Opinion | Features
- Making the switch from the solitary profession of journalism to the team sport of PR was tougher than imagined, writes Ben Oliver. Whether deleting emails with zeal or bitching to colleagues in the newsroom, pouring scorn on the erratic, misguided or plain bizarre PR pitches was always a fun sport. But having now worked in agency for two years after nearly a decade in journalism, I can say without hesitation that not only do I now fully appreciate the pressures of agency – it’s a hell of lot harder than what I used to do.
- Amid debate around elements of the client agency relationship, Ebiquity’s Eric Faulkner asks if both clients and agencies have both unwittingly conspired to destroy each other. Earlier this week Mumbrella's Nic Christensen, writing as a 'hypothetical' CMO, wrote what many in the industry had long been thinking on the topic of agency pitches. "For anyone wondering about the race to the bottom, in this market, I reckon you hit it about three years ago. Not that anyone seemed to notice," his 'hypothetical CMO' wrote. It's rather like the climate argument -- if you're going to wait until we're all under water, well, its a bit too late then, isn't it.
Community television is facing the axe — again.The stations have been earmarked for eradication from our screens after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested removing the stations’ broadcast spectrum licenses, to be put to use elsewhere. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Free-to-air television has always been a challenge of practical limitations. The rarity of broadcast spectrum — the radio waves over which TV is transmitted — as well as the cost of doing business, means broadcasters have always faced a choice of what they air, how they air it and when.
- Procurement is always a hot button issue in agency land. Navigare’s Jeff Estok argues that clients and agencies need to understand the different types of procurement and to nail down the detail of their expectations. We all know there are three sides to every story. Your side; their side; and the truth, which often sits somewhere in between.
- Take the hypothetical chief marketing officer of an even more hypothetical major brand. What does he or she really think of the agencies and people they work with? What are their challenges and frustrations? And what don’t those agencies know? Based on in-depth, off-the-record conversations with a string of senior marketers, Nic Christensen puts himself in the client's shoes. I'm going to begin with a confession: there's a lot that I don't tell my agencies.
- The nature of communications planning has changed dramatically in recent years, Naked Communications cofounder, Will Collin argues that agencies need to focus on reciprocity rather than engagement if they are to win the fight to capture consumer attention. Communications planning, or connections planning, or whatever you call it, is a discipline in crisis. I say that as someone closely involved in its development, with no small amount of my professional life spent promoting its cause to clients and industry alike. So it gives me no pleasure to condemn it.
- Former Sunrise executive producer Adam Boland spoke to Miranda Ward about how his new memoir Brekky Central is mostly about his own failings, and why he can never return to commercial TV. Adam Boland admitted he was caught "on the hop" when his memoir, which details both his time at Seven and Ten, was rushed into bookstores today following court action from Seven, but claimed "if anyone gets heavily criticised in the book, it's me".
- While most brands aim to make their customer touchpoints as easy as possible Alison Tilling argues making people work for it will make them value it more. Most brands and agencies aim to create seamless experiences for people. We design them to be easy, coherent and united across channels. Most of the time, that's great. It means a world where things just work, quickly and well. But for brands it is dangerous, because ultimately it could also lead to a world of bland sameness.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation Craig Batty of RMIT University argues most Australian TV drama is lacking one essential element: drama. A special thing happened in August this year: Foxtel launched BBC First, a premium channel showcasing the best of contemporary British television drama.
After a spate of criticism around brand journalism Tracey Fitgerald argues journalists need to be part of the solution, not the problem.
Having just returned from a week working on a client project in Nepal, I cannot explain how frustrating is to read articles by fellow writers and journalists who are quick to criticise the term ‘brand journalism’ and pick holes in what they deem to be a contradictory term.
- With reports Australians are increasingly looking to overseas streaming services for their content Ramon Lobato and Scott Ewing of Swinburne University of Technology look at the numbers in a cross-posting from The Conversation. In recent months there have been many reports of Australians covertly signing up for the US streaming service Netflix, using fake postcodes and software workarounds to fool its geo-blocking system. One industry-commissioned study estimates that up to 200,000 Australians have subscribed to the service in this way.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation Darryl Woodford and Katie Prowd of the Queensland University of Technology look at how Ten's Twitter teasers for Party Tricks have been received so far. With Ten’s new drama Party Tricks set for an October 6 premiere, coverage has focused on the social media campaign to promote the show. In advance of the screening, Ten has created in-character accounts for the lead characters, Kate Ballard (Asher Keddie) and David McLeod (Rodger Corser). But to date there’s been a relative lack of buy-in to the campaign from the social media public.
- In a new regular column Nic Hodges busts some of the jargon and mystery around ad tech, starting with the wearables phenomenon. If you've spent any time on the internet recently, you could be forgiven for thinking Apple just invented the smartwatch.
- With consumers increasingly concerned about their personal data on social media Luke Heemsbergen of the University of Melbourne looks at new ad-free platform Ello, and what it will mean for the privacy debate in a cross-posting from The Conversation. Ello is new social networking space on the web that is receiving a lot of attention of late – so much that it’s caused a few problems with the website out of action from time to time.
- Droga5 executive creative director and partner Ted Royer sat down with Miranda Ward at Spikes Asia to discuss his experience as president of the jury for film, print, outdoor and radio, the changing creative landscape in the region and plans for a Droga5 Asia office. After being the Jury president across the traditional categories, what do you make of the state of creativity in the region? I was a little bit nervous before coming out here because in past years I had heard some of my more cynical friends say that Asian advertising hadn't really moved on from a lot of the formulas of the past. I think that's bullshit.
The Chaser to skewer Australian media on The Hamster Wheel
The Hamster Wheel – consisting of eight half hour shows – is to be a news analysis show, the ABC revealed. It said: “The Hamster Wheel will examine the contemporary media landscape, where everyone from journalists to political fixers is perpetually at risk of spinning out of control.”
Some of The Chaser’s most memorable work has included its targeting of Australian media.
The Chaser press release also included a number of quotes from ABC bosses including a dig at Rupert Murdoch’s “most humble day of my life” at the News of the World phone hacking hearing.
“I just can’t wait to get my hands on the ABC credit card again,” said Executive Producer Julian Morrow. “When it comes to dodgy uses of other people’s money, Craig Thomson’s got nothing on The Chaser team.”
Asked about the Chaser team’s return to ABC TV, Managing Director Mark Scott said, “This is the most humble day of my life.”
When told about the title for the new show Kim Dalton, Director of ABC TV said, “The Hamster Wheel? Peddling fast and getting nowhere. Very apt for The Chaser. When does the final episode go to air?”
The show is being produced for the ABC by The Chaser’s production company Giant Dwarf with Julian Morrow and Martin Robertson as executive producers.
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