Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What gets measured...

Very pleased to read this set of numbers as I work on email newsletter campaigns across a range of sectors including education, non-profit, professional services and retail. My approach is getting well into the top quartile everytime. I am absolutely committed to very tailored content, audience engagement, surprises and feeding a very exact diet to very specific audiences. There is an art to it but the time and effort truly pays off. And best of all, clients can always measure impact which in the black art of marketing, is very useful!

Read the full article from Marketing Profs here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Exquisite storytelling

Worth sharing this beautiful story so well told visually. Animated by Many Hands.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What I've been up to

A quick update on works in progress with Emily Ross Bespoke including:

  1. Spending as much time in the wonderful MPavilion as possible!
  2. Strategic comms for merger in education sector including video, digital campaigns and brochure collateral.
  3. Linkedin profiles for senior leadership team of banking institution.
  4. A series of workshops on experiences of care during terminal illness for a major healthcare provider.
  5. Websites for range of SMEs.
  6. Keynote addresses.
  7. Flyers and other marketing collateral for startup.
  8. Ongoing digital strategy for niche retailer.
  9. Pop up retailer marketing strategy and website.
  10. Linkedin profiles for range of CEOs of SMEs.
  11. Keynote address and marketing collateral for major mental health initiative.
  12. Pro bono work for Hagar Australia and Hagar International.
  13. Private marketing/business coaching sessions.
  14. Report/pitch writing.

For Instagrammers @emilyrossbespoke

 On set for Bellabox with Tom Blachford and Kate Ballis. Watch out for Tom's stunning Modernist Art under a Midnight Moon series taken in Palm Springs. Wow. His beautiful other half Kate Ballis is also a talented portrait artist with a wonderful sittings style - brings out so much in her subjects without them even noticing.
Like all us lazy bloggers, Instagram is an easy feed! Follow me @emilyrossbespoke

Fréderic Doazan's masterpiece Supervenus


Painful to watch but a masterpiece.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Content that is catchy

A client of mine sent through this article from the Huff Post by Noah Kagan that I should have shared with you earlier, Why content Goes Viral. There are lots of surprises - about influencers, images and the importance of posting on Tuesdays! Read the full article here. And I recommend following Noah through his feeds :>

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Very moody

Just co-facilitated a moodboard workshop today for a wonderful Melbourne retailer. Sorry I can't show you the moodboards created in collaboration with the client's inspiring creative team, CEO and other stakeholders but I can rave about what a great process it is.
I believe that moodboards can save your sanity READ MORE
They create great consensus, conversation and clarity for your team READ MORE
Moodboards create a wonderful branding tool for so many creative, strategic and commercial conversations i.e briefing graphic designers, web developers as well as new and existing clients/customers.
Can't show you my moodboards but here's one of VBs.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Enjoy the unserious EOFY newsletter, more funeral selfies, unsexy words and more

It's that time of the year again. Please enjoy my #unfiltered EOFY report. Expect more selfie analysis, unsexy words, vocab upgrade and more. xxx READ IT NOW

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Some useful marketing lessons from the NYT innovation report

A contact of mine passed on details of this excellent piece Marco Saric posted on LinkedIn: "30 Marketing Lessons From The New York Times Innovation Report". I'm posted a cut back version. You can read the full post here.

Here's what it says:
The leaked New York Times Innovation Report reviews the publication’s digital strategy, asks big questions and recommends steps to take to keep up with the shifting digital landscape on the content cluttered internet and the distracted mobile world. The Times might be the world’s leading news organization but the report shows that they lag behind new online publishers like Buzzfeed (ironically first to break the report) and Huffington Post.
The 96-page report was published internally on March 24th 2014 and is a must read for anyone in online content publishing and marketing. I recommend you take a look now. Lessons and recommendations from the report are useful for any content publisher. In case you are busy and want a quicker executive summary, these are the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) content marketing and blogging lessons learned from reading the report.

