It's PR, but not as you know it

  • PR
  • March 9, 2012
  • Cath Winks
It's PR, but not as you know it

The power of good public relations, not to mention the perils of bad, cannot be underestimated, just ask Qantas, adidas, or Telecom. To help marcomms folk avoid such epic PR fails, CAANZ Marcomms Leadership Group (MLG) is hosting a special event, Re-Imagining PR. It's PR, 'but not as you imagine, or know it'–because with social media constantly evolving, PR business models are also having to. Matt Bruhn, one of the speakers at the forum, answers a quick Q & A for those of you who can't wait for the 21 March gig.

Bruhn (pictured), is the marketing director for Diageo Australia, which won a PR Gold Lion last year for its Bundaberg’s Watermark campaign. With over ten years’ experience at Imperial Tobacco, Kellogg’s and Diageo, Bruhn manages the Diageo Australia marketing team which he says is “blessed with brands such as Bundaberg Rum, Smirnoff Vodka and Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky”.

Bruhn creates work that reflects the legacy of the brands he works on, as well as impacting on the community in a positive way.

1) How do you define creatively-led PR? Now that’s a massive question. For me creatively-led PR is being disruptive, creating change and doing things that people will notice and respond to. The world is full of sameness and true creativity breaks the sameness.

2) What's your favourite example of that kind of work? I like work in PR that is truly news worthy, work that people, reporters and influencers care about and editors don’t edit out. Whilst it is our work I do believe the ‘Watermark’ campaign delivers on this.

3) Why do advertising agencies rather than PR agencies tend to dominate in PR categories at creative award ceremonies like Cannes, and Axis? They often think with no boundaries and really care about the ideas that create scale. They are traditionally working with larger budgets and happily challenge for more and therefore can get big ideas away.

4) Why should people come along to the CAANZ MLG Forum and what can they expect to hear from you? Nothing, a dull pointless presentation that puts people to sleep. Hopefully a unique perspective that helps them see their world a little differently.

Public relations is now increasingly integrated across all communications, so it’s important marketers get it right.

Other speakers at the 21 March event include:

Kevin Ramsdale, General Manager Brand, National Australia Bank
Tim McColl Jones, Business Director, Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne
Lynne Anne Davis, Regional President and Senior Partner, Fleishman-Hillard Asia Pacific

Idealog editor Hazel Philips will MC the forum, which will also offer audience members the opportunity to put questions to the speakers in a panel session chaired by Vincent Heeringa, publisher at Tangible Media. And, of course, there will be some post-forum drinks.

Tickets are $250 for CAANZ members and $290 for non-members. More information and registration details are available at

Youtube Video Bundaberg Water Mark case study: This campaign was created by Leo Burnett Sydney in conjunction with Bundaberg Rum to promote relief efforts for Queensland following the devastating floods of 2010-2011 and lift the spirits of the effected State.

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Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

  • Advertising
  • February 22, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

On Monday, Whittaker’s launched its latest novelty chocolate-lolly mash up with a chocolatey answer to retro bakesale treat coconut ice. The Coconut Ice Surprise chocolate has a twist though, 20c from each block goes to Plunket – a charity which New Zealanders agree is a worthy cause. However, to relate the chocolate to the charity, Whittaker's has built the campaign around baby gender reveal parties, causing a backlash from the public who argue gender norms have expanded beyond blue for boys and pink for girls.

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