Keep Left’s property and event teams were engaged to organise a VIP event to officially launch the display suite of Mayfair, the latest Melbourne development by Malaysian developer, UEM Sunrise.
The launch event brought the ultra-luxurious development designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and local architect Elenberg Fraser to life by appealing to all the senses and making the most of the design and spectacular location.
Beginning the night on the rooftop with 360 degree views of Melbourne, the VIP guests enjoyed champagne and music as they watched the sun set over the bay.
Guests were welcomed into the Mayfair display suite by MasterChef Judge and TV personality Matt Preston. The 2017 Masterchef winner Diana Chan designed the four-course menu for the sit-down dinner, taking inspiration from her MasterChef winning dishes. Diana also treated guests to a cooking demonstration of the main course ahead of it being served.
Surrounded by the sounds of the string quartet, flowing champagne and the highest quality food, the UEM Sunrise team and guests raised a glass to the incredible development.
There comes a time in every business when you need to educate your customers about something that’s important to you. It could be a new product or service, a project you’re involved in, a position you’re taking a stance on, or even your organisation in general. Presenting this information in an easily digestible yet engaging way is where most businesses start to struggle.
Finding a concise way to communicate your value (and your values) is a powerful business asset, which is the main reason that most companies spend months, or even years, refining their elevator pitch. So how can you effectively communicate this information to potential customers?
The first thing to understand is customers are time-poor – they’re looking for succinct information about who you are, what you do and why they should be shopping with you. While your first instinct might be to kit out your website with a series of lengthy paragraphs detailing the intricacies of your offering, the reality is you need to communicate fast to keep potential customers on your page with a good mix of written and visual content.
Successfully educating your consumers means capturing their attention and helping them to understand your proposition, while keeping them engaged so they don’t click away. This is where explainer videos come in.
An explainer video uses storytelling to convey your message clearly and concisely, with the use of stimulating animation to hold their attention. Their short format and animated imagery can help to illustrate core messages effectively, with a greater level of information retention compared to text alone.
Take the video we made for the Australian Driverless Vehicles Initiative (ADVI). To unpack the mystifying topic of driverless cars and how Australia can position itself as a key player in the field, we created a visual story of ADVI and its reason for being: the progression of autonomous vehicle technology at an international level and the developments needed on Australian soil to help us stay at the forefront of this global movement. All this in under two minutes.
After watching the video, viewers are aware of the pace of progression in the field, the benefits of the technology and the eventual goals of ADVI, ultimately inspiring them to place their trust in the organisation.
Simply put, if consumers don’t understand your offering, they’ll find it difficult to develop trust in your brand. Excelling by nailing your messaging and demonstrating best practise communication tactics like explainer videos will establish your place as an industry leader, strengthening your reputation and ideally building brand equity.
Whether you’re a veteran of the trade or just finding your legs, effective storytelling is essential to communicate your value proposition to consumers. A great explainer video will make the perfect pitch, every time.
According to JBWere’s Cause Report (2016), there are more than 56,894 NFP organisations in Australia. That’s one NFP for every 422 individuals with around 10 new charities being established every business day. Each is vying for attention and in most cases, the disposable income of businesses and consumers. So how do you cut through in a cluttered market? Here are five reasons NFP’s need to think about content marketing.
1. PR may not be your silver bullet
A lot of NFPs turn to PR as their first port-of-call for raising awareness and ‘getting their story out there,’ and for good reason. PR is comparatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of marketing, and can be an incredibly effective way of building empathy and an emotional connection with your audience. The truth is when PR works, it works well. The impact a well-positioned, on-message piece of editorial can deliver is second to none. But what happens when you run out of news, want to deliver a more commercial message, or want complete control over the timing and delivery of your message?
