Twitter discussion plaques around city aim to provoke conversation for Wheeler Centre

A campaign from The Wheeler Centre, a Melbourne-based centre for writing, ideas and talks, aims to uncover the important topics missing from public discussion by posting online comments into physical places with the hashtag #discuss.

Part guerrilla street art and part New Yorker-style caption contest, the most intriguing and thought-provoking tweets that use the hashtag #discuss will be immortalised as a historical marker and put up on buildings and surfaces throughout Melbourne and its surrounds.

The first tweets to be made into markers include:

“Why, in a world full of phones does no one call to chat? #discuss” by @AnnabelTellis (placed outside a Telstra store)


“Focus group results are the true measure of our national character. #discuss” from editor @sophblack


“Every politician should have to live for one week with one of their poorest constituents. Even if it’s hell for the constituent. #discuss” by @reallykazcooke, which was stuck on the wall next to local MP Clem Newton Brown’s office.


Well known for his social media presence, Newton Brown quickly joined the conversation, bantering back and forth with Kaz Cooke.

Head of marketing and communications at the Wheeler Centre, Pauline O’Brien says she is looking forward to seeing what topics rise to the top during the live phase of the project.

“Twitter will spark this campaign but it’s people’s reactions that will really set it alight. Turning something as intangible as a tweet into a permanent object means people will be exposed to new questions, ideas and talking points and will in turn discuss them within their own community,” she says.

The campaign will run for nine days, with 100 markers produced during that time. It aims to uncover what people want to know more about and what they care about but don’t entirely understand.

The campaign runs until Sunday 8 June on Twitter and can be followed through the special #discuss website, and via @wheelercentre.

Coles Fitzroy

Clem Newton Brown

Camberwell Market

Award-winning ‘Remote Control Tourist’ moves into second phase

A campaign for Tourism Victoria involving two tourists with cameras strapped to their heads taking live directions from online viewers around the world has won the IAB’s latest Creative Showcase award for ClemengerBBDO Melbourne, and has now entered a second phase to promote the Australian Open.

The campaign, which has garnered global media attention, involved four ‘remote control tourists’ wandering the streets of Melbourne for five days, streaming footage to the web, where viewers could give directions on what they should do. The footage was recorded and pictures were taken. It even involved a marriage proposal. The campaign’s second leg revealed that six tennis balls are hidden in the videos and images on the website, with entrants challenged to find them all to win an Australian Open experience.

Marketing has found five out of six and is stumped.

Here’s the highlights package of the five-day tour:

Melbourne beats 40 others to secure own URL

Melbourne has secured its own piece of online real estate after successfully passing rigorous technical and financial evaluations set by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to secure a .melbourne URL.

The .melbourne Top-Level Domain is one of the first Australian new domains to be approved and has been granted ahead of nearly 40 other Australian applications (including .sydney and .afl) and an overall pool of approximately 1900 applicants globally.

Melbourne will be joined by the likes of London, Tokyo, New York and other high profile world cities and regions with its own domain.

Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services, congratulated the Victorian Government and City of Melbourne on their collaborative vision and investment in the long-term digital strategy for the people of Victoria.

“Geographical locators have always been important as a part of identifying where an online business is physically located. The success of, and immense value in, the .au brand is testament to this. .melbourne is part of an evolutionary change that will take this identification to another level,” Kinderis says.

“The State Government of Victoria and City of Melbourne have long recognised the value of a strong city brand. Through .melbourne, these governments now have an important and unique digital asset to amplify the global reach of Melbourne with every domain name registered under it.”

“.melbourne will become a quintessential part of the city’s business brand. Internet users will turn to .melbourne for familiar, trustworthy and local online content while savvy businesses will use the namespace to tap into the booming ecommerce potential of the city,” he says.

Following today’s successful completion of ICANN’s evaluation process, Mr Kinderis says ARI Registry Services will continue to work with the Victorian State Government and City of Melbourne on the remaining necessary steps, with the view of .melbourne being available in 2014.

Businesses and Melburnians interested in registering a domain name under .melbourne are advised to stay tuned for a launch announcement expected in the coming months.


