30 September 2009

Advertised PR jobs increase in September

The number of advertised PR jobs in Australia and New Zealand rose in September.

There were 134 jobs advertised, which was almost double that of August, which recorded only 70.

The worst period for job seekers was November and December last year and July this year, with only 52-54 positions each month.

The increase may indicate that PR reflects what a lot of people are saying about the economy: that it's picking up.

If you're in PR and looking for work, the best places to be are Sydney (38 per cent share), Melbourne (21%) and Brisbane (16%). The worst places are Perth and Adelaide, with only three per cent of advertised positions. New Zealand, with eight per cent is a better choice.

The survey has been running for the past 11 months and looks at fulltime jobs advertised nationally on line by Seek, Career One and Randstad.


26 September 2009

Wounded soldiers deserve recognition

The decision by the government (via the Department of Defence) not to name 83 Diggers wounded in Afghanistan is a disgrace. So disgraceful is is that on Monday I will tender my resignation from the Defence Force.

Defence says it is acting in the interests of the soldiers: protecting their privacy. Well, that's the spin, isn't it?

The real reason for the cover-up is the government doesn't want the public to know about the injuries. There's an election due soon. It doesn't take a genius to know what the continual reporting of battle casualties will do for for Rudd's popularity.

As reported on today's front page of The Australian, this is at odds with the wishes of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. They want the public to know the truth. Their view is backed by former Chief of the Defence Force, Gen. Peter Cosgrove, and Lt. Col Dave Lewis, from the SAS Association.

I've spent 23 years in Army PR (for of them in the Regular Army) and served in East Timor in 2001. Sorry to say that ends on Monday.

20 September 2009

And now, mobile blogs

Today's episode coming straight from the park down the street. I'm just trying a nifty new iPhone app called Blogger. Now everything is in my phone - email, calendar, Twitter, camera, video, music, etc. For someone who's 53, it really is amazing. The technology, that is.

-- Posted from my iPhone

18 September 2009

Twitter can keep my material

Some people are getting into a lather over Twitter's new terms of service. They're worried Twitter has right to use your material. I'm not one of them.

If you don't like the terms of service, shop elsewhere.

For me, Twitter is about sharing, and that implies you're not putting a commercial value on your contribution. If you think your material is worth dollars, go somewhere where they'll pay.

Twitter gives you something for nothing. Surely they're entitled to some return (particularly as they still haven't worked out how to make money).

15 September 2009

How to pitch to media

There's been some discussion on Mumbrella about emailing media releases to journalists. It was prompted by the suggestion of what type and size of files to attach.

Well, here's a tip. Don't email. Just call the journalist. Of course, that depends on whether or not you have a working relationship with them. But, hey, that's what you're supposed to do if your a PR person.

Simply calling a journalist makes it more personal (something we seem to be losing in PR). You can have a chat about the weather, sport, film, and then run the storyline past your contact. You'll at least save yourself the time of having to write the release.

As for attaching files, I wouldn't recommend it. But check with the outlet you're sending to. If in doubt, don't send anything but your words (six paragraphs maximum).

I would think most country publications and radio stations would not enjoy receiving large attachments (the paper at Denmark, WA, sure doesn't). Better to send a simple link to a multi-media rich web site and let the receiver decide what to use.

As an aside, when I was working on the Gold Coast three years ago, ALL media outlets wanted their releases by fax. Strange but true. It may have changed. However, the thinking was they received so many emails, that anyone serious about PR would go to the trouble of faxing.

I couldn’t understand that logic, though, as you can fax from a computer.

10 September 2009

Women on the front line a nonsense

The Department of Defence has done it again: producing that old PR angle of pushing of women to serve on the front line.

The PR blitz hit the media yesterday, with the story even reaching the 7.30 Report. Neil James from the Defence Association was interviewed, and so was some obscure Liberal who served as a grunt for 10 years. They even had some grey-hair libertarian-type woman who said it didn't worry her if women wanted to be killed in battle.

The only reason Defence takes this position is because they can't get enough blokes to fill the ranks. Air Force TV ads currently focus on female mechanics, technicians and heavy-lift loadmasters.

The Army was even saying women could serve as commandos and in the SAS. Imagine the guffaws from the Regiment at the prospect.

The Brigadier in charge of 1 Brigade supports the move. Sure he does. Yes, he said the ladies can share the same risks in Afghanistan. Hmm. I wonder what would happen to GI Jane when she is captured by the Taliban?

Whatever you think about having women serving in direct combat roles, the actual clumsy approach in promoting it in in dire need of a rethink. They're still using the same PR methods employed in 2001, when I was serving in East Timor (and A Current Affair pursued it, without success).

The female reporter, who had a brother in the Army, wanted to go the the "front line" (the border with West Timor). The deal was if she could carry a standard pack up some stairs to the helicopter pad we'd take her. She never got it off the ground.

Hello. Men fight wars. Always have, always will. Perhaps Defence should focus on how to attract and retain them. Oh that's right, they have, and failed. So out comes PR plan B.

About Me

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.