Many Facebook users and page administrators are hoping a review of Australia’s defamation laws will bring the country in line with other jurisdictions following a dramatic High Court ruling last month.
Even big publishers are reeling following the decision by the High Court of Australia to grant former youth detainee Dylan Voller the right to sue major media outlets including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Sky News.
Voller launched defamation claims against the publishers following what were claimed to be defamatory comments being posted on the Facebook pages of these publishers. Voller was a central figure in the ABC Four Corners program of 2016 on the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin, with images of him being restrained in a chair helping to prompt a royal commission into his alleged mistreatment.
The court said in a statement following its decision to uphold a NSW Court of Appeal ruling in favour of Voller in 2020:
“…the liability of a person as a publisher depends upon whether that person, by facilitating and encouraging the relevant communication, ‘participated’ in the communication of the defamatory matter to a third person.
“The majority rejected the appellants’ argument that for a person to be a publisher they must know of the relevant defamatory matter and intend to convey it. “Each appellant, by the creation of a public Facebook page and the posting of content on that page, facilitated, encouraged and thereby assisted the publication of comments from third-party Facebook users.”
The decision means that a person running a Facebook page could be liable for defamatory comments made by others on the page. This doesn’t just include large media businesses but all page owners including community Facebook page owners. Media companies had argued that they weren’t responsible for comments posted by the public.
The ruling puts those on notice that want a presence on social media that they’re also responsible for moderating it.
It hasn’t been decided yet whether Voller has been defamed, but the ruling puts those on notice that want a presence on social media that they’re also responsible for moderating it.
Potential plaintiffs will now be able to pursue the owner of the Facebook account – the publisher – as well as, or instead of, the user making the comments.
The ABC in its reporting of the decision spoke to Chris Berkeley, the Facebook page administrator of the NSW country town of Canowindra’s What’s On Page, who wondered in light of the court decision whether it was all worth the effort and risk if some defamatory comments snuck through on his page. It’s a question many are now asking.
Many admins including those for a number of our MPs are now deleting the comments section to avoid the risk of liability. US media giant CNN has made the decision to prevent Australians from accessing its Facebook page as a result and has decided that an Australian presence is just not worth the risk.
Australian visitors to CNN’s Facebook page are greeted with this message denying entry
Government And Legal Response
Meanwhile, Australian defamation law reform is hoped to bring our defamation laws into the modern era, hopefully providing a balance between protecting reputations and enabling free speech.
A review into whether existing rules are appropriate for the internet age, and whether the rules fairly take into account whether or not a person has been harmed has been widely welcomed.
Australia’s politicians are also promising action with prime minister Scott Morrison promising to force tech companies to take more responsibility for content posted on their sites.
Mr Morrison said to his colleagues this week at a Coalition joint party room meeting, “The global tech giants know we will set the pace and lead the world in ensuring what happens in the digital world has the same responsibilities and same accountabilities that apply in the real world.
“We are going to do more because we are seeing lives destroyed.
“We are seeing people fall apart.
“We are seeing cowards triumph at the expense of good.”
West End’s reborn Soda Factory development has unveiled a stunning wall mural in the refurbished shopping centre created by two local Aboriginal artists, which connects the area’s significance for Aboriginal people with the more recent history of the site as the Tristram’s Soda Factory.
The mural was created and installed by Tori-Jay Mordey, an established Torres Strait Islander illustrator and artist based in Brisbane, and Warraba Weatheral, an installation and street artist from the Kamilaroi Nation of South-West Queensland.
The Soda Factory is nearing completion of a multi-million-dollar refurbishment which is paying homage to the building’s original use as a soda making and bottling facility for iconic Queensland soft drink brand Tristram’s.
A refurbished Coles neighbourhood centre is operating, and on completion The Soda Factory will include 22 specialty stores and 220 car park spaces. New travelators providing convenient access are now also operating.
The property’s developer SCA Property Group commissioned Blaklash Creative, a local 100 percent Aboriginal-owned creative agency specialising in Aboriginal art and design to curate the bespoke mural using local artists.
“We wanted to create a unique destination for shoppers and diners in West End and celebrate the rich connections that Aboriginal people have with the area which is reflected in this beautiful mural from two very talented artists,” SCA Senior Development Manager Aleisha O’Connor said.