WA scoops PRIA awards, Tourism WA awarded top gong

A campaign from Tourism Western Australia to leverage 2011’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth won top honours at last night’s Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) awards ceremony.

Presented at the World Public Relations Forum in Melbourne, PRIA’s National Golden Target Awards (GTAs) recognised excellence in the public relations and communications industry across 16 categories, as well as awarding the inaugural Campaign of the Year trophy.

Tourism Western Australia’s campaign, which used last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as an opportunity to promote the State of Western Australia to the world, won the top award, with Carolyn Bacher and her team named as the party behind the work.

“In every way this campaign was executed in a deft and professional way, with remarkable results”, the judging panel commented.

Agencies to pick up gongs included Porter Novelli, in both ‘consumer marketing – services’ and ‘public affairs’ categories, Professional Public Relations, for ‘low cost/ pro bono’ and ‘special events/ observance’ work, Red Agency, for ‘consumer marketing – products’, Tsuki, for ‘arts’, Rowland, for ‘public affairs’, and Cole Lawson Communications, for ‘issues management/ recovery communications’.

The other eight awards went to client-side campaigns, with WA-based talent dominating the night, picking up four awards in total.

Jim Macnamara, professor of public communication at University of Technology in Sydney, was awarded the inaugural Educator of the Year award, in recognition of his “enormous contribution to the public relations industry over many years”.

The 16 GTA categories and top awards went to:

Campaign of the Year
Carolyn Bacher, Tourism Western Australia ‘An Extraordinary Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting’

Educator of the Year
Jim Macnamara, professor of public communication, University of Technology, Sydney

Edweana Wenkart, Tsuki – MyState ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ (BOFA) Film Festival

Community Relations
Yasmin Standfield, City of Whittlesea – See Beyond Race social marketing campaign

Consumer Marketing – Products
James Wright, Red Agency – Vanish NapiSan Sponsors the White House Campaign

Consumer Marketing – Services
Fionnuala Maye, Porter Novelli – BrainyApp and FoodSwitch iPhone app launch media campaigns

Corporate Social Responsibility
Kim Pervan, Oakjee Port & Rail – Good Heart Mid-West Aboriginal Art Exhibition

Julie Heath, Ergon Energy – Townsville Queensland Solar City

Government Sponsored Campaigns
Carolyn Bacher, Department of Premier and Cabinet Team, Tourism Western Australia Team – An Extraordinary Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

Marie-Louise Hunt, Australian Bureau of Statistics – Census 2011: The Western Australian Approach

Health Organisations
Samara Kitchener, NSW Food Authority – 8700 – helping NSW find its ideal figure

Internal Communications
Wendy Franklin, GESB – Deliver with pride campaign

Investor Relations
Alasdair Jeffrey, Rowland – Smooth take-off for Alliance Aviation IPO

Issues Management / Recovery Communications
Patrick MacDonald, Cole Lawson Communications – Patton’s Big Gun

Low Cost / Pro Bono
Richard Lazar, Professional Public Relations – IQ2 Debate Series

Public Affairs
Sarah Golding, Rowland – Achieving social, environment and economic progress in an island community: sand mining and its benefits on North Stradbroke Island

Peter Kent, Porter Novelli – Fight Dementia

Special Event/Observance
Richard Lazar, Professional Public Relations – McHappy Day 2011


ad:tech searches for digital marketing young guns

Digital marketing and media event ad:tech is offering young digital marketers the chance to win a return trip to its New York or San Francisco events in a competition launched to find Australia’s sharpest young mind in digital marketing.

The Digital Young Guns Shootout, open to Australian marketers under 30 from today, asks contestants to create a digital advertising campaign pitch for V Energy Drink on the theme, ‘V Powering Social Encounters’.

Contestants will be required to deliver a digital advertising program that targets 18 to 24 year olds who frequently check in, tweet or tag themselves on digital media.

Entries will be evaluated by an expert judging panel with the top ten put to a public vote to shortlist four contestants who will pitch their campaign live on the ad:tech Sydney show floor to determine the winner.

