Closing comment – communities & companies converge through #sharedvalue

We are delighted to be collaborating with the Shared Value Project on their upcoming Shared Value Forum in Melbourne on 14 April with international expert and thought leader Mark Kramer.

Mark has been instrumental in the development of shared value alongside his colleague Michael Porter. Yes my communications companions, that Michael Porter.

As well as hearing from Mark, you’ll be able to hear first hand how Australian companies are making shared value a part of their businesses. There are some incredible case studies on the cards, and plenty of time to network and speak directly to people making shared value happen!

Visit for a full program, speaker details and further information on #SVF15.

In the meantime, here’s a question for you to ponder:

Why are more Australian organisations making shared value a key part of their business?

Find out why at the 2015 Shared Value Forum: Act. Measure. Grow. on 14 April 2015 with shared value expert and thought leader Mark Kramer leading the discussion and providing an international context.

Join other business leaders and practitioners from across Australia as they present case studies and examine key challenges and opportunities including how further measurement can demonstrate the full potential of a shared value strategy. The forum also includes an interactive workshop presenting ‘how to’ develop, deliver, integrate, and communicate shared value strategies within your organisation, and understand the role of stakeholder and community partnerships. Mark Kramer will also lead a session that examines the complexities involved in measuring shared value outcomes, with a focus on the tools and solutions that link business and social results.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – Communicating and leading #likeagirl

Image via Sadhbh Byrne @sadhbhbyrne

Last week marked another historic moment for Victorian and Australian women doing leadership #likeagirl with two high level positions of power being succeeded by women.

Ms Linda Dessau is set to become the first female Governor of Victoria, and distinguished medical researcher Professor Anne Kelso AO has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Interestingly, Victoria is the last Australian jurisdiction to appoint a woman as a vice-regal representative. Well done to all the other states for beating us to it!

These significant appointments represent great achievement and change in government and science sectors, with leadership positions traditionally being held by men.

What are the benefits for increasing gender diversity in senior roles? According to research more women in leadership roles means better decisions, better performance, and better representation of the consumer base.

Comedian Amy Poehler would agree and issued a call for women across the world to reclaim the phrase “like a girl” and flip its derogatory meaning on its head.

Through her online community Smart Girls, Poehler has asked women to take to social media and list all the things they have achieved #likeagirl.

Poehler’s message is not only that women around the world are making astounding achievements; they are doing it without needing to adhere to male-focused notions of success and leadership. They are doing it #likeagirl.

The campaign set out to turn #likeagirl into a compliment, rather than a denigration, and through social media, namely Twitter, Poehler has taken this message and spread it to as many corners of the world as possible.

Poehler’s campaign – and the appointment of these two inspiring female high flyers – highlight a small fraction of the gender equality issue, the revolution of women taking charge and leadership in the workplace and the importance of using modern tools to educate and keep people informed.

On the topic of doing it #likeagirl, our client veski is delivering an inspiring women program with the aim of supporting career progression of Victorian women through the provision of resources, information and opportunities; partnerships with government, industry, community and academia; and professional development and networking opportunities. Make sure you save the date for their next event on 16 March 2015.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment: #LeadershipIS communication

This month we have been working closely with our client Leadership Victoria on a Twitter campaign #LeadershipIS. With their mission to bring visionary leadership thinking and practice to the broader community, we asked what the word leadership means to people.

The #LeadershipIS tweets have truly shown that “leadership” means different things to different people but there are a number of common threads. Here are some of the responses.

Leaders themselves set examples for others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way. This is where leadership and management intertwine, and a successful leader needs to combine both into that perfect ‘cocktail’ to map out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organisation; while remaining dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.

There are many people that come to mind when you think of a leader:

  • A political leader, such as Mr Abbott or Obama – passionate for their countries.
  • An explorer, like Cook cutting a path through the unknown to conquer and for the rest of his group to follow.
  • An executive, developing a company strategy or idea to beat the competition.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of listening to some Leadership Victoria alumnus reflecting on their Folio experience. The key points we took away were that during this developmental leadership program they meet inspiring people, undertake deep reflection, and are challenged to get out of their comfort zone.

We at the c word believe that leadership leads to a to a culture where we are capable, creative and co-operative team. This in turn creates great corporate culture and creativity spawns.

Some c words that spring to mind when thinking of leaders:

  • Creative
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Crazy (but just the right amount)
  • Constructive

Jack & the c word crew.

Closing comment – Communication critical in campaign to tackle obesity

This week, we spent two days in Sydney live tweeting from our client’s third annual #ObesitySummit. The common call from politicians, economists, journalists, GPs, dieticians, public health specialists and researchers was the need for clearer communication.

There’s no doubt that communication is critical in tackling the obesity problem confronting Australia and countless other countries around the world. Whether it’s developing a consistent language to help GPs work with patients, less complex information for the communities and individuals, or campaigns to encourage people to take action, communications has an important role to play.

US economics professor John Cawley opened the summit with a keynote outline the range of costs associated with obesity, and the need to present an economic argument. This provided a clear outline of why we need to understand the economic impact and how we need to build that into communications about the issue.

