& Nick Gowland
Directors of Blackland PR
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Real Responses: EQC
Posted 1 days ago
Real Response: EQC Waiting for repair of Earthquake hit houses in Christchurch is frustrating thousands of people. As primary manager of 466,000 earthquake insurance claims of 188,000 households, EQC has a very tough job. Ian Simpson, Head of EQC, fronted to media this week to discuss the length of time involved, stories of people still living in sub-standard homes, and changes in their case management system to keep claimants informed. Simpson attempted the toughest approach in all public relations; to get people to see the context – the wider picture – rather than focus on particular problems. The way he carried it off was exemplary; He first made very sure he had described the scope of the task the EQC had to cope with – which meant he had to repeat himself and use many examples. He gave many numbers rather than succinctly illustrate the difficulty of the task, but definitely left the impression of enormous scope. His tone was strident, non-nonsense, passionate, determined, and clear. He sounded like someone who was putting his personal reputation on the line, and who has nothing to hide. His grasp ...
Real Responses: Maggot in pizza
Posted 1 days ago
A maggot in a pizza has got to be one of the worst stories for a fast food company. It’s the sort of story kids glory in retelling over the dinner table, and adults tell at halftime while watching a sports game. Given the power and threat of that sort of story, a pizza company would need a pretty powerful response. The Pizza Hut response in Taranaki this week was to refund the $4.90 price of the claimed maggoty pizza – with a voucher for a new pizza. A statement sent to the Daily News by the company said it was taking the matter seriously. That’s a poor response because it provides no evidence for public to trust the company. And trust is the bedrock of reputation for food companies. The immediate ‘refund’ might seem right, but it’s so disproportionate that it’s almost insulting – and that looks worse than initially not offering anything at all. Larger compensation would encourage copycat attempts at the maggot-in-the-pizza trick. So if any is due, it needs to be delivered in private after facts are ascertained. Media are usually ...
Budget 2013: What you need to know
Posted last week
For the first time in many, many, Budgets this one is exactly as Bill English labelled it on the tin: without radical change, and still on track. It’s on track for a $75m surplus in 2014/15. Government revenue is up a little as the economy improves, but the Christchurch earthquake costs mean it still had to drop other spending a little to make the surplus target date (including still holding back payments to the NZ Superannuation fund). The black and white label has been smudged by the Government’s attempts to optimistically theme the Budget according to the existing “priority” areas, and the foreshadowed policies addressing housing and poverty. The latter amounts to very small expenditure, changes in social housing policy, and trials and investigations, that don’t affect budget. Of the priority areas, the two that really matter are the Christchurch rebuild and responsibly managing finances. The first is clearly a big spending area. The second has been an impressive myopia on lowering state sector costs that has been achieved despite the Christchurch cost. It’s a sign of the relatively unremarkable nature of the Budget ...
Through rose-tinted glasses…
Posted 2 weeks ago
We want people to connect emotively with our product or business. But sometimes those emotions get out of control. Any campaign worth its salt should create an emotional connection with the buyer, or potential buyer, of your product. But emotions are hard to control. That’s why PR people are needed to assess campaign risks. Today’s announcement that McDonalds was going to ‘Bring back Georgie Pie’ is a case in point. Georgie Pie is an iconic Kiwi brand that vanished decades ago after it was bought and closed down by McDonalds. There’s been talk for a few years about bringing back Georgie Pie. There’s even a 50,000 follower strong facebook group set up expressly for this purpose. Georgie Pie holds a unique place in the minds of many Kiwis. We remember the $1 pies fondly. We don’t so well remember that they tasted like cardboard and the restaurants were plain. That’s because emotions associated with Georgie Pie are not so much connected to the place and pies but rather to other people we joined there; our families and friends. McDonalds tapped into those emotions. ...
NZ Politicians more extrovert
Posted 2 weeks ago
A world first survey has found that New Zealand MPs are more extroverted than the general population. A survey of all current MPs and 30 former MPs found that 31% of respondents were strongly extroverted while just 12% were strongly introverted. 57% were ‘amibiverts’ – people with varying levels of the traits. That compares with studies that show that among the general population, extreme introversion or extroversion is found in 25% of the public respectively. The split between introverts and extroverts in the general population is 49.5 / 50.5% respectively. The split among New Zealand MPs is 41% / 59% respectively. The survey also found that 77% of politicians claimed to have more close friends than the average person. BlacklandPR Director, Mark Blackham, said that most politicians were very similar to the general population. “Like most of us, politicians are a mix of things; there are times that they enjoy social contact, and times they like being alone or with close friends and family. “For example, 71% of respondents preferred being home than at public events, and 82% would choose to spend time with a ...
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