Australian Companies & Brands Need To Update Their Social Barometer

Australian Companies & Brands Need To Update Their Social Barometer
SHARE
THIS



Anthony Caruana is a freelance journalist and Kathryn Van Kuyk is the PR director at Media-Wize. In this joint guest post, the duo argue that social media is just another place brands can quickly slip up with the wrong words or gestures…

Every day, across mainstream media and social media, a myriad of storms erupt that cause damage to governments and companies operating in Australia and their brands.

Many of these communication disasters are avoidable if senior leadership, marketing, advertising and PR teams take a moment to think about the language they use and the way ideas are conceived and positioned.

It is extremely easy to inadvertently step on a linguistic landmine. The rise of social media means you are open to scrutiny, not just from journalists or media outlets. Now anyone on social media has the ability to flag an issue and for it to quickly escalate.

We’ve entered an age where we should know better and do better. It should be evident of how society has shifted significantly, and for companies, brands and governments to keep up with the changing social barometer.

Get it wrong and it’s more than your reputation on the line. It can destroy a company, lose an election, damage a share price and have stakeholders avoiding you completely. So much investment is now made in data to understand ‘the customer’ and the political undercurrents, but sadly this knowledge can fail to translate to the messaging put out in public forums.

When designing your approach and the language you use to communicate it, keep in mind these shifts in public sentiment, if you want to avoid a preventable and increasingly predictable backlash.

  • Females – avoid any messaging that is not based on equality and inclusion. Don’t assume a mother isn’t also engaged in a career. Don’t celebrate unrealistic body shapes or beauty, celebrate body positivity and individualism.
  • Males – avoid any messaging that sounds superior or strengthens unhealthy masculine stereotypes. Don’t assume a father can’t also be the primary caregiver of children.
  • Children – never sexualise children and don’t use them for political leverage.
  • Violence against women – shift the narrative to focusing on the ‘perpetrator’ instead of the victim.
  • Young people and home ownership – don’t suggest the solution is to access the bank of mum and dad.
  • Manufacturing – think sustainability, reuse, recycle and ethically consider the workforce you engage in production.
  • Race – demonstrate diversity and inclusion, make a real effort to use multicultural imagery.
  • Gender – accept fluidity and be inclusive and reflective of all, regardless of how people identify.
  • Environment – remember we only have one planet, consider your packaging, reduce wastage and plastic, embrace recycled materials, and focus on sustainability alongside profitability.
  • Religion – don’t alienate or ridicule groups of people.
  • Fur and fashion – we do not see Gen Z and Millennials walking around in fur draped over their activewear, embrace the modern consumer and meet their needs.
  • Conflicts of interest – don’t try and hide any, be up front and transparent at all times.

About the authors: Anthony Caruana is a freelance journalist that has worked in the Australian media for the past 15 years. Kathryn Van Kuyk is a PR expert with over 20 years’ experience. Together they are the cofounders of Media-Wize.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Anthony Caruana Kathryn Van Kuyk

Latest News

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom
  • Technology

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom

Twitter has just experienced its fastest growth in revenue since 2014, with the social media platform benefiting from increased interest from advertisers. Revenue was up 74 per cent YoY, according to the company’s Q2 results, reaching $US1.19 billion ($1.6 billion) from $US683.4 million ($925 million) 12 months ago. The strong results came in the same […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey

Wild Turkey has announced the launch of its new global creative campaign and platform, ‘Trust Your Spirit’, featuring the brand’s creative director and spokesperson, Matthew McConaughey. The global campaign and platform ‘Trust Your Spirit’ is to encourage people to be bold, unapologetically themselves, and stay true to who they are. The global tagline and ethos […]

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign

Telecommunications company Optus has announced it will launch the world’s first TikTok sign-language activated filter. Featuring Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe, Optus will unveil a branded effect that shows TikTok users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with Yes’, through the hashtag challenge #SignYes. Optus will […]

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF
  • Campaigns

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF

Asia Pacific’s leading provider of vehicle parts, accessories, equipment, service and solutions, Bapcor will launch its latest campaign, ‘The unseen parts of every Australian journey’ this weekend.

Professional microphone in radio studio
  • Advertising
  • Media

Podsight’s Benchmark Report Shows Podcast Advertising More Effective Than Other Digital Channels

Podsights has revealed new insights into the effectiveness of advertising in podcasts, tracking global and Australian podcast advertising trends. This is the first Australian report to be published since ARN partnered with Podsights to set the standard for best-in-class podcast advertising measurement. The report includes additional analysis and follows a series of Measurement Masterclasses held for […]

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life
  • Campaigns

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life

NGEN’s 2021 charity cup has raised over $175,000 for UnLtd charity partner Gotcha4Life. Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation raising awareness and funding to provide educational workshops and innovative programs that build mental fitness in individuals and communities. While Sydney and Brisbane completed the Charity Cup in June, before Covid restrictions hit, the final leg in […]

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge
  • Campaigns

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge

Australian tech incubator Cicada Innovations and Biennale of Sydney are launching the ‘New & Sustainable Materials Challenge,’ in an effort to create a more sustainable future. The works of chosen material-makers will be showcased to millions of Biennale audiences, exhibition partners, and exhibition makers globally. The Challenge is open to any Australian and UK startups, […]