Challenge: When Getty Images photographer Adam Pretty won the prestigious Getty Editorial Fellowship, he grabbed his camera and prize money and headed to the Japanese town of Kesennuma – one of the most devastated regions from the Tohoku quake and tsunami in 2011.
Overwhelmed by the scope of tragedy, Adam resolved to give something back to the people by reconstructing wedding portraits of couples whose original wedding photographs were destroyed.
Adam’s Bride Again project is a strong example of the depth and power of the work of Getty Images’ photographers.
Strategy: To coincide with the second anniversary of the Tohoku quake and tsunami, Howorth approached two media outlets – Fairfax Media and ABC – with the opportunity to speak with Adam.
Both interviews would discuss why Adam chose to focus on the Japanese tsunami and uncover stories of survival and love among the families involved in the project.
The story that Howorth and Getty Images wanted to tell was that of the strength, resilience and hope of the Japanese people living in Kesennuma.
Results: Following an interview with The Sun Herald, a half page article featuring a Bride Again wedding portrait was published in the newspaper.
This piece was syndicated to 157 online Fairfax metropolitan and regional news sites including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times as well as featuring in Fairfax’s tablet edition.
Adam’s interview with the ABC resulted in an online feature piece, exposing the news to a potential audience of 3,700,000 Australians.
This campaign generated a combined total of 159 clips and reached a potential audience of 18,022,235 Australians.
Challenge: Building on the wave of interest and anticipation from Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the PR team was tasked to deliver a high impact, broad-reaching publicity campaign to amplify the local Windows 8 story.
Windows 8 heralded a huge brand shift for Microsoft, of which the PR campaign needed to emulate. The approach needed focus on people not product, stories over messages and product engagement over sales in order to help audiences emotionally connect with the experience that Windows 8 offers.
Strategy: With an audience spread across the entire gamete of media – from technology to consumer lifestyle and everything in between, the PR team developed an educational approach that would deliver targeted information, purely relevant to each segment before culminating in the official launch event.
In September, a series of 10 one-on-one briefings were held with the most influential people across technology media in order to ensure a well-grounded level of knowledge and understanding of the Windows 8 story in the lead up to launch.
Following this, in October five consumer lifestyle mini-events were hosted at the Ivy Penthouse. The events saw the presence of 26 key media from Australia’s highest circulating consumer glossy magazines, providing these media with a first look and touch of the new operating system.
The third phase of activity offered our influencers the opportunity to ‘touch and try’ Windows 8 through the seeing 10 RTM Samsung Slate 7 devices.
Launch day kicked off early with three pieces of solid coverage across breakfast TV which highlighted the availability of Windows 8 and Surface in Australia. The PR team worked with key morning reporters to educate them on the new product features so they could speak as ‘experts’ on Windows 8.
The tone of the coverage was very positive, with many broadcast articles positioning the Windows 8 launch as Microsoft striking back against other tablet competitors – to quote Sunrise host Andrew O’Keefe commenting “The Empire strikes back,”. News of the availability and Harvey Norman’s Midnight Madness stunt echoed across the daily news cycle and wells as the availability of devices and the different SKUs available locally.
The Australian media event commenced at 9:30 AM and saw the attendance of over 110 media from an extensive array of consumer lifestyle, broadcast, news, consumer tech and more. Media guests included the likes of Channel 7, Channel 9, SBS World News, ABC Radio National, ABC News 24, 6PR, Better Homes and Gardens, Rolling Stone, Men’s Health, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph…etc.
Key results include:
- 1457 pieces of local coverage in the first 14 days post launch
- 246 hours of broadcast coverage
- 110+ media attended the launch event
Challenge: Student technology competitions, such as the Imagine Cup, have traditionally appealed to a narrow audience. Howorth was challenged with taking the Imagine Cup to the masses. Mainstream media coverage that told stories for the everyday Australian which generated conversations, and told the Microsoft innovation story around four key event milestones: the local finals, the Road to Sydney, the 2012 World Wide Finals, and the APAC BizSpark Entrepreneur Summit.
