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GovComms: The Future of Government Communication
32 minutes | May 17, 2021
EP#108: Let’s Talk Crisis Communications – with Tess Salmon
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to a highly experienced media adviser and communications professional, Tess Salmon. Tess is currently the General Manager of External Affairs and Communication at Western Sydney Airport. Before this she had roles as the Director of Media and Communication to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Media Manager for the NSW Police Force. In this conversation David and Tess discuss best practice communications during a crisis. Telling the story of how she responded on the spot to the Martin Place siege, where she was a media adviser at the time. Here she explains how it is important to stay calm and use your communications skills to instill confidence in other people. Tess also explains in detail how the day of the siege played out and how this moment has impacted her and given her lessons that she has taken into her career. Following on from this, Tess chats to David about her small business that she used to run, AUBE Communications, and what caused her to move from roles working in crisis communications to strategic communications instead. In this episode Tess also discusses her previous work as a journalist and how she utilises her skills in this field in her work today. David and Tess finish off their conversation looking at the work Tess is completing in the preparation for the new Western Sydney airport. How do you communicate the importance of this airport to such a wide audience? Discussed in this episode: What can everyday communicators learn from crisis communications? How can communicators learn from journalists? The importance of learning from every experience within your career.
39 minutes | May 3, 2021
EP#107: How to explain communications – with Merrin Fabre
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to strategic communication adviser, change manager and project manager Merrin Fabre. Merrin is currently leading the corporate communications team at the Victorian department of Families, Fairness and Housing. When not doing this, she is working with the IABC Victoria where she is currently their president. In this conversation David and Merrin discuss alignment and what you can do as a communicator to help others within an organisation get on ‘the same page’. What skills do you need in order to do this? How do you decide on the overarching view of where your organisation is going? Merrin also draws on her previous experience from working at the CSRIO and how she helped leaders, scientists and engineers within the organisation understand the importance of communication. Following on from this, Merrin explains that a communicators approach is not always the correct approach. That is why, when it comes to deciding on how to run your organisations communications, you must compromise your thinking and work with others from various sectors within your organisation to decide on the best approach that fits all. In this episode, Merrin also discusses how to utilise company values to drive culture and to drive change. How do you help leaders understand the importance of values in their decision making? David and Merrin finish off their conversation looking at how the pandemic has affected government staff in Victoria. How have they built resilience and continued to move forward? Discussed in this episode: How to align those within your organisation. The importance of collaboration in creating a ‘best fits’ communications approach. Why values are essential to driving change within your organisation.
29 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
EP#106: The Essential Tool: Social Media – with Francesco Di Costanzo
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the President of PA Social, Italy’s National Association for ‘new communication’, Francesco Di Costanzo. Joining us from Florence, Italy, Francesco is an expert in government communications, having over 16 years’ experience in the sector, as well as authoring many books discussing ‘new communication’ within the Italian government. In this conversation Francesco discusses how government communicators in Italy have adapted and changed their roles to help quickly and effectively communicate emergency information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Francesco discusses the tools that these communicators have utilized to do this, as well as how they have worked with different social media channels to help relay information from the government to the citizens. Following on from this, Francesco draws on his experience and insights to share some of his top tips for social media managers who work within government departments around the world and how it is vital now more than ever that we know how to use social media to our advantage. In the episode, Francesco also discusses the work that he and the team at PA Social do and how them and their members work together to help improve digital communications for government. David and Francesco finish off their conversation looking into the future, reflecting on where they see PA Social going in the next few years. To get in contact with Francesco and the team at PA Social, visit their website or alternatively connect with Francesco on LinkedIn. Discussed in this episode: How COVID-19 shaped and changed government communications in Italy. Why Social Media is an essential tool to government in 2021. What is PA Social and what role do they play in Italian government communications.
