Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What a week!

What a week! The PRIA National Conference in Fremantle was a huge success, breaking last year's record in terms of delegates. Rarely have I been to a conference where the room is still crowded for the closing speeches. A fantastic program! - and I like to use this opportunity to say thank you to our fantastic volunteers!

Lee Michael, Tash, Chloe, Kellie, Lana, Almora, Eric and Carli - you were absolute stars!!!!

One of the highlights of the conference were Monday night's Golden Target Awards. While some got very excited over the deserts :-) - others were simply too busy trying to capture Alastair Campbell on the bagpipes. I don't know how Tom Mackay managed to pull this off - never underestimate the power of persuasion....!

Alastair's role as key entertainment act of the night even made yesterday's Australian, under the heading 'Spinners can be grinners':

ALASTAIR Campbell, the bloke who guided the fortunes of former British PM Tony Blair as his director of communications and strategy from 1997 to 2003, showed a rather different side to his perceived public persona when he fronted as the guest speaker at the Public Relations Institute of Australia annual conference in Fremantle on Monday. Campbell was labelled by some in the British media as "the Antichrist" because of his spin tactics but in Freo he was all sweetness and light, so much so that at the official dinner he took to the stage with his bagpipes and serenaded the guests with Scotland the Brave and other Highland tunes after they promised to toss in some cash for his favourite charity, Leukemia Research. Campbell's good humour could be explained by the sales of his book, The Blair Years: Extracts from the Alastair Campbell Diaries. More than 10,000 copies have sold here, rather more than Peter Costello's recently published memoir. (

I reckon it's time to give our feet a little rest - but I am sure we will continue to talk abut this years PRIA conference for a long time to come......

Sunday, October 12, 2008

PRIA Young Guns takes communication beyond the National Conference

Fremantle, WA - October 13, 2008 – Today’s PRIA Young Guns New Communicators session, as part of the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s 2008 Annual Conference, highlighted the opportunities provided by new media. PRIA Young Guns now invite delegates to continue their journey through the new media landscape.

The presentations demonstrated the relationship of social media’s impact on business through hands on examples and case studies.

“By integrating new media into the communications mix they provide an exciting extension to the traditional toolkit”, says Katharina Wolf, Chairperson, PRIA Young Guns.

“By sending this social media news release we are inviting participants to continue the conversation and their journey through new media.”

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and LinkedIn are just a few examples of social media that can be used to build professional networks and engage directly with key stakeholder groups.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Media panellist biographies

Here is some background information on the experts forming the panel for the New Media session at the PRIA National Conference on Monday 13 October.

If you would like to find further information on them, or would like to get in touch- how about tracking them down through a form of New Media? If all else fails, let the Young Guns committee know and we will endeavour to connect you via the world wide web.

Glenn Nicholas

Glenn helps businesses find customers and convert them online. The new rules of marketing are being written day by day. Glenn translates the new rules into services available online, develops marketing strategies and implements them.

Glenn’s background has been in technology services, where he has worked for multinational companies in development, delivery, and sales/marketing roles. 2005 was the year he bit the bullet and decided to stop consulting and put his own ideas and strategies into practice. Smaller companies can go global now, and the implications of that are only just starting to be seen.

Richard Giles

Richard Giles is the CEO of Recommendation Ventures, a recommendation engine service provider, one of Australia’s top ten web 2.0 applications, and winner of the Australian Startup Carnival 2008.

Richard has been in the technology industry for almost 18 years, starting his career with a mobile phone company in 1990 when mobile phones weren’t as mobile.

Richard was an Australian web pioneer in the early-nineties, designing corporate websites, selling Internet connections to corporations, and was one of Curtin Universities first lecturers on the topic of the World Wide Web in 1995. He later worked for Sun Microsystems for nine years.

Richard’s achievements include winning the Best Australian Podcast of the Year 2006, authoring Podcasting Pocket Guide, and How To Use Flickr: The Digital Photography Revolution, and launching Scouta and managing Recommendation Ventures.

Richard is currently responsible for marketing on the committee of Australian Web Industry Association.

Richard Barrett

Richard Barrett is a professional communicator with more than 12 years experience in Australia and the UK. Richard has recently overseen the communications effort for the largest public infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia, New MetroRail, which culminated with the opening of the Mandurah Line last year.

Richard currently leads a busy team as the Manager, Corporate Communications at the Public Transport Authority (PTA), where he is responsible for strategic communications, internal and external communications, crisis and issues management, media relations, event management, and community relations. Richard holds a BCom (Curtin University), a BA (UWA), and is a member of PRIA.

Richard will also be presenting on the communication hurdles experienced during the New MetroRail project on Tuesday at 2.30pm. Be sure to attend this session to learn about the challenges encountered for the largest public transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia

Oren Van De Steen

Oren works for the PTA as a data and systems manager. In this role Oren manages the PTA contract management system, TRIS, and how it feeds into all other passenger information systems.

TRIS essentially manages all Transperth’s bus, train and ferry timetable information as well as spatial information such as bus stop locations, bus routes, and SmartRider information and data. This then feeds into passenger information applications like the Transperth website and journey planner, the call centre, public display systems,, Google Transit and our the SMSservice.

In Oren’s words, he “manages stuff”.