By Alexandra Mayhew
Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave a speech at an Asia Society Australia event in Canberra yesterday ahead of an unprecedented trade mission to Japan, Korea, and China in April.
The lunch, titled 'Open for Business: Embracing a New Era of Opportunity in North Asia', and keynote address set the scene for the important Australian engagement with three of our closest and most crucial regional partners.
Asia Society Australia has a strong commitment and focus on broadening the interests and understanding between Australia and the Asian business political and cultural leaders.
Wells Haslem organised the media relations for the event.
By Isabelle Walker
Having people want to follow you, he said, was just as important as having the natural and learned skills of leadership. They work hand in hand. Respect and admiration are the keys to gaining followership, he declared: you cannot treat your employees with disrespect and expect them to go above and beyond for you.
The theme of today’s Business over Breakfast was leadership, and keynote speaker Mark Bouris just flipped my thinking on its head.
Bouris’ speech exemplified why the business leader has been so successful in his career, from Wizard, to Celebrity Apprentice, to Yellow Brick Road.
From anecdotes about being pushed to his limit by Kerry Packer, to explaining why being involved in every level of your business is the key to success (“you must descend deep into the bowels of your business and wrestle in the mud with your employees”), the choice of Bouris as the keynote speaker enthused guest with the vitality and wisdom the Branson-like businessman brings.
Bouris, emphasised adaptation and unorthodox thinking as the two skills required to be a successful leader, in business or otherwise.
The first was adaptation to situations that one cannot control.
The second was an unorthodox approach to thinking about what your job actually is - the why beyond the how. Whether you sell coffee or sell home loans, he said, what mattered was the larger purpose – not just profits. Understanding what your company or your role means for your customers, clients or stakeholders is the most critical element of leadership and success.
I asked Alexandra Mayhew about – our why – and she said: Wells Haslem’s why, our purpose , is not just providing public relations services, it’s about people and it’s about trust. We provide our clients with the security that we can get the job done, not only well, but in a manner whereby they can relax, knowing they’ve got the best people on the job, people to protect their reputations, people they can trust.
The Business over Breakfast event saw special guests Dan Hannebery and Josh Kennedy of the Sydney Swans give their personal takes on what it is to lead. Swans leadership has been quite unique in the last decade and Hannebery believes it has been the key to their success in recent years.
Australian recruitment start-up, SpotJobs hosted a Business over Breakfast this morning at the University of NSW. It was the first official event for “The Spotters Club”, a group organised by SpotJobs to facilitate networking among the business community.
By Isabelle Walker
The internet is now celebrating 25 years of existence.
And I for one haven’t even reached that milestone.
Yes, I am younger than the internet.
That’s a scary thought, because although rationally it’s obvious that the internet would be a quarter of a century old, the technology is continually innovating that it always seems like a burgeoning, infantile technology ready to expand into the future.
From the beep of the original modems connecting through the phone line to having to compromise land-line calls in order to connect, many of us share funny little memories of the early stages of the internet.
From “You’ve Got Mail” to “The Social Network”, the internet has inspired and written a new era of human interaction. “Google it” has entered our lexicon arguably in a way no other phrase has in the last fifty years. The constant effect of the internet on the social and cultural landscape is inexplicable.
In the last few years, however, the gigantic impact the internet has on the social, political, and cultural landscape has been abundantly apparent. The 24 hour news cycle, facilitated by endless connection to social media platforms like twitter, facebook and Instagram, as well as the constant digitisation of news resources, has meant information has travelled faster and further than ever before. No good gaffe goes unpunished and whatever you (possibly accidentally) put out the universe through the web cannot be undone.
The political impact of the internet goes so much further.
The Arab Spring was united by internet savvy youths who learnt, through Facebook and Twitter, that oppression from their totalitarian leaders was not something that happened throughout the world, and through the power of this media they protested and tried to overcome the tyranny.
Images, videos and reports constantly flow from conflicts zones such as Syria, Venezuela, and the Ukraine, reaching millions upon millions of people, placing immense social pressure on international community to act.
The internet has transformed in ways beyond conventional measurement. It has changed the way people live, interact, gather and share information, love, experience, and create. It has been a vehicle for good and evil in the world.
It is in no way perfect and in no way able to be regulated.
But as we navigate the challenges that the constant evolution of the internet crafts, we become better problem solvers, more creative thinkers, and more aware of the world around us.
Happy birthday internet.
By Benjamin Haslem
The recent decision by the Biennale of Sydney to reject private sponsorship from Transfield is another example of doing something because it makes you feel good and not because it will deliver any tangible benefits.
I've lost count of the number of times I've cautioned a client against taking a particular course of action with the words: "It may make you feel good but...".
When planning any communication activity it is important to understand who your stakeholders are, their interests in an issue, their expectations, their level of influence and how they are likely to react to particular actions.
By Benjamin Haslem
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 is a tragedy.
But it is also a text book example of how a poor response to a crisis in the first few hours can set the tone for the days that follow and derail any crisis communications effort.
From the perspective of many relatives in Beijing, desperately hoping against hope that their loved ones are alive or at worst wanting to know where the downed Boeing Triple-7 has crashed, the airline has treated them appallingly.
In the first 24 hours of the crisis, some media reported Chinese relatives of passengers aboard the plane had accused the airline of failing to keep them informed.
Reuters reported that "relatives were taken to a hotel near Beijing airport, put in a room and told to wait for information from the airline, but none came".
"There's no one from the company here, we can't find a single person. They've just shut us in this room and told us to wait," one relative said.
"We want someone to show their face. They haven't even given us the passenger list," he said.
Another relative was more direct: "They're treating us worse than dogs".
Chinese media criticised the airline for taking so long to announce what was happening and for refusing to answer questions.
"Malaysia Airlines, why did you wait for five hours after losing contact with the aircraft to first announce the news, and why did you only have a news conference after almost 13 hours?" the official Xinhua news agency wrote on one of its Weibo accounts.
Three days later and from the relatives' perspective little has improved.
By Benjamin Haslem
Personal care products giant, Dove, has developed a reputation for thinking outside the square when it comes to marketing. Its Campaign For Real Beauty garnered massive publicity in 2004.
It's latest effort in the US has attracted attention because it takes a dig at poor old New Jersey, so long the butt of jokes from the rest of America, especially those living across the Hudson in New York.
Not sure how this will play out around Trenton and Newark but it got me wondering what would be an Australian equivalent?
2 for 1 shampoo offer: "Dear Tasmania, one for each head".
A punching bag emblazoned with the word 'Sydney': "Dear Melbourne, when the frustration gets too much...".
An XXXL hat: "Dear Sydney, something for your head..."
What do you think?
1. Is Social Media Stifling Political Debate?