Strategy: Howorth focused on strategic storytelling across broadcast and key national print media. To ensure understanding of the key messages, we brought the story to life using the student’s journey and their projects to showcase the innovative solutions they have devised to solve real-world issues, and positioning the students as tomorrow’s Bill Gates or innovators.
Results: Results included high impact and broad stories on the Imagine Cup. Telling the Imagine Cup story through broadcast outlets and the student projects helped us showcase the global nature of the competition and brought media on the journey. Out of the 75 unique pieces of coverage for the World Wide Finals, 72 clips mentioned Microsoft and were in-line with corporate key messages for the competition.
What do Jodhi Meares, Jules Lund, Akira Isogara and Romance Was Born have in common? They all hung out with us at an exclusive launch for Canon’s new PowerShot G1X in Sydney.
Canon came to us with a challenge – drive the G1X beyond the tech and photography pages and push it into the consumer lifestyle space where the target market likes to read, watch, listen and tweet. Our mission was to make the PowerShot G1X relevant to their lifestyle.
How did we do it? We rounded up 20 of Australia’s most creative minds to take part in what we called The G-Case Project. We called on a range of influential Aussies, from artists to designers and media personalities. In exchange for their very own G1X, we asked them each to re-design a camera case inspired by the camera itself.
The Project resulted in an awesome array of creative camera cases – or what we called G-Cases. To showcase the G-Case Project we held a VIP media event at a hole-in-the-wall gallery in Sydney, where top-tier fashion, travel, retail and consumer lifestyle media and influential bloggers, met, mingled and talked all things Canon.
For Canon, The G-Case Project was unlike anything the brand had embarked on in Australia before. It propelled the G1X onto the agendas of consumer lifestyle media and bloggers, and got the brand talking about its products with key influencers in the Australian market.
With the London 2012 Olympic Games in full swing it’s not just the athletes who are working hard to be at the top of their game – the Getty Images team of award-winning photographers are also in the thick of the action at the world’s greatest sporting event.
Throughout the Games, Getty Images photographers will capture the action from every possible angle at each of the Olympic sporting events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies and medal presentations.
An Olympic first
Although Getty Images has a long-standing history with the Olympics, London 2012 will be the first time that their photographers will use cutting edge 3D and robotic camera technology to capture the action.
A team of select photographers will shoot the games in 3D in addition to using custom designed robotics rigs to capture the agony and the ecstasy of the competition.
To showcase Getty Images industry leading innovations the team at Howorth devised a communications program which focused on the technology and talent behind the camera lens.
Featuring TV and print profiles of top Getty Images talent including VP of Editorial Photography Stuart Hannagan and Australian photographers Mark Kolbe and Chris McGrath, the program also targeted leading technology websites.
Coverage was secured on Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports Road to London program, with a segment featuring Stuart discussing iconic Olympic images syndicated to 37 stations across Australia.
An in-depth interview with Mark and Chris in CNET Australia examined the different ways in which Getty Images is “pioneering new ways of thinking about sports photography.” CNET is one of the country’s most popular technology websites, visited by 1.8 million Australians each month.
Computerworld Australia featured an interview with Getty Images Senior Director of Editorial Photography, Ken Mainardis and Gizmodo, Australian Creative, Campaign Brief and Photo Review produced articles on the technology being used by Getty Images during the London 2012 opening ceremony.
Mark was also interviewed by the Inverell Times and The Northern Daily Leader newspapers about the 3D technology, and Chris was featured in the Sunshine Coast Daily, discussing the robotics rigs he will be operating during London 2012.
Six of the STW Network’s most influential and entertaining people speak to the Young Turks about their past, present and future.