Audience Development

  • Your home page is not the key.
  • “If something is important, it will find me” behavioral trend.
  • You don’t automatically get an audience, you have to go find your audience.
  • Create a promotional strategy and impact toolbox for each story ahead of its publication.
  • Use email as a communication channel to reach readers directly.

Content Optimization

  • Use a CMS tool that allows you to focus on innovating features instead of minor fixes.
  • Have a best practices checklist before publishing a piece of content.
  • Tag and structure content in order to help readers discover content.
  • The recirculation effect.
  • Publish content when people are online.
  • What is the value of your comments area?

Content Development

  • Don’t undervalue replicability.
  • Experiment quickly and constantly to discover new solutions.

  • Don’t run your mobile experience on autopilot. 
  • Use Op-Eds and other user generated content as low cost way to expand your site and deepen loyalty.
  • Pull back the curtain and talk about the process behind your work.
  • Be both a daily newspaper and a library.

Content Recycling

  • Mine your content archives.
  • Resurface evergreen content in useful, timely, relevant and shareable ways.
  • Do content curation and aggregation.

Data & Learning

  • Collect user data.
  • Read like your readers.
  • Analyse the impact of your efforts in order to learn and improve.
  • Failures are important learning opportunities.
  • Track the media landscape and rethink your competition.

Timeless Principles Of Online Work

  • Build your company out of legos, not bricks.
  • Kill off mediocre efforts that do not work.
  • You need to have a long-term vision.
  • Recruit the right digital staff.
  • “Product first, department second”.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hagar Human Rights Tour 2014

Just back from a fantastic few weeks in Cambodia, based in Phnom Penh at the fantastic Villa Langka. I was there to support the Hagar Australia Human Rights Tour and to work with the Hagar Cambodia and Hagar International teams as well. (Lucky me!) I worked on a range of individual coaching sessions - boosting Linkedin profiles and discussing communications/social media strategy as well as running a series of half-day workshops that included a media audit, presentation skills and mastering task lists! They kept me busy but I loved every minute of it.

A very big thank you to Hagar Australia CEO Kate Kennedy, Relationship Manager Caroline Hume and Business Support Officer Tess Horsley and the Hagar Cambodia's Program Director Tony Posnett, Visit Coordinator and all-round legend Shahrzad Mossanen and Hagar International CEO Talmage Payne. LOVE YOUR WORK!

Also a big shout out to members of the Hagar Justice Tour - what a group! If you are interested in following Hagar's incredible work with survivors of human trafficking and severe human rights abuse, follow them on Facebook here.
And contact me if you ever need tips on that fantastic city. I HEART Phnom Penh.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

What a fab video that symbolises transformation, momentum and movement. It's okay to be the dancing guy sometimes...that is how a movement is made. Lesson two, make sure your grand plans are easy to follow. "When you find a lone nut doing something great, be brave enough to be the first lone nut to follow."

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rather clever little sales pitch

A very catchy ad with fab copywriting, with ad buyers buying YouTube slots so it plays at the start of the latest Coldplay track - rather smart strategy I'd say.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Forget social media, it's about "social platforms"

Can't wait to read A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media after hearing about author Mikołaj Jan Piskorski through the Harvard Business School site and this recent Forbes article by Steve Olenski. I have conversations with clients about social media strategy all the time and I'm excited to read Piskorski's angle. I totally agree that it is about BUSINESS RESULTS not LIKES! Here is a tiny taste of Olenski's article.

Olenski: What’s the biggest mistake and/or misconception brands have when it comes to social media?

