International Guide Dog Day & Guide Dogs Victoria’s 60th birthday.
To mark International Guide Dog Day (IGDD) and their 60th birthday, Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) came to our social change PR team with news of a collaboration with Public Transport Victoria. A tram wrapped in pictures of puppies would be travelling the CBD. Knowing a media opportunity when we see one, our team jumped at the chance to extend the gravity and reach of the day with a dual-strategy campaign and activation.
Building on the collaboration, the team organised ambassador dogs and sweet treats to join commuters on the tram for the organisation’s 60th birthday, news that lifestyle and consumer media would love to share.
But we also wanted to draw the audience in beyond puppies and highlight the profound value of Guide Dogs. This IGDD we worked with GDV to show the data behind this value and release GDV & Swinburne Uni’s preliminary findings into how Guide Dogs offer much more than mobility.
More than Mobility
The research revealed that Guide Dogs act as social facilitators, help to manage mental and physical health issues, and encourage the handlers to try new challenges, develop new skills and think differently about themselves.
Alongside our PR work, we filmed a case study to give life to the research findings. The 40 second video represents years of companionship and guidance, a snippet of the relationship Peter and his Guide Dog Barry share.
Celebrating with Guide Dogs Victoria
With a set date for the 60th birthday and IGDD, our social change PR team created a newsworthy package to generate broad media interest. This included GIFS, photos and interview opportunities with GDV’s CEO Karen Hayes and CEO of Public Transport Victoria, Jeroen Weimar, a long-standing supporter of Guide Dog accessibility.
Unsurprisingly, news of dogs on a tram gained huge traction online. After being published on Broadsheet, fans came hunting for the tram in the city where they could cuddle GDV ambassador dogs and take home a celebratory cookie to promote the organisation taking the lead for 60 years.
The two strategies gained broad media coverage nationally, with an approximate audience of 5.7 million people. Among the 120 articles covering GDV and IGDD, the story was featured on ABC News Breakfast, 3AW, ABC Breakfast Radio, Channel 9 News, Channel 10 News, Herald Sun and The Urban List.
Experian unlocks the power of data to create opportunities for consumers, businesses and society across 37 different countries. Its technologies help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.
Experian’s Marketing Director Karl Miklis said the news comes at a time when Experian is strengthening its presence and commitment to the region.
“In this new partnership, we see a huge opportunity to communicate to consumers and businesses about the possibilities that can be achieved through data and analytics in the business world – and the positive role it can play in society.”
“This win truly aligns with our belief that storytelling should be backed with data-driven insights,” Keep Left CEO Gillian Yeap said.
“Globally Experian is a data powerhouse, but traditionally the brand hasn’t had a large share of voice in Australia. The company is host to a wealth of data and insights of critical importance to both businesses and consumers, so we are excited to help Experian communicate this content.”
The partnership commenced in September and to date the work has spanned traditional public relations and content production services – including digital copywriting, creative design and video production services from Keep Left’s in-house content production studio.
“The brief from Experian plays well to our experience and growth across technology, financial and professional services,” Yeap said.
Keep Left’s corporate and technology PR team already works with global technology companies such as IT giants Infosys, Australian tech success story Nitro, global mapping and location company HERE, and FinTech startup Airwallex. It also has a footprint in the financial services space with challenger bank, ME, and VicSuper as clients.
Melbourne-based PR and Content Marketing agency expands its Content Production team
Melbourne-based PR and Content Marketing agency, Keep Left, today announces the expansion of its content production studio seven months on from launching the content marketing arm of the agency.
Jordan Gold has been appointed Production Manager for the studio and brings a mix of production and editorial expertise to Keep Left, having previously worked at innovative integrated media businesses within the UK market, such as VICE and Konbini.
Jordan Gold, Keep Left’s new Production Manager
He is joined by three recent Content Producer recruits, Ant Dinham, Kate Tärtsus, and Corinne Innes, who will work alongside the studio’s Copywriter, Laura Carpenter Davies, and Art Director and Designer, Thomas Rennie. The expansion brings the agency’s staff up to numbers of 25.
CEO and founder Caroline Catterall said: “It’s been great to add this creative bow to our services. Jordan’s appointment comes at a critical period for Keep Left, as we continue to branch into content marketing and content production, and integrate our new services with PR.”
In July last year, Keep Left launched its integrated PR, content and digital offering to reflect the value that brand storytelling informed by data can have for an organisation wanting to connect with the hearts and minds of its audience.
“Our aim is to move clients beyond the traditional ‘safe’ PR to future-proof and to elevate their communications” Catterall added.
One little word certainly packed a lot of punch at this conference and that was content. There were five solid days dedicated to discussing how to best create and distribute content, with the mix of speakers including news outlets, news wires, entertainment website and brands.
One standout was the presentation from Dao Nguyen, Publisher at BuzzFeed.
The measure of success for BuzzFeed is not just creating content that people will click on (because you can trick people into doing this), but actually creating something interesting enough that people will share it. Sharing is really the Holy Grail, but it’s not that easy.
According to Dao here are the things that people will share:
Serious or breaking news
Content you can identify with ie: ’27 signs you were raised by Asian Immigrant parents’ not surprisingly, was really popular with Asian immigrants.
Content that’s emotional. We live in a world dominated by bad news, so good news or something that pulls at the heart strings can work really well.