47 minutes | Apr 11, 2021
EP#105: Mastering Social Marketing– with Sharyn Rundle-Thiele
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the Founding Director of Social Marketing @ Griffith, Sharyn Rundle-Thiele. Joining us from Queensland, Sharyn is an expert in all things social marketing. Drawing from her background in commercial marketing, her current research focuses on applying marketing to benefit both people and the planet. In this conversation Sharyn discusses the true meaning of marketing and explains to us why it is one of the most misunderstood terms in the corporate world, and how we as communications professionals can learn to explain marketing to the world in the correct way. Sharyn also explains how effective good social marketing can be, using as an example a project that her and the team at Social Marketing @ Griffith worked on where they used social marketing to successfully reduce the death rate of Koala’s by dogs. Following on from this example, Sharyn shares with David and the audience some tips for creating a successful social marketing campaign, and how these steps can be incorporated into the work of all communications professionals. In the episode, Sharyn also shares with us how she feels digital technology has changed and evolved the communications professions. David and Sharyn finish off the episode focusing on the future of Social Marketing @ Griffith, and where Sharyn sees the organisation 12-18 months from now. To get in contact with Sharyn and the team at Social Marketing @ Griffith, visit their website where you can learn about all the courses that they offer on Social Marketing and find all their contact details. Discussed in this episode: Why is marketing such a misunderstood term? How social marketing can create behaviour change. Tips for creating a successful social marketing campaign.
45 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
EP#104: Agile Delivery – with Sonia Irwin
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Agile Delivery Adviser and Digital Delivery Transformation expert, Sonia Irwin. Sonia has worked in Canberra for over 25 years and is currently working with the Department of Agriculture, Water and Resources as well as directing her very own practice, Redgrass Communications. In this conversation Sonia discusses the role that Agile Delivery plays in Communications and explains to David how it is different from strategic communications. She explains that being ‘Agile’ is all about keeping a flexible mindset and rebranding yourself or your organisation. Sonia also shares her view on company vision and mission statements, and what steps you should take to create not only a good, but effective one. Your vision should be an ‘elevator’ that helps bring those in your organisation to where you want them to be. Using her insights gained from user testing and research, Sonia also speaks to her love of IT, however acknowledges that people can sometimes get lost with it, particularly when it becomes a bit intense with tools such as coding. As a result, she tells us the important role she plays in translating ‘tech speak’ to publics, and how she goes about doing so. In the episode, Sonia also shares her advice to government communicators at a time where the industry is going through rapid change due to the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. David and Sonia finish off their conversation looking into the future, discussing what Sonia hopes to achieve in her career in the next few months. To get in contact with Sonia, contact her on LinkedIn. To learn more about Agile Delivery, visit either Sonia’s company website, Redgrass Communications or the IABC Discussed in this episode: What is Agile Delivery and how can it assist you in communications. How the communications landscape is changing in regard to ICT. The importance of an effective company vision and mission statement.
45 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
EP#103: Communicate from the COCKPIT – with Chris Huet
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to communications coach, mentor and speaker, Chris Huet. Chris is based here in the Nation’s Capital where he works as a Communications Coach for Understood Consulting Services and a Speaker Coach for TEDxCanberra. As well as this, Chris has also led a fighter jet squadron and performed his very own poetry on stages across the globe. Taking all his skills and experiences into account, in this podcast Chris speaks to David about how people should communicate from ‘the COCKPIT’, a terminology her gained from his time in the air force. Chris explains the importance of reflection and how people, particularly those in business, don’t take enough time to reflect on their meetings, conversations or days in general, and how this is potentially damaging to them. He shares with David tips on how to fix this and how to fit reflection into your everyday schedule. Further breaking down his COCKPIT terminology, Chris talks about the importance of being considered and consistent in your communications message. He explains the role that emotion plays in messaging and why we must utilize it in order for our messaging to be successful. Chris finishes off the terminology by describing how to use trust and how to build it for the long term in order to bring all of the steps of COCKPIT together. Trust is the key to communication and is what Chris believes will unlock the full potential of any communication plan or strategy. David and Chris finish off the episode by discussing some quick tips for speaking in front of crowd, such as an ‘iron man’ posture, and how to project your voice. To get in contact with Chris for tips on your own communications, engage with him on LinkedIn or contact him through Understood Consulting Services website. Discussed in this episode: How the COCKPIT terminology will assist you in communications. The importance that trust and relationships play in maintaining strong communications with stakeholders. Why communication skills are vital for every career, not just someone who works in comms.