Piskorski: There are two. I already pointed out to the first one. Brands often are too eager to inject themselves into conversations about their product. Despite a brand’s best efforts, most consumers are not going to identify with or trust a brand the way they would a friend. To alleviate this problem I recommend that companies focus on facilitating interactions between their customers.
The second issue is that companies often engage socially without clear business goals. Instead, they focus on getting the highest number of likes or followers, or getting highest rates of engagement. At the end of the day, none of these metrics matter if they do not lead to higher sales or lower costs. Companies that have mastered the social space start with their business objectives and ask: “What is the source of my competitive advantage, and how can I use social platforms to strengthen it further?” Without asking this question first, many efforts in this sphere end up having no business results, even if they create a lot of engagement with their customers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Straight from SxSW something really simple but damn useful

Slideshare's blog posted on a couple of interesting SxSW presentations. I loved How to Choose the Best Colors for Your Presentations By on that is a reminder about the power of color.
It also mentions a clever website called Kuler that allows you to create your own color schemes based on one base color. Faboosh!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Great piece from Mumbrella

Crisis plans - get in early and avoid getting to the 'nothing we can do' point...

Gary Wilkinson and Ashton BishopAshton Bishop and Gary Wilkinson's article in Mumbrella has some really good insights into strategy during crisis situations. 
Being prepared for disasters is one thing – having a plan of action will on occasion lead to the required action. But not always – those on the Tenerife plane who stayed seated had seen the same safety demonstration as Paul Heck. Hayward himself had previously noted after a BP Texas City refinery blast that killed 15 – “We have a leadership style that is too directive and doesn’t listen sufficiently well. The top of the organisation doesn’t listen sufficiently to what the bottom is saying.” He was on his way to become CEO.
So information and planning is not always enough to overcome the search for normality. Telling a stressed CEO/CMO that all is not OK may well lead to them seeking reassurance elsewhere and you being cut out of future decisions or the whole relationship. If you say or do nothing then you may simply invoke the ‘bystander effect’.  Social psychologists Bibb Latane and John Darley showed in 1970 that people are less likely to help others in distress the more witnesses or bystanders there are.
So you need to say and do at the same time. But what to do? We believe the answer may well lie in the findings by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University. In a series of experiments they showed that people who do not have the skill set to solve a problem consistently overestimate their ability to do so. They also underestimate the skills of others to solve theproblem. In contrast, those who are skilled tend to underestimate their ownability.
The point is, if your client or a colleague is in trouble and you haven’t been through a similar experience or been trained in the area (Dunning and Kruger also found that training led to a more accurate self-assessment of skill level) you probably can’t directly help. Find someone within the organisation or a specialist advisor with experience in handling the issue. Engage them early (‘milling’ delays action) as you don’t want to get to the ‘nothing we can do’ point. Follow their advice and let them be the guide to action – don’t underestimate their skills. If you have been through a similar situation don’t underestimate your own ability to determine the right thing to do.
And if you’re the one in trouble quickly find your own version of Paul Heck to take you by the hand and lead you to safety – every second counts.
Ashton Bishop is the head of strategy at Step Change Marketing and Gary Wilkinson is a behavioural psychologist and founder of Bliss Point Research. Read the full article at Mumbrella

Monday, March 17, 2014

A great piece from the Prezi blog! Thanks to Terry Gault from the Henderson Group.

