Load the cannons …. and fire !

Having worked in both the BBC and ABC … and around the media for over twenty three years … you get a sense of what media love to snaffle up.

Bad news, bad news and – yup gloomy news… with cake and coffee.

Always goes down well. Yum.

Is it really what we want to hear or know about?

Nope.

Nevertheless negatives sell Big time.

Our media is tuned to looking for people who are willing to criticise other organisations, other politicians, other new tax moves, other ideas that have gone wrong and much more.

They are there to educate, inform and entertain.

The fact is though … It’s all perception.. and all where you choose to put your focus.

In fact there are thousands and thousands of good news stories around us every day.

24/7.

We choose at Media Key to WANT to make a difference. To change the world for the better.

We love it when we are given the chance to work with organisations who are demanding social change … for the better.

PR firms in Australia make many choices every day. PR firms in Sydney and PR firms in Melbourne make constant calls.

We choose passion… energy and a very real desire to serve and help. It’s the coat we wear (extra large please!)

Here’s just a few of the people we have worked with who have utterly inspired us.

Paul Tacon – one of Australia’s mightiest warriors. He’s dedicated his life to trying to protect Australia’s precious rock art. Much of it – over 40,000 years old (possibly 60,000) has been damaged. It’s our crown jewels. Look up his work – he’s amazing.

Carol Bennett – now working with Alzheimer’s Australia. She has an incredible determination to make the universe a better place. Her work with the Consumers Health Forum fighting to raise awareness over the shocking prices Australians pay for medicines and many other consumer causes was remarkable in any one’s language.

Brian Scarsbrick. A few farmers – over 25 years ago – decided enough was enough and started a tiny grass roots movement called Landcare. Under Brian’s passionate stewardship it because a colossal force that was even exported overseas. We have been a big part of that journey.

Gino Vumbaca. The driving force behind the Australian National Council on Drugs. Ordered numerous vital and much needed reports that took a long hard look at everything from drug testing in schools to cannabis. A powerhouse on legs.

Garth Popple. Runs an amazing organsation called WHO’s … We Help Ourselves. And they do. Works (and has for years) in the frontline of helping addicts get out of the devastating spirals of all sorts of drugs. A man on a big mission.

Gerard Byrne from the Salvos. Runs recovery services and has dedicated his life to serving others. He has changed a massive number of lives by being there, being an ear and a thumpy heart and deciding people always deserve a second chance. WOW.

There are – of course – many many more.

Ask yourself today, WHO are some of the people who have inspired and shaped you?

The list is long … and the good news is that there’s SO many people out there doing so much amazing work.

For those about to rock, we salute you.

Load the cannons. Fire.

Ross Woodward works with the very talented Christine and Eren and others at Media Key. Ross is the principal of Media Key Public Relations. Media Key is a PR firm in Melbourne operating nationally helping organisations across the nation with critical messages.

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Really … honestly … TRUTH really matters…

Truth be told there’s one key element that needs to be prominent in any PR campaign.

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It’s the element that surprises an audience.

Shocks them.

Makes them stop and reconsider.

Reevaluate.  Stop in their tracks.

It’s nothing more complex than …

the simple truth.

And in a world of webspin and damned lies it’s getting rarer.

We simply cannot understand quite WHY.

Truth is always your most powerful weapon.

It’s the cavalry, so call ‘em in.

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What surprises me often about many PR campaigns others do is how complex they make them… and how – in  trying to achieve everything – people achieve little instead.

Right now we live in a shocking age where many people in audienceland expect lies from politicians… and more lies.

There’s almost no expectation of truth.

In the corporate jungle it can sometimes be the same … major organisations finding the next angle and avoiding getting to the point.

T he real power of truth is that we ALL know what it sound like.

R eally we do – honest.

U nquestionably consumers prefer honesty to a Walt Disney castle.

T hat means when you have a campaign get to the REAL nub of the issue.

H ow can you fail when you hit them with something so powerful.

Right now millenials are disengaging from politics because they know they are being lied to – and they know what lies sound and smell like.

Right now millenials are turning to people who have credibility and speak their language.  People they can connect to.

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Right now millenials want to work in companies that make the world a better place.

That… is the simple truth.

Ross Woodward is a big fan of the way it is… and all Media Key PR campaigns focus on truth related messages.

Media Key is a leading PR agency working in Melbourne, across Sydney and the nation to make a difference.

Media Key is a leading unique Australian  PR firm focused on truth.

Passion is – frankly – everything

There are many reasons why Gen Y is already switched off to politicians trying to communicate to us from a Federal and State level.