The conversation as to who would write a wrap of the Young Turks, Big Dogs panel discussion on Wednesday evening coincidently took place around my desk an hour before it was due to commence. No hands immediately went up. Not even my own. In fact, I tried my hardest to keep my head down and avoid the conversation as to not get assigned the job.
It’s not that I didn’t have the time or that I don’t enjoy writing. The honest truth is, I couldn’t think of anything more intimidating than composing a creative piece reporting back on the past, present and future careers of – as we were most fervently reminded over the course of the evening – the most creative and celebrated minds in our industry.
As luck would have it however, my name was thrown amidst the conversation, unwilling eye contact was made and ten minutes later I was begrudgingly heading down to the conference clad with pen and paper to take notes for my impending piece.
Five minutes into the panel discussion, I was more stressed than ever – and we were merely being introduced to the Panel: Brett Howlett, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy Australia; Anouk Darling, CEO, Moon Communications; Gerry Cyron, Head of Brand Planning; Ogilvy Australia, Jonathan Pease, Managing Partner and Executive Ideas Director, Tongue; Brian Giesen, Director, Social@Ogilvy; and Kieran Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy Public Relations, Australia.
As I listened, phrases such as “won countless Effies”; “recognised and awarded in Cannes”; and – my favourite – “Kieran Moore, one of Australia’s top ten most influential women in media in 2011”, were flanked by mentions of the most recognisable brands names in the world. Throwing a quick glance over my shoulder I could see that awe had been slapped across the faces of the other thirty or so other Young Turks in the room. To us there was no doubt: here before us sat a panel of media heroes.
The ‘Big Dogs’, who had literally been placed on pedestals before us, kicked off the discussion with a simple question: who inspires you most? The collective answer could possibly have been a world first to have self-made billionaire Warren Buffett, Advertising legend Dan Wieden, renown blogger Leo Babauta and charitable investment banker Richard Blum named in the same sentence. Although it turns out they have a lot in common. Entrepreneurial to the core, each leader was renowned for their innovation, creativity and ability to look beyond the bottom dollar to contribute their influence and talent to better society. By the time film director Quentin Tarantino and film producer Ridley Scott had rounded off the list for their “awesome story telling” ability to “stuff as many ideas into an hour and a half as possible on no budget”; I realised that my head was slightly nodding in agreement. After all, what are PR and advertising professionals if not storytellers?
By the second question: What was your first role in the industry, my head was shaking in disbelief. It came as –perhaps too much – of a surprise that such successful careers stemmed from humble beginnings. At Jonathan Pease’s answer, I literally dropped my pen. “My first job was actually in dispatch,” said Jonathan, a man credited for helping to bring Australia’s Next Top Model to my lounge room and not for distributing packages from a corporate mail room. “It was the kind of job where just turning up some days was a challenge,” he said with a laugh. To a room of Young Turks, this was top quality reassurance that we are on the right track.
By the third question: what were the biggest mistakes you ever made, it was clear that here before us sat not only the most influential people in the industry, but possibly the most entertaining. I found it necessary to remind myself that the following comments came from the same group of people responsible for launching one of Australia’s most recognisable budget airlines, the Share-a-Coke Campaign and for the first use of foursquare and a blog in commercial campaigns.
“Oh man there’s just been so many” was followed up with “I forgot to make sure my phone was on mute before going on a full rant about certain people’s incompetencies during a conference call” and “there was this one time when I accidently CC’d a client into a group email that complained about how difficult they were.”
After wiping away my tears of laughter, I wrote the following as a key learning on my note pad: it is fine, if not expected to make mistakes. “You will learn more from your failures than your successes,” summarised Anouk Darling. “You will mess up a lot but learn through your adversity, keep putting yourself out there and stay hungry.”
Suddenly, the pedestal didn’t seem so high. It is not that by admitting their faults, the panel leaders had suddenly sunk to my level. It was that I had subconsciously sat up straighter in my own chair, as I sponged in what the panel had to say. Including this pearl from Gerry Cyron: “Your career and, actually life in general is just like Angry Birds. You see your target, take aim and you throw everything you have at it. If you miss, you just readjust and try again.” As easy as it is to laugh off the mistakes of others and hope they don’t happen to you; success only comes to those who seek success out and keep evolving their tactics in order to reach it.
