Author Archives: Brett

copywriting, social media, eNewsletter and SEO webinars

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It’s official. The internet is for more than just online shopping and pornography. It’s also for training. For the first time we’re offering a smattering of our training via webinar for everyone, everywhere:

Copywriting Savvy 101: write copy worth reading. We ignore spelling and grammar to look at writing in the real world. Improve your releases, letters to editors, opinion pieces, appeal letters, CEO columns and more. How? Well how about getting to know your audiences first, developing a copywriting brief and getting those in charge to adhere to an editorial code of conduct? Plus we’ll work on quotes, headlines, captions and more. (New additional session) Thursday October 20 at 12.30am. Read more…

SEO Savvy 101: Help your website meet friends and influence people as it rises to the top of the Google heap. Nonprofit-related search terms are (relatively) uncompetitive – page one is there for the taking. Our achievable, inexpensive, minimally-nerdy ways to improve your search engine results can be actioned immediately. This is aimed at anyone wanting more from their website – marketers, fundraisers, volunteer co-ordinators and CEOs – not techie types. Thursday October 27, 10am to noon. Read more

Social Media Savvy 101: move from using social media to exploiting it. Learn to battle Facebook’s EdgeRank system and discover ways to build a cult-like Twitter following. Also: finding and deciding content, dealing with negative comments, when to post. We’ll look at nonprofits using social media to its best advantage and yes, we’ll overview Google+. Thursday December 1, 10am to noon. Read more…

eNewsletter / eMarketing Savvy 101: eNewsletters aren’t sexy but they reach more people, more reliably creating more response other options. Save thousands of dollars while reaching thousands of people. Agenda: moving from Outlook to a genuine eNewsletter system, creating and building databases, analysing statistics, finding the right content, trigger emails, tricks of the trade. Thursday December 8, 10am to 12.30pm. Read more…

Of course you can always commission a webinar or workshop for your group. Dozens do and and they’re all getting smarter than you courtesy of: Media Savvy 101, Marketing Savvy 101, Speak Savvy 101 and Online Savvy 101.

Webinars and workshops are backed with notes and follow-up coaching. Glowing testimonials, details and bookings at www.hootville/training or call Brett de Hoedt, Mayor of Hootville Communications 03 9017 1062.      


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Welcome to the Lobbying Age

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Updated October 3, 2011

Lately, Brett’s been banging on about the rise and rise of the lobby group in Australian public life and policy. He didn’t expect to get confirmation from one of the nation’s most influential lobbyists Mitch Hooke, chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia who recently told the Australian Financial Review:

…over the period of the past four years, there has been a profound shift in the manner of public policy development and implementation. The new paradigm is one of public contest through the popular media more so than rational, considered, effective consultation and debate. 

Mitch is right. Welcome to the Lobbying Age when; more than ever, issues will be prioritised and dealt with in direct accordance to weight of the lobby group that brings the issue to the attention of our politicians. The Minerals Council spent $17 miliion fighting the original mining tax.

Lobbying campaigns are on the rise

Lobbying campaigns are on the rise and rise.

Big interests have put away the gloves – look at slick national campaigns by the mining, tobacco and gaming industries. These huge anti-government policy campaigns will become standard issue in years to come.

This is entirely in step with American developments where citizens have the “right to petition” enshrined in their constitution. We don’t but that doesn’t mean a thing. The biggest, most threatening lobby will win. Good policy be damned.

The best organised, financed and connected will benefit. Right now that means mining, media, gaming, pharmaceutical and banking are winning. You don’t necessarily need disposable income to be a powerful lobby – the Christian lobby has huge influence in issues such as marriage equality and equal opportunity law exemptions despite miniscule church attendance. They just know the right people.

Some groups have no formal structure – Western Sydney is an obsession with our politicians. It makes its ineloquent presence felt through junk radio and television. Boat people? We don’t think so. Gay marriage? We don’t think so. Carbon tax? We don’t think so.  Flags worn as shawls. We think so.

So how effectively do the education, aged, disabled, secularists, youth and community sectors make their presence felt? Not so good, though the NDIS announcement was a massive feather in campaigners’ caps. Environment rates better. The best mass campaign of recent years was the ACTU’s Your Rights At Work campaign – mind you they had a lot to work with including Work Choices and a out-of-favour government.

