By Peter Boyes
1. We know how to tell the right stories to the right people
Public relations is about telling our clients’ stories using a range of carefully chosen communication styles and media. We have to be great journalists. Social media is another way to tell and share your stories. It is not an IT function or an advertising copywriter’s blank sheet.
2. We are strategic communicators.
Just because ‘technology’ is involved it doesn’t mean that IT people, or video producers or ‘digital experts’ are the right people to handle an organisation’s strategic communications. An understanding of visual storytelling is needed but the paramount importance of words cannot be underestimated in social media. Social media is another form of conversation and conversations are essentially about using words effectively, then listening to the response and reacting accordingly.
Public relations is about effective conversations. We have to be experienced writers, editors, proof-readers and listeners. These are the essential skills for blog posts, tweets, status updates, and online debate.
3. We understand what is relevant for your business.
Social media is not just about random posts that interest the poster. It is about supporting an organisation’s strategic business objectives. To do that posting has to be timely, interesting, and relevant. There is a Goldilocks factor, not too much, not too little, not too bland, not too blatant.
Public relations is about understanding when to say something and when not to. We are experienced in creating content relevant to a specific audience. If we are pitching to a journalist, or your clients, politicians or key opinion leaders, talking to your staff or your customer base, we know how to tailor the type, tone and topic of the content we share.
Yes social media provides us with excellent tools to measure our interactions and better understand our publics and communicate with our stakeholders. But it is only one part of a complicated series of interactions all of which are important in maintaining your social networks and meeting your customers’ expectations of you.
4. We are experienced in building and maintaining relationships.
At the very core of PR practice is the development of fruitful relationships for our clients through effective communications, whether that is with journalists or stakeholders. Many of these professional relationships are maintained by phone, email and now social media. To do that we need to understand your business intimately.
Social media is all about understanding and maintaining those relationships. That is not the role of IT people, ‘digital experts’, website developers or advertising executives. Only public relations has the complete skill set to manage relationships with people we have never met, find accurate information quickly, and meet customer service expectations.
5. We are the issues managers.
Public relations practitioners are highly trained in issues management and crisis communications. It is our job to be aware of issues that are sensitive for you and your business. These are the skills required to identify and manage a social media crisis. At these times you must get your organisation's point of view into the conversation as fast as possible, answer any questions, correct misinformation, and be as helpful as possible. PR is the best agency to handle reputation management within the essential but potentially dangerous digitally viral environment.
6. We are the ears.
Our longstanding experience is getting feedback about our clients' reputations is easily transferred to social media. We know which questions to ask and when and of whom. And most importantly we know how to use that information to inform future communications, create positive organisational change, and improve customer experience. There’s nothing more deadly to an organisation’s profile than surveying or asking questions of its audience and then not using that information to deepen the relationship. Yet with most online surveys, that is what happens every time.
Oasis Beauty, New Zealand’s leading expert in sensitive skin and sun protection products says that the evidence is now unequivocal; sun protection prevents skin ageing.
The Canterbury-based manufacturer of the signature brand, Oasis Sun SPF30+, also developed the first New Zealand-made BB creams, which incorporate sunblock. It is now working alongside organisations such as Molemap, Auckland Dermatology and Skin Institute to help New Zealanders understand the implications of the latest studies in sun damage prevention.
Oasis Founder, Stephanie Evans says `At work, at play or simply chilling out, as our climate changes and we are exposed to more sunshine, it makes sense to put sun protection first. The latest research funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australiaregular sunscreen use retards skin aging in healthy, middle-aged men and women. How fantastic is that? The use of our skincare products will keep you looking younger.’
The new Australian study was a randomised trial of sunscreen and prevention of skin ageing among 903 adults over four and a half years, published six weeks ago in the prestigious journal the Annals of Internal Medicine. It showed that those people who used sunscreen every day showed no detectable increase in skin ageing after four and a half years. The researchers concluded that regular sunscreen use retards skin ageing in healthy, middle-aged men and women.
Stephanie Evans adds: `Our own customer research shows that New Zealand women spend less than ten minutes on their skincare in the morning so it is really important that our skincare products deliver protection against sun damage as well as the other benefits. Our customers are in the prime of their lives, but time poor, many with children aged under 13 and they have told us they want multi-purpose products made from natural ingredients in New Zealand. Instead of having to use a moisturiser and then a foundation and then think about sunblock, we’ve been able to meet their needs and have everything covered with one product.’
The Oasis natural BB creams, launched as part of the Oasis Sun range, are all-in-one facial products that can replace moisturiser, mineral foundation and SPF 25 sunblock, which like all Oasis Beauty products are formulated using natural ingredients.