“While this industry used to be about knowledge, now it is about the willingness to evolve and the drive to become an expert,” said Anouk. Put your hand up for everything, come up with another creative idea every time one gets shot down and love your work beyond the dollar sign.
The biggest surprise of all came with one of the most standard questions asked in a work environment: Where do you see yourself in five years? “Geez, I have no idea,” was the resounding response from the panel. The catalyst for such uncertainty can be attributed to technology which is causing everything to shift and change at such a rapid rate that the panel experts such as Brian Giesen believe that speed is the key to remain competitive in media moving forward. Media agencies will also need to be smart and come forward with big ideas, not big numbers of staff to win new business in the future.
“Technology is set to blow our minds and for that reason, I see the industry moving to a hub and spoke approach,” said Kieran Moore. “It is a commercial imperative for media groups to work together and integrate their offering or they will get left behind.”
This blog piece is testament to the insight and inspiration provided by the six media experts on the Young Turks ‘Big Dog’ panel. From now on, I will not stress about making mistakes, I will strive to keep evolving and most importantly, I will put my hand up first.
“Do not confuse the ‘alpha’ with the ‘leader’. Leadership is not a popularity contest.”
“Be confident, but not so much that you become a [censored word].”
“It’s imperative to have a tight plan in life, but to live it as loosely as possible.”
“The great distinction between creative people and non-creative people is that the former will always come back with another idea.”
“You never know what your clients are thinking so don’t take shortcuts.”
“Listen to that little voice inside your head and never be compromised.”
“When negotiating, silence can be powerful.”
“The biggest pitfall is taking yourself too seriously.”
“Look to learn more from your failures than from your successes.”
“Love your work beyond the dollar sign.”
Recommended reading list:
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche (1992)
The Art of War, Sun Tzu
Life’s a Pitch, Stephen Bayley and Roger Mavity
Blue Ocean Strategy, Professor W. Chan Kim and Professor Renee Mauborgne
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell.
Imagine, Jonah Lehrer
Good old fairy-tale stories (namely, The Jungle Book)
Anything written by Charles Bukowski
Anything the Harvard Business Review suggests
NOTE: If you’ve ticked all these boxes, Anouk Darling’s personal reading list is available. Alternatively, turn on the television
Substantial organic business growth and new client wins in the first five months of 2012 has seen five new people join Howorth.
Ant Kelaher in the position of Associate Director from Splendid Communications; Sophie Kriefman as Account Manager from Grayling UK; Danielle Zhu as Senior Consultant from Taurus; Justine Taylor as Consultant from The Narrative; and Isabella Lynch as Account Coordinator from Microsoft.
Howorth’s Managing Director Graham White said: “The first five months of 2012 have seen a lot of good growth come from a number of our existing clients, as well as some exciting new client wins/projects. As a result, we continue to make critical appointments, drawing in experience from many different sectors that include consumer, corporate and B2B PR.”
New client wins in 2012 include Brighthost, Australian Wool Innovation, Coca-Cola Project Catalyst, Veda, SkillsDMC, Yelp, Yammer and Telstra International.
Ant (pictured standing middle), joined Howorth at the end of January, and leads the Microsoft account and provides senior strategic counsel to brands that include Ancestry.com.au and Canon.
Ant also plays a critical role in the growth of Howorth’s consumer technology practice and his experience at Splendid Communications as client services director on brands like Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Red Bull, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and MAC Cosmetics, brings a wealth of consumer expertise to the team. Prior to Splendid, Ant worked at MySpace as Marketing Communications Director, which included the launch of numerous social networking products, the MySpace Music streaming service, the delivery of around 40 music and 20 film events, and the development of major partnerships in the entertainment industry.
