Public Relations isn't just about issuing the odd media release and sending Christmas cards to your clients. It's about the whole impression that your company presents to both the outside world and to employees, investors, suppliers and competitors.

I was reminded of this yesterday afternoon as, driving up to Muriwai, I was undercut and forced to brake by a branded company van that was speeding past me. A very badly and dangerously driven company van. I made a note of the name on the vehicle and will make sure that I never use that company. I will also advise any contacts of mine that need to use a contractor up there, not to use that company.

A rude and disrespectful person behind the wheel of a company vehicle makes me think that everybody at that business will be unpleasant to work with.

Drivers out on the road, driving vehicles with business names on it, are representing their companies. They are the public face of their brand. Just as staff member in clothes shops are representing the businesses that they are working for.

Something to bear in mind when considering the reputation and brand management of a service driven company....


Yesterday, I stumbled across another great NZ based PR blog.

Ideas Shop, a public relations consultancy down in Wellington, has set up a fantastic blog using WordPress. They write some really thought provoking posts and are clearly not afraid of sharing their opinions (so many bloggers flounce around, not really saying anything as they're too scared that they might offend someone...)

I found Mark Russell's post on provincial dailies very interesting. Alice Taylor's comments on correct grammar also made me smile as sloppy grammar is one of my pet hates (she says- furtively checking her blog post for wrongly placed commas!).

Keep up the good work. I'll certainly be checking back for updates regularly!


New Zealand journalists have been having a field day with our country's finance companies recently. A quick glance at the Herald reveals that businesses in the financial sector are under a huge amount of scrutiny. Not that you can blame them....Every day it seems that another scandal has been unearthed or another company has gone under, crushed to smithereens under a mountain of bad debt.

We all know that finance companies are having a tough time at the moment. But what should they be doing as far as PR and marketing goes? Should they be battening down the hatches, cutting their budgets and attempting to ride out the storm? Or should they be doing their best to maintain communications with their various audiences (investors, general customers, staff etc)?

My own feeling is that finance companies will have a much better chance of survival if they keep the lines of communication open and honest. They should be letting the NZ public know whether they are having difficulties and what they are doing about it. On the other hand, if they are turning a profit- even a small one- then they should be out there telling anyone that they can about it. Any successes, even ones that might seem quite minor to the CEO, are certainly something to sing and dance about in the current environment!

The upside to the economic downturn and the shake-up in the financial sector is that any dead wood will be cleared. Any businesses that have been caught up in underhand or fradulent activity will be sent packing, to the benefit of the market and to the customers.

I just hope that the companies left behind, the 'good' companies that have been trading ethically,
will have put enough time and effort into their marketing and PR campaigns throughout this period. These tools are vital to remaining top of mind and could mean the difference between emerging from the downturn as a stronger force in the market and sinking into obscurity.
That's my take on the situation anyway.....What do you think?


I have just taken some time to explore the new PRiNZ (Public Relations Institute of New Zealand) website. I have to say, I think it's a huge improvement on the old website, which was starting to look a bit tired and behind the times.

The new website is very sharp looking and includes a list of up and coming PRiNZ events, a news page, career information and a special members only area

One of my favourite things about the new website is the PRiNZ Member Discussion Forum. I'm not quite sure how to describe it as it's not quite a blog, but it's not laid out in the traditional forum style. I strongly recommend heading over, checking it out and adding your own thoughts. This kind of tool offers a fantastic opportunity for discussion between individuals involved in NZ PR but will only be a success if enough people make use of it

A PRiNZ group has also been set up over at Facebook so if you're a FB junkie (like me!) make sure you add them to your friends list

It's great to see PRiNZ embracing online social networking- it sets a great example!


I thought that this would be an interesting question to ask on a Thursday afternoon. Is there any particular type of client that you have always dreamed of working with?

Maybe you would like to produce a communications plan for an enormous pharmaceutical company or you have always secretly yearned to team up with a lipstick/teddy bear/chocolate bar manufacturer but have never had the opportunity!

My secret desire is to have an equestrian related client. I would just love the chance to give it a go as I am so interested (actually, scrap that....I meant to type 'obsessed'..) in everything equine and already have a good understanding of the audiences and niche media. I love my current portfolio of clients but if I ever come across the opportunity to work with a horsey client, I will jump on it!

Now....if I could only convince my boss to let me bring my horse to work, I'd be sorted........


I just spotted a link to this story on Hazel Phillip's Ad Hoc blog over at the NBR website and had to post it here as well.

The author of the story (Melrose Jewelers) basically claims that owning a Rolex helped well known actor, Owen Wilson, 'realise his life was valuable and worth living.' Yep, you heard that right. A Rolex brought Owen back from the brink of suicide....

This is bad. It's so bad, that I'm not sure whether to be offended by the sheer tastelessness of it or to dissolve into a fit of giggles
I don't know why anyone would write this story....Maybe it's supposed to be a joke? Who knows.

If I was Owen's publicist, I would be sending Melrose a sharply worded email!

ROLL ON 2009.......

Happy New Year everybody! I'm back at work today and have to say, Auckland still feels like a bit of a ghost town. I suspect that everyone is still out and about enjoying the gorgeous January weather (you lucky lucky people....)!

I don't mind being in a quiet office too much though. The beginning of the year, when it's slightly quieter, is a great time to take stock, get organised (for me this involves a lot of filing and clearing out- not glamorous but a definite necessity!) and to plan for the year ahead.

2009 will be an interesting one....many people are, understandably, not feeling that optimistic about the economic situation, both in New Zealand and worldwide. However, I am a firm believer that where there are challenges and problems, there are opportunities. As far as our own industry goes, I think that this year increasing numbers of Kiwi business owners will start to realise that PR is actually a highly effective and value for money tool. I am sure that many of them will have learned, after experiencing past economic downturns, that the companies that keep their profile up, through advertising and PR, are the ones that survive and come out of the dark recession tunnel even more successful than when they entered it.

I am looking forward to helping both existing and new clients through these turbulant and demanding times.

On another note, I have just found this PR blog, written by Lou Draper, the owner of Rockstar PR. It's always good to discover another New Zealand PR blog (there don't seem to be that many around....) and I thoroughly recommend popping over and having a read.