Mark Abay, vice president of digital marketing, dmg::events says, “ad:tech Digital Young Guns Shootout is a great opportunity for up and coming digital marketers to show their peers what they are capable of. As an integral part of the digital marketing and media industry, ad:tech is thrilled to provide the platform for this.”

First prize in the competition is two return flights from Australia to San Francisco or New York, two tickets to either ad:tech San Francisco or New York and $1,000 spending money. The runner up will receive two tickets to ad:tech Sydney or Melbourne 2013 and a $500 iTunes voucher, while third place will receive a $300 iTunes voucher.

ad:tech Sydney will take place from 14-15 March at the Sydney Convention Centre, while ad:tech Melbourne will run 28-29 March at Hilton on the Park.

Melbourne: Australias favourite one night stand

According to Roy Morgan, Melbourne has narrowly replaced the Gold Coast as Australia’s favourite destination for an overnight holiday.

The survey found Melbourne is almost twice as popular as Sydney, with 20.1% of respondents choosing Melbourne and 10.3% selecting Sydney. Melbourne’s popularity has risen 1.1% since last year, while Sydney’s brand took a battering – dropping 4.7%. With 19.5% of respondents choosing the Gold Coast, it is our second favourite destination followed by Sunshine Coast at 13.5%.

“Melbourne has built a strong brand as a holiday destination. It is renowned for its shopping experiences, world-class restaurants, and thriving cafe society. In addition it offers quality theatre and major sporting and cultural events. Other domestic destinations such as Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Sydney have not been able to compete with Melbourne’s popularity,” said Jane Ianniello, international director of tourism – travel and leisure, Roy Morgan Research.

Ianiello extrapolated that Tourism NSW hadn’t had a consistent brand since the Olympics and hadn’t spent a lot on tourism, juxtaposed with Melbourne’s consistent brand. She also mentioned the Cronulla riots were still possibly affecting Sydney’s brand, four years on.

Drop in radio ad revenue for August

Advertising revenue at metropolitan commercial radio stations has fallen by around 4% in the month of August to a total of $50.43 million, compared to the same month last year, according to figures recently released by Commercial Radio Australia.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said results continue to be patchy for various markets with Adelaide and Melbourne both recording growth for the month of August.

According to the 2009 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue as sourced by Deloitte, advertising revenue in the five metropolitan markets for the month of August show Perth fell by about 10% to $6.36 million; Brisbane fell 6% to $7.74 million, Sydney fell 8.38% to $15.9 million; while Adelaide grew 2.55% to $4.8 million and Melbourne grew 1.95% to $15.5 million.

“The industry is working hard to promote the benefits of advertising on radio with new ads starting today featuring the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), talking about the benefits of advertising in tough economic times. Radio is a great cost effective medium for advertisers,” Warner said.

“The ads are the next stage in our latest advertising campaign called, Radio Advertising, Economically Sound, which highlights the need to trade through the economic crisis and advertise on radio, and is part of our ongoing, multi-million dollar brand campaign.”

The ads, airing nationally yesterday, feature the executive director of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Russell Zimmerman, talking about the benefits of advertising in tough times.

Moments with marketers: Nick Bolton chats to Nick Bolton – head of marketing at Viocorp. If you
like to see a certain
marketer profiled, please email your suggestion to Kate Kendall, online
editor, on

What do you do?

According to the business card, I am head of marketing at Viocorp, though should really be suffixed with ( aka sales aka occasional producer aka general manager, Melbourne.)

What was your first job?

First job was the good old newspaper round. I used to love the quiet at that time (but maybe not the cold!). First professional job was as a marketing assistant for a pharmco, marketing/selling among other things energy tablet drinks to students. Didn’t work but did make your wee go bright red! Didn’t enjoy it really but got to hang out at university bars for another three years.

What did you study?

Combined studies in marketing, law and accountancy. Found Law too unfair and accountancy too boring and failed miserably. Loved the marketing degree bit and did really well though. Taught me a lesson to do what you love and results/happiness will come. Geez I sound some like wanky new-age guru.