Oasis Sun SPF30+ is formulated for the whole family
- Made for sensitive skin
- Suitable for face and body
- Loved by babies, children & big manly men
- Non greasy & non whitening
- Does not stain clothes
- No colour or fragrance
- Paraben free & non-nano
- Cruelty free & suitable for vegans
- Made in New Zealand
- AS/NZ Standard 2604:1998, rated SPF35 High Sun Protection
Also contains certified organic jojoba oil, shea butter, lecithin and natural vitamin E to moisturise against wind, water and sunlight
Contains 94% natural/organic ingredients
More information can be found at www.oasisbeauty.co.nz, along with a list of retailers stocking Oasis Beauty products.
About Oasis Beauty:
We inspire women to take better care of their skin by making it easier, simpler and more affordable with our skin care products with an emphasis on sensitive skin. The products are manufactured in New Zealand from ethical, natural and organic ingredients combined with high vitamin contents.
We give women the confidence that the appearance and health of their skin is in excellent hands with free expert advice, samples and first class service.
All Oasis Beauty products are suitable for sensitive skin and are available both online and through pharmacies, beauticians and health stores nationwide. Oasis Beauty supports the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
Peter Boyes: firstname.lastname@example.org - 09 5757 003 or 0275 540 500
Stephanie Evans: email@example.com or 021 070 9729
 Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging: A Randomized Trial, Maria Celia B. Hughes, MMedSci; Gail M. Williams, PhD; Peter Baker, PhD; and Adèle C. Green, MBBS, PhD Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(11): 781-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002
Howick Little Theatre sees year out with a bang and a bucket-load of feather boas
When you learn that the star of Howick Little Theatre’s last show of the season is a 6’6” Samoan drag queen you might realise that this is not one of the community theatre’s traditional end of year productions.
Rounding up the year with more than a bang and a bucket-load of feather boas, Kiwifruits, guarantees a spectacle with its unconventional take on the Cinderella pantomime blending a riotous cabaret, a drag review and a play all in one.
Extravagant in every sense is how director, John Fausett, describes the affair. With dozens of costume changes, song, dance, and a lead who forced the set designers to rethink the stage for him and his size 13 heels, all stops have been pulled for this lavish production.
‘Too much is never enough with this show” says John. ‘As well as assuring a rich visual display, actors are being challenged in constructing the multiple layers that make up their on stage personalities. Not only mastering the dancing, the two male leads have had to uncover the art of wearing heels, dancing in heels, and finally add lip-syncing to transform into their character.’
'And on top of all that the director’s vision for the show is growing in flamboyance', says Mark Madden-Snoad, who plays the second drag queen, Tatania.
With its 60th anniversary next year, a zesty production like Kiwifruits is a mark of how far the theatre has evolved to become one of Auckland’s best-known and most respected community theatres.
In this hilarious free-wheeling Kiwi version of the Cinderella story, Fay Gay tells fellow performer Tatiana the story of how the Castle Road Tavern was saved from ruin by being transformed from a traditional straight-up working men’s pub into a venue for spectacular drag shows. Featuring a wicked accountant, glamorous gowns, delicious dancing and a fairy godmother unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Note: contains adult themes, mild swearing, outrageous drag queens and platform shoes. Not suitable for children.
With a season running from November 9th -30th be sure to grab your feather boas and get down to Howick Little Theatre, brace yourselves and have some fun! Tickets available via the iTicket website or from the theatre.
Directed By John Fausett Season November 9th to 30th
Bookings: www.iticket.co.nz or Ph:09 361 1000
The country’s 1,900 volunteer business mentors are providing more in depth advice to New Zealand’s small to medium sized enterprises than ever before, the CEO of Business Mentors New Zealand, the only national, volunteer business mentoring organisation, told its 22nd AGM today.
Ray Schofield, CEO Business Mentors New Zealand told the AGM, hosted by ASB Bank at its new North Wharf building in Auckland: `Our business mentors are now more hands on than ever. When we started 56% of SMEs saw their mentor only once. That figure has fallen to an all time low of 16% as mentoring has become so much more part of a business owner’s development. On average our mentors will visit a business more than four times, but many mentor/business relationships last for quite long periods of time and become an essential part of the business’ development. Our mentors work closely with tens of thousands of SMEs and their owners, and have become a vital part of nurturing the New Zealand economy.’
Business Mentors New Zealand helps around 250 businesses every month and has assisted more than 65,000 small to medium-size enterprise owners in New Zealand over the last 22 years.