37 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
EP#102: Communicating with Action – with Barbara Tversky
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speakers to cognitive psychologist, Barbara Tversky. Currently located in New York, Barbara is a Professor of Psychology at Columbia Teachers College as well as a Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stanford University. She has conducted extensive research into the areas of memory, language, spatial thinking, event cognition, extended mind, diagrammatic reasoning, design, gesture and creativity. In this podcast, Barbara shares with us what she has learnt about the brain and how her research on gesture and movement can benefit communicators when trying to get an audience to understand or learn about a certain concept or idea. Barbara explains how the brain is quite complex, and as a result, when you are trying to get a group of people to understand something, you must do so in a way that easy for the brain to understand. She goes on to explain studies which she has conducted that prove how using gestures play a big role in helping someone understand a concept or remember a set of rules that they have to follow. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic seeing people separated and having to communicate through video conferencing platforms, such as zoom, more often, Barbara explains the difficulties that this holds for communicators and what changes she feels need to be made to these services, to allow the most effective forms of communication. Barbara explains that gesturing is a natural way of communication, and that it should be used. She also explains to David that humans are visual thinkers and therefore should not shy away from trying to visualize ideas and concepts to their audience. We end the episode with some tips from Barbara on how government communicators should use gestures and graphics to their advantage. Discussed in this episode: How our brains understand information and concepts and how we can best communicate them to one another. The importance of gestures and the research that proves how effective they are. How to communicate effectively when face-to-face options are not possible.
35 minutes | Feb 28, 2021
EP#101: The rise of Generation Z – with Anya Dua
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the Founder and President of the Gen Z Identity Lab, Anya Dua. Living in Miami Florida, Anya is the youngest guest to have ever joined us on the podcast. At just 15 Anya has appeared in The New York Times and Forbes, sharing her views on an array of political and social issues that the world faces. She is determined to change how the media views her generation and works hard to educate, inspire and empower her peers. In this podcast, Anya discusses the purpose and mission of the Gen Z Identity Lab. She also shares her thoughts on how Generation Z is viewed by the rest of the world and explains why they should be an integral part of government communications. From an idea in year 8, to the business it is now, Anya shares her story of how the Gen Z Identity Lab came to be and what the important research that the Lab conducts on Generation Z, means for government communications. Anya also touches on how the political landscape has changed globally and as a result their generation cares about and is involved more than ever in politics, and what this will mean for the future. David asks Anya what Generation Z can bring to the political table. Anya explains that no one understands Generation Z, like Generation Z, meaning that their role in a business can help create messages that target the audience best, especially when it comes to creating content for social media. Finally, we end the episode with an important message from Anya, to decision makers from around the world, on what you can do to help make their generation be heard. Discussed in this episode: What the Gen Z Identity Lab is and why it is important to the world of government communications. Why Generation Z care more about politics than they ever have before. How decision makers can utilize this generation to create more targeted messages to their audience.
37 minutes | Feb 21, 2021
EP#100: Communicators in Leadership – with Kerri Hartland
On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the Principal Advisor to Proximity, Kerri Hartland. Before joining Proximity, Kerri was the Secretary of the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. Throughout her thirty-year APS career, Kerri was also the Deputy Director General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). In this podcast, Kerri discusses her new role in government consulting at Proximity. She gives her thoughts on the evolving role of consultants in the public sector. Kerri explains how her background and skills as a journalist and a communications professional translated into her role as the Secretary of a major government department in Australia. Kerri reveals what it is like being a Secretary in the Australian Public Service (APS), shining a light on the job of some of the most important people in government. What skills are needed to become a Secretary? What is it like briefing a government minister? How do you get a Secretary’s attention? Kerri discusses what she enjoyed most about her career in the APS, including what her favourite roles were. She reflects on what she did well as Secretary, and what she could have done better. She gives some advice on how public servants should interact with department heads, and how communications professionals can get their foot in the door of a Secretary’s office. Kerri and David examine the changing media landscape in Australia, and what this means for government and communications professionals. They also discuss the coming COVID-19 vaccination campaign, and what communications professionals and APS leadership should know about the road ahead. Discussed in this episode: What it is like working as the Secretary of a major government department in the APS. The skills of a journalist, and their relevance to a career in the public service. The career of Kerri Hartland, a journalist and communications professional who ascended to the highest rungs of the public service ladder.
