Bastion Amplify bolsters team with new senior appointments
Following a number of high-profile national client wins, we are proud to announce a series of key senior appointments to our PR team in 2022.
Heading up our growing Sydney PR arm is the recently-appointed Nancy McDonald, who joins as Group Business Director to oversee client growth in NSW.
We also welcome ex Channel 7 News journalist Georgia Comensoli as our first Media Director, expected to further bolster our team’s media success for clients and drive innovation through an owned news platform for clients.
Finally Susana Liu joins as Business Director in Melbourne leading our B2B portfolio comprising a range of leading property brands including Jinding, Australia 108 and Melbourne Square.
The new hires follow a number of exciting new client wins, with the signing of European luxe camping brand Dometic, fintech disruptor Tiiik Money, Unilever and international developer SPG Land.
Bastion Amplify CEO Richard Chapman said the key hires came off a strong 2021 during which Amplify rebranded from Bastion Effect as part of the Bastion network’s new Think Wide positioning, and we oversaw one of the most important campaigns of the agency’s 20-plus years’ the Million Dollar Vax.
“Bastion Amplify continues to innovate and grow in the market with a number of terrific new clients and strong strategic partnerships in place with our long-term client family. We’re delighted to have Nancy, Georgia and Susana join, all of whom bring a wealth of experience, new ways of working and process into the team and specialist expertise,” said Chapman.
“It has been heartening to see throughout the pandemic how our teams have risen to the challenge, delivering truly integrated campaigns, and working with our clients to demonstrate the value of PR, whether it be in media, or with influencers on social. We will continue to see in our industry this year the growth of Corpsumer PR, more brands harnessing the impact of paid social and integrated social and digital, as well as the rise of owned news, something we have high hopes for.”
Nancy McDonald joins from Australasia’s leading pet specialist retailer, Petbarn and Greencross Vets where she was Head of PR & Content. Prior to this, she spent 13 years working in PR, marketing and journalism in Australia, working across clients including Hungry Jack’s, Kraft Heinz, Honda, Hyundai, Dr. Lewinn’s, Access Corporate Group and as a journalist and presenter for NewsCorp.
Georgia Comensoli previously worked as a journalist and Chief of Staff in the Channel 7 Newsroom based in Melbourne, filing for multiple national bulletins including Sunrise, Morning News, 4pm News, 6pm News and The Latest. Comensoli also has experience in the 3AW Newsroom and regional television including WIN News. Alongside her eight years as a journalist, she has experience in content and brand creation freelancing for global firm Goldeneye Media as well as six years Crisis Management experience with Melbourne firm Crisis Shield.
Susana Liu has worked with a range of leading companies across the property, financial services and tech sectors to deliver strategic communications and integrated campaigns. Previous clients include Charter Hall, Frasers Property, UEM Sunrise, Architectus, ME Bank and MessageMedia. Most recently she was an Account Director at Keep Left.
Social media in 2022
Over the past couple of weeks, a lot of publishers have started promoting their trends, findings and forecasts for the coming year. Off the back of this, a lot of interesting articles are being published about how people are using social media, and how we can look to capitalise on some trends to get the most out of some channels.
Below are some of the best insights and articles we’ve seen in our travels.
Video remains king
Video definitely killed the radio star and now perhaps the TV star too. A new study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association has found that consumers now spend almost as much time streaming videos on social platforms as they do watching traditional TV. Smart TV shows are getting ahead of this and streaming episodic productions on socials.
For brands it highlights the need to invest in video to reach your audience. And it offers hope for brands that can’t afford big ATL campaigns – smart social video just could do the trick.
More info HERE.
Sound and visual matter on TikTok
TikTok has recently published its findings on how sound and creative influences its user base. Sound or visual alone across social creative has meaning, but when paired together they can create something truly special. Through the combination of both sound and visuals on TikTok, brands cannot just become part of a current trend, but also create a brand new one.
Turn up the volume!
On Facebook, it is usual for 75% of video plays occurring with sound off. As a result, it is has become common practice to build for sound off viewing, utilising call to actions to get users to listen with sound or using subtitles to vocally driven videos. However, on TikTok sound is not only essential, but also expected, with 9 out of 10 users of the platform saying it is essential to the TikTok experience.
On the platform sound can take a series of forms, with one option being music. Music on TikTok is totally unique to any other social media platform, with a variety of music labels using the platform to gain awareness for their artists, and in some cases, those artists entering the Billboard charts off the back of a successful introduction on TikTok.
With 50% of users finding content with music more energising, uplifting and engaging, this trend encourages advertisers to utilise music. In fact, ads that use music experiencing up to 120% more awareness lift than silent ads, it’s hard to see why more brands do not utilise it more.
Another way brands can utilise sound is through brand linkage. A study last year found that ad recall increased by over eight times when distinctive brand sounds are leveraged in ads, when compared to other elements like slogans and logos. One successful example is Singapore Airlines, which created a 30 minute audio suite to simulate the sounds passengers would hear from their services, including lounge music, boarding, fight and landing audio. This has been rolled out across TikTok, where their brand is now heavily associated with any airline focused content that now appears on the channel.