Danielle’s (pictured sitting right) joined Howorth in February and works on both pan-regional and local clients including Intel, Thunderhead and Kronos – Danielle’s ability to speak fluent Mandarin has already proven invaluable in her regional role for Intel!
Danielle’s previous PR experience includes driving media relations campaigns for insurance giants QBE, as well as a range of domestic and global technology companies.
Sophie (pictured standing right), joined Howorth in May and works on Microsoft, Tourism Australia, Veda, SkillsDMC, Intel Capital, eFINITY and Australian Wool Innovation.
Sophie joined from Grayling in the UK and brings four years’ agency and in-house experience from a range of technology, corporate and financial clients. This includes The Economist Intelligence Unit, ACE Insurance, DFJ Esprit, Sophos, Telekom Austria and Lloyds Banking Group. She also worked in-house for SAS. Sophie has already put her solid media relations skills to good use by securing some great coverage for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals, which take place in Sydney in July this year.
Isabella (pictured sitting left) joined Howorth in May and is working on Microsoft, Citrix and Canon. While this is Isabella’s first PR role, most recently she spent two years at Microsoft working in the Executive Briefing Centre and Consumer Immersion Experience.
Justine (pictured standing left) is Howorth’s latest recruit, and is working on brands that include Canon, Austrade, SkillsDMC and Australian Wool Innovation.
Justine made the move from The Narrative, where she worked on a range of corporate, technology and consumer accounts including Chan & Naylor National Accounting Firm, Patron Financial Advice, Tiger Airways, Sumo Salad and Zylux. Justine has also developed some great social media expertise for JMC Academy.
“We welcome our new team members and wish them every success in their new roles,” adds Graham.
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is a not-for-profit industry body predominately funded by over 29,000 Australian wool growers. The role of the AWI is to provide research and development and international marketing for Australian wool growers.
Despite Australia being the world’s largest producer of wool, only a few years ago it was an industry on the brink of collapse. Since 2010, the AWI has reversed the fortunes for Australian wool growers by stimulating global demand for Australian wool through a series of retail and fashion led partnerships and has helped shift consumer perceptions of wool globally. Now, for the first time in living memory, wool has become profitable for Australian farmers and after 10 years of decline the national flock is on the up.
With ‘wool poll’, a shareholder vote held every three years to decide the revenue allocation between R&D and Marketing, approaching later in the year the AWI were keen to share this success story with its stakeholders and general public to ensure that the value of the marketing activity in international markets was recognised domestically, encouraging its shareholders (Australian wool growers) to continue to invest the necessary allocation of funding in marketing.
Howorth set upon a focused on ‘quality over quantity’ and mapped a plan for 2012 that would see the roll out of six ‘top stories’ in tier one media. These profile top executives and bring across the AWI’s success using a different thought leadership lens each time.
For Howorth a ‘top story’ ticks the following boxes:
- Positive coverage has resulted from a proactive pitch
- Coverage is on theme
- Coverage is in targeted media
- Coverage is on message
- Coverage includes effective executive profiling
- Coverage includes effective third party endorsement and insight
- Coverage is of sufficient size to be impactful
- Rich content has been developed and used
The first of the top stories has already been published.
‘Runs on the board’
The first story that Howorth and the AWI wanted to tell was that of the success of initiatives in China. Howorth quickly identified that ABC’S 7:30 Report was the best medium by which to reach the target audience and tell a compelling story. Interviews with CEO Stuart McCullough and CMO Rob Langtry were set-up to elaborate on the progress to-date and explain the strategy and rationale behind placing the Chinese market at the centre of the industry’s future security and success. To bring the story to life, on-location filming and interview opportunities were set-up with an Australian wool farmer and a Chinese designer visiting another farm.
The result was a 5+ minute engaging and on-message segment featuring Stuart, Rob, the Australian wool farmer and Chinese designer broadcast on the 7:30 Report. That evening Stuart and Rob were inundated with positive messages from AWI shareholders who had seen the program.