Blaklash’s Co-Director Troy Casey, himself a proud Aboriginal man from Kamilaroi Country said they looked carefully at stories that could connect pre-contact and contemporary West End culture.
“West End is a historically significant place for Aboriginal people and continues to maintain a strong community feel,” Mr Casey said.
“Drawing from this narrative the artists made connections with the history of the area through native plant species which were used as food and medicine.
“This narrative is intertwined with the more recent history connected to the Tristram’s Soda Factory including the use of the bottlebrush flower which was used as a sweetener for flavouring drinks.
“These elements have been beautifully included in this colourful mural which helps describe the history and characteristics of the area.”
The official opening of The Soda Factory will be held in November 2021.
The Soda Factory is undergoing a complete revitalisation of the building, including major upgrades to the mall scape and outdoor dining spaces celebrating its industrial heritage through materials and detailing to create a relaxed, timeless palette with an urban edge.
The refurbishment will include a new internal mall area, new travelators and lift, upgraded amenities, activated street frontage and redeveloped car park. The building’s heritage elements are being retained with a particular focus on restoring and rejuvenating the building’s main façade.
Designed by prominent Brisbane architectural firm Atkinson, Powell and Conrad, and built by well-known builder Walter Taylor the unusual Spanish Mission styled factory building was constructed in 1930 for soft drink manufacturer Tristram’s. The building remained in use by Tristrams until 1979 before it was sold and converted into markets.
Tori-Jay Mordey is an established Indigenous Australian illustrator and artist based in Brisbane. Growing up she openly shared both her Torres Strait Islander and English heritage, which is often reflected in her contemporary Indigenous art practice – producing work based around her family and siblings as a way of understanding herself, her appearance and racial identity.
Warraba Weatherall is an installation and street artist from the Kamilaroi Nation of South-West Queensland. Weatherall’s practice critiques the legacies of colonisation; where social, economic and political realities perpetually validate Eurocentric ideologies. Drawing on his personal experience and cultural knowledge, he uses image, material and metaphor to contribute to a cross-cultural dialogue by offering alternate ways of seeing and understanding.
The Brisbane Advertising and Design Club is now calling for entries from the Brisbane creative community as it brings back its awards after last year’s hibernation.
For the first time, the BADC Awards will cover two years’ submissions from 2020 and 2021. Entry validity is for all work published or aired from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.
BADC president Stuart Myerscough said, “We were really keen to ensure that no work got left behind considering how much hard work has gone on. We made the easy decision to make two years of work eligible, which will mean tough competition across all our categories.
“Brisbane’s advertising and creative community is coming together again to showcase and celebrate the best in creative and marketing campaigns from a very high quality field.
“Our theme Welcome Back from the Wilderness will help encourage and inspire the community as excitement builds to our awards night to be held on 6th November, 2021. It will be overdue but welcome having the Brisbane creative industry together again under one roof.”
The main award category will once again be the Best of Show which was last won by Publicis Australia for their Great Barrier Reef campaign, scUber, for client Tourism and Events Queensland.
Key dates: Entries Close: Monday 2nd August Late Entries: Friday 6th August (30% late fee) Awards Night: Saturday 6th November
Myerscough said BADC was thrilled to welcome back video ad delivery gurus Peach as platinum sponsor and presenting partner of the awards.
Peach is reinventing the way video ads get from edit to ad platform, broadcaster, social and more. Their technology unifies digital and linear advertising ensuring quality, ease of collaboration and distribution at speed: eliminating complexity, delays and costly mistakes.
Peach’s Business Development Manager APC Lauren Yelavich said: “Our relationship with BADC has been fundamental to our success in the Brisbane market over the past few years. We are excited to come out of the wilderness with you all and are committed to supporting the creative genius of Brisbane over the coming year. We look forward to what BADC has planned.”
Creative recruitment company DMCG Global joins the ranks of returning Gold sponsors supporting BADC in 2021 – O’Brien’s Accountants, Cutting Edge, The Post Lounge and Platypus Print Packaging. New Bronze sponsors joining include Compadre Picture Company, and The Sound Pound with Ack Kinmonth Composer also returning. Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.
The BADC awards is Brisbane’s only creative advertising and design award. Further information is available from www.badc.com.au
An important consideration in building your brand is to engage with your audience in varied and creative ways. These days, your brand persona is needed to be replicated across multiple mediums and not just in static formats. Your customers are looking to engage with you in different ways than in the past.
