’s actually 12 things. Bands like Coldplay and Adele will obviously take the lions share with $1 million each, but more than 2,000 bands will receive $10,000 this year, and relative unknowns like French Montana will receive $138,567.
It is a great way to discover new music, independent bands, and Tim hopes it will create a “music middle class” whereby bands and musicians can make a comfortable living without needing to sign with a major record label, be on traditional radio rotation and have a multi-million dollar promotional push behind them.
While it is great exposure, artists are paid a flat rate pro rata based on the number of times their song is played, and while $250 million sound like a lot, with 175 million users, that’s spread pretty thin. Most artists will still have to rely on touring, merchandise etc to make supplementary money, and exposure on Pandora will help with this, but music in general definitely doesn’t bring in the kind of money (we like to think) it used to.