Chatbots and communications – is AI all that it’s cracked up to be?

Alison Brown | Group Account Director Social Media, Technology

Image of chatbots

Technology is helping brands connect with customers better than ever before. Through chatbots and social media, brands can engage with customers at levels that drive the desire to purchase.

Brands that are seen to prioritise online customer engagement and respond quickly to enquiries are generally well regarded. Facebook has made it even easier for customers to measure and compare the responsiveness of brands by reporting on Message Response times.

The expectation that customers have to be digitally connected to brands has seen a wave of interest in chatbots. Read More

The rise of Nostalgia

Christiaan Van Rooyen | Designer Marketing

nostalgia, an old film projector

The rise of nostalgia as a marketing tool

Nostalgia makes us part with money more easily, according to academics studying patterns of consumer behaviour, and Hollywood has not let this go unnoticed.

In recent years nostalgia has had a great impact on the entertainment industry – most notably Star Wars, which made a tremendous comeback since Disney has purchased the rights. One can practically buy anything that is branded with the Star Wars logo.

Recent and upcoming nostalgic TV series releases include Twin Peaks, Star Trek: Discovery, X-Files, The Dark Crystal and Lost in Space.Read More

Why an EDM is important for your business

Ellen Irvine | Account Manager e-newsletters

Photo of woman sitting in front of a laptop, smiling reading an (EDM) e-newsletter

Why your business needs an EDM

Electronic direct mail (EDM), commonly known as e-newsletters, are one of the most powerful PR and marketing tools your company can use.

With some carefully crafted content, EDMs are an opportunity to build relationships with clients and help them feel connected to you. The best ones inspire clients to care about the company, and even look forward to receiving the newsletter. Read More

Spithill – PR smooth sailing or rough waters?

Luke Balvert | Account Manager America’s Cup

photo: Donan.raven

Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill might be a masterful tactician on the water but he is proving just as adept on land carving out a skilful niche as the media stand-up antagonist.

The 35th edition of the America’s Cup is sailing ahead and Spithill is wasting no time in living up to his billing of using the skippers’ press conferences to be a constant barb in teams’ side – particularly us

Kiwis. Already he’s fired several shots at Team New Zealand during the first few press conferences, picking up where he left off in San Francisco four years ago. Though keep in mind that the America’s Cup has become known as much for the off-water antics as it has for the on-water action with guarded secrets, mind games and out-and- out feuds between sailors. Read More

After the final rose – finding fame and influencing people

Alison Brown | Group Account Director Social Media

Even if you’re not a fan of reality TV and orchestrated romance, it’s hard not to acknowledge the popularity of shows like The Bachelor.

Season three of the New Zealand franchise featured a bevy of Kiwi girls competing to win the heart of surf sports coordinator Zac Franich from Orewa. The finale revealed the last girl standing was Viarni Bright, an account manager from Mount Maunganui.

In the race to receive the final rose, the only thing that could keep up with the girls’ collective affection for him was his rise to fame on social media. A stranger to prime time TV before the show, Zac quickly amassed a following on Instagram of more than 21,000 people. Viarni’s Insta-footprint grew much like her love for Zac and by season’s end, her following had swollen to almost 30,000 people. Bachelorette runner-up and the main rival for Zac’s romantic attention, Lilly McManus, came a close second to Viarni in the social media stakes, clocking up a 29,000-strong following, reflecting her well-deserved status as a fan favourite. Read More

Media lessons flow from water exports

Scott Macleod | Account Manager Politics

Should businesses be allowed to export our water?

It’s a simple question that has seen eyes bulge and faces redden all over the country as normally-sane Kiwis grow increasingly apoplectic with rage.

Fists are regularly pounded on pub tables to emphasise the assertions that water is a precious natural resource that should remain in the country and that businesses are making too much money from selling it.

Now hang on a minute. Read More

Plain English or a socially savvy PM?

Luke Balvert | Account Manager Social Media

photo: New Zealand Tertiary Education Union

It is safe to say Prime Minister Bill English is more comfortable crunching numbers and plotting how to increase the country’s surplus than trying his hand at keeping up with the Millennials and social media.

Following his appointment as PM from John Key, and with the general election looming, it is evident someone has had a whisper in the new PM’s ear to get socially savvy and boost his profile.

Blossoming amongst the Facebook posts of politics, spin and pre-election promises is this English 2.0 version trying to show us the man stepping out from the shadows to appeal to voters.

He’s drawn criticism from US late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel for slapping pineapple and spaghetti on a pizza, coined the term ‘walk-runs’ while showing how he paces up the hills of the capital for a bit of exercise and asked the public to vote on which humble pie Finance Minister Steven Joyce should be presented with to celebrate a Budget Day tradition.

For the record, steak and cheese got devoured with a 51% vote. Read More

Is Donald Trump a fool or a genius?

Scott Macleod | Account Manager Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. photo: Gage Skidmore

Many of us are outraged at the man’s social media statements, which can be arrogant, aggressive, pompous and erratic. But he’s president of the United States for a reason. It’s no secret that Trump has embraced social media platforms as part of his communications strategy, but many people in the public relations sphere are still trying to figure out why it has gotten him where he is today. After all, Trump has regularly made statements that would normally spell political death for a leader, but which seem to resonate with his supporters. Read More