With the power of audio and video, connecting with customers and a broad audience in an informative and intimate manner is possible on a regular basis, inexpensively and from the comfort of your own office or home.
Webcasting has accelerated over the past 12 months with the interruption brought on by the pandemic. With it not being possible to be physically present in many instances, webcasting has proliferated, offering an opportunity for brands to engage with their audience from a digital perspective.
Services such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Teams have proliferated, not just as a means of hosting internal meetings, but as a way of presenting information and insights to audiences.
Webcasting has proven popular with event organisers to live stream events, where the audience can be opened up to many more people than can likely attend in person, and at a greatly reduced cost.
This type of rich content can be used to build loyalty between a brand and its customers. The ability for interaction is also very important, with viewers able to interact during the webcast and also via social media platforms.
The Power of Audio
With low production costs and few barriers to entry, podcasting as a medium is available to nearly everyone. The popularity of portable music players and smartphones has only made accessibility to podcasts easier.
Audio is still a very powerful medium, and smart brands are using it in creative ways as a powerful marketing tool. It is also a good alternative to video. Not everyone is comfortable using video, so an audio recording can be a viable alternative. People often listen to podcasts because they have an affinity to the speaker and are willing through subscribing to receive regular episodes.
Leading Australian podcaster, Mamamia, has recently launched its latest bespoke podcast series in partnership with Westpac to help women navigate the financial side of everyday life.
‘What The Finance’ is an eight-episode podcast co-hosted by ex-accountant and financial educator, Melissa Browne, and actress, author and advocate Pallavi Sharda. From Savings and Debt to Housing, Investing and Relationships, the series will assist young women looking to make more informed decisions about their finances.
There is easy to use software to help you record, create and host your podcast and will help you distribute it to multiple podcast platforms.
RGC Media & Marketing has its own digital studio available for Podcast and Webcast recording. If you would like to talk to us about how these opportunities can help reach new audiences please contact us on 1300 854 502 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Podcast Rankings
Australian podcast downloads hit 50 million in March, up from 43 million the previous month according to Triton Digital’s Podcast Ranker.
The Ranker provides insight into the Top 100 Podcasts in Australia as well as the Top 10 Publishers in Australia for March 2021, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.
Casefile True Crime remains ranked in the top spot, cementing the popularity of the true crime format.
Here is the Top 20 – for the full list visit Triton Digital’s Podcast Ranker.
Now that the dust has settled somewhat on the Australian Government’s stoush with principally Facebook and Google, what is the state of play of the highly charged News Media Bargaining Code?
In action which was closely watched around the world, the Australian Government’s code has now been brought in as law after passing through both houses of parliament.
Both Google and Facebook have been negotiating, and in many cases signing deals, with Australian publishers with Facebook being later to the party, and after sensationally dropping Australian news from its feed in what was seen as a tough protest and negotiating tactic. Facebook returned news for Australian users after getting some changes from the Australian Government following its dramatic decision to drop news.
Facebook had asserted that the value in the news chain for its platform was strongly in favour of news publishers, saying, “… last year Facebook generated approximately 5.1 billion free referrals to Australian publishers worth an estimated AU$407 million to the news industry.”
The code allows eligible Australian media organisations to bargain with Google and Facebook to secure fair payment for their news content. The code isn’t mandating how much should be paid, but rather providing a compulsory negotiating process in the absence of direct deals being struck.
A statement from Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the code “provides a framework for good faith negotiations between the parties and a fair and balanced arbitration process to resolve outstanding disputes.
“The Code will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism in Australia.”
What deals are being done?
On the 15th March 2021, News Corp announced that it “… has reached a multi-year agreement to provide access to trusted news and information to millions of Facebook users in Australia through its Facebook News product.”
The agreement involves News Corp Australia and includes The Australian national newspaper, the news.com.au news site, major metropolitan mastheads like The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Herald Sun in Victoria and The Courier-Mail in Queensland and regional and community publications.
News Corp also said Sky News Australia has reached a new agreement with Facebook which extends and significantly builds on an existing arrangement. News Corp also has news payment deals with Google and Apple.
The News Corp agreement follows Facebook deals with Seven West Media, and private publishers Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media.
It is understood that Nine Entertainment Co also has signed a letter of intent with Facebook with an announcement expected soon.
Google has been far quicker to negotiate deals than Facebook. Google announced a deal worth A$30 million with Seven West Media in February for news content for its Google Showcase product.
Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, said: “Both agreements are a significant step forward for Australian news media and are a clear acknowledgement by all parties of the value and importance of original news content.”
Google also has announced deals with Guardian Australia and a $30 million deal with Nine.
Why is Facebook more reluctant to make deals?
Quite simply, competition. Google has more, especially in search, and Facebook as a giant social network has less, argues Peter Martin, visiting fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.
Facebook has said that only about four per cent of posts on the platform are works of journalism. As the pre-eminent social network, it really doesn’t have a significant competitor. Google’s service relies a lot more on news articles, and Microsoft has indicated it supports the legislation and would commit its Bing search service to remain in Australia “and that it is prepared to share revenue with news organizations under the rules that Google and Facebook are rejecting.”
One could also surmise that Google and Facebook could see that by doing the deals now it would save them much money, especially when under the code an independent arbitrator would determine the final value of a deal.
For now, a number of our publishers are getting some much needed additional revenue. It is not known, however, how much of this will be channelled back into journalism and newsrooms. The code does not mandate this.
Update 6 May 2021
Seven West Media has now signed agreements with both Google and Facebook which will see the two companies pay Seven to publish news from Seven. It has signed on for a three-year deal with Facebook and five years with Google.
Australian Community Media has signed a letter of intent with Facebook to provide news and information through Facebook News. The deal will involve over 40 ACM regional, rural and suburban mastheads and publications. Some of the publications include the Newcastle Herald, Bendigo Advertiser, Canberra Times, and the Illawarra Mercury.
Update – 2nd September, 2020 – Facebook has officially responded to the draft news media bargaining code by saying in an announcement, “…we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram.” Will Easton, managing director, Facebook Australia & New Zealand said that, “Most perplexing, it would force Facebook to pay news organisations for content that the publishers voluntarily place on our platforms and at a price that ignores the financial value we bring publishers.” Easton is referring to Facebook’s figures that in the first five months of 2020, they sent 2.3 billion clicks from their News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge – additional traffic they worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers. He says that the proposed “new regulation misunderstands the dynamics of the internet and will do damage to the very news organisations the government is trying to protect.” Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg was steadfast in his response: “We’re committed to these reforms – we won’t be bullied, no matter how big the international company is, no matter how powerful they are, no matter how valuable they are.”
THE draft news media bargaining code has been released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in an attempt to force Facebook and Google to pay for the news content they publish on their platforms.
It’s a world first as far as legislating for the powerful tech platforms to compensate news publishers for their journalism.
The draft code, if adopted, will allow eligible Australian media organisations to bargain with Google and Facebook to secure fair payment for their news content. The code isn’t mandating how much should be paid, but rather providing a compulsory negotiating process.
If the news businesses and the digital platforms cannot strike a deal through a formal three-month negotiation and mediation process, then an independent arbitrator would choose which of the two parties’ final offer is the most reasonable within 45 business days.
This would ensure disagreements about payment for content are resolved quickly. Deals on payment could be reached within six months of the code coming into effect if arbitration is required.
The draft code would also allow groups of media businesses to collectively negotiate with the platforms. This could include, for example, regional and community mastheads.
“There is a fundamental bargaining power imbalance between news media businesses and the major digital platforms, partly because news businesses have no option but to deal with the platforms, and have had little ability to negotiate over payment for their content or other issues,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
“In developing our draft code, we observed and learned from the approaches of regulators and policymakers internationally that have sought to secure payment for news.”
“We wanted a model that would address this bargaining power imbalance and result in fair payment for content, which avoided unproductive and drawn-out negotiations, and wouldn’t reduce the availability of Australian news on Google and Facebook.”
“Nothing less than the future of the Australian media landscape is at stake with these changes.” Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Regulators and governments have become increasingly concerned at the digital platforms’ market power and the slashing of revenues by legacy news outlets in the wake of this dominance.
In May, Nine chairman and former federal treasurer Peter Costello said that a code of conduct should force the companies to pay about $600 million a year to Australian media companies.
This estimate seems extremely optimistic for an expected payday, however, with expected blow-back from Google and Facebook.
Melanie Silva, managing director and VP, Google Australia & New Zealand said, “We’re concerned that the draft Code does not create incentives for both publishers and digital platforms to negotiate and innovate for a better future.