2. You’ve hit the point of diminishing returns
Some NFPs will reach a point in their communications lifecycle where they hit the point of diminishing returns with PR. The first headline published about the brand was powerful and exciting, it brought the NFP to the surface of consumers’ awareness and created substantial value for the organisation. As you continue to flex the PR muscle however, the results can start to become less substantial. This can happen for a number of reasons. While it’s sometimes possible to ‘refresh’ a PR program and come up with new angles the media is more interested in, an NFP’s objectives might not always line up with the media’s agenda and this can throw your message off-track. That’s why we advocate a combined earned and owned strategy, that combines PR with brand publishing and content marketing, to allow NFP clients to be more in control of their communications.
3. Keep two-hands on the wheel
A well-balanced ratio to keep in mind is 40/60. For an emerging NFP that needs to sustain its profile but must also think and act commercially, we recommend 40% of the total budget be dedicated to earned media, and the remaining 60% to content creation and marketing. Owned content can be used, reused, dressed up, broken into bite size pieces and circulated year-round. Through our work with Red Nose (formerly SIDS & Kids), we developed a suite of owned content assets that turned into an award-winning campaign. The content was pushed out via a public relations campaign, hosted on their website, used in eDMs, leveraged extensively across their social channels and broadcast for a number of months as a community service announcement.
4. It is a ‘must-have’ in your budget
Content is no longer a nice addition if you happen to have extra budget, it’s a highly consumed information source. Russell Sparkman of FusionSpark Media says that “non-profits have to make budgeting for content a priority when creating their budgets; the reality of the world we live in today is that content for advancing non-profit goals is as essential as oxygen is to breathing. It can’t be an afterthought or a task relegated to the when-we-can-afford-it shelf.” According to Forbes, global Internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019 and four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product or offering than read about it.
5. Be your own biggest advocate
But of course, there’s no point serving up your own content if it’s not going to hit the intended audience or get a reach that justifies the cost of producing it. That’s why brands need to become their own publishers and start to look at their digital assets – namely their core website and any microsites – as vehicles to drive traffic, and social media platforms as the way to rally and recruit an audience, alongside SEO and search marketing. Your social channels have the potential to reach prospective donors and advocate in the same way a media headline does. Even better, combine the two with SEO and you might just find that silver bullet you were looking for.
Content and PR for Architectus’ world class design.
It’s not often the opportunity arises to reimagine a part of national history. Our architecture client Architectus, in partnership with Denmark’s Schmidt Hammer Lassen, endeavoured to bring Melbourne the world’s best library design, merging the history of a heritage building with the needs of the next generation of Victorians.
Co-designed with input from school children and through extensive consultation with diverse groups of Victorians, the $88.1 million development will strip back the layers of one of Melbourne’s most loved landmarks to reveal its original beauty. The redevelopment will transform the Library and return 40 per cent more space to public use, opening spaces that have been closed to the public for many years including Queen’s Hall and the Russell Street entrance, while adding new spaces such as the Children’s Quarter.
Collaborating closely with the State Library media team and project partners ahead of the hotly anticipated design unveiling, Keep Left ensured Architectus earned the media and key audience cut-through with a combined media relations and content development strategy to maximise earned and owned channels. Our content production team took a tour of the Library with Ruth Wilson, Director at Architectus, where she shared the inspiration behind the design and discussed the future of the Library. The resulting video formed an engaging insight into the project for Architectus website and social channel visitors, as well as for online media to embed into their stories.
Our property PR team invited key media contacts from both architecture trade media and major daily property and education reporters to attend a busy morning media call held at the library to unveil the renders. With two government ministers and multiple partners all vying for media attention, Architectus was able to gain strong share of voice across broadcast, print and online media by offering insightful interviews that relayed well-practiced key messaging, as well as the Keep Left team providing media kits which included quotes that established Architectus’ voice as an authority on the Library’s design.
Architectus’ role in the redesign received broad national coverage across outlets such as Channel 7 News, Channel 9 News, ABC, throughout the Fairfax network, the Herald Sun and industry media outlets like Architecture & Design and Architecture AU.