Ray Schofield commented: `Cash flow is still the number one problem facing SMEs but our mentors with the support of many of our Partner Patrons have become more creative in helping businesses find solutions to managing it. We are still asked, what sort of mentor will I get, or will people think less of me for asking for help, but by and large New Zealanders are becoming more willing to use a business mentor as a way of making their business more successful.
‘We have clearly shown that business mentoring has a significant role to play in the health of the country’s economy. New Zealanders make very good mentors. Friendliness and the values of “putting something back”, fairness and giving someone a hand up, resonate well with most of us. We have accumulated significant “grassroots” knowledge of small businesses and their owners –what their strengths, weaknesses and needs really are (as opposed to what they say they are).’
Through the work of over 1,900 independent volunteer business mentors BMNZ enables people with recognised skills and success to put something back into their own communities. Business Mentors New Zealand provides access to a wide variety of volunteer mentors (who give their experience, skill and knowledge free of charge). The focus of the organisation is on developing capability, profitability, and employment generation. Business Mentors New Zealand is funded largely by patrons from the private sector, with additional support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. It provides a mentoring service to any businesses that are trading, with less than 25 employees.
There is no limit on the number of mentoring sessions. The $150 registration fee allows mentoring for up to two years. The term of the relationship with a mentor depends on the objectives and goals both client and mentor jointly agrees upon. They can also contact their co-ordinator at any point for further assistance
For more information about Business Mentors New Zealand please visit www.businessmentors.org.nz
The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) has added its voice to a global campaign to walk a bit further and improve spinal health habits.
NZCA spokesperson and chiropractor Dr Hayden Thomas says: `Activity is a key part of maintaining good spinal health, so we want to encourage New Zealanders to walk just a bit further on October 16th. Each additional step takes you a little bit closer to a healthier spine and a healthier spine is the lynchpin for overall health and wellbeing. Research is showing us that we are relying too much on pharmaceutical drugs with dangerous side effects, and reducing the efficacy, for example, of antibiotics, when what many of us need to do is take steps to improve our health and wellbeing.’
Each year World Spine Day is observed to encourage spinal health by disseminating information on good spinal health habits. This year's theme for World Spine Day is Straighten Up and Move, focusing on the importance of proper posture and movement in maintaining good spinal health.
The NZCA runs the Straighten Up New Zealand online resource www.straightenup.org.nz, which provides information for adults, children, educators and healthcare professionals on ways to keep active and maintain spinal health by using the Just Start Walking and Straighten Up programmes.
Dr Hayden Thomas explains: ‘Spinal health problems were once seen as an affliction of older people; however, it is becoming more and more common amongst children and adolescents. There are a number of reasons for this including increased use of computers, watching television and playing computer games, which have been linked with poor posture, neck and back pain and dysfunction and headaches. Poorly designed school furniture and inappropriate backpack use, carrying weights of more than 10% of body weight, could also be to blame.
‘The NZCA recommends having every member of the family checked by a family wellness chiropractor because we help the spine and nervous system to function at an optimal level. Doing the three-minute set of simple exercises recommended by Straighten Up New Zealand every day will help improve posture, stabilise core muscle groups, enhance health and prevent spinal disability. It is also important to encourage family members to stand or sit straight and to take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch if they have been sitting down for a while. This will help to stop muscles getting tight and strained.’
Straighten Up New Zealand is a simple, engaging spinal exercise programme, designed to promote spinal health. The Straighten Up campaign was originally developed in the US and is now being adopted by countries all over the world. The NZCA has produced brochures and posters, and developed a website to support the campaign. Remember that it is always advisable to have any symptoms that are severe or not improving checked out promptly by your family chiropractic doctor.
For more information on the Straighten Up campaign, visit www.straightenup.org.nz. Further details on the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association can be found at www.chiropractic.org.nz.
About the New Zealand Chiropractor's Association: The New Zealand Chiropractor's Association (NZCA) was founded in the 1930's. It is a voluntary, self-regulating, supervisory body serving both the chiropractic profession and the public of New Zealand. The purpose of the NZCA is to maintain professional standards, liaise with various government and health bodies, and to be a professional voice for chiropractic.
Friday 11 October 2013, 2:07PMA new breast cancer treatment that replaces weeks of radiation therapy with a single half-hour dose was launched in Auckland last night by Focus Radiotherapy.
Intrabeam, a $1.2million intraoperative radiotherapy machine, was purchased by a team of New Zealand doctors led by North Shore breast cancer surgeon Erica Whineray Kelly.
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A team of Auckland breast cancer specialists is bringing an innovative one dose, one time treatment for women with certain types of early-stage breast cancer to New Zealand.