“The Code also discounts the already significant value Google provides to news publishers across the board – including sending billions of clicks to Australian news publishers for free every year worth $218 million.”
Facebook Australia said it was examining the proposed legislation before it would publicly comment.
“We are reviewing the government’s proposal to understand the impact it will have on the industry, our services and our investment in the news ecosystem in Australia,” Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said.
In its response to the code concepts paper in June, Facebook outlined some of the benefits it says it provides to news publishers in Australia:
“Facebook’s commitment to sensible regulatory frameworks for digital news is in line with the significant support we provide to the Australian news ecosystem. Our support for publishers comprises: free organic distribution of news on our platforms that grows the audience for news publishers; customised tools and products to help news publishers monetise their content; initiatives to assist publishers to innovate with online news content; direct investments by commissioning Australian news content that can appear on online services, including Facebook; and the indirect value to publishers such as brand awareness and community-building.”
Australian News Media Rejoice
Michael Miller, News Corp Australia executive chairman said, “While other countries are talking about the tech giants’ unfair and damaging behaviour, the Australian Government and the ACCC are taking world-first action. I congratulate them for their leadership.
“The tech platforms’ days of free-riding on other peoples’ content are ending. They derive immense benefit from using news content created by others and it is time for them to stop denying this fundamental truth.
“The ACCC’s draft Code of Conduct is a watershed moment; it can force the platforms to play by the same rules other companies willingly follow and it ultimately means they will no longer be able to use their power to walk away from negotiations with news creators.
“This code has the potential to benefit all Australians by securing the future for the people and companies who serve real communities with real news.
“I look forward to entering into negotiations with the platforms as soon as possible.”
The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance has welcomed the draft bargaining code. It claims it is an overdue step to force Google and Facebook to compensate media organisations for content they have been using for free.
“For nearly two decades Google and Facebook have built enormous fortunes off the back of aggregating content that others have made and others have paid for,” said MEAA Media president Marcus Strom.
“It is a business model that has literally destroyed newsrooms around the world.
“It is time that free lunch comes to an end.”
Some other outcomes in the draft code include:
Minimum standards on non-payment related issues – for example, digital platforms would be required to give news media businesses 28 days’ notice of algorithm changes likely to materially affect referral traffic to news, algorithm changes designed to affect ranking of news behind paywalls, and substantial changes to the display and presentation of news, and advertising directly associated with news.
Clear information must be given to publishers about what sort of data is being collected including how long users spend on an article, number of articles consumed, and other engagement information.
The platforms would also be required to publish proposals for how they would recognise original news content on their services.
The ability for any news media business to prevent their news content being included on any individual digital platform.
The ABC and SBS are excluded from the remuneration process, as the government has said that advertising revenue is not the principal source of funding for public broadcasters. Anti-discrimination provisions are expected to prevent Google and Facebook from prioritising publicly-funded news to take advantage of this.
Google has previously firmly resisted paying for news, though it has said it will launch a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content for a new news experience launching later this year, with signed partnerships with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil.
The eyes of the publishing world will be on Australia as this mandatory code unfolds and is implemented, especially how Facebook and Google react, and if other platforms are subsequently included by the Australian government.
Many Australian bricks-and-mortar businesses have taken flight to eCommerce in order to bolster their sales following restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 virus according to the latest figures revealed by Australian eCommerce payments provider, eWAY.
In the six-week period following the announcement of restrictions on the retail and hospitality sectors, eWAY saw a 369 per cent increase in applications from the hospitality sector, a 380 per cent increase from groceries and supermarkets, and a 233 per cent increase from beer, wine and liquor merchants.
These increases were compared to the six week period prior to the announcement of restrictions.
eWAY Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Mark Healy said, “A lot of the businesses we see coming online were those that had more of a bricks and mortar presence, but due to the restrictions announced, had to pivot their businesses and look for alternate ways to process orders and take payments.
“Some of the businesses we’ve been involved with in establishing their online payment functionality include a range of restaurants and cafes, fruit and vegetable retailers and butchers.
“Most of these already had a web presence, but not a true online retail capability.”
Mr Healy said that non-traditional eCommerce businesses such as local butcher shops were turning to web solutions to continue to trade with their customers and offer online ordering and secure payment.
“Many of these businesses are now offering local delivery services and click-and-collect,” Mr Healy said.
“We expect that these service options will become permanent in a lot of cases as businesses adapt to the changed landscape.
