A big part of the Mana ethos is that we try to work with people and organisations we respect, have an interesting story to tell, or a difficult communications challenge to solve. Our client's values interest us more than their balance sheet. That's why we're honoured to have been working with Glen Hulley.
Mana Comms was recommended to Glen by a friend of our Founder and Managing Director, Caleb Hulme-Moir, and Caleb found himself really moved by Glen's story. Former Australian detective, Glen, was shopping in a busy market in Cambodia whilst on holiday when he was approached by a stranger asking if he wanted a girl. Confused, Glen asked the stranger what he meant. "Young girl, as young as you like," was the response he received. Sadly, child exploitation is a huge problem in South East Asia.
Glen said the trip, taken in July last year with partner Meaghan, was life-changing and made him question his comfortable existence in Australia after seeing the extreme poverty and exploitation first-hand. He has now taken a role with Terre Des Hommes Netherlands, a charity that works to support children through healthcare and child protection.
Glen is giving up a lot to take up this role and will soon leave Australia to head up ProjectWATCH where he will work 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.
We're sure you'll agree that Glen is doing something amazing, but his paltry local salary meant that he'd find it very difficult to be able to get back home to visit family, so that's where Mana came in. Glen had no media experience but wanted to raise awareness of both the work of Terre Des Hommes Netherlands and, hopefully, raise some funds to support his small salary and enable him to get home occasionally.
Mana's Sydney office Account Director, Andrew Hamilton, started off by helping Glen to define his marketing more clearly and then began pitching out his story. We were thrilled with the level of interest and absolutely delighted when Glen's story ran across the majority of News Limited's online news network including being lead story on News.com.au, Australia's leading online news website, for over three hours. It was soon being shared across all the major social media platforms, appearing on the Daily Mail online and BBC World online too.
Andrew Hamilton said, "We knew if we could share Glen's story with the right people, we could get some great results however what's happened to date has defied all expectations. Glen's story truly went viral, with popular Australian parenting sites such as Kidspot sharing Glen's story through their Facebook page and attracting thousands of likes, shares and comments from people all over the world.
"In the PR game it can sometimes be difficult to link media coverage to tangible results, but in this instance we have it all including widespread recognition of both Glen and Terre Des Hommes, ongoing media opportunities, and thousands of dollars raised that will make a major difference to Glen, his work, and his family."
Not only has the profile of Terre Des Hommes Netherlands been raised but Glen has, to date, raised an amazing AUS$13,625. Everyone at Mana is so pleased that this campaign has gone so well, as we said at the start, our client's values interest us more than their balance sheet, and this campaign is the perfect example of why this is the case.
Glen is a great guy, giving up a lot for a cause he believes in. He deserves our support, and yours. So if you'd like to show your support to Glen you can donate to his gofundme page.
Andy Coulson, former editor of Rupert Murdoch's now-defunct British tabloid News of the World and ex-communications chief for British Prime Minister David Cameron, was convicted on Tuesday of conspiring to hack phones. But his wasn't the only conviction at the high-profile hacking trial in London.
A guilty verdict was entered against a certain approach to journalism, one where all that matters is getting the scoop, the sexed up, often salacious story that no one else has found. It's certainly a condemnation of the British tabloid culture, whose pressures impelled the News of the World to listen in on the conversations of unknowing citizens to uncover their deepest, darkest secrets.
But it's also a valuable cautionary tale for journalism in general. In the ferociously competitive, rapid-fire world of today's digital journalism, the perceived need to get something up quickly is enormous. So is the determination to find stories that will prove irresistible to an extremely large number of eyeballs.
This is, of course, hardly new to journalism. It just happens to be supercharged in recent times. Fierce competition can lead to powerful, important stories being broken which are in the public interest. But it can also lead to tabloid sleaze that does more harm than good. It can create a desperation that leads to the cutting of corners, the dumbing down of standards and not just in the form of phone-hacking. Think of all of the fabrication disgraces that have marked the recent history of journalism.
The News of the World broke many a story – and MP/celebrity/public figure - in its time and the need to satisfy the insatiable appetite of its readers drove it to set up an elaborate hacking campaign featuring private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. Certainly this verdict could have been a whole lot worse for Murdoch, who in the summer of 2011 was seriously hobbled by the scandal.
There were a number of acquittals, most significantly that of Rebekah Brooks, Coulson's predecessor as editor of News of the World and a person so highly regarded by Murdoch that, at the height of the scandal, he famously declared her as his top priority.
This whole episode is a vivid reminder that bad behaviour often has real consequences and Murdoch, while still incredibly dominant, has paid a price of sorts. He was forced to close the News of the World, once Britain's highest-circulation newspaper. He was subjected to in-depth scrutiny during the Leveson Inquiry into the episode and has been forced to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in lawsuits filed by hacking victims and legal bills.
As for Coulson, who presided over the highflying News of the World at the height of the hacking scandal and was a top aide to British prime minster, David Cameron, he now faces a stint in prison. Thus closes a particularly dark chapter in the history of the news media. It remains to be seen whether lessons have been learned.
Have you noticed that phone etiquette is changing? Once upon a time you called a landline and the other person picked up not knowing who it was. These days people no longer need to take that gamble, you pretty much always know who is calling before answering. So what are the implications of this for PR professionals?
The advent of the internet threw the business model of newspapers into complete crisis. That we know. And ever since, doomsayers have heralded the end of professional journalism while media organisations have scrambled to survive.
But what if we are not witnessing the end of high quality news journalism? What if we are seeing the beginnings of a new golden era for journalism?
Caleb Hulme-Moir was recently interviewed by Kevin Anselmo of For Immediate Release on Higher Education, the communications podcast for academics, marketers, public relations professionals and administrators within higher education. In the interview, Kevin speaks with Caleb about his experience of using media relations to help academic institutions build their brand and reputations.
Creating great content should start with understanding who your audience is, that's according to the web guys at OneFiftyNine. In their October 2013 blog "The power of great content", they explain that understanding who your audience is, where they go on line and what they're talking about is known as 'social listening' and is an essential first step to creating great content. This is what they have to say...
One of the most common questions businesses ask about social media engagement is 'What is the return on investment going to be?' The guys at OneFiftyNine Marketing Communications really know their stuff and in their June 2013 blog "Can You Measure the ROI of Social Media?" they tell us that the answer is at the root of why so many social media initiatives fail, or fall short of expectations. This is what they said...