New Head of PR, Sydney
Bastion Amplify is pleased to announce the senior appointment of Simone Esamie to the newly created position of Head of PR, Sydney.
In this leadership role, Simone will oversee the growth, development, and performance of the Sydney PR team, focused on earned and owned media channels using PR, social media and influencer marketing.
Simone will also provide strategic counsel to clients on PR, content, and media relations to identify further opportunities to deliver fully integrated campaign strategies via the wider Bastion network.
Joining the agency from Write Away Communication + Events, part of The Recognition Group, Simone was most recently General Manager, responsible for providing executive-level support for B2B and B2C clients, working with the team on strategic account planning and service delivery. During her career, Simone has built up more than 20 years’ experience in the PR and communications industry, across a range of sectors including lifestyle, technology, built environment and not-for-profit.
Bastion Amplify Managing Director Richard Chapman said: “Simone takes the reins of a fantastic portfolio of clients underpinned by incredible brands including Unilever, Dometic and Next, as well as a growing number of technology clients.
“She brings a highly experienced PR eye to the agency as well as exceptional organisational and management skills to our team. With Simone at the helm in Sydney, we are well placed to leverage Bastion’s growing profile as an agency network and the integrated opportunities this provides.
“Simone is also highly experienced in the B2B corporate and built environment sector, which builds on the success our Melbourne and Queensland teams have enjoyed for decades in the property industry.”
“Bastion has assembled so much deep expertise under one agency umbrella. I’m looking forward to solving communication challenges with a wider lens, in collaboration with this talented team,” added Simone.
Australia’s largest philanthropic donation
After the world was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne was gifted a history-making $250 million from Canadian philanthropist and businessman, Geoff Cumming, to establish a new global research centre focused on therapeutic discoveries.
To date, this is the largest philanthropic donation to bio-medical research in Australia’s history.
The new centre, called the Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics will sit within Doherty with a vision to save millions of lives in the future.
Bastion Agency was hired to deliver a launch with worldwide impact, with a blank canvas for creativity. We were tasked to deliver a new brand identity, a communication strategy, and a media.
Bastion Reputation, Bastion Amplify and Bastion Creative carved up the brief to work seamlessly across divisions.
Bastion Reputation delivered a communications strategy that articulated the story of a generous donation coupled with the cutting-edge scientific discovery with real world impact. We also kept up to 30 stakeholders across University of Melbourne, Doherty and the Victorian Government aligned while building out the story.
Bastion Creative created a new brand identity that set the foundation for all visual communications, internally and externally. The result is a contemporary and striking design that is bold, stands for what it does, and captures the imagination of those who come in touch with the centre.
Bastion Amplify was tasked with the media strategy and delivery of a press conference with Vic Premier Dan Andrews, Prof Sharon Lewin and Geoff Cumming, that was widely attended by media, followed by a full day of one-to-one interviews.
The announcement made the headlines right across Australia and overseas reaching a very large number of people.
1 press conference with 10 media attendees, including political reporters
6 one-to-one follow-up interviews with general news media
2 live radio shows
250+ pieces of coverage within 24 hours – TV, radio, newspapers
17 million reach
Syndicated nationally and reaching international papers
Covered by all Australian TV networks
See featured articles below:
The Australian – Melbourne becomes Australias pandemic research capital after university gets $250m donation from Canadas Geoff Cumming
The Age – $250m donated for global pandemic research centre in Melbourne
Daily Mail – Global Research Centre for ‘next pandemic’
The New Daily – Record private donation funds VIC pandemic drugs centre
MILLION DOLLAR VAX
Driving up Australia’s vaccination rate.
What bigger challenge than getting an entire population vaccinated against COVID-19? That’s what Million Dollar Vax was trying to solve and it needed to happen in just one month.
A group of Australian entrepreneurs and philanthropists created the Million Dollar Vax to safely accelerate Australia’s vaccination rate to help protect the population from COVID-19.
The campaign promised $1 million to one lucky vaccinated winner and daily cash prizes to other entrants. All you had to do was get the jab.
The team came to Bastion Amplify to spread the word.
To maximise the launch moment, we worked in conjunction with News Corp to offer the exclusive story that was syndicated across all their mastheads prior to a wider media campaign kicking off. Knowing that vaccinations are a contentious topic, this allowed us to lead the direction of the story and ensure all key messages were delivered to avoid any skepticism and validate the promotion.