Focus Radiotherapy, a New Zealand clinician-owned specialist radiation therapy service is introducing the new treatment option using the Zeiss Intrabeam intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) system to the Southern Cross Hospital, North Harbour Auckland and intends to make it available to women across the country.
The new treatment means a reduction in radiation treatment time for the patient; minimised exposure to healthy tissue and organs, such as the ribs, lungs, heart and opposite breast; no treatment delay for patients who must also undergo chemotherapy as part of their breast cancer treatment; and same day treatment with no hospitalisation required.
One of the founders of Focus Radiotherapy, Auckland Breast Surgeon Dr Erica Whineray Kelly says: `This may be an excellent therapy option for women having breast-conserving surgery, also known as a lumpectomy. We are the first and only centre in New Zealand offering this revolutionary treatment. The Intrabeam system is used to deliver a prescribed dose of radiation during breast conserving surgery. The goal of this approach is to destroy remaining cancer cells, helping to prevent the possibility of recurrence – and in most cases – eliminating the need for weeks of radiation treatments. Women who have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer should talk with their doctor about whether this treatment is right for them.’
Chairperson of the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC), Libby Burgess, says Intrabeam is a wonderful innovation for women with low-risk early breast cancer: ‘The delivery of surgery and radiotherapy during a single operation will eliminate weeks of daily trips to the clinic, allowing women to avoid ongoing stress and inconvenience and return to their normal lives much faster.
‘The precise targeting of radiation to the area that the tumour was removed from will avoid unnecessary radiation to healthy tissue. I’m delighted to see this option being offered to New Zealand women’, Ms Burgess says.
Currently only women who have early-stage breast cancer, have negative lymph nodes and are 50 and older may be candidates for Intrabeam. The clinically documented treatment delivers a single fraction of radiotherapy in 20-30 minutes during the time of lumpectomy. Other forms of radiation therapy can require three to six weeks of treatment.
‘With this new less-invasive treatment, the small spherical tip of a miniaturized radiation device is inserted into lumpectomy incision, Dr Whineray Kelly explains. ‘The therapy is delivered while the patient is still asleep from the lumpectomy. No additional surgery is needed, and both treatment time and radiation exposure are reduced. This can contribute significantly to helping patients get back to their lives more quickly.’
Localizing the radiation inside the breast is effective because this is where cancer is most likely to recur. The international TARGIT research group has been investigating this new method of delivering radiotherapy for breast cancer in which the treatment can be delivered at the time of surgical lumpectomy since 1988. The results of the trial show the overall number of recurrences of the cancer was very low.
Dr Whineray Kelly adds: `Radiotherapy delivered at the time of surgery is an exciting advancement. By delivering radiation intraoperatively, primarily the tumor bed is targeted, therefore patients benefit from less ‘scatter radiation’ to the lungs and heart, and fewer cosmetic problems with the breast.’
Intrabeam can also be used for a boost treatment during surgery and to deliver a prescribed dose of radiation therapy in conjunction with whole breast radiation.
How INTRABEAM Works
Step 1. INTRABEAM IORT is delivered during the lumpectomy procedure, immediately following tumour removal
Step 2. After the surgeon has removed the tumour, the radiation oncologist positions the INTRABEAM applicator in the area of the breast where the tumour was located.
Step 3. Low energy radiation is delivered locally to the targeted tissue in the tumour bed, minimizing healthy tissue exposure to radiation.
Step 4. After 20-30 minutes of radiotherapy, the applicator is removed and the surgeon then closes the incision.
Benefits of INTRABEAM
- A reduction in radiation treatment time for the patient
- Minimized exposure to healthy tissue and organs, such as the ribs, lungs, heart and opposite breast
- No treatment delay for patients who must also undergo chemotherapy as part of their breast cancer treatment
- Same-day treatment with no hospitalisation required
- No travel required to a radiotherapy centre for up to six weeks of daily treatment
Peter Boyes, BPR: 0275 540 500
Dr Erica Whineray Kelly: 027 453 0020
Focus Radiotherapy PO Box 31-415, Milford, Auckland 0741
| E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.focusradiotherapy.co.nz
 Vaidya JS, Joseph DJ, Tobias JS, Bulsara M, Wenz F, Saunders C, et al. Targeted intraoperative radiation therapy versus whole breast radiation therapy for breast cancer (TARGIT-A trial): an international, prospective, randomised, non-inferiority phase 3 trial. The Lancet 2010; 376: 91 - 102
Vaidya et al. “Targeted intraoperative radiation therapy for early breast cancer: TARGIT-A trial – updated analysis of local recurrence and first analysis of survival”. San Antonio meeting 2012, S4-2.