Other speakers added further economic data on direct and in-direct costs to individuals and society. These included a great presentation from AusBIG, an organisation raising awareness of the complexity of safe and dignified physical management of bariatric patients.

News Ltd journalist Sue Dunlevy told the #ObesitySummit attendees that they needed to develop a much clearer message around obesity – because at the moment it’s far to complex. This was welcomed feedback, but is just further evidence of the complexity of the issue.

Other speakers included former Victorian Premier John Brumby, Victorian Cancer Council CEO Todd Harper & Obesity Australia board member Geoff Walsh AO.

Here are some of our tweets from the day:


Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – A turkey called Clyde

Gov. Robert Bentley pardons Clyde the Turkey Nov. 13, 2014. (Picture via Twitter)

A turkey called Clyde, cyber makeovers for Melbourne-Boston, and cocktails with a French horn player – they’re our c-words for the week: can you compete?

It’s not unusual for American leaders to flex their power muscles by pardoning a turkey or two in the lead up to Thanksgiving. What caught our eye was a turkey named Clyde who was pardoned this week by the Governor of Alabama as part of the state’s thanksgiving tradition to pardon a turkey named Clyde.

If you want to hear more about pardoned turkeys starting with C, then join us on Thursday, 27 November for ‘A Melbourne Thanksgiving’ cocktail celebration with other friends of Melbourne/Boston.

Onto cyberspace, and we’ve been coding (well actually we’ve left the coding to the professionals at ManageWeb, credit where credit’s due) the new website for Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association. Take a moment to catch up on all the connections between our two great cities.

And cocktails with a french horn player you ask. We helped host the presentation of the 2014 Hugh Rogers Fellowships on behalf of the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association during Melbourne Knowledge Week.

Among the five inspiring recipients of Hugh Rogers Fellowships, including a bioinformatician, two science teachers and a researcher building a low-cost, electricity-free oxygen concentrator, there was a french horn player.

Susan de Weger, who visited the New England Conservatory of Music in November, entertained the guests with a number of pieces on her French horn.

More c-words to follow in the coming weeks: curating content at the #ObesitySummit, connecting with other PRIA Fellows at the national conference, celebrating colleagues, chums & clan in the lead up to Christmas & controlled consumption of champagne & canapés!

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

PS. Here’s our favourite turkey pardoning scene from the West Wing – thanks CJ!

Instant feedback boosts engagement

veski live tweet image_v4


When you plan your next event, don’t forget to include a Twitter hashtag to ensure the conversation continues long after the last guest has departed.

We have been in event planning mode for the past few months to celebrate our client veski’s significant milestone – 10 years of inspiring innovation – and make it as memorable and as momentous as possible.

Last week was chock-a-block full of events, media and celebrations, culminating in a gala dinner over the weekend on the evening of the actual anniversary. More to come on these events in upcoming blog posts!

It has involved a plethora of plans, run sheets, speech notes, venue theming, collateral writing and design and to top it all off ensuring there’s a Twitter hashtag for audience participation and to capture the conversation.

Among the events to celebrate the milestone was an industry symposium: Smart Australia 2030 at Federation Square.

When you bring an engaged audience and leading minds together to talk about the future of the country you’re going to get lots of involvement.

So, if you don’t have the right hashtag you’re going to miss out on all the valuable comments and ideas from the audience.


Here are some of the tweets from the #veski2030 symposium

veski live tweets_FA


Listen to your audience

When you listen to your audience you get instant and valuable feedback.

The next time you’re planning an event, don’t forget to include social media as part of your engagement strategy—what’s your hashtag, how are you going to manage the comments during the events and how will you ensure all participates by know how to follow the conversation.

Closing comment: Critical cancer research and cameras that can ‘see’ more than colour

This week, we helped our client veski welcome two new veski innovation fellows back to Victoria; Dr Mark Dawson formerly of the University of Cambridge in the UK and Professor Kenneth Crozier from Harvard University in the USA were welcomed back by the Minister for Health, the Hon David Davis MLC.

As a result of their return, new optical technologies that could allow digital cameras to ‘see’ more than colour and a novel approach to treating acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) will be developed in Victoria.

Both Dr Dawson and Professor Crozier are working on extremely c-ritical and c-utting-edge research projects and over the past few weeks, the c word crew has been working with veski to profile their return.

Dr Mark Dawson has returned to work at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where he is leading a group of researchers in the newly established Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory while Professor Kenneth Crozier will return in July 2014 to join the University of Melbourne’s School of Physics and Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Dr Mark Dawson is one of Australia’s most promising and talented clinician-researchers and is working towards an effective treatment for AML. He aims to translate important basic science discoveries made in the laboratory into innovative and targeted cancer therapies, which will build on his previous collaborations with international pharmaceutical companies.

Professor Kenneth Crozier will return from Harvard University in July 2014 to continue the development of ground-breaking optical technologies with a range of potential applications from improved digital cameras to systems for imaging biological samples.

With 2014 marking veski’s 10 year anniversary, veski chief executive officer Ms Julia L Page said the board was excited to welcome the 19th and 20th innovation fellows to Victoria and would support them in joining the science and innovation communities.