With media coverage reaching an approximate audience of 21,120,643, Architectus’ message was communicated through 23 unique stories nationally achieving an average Keep Left Impact Score of 81.93 out of 100.
If your brand has ever had a difficult run-in with the media, it’s hard to take an organisation seriously when they claim “there is no such thing as bad publicity”. Particularly when dealt with the wrong way, an organisation can receive terrible publicity that can have a detrimental impact on the brand and business.
The good, the bad and the ugly.
In the age of social media, bad news travels fast. A brand’s first response will always be the one people remember, and if this comes from a place of frazzled urgency, you can find yourself in strife. United Airlines received more bad publicity than it could have bargained for this year, but it was the initial justification for its actions that truly disgruntled the public.
On April 9th 2017, a passenger was forcibly dragged from an overbooked United Airlines flight after refusing to forfeit his seat for a staff member, losing his front teeth and becoming bloodied in the scuffle. This letter to United staff was released on the day of the incident:
“This situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help,” United CEO Oscar Munoz wrote. “Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.”
It only took a day for the second letter to be released which refuted the actions taken and provided the deepest apologies to the passenger that was forcibly removed from the plane. Unfortunately, this was too little too late – the damage had been done.
A diamond in the rough.
It’s important to remember that it is possible to come back from condemnation. In late 2015, Airbnb came under fire with bad publicity when research revealing customers with “distinctively African-American names are 16% less likely to be accepted relative to identical guests with distinctively White names.” That data was only compounded by reports on social media from travellers who experienced that discrimination first-hand, as well as a lawsuit over such actions.
Acting as the true hero the brand seeks to portray, its CEO released this letter which took a profound stance on the issue:
Bias and discrimination have no place on Airbnb, and we have zero tolerance for them. Unfortunately, we have been slow to address these problems, and for this I am sorry. I take responsibility for any pain or frustration this has caused members of our community. We will not only make this right; we will work to set an example that other companies can follow.
And indeed it has. This branded indiscretion has resulted in Airbnb taking a stand against not only racial discrimination, but becoming a vocal advocate for marriage equality also.
Sorry shouldn’t be the hardest word.
To be clear, brands will always be vulnerable to bad publicity, but mastering your rise from the ashes could be what saves your name (and your neck). As Airbnb so humbly showed, admitting to your mistakes and apologising is a good start if there are no legal implications.
So, what can you do to prevent hordes of villagers chasing you with pitchforks?
Test potential scenarios and put your plan in writing. Pick your spokespeople, your channels and your approach, and review your plan regularly to ensure it’s up to date. This may seem menial, but when your team is in shock about the meteor coming their way, you’ll be glad to have something that was prepared on a calmer, sunnier day. Acknowledge the situation, apologise to the effected parties, state your values and outline your plan of attack moving forward.
Bad publicity doesn’t have to have the last word. Who knows, you may just come out better for it in the end.
Keep Left wins gold at international Stevie Awards
PR and content marketing agency, Keep Left, has been recognised for its work with ME (formerly ME Bank) and Red Nose, taking home a Gold Stevie and Bronze Stevie at the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards in Tokyo on Friday night.
Keep Left was awarded gold in the category ‘Innovation in the Use of Events’ with ME’s Super Smashaday campaign. Following commentary from economist Bernard Salt in the Weekend Australian that Australian millennials are overspending on smashed avocado brunches instead of saving for a home, ME was perfectly placed to capitalise on the ensuing debate with an existing home loan advertising campaign already in the market “have your smashed avocado and eat it too”.
Hijacking super Saturday auctions across Victoria with smashed avocado canapes for new home buyers, the Gold Stevie honoured campaign was concepted and executed in just four days by Keep Left’s property and finance PR team.
The efforts of the agency’s social change team in launching the new Red Nose brand (formerly SIDS & Kids), and its mission of reducing the current reality of nine sudden and unexpected infant deaths each day to zero earned the team a bronze within ‘Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications’.