We then conducted a national media blitz with Million Dollar Vax Alliance chair, Craig Winkler, acting as a spokesperson across dozens of media opportunities including appearances on our highest rating breakfast shows Sunrise, Today and all major TV and radio news programs.
In order to continue the momentum throughout the month, we developed milestone news stories based on entry data and entries received, we also worked closely with sporting ambassadors such as Bachar Houli and Luke Shuey to help encourage vaccination in several lower vax states via their social media platforms.
We also strategically used social media, ambassadors, prize winners and social influencers in regions of Australia with low vaccination rates to boost inoculation levels.
In addition, Bastion also established and led the content creation and community management for the Million Dollar Vax social media platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram. This served to compliment the positive media relations strategy, but also respond and react to questions regarding entry upload from participants and to mitigate any potential negativity towards the campaign.
The campaign was a huge success, with over 2.75 million entries – the most of any competition in Australian history.
Our reach was more than 80 million, meaning pretty much every Australian would have seen our message multiple times.
This was achieved through an enormous 735 media clips.
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews commented on the campaign during one of his daily press conferences. The Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt did the same too.
Most importantly, today Australia is one of the highest vaccinated nations in the world. Weeks after the campaign launched, Victoria ended its lockdown ahead of schedule, citing the uptick in the vaccination rate as key.
CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS ART
Like many arts events globally, plans for 14th annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) in 2020 were thrown into doubt following COVID-19 border closures and the introduction of social distancing measures. However, seeing these unprecedented times as a unique opportunity to reach an even broader Australian and international audience through digital channels, DAAF organisers quickly pivoted to launch an online fair for the first time ever.
Bastion Effect and the DAAF team worked closely together to adapt our original communications strategy – which had been developed based on the delivery of a physical art fair in Darwin – to take the fair in a completely new direction. And all while in lockdown!
The campaign involved media pitching to local and international targets, an influencer engagement program with product seeding to 12 influencers across the country to generate socials activity, a digital Google Ads campaign driving traffic towards the fair’s website, stakeholder engagement and key partnerships facilitation.
Bastion Effect worked with local, national and international media across TV, radio, online, print and social media platforms to present DAAF as the premier Indigenous art event in Australia. We also highlighted the move to an online format as an accessible way for anyone, anywhere, to ethically purchase authentic Aboriginal art. To do this we profiled the artists, designers, art centres and DAAF executive team as key spokespeople and experts in the field. Of course, having stunning imagery to work with also helped!
DAAF opened its virtual doors to the first ever online fair on Thursday 6 August 2020. The program was officially launched the day prior via the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFAs) which were livestreamed on NITV broadcast. So successful was the online art fair, it was extended by an extra weekend!
In total, Bastion Effect achieved 310 media hits for DAAF and NIFAs, generating exposure among more than 112,295,450 people worldwide. This included 85 hits in international media including the Boston Herald, Daily Herald, the Epoch Times and MSN News.
Our outreach hit all of our top tier media targets across print including Herald Sun, The Australian, The Age, Australian Financial Review, Vogue, Good Weekend, Marie Claire and the list goes on! The team also managed to land broadcast opportunities with ABC National 7pm evening news, ABC Weekend Breakfast, NITV and Triple J (and more). Lastly, all lifestyle and fashion online touchpoints were covered including RUSSH, Vogue, Vogue Living, The Design Files, GQ, The Urban List, Fashion Journal, WWD, and Fashion newspaper editorials for The Age, Herald Sun and The Australian.
The digital campaign drove 76,000 new visitors to the DAAF website, with traffic up 400 per cent.
TOLL AMBULANCE RESCUE
Part of the large-scale global logistics company Toll Group, Toll Ambulance Rescue provides helicopter rescue services in partnership with NSW Ambulance. To demonstrate their importance and expertise as NSW Ambulance’s partner, we strategically repositioned their social communications to drive awareness, community support and further positive sentiment.
After conducting a comprehensive audit of Toll Ambulance Rescue’s (TAR) competitors, we determined the brand needed a new edge and a new social approach that would connect with the hearts and minds of the target audience – the NSW community.