“The business knows that payment has been approved, so they can pack orders and thereby minimise physical human contact as well.”
One restaurant business which has adapted by using an eCommerce solution is Queensland’s Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers, with dining premises at Paddington, South Bank and Southport.
Co-founders Ben Cleary-Corradini and Theo Roduner built their business from a two-person market stall in Brisbane serving fresh handmade gnocchi.
“When the COVID-19 restrictions came in we had to close our dining operations, which constituted about 50 per cent of our revenue,” Ben Cleary-Corradini said.
“We had to look for other ways to continue to operate and keep our staff on. We had spent a lot of effort increasing our current online experience for customers and took the opportunity to launch our own home delivery service utilising eWAY’s all-in-one payment solution.
“As well as clawing back some of the lost revenue and improving margins with the takeaway side of our business, importantly it has meant we’ve been able to redeploy some of our staff and hang on to some of those jobs.”
Cleary-Corradini said that Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers has benefited significantly by becoming takeaway focused and being able to serve the community and loyal customers that wanted to support them.
Since launching in 1998, eWAY has become the dominant player in the Australian eCommerce space, processing more than 1 in 4 transactions in the market for businesses both large and small.
eWAY seamlessly integrates with hundreds of leading eCommerce shopping cart platforms and a network of custom integration development partners, providing a competitive advantage for any business that wants to grow through accepting digital payments.
Large infrastructure, construction and resources projects expected to be fast-tracked for a critical post-COVID Australian economic rebuild will be the focus for Managed Workforce Group as it commences labour management operations in Australia.
Led by Grant Wechsel, who co-founded specialist mining services firm One Key Resources in 2010, and rugby league legend and experienced company director Darren Lockyer, the company will specialise in professionally managing large-scale blue-collar workforces.
Together, Wechsel and Lockyer grew One Key Resources from a start-up to achieving over $250 million in annual sales revenue before selling the business to an international buyer in 2016.
Managed Workforce Group’s services are delivered through three core brands: One Track Workforce, Mining Pro and Crew People.
Mining Pro delivers expert solutions to the coal mining sector while Crew People services the broader mining industry, both areas where the company’s executive team have a long history.
The group has also expanded its focus to major infrastructure and resource projects through its One Track Workforce business, with work beginning on major tunnel, rail and mining projects across Queensland and New South Wales immediately.
Grant Wechsel said: “We understand that managing large scale workforces is a specialty service that allows our client partners to focus on running safe, productive and profitable operations.
“We know what we do best, and we see a tremendous opportunity in the market in Australia.”
Wechsel said that many clients in the industries they supply are lacking service providers who innovate and consistently deliver. He said, “We take ownership of our responsibilities, consistently innovate and collaborate with our clients and work hard to achieve positive outcomes.”
Wechsel is also excited to be reunited with Darren Lockyer.
“It’s great to have Darren on our team again,” he said. “He is the ultimate professional off the field; just like he was on it. We have worked together for over a decade now and built trusted partnerships with clients across Australia, so we are enjoying the opportunity to work together again.”
Darren Lockyer said: “I am excited to be on the Managed Workforce Team working with all the brands in the group.
“I have full confidence in Grant and our whole team who have the experience and focus to succeed.”
Wechsel believes that following a lot of consolidation in the labour hire industry that there is a gap there for companies to professionally manage large-scale blue-collar workforces, not just sourcing the personnel.
“We introduced the model previously to manage large scale workforces for our clients, so that they can focus on running their mine or project safely and profitably and not have to worry about all the workforce planning, HR compliance and management components.”
We’re officially living in the midst of a pandemic and almost everyone has been materially affected. Industries have been turned on their head and in some cases virtually collapsing overnight. Jobs have been lost and businesses shut. And, sadly, lives have been lost, too.
The impact on business and our daily lives has been immense and will continue for the foreseeable future.
Business and marketing plans have been up-ended or scrapped altogether. Whilst marketing budgets mostly have been pared back in line with operating revenues, it’s imperative now more than ever that you don’t lose your voice, manage your reputation and provide clear information and solutions.
Don’t stop communicating
Your customers need to still hear from you, now’s not the time to disappear from view, no matter how tough things are.
Stay visible and engaged, it will help when we come out the other side. Everyone will need to rebuild and those that have maintained their profile and been as positive as possible will be better placed in this regard. Your customers will maintain their trust in you and appreciate hearing about your journey.