Working closely with the team at Red Nose, the team executed an integrated campaign, comprised of a national media launch that kicked off with a parliamentary briefing at Canberra’s Parliament House, supported by social media campaign with custom GIFs and graphics, and powerful video content bringing the organisation’s new mission to life, utilised across all platforms.
Keep Left’s CEO Gillian Yeap said: “It’s a real honour to take home two Stevie Awards this year to acknowledge two campaigns we’re incredibly proud of. We’re lucky to work with amazing clients like Red Nose and ME that allow us to be so creative and to execute clever and memorable campaigns. We’d like to thank them for coming on the journey with us.”
Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organisations in more than 60 nations. Honouring organisations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognise outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. A full list of winners can be viewed here.
For the fourth year, Baptist World Aid released its industry-leading research report, revealing the fashion brands succeeding and failing at mitigating the risk of worker exploitation in their global supply chains. With 106 apparel companies (or 330 brands) receiving a grade from A to F, this year’s Ethical Fashion Report was bigger than ever. While highly anticipated among industry players as a benchmarking tool, and among consumers as an ethical shopping guide, there was uncertainty surrounding potential media fatigue.
Keep Left’s community engagement PR team took to the challenge. While the launch date has always coincided with the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the team decided this year’s report needed to transcend the conversation beyond the accident. Ultimately, the report’s reputation provided an opportunity to demonstrate the impact of putting pressure on fashion brands to be transparent, while at the same time increasing consumer awareness that an issue exists.
Armed with fresh angles, a strong visual package and 3rd party spokespeople at the ready, the team seeded story angles to key outlets and secured prominent media interest well prior to the report release day. A vital part of this process was Baptist World Aid spokesperson, Gershon Nimbalker, who has extensive media experience and was able to participate in interviews ahead of the report release.
Cue launch day. Having coordinated print and online coverage already, and broadcast interviews from 6am, Gershon used the day’s spotlight to highlight some of the most prominent findings from the 2017 report and explain what consumers can do to vote with their wallets. Coverage was achieved across print, radio, television and online media outlets including:
Fairfax: The Age, SMH and online syndications
Newscorp: Herald Sun and online syndications
ABC: News Breakfast, online news and radio
SBS News: TV and online
The explosive launch day and subsequent coverage saw over 50 million people reached with news of the Ethical Fashion report. Of the 247 pieces of coverage, four in every five included an interview or quotes from Gershon and 73% directed its audience to the Baptist World Aid “Behind the Barcode” website. In seven days following launch, more than 42,000 people went online to see the report and after four weeks the website traffic was still 35% higher than average.
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.
Determining the best way to spread your brand’s messaging can be an overwhelming task. When we’re bombarded with messages about fake news and false claims, consumers are looking for brands to practise what they preach. FIJI Water is a brand that stands for healthy living, beautiful design and Earth’s Finest Water. These elements were at the heart of Keep Left’s planning when we curated Earth’s Finest Morning – an intimate morning retreat for the body and soul hosted by influencers Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich.
Given FIJI Water is already a much-loved brand in the Australian market, the team reached out to FIJI Water’s target market with an offering that would make the FIJI Water way of life a tangible experience – a star studded morning of relaxation and rejuvenation at a secret Darling Point location. Initiatives to increase brand awareness and portray existing messaging were woven through all consumer, online and media messaging.
Over the course of five months, our consumer brands PR team coordinated the event management, influencer engagement, talent management, consumer ballot, web design, product branding and social media outreach for Earth’s Finest Morning.
The essence of the event was to start the weekend the right way, the FIJI Water way. Attended by Sydney celebrities and influencers, a small selection of media and ten lucky competition winners and friends; guests were welcomed into a morning to be remembered. Following a workout led by the celebrity couple and a mindfulness meditation session, the 35 guests were treated to an impeccably styled healthy breakfast inspired by the FIJI Water brand, prepared by well-known Sydney stylist and chef Sarah Glover.