More info HERE
Pinterest Shares New Insights into How Brands Can Enhance Appeal Among Gen Z Consumers
Pinterest is a platform that many brand bypass, however, it does have a lot of potential when used the right way to target the right people. Pinterest’s recent report into Gen Z users (people born after 1997) has brought up some interesting trends as to how they make purchase decisions online and how they use the platform as a whole. For anyone with an upcoming campaign for younger audiences this is a must read.
More info HERE.
Navigating a return to work
Is the traditional office obsolete? Is working from home the new norm? Is there a generational shift at play propelling us forwards? Our Senior Account Director Katya Ginsberg shares some of the insights from our client Unispace.
With Australia and New Zealand now ahead of the COVID-19 curve and other nations looking to the Trans-Tasman bubble for benchmark business solutions as the world starts to gingerly reopen, global workplace experts Unispace are championing a new office model to help businesses navigate their return-to-work roadmaps.
The strategy, build and design firm has developed a hybrid framework that coalesces the benefits of the collaborative office hub with the merits of one’s home for focused work – coined the Propeller Workplace.
The Propeller Workplace
Last year, a survey undertaken by 237 of Unispace’s clients, including ANZ Bank, Optus, Coca Cola, EY and Deloitte, concluded that businesses across the globe are looking for workplace solutions that improve employee retention, inspire collaboration and knowledge sharing, and normalise the true definition of flexible working.
The Propeller framework does just this; it encourages employees to seek out their place of work due to its culture and curated experiences, while also enabling employees to do their best work at home or close-to home in personalised spaces devoid of distractions.
This year, Unispace predicts that employees who are unable to work from home will adopt the ‘hub and close-to-home’ hybrid model which will see pop-up desks emerging in fringe commercial precincts available for booking online so that workers can avoid a lengthy commute while still reaping the benefits of a defined workspace.
For businesses, it is now about creating office environments that employees gravitate towards because of the curated, collaborative, and social experience it offers. Moving forwards, it is likely that the office will be seen as a complement to home-based working which will be used for concentration, learning and recharging.
As a result, office design will inevitably change, from occupancy levels in meetings rooms to a reduction in the number of single desks. This might mean a reduction in real estate for some and a redistribution and reinvestment in space for others to create a destination workplace centred around collaboration and enhanced technology.
Using predictive analytics
Global workplace experts Unispace have also developed a predictive analytics tool that models expected occupancy levels across different industries to help inform future workplace usage.
The tool leverages 3.2 million data points from the Bureau of Labour Statistics to help businesses decipher how their workforce will return to the office and on what basis. The tool is able to forecast the specifics of how many people can be expected back (i.e. headcount), when and how often they’ll be in the office and as a result, the spatial requirements of the office down to the square metre. It is customisable to different market sectors and uses an algorithm to produce augmented workplace data to help inform business decisions.
Across all industries, Unispace’s predictive analytics suggests 37% of the workforce will continue WFH 3+ days a week, even once a vaccine is readily available.
Some other high-level insights include:
- 40% of workers will work from home up to three days a week from 2021
- 20-60% percent of the workforce will continue to work remotely as a result of COVID-19 protocols
- 10-30% of office space will remain unoccupied (in addition to the 40-50% that was already typically unoccupied)
- Therefore, at any given time in future, a workpoint could remain unoccupied 60-80% of the time
The year of the pilot
While 2020 was the year of the survey, Unispace says 2021 is the year of the pilot – time to test new workplace concepts, draw people back into the office and measure performance to validate the new purpose of the office.
But with businesses re-examining how office space is occupied and looking to restructure space to accommodate an agile workforce, one of the biggest ‘return to work’ challenges that Unispace has identified is the power balance between physical and virtual collaboration.
In a post-COVID workforce it is no longer just about collaboration; it is about blended and inclusive collaboration to create a level playing field both at work and at home.
Customer feedback confirms that employees often feel disenfranchised when they enter videos calls inhabited by a large group of office-based team members, and even more challenging is deciphering how two or more groups operate harmoniously on Team’s Meetings in the same space at the same time.
As workplace experts, Unispace is committed to resolving these workplace semantics and rectifying the various power dynamics and nuances at play so that businesses can effectively champion inclusive collaboration techniques and triage physical and digital collaboration this year and beyond.
First to rise out of COVID-19, Auckland presented Unispace with an opportunity to administer its turnkey methodology to itself and deliver a post-Covid workplace at pace to showcase its industry-leading Propeller framework for clients and prospective customers alike.
In a nod to effective blended collaboration, the newly built Unispace Auckland studio features custom-designed video conferencing ‘Teams’ pods with high-performing acoustic treatment and technology capabilities that operate as a cost-effective alternative to built-in meeting rooms. These pods enable two or more groups to work uninhibited in the same space at the same time, as does the room booking system, desk and room occupancy sensors, 52 ergonomic work points, and open space technology that empowers employees to work to their potential, anywhere.
Riding the wave
Unispace asserts that the user (employee) and visitor (client) experience are important influencers in productivity, culture and wellness, and initiatives such as hospitality offerings, social events, and wellness activities can take the workplace experience to the next level. More so, the office space is reflective of the values that an organisation offers its users and can be leveraged as a strategic asset to encourage employees to return to work in 2021.
But for now, it is about riding the COVID-19 wave together and redefining flexible work for future generations.
One thing that is for sure, the office is here to stay.
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.