Describe a typical day?

Well my flatmate calls me the energiser bunny. Being stuck behind a desk is not for me. Usually a breakfast meeting and then out all day. Try to walk around Sydney if I can. During the week Im always out at gigs, the theatre or cinema. And Ive got football training in the winter. Usually involved in some acting rehearsals for some film or theatre project (my other life). Rarely in before 11pm most nights. I don’t get how people can sit in front of the TV all night. So boring, especially with the drivel on Australian TV. Much rather be at the pub or restaurant having a yarn and a slurp.

What is on the agenda for 2009-2010?

Well on 1 August I moved to Melbourne to set up the new Viocorp office, servicing the sudden influx of Melbourne clients, sourcing new clients, building our brand and looking for account managers. Online video is taking off, and the impending National Broadband Network will significantly help our business.

What brand do you love the most? Hate the most? Why?

Love: Paul Smith – every time I go back to London, I always treat myself at the Floral Street store in Covent Garden, London. It represents a throwback to what England was – before it lost its soul. It’s all class and quality yet got a humour about it.

Hate: Gillette – its sooooo American. So arrogant. So full of itself. So monopolistic.

What do you believe has been the most significant moment in the history of marketing?

I suppose I should say the browser or the media player! It’s all the same principle really, just through new, evolving and admittedly very exciting digital channels. Mark Neely once simplified it really well: its just selling more, to more people, more often, at more margin.

Where can people find you?

Viocorp moves to Melbourne

Viocorp has extended its operations by opening a Melbourne office.

The move follows the acquisition of several new Victorian clients including Aviva. The company already held significant interests in Victoria, working with BUPA, CGU, Film Victoria and Essendon AFL among others.

“Victoria based clients have been of increasing importance to our business, and with recent wins such as Aviva, our growth into Melbourne is a natural step,” said Nick Bolton, general manager of Viocorp.

“Despite the current economic challenges, we’re continuing to experience high levels of interest in both Viostream and VioTV, so our new presence will enable us to manage existing accounts better and meet with clients regularly face-to-face. We decided it was important to provide local support.”

Dean Lupton, Aviva’s ecommerce manager, explained the companys selection saying online video was a huge growth area and would enable Aviva to communicate with its audiences more personally.

“By taking this step, we will be able to offer a full range of sales and support services for Viostream, Vio TV and production work out of our Melbourne operation, and, in doing so, we can also look to target new business and build the Viocorp team, Bolton continued.

Viocorp is an online video specialist and developers of Viostream and VioTV.

Moments with marketers: Darren Rowse chats to Darren Rowse aka ProBlogger – founder, editor and blogger. If you
like to see a certain
marketer profiled, please email your suggestion to Kate Kendall, online
editor, on

1. What do you do?

Im the founder, editor and sometimes blogger of three blogs – (blog tips), (photography tips) and (Twitter tips).

Im also a co-founder of the blog network b5media and co-author of the book ProBlogger (Wiley).

2. What was your first job?

I worked as a shelf technician (I stacked shelves at night in a super market) while I was at high school, worked selling stationery and office products during uni and as a minister (church, not governmental) after university.

3. What did you study?

Out of high school I studied Marketing at RMIT and then Theology at Whitley College (Melbourne Uni).

4. Describe a typical day?

  • 6-6.30am: One or both of my boys wake up and the day begins with the normal routine seen in most households with kids (utter chaos).
  • 8.30-9am: I head to work (which involves a 15 meter walk to our front room).
  • 9am: The day starts with checking for anything urgent, angry emails, crashed servers, injury list at Carlton Football club etc. – this time of day I sometimes schedule US-based interviews and meetings.
  • 9.30am: Most weekday mornings I head to a local cafe and spend 1-2 hours writing or editing posts for my blogs.
  • 11am: Back home, the rest of my morning is spent uploading and scheduling posts on blogs, networking on Twitter, interacting with readers in comments or via email
  • 1pm: Lunch.
  • 1.20pm-5pm: Afternoon activities vary from day to day and can include more writing and editing of blog posts, recording and editing of video posts, marketing/promotional activities, networking and Twitter.
  • 5-7.30pm: Chaos resumes as the dinner/bath/bed routine begins.
  • 7.30-11pm: More work (as above, a mixture of activities). In the evenings (depending how timezones/daylight savings lines up) I also spend time on calls with US partners.
  • 11pm: Bed.