Content that’s conversational. This can be achieved by asking a question or doing a poll that gets people talking.
While this might all sound simple enough, predicting what’s going to get people talking is not that easy. It was discussed at length that it’s both art and science. While you absolutely need a good dose of editorial gut instinct to create great content, some analytical data to back this up is imperative too.
A good example of this is the question BuzzFeed recently asked it’s readers ‘What Colours Are This Dress?’ which went completely nuts and sparked debate across the globe. This was all art, but they have a lot of amazing ‘science’ tools to work with as well, including a social reproduction rate (R=) which predicts how popular content is going to be.
Another great presentation I attended was by Oracle and American Sports Network NBC. They talked about the challenge for brands to produce enough content, in a cost and time effective manner to meet the requirements of your audience. The explained there are three types of content and you should prioritise as follows:
High effort: Blog content or content you have to pay to produce. This can cost anything from $1k to $20 to produce. The conversion rate from converting someone from a visitor to a lead is slightly above the average of 2%.
Medium effort: This is Q&A content based off questions your customer base is asking you. The conversion rate here is really good (5.6%) and this content is also great from a search perspective because they’re questions people are already asking. And typing into Google.
Low effort: User generated or curated content. This is all about harvesting customer or prospect stories and it’s also very effective with a conversion rate of 13.5%.
So if you follow the statistics, you’re best to prioritise low effort content followed by medium and then high. I personally think the medium effort content makes a lot of sense. If you can answers the questions your customers are asking and be useful to them that sounds like a recipe to success for me.
Day 1 felt a little bit like the first day of school. Everyone arrived looking fresh, eager and buttoned up. There was a funny sense of anticipation in the air.
A recurring theme was the growing dominance of video in the content mix. While in some ways this may seem like stating the obvious given how big TV has been for years, there’s a number of converging factors that are making video an increasing powerful communications tool:
Snackable content: People have always liked to skim read and now they like to ‘snack’ on interesting, entertaining or informative content. Video is a quick and easy way for a viewer to get bite-size, entertaining chunks.
How we learn: Apparently the majority of people (65%) take in information better by seeing, watching and touching over reading. Let’s face it, we’re surrounded by content so want it served up as easy as possible.
The millennial effect: We call millennials Gen Ys and they are a big focus as they’re group that can deliver the greatest lifetime value for a brand. Millennials love video. When they go online they first thing they do is look for the ‘play’ button.
Less appointment viewing: For news media in particular, less people are tuning into scheduled programs and getting their news either from YouTube or catch up with TV online. They would also prefer to see footage of what happened than hear a journalist do a piece to camera. While a viewer might only watch 15 seconds of a traditional news report they’ll watch 3 minutes of a building burning down. Sightly depressing but true.
Better connectivity: A few years ago, it was hard to watch video on your phone because of the buffering issues, but things have improved. Better connectivity means easier access to content. And more people are viewing content generally on their phones, which is now regarded as the ‘first screen’. BuzzFeed produce all their content for mobile these days.
Changes at Facebook: This is a big one. Facebook‘s next revenue stream will be pre-roll advertising so the Facebook algorithm favours video. One speaker from sports network NBC spoke about having to rewrite their Facebook strategy totally ahead of the Super Bowl on account of this. Video vignettes formed a major part of their content mix in the week leading up to the big game.
While video might be the preferred way for a lot of people to consumer their news and information – in particular millennials – engagement levels are lower than other forms of content and there is still the cost issues to overcome.
But not everything has to be top quality. In fact, some of the best performing footage is out-takes and bloopers. A few people I’ve been speaking to have talked about segregating your content mix in A, B, C, D or high, medium and low effort. There’s an art and science to this. Stay tuned for more on this tomorrow…
For two people who run late for almost everything, it’s been a blessing and in hindsight, a necessity, to arrive in Austin a day before the official kick off SXSW 2015.
That’s because the program is so big and so diverse that it took 5 hours of ‘studying the form’ today to decide which events to go to, which speakers to prioritise and how to get across town. Fortunately I’m here with my husband so we can divide and conquer, which is the only way to come even remotely close to covering everything on offer at SXSW.
Like many big events, there’s that feeling of the calm before the storm. On every street corner there are marquees being erected and last minute preparations going on… And that’s because SXSW literally takes over the town. Over the next 10 days 30,000 delegates will flood into Austin and by all reports, it’s intense.
A key draw card is the interactive program, which is so big it’s billed as the ‘Davos of Digital.’ While I knew the digital lineup was impressive, what I didn’t realise is that the tech start-up scene in Austin is absolutely thriving. It’s like a mini Palo Alto. This afternoon we’ll stumbled across SpiceWorks, Homeaway (a competitor to AirBNB) and Spredfast which is like a hybrid Facebook and Twitter and according to locals, is going to take over the world.
Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in America and it’s largely thanks to the tech scene. My husband and I have quickly realised we’d be a lot more popular if I said I was a blogger and he a VC. Something to think about…
Wise heads have told us that SXSW is a marathon not a sprint so it’s fortunate that we’ve somehow managed to avoid jetlag and that I’ve packed a lot of flat shoes. A belly full of Texan BBQ apparently also helps too!
For us, tomorrow’s program includes:
Execs, start-up and change agents: who will run the world?