31 minutes | Feb 14, 2021
EP#99: The Power of Listening – with Oscar Trimboli
On this special episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to listening expert Oscar Trimboli. Oscar Trimboli is the host of the award-winning podcast Deep Listening and is also the Author of Deep Listening: Impact Beyond Words. He is considered one of Australia’s foremost experts on the topic of interpersonal listening. He is also a consultant to organisations such as Google, Qantas, News Corp, PayPal and TripAdvisor. As a consultant, Oscar helps executive teams perfect their listening skills to the benefit of their customers and employees. In this episode, Oscar discusses the importance of interpersonal listening. He explains how improved listening skills can lead to a more positive and collaborative workplace. Oscar also explains the five levels of listening and how to improve each of these in order to reap their rewards. Oscar goes on to talk about the listening skills required to be a great leader and gives advice for government communicators about how they can improve their practice by advancing their listening techniques. This interview is a recording from the 2020 GovComms Festival, which featured hundreds of speakers from around the world. To view more content from the GovComms Festival, please visit the GovComms Institute website. Discussed in this episode: The five levels of listening and how to unlock them. The importance of listening within government, and how government communicators can improve their listening skills to the benefit of citizens. Practical advice on how to become a better listener.
35 minutes | Feb 7, 2021
EP#98: Thinking like a System – with Howard Parry-Husbands
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Howard Parry-Husbands about how systems thinking can be used to solve complex problems. Howard is the CEO of Pollinate, one of Australia’s consulting and market research leaders in the world of branding, innovation and communications. In his spare time, he is studying a Masters in Systems Thinking and Forestry at the Australian National University. Howard and David discuss the definition of systems thinking, which Howard believes is: the recognition that everything is related to everything else. This means that a solution to one problem can inadvertently create another problem. In order to use systems thinking to solve these complex issues, Howard explains how we first must understand the key parts of the complex system which we are working with. He explains this using the Murrray Darling Basin as an example. Howard believes that humans are bad at understanding complexity, and better at understanding cause and effect. Therefore, we need to use metaphors, visuals and storytelling to communicate your complex message to the public. As an example, Howard compares how the COVID-19 pandemic was dealt with in Australia, New Zealand and the US. Howard believes that this comparison highlights the effects of what happens when systems thinking is put in place, compared to when it’s not. Howard also gives his opinion on the single-message strategy, and how it is incompatible with an understanding of systems thinking. According to Howard, governments regularly make the mistake of giving one message to multiple audiences (the single-message strategy). Discussed in this episode: What is systems thinking, and how can it be used by communications professionals? The benefits of understanding systems thinking from a policy perspective. What is the single-message strategy, and why do governments need to stop using it?
21 minutes | Jan 31, 2021
EP#97: Communicating Cyber Security – with Shey Dimon
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Shey Dimon about the role that government communicators need to play in communicating cyber security messages. Shey is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Penten, an Australian cyber technology company based in Canberra. Shey has over a decade’s worth of experience working in communications in and around government. In the past she worked for the Head of Australian Defence in Washington DC, as well as the Marketing and Communication Manager at BMT. Shey and David discuss the best resources that communicators can use to understand the world of cyber security. Shey explains the value the government’s official cyber security strategy document that was released in August last year. Shey runs through some tips that everyone can use to minimise their chance of being the victim of cyber security attacks in the future. Shey explains why it is important to tell someone immediately if you have experienced a cyber-attack, whether it is in the workplace or at home. Shey states that government workplaces need quarterly updates about what they should do to avoid cyber-attacks, as well as information on recent attacks that may have happened nearby. To make things interesting, Shey recommends using other companies who have been breached by a cyber-attack as a case-study that you give to employees for them to learn from. This podcast also explores the work of the company that Shey works for, Penten. In 2020, Penten created technology to all those who work in Defence to communicate both securely and flexibly. These technologies allow Defence staff to work from home, which in the past was seen as a near impossible scenario. Shey also discusses her opinion on Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how AI can be used as an offensive and defensive tool. Shey believes that AI is something that Australians should not be scared of. For more information about Penten: https://www.penten.com/ Discussed in this episode: What communications professionals need to know about cyber technology. How we can all shield ourselves against the threat of cyber-attacks, in the workplace and at home. The work and achievements of Australian cyber-technology company, Penten.
