Monthly Archives: September 2012

Audience-specific marketing

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Brett is delivering Marketing Savvy 101 workshops to volunteers from the CFA at the moment. This has got him thinking: nonprofits should target specific groups with a specific marketing initiative, more often.

CFA marketing training

Brett's preparation is legendary.

For example when investigating likely audiences worth targeting as prospective CFA volunteers, the workshop came up with a strong list: shift workers, under 30s, stay- at-home mothers. All groups were seen as likely volunteers and audiences that were able to be targeted effectively, as they tend to gather together. This was good news as marketers love audiences that gather, as it makes them easier to reach.

Shift workers gather at certain factories and businesses, youth are to be found at secondary schools, TAFEs, sports clubs and bars; mothers might be found via schools and women-only gyms. It doesn’t matter if the ‘gathering’ is physical, online or via some media outlet – if they gather, they can be targeted.

However the CFA brigades represented could not recall designing a specific marketing initiative aimed at a specific audience. For example no postcard / flyer had been designed to target women and distributed in a way to reach them – say at women-heavy workplaces. No event aimed squarely at young people had been created and marketed accordingly and no outreach to factory workers had been undertaken.

When marketing resources are tight it is easy to try a scattergun approach hoping to connect to as many people as possible in one fell swoop. This is not marketing orthodoxy.

It may be worth making one important audience your be