The key differentiator was simple – make the content about ‘the people’. Instead of talking about TAR’s biggest achievements and updating the audience with the number of missions, we placed ‘people’ at the centre of our social storytelling.
We shared human stories of team members, we crafted user generated content (thank you messages and photos of the helicopters that were captured by the community and fans) and most importantly, we engaged with the audience instead of having a one-way conversation with them.
On the creative side, we were able to channel the authenticity and humanisation of the brand through real-life photography.
To build on the content strategy and community management, we encouraged the audience to get in touch with us more and to tag us, allowing the brand to build a personable relationship with every member. Because in today’s world, dialogue is often the missing link between brands and people. People want to have their opinions and their voices heard. And in this case, their experiences shared. And social media is the perfect earned and shared media channel to provide that platform.
Concurrently, we also manage ACE Training Centre, which is the training facility and service that TAR provides. Our role in social is to promote the excellence and quality of the program, supported and underpinned by the success stories that are globally-recognised. With a strategic combination of SEM and paid social, we have seen a healthy and continuous pipeline of leads through to conversions (qualified leads who make online enquiries about the courses, followed by offline conversion).
Conversion for the ACE Training Centre is one of our key metrics and we’re proud to say that is higher than ever (if you want to know exact, drop us a line), while our social media reach is a mega 6.5 million and engagement 167,000 and counting. Over 12 months impressions are sitting at 12.8 million.
XBOX LIVE STREAM
As the gaming community’s attention focused on the year’s biggest gaming reveals, Xbox ANZ (@XboxANZ) saw an opportunity to use Twitter to generate mass brand awareness, increase brand affinity, and connect with the growing network of gamers across the globe.
Xbox wanted to dominate the conversation at E3, the world’s premier computer and video game event, with 70,000 industry stakeholders and consumers in attendance in 2019.
It wanted to ensure its target audience was seeing the brand’s exclusive content and that Xbox was positioned as a leader in the gaming industry in the minds of gaming enthusiasts around the world.
@XboxANZ focused on giving gamers access to every aspect of the exclusive event through Twitter. The company live-streamed some of its most exciting announcements from E3 direct to its Twitter profile, allowing gamers across the globe to be the first to hear about new game launches and news about its new console. To ensure no fan missed an update, Xbox used Twitter’s auto-reply functionality to automatically send real-time reminders about when the live stream would start.
@XboxANZ also created rich video content for the event, including sneak peeks at new games, new game character reveals, and exclusive offers. By using Twitter’s First View takeover, Xbox positioned this content at the very top of gamers’ Twitter timelines so it was the first thing they saw when they logged into the platform. The Xbox team also used Promoted Trends to widen the reach of its audience on its E3 content.
20% share of voice within the gaming vertical
2 x increase in positive sentiment
30% higher view rate than the benchmark set
XBOX GLOBAL FIRST TWITTER CAMPAIGN
The popular Australian gaming event PAX Australia (@PAX AUS) saw record crowds in 2019. More than 80,000 video game enthusiasts attended the three-day event in Melbourne, which included expert panels, game-culture inspired concerts, tournaments, and exhibitor booths from both independent and major game developers and publishers.
Xbox Australia and New Zealand (@XboxANZ) wanted to maximise brand reach and engagement during this key event in the gaming calendar and provide an active brand experience for both the gamers attending and those following along at home.
With a highly engaged gaming base, Twitter was the perfect platform for Xbox to maximise its reach at PAX. Xbox’s vision was to drive real-time engagement during PAX and make Xbox the most talked-about console brand at the event.
@XboxANZ launched the Xbox Twitter Hunt — a virtual treasure hunt and a first-of-its-kind globally, where fans could earn points for the chance to win a trip to the X019 event in London. To participate, Twitter users across Australia and New Zealand Tweeted their answers to a variety of challenges, such as filling in the blanks of cryptic hashtags, deciphering daily emoji combinations that depicted games, and unlocking points by finding QR codes hidden throughout the PAX event.
Xbox Twitter Hunt hints and tips were regularly shared via organic updates by @XboxANZ, with assistance from an auto-reply campaign that helped Xbox respond to submissions in real time, reducing the impact on Xbox resources, and encouraging fan participation and engagement.
To amplify the reach of the scavenger hunt, Xbox used Promoted Video to target gamers with videos about the Twitter Hunt mechanics and incentives. Xbox also expanded its audience with In-Stream Video Ads, spreading the word about its scavenger hunt through In-Stream Video and pre-roll ads on @PAXAus content during the event.
