The winding road to success – lessons from historical innovators

Here at contentgroup, we have a specific set of values and mantras that we rely on to support us in making decisions in our work. We recently attended the Canberra iAwards where world-renowned anthropologist and professor at the Australian National University Genevieve Bell gave a keynote speech. In it, she spoke about the lessons we can continue to learn from famous (and not so famous) innovators from throughout history; people who’ve shaped the world in which we now live. It was striking how each one embodied one of the contentgroup values or mantras. These ones were our favourites…

InTransition 116: Paul X. McCarthy on the gravity of online

In this episode of InTransition, David speaks with Paul X. McCarthy, author of the book Online Gravity. A leader in Australia’s digital industry, Paul is an authority on the transformative nature of technology and the internet, and shares intriguing insights about what the future of online might look like and how it will shape our world and workforce.

Speechwriting for government: predicaments and principles

Arguably, there has never been a more important time for speeches – particularly from those with an authoritative, trusted and educated voice who can help inform the public and media discourse, correct its inherent misconceptions, and promote community confidence in government. As such, there also has never been a more important time for the speechwriter, particularly those in the public sector. While the speechwriting profession is well-established in the United States and the United Kingdom, it is comparatively less developed in Australia. contentgroup’s new resident speechwriter takes us through why.

InTransition 115: Dr Ying-Yi Chih gives an update on the contentgroup-ANU content communications research project

About eight months ago, the National Innovation and Science Agenda identified the problem that small businesses and their engagement with university was a very weak part of the Australian innovation system. contentgroup was then fortunate enough to apply for and receive an Innovations Connections Funding. We are now using this grant to bolster our content communications methodology with evidence-based research and specially designed toolkits. As aprt of this, Dr Ying-Yi Chih and her team have engaged 20-plus governments from local, state, federal and multilateral levels, to test, validate and feedback on the contentgroup approach. David Pembroke speaks to Dr Ying-Yi about some of this feedback and where the project will go from here.

To nudge or to shove? That is the question

“Be braver. Stand up. Lean in. Speak out.” Hearing these words made me sit up a bit straighter in my seat at a recent iPAA breakfast. While the phrase evoked influencers I admire such as Sheryl Sandberg, it was the charismatic Alex Aiken making an impact on the Canberra crowd that morning. A dynamic and captivating speaker, Alex is the Executive Director for Government Communications at the UK Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office. He has spent the past five years changing the face of government communications in the Kingdom, influencing his peers on a global scale along the way.

InTransition 114: Simon Westaway, CEO of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council

Heading up an organisation that represents Australian livestock export businesses has its obvious challenges, says Simon Westaway. As CEO of ALEC, Simon says he’s been focusing on the framing and representation of the organisation, using skills he’s acquired over a long career focused on government relations and media management. Tune in to the podcast for the full discussion.

The undeniable power of the influencer

Using influencers to promote your brand is the modern-day equivalent of word-of-mouth recommendations. As audiences, we tend to trust them more than brands (often the same brands they’re working for) and feel more personally invested in a product or message when someone we like is delivering it. Writing a marketing plan without including an influencer strategy is like flying to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower – it’s just not the done thing. contentgroup’s very own Sarah Ferlitsch, an Instagram influencer in her own right, tells us why.

InTransition 113 – Vijay Chadda – the struggle and reward of communicating in India

The Satya Bharti School Programme provides free, quality education to more than 42,000 children from marginalised communities in rural India. It’s just one of the remits overseen by Bharti Foundation CEO Vijay Chadda. With a career spanning some 45 years and taking in military service, public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility, Mr Chadda shares with us thoughts on leadership, integrity and giving back, not to mention the complex beast that is effective government communications in a country as diverse as India.

Employees want ham, not spam

When email is the appropriate form of internal communication, I implore you – please click with care, or a virtual barrage of send-to-all diatribes may simply spam your audience. Organisations all too often fall into the trap of over-communicating important messages via email in an attempt to be seen as acting in a trusted and transparent way. But employees don’t want spam, they want ham.

InTransition #112 – Liz Jakubowski pt. 2 – students, skills and the future workforce

In the second and final installment of our chat with Liz Jakubowski, digital maestro and director of Ribit in Data61 at CSIRO, we discuss the foundations of and history behind Ribit. A free online matchmaking platform that connects digital and STEM students with SMEs looking to grow and compete, Ribit is helping to address skills shortages and students’ employment concerns.

Why the government should think twice before axing comms jobs

contentgroup’s largest stakeholder, the public service, will feel the strain over the next 12 months as savings are expected to be made through job cuts. Measures such as these understandably incite passionate debate. Who should go? Who should stay? The ones I’m concerned about are those who often wind up on the chopping block first – government communicators.

Tell us what you REALLY think (and win)

Take a few minutes to fill out this year’s contentgroup audience survey and you can go in the draw to win a shiny new Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus+ 10″ tablet. As usual, we’re all about honesty, so tell us exactly what you love, give us details about what you don’t, and tell us how you think we could get better.

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