36 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
EP#96: The Road to Alignment – with Zora Artis and Wayne Aspland
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Zora Artis and Wayne Aspland about their recently-released research that is now available on the GovComms Institute. Zora Artis is the CEO of Artis Advisory and an alignment strategist with almost three decades of experience working with government, private, and non-profit sectors. Wayne Aspland is the Principal at The Content Factory. He has more than fifteen years of experience in corporate, leadership and internal communications. In this podcast, Zora and Wayne discuss their recent study: The Road to Alignment. The pair firstly discuss the definition of alignment, which they believe as being all about unity. This study is a follow-up to their 2018 study into strategic alignment, which found that many organisations struggled with their alignment strategies, and that this was because people either didn’t know how to align or they were not committed to it. Since writing this paper they realised that COVID-19 has caused some organisations to be more aligned and others to be less. Working remotely has played a role in this, as well as other variables that were present before the pandemic hit such as having ill-defined values. Zora and Wayne have created a four-step strategy: one VISION, one STORY, one TEAM and one VOICE. The pair discuss this strategy step-by-step in this podcast episode, explaining that these steps involve gaining support from an organisation’s executive team, creating a narrative about your organisation that resonates with your staff, and working together with them to ensure that this narrative is communicated by the staff correctly and effectively with each other and the public. Zora and Wayne show that communications done well can act as a fundamental enabler for alignment. To read Zora and Wayne’s latest paper visit: https://contentgroup.com.au/govcomms-institute/ To find out more about alignment visit: The Content Factory: http://www.thecontentfactory.com.au/ Artis Advisory: https://www.artisadvisory.com/ Discussed in this episode: What is alignment, and why is it important? How has COVID-19 impacted the level of alignment in organisations? What role do communications professionals have to play in improving alignment?
29 minutes | Jan 17, 2021
EP#91: Building and Sustaining High Performing Teams (The Dallas Mavericks) – with Donnie Nelson
In this special episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Donnie Nelson, the General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team which competes in the NBA. This podcast is a recording of a session from the 2020 GovComms Festival. To see even more content from the GovComms Festival, please visit the GovComms Institute website. Over the coming months, we will be uploading all of the content from the Festival to the website, so stay tuned! In this episode of the podcast, David and Donnie discuss the secrets to bringing a team together and sustaining high performance over a period of time. Donnie explains why he thinks the secret to leadership is understanding the ‘human business’. Donnie is one of the most successful and respected General Managers in basketball. He brought together the Mavericks team that won the NBA championship in 2011. David and Donnie also discuss how the Dallas Mavericks have been able to bring together people from a wide array of backgrounds. They discuss how to unite a diverse group of people around a common goal. Donnie explains that a commitment to winning an NBA championship is the first, second and third most important quality in a player. Donnie claims that too many people in basketball are ‘blinded by talent’, and that not enough focus on motivation, drive, integrity and teamwork skills. Donnie explains how he managed to get everyone in the Dallas Mavericks organization, from the owner Mark Cuban down to the ball boys, united behind a common goal. Donnie also discusses the importance of listening, communication and patience in the development of high-performing teams. Discussed in this episode: How Donnie Nelson uses communication and listening practices to get the best out of elite athletes competing in one of the biggest sports in the world. The Dallas Maverick’s victory in the 2011 NBA Championship. How the Dallas Mavericks have been able to unite a team, and an organization, around a common goal, and how non-sporting teams can implement those same techniques.