Many of our most successful politicians are no longer being heard by the electorate.

The electorate – it seems – just are not listening.

And here at Media Key we think one of the reasons is down to passion.

When people are being interviewed by media it’s rare you see phenomenal enthusiasm and real passion from politicians.

Yet the fact is that most politicians are – in fact – very hard working people who make staggering sacrifices for a life in public.

They sacrifice their time on a massive and scary scale …with their partners, wives, husbands, children, dogs, cats and goldfish.

They open themselves up to constant ridicule in the community.

It looks much easier than I am certain it is.

It’s TOUGH being a politician.

Yet. How often do we hear REAL passion coming through? REAL desire to change society for the better. Sure, it’s there underneath …at a certain level … but how often do we HEAR it?

This brings me the central point of this blog.

What we know as a leading PR agency in Australia is this.

You HAVE to have passion in the mix in a big way. ALWAYS.

Passion in an interview – no matter what cause or message you are representing – is, frankly, everything.

Tell people WHY they should be listening to you and your messages – and why the message is important.

Selling the reasons for change is always a vital part of any interview.

And be human … too often (and who knows why) people are afraid to be themselves in front of a camera or a microphone. So … the passion locks up. Or disappears altogether.

The very best interviews you’ll ever hear are full of quality information… and passion.

It sets the tone…and it’s what connects us.

You cannot manufacture it. You cannot just magic it out of thin air.

And anyone listening to you or watching you at the other end will know if it’s fake.

Gen Y are over fake and are sassy, smart, optimistic and looking to create a better world.

And they love passion.

When it’s real we all hear it.

Ross Woodward is principal of Media Key. Media Key is one of Australia’s leading PR agencies. It is a PR agency located in Melbourne and operating across Australia. Ross loves communicators with passion.

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Put your screen down and CONNECT

Give yourself a pat on the back.

There’s everything to be said by giving others encouragement and a well earned “pat on the back”.

BUT do we REALLY need to keep photographing ourselves every five minutes and posting it on the web?

Or worse … just doing it. And then not posting it.

Here are the exhibits before the jury your honour.

At Xmas I witnessed a young lady trawling around a fashion shop and stopping every ten seconds to snap herself … seemingly for no reason. Snap. Snap. Snap. Bizarre. By the glass case. On the floor. By the door. Yup this is me. In a shop. And me still in the shop.

We got this year to see the thrill of Nadal versus Verdasco. Two epic Spaniards.

The match had been over for ten minutes and there’s a young lady outside the arena taking all kinds of shots of hers truly – by the windows, by the windows and yes even a few window shots. Yup that’s me. By the window. And look … ME… by the window!

You really had to see this to believe it. She took a LOT of shots. Different faces every time.

Last year (yes this really happened!) I witnessed lots of very cheering people (and why not) screaming for more at Miss Katy Perry in concert. She’s a big talent with a big wardrobe to match.

Mid-concert on this particular tour she always plucks a lucky young screamer out to have pizza with her on stage and meet her. GREAT idea. We all love pizza!

So there’s our lucky audience teeny dude thrilled – rightly so – with the magic moment. With 12,000 people looking on. Plucked fresh from the crowd.

What does our intrepid winner do?

Immediately whip out the mobile phone, start filming the entire chat and as the chat proceeds she spends more time looking at Katy in her viewfinder than Katy just one metre away. Even Katy eventually and politely says “I’m in front of you” to the technosavvy winning young lady.

Isn’t it time we all started to enjoy something truly scary. Reality. Real moments. Real experiences.

Without a screen.

Recently I saw the start of a great campaign asking people to have less screen time in their life. Check it out at www.screenfree.org

They plan seven days where children, families, schools, and communities spend a weeks turning OFF digital entertainment and turning ON life! Their website says “It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore nature, and spend time with family and friends.” YAAAAAY for them.

And click on this. It will BLOW you away. It’s message? ENGAGE and RECONNECT. Love it. From our point of view – as a leading PR agency in Australia – this is a brilliant idea. Simple. Sharp. Emotional. Truthful.

Take a moment please and marvel – it will make you feel good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoGCNg3qZbw

It ain’t easy to stay in the moment.

The fact is this.

Reality is really cool.

Ross Woodward heads up Media KeyPublic Relations … one of Australia’s leading PR agencies.

The PR agency is based in Melbourne and operates across the nation. Ross loves taking photos when he can but not of his cheeky face.

www.screenfree.org

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Know Your Product

ANY successful media encounter needs simple and critical ingredients.

Insight, knowledge and examples.