To bring the online and offline activity together, contestants with the most points had their Twitter handle and scores displayed on a real-time digital leader board at the event, which was regularly Tweeted by @XboxANZ.
50,000 Twitter engagement
300% increase in mentions year-on-year
20% Twitter PAX conversion
EXPORT MARKETING IN ASIA
Taste Australia is a category marketing program run on behalf of Hort Innovation, Australia’s horticulture industry body, representing fruit and vegetable growers from all over Australia. Taste Australia is a brand used to represent and promote Aussie produce in export markets across Asia. Our task is to raise the profile and export demand of Australian produce through the Taste Australia brand and maintain its premium positioning.
We look at the consumer journey from awareness, through to education, trial and purchase – and engage with the consumer along this path ending in conversion at point of sale. We use point of sale (POS) marketing, including sampling and gift with purchase (GWP), social media, influencers & KOL/KOCs, public relations and events, e-commerce marketing, advertising, partnerships and sponsorship.
We run the Taste Australia program in a range of Asian nations including China, Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Over the past two years Bastion Effect has managed the export marketing of commodities including Australian citrus, tablegrapes, summerfruit, cherries and much more.
We’ve rolled our campaigns out across nine diverse countries, conducted sampling and activations in more than 100 cities within those nations, mobilised support from more than 100 influencers, held 21 events and generated more than 500 pieces of media coverage.
With our in-market partners we have put Aussie produce in the hands of tens of thousands of consumers by organising more than 3,000 sampling days.
Our social media tactics have resulted in more than 467 million impressions.
And at the end of it all we’ve contributed to an exponential increase in sales, the numbers of which we can’t disclose here. Contact us directly to learn more.
LAUNCHING A PERFECT SPACE
A Perfect Space is shaking up the antiquated location scouting industry with its revolutionary digital end-to-end platform and unique stock of locations.
We developed a strategic PR campaign to amplify the brand, elevate CEO and Founder Kate Mitchell and showcase both the B2B and B2C benefits of using the platform to find the perfect shoot location for producers as well as people wanting to list their space.
Our approach included developing a suite of angles and pitching the business story to traditional news, lifestyle and trade marketing publications. Additionally, we also utilised LinkedIn to curate personal blog articles on behalf of Kate Mitchell and the team – talking to the unique stories that lie behind the locations themselves.
Top tier media publications picked up and ran with the story, including The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Domain Prestige ran a four-page lifestyle feature and coverage also appeared in Business Chicks, Homes to Love, Mumbrella and B&T.
We also secured a Channel 9 lifestyle TV segment, ‘Your Domain’.
PR coverage has had a direct result on location listings to date and helped to increase brand awareness and establish credibility for A Perfect Space within the production industry.
INFLUENCER FAMILY FOR HUVA
HuVa didn’t want to just tap into existing plant-based food lovers with the launch of their brand new product range but also had the goal of educating broader “flexitarian” consumers about the health benefits and how easy it was to use these new plant-based products every day.
The number one value that drives Australians to be happy is to live a balanced life; the HuVa range has been developed to assist Australians to do just so.
Plant based food is for everyone, our task was to encourage Australians to understand this.
We developed a pool of influencers across health & wellness, parenting, and lifestyle categories to leverage their highly engaged audiences and help make a splash about the HuVa launch.
An array of beautiful, high quality content was co-curated by influencers and shared across their channels showcasing the simple step-by-step process of cooking and enjoying a balanced life with HuVa. From cooking with families and friends to sitting down and taking time out to enjoy eating the delicious meals – influencer content allowed us to build credibility and advocacy for HuVa. Some influencers loved the product range so much they continued to share content and talk about HuVa beyond the campaign – meaning we had established a family of authentic advocates for HuVa.
We partnered with nine influencers whose content reached a total of 1,135,112 fans and followers.
WE ARE PART OF BASTION
Bastion is a truly integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency founded in 2009. We are Australia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA.
We offer a wide breadth of specialist capabilities across the communications spectrum including market research, brand and creative, advertising, corporate and change communications, PR and social media, digital and customer experience (CX), sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, merchandise, Asia marketing and communications, data analytics and panel management.