Buckets of Gold and Fifty Paces

Jun 9, 2010

The last time a determined interest group took on a federal government, EMC was behind the wheel – driving the ACTU Rights at Work campaign.

This time the attack is coming from the mining industry, and if reports are to be believed, the miners are forking out in three months $100 million – about four times the three year budget for the Rights at Work campaign.

Having worked on a campaign that most agree shifted government, it’s worth asking – is the Miners campaign as effective? Are the winning the hearts and minds of the battlers? In short, are they going to change the government?

Here are few lessons we learned from Rights at Work, and my initial reactions on how the mining lobby is faring. Comments »

Political Ads are All About Turnaround

Jun 4, 2010

When the Australian Workers Union decided to inject itself into the national debate on the resource Rent Tax, they called EMC with a challenging brief.

With a 48 hour turn around we were asked to script produce and deliver a 30 second TV ad that would rebut the increasingly shrill complaints of the mining lobby.

Working with Milko Productions, EMC adapted a concept we had been working on for some time – the notion that the mining industry is defined by what it takes out of Australia. Comments »

Modelling Successful Environment Campaigning – The Lessons of the 2010 Tasmanian Election

May 28, 2010

The Tasmanian election in March created history. For the first time the Greens polled over 20% of the vote in a state wide lower house election and as a result Australia has its first Greens Minister in the new ALP/Greens government.

While the media wallowed in superficial explanations – the Greens had an ‘articulate and electable leader’ and appealed to the mythical ‘middle ground’ they completely ignored the impact of the third party ‘Our Common Ground’ campaign run by Environment Tasmania and The Wilderness Society (ET/TWS) and other community organisations.

In doing so they failed to understand the strategy behind the first environment campaign since the WA Election in 2001 that has influenced the outcome of an election. Before that you have to go back to the 1990 Federal Election. In between times environmental election campaigns have generally failed to gain traction or worse backfired harming the party supporting the environment. Comments »

Coming Up With a Winning Plan is Only Half the Battle

May 8, 2010

There’s an old saying spin doctors are like poisoners – you can have successful poisoners and you can have famous poisoners, but you can’t have successful, famous poisoners.

For this reason, it’s rare for spin-doctors to win awards, but we are proud to say that last night EMC’s ‘Keep Our Cops‘ campaign, created for the NSW Police Association, was awarded the ACTU’s communications strategy of the year.

In many ways, Keep Our Cops is a fairly standard online campaign – many companies build them these days, incorporating online actions with real world events, hosing video, personal stories and email activism tools.
Comments »

Welcome to the Era of the Unspun

May 4, 2010

I have never been comfortable with the term ‘spin doctor’; nor for that matter with ‘flak’, ‘PR guy’ or ‘message manager’ – in fact the failure of this industry to come up with a name for what we do strikes me as a fundamental failure in our professionalism.

Today these labels are even less appropriate – as the traditional notions of a centralised media collapse and more and more organisations and individuals have the tools to tart their own conversations, what eve pretentions we have to managing communication flows have totally disappeared.

We are entering the post-spin era, where the trick is to actually be authentic and open up real conversations, genuine debates and encourage genuine not staged engagement. Comments »

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