KNOW your product. Know why you are there and WHAT you are selling.

There’s really nothing the matter with “selling”. It’s what we all do during any PR campaign. PR Companies in Melbourne and across the nation know this all too well.

We are selling good or complex news … and informing the audience.

Too many people – in my view – don’t demonstrate passion and enthusiasm when doing interviews. I can never understand why.

We are all inspired by people of passion. People with drive. Just take a moment and think about some of the best communicators you know. People you love to watch, read or listen to.

They are always insightful and always informative… and always driven by enthusiasm.

Right now Sam De Brito of Fairfax is one of Media Key’s favourite writers. He has heart, soul and a desire to make people think more about the big issues. He’s a deep and passionate soul who obviously cares about his family. If you don’t read his work start today – he is AMAZING.

You can’t go past people like David Attenborough for his boundless love of nature and the natural world.

WHY do we love him? He has a great charm – a boyish enthusiasm to sell messages.

This brings me back to interviews.

Always remember chances are you will often know more than the media about your given topic. They look to you to help educate and inform the audience.

As the Saints once said, Know your product.Know what you want to say and how you’re going to spell it out.

As a leading Public Relations Agency in Australia we always highlight to clients preparation is everything.

Have at least six key points you plan to use in any interview.And say them! Don’t wait to be asked. It’s a common mistake.

Media will always – rightfully so – have their own agenda or questions.That’s to be expected.If you follow their lead that’s what you will be doing.Following.Diligently.Don’t follow!Lead.

Have clear examples that back up and illustrate your points. Use evidence constantly to make your case. Stick to your guns – and remember in any interview it’s up to you to take a lead… otherwise you are indeed following.

Remember too media – as a general rule – are NOT out to target you and bring you crashing down. Too many people believe all media want is negativity and a good battle. It ain’t the case. Really. Media are out to entertain, inform and communicate.

They then expect you to just that. Be interesting – and anecdotal. Have plenty of passion – and drive to make your points. Too many people simply flatline in interviews. They sound dull and passionless. If you don’t get excited about your messages and reasons for being there, you can hardly expect the audience to “feel the love”.

Ask yourself this. When was the last time somebody really amazed you when they were interviewed? What qualities did they possess?

You’ll always find – buried in there – was a ton of drive, passion and gallons and gallons of enthusiasm. It always changes an interview dynamic … and leaves interviewers and the audience wanting more.

By Ross Woodward, Media Key Principal. Ross has media trained dozens and dozens of major leaders over the years and has himself done many TV interviews and hundreds of radio interviews on the ABC and commercial stations.

He was a BBC and ABC journo and drinks far too much tea. Media Key is a leading Public Relations Agency in Australia operating nationwide and internationally for clients.

Express Youself, Strike the Pose.

Without doubt one of the greatest gifts you can have in this wild old life is the gift to express.

And at Media Key it’s something we love to do on behalf of clients.

As one of Australia’s leading PR companies it’s something we are passionate about.pr companies in australia

Package the message.

Present the facts.

Argue the point.

And express.

With the massive rise of social media everyone can now – so easily – strike the pose and express themselves.

On Twitter. Facebook. Instagram and more.

This is a good thing.

Witness the amazing speed that a simple hash tag urging people to put a bat out for cricketer Phillip Hughes had.

All of a sudden it had lit up like a bonfire … and it went and went… across the globe.

And the tragic deaths in the Sydney siege quickly inspired a massive and amazing carpet of flowers.

From that incident grew a powerful campaign where tens of thousands of people said “I will ride home with you” to show solidarity.

Australia is and remains an amazing success when it comes to multiculturalism.

We always highlight to clients it’s vital to express and push your key messages into the market place in the biggest and brashest way you can.

We are a PR Agency based in Melbourne working across the nation with media 24/7.

Express with passion. Express with confidence. Express with insight.

Many companies sometimes forget they are the experts in their own field – and they have every right to a voice in the public arena.

You are the expert in the field – so go tell ‘em how it is.

Media get tired of the same old faces demanding exposure.

New point of view are always welcomed.

I recently learnt – to my amazement – that there are more neurons in just one humble human brain than there are people on planet earth.

Hard to believe. True. Stephen Hawking taught me this!

The brain is an absolute powerhouse of wonder.

And just a few seemingly random ideas can quickly connect in the powerful world of PR to become a mighty campaign to change the way others see an issue – and think.

No wonder that charming (and wealthy) New Yorker said Express yourself.

Strike the pose.

by Ross Woodward, principal at Media Key.

Media Key is a PR agency in Melbourne. We have done PR across Australia and into Asia as well as Canada.