33 minutes | Jan 10, 2021
EP#94: Building and Sustaining High Performing Teams (England Rugby) – with Eddie Jones
In this special episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Eddie Jones, the Head Coach of the English Rugby Union team This podcast is a recording of a session from the 2020 GovComms Festival. To see even more content from the GovComms Festival, please visit the GovComms Institute website. Over the coming months, we will be uploading all of the content from the Festival to the website, so stay tuned! In this episode of the podcast, David and Eddie discuss team Eddie’s success in building and sustaining high performing teams in the sport of rugby. Eddie reveals his keys to motivation and creating a vision so that your team can achieve its goals, no matter what industry you’re in. The stage is set as we learn that government communications teams have a real opportunity, in the age of digital transformation, to jump from being an under resourced function to taking a position of strength and leadership. Eddie then shares how to go about creating a team that is continually improving and providing value. Some important questions that are examined include: how to build an inspiring story for a team to follow, how to get team members to give their best in pursuit of your vision and why it is beneficial to surround yourself with people who represent different perspectives. This is an essential watch for those looking to improve their skills in leadership communication. Discussed in this episode: How Eddie Jones leads national sporting teams. Why listening skills are important to leadership and continuous improvement. Set long-term goals and visions that your team will follow and be motivated by.
51 minutes | Jan 3, 2021
EP#93: Technology, Listening and Communications – with Jim Macnamara
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Distinguished Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, Jim Macnamara. The two discuss the use of technology in the communications profession, as well as the importance of listening and two-way communication. Jim is an internationally recognized academic known for his pioneering research into measurement and evaluation of public communication. He is also considered one of the world’s leading experts on organizational listening. Jim recently presented at this year’s GovComms Festival on that very topic. Jim and David delve into the intersection between technology and communications, explaining what technology skills need to be learnt by communications professionals. Jim talks about why he thinks communications has changed the most out of any profession over the past decade, and what communications professionals need to know about these changes. Jim and David explore the ethical side of these technological changes, including the topics of privacy, social media algorithms, misinformation and fake news. Jim then explains why he thinks inter-disciplinary communication can be the solution to these ethical dilemmas. Jim also discusses how technology can assist listening habits, whilst also touching on the importance of building listening cultures within government. Jim discusses the nature of communication as a two-way process. He explains how and why communications, in its current form, has remained mostly one-way. Jim discusses why listening and effective engagement needs to be a core part of any communications practice. Discussed in this episode: The past, present and future of the communications profession. The importance of ‘listening cultures’ within communications approaches, and how to foster two-way communication practices How the intersection of technology and communication is changing the way government communication operates, and what we need to know about these changes. How communications professionals can take their seat at the decision-making table.
45 minutes | Dec 27, 2020
EP#92: Telling Untold Stories at Sydney Trains – with Vanessa Grimm
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the Associate Director of Media and Government Relations at Sydney Trains, Vanessa Grimm. The two discuss Sydney Trains’ approach toward handing COVID-19, as well as an exciting new venture from Sydney Trains. Before her career in communications, Vanessa had decades of experience working in the highest levels of the news media. She spent thirteen years as a journalist working in the news teams at Sky News, Nine News Sydney, and the ABC. She was also the inaugural Executive Producer for Sky News’ flagship political program Agenda. Vanessa discusses Inside Central Station, an upcoming television series about the work of Sydney Trains and its staff. Two years in the making, Inside Central Station will shine a light on the untold stories inside one of Australia’s largest and most complex government organisations. The series will examine the unique and exciting daily experiences of many of the 11,000 staff members at Sydney Trains. Vanessa also explores the topic of how Sydney Trains navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, what platforms they used to interact with train users, which channels worked best and how Sydney Trains changed their strategy after the March lockdown. Vanessa gives insights into how Sydney Trains celebrated their workforce, and how they celebrated pride in Sydney Trains at the difficult times during the pandemic. Vanessa comments on how Sydney Trains got used to encouraging people to not use their services. She explains why government agencies, of every stripe, need to become content creators by finding compelling and engaging stories within their organization. Discussed in this episode: Sydney Trains’ upcoming television series, Inside Central Station. How Sydney Trains managed to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. What worked and what didn’t in the effort to promote social distancing on Sydney’s trains. How and why organisations can look internally for engaging stories that can be used in communications campaigns that have an impact.