5. What is on the agenda for 2009?

This year Im working hard to expand the two main blogs that I have both in terms of content, mediums and income streams. It has seen me release an e-book on ProBlogger, expand DPS with two new areas/blogs and will see the development of a new area on ProBlogger in the coming months.

While the economy has hit many hard I see it as an opportunity for growth and diversification and am working hard to position my web properties as more significant players in their niches as things bounce back.

6. What brand do you love the most? Hate the most? Why?

Google – I greatly admire their growth, their innovation and their vision. I also love that they send me a tonne of traffic each month and deposit enough cash in my account each month to pay my mortgage (and some). I also cant imagine my day without some of their products. Of course theres also moments of hate (or maybe frustration would be a better word) with Google – theyre such a big company which can make interacting with them as a solo-entrepreneur difficult at times.

7. What do you believe has been the most significant moment in the history of marketing?

I think were living in it. The development of the internet and the opportunities it opens up are mind boggling (and were still right at the beginning).

The fact that an ordinary guy like me living in the burbs and working from his front room (and local cafes) can be communicating with three million people a month while making a living gets me pinching myself every day.

8. Where can people find you?

Graduate like a rock star #4: Be creative

Six months ago I decided I wanted to work at Leo Burnett Melbourne.

I’m honestly not quite sure why. I think Todd Sampson from ABC’s The Gruen Transfer may have had something to do with it. Sorry Russell.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to just walk in there and get a job or even an internship. And even my normal arrogant self didn’t think my blog would be enough by itself.

So I decided to get creative.

First, you should know that Leo Burnett have a motto, ‘Big ideas come out of big pencils’. So I built a big pencil. I got in touch with an industrial designer from uni and we started construction on a five foot tall wooden pencil. The plan was to paint it black and down the side print lettering which read

I was then going to get it couriered to the Melbourne office, straight to Melinda Gertz’s (managing director) desk. I envisioned it as a pleasant day, with the sun shining high in the sky as a burly courier drops off a large package wrapped in brown paper at reception. The receptionist walks through the office, with people poking their heads up as she (or he I suppose) walks past. She hands it to Melinda, who is so intrigued she puts an extremely important client on hold and slowly teases the paper off to discover the print down the side of the pencil. The receptionist squeals in delight and runs to the computer to plug in the URL.

Bam. Video of me appears telling them both that I want to work at Leo Burnett with a link to my blog and a phone number for them to give me a call.

I think I would have gotten that call.

Unfortunately, for one reason or another I canned the plan. Although I do still have a half finished giant pencil in my room.

So, although it never quite played out with the fairy tale ending I wanted, it could have. The story wouldn’t have been worth writing had I simply emailed in my resume.

The concept of creative applications certainly isn’t new. Some of my favourites include the student who listed his internship on eBay and this hilarious application on Craigslist. But if you are going to try something like this there’s a couple of things to consider. Tie it into the brand or agency’s core values, use it to demonstrate your skills or talents and finally, make sure it’s got some kapow!

I look back at my almost stunt and think that even if it didn’t work, Melinda would at least have had something to tell Todd next time they caught up.

Be creative is the fourth article in the ‘Graduate like a rock star’ series.

Why do we need Social Media Club?

Warning: The tone of this post has a healthy degree of cynicism and sarcastic undertones. As a result of tone and content, expect a healthy degree of negative comments and sideswipes. Let the fun begin…

Over the last few weeks we have seen the casual get together of the social media coffee mornings now generate the US originating brand Social Media Club in Australia.

So what about this club?