Media Key is a leading PR agency in Australia.

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For Those About to Rock (Gold Stars)

Hard to forget going up to the large piece of cardboard at school and putting a gold star up by my name because the teacher said so.

Always an exciting kiddy kinda moment.

And yet all these years down the line it’s always a thrill to get a thank you for a job well done.

Many people this year have been very kind to us and have said thank you.

To everyone who works alongside Media Key we say – in the words of the great DC (AC of course).

For those about to rock. We SALUTE you.

Public Relations Agencies in Australia are always challenged.

We’ve had many great and spirited challenges in 2014.

We have worked with big not for profits on campaigns to highlight the dangers of drowning in inland waterways and in backyard pools.

We have helped raise awareness about the need for all Australians to become organ donors (current organ donations sit at shameful levels).

We have had the privilege of working with top politicians and key experts in the field of mental health to help advance these critical causes. We played a part in getting millions of dollars committed to building a critically needed building.

PR Agencies Melbourne, PR Agency Melbourne, PR Companies Sydney

It’s been a blessing.

We know as a PR Company in Melbourne that our work across Australia has never been more important.

Why?

Because we owe it to the generations to come to make the world a better place than the one we found.

To stand by and say that can’t be done is SUCH nonsense.

Of course it can be done.

And it WILL be.

We even got to work with a man who is in Bjorn from Abba’s philosophy group!

And we worked with many great members of the media who care.

To take the view that media don’t give a stuff would be to understand nothing about media professionals.

SO many media outlets are crusaders – peopled with humans who care and know we can change things for the better.

PR Agencies Melbourne, PR Agency Melbourne, PR Companies Sydney

Our team of consultants (they know who they are) have done a great job and we say THANKYOU mighty E and mighty D for your amazing help on bigger pictures.

We ain’t here for the canapes.

We ain’t here for the glam and glitz.

We’re here at Media Key to thank the universe for the chance to make the world brighter, better and shinier.

PR Agencies Melbourne, PR Agency Melbourne, PR Companies Sydney

By Ross Woodward

Principal of Media Key, former ABC BBC journo, proud hubby and dad of two growing amazing tigers. Happy Xmas all.

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Don’t Be So Negative – But it Helps

20 plus years down the line in PR you learn a thing or two.

You only have one reputation – so look after it and guard it fiercely (we do).

Don’t try to snow journalists – it’s such a waste of energy (we don’t).

Help people in media whenever you can in any way you can (we do).

And good news is great … but bad news SELLS.

Sells its socks off. With a power blast.

Wish we could say otherwise … but then we’d be spinning you a line (we don’t).

As a key Public Relations Agency in Australia and in Melbourne it’s always critical to cut through the waffle and get to the key issues for any campaign.

Recently we did a massive awareness campaign for one of Australia’s best known not-for-profits highlighting the scale of issues with major drugs they are having to deal with affecting so many people. So many communities. So much damage.

The topic in question was ice.

The lesson was this.

The negative news we had around the topic – that ice has become a big issue for communities (it has) – served as a huge reminder of the true power of negative news.

Media everywhere wanted to cover the story. They instinctively knew that this was a big news story that they needed to be in on.

As we progressed further with the awareness campaign it became clear the story was getting more and more traction across TV, radio, press and digital media.

And why?

Because it was based around a negative. And negatives sell. They always have.

We compete with PR agencies across Australia, PR agencies in Melbourne and PR Agencies in Sydney.

Our good fortune and blessing is that love to sell powerful and important cause driven messages (we do).

And a negative angle always makes a difference. If the Dark Lord Sauron’s about it’s always helpful. Not the best news you’ve heard all day. (But true).

If you’re going to quote someone to close you can turn to Shakespeare, Barack Obama or Martin Luther King.

Or Freddie.

So…if you’re out there with key messages make sure you include elements that sell – negatives. In spades.

As the great Mr Mercury once said in wondrous philosophy.

Play the game. (we do).

By Ross Woodward, Media Key Managing Director (and former BBC/ABC journo)

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You Have Every Right To Expect Excellence.

It IS that simple.

Your PR firm should be excellent – and nothing less … and should always be striving for just that.

It is now over 20 years since Media Key was formed. We have done – since then – literally hundreds of campaigns.

High impact initiatives … all focused on results and making a difference.

It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.

Australian PR companies are all different.

That’s a great thing.

Here’s a simple checklist of elements you may wish to consider when you are looking through the list of PR companies in Australia.