10 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Public Speaking


In this guest post, Terry Gault, Managing Partner and Vice President of The Henderson Group, provides insight into how to become a better presenter by avoiding a few common mistakes. Terry oversees all curriculum and services at The Henderson Group. In addition he is responsible for the selection, training and development of all trainers and facilitators for The Henderson Group, and has been an instructor with the Henderson Group for over 15 years. 
Having coached clients on presentation skills since 1997, I’ve noticed some clear patterns in the behavior of inexperienced presenters.
Take a look at the prezi we've made to illustrate these 10 mistakes, and the easy ways that you can avoid them. What are your favorite tips for giving a great presentation? Add them in the comments below.
1. Using small scale movements and gestures.
Most rookie presenters are afraid to take up too much space. This hesitance comes across like an apology to the audience. For more on this topic, check out our post titled “What the heck do I do with my hands?!?"
2. Speaking with low energy.
Actually, this problem is not restricted solely to rookie presenters. 80 – 90% of the presenters that I observe do not expend enough energy. Hence, they come across as uninvolved, uninteresting, and unenthusiastic. Crank up the energy level! You will command more attention and project more confidence and charisma. I cannot stress this strongly enough. For more, check out our video on Speaking With Passion.
3. Not preparing enough
Granted, many rookie presenters don’t know how to prepare effectively other than preparing their media. Experienced speakers do plenty of research so that they feel confident in their material and their ability to respond to any question the audience might throw at them. They daydream about their topic even during ‘down time’ and often find the most creative ideas when doing other activities. I often come up with great ideas while driving, shopping, or running. It’s important to go through multiple drafts or iterations of your material, revising and editing, to arrive at the most finished form of your talk.
4. Not practicing enough
Not practicing your talks and presentations on your feet is one of the single biggest mistakes you can make. Experienced speakers will often do a dry run of their material with a trusted audience of friends, family, or colleagues. They will simulate the environment of their presentation using a projector and slide remote. They’ll choreograph their movements and gestures which will dramatically increase your ability to remember your material. They recognize areas of challenge (weak segues, awkward media transitions, etc.) and come up with tricks and tactics to help them flow seamlessly through their material.
5. Data centric presentations.
If your talk is focused on data rather than the vivid human story the data tells, you are in trouble. In the June 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine, Leslie Bradshaw, the COO of Guide is speaking about Big Data. She states: “The art is in preparing the content for optimal human consumption. The data doesn't just talk back to you. You collect, you analyze, you tell stories. Think of an iceberg. Underneath the waterline are data storage and analysis. Those are your engineers and scientists. Up above is the interface. It's both literal and narrative. It starts with the hard sciences–the math, the analytics–but it ends up with the softest: how to tell the story.”
6. Playing it safe.
Many presenters, rookies included, avoid taking risks. As my mentor and co-founder of our company often said, “Not taking a risk is also a risk.” When your presentation content is too safe, it usually comes across as boring. When the most important ability as a speaker is the ability to garner attention, can you afford to avoid taking risks?
7. Avoiding vulnerability.
This will seem very counter-intuitive to many young presenters but you must find ways to show vulnerability if you want to be seen as credible. If you are obviously trying to hard to seem perfect, savvy audiences will see through your act and become even more suspicious. Tells stories about times when you made dumb mistakes and then reveal what you learned. In Brene Brown’s talk on Vulnerabilty at TED, she states, “The original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language—it's from the Latin word cor, meaning heart—and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart… very simply, the courage to be imperfect.” For more on vulnerability, here are some related posts on our blog.
8. Taking oneself way too seriously.
Many speakers tend to be very serious and formal. If they could bring more of their natural, informal style into their presentations, they would be more authentic and engaging and authentic. The stiff formality and rigid “professionalism” many tend to slip into when presenting may garner respect but respect only has value if people actually want to spend time with you. If you defer too much to your audience, you are projecting that you are not of an equal stature. Respect the audience’s professionalism but relate to their humanity informally. By speaking to them more informally, you project that you are equal. They will read that as confidence. As I often say to clients, “If you are not having fun, you are not doing it right.”
9. Presenting too much material
Though it’s always better to have more material than you need, you also need to know what you will cut if you run out of time. Rookie presenters feel compelled to get through all their material even if it means going past their allotted time. I’ve heard of speakers who have gone as much as 45 minutes over their time commitment. This is inexcusable. If you want to estimate how much time your talk will actually take in front of an audience, practice on your feet and time yourself. Expect your actual talk will take at least 25% longer and maybe even 50%. Speakers often expand even further on their topic when they see audience’s reactions.
10. Rushing
Rushing further exacerbates any existing delivery or content problem you may already have. Phrases will lose impact because you are rushing. Slowing down will make you seem far more poised and confident and experienced. Using more pauses will also:
a) Increase audience perception as well as your feeling of confidence and ease.
b) Give your audience time to digest your key points and give those points greater impact.
c) Give you time to formulate your thoughts into more succinct and cogent sentences.
S-l-o-w d-o-w-n!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oh oh, hasn't done any prep! Michael Bay quits Samsung's press conference


For people who think they can "wing it" on stage, please take note of Michael Bay's predicament when the teleprompter dies...