The morning was a hit with both attendees and the media, receiving broad coverage across online media and social channels. Coverage included two pieces on the Daily Mail and an estimated readership of 6 million people. With social media posts from both Anna Heinrich and Tim Robards, as well as influencers like Lisa Hyde, Chloe Chapman and Amelia Strofield, the event had a social media reach of approximately 900,000 users.
Engaging consumers with the FIJI Water brand in this way has left a lasting impression on the attendees and extended audience alike. FIJI Water was able to connect on an emotional and tangible level, reinforcing its brand value and messaging as Earth’s Finest Water.
No matter what industry you work in, it’s likely you’re witnessing the impact that advances in technology have on your workplace, whether it’s on the way you work, the tools you work with, or the way you interact with your customers.
With each year that passes, businesses around the globe see their trajectories alter and even change course as they battle to keep up with the rapid development of technology and altering customer expectations. What was once the newest ‘must-have’ innovation becomes the expected standard, and something new takes its place.
The retail industry is no stranger to this pattern. With over a decade of experience in providing PR support to the retail and FMCG industries, our agency has seen first-hand how retail is being revolutionised by advances in tech and innovation. Today, consumers’ expectations of service are greater than ever.
Whether you’re comfortable with change or not, it’s an inevitable part of doing business. It keeps things fresh, but it’s also how you continue to learn, grow and ultimately, how you remain successful.
Here are my top three reasons for why those in the retail industry should embrace change.
It challenges the status quo:
One of our core values as an agency is to push boundaries. Don’t be afraid to ask the question ‘why?’. That one word could lead to new ideas that may change the way you do business and measure your success, as well as impact your bottom line.
The rising trend of ‘retailtainment’ is case in point. Australian retailer General Pants has introduced interactive kiosks to their stores, giving consumers the chance to browse staff picks, add to the instore music playlist or even ask shoppers nationally for their opinions on pieces of clothing in real-time. Retailtainment takes into consideration the fact that shoppers are looking for more than something to spend their money on: they’re looking for an experience, and the experience you provide will be what sets you apart from your competitors.
This notion isn’t just limited to retail; the FMCG industry is a playground for those looking for innovative ways to refresh the customer experience. For example, we worked with Anchor Milk on a project which challenged the notion that ‘milk is milk’. By demonstrating how Anchor Milk’s product is made and educating consumers about why they should care about how their milk is made, consumers weren’t just buying the brand, they were experiencing it.
It forces you to adapt and remain relevant:
The truth is your business may be plodding along just fine with the same-old marketing strategy that keeps it afloat year on year. But with the retail landscape being disrupted by digital and technology at such a rapid rate, you need to adapt to change or risk stagnating and becoming irrelevant.
Omni-channel marketing is now the standard. Consumers expect retailers to have a digital presence and those who don’t are likely to lose customers to the convenience of their competitor’s offering. Over March, Melbourne’s fashion scene witnessed “Shop the Runway” at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), where consumers could instantly purchase the items they had just seen on the runway through VAMFF’s website and social channels. And the FMCG industry isn’t missing out on the action either. Fast-food company Dominos has integrated an ordering system into its Facebook page to reach consumers on the platform where they’re spending most of their time.
It brings opportunity:
The atmosphere of change can reinvigorate your staff and your business strategy if you’re up for the challenge. Be open to new technologies that can change the way you operate.
Today we have the incredible ability to take a close look at the digital footprint of our consumers. We have answers to the questions we always wanted to know about who our customers are, where they are and how they shop. With such a vast amount of data at our fingertips, there’s no excuse not to tailor your offering to suit their needs.
By that, I don’t mean personalising a mass marketing email with their name, but exploring how new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence can propel your business ahead of your competition. For example, you could use AI to automate key areas of your work, such as restocking, enabling you to consider factors such as the weather, purchase rates and consumer behaviour when predicting your stock needs. Powerful stuff!
Remember, everything changes. But change is exciting: when we change, we adapt and move forward. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the retail industry grows and adapts to meet the new challenges 2017 presents.