PR Agencies Melbourne, PR Agency Melbourne, PR Companies Sydney

DRIVEIs the PR company driven to get results? Do they really want to understand what you are trying to achieve – or are they “going through the motions”? Do they feel like they are a strong and practical addition to your team?

We love being “an extra pair of arms and legs” for organisations.

Media Key is a public relations agency that will take the time to know where you want to be and why. Otherwise there’s no way we can create a road map to get you there.

THE PERSONAL TOUCH

Australian PR companies sometimes offer clients a “one size fits all” approach. They may apply what worked well for one client to your project.

It can save time … and costs. It is – of course – called in reality – the easy road.

We love the hard road.

Because it’s the right road.

We want to be connected to you… and enjoy that connection and communication. We have an infectious sense of fun too – projects are there to be executed, managed and enjoyed.

We will go with you on the journey … it’s all about success and results. We never lose sight of the fact that results speak. Volumes.

OWNERSHIP

When looking over any list of Australian PR companies you need to find an agency that wants to take enormous ownership of your cause – and buy into it. Otherwise it shows when they are speaking to media on your behalf.

We know at Media Key that if we don’t believe it, media won’t believe it either.

It’s PASSION that lies at our heart. Ensure any agency you select takes real and genuine ownership of your cause or brand. If they don’t then Houston, there is a problem.

Our good fortune – and we are very grateful for this – is the fact that we represent many powerful causes that matter. It’s a privilege.

ACTION

How lovely to chat. And PR firms in Australia do. Chat the chat. Talk the talk. Even the term “PR job” has sadly become a term of abuse. How crazy.

The best PR is excellence in communication. Powerful messages packaged in a smart sassy way.

We love to do just that.

It’s one of our specialities. Showing organisations how to get heard. We are here to express. It’s a powerful thing. Ask yourself is the Public Relations Agency you are reviewing actually action focused. If they love to have lots of meetings that may be a clear signal.

We passionately know this. Action’s easy. It comes from dedication … and a desire to get change underway and turned into reality. ANYTHING can be changed.

The Universe loves to see movement … and action. As they say in Star Trek … ENGAGE… and MAKE IT SO.

We do this. Every day.

PR Firms Melbourne, Public Relations Company in Australia, PR Companies Melbourne

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Hong Kong, Finland, Backstabbing, Bitterness and Big Shiny Shoes (step forward)

Politics will always be politics …but the simple fact is that it’s time there was much more consensus among our big guns – and much more willingness to fix the big problems. Public Relations Agency Australia

WHO is fixing the education system trailing behind many countries globally – including Finland and Hong Kong.

WHO is making the education system fairer so young people can get an education and not leave University drowning in debt?

WHO is fixing the appalling gaps between the lifestyles of the first Australians and those that followed?

WHO is stopping the appalling inequity that means if people love each other they can’t always get married?

WHO is getting our nation to wake up the true horror of domestic violence and all its ugly hidden problems?

PR Firms Melbourne, Public Relations Company in Australia, PR Companies Melbourne

The ABC’s astounding “The Killing Season” has only shown more clearly that politics isn’t grubby, it isn’t horrific, or brutal or dangerous … it’s much much worse than that.

Amazing TV. TV that made you stop and watch. Appalling PR for the Labor party. The light on the hill was pretty damned dimmed.

Blood for all to see – and clear evidence that should you want to have a good friend in politics, seek out the nearest Labrador immediately … because that’s as far as it goes.

Any PR agency in Melbourne or PR Agency in Sydney would have told their client not to take part in the show. It was a brilliant doco … and an amazing insight into the reality of Government. And it was a terrible piece of PR for Labor. Evidence of lies, nastiness and bitterness. And that was just the opening credits.

It is no wonder big issues are not being addressed when such vitriol and nastiness is running rampant.

No wonder millennials are turning away from politics and asking why can’t grown ups be just that little bit more mature.

PR Firms Melbourne, Public Relations Company in Australia, PR Companies Melbourne

As a leading PR agency in Melbourne we say it IS vital to get your real messages heard loud and clear in this overstuffed market of information.

It’s important to know when you should speak out – and when you should not.

Backstabbing and bitterness don’t sell messages of hope to anyone … they simply spell out chaos and despair. And that does not sell any kind of rosy to future to fine and dandy people from the new millenium ready to fix problems and challenges.

WHO is fixing the future??? Step forward … we need you. Desperately. What size shoes do you take??

Ross Woodward is proud to work with a merry band of fighters at Media Key and loves to help change the world and make it a better place.

Media Key is one of Australia’s best and most creative PR agencies. We aren’t fans of doom. We love light and optimism – and change for the better.

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