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg's antidote to "stockyhorror"

Last month, Sheryl Sandberg teamed up with Getty Images to create a new source of stock photos that reflects a modern woman, busting stereotypes along the way. Worth considering in your mix. Now let's hope Shutterstock does the same... they could do with some fresh stock.

Lupita Nyong's exquisite speech on beauty

A masterclass in how to captivate a room (including Oprah). Watch 12 Years A Slave actor Lupita Nyong weave a powerful story. Authentic, funny, interesting, juicy, full of ah ha moments, engaging and inspiring. Perfect delivery.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Future Labbin#2

Really loved Chris Sanderson's Australian Trend Briefing this February 2014 - lots of great content - especially around these fascinating "Athena Women" who are:
"strong, creative, nurturing, independent and self-sufficient, ambitious, communicative, leaders, diplomatic and successful" who loathe "stress, sloth and bad sex" - the true enemies of the modern female lifestyle.

No wonder retailers are trying to sell them loads of gym gear, "powerful" yoghurts and four-minute tabata workouts. Trend briefing also covered haptic technologies, "fundawear", "screenagers" and "tomorrow stores". Thanks for inviting Emily Ross Bespoke Future Lab.


For those Instgrammers out there, follow me #emilyrossbespoke

Future Labbing

This February, Emily Ross Bespoke was invited to be a part of The Future Laboratory's Melbourne LS:N Global members evening ahead of its packed 2014 Trend Briefing at ACMI. I joined a fantastic group of speakers for some seriously speedy networking. We all spoke for six minutes on chosen topics to six different groups.

I had some fun creating a "profile board" of all who attended, challenging people to fit their profile onto a Post-It note - forget all the bio guff and capture something "sticky" and interesting. The idea being that it's essential to keep things tight, juicy and relevant when you are talking about yourself in networking situations.

Leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn

Now that is a nice set of skills.
Really worth reading Thomas L Friedman's piece on How to get a job at Google from the New York Times.
Here are the five hiring attributes:
  1. Leadership
  2. Humility
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Loving to learn and re-learn
Says Friedman: "The world only cares about — and pays off on — what you can do with what you know (and it doesn’t care how you learned it)."

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fave podcasts from summer wanderings

You might think I need to get a life over summer, but being able to walk along the beach and listen to great speakers is not exactly hard work and it feeds the way I work with my clients, getting them to tell their stories authentically. Here are a few corkers that you might enjoy.

Hetain Patel's awesome speech on how we think about ourselves. Watch for his hilarious play on translators. What a cool artist he is.

Boyd Varty spoke on the day of Nelson Mandela's death, offering some firsthand stories about Mandela straight after he left prison.

Jake Barton takes a very exciting look at new ways to experience history in museum contexts - powerful ways to use digital technology to record history and offer much richer museum/gallery experiences.
Kelli Swazey, an anthropologist, shares her research on a remote Indonesian tribe's very different way of experiencing and celebrating death and how people we love translate from being alive to becoming ancestors. Beautiful.
Anas Aremeyaw restores your faith in journalism.
Margaret Heffernan's 'The dangers of wilful blindness', what a talk.

1. David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell
Brilliant, mind-flipping exploration of underdogs and why small class sizes, three strikes you are out and Yale are always good for you. His explanation of "near misses" in terms of war and trauma is a relevation.
2. The Stalking of Julia Gillard, Kerry-Anne Walsh
Page turner looking into some very dark days, toxic types and misogyny at work.
3. Tracks, Robyn Davidson
Awe-inspiring, riveting journey across Australia (I think I am the last person to read this).
4. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and was Shot By the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai
A true story of being born a girl in Pakistan and wanting to get a good education.