The pro-carbon tax lobby has just put this out. And how about this pro coal seam gas number? Pretty authentic, no?

Regardless; we need fierce and independent peaks ready to campaign as relentlessly as their opposing forces. Seriously – do you think things are going to get better otherwise?

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Astroturfing and fake twitter accounts

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This ABC Background Briefing report confirms what we all know – PR types are full of lies and have no ethics. Oh – and all those hot chicks who are following you on Twitter? They’re fake. It’s all pat of creating fake grassroots movements to make clients look more influential than they really are. It’s called AstroTurfing. It’s a good listen. We wonder if the Public Relations Institute of Australia ex-communicated any members who appeared in the story?


That lucky farmer will soon be able to set his water on fire. Cool. Thanks Big Mining.

AstroTurfing (the practice of creating fake grassroots movement) has been around for a long time but the interweb has made it more effective than ever.  

For instance, have a look at this website that argues in favour of coal seam gas mining. Not exactly AstroTurfing but a classic example of how, in the lobbying age, the big guys are always willing to spend their dosh to create the appearance of a groundswell of support.

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Emcee Brett de Hoedt again judged short of perfection

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emceeing Australian INstitute of Company Directors


Having recently attained a score of 4.85 out of 5 for his conference emceeing in Brisbane, Brett de Hoedt was granted 4.44 out of 5 by the tribal chiefs (otherwise known as nonprofit directors) at a recent Australian Institute of Company Directors event in Melbourne. 

“I guess that’s a downward trend,” observed the media trainer and emcee who used the term “bollocks” twice in his AICD presentation about nonprofit marketing but declined to utilise PowerPoint.  

“Still; at least I have something to aim for,” he said. “I’m refusing all non-carbohydrates until I can find the extra .56 that separates me from perfection.”

The link between carbohydrates and public speaking remains unclear.

Jennifer Bate from the AICD ignored Brett’s request for pasta but added; “We have had some fantastic feedback. I hope you feel the effort was worthwhile; it certainly has been from the audience and the institute’s perspective.”



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Plotting how lobbyists do do their voodoo

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We think this diagram could be equally as relevant to tobacco, gaming, healthcare and other big-lobbying industries. 


This plan seems to have worked swell so far.


It’s the work of Riley E. Dunlap, regents professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, and Aaron M. McCright, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University.  At least now we know what they do all day.


There are too many “I”s in the Colonel

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Churchill judged a better speechmaker than Kadafi - no wonder he's happy.

This LA Times piece compare Churchill to Kadafi in the speechmaking stakes. Guess who wins?

Crowdfunding: advice worth reading

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It grows on the interweb silly - not on trees.

‘Crowdfunding’ is one of those terms that the digerati and social entrepreneurs like to throw around. We suspect that it is similar to showbiz and dotcom case studies – one tale of success inspires thousands of failed attempts.

Regardless, this piece from Social Media Examiner is worth reading if you’re into free money from people who you have never met.

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Grammar geeks; lend me your ears.

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grammar girl

See? Told you she was cute.

We know that many of you give a damn about grammar. Hell; some of you even use the word “verb” to instead of “doing words”. Bless you. If you like to grammatically correct you should meet Grammar Girl. More than just rather cute, GG creates rather good audio lessons / editorials which can be heard with the click of a button. This one should be listened to by anyone who writes, as it addresses writing in the active voice.

Like me. Really, really like me. Say something. Please.

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Direct from the Department of Duh comes this revealing observation: asking people to like or comment on your Facebook leads to more likes and comments. A lot more.

Likes are easier to extract than comments. Do you ask? How often?

Is this important beyond ego gratification? Oh yes.

As we have said here, here, here and here  and here  and here and here creating interactions leads to a better EdgeRank meaning more of your Facebook content will be shared to more people, more often.

BTW – if you find this post at all helpful please use the social media buittons below to spread it.

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Sydney emcee meets vital organ about town

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Sydney emcee at conference

He's really a down to earth guy. Kinda quiet. Always smiling.

Cynics often claim that the life of an emcee is vacuous; filled with nothing more than champagne bubbles. Well they are correct. In what other role could you hobnob by the Harbour with larger-than-life Love Your Liver campaign mascot O’liver? (Well we suppose you could work in hepatitis prevention but that’s another story.)

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