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Beer, bibles and boycotts: The Coopers debacle

Recent news headlines were dominated by a curious incident involving Australia’s largest family brewer, Coopers, the Bible Society and an awkward seven minute video featuring two Liberal party politicians.

Coopers had partnered with the Bible Society to produce a run of 10,000 commemorative cans celebrating the society’s 200th anniversary. Following this, the Bible Society produced a video debate between openly gay Liberal MP Tim Wilson and conservative Liberal MP Andrew Hastie entitled ‘Keeping it light’, in which the two politicians debated marriage equality, whilst enjoying bottles of Coopers light beer.

Coopers’ connection with the ad and the Bible Society, which critics saw as trivialising the important issue of marriage equality, was attacked on social media by loyal, pro-marriage equality customers.

The incident has become a perfect example of bad brand management, poor communication and ineffective crisis response.

So what can we learn from the Coopers ‘Keeping it light’ catastrophe? Read More

News values for the Modern Age: Shaping news in a digital-fuelled media world

It’s widely known that ‘earned’ media coverage, ie that which appears in the news pages rather than as an advertisement, is a very valuable brand and reputation strategy.

However, finding a place for your message within the news landscape can be a challenging task. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how your interests can align with a journalist’s current priorities and areas of focus.

While it may seem hard to pin down just what makes the difference between a successful media release and one that goes into a journalist’s trash folder, there is a good place to start when trying to understand what journalists and editors care about.

It’s a concept called news values. Read More

Fake news – Communicating in a ‘post-truth’ world

As any casual reader of the news would know, 2017 is fast becoming the year of ‘fake news’. But what does this mean for businesses who still want to use news media as a way to communicate with their potential customers. Does the eroding confidence in the media mean that it is no longer an effective tool for communication? While it easy to give in to the doom and gloom of ‘fake news’ hyperbole, many people still trust their news outlets to give them the facts, and businesses and PR practitioners alike can have a role in shoring up public confidence in the news media, while still delivering their message to consumers and the general public. Read More

Engaging with journalists: how to jump the media fence

Ahhh journalists, the multi-tasking geniuses who live a foreign life; inaccessible gatekeepers on the other side of the media fence.

No matter how you view journalists, the reality is that despite fragmentation in the media market due to social media and citizen journalism amongst other things, journalists still play a major role in the news that every day people consume and trust. So it’s important for anyone who wants to use the news media to get their organisation’s message in front of the public to understand how journalists’ minds operate in order to build effective working relationships.  Engaging with journalists does not have to be difficult, really, but there are particular things you need to be aware of if you’re going to get it right.

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Can going early deliver a touchdown?

On the 5th of February at 6:30pm American Eastern Standard time, over 110 million Americans turned on their televisions and tuned in to one the biggest sporting events, and media events, in the world – the Super Bowl. But for many viewers, the sporting spectacle is not the main event. Every year advertisers spend millions of dollars, both creating and placing advertisements in the lengthy telecast. The gargantuan audience the Super Bowl commands means advertisers are pushed to create their best work, and many memorable campaigns have come out of Super Bowl Sunday. Read More