42 minutes | Dec 20, 2020
EP#91: How to Talk about Vaccines – with Merryn McKinnon
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to Merryn McKinnon, a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at the ANU. Merryn is one of Australia’s experts on helping scientists and policy makers communicate science issues with clarity and impact. She regularly appears on ABC Radio to discuss scientific issues, and she recently hosted the Science Communication Panel at the 2020 GovComms Festival. In 2017, Merryn published an academic paper about the history of vaccination campaigns and how government have executed vaccination campaigns in the past. With the COVID-19 vaccine around the corner, Merryn has come on to the GovComms Podcast to discuss the challenges and opportunities the government faces in convincing the public to get vaccinated. Merryn and David address the debate around whether focusing on emotion is more effective than focusing on scientific fact. Trust in experts and scientists has risen in 2020, but is appealing to people’s empathy and humanity more effective in changing behaviour? Who should be the government’s prime audience when it comes to their communications about the vaccine? Merryn also explains the role that trust in government plays in contributing to effective vaccination campaigns. She also explains how government and politicians can regain trust so that the public will feel more comfortable taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Merryn also discusses the anti-vaccination sentiment that is prominent on social media. She explains why people call themselves anti-vaxxers, and how government needs to communicate with these people. Discussed in this episode: How governments should talk about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. The movement of anti-vaxxers, and how government should communicate with people who are reluctant to take the vaccine. Trust in government, experts and scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic.
40 minutes | Dec 13, 2020
EP#90: Diving into the Pacific – with Jordie Kilby
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke and Jordie Kilby discuss the Pacific Region – a dynamic and diverse region that includes countries like Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Somoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea. Jordie is a communications consultant based in Fiji, but working across the entire Pacific region. Jordie began his career at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation working first in Local Radio in Canberra before a stint as a presenter and senior producer for Triple J. More recently, Jordie was a Communications Team Leader at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Fiji. Jordie discusses how the Pacific has handled COVID-19, the challenges associated with government communication in many pacific countries and what mediums work best in countries like Fiji. Jordie and David discuss the Pacific’s under-reported measles outbreak in 2019, and how it might have assisted their preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic. Jordie also discusses what he thinks are the similarities and differences between the Pacific and Australia, whilst also revealing how the Pacific views Australia from a diplomatic perspective. Jordie explains what Pacific nations like Fiji could teach his home country of Australia, the biggest and most influential country in the region. Jordie makes the point that the biggest lesson in communication that Australia could learn from the Pacific is the power of storytelling and listening. Discussed in this episode: What it is like to be a government communicator in the Pacific region. What people in the Pacific understand about listening that Australians do not. The importance of storytelling to communications in the Pacific. How many Pacific countries handled COVID-19, and how some managed to remain COVID-free.
44 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
EP#89: A Podcast about Podcasts – with Kellie Riordan
On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke and Kellie Riordan looks at podcasts from an entirely new lens. Tune in to listen to a podcast … about podcasts. With the help of Australia’s leading podcast expert, we explore the history of podcasts, as well as their future. Kellie is Australia’s leading podcast strategist, and the creative lead behind many of Australia's biggest podcasts including Conversations, Ladies We Need To Talk, and Unravel True Crime. She was also the founding Commissioning Editor of ABC Audio Studios. Kellie recently founded her own independent audio and podcast consultancy, Deadset Studios. In this episode of GovComms, Kellie reveals why she left the ABC to create Deadset Studios. Kellie leads us through the three phases of podcasting throughout history, explaining why 2020 sparked the third phase. She predicts where the podcasting profession will be five years from now, as well as the trends that will eventually take over the podcasting world. Kellie explains what makes a good podcast, how to build a podcast audience, what makes podcasts different from radio and television, what the best platforms are to host your podcast and what skills you need to be a good podcast host. Kellie also gives tips on how to avoid ‘pod fade’, a common trend when people get excited about their podcast, only to lose interest after only a few episodes. Discussed in this episode: The past, present and future of podcasts and the podcasting industry. The career of Kellie Riordan, and how she became Australia’s leading podcast guru. How to create and sustain a successful podcast in 2020. The three phases in the history of podcasting, including the third phase which began in 2020.
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