Look out for the next five top stories coming soon.
It all began with one man – Samuel Moss Solomon. He was the father of Emmanuel and Vaiben Solomon, brothers who were transported to Australia after being charged with stealing some clothes.
Fast forward 194 years and the Solomons have left a significant mark on this country. A classic story of a ‘convict made good’, Emmanuel Solomon was a member of parliament, a philanthropist and benefactor to the arts. His descendants have also had a strong impact on the history of Australia, with one nephew holding the record for the shortest stint (one week) as Premier of South Australia and then going on to become one of the founding fathers of Darwin. Another descendant helped write the Australian constitution, five fought in Gallipoli, and one perished on the Titanic.
On March 10-12, 2012, a reunion of the Solomons and associated families took place in Melbourne. The organisers credited Ancestry.com.au for helping them to build their extensive family tree and the reason they were able to find and contact so many family members. Brad Argent, content director, Ancestry.com.au was invited to speak at the reunion.
The Howorth team wanted to share the Solomon’s story and build mainstream interest family history category in general. Given that Monday was a public holiday in Melbourne, and there was the potential for media interest to be light, the team pre-pitched the story as an exclusive to Channel 7’s Sunrise and followed up with a media alert which was issued to local Melbourne media.
In total, 108 pieces of TV, radio, print and online coverage were achieved from this campaign with a reach of over 1.7M impressions.
- Brad Argent, Ancestry was interviewed on Sunrise along with other members of the Solomon family. The piece was also re-played nationally on Channel 7’s 4:30pm News
- Brad was also interviewed by Channel 7’s 6pm News who also attended and covered the reunion
- The Age came to the reunion and spoke with family members
- The event organiser, Jenny Cowen, was also interviewed on Radio National Breakfast the morning of the event.
Challenge: Howorth has been working with Canon’s corporate and business imaging communication teams since the end of 2010. In 2011, Canon asked Howorth to develop a campaign that would support one of their core company values – imagination at both the corporate and the business imaging divisional levels.
Our work: It was clear this project would be more than a media relations campaign. The team at Howorth researched the concept of imagination and looked at existing data on imagination and productivity in the workplace. We found a team at UNSW that had proven a link between imagination and learning effectiveness in school children – but the phenomenon of ‘the imagination effect’ had never been proven in a corporate setting.
Canon formed a partnership with the School of Education, UNSW. We designed an experiment for members of Canon’s business imaging sales team to see what effect engaging the imagination had on the effectiveness of a new training module. Participants were split into two groups and completed multiple choice tests on product knowledge before and after an e-learning program. Both groups were given different learning instructions. The imagination group was instructed to use their imagination to learn concepts and procedures about a Canon product and the study group was instructed to use traditional study methods.
The results were extremely interesting – for the first time, the imagination effect was proven in a corporate setting. In fact, the imagination group made significantly more learning gains than the study group with the imagination group’s test results improving by 63% compared with 29% for the study group.
Concurrently, we commissioned a survey of 400 senior decision makers at medium and large organisations across Australia to investigate the state of imagination in business. The survey found that despite the fact those organisations that value and harness imagination were also the highest earning companies, across the board, imagination ranks last on a list of 15 workforce characteristics valued by employers.
Results: The research findings were published by Canon in a report titled Imagination for Business, stating the case for adding imagination to the managerial tool box. Additional content was produced for a microsite, www.imaginationforbusiness.com.au.
The story captured the imagination of business, HR and other vertical media, with more than 30 in-depth media articles published on the topic. The UNSW professors are also planning to present their academic paper at a number of international cognitive load conferences later in 2012.
But perhaps most importantly, the thought leadership exercise resulted in a real change in the way Canon will deliver its training modules as part of ongoing learning and development programs, because Canon now has a low cost way to make training more effective for their workforce – the application of imagination.