People are feeling vulnerable right now and an empathetic approach is critical. Choose your tone carefully and impart your own lessons learned with simple advice. Keep up your regular content marketing program and engage with your customers across your platforms – your owned channels will be even more important to you.
Consumers now more than ever will recognise authenticity and true purpose. Feel-good content that alleviates anxiety and promotes positive messaging will go a long way to enhancing your brand. But a word of warning, you need to show that your contributions are material and not solely for commercial benefit. No one expects you to have all the answers, but ensure you can back-up what you say you will do. Being able to deliver on your promises is crucial. Examine your brand voice to see if it’s still appropriate or should be tweaked for the times.
You are more likely to be remembered for your kindness and generous acts.
Be agile and adapt
Many people are engaging and interacting online for the first time and for others, their online habits are being reinforced and deepened.
You should consider what content people need and pivot with your creative messages accordingly. Listening and talking with your customers will give you immediate feedback about their needs and what they’re looking for from you.
Online marketing spend will increase naturally and take priority over many traditional forms of advertising spend.
Social advertising spend will increase as people turn to their most trusted brands online for reassurance and reliable useful information.
Importantly, track trends, measure sentiment and behaviour and adapt to the new way of working. Devise your plans for life beyond this pandemic and understand the impact on your industry and business and be prepared to lead in new ways.
Podcasting is not new. However, what was once seen as a niche and hobbyist medium has well and truly gone mainstream.
The art of audio storytelling has seemingly been given a shot in the arm through this format and embraced by content producers equally, from those at the kitchen table through to the larger media houses.
Many people first became aware of them when Apple over 15 years ago first offered over 3,000 free podcasts on iTunes. According to Forbes, there are now over 800,000 active podcasts with over 54 million podcast episodes available globally.
With low production costs and few barriers to entry, podcasting as a medium is available to nearly everyone. The popularity of portable music players and smartphones has only made accessibility to podcasts easier.
Michele Levine, chief executive of research firm Roy Morgan, said podcasts are growing in popularity in Australia with nearly 10% of Australians now downloading audio or video podcasts in an average month:
“Podcasts are a relatively new part of the media landscape but are making an increasing impact as audiences for the service are on a steady growth track up an impressive 70% over the last four years to over 1.6 million Australians in 2019.
“The ability to listen to your favourite podcast while commuting to and from work and tuning out from the hustle and bustle on crowded public transport, or just relaxing in your spare time to catch up on what’s been happening in an area of personal interest is appealing to a growing number of Australians.”
As the attention of advertisers and brands follows, the seemingly fragmented world of podcasting and audience measurement is becoming more ordered, particularly with radio heavyweights embracing the platform.
Late in 2019, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) announced the launch of the first monthly Australian Podcast Ranker which sees Australia’s top 100 most-downloaded and listened to podcasts ranked each month. The monthly rankings can be accessed here.
The ranking was launched with a foundation group of podcast publishers including News Corp Australia, Podcast One Australia, Nova Entertainment, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), Australian Radio Network (ARN), Macquarie Media and SEN/ Crocmedia.
The rankings are dominated by our larger entertainment groups, with many familiar names including Hamish and Andy at the top. True crime is continually popular with News Corp Australia’s series of crime podcasts ranking highly including The Nowhere Child and Who the Hell is Hamish?
How can podcasting benefit your brand?
Have you considered podcasting as a means of engaging with your customers and seeking out new audiences? A podcast may well fit in with your brand strategy and content marketing program and provide the following benefits:
Reach new audiences
Podcasting can help you reach new audiences, especially through recommendations and referrals from satisfied listeners. If your podcast provides relevant and informative listening chances are that others will value your show, even if they’re not currently a customer.
Building relationships with an audience
Even though a podcast provides a largely one-way stream, it’s a great way to speak directly to your audience and is considered quite a personal medium, much like quality radio programming. The audience has elected to opt in, so you have a good opportunity to keep their attention.
Make your brand more real
If you avoid the temptation of the hard sell and instead provide an informative listening experience and make your listeners feel part of a community then your engagement levels will be high and this will be reflected in brand trust and confidence.
The digital medium allows you to accurately measure engagement by tracking key statistics which may include, amongst others:
number of listens for each episode
country or region they listen from
ratings and reviews
average length of listening.