“In veski’s first 10 years, we have been able to attract 20 of the world’s most outstanding researchers and scientists to continue their work in Victoria, and Dr Dawson and Professor Crozier join an impressive group which includes the President-elect of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Andrew Holmes AM,” Ms Page said.

At the event, the call for applications for the 2014 round of veski innovation fellowships was also opened. Do you know (or are you) an outstanding researcher or scientist looking to move your research to Victoria? If so, check out the veski innovation fellowships.

Closing comment – courting on rooftops & seeking top bird


This week’s c-word has been courting.

The courting started on, er, hump day, of course, when we chaperoned Melbourne’s media darlings on a blind date with #YourFootscray ambassadors on the Footscray Market roof.

Was the serenade at sunset a success? If you measure success by the level of impassioned conversation, then yes. As guests noshed on the Ethiopian banquet and crispy cannoli, the ambassadors expressed their love for Footscray for all to hear.

the c word caught the train home, warmed by the inner glow that comes from connecting complementary strangers – and of letting people in on a secret you know they’ll always love you for.

The #YourFootscray ambassadors, the crazy cads that they are, were just warming up. They’ll be spruiking their wares again when they provide winners of an online ‘win-a-date’ competition with opportunities to fall in love with their favourite suburb.

Think a cannoli-making lesson with Tony; an Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Abdul and Rozenn; a Vietnamese brew with Kevin at his café; tacos and craft beer with The Reverence Hoteliers; and a lesson in spotting the freshest catch with fishmongers, Paul & John. Did your heart just skip a beat, or did you have a little too much caffeine to get you through Friday afternoon?

Whichever the case, the competition is easy to enter: first, voters select a date (cannoli, tacos, fresh fish, Ethiopian coffee or Vietnamese coffee), then they visit, or and explain in 20 words OR LESS why they want to win. To be eligible, entries must be lodged by 11:59pm on Wednesday, 9 October, 2013.

Move over Casanova because we’re also concocting a rendez-vous of the three-way speed date kind for another client. Watch this space for a full update.

Our final Spring Fling for this week has been to announce that Australians are returning to the polls again next month, this time to vote for the most popular bird in the land.

The poll – BirdLife Australia’s way of encouraging us to ‘Meet the Neighbours’ (think: chick next door) during peak mating season – will run alongside events in cities and towns across the country.

The winning bird will get its own cover on the December edition of “Australian Birdlife” magazine, while one lucky human voter will win a holiday at the beautiful O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat in the Brisbane Hinterlands. Vote for your favourite Australian bird at and look out for more plucky stories during National Bird Week 2013 which runs from 19 to 25 October.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – cochlear, cats & Chinese collaborations

This week, we helped our client veski welcome three leading researchers back to Australia to continue their groundbreaking research in three of Victoria’s leading research institutions.

veski innovation fellows Professor Colette McKay, Dr Ethan Goddard-Borger and Dr Luke Connal – and their groundbreaking research projects – were given a special welcome home at an official ceremony with the Melbourne CBD as a fitting backdrop.

Our day started with c-words when Colette McKay from the Bionics Institute and her incredible research with cochlear implants made the front page of the Herald Sun. Brigid O’Connell wrote about the difference Colette’s research will make to people of all ages suffering from severe deafness; her research will make it easier and quicker to program cochlear implants.

The c words continued with Ethan Goddard-Borger from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute and his research into a parasite carried by cats that can be harmful to expectant mothers and others. He’s a chemist who will be charting new territory in the area of chemical biology.

More c-words from the third innovation fellow Luke Connal from the University of Melbourne who was unable to attend the ceremony as he was in China developing collaborations for his work on materials of the future. Luke’s research could lead to the development of a range of new materials including anti-bacterial paints for hospitals, biofuels and new detergents.

You can hear all about Colette, Ethan & Luke’s inspiring research in three videos created by the c word crew in close collaboration with our client, the innovation fellows & the creative cinematographers at Burning House.

And if that wasn’t enough for one evening, the audience of science, government and business representatives discovered more about veski’s inspiring students (& teachers) program and the fact that the three fellows share a true passion for supporting the next generation of scientists and researchers.

Consider the c-words of science over the weekend and spare a thought for the men and women under the lab coats behind the research and the discoveries.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

Closing comment – Friday 12 July – Coffee, cannoli and cod

Your Footscray ambassadors at the launch - 9 July 2013 med

On Tuesday the c word launched ‘Your Footscray’ on the roof of the Footscray Market with nine local business ambassadors and supporters including Regional Rail Link, City of Maribyrnong and the Western Bulldogs.

The social marketing campaign will run over the next six months on with weekly interviews with each of the ambassadors on a range of topics.

The aim is to raise the profile of Footscray through the eyes of our nine ambassadors and we think that by the end of six months you’ll see what they see!

We’ll also be tweeting at @YourFootscray and Facebooking at – lots of interesting content to come!

Get to know the nine ambassadors over the next six months. Here they are in c-words:

You can also book a spot on the Footscray Food Tours and along the way you’ll meet many of these ambassadors as well as a lot of other people living and working in Footscray.

Have a great weekend.


Jack & the c word crew