At the end of last month we followed the story about how people had started the "1 in 5 British Muslims..." hashtag which became a movement, a campaign even, against The Sun newspaper's headline of "1 in 5 British Muslims feels sympathy towards Jihadists" with interest. The Sun, as it tends to do, had taken the results of a poll they ran out of context and had rephrased statements. The questions in the poll only allowed a narrow field of answers and the sample was actually very small.
Having recently returned home to New Zealand after years living abroad in China, London, and Sydney, our founder and MD, Caleb Hulme-Moir, explores the reintegration experience for Kiwis coming home in this piece from the NZ Sunday Star Times.
We don't know about China or Sydney, but London certainly isn't the same without him.
We love this piece in The Guardian by Kristal Brent Zook - Award-winning journalist, author, scholar and professor at Hofstra University in New York - who talks about how she's often wondered why academics don't make more of an effort to publish for general audiences. She put the question to a few academics and their answers surprised her.
Our Australian readers may remember the Woolworths 'Fresh in our Memories' website and ad campaign which they used around Anzac Day. The website invited people to pay tribute to the Anzacs by creating a picture for their social media profile using a photo of someone affected by war. It then attached the Woolworths' logo and text saying, "Lest We Forget Anzac 1915-2015. Fresh in our memories."
The recent announcement that Australia and the United Kingdom have agreed to form a joint working group to tackle profit shifting by multinational companies such as Google, Starbucks, Apple, and Microsoft is welcome news. But why is it government officials, rather than business leaders, who are leading this charge?
Love it or loathe it, you can't deny that The Sun is one of the UK's most widely read tabloids and it's in an ideal position to use that to influence and drive the news agenda. Which is something it's been doing for many years – remember the headline "It's the Sun wot won it" which appeared on the front page on Saturday 11 April 1992 following the unexpected Conservative victory in the 1992 general election?
There is a wonderful phrase first heard in the movie of the book "Into the Wild" which summarises values which, to us at Mana, are core, important and completely necessary to all: "Happiness is only real when shared". We won't give you any spoilers of the movie but suffice to say the main character says it when he realises all his efforts in doing something were void of meaning because there was no one to share them with.
Sharing and giving are at the centre of our existence. At a biological level, it's only through sharing that we, as human beings, actually exist. There is nothing in our world is which is not made better when shared.
1. Time – we share and give our time and space in celebrations, social media and special moments.
2. Experiences – when we achieve something it seems that it is only truly achieved after sharing it with our friends and family.
3. Love – obviously in whatever form or shape, we all seek love, we want to share ourselves and actually when we share and give love it grows and multiplies.
4. Lives / History – our past, present and future only has meaning when we share it.
But sometimes we forget about the power of sharing and giving and we do exactly the opposite. A little like when you are learning to ski and they tell you "lean back, it's less dangerous" but you of course, lean forwards.
And our society gets distracted and selfish and we just miss the point of sharing or giving, this can be seen with the advent of modern crazes, such as the fashion for taking "selfies" – I want to see me! – and the way we consume seems to be all about individual packages (food, obsession with clothing, etc...) in effect saying "I want to spend my money on only ME".
A pinnacle of these distractions are days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We have come as far as to devote an entire day to buying, consuming... mostly things for ME. So it's great when someone comes up with a wonderful idea of doing the complete opposite: #GivingTuesday.
The Mana team loves this campaign for many reasons but mostly because:
a. It helps us refocus on what REALLY matters, and what really makes us happy.
b. As PR professionals we think the guys of 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation (founders of the campaign) have done something amazing.
c. The campaign has now engaged over 10,000 organisations worldwide. Nearly $46 million raised for charity over a 24-hour period, according to initial numbers released Wednesday.
And what we really love about it is that it shows how PR and media (social media and journalism) can be an incredible source of good.
It's thanks to campaigns such as the #unselfie that Giving Tuesday has become a world phenomenon. It's this kind of ethos that is the core of Mana. We are very proud to follow that incredible spirit of "giving" by sharing and giving what is of most value to us in business - our time, expertise, professionalism, care and attention - to important and noble causes by supporting charities and NGOs with pro-bono PR work.
Such as our friend, Glen Hulley, a former Australian detective who gave up a lot to take on a role with Terre Des Hommes Netherlands and left Australia to head up ProjectWATCH where he is working with local South East Asian private investigators to enhance their evidence-gathering and detective skills. The aim of the project is to see a greater number of sex offenders operating in South East Asia convicted for their crimes. You can read more about Glen in our blog Mana Loves a Great Cause.
Following that great experience, Mana is now working hard to establish and formalise the way we will offer these services to the third sector. We are looking forward to sharing what we do best to those who are changing the world.
We're thrilled that Carla Vargas-Puccio has joined Mana Communications as Director to head up our London offering from this month.
It's been an exciting period of growth for Mana, with Carla's arrival following on from the appointment of fellow Director, Andrew Hamilton, to our Sydney office in August.
"Carla and Andrew are exceptionally talented PR professionals and we now have a strong executive team in place which I envisage will lead to a period of growth over 2015," says Caleb Hulme-Moir, Managing Director, Mana Communications.
"Existing clients in our two core markets of Australia and the UK are already benefiting from Carla and Andrew's combined experience and we will continue to work in Europe and Asia Pacific from Sydney and London."
Carla is a multilingual communications specialist with extensive experience in media relations at an international level. She joins from IESE Business School, ranked in the top 10 globally, where she was International Communications Director. Over a 10 year period Carla was responsible for dramatically growing IESE's brand and media profile in key markets outside of Spain.
"Having worked in a business school environment watching students explore entrepreneurial ventures, I'm excited to now be part of one," says Carla.
"I am particularly attracted to Mana's commitment to support low-income companies and charities carrying out valuable work through providing free or reduced-fee consultancy and PR services. I will be developing this offering in Europe."
Over 13 years working in communications, Carla has developed deep sector expertise in education, business and management, economics as well as arts and the third sector. She will be responsible for overseeing Mana Communications work in the UK, Western Europe and Latin America.
Joining Mana from an Account Director role with global PR firm Edelman, Andrew Hamilton, has a great depth of experience across corporate communications, including, financial services, B2B technology and higher education. He has worked with major brands including Samsung, Intuit and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Andrew said, "I joined Mana Communications because I was excited by the opportunity to play a major part in driving the growth and success of the business. We already have a fantastic client roster and I look forward to the road ahead.
"Beyond that, another key element in my decision to work with Mana is the genuine values-match that is shared between Caleb and myself, and now Carla, and our commitment to doing highly rewarding pro bono work for causes we believe in. This is something which deeply resonates with what drives me as a practitioner."