From wristbands to t-shirts, concerts to text donations, there’s been a bunch of generous and creative fundraising initiatives in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake. But a project led by Christchurch graphic design company Ratio is only just coming into the light.
Market research always does its best to enter every facet of our lives, but Christchurch mobile feedback start up company Texsys has taken it to a whole new level, asking Christchurch residents what they think of the recovery effort—while they’re on the dunny. They’ve done so by developing a software that allows multiple question surveys to be systematically completed via text message.
One of the unintended consequences of a natural disaster like the Christchurch earthquake has been a reaffirmed belief in human decency. There were, of course, the expected low-life opportunists trying to take advantage of the situation, but the vast majority of New Zealanders seem to have dug deep and tried to do what they could to help. While claims of ‘quake washing’ have already surfaced, it’s difficult to criticise members of the marcomms community who have decided to harness their communications skills to launch and run a range of worthy fundraising initiatives. And the Bands4Hope campaign is a good example of this industry cohesion.
'One laptop, one scotch and one phone'
The building that once housed Strategy design and advertising in Christchurch has been obliterated. But, as managing director Geoff Cranko writes, the staff are all well, they’ve found a new studio, they’ve got plenty of whisky on hand and, with the help of modern technology, they’re muddling through and are still able to do great work.
There was plenty of StopPress discussion after Designworks’ chief executive Sven Baker offered some suggestions for ways the design industry could help Christchurch recover from the quake—and not long after he narrowly avoided falling victim to it himself. Now Designworks and Jay Wester, owner of plumbing and heating supplier Leap Australasia Ltd, have launched the first initiative to come out of those discussions, a registered trust called letsfixit.org.nz that aims to get Christchurch’s in-home domestic water services re-connected pronto. And according to Baker, it’s already working, with the first volunteer plumbers expected to be on the ground in Christchurch in the next few days.
The historic Press building was badly damaged in last week’s earthquake and, sadly, Fairfax lost one of its staff members in the disaster. But, as The Press editor Andrew Holden’s story details, even when surrounded by death and destruction, journalistic duty kicked in and, with the help of the other Fairfax hubs, the team somehow managed to get a paper out the next day. And as the rest of New Zealand watched and listened to the broadcasts, many Christchurch residents were still without power, which meant the local papers became the main source of information. Sandra King, group sales and marketing manager, Fairfax Media, sent this note to agency partners and clients about the state of the Christchurch paper, which is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in May.
Greetings from the remains of The Media Dept. Appreciate you advising that Stacey and I are safe and well and trucking on. Our building at Ground Zero was actually a damn good place to be. Whilst it may be very old, the complete refurbishment two years ago has meant it is as strong a place as any and stood up well enough for me to (stupidly?) race back in and get mobiles and the laptop! But the devastation in our area at High/Lichfield/Manchester is massive and unfortunately a lot of people will have perished around us.
There are a number of companies, both small and large, trying to do their bit to help Christchurch. So if you’ve got something planned, if you’re giving a donation, or if you need to get a message out, let us know and we’ll update this page regularly and try to spread the word. The Ministry of Civil Defence says the best way to help people affected by the quake is through cash donations so if you haven’t already, visit Red Cross.
We have to mobilise the New Zealand design community around the relief and rebuild efforts in Christchurch. This means we have to coordinate our own meaningful industry response. We have an important role to play in assisting both now and throughout the rebuilding of a shattered city. And I think this can work at two levels.
Soon-to-launch business directory 0133 has partnered with Mediaworks and deployed a free-to-call service to take non-emergency queries and ease pressure on already strained emergency phone numbers in Christchurch.
On behalf of its members, the Outdoor Media Association of New Zealand would like to convey its deepest sympathy and thoughts at this difficult time to the residents of Christchurch. All members have pledged to do whatever they can to assist with rescue efforts, whether that be fund raising, assistance with communication and on the ground support.
Understandably, with surreal pictures such as these, overseas interest in the Christchurch earthquake has been extremely high and generous offers of international support have been numerous. And, according to YouTube, a six minute edited compilation of footage posted on the ONE News channel was the second most watched video worldwide yesterday, receiving 1.1 million views.
When it comes to increasing eyeballs, natural disasters are, rather perversely, usually good news for media owners. But where does the line get drawn? Is it acceptable for TV3 and Stuff to bid for search terms around the Christchurch earthquake? When TVNZ has committed to commercial free broadcasts from 6pm through to 12pm tomorrow and promised to make good on any campaigns impacted by the event and Google has set up a people finder (although it also benefits from the search purchasing), it seems awfully cynical to try and benefit from the disaster. As one media insider says, “this is not a time to increase traffic through to a website through paid means”.
Christchurch certainly hasn’t had an easy time of it over the last few months. But one positive aspect of the earthquake has been the banding together of those affected and the lengths many New Zealanders have gone to to offer their support. The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has already raised money for its southern counterparts with events in Queenstown and at the Grove Restaurant in Auckland. And now a billboard constructed from broken plates and glass from some of the hardest hit restaurants in Christchurch has been employed to try and get the punters to book their Christmas parties and support the city’s local restaurateurs.
Source: ONE News
With thoughts of yawning chasms and widespread destruction in Christchurch piquing the interest of the New Zealand populous, many turned to the good old reliable television to get a glimpse of the quake carnage. And with what was basically a full day of live coverage, it’s fair to say ONE News smoked 3 News in the media battle.