From I gleaned that:

Social Media Club is being organised for the purpose of sharing best practices, establishing ethics and standards, and promoting media literacy around the emerging area of Social Media. This is the beginning of a global conversation about building an organisation and a community where the many diverse groups of people who care about social media can come together to discover, connect, share, and learn.

Pity no one mentioned the users in this. On the web, the best, best practice is determined by the users not the channel or the medium or the ethical standards, or the media literacy or even the technology.

I will watch with interest, because these guys might have something interesting to say, but I wont have to join to benefit from that. However, I will also reserve a decree of cynicism. Social Media took off with kids, talking directly to each other, sharing their thoughts, pictures, hobbies, music, etc. None of them joined a club; they were drawn to it – what needs fixing about that. Commercial infiltration is whats going on here. But, commercial infiltration of the social media space is anathema to these people. Think of it like a park. Nice place to hang out with your friends and share in activities with others. As soon as the place gets filled with advertising hoardings, burger vans and park wardens telling you not to tread on the grass, you just move on because the place is no fun any more.

Social Media Club is now an organisational structure that has currently been set up in all the metro areas of Australia and seems to be run by self-designated individuals who have decided they are there to lead the rest of us minions in social media, with the best benefit being, we can get together and talk to each! We can listen to a speech by a self-appointed social guru, the guy that set the club up and next month, you can listen to one his mates, if you are very lucky. We don’t have to pay for the privilege here in Australia (at the moment) isn’t that just bloody marvelous value.

Initially I actually thought the concept could be good. I submitted ideas for speaking topics, etc. Then I started to see the manifestation of it and like Gavin Heaton who withdrew from nomination on the Social Media Club board, I ditched the idea as a bad one. I actually joined Social Media Club Canberra on Facebook as opposed to SMC Sydney, as a bit of dig, as I won’t be attending any events in Canberra as I live in Sydney!

Jye Smith stated on his blog:

I am a little uncomfortable with the idea of creating social media clubs. I smell rules and policy.

I actually smell a PR sell to clients, Oh yes Mr. Client I set up the Social Media Club and chair the board.

What we need is to leave social media to evolve through test and learn techniques and strategies with our respective clients. I don’t believe that clients and their agencies want to have open debate on their evolving social marketing practices. It is hard enough everyone getting his or her head around this channel. If there is something to share then that’s what case studies are for.

When it comes to networking with my peers, I can pop along for coffee on a Friday (although I rarely do, as I am not a morning person). But get this novel way I want to share with you, when I need help and insights from my peers in the social media space, I pick up the phone.

Why do I need a club?

Social Media Club I envisage will soon be publishing industry guidelines, then charging and telling us of all the benefits of paying to join their club and to follow their pre-determined rules to enforce us to behave in the way they want us to. Pre-program the masses to behave, there is loads of money in it, and just wait for the pay-to-attend SMC Conference, the regional Chapters of Social Media, it is like a setting up a religion and I believe there is loads of money in that too!.

Back in 2008 Laurel Papworth questioned the policy of WOMMA (The Word of Mouth Association) policy. This policy WOMMA said was only to accept membership from organisations not individuals. Totally farcical, given that the social media landscape that generates WOM (Word of Mouth) is individuals. Maybe that’s why the new leaders of Social Media Club in Sydney, slammed this entrepreneurial social media practitioner, she may dare to question the forthcoming rules that they, our self-appointed leaders, have in mind for us.

The web is very fluid. I picture it a bit like a lava lamp. Initiatives like social media emerge, take off, take shape and grow and then fade and disappear as another bubble comes along. Sir Tim Berners-Lee put the www together to be open, free and unregulated. Creating rules for any facet of it is going to be like herding bubbles. These bubbles have a short life of their own and defy regulation. Governments from America to China have tried to regulate, but ultimately they fail because the users choose not to be regulated. And so it is with social media. Everything, including the users, are too fluid. As soon as you have it all organised, documented, certified and protocoled, you will wake up to find that it has faded and the users have moved on to the next disposable web-thing and then your club is a bit pointless.

So, I guess you realise The Club is just not for me, granted it maybe for you. Now off to meet a few of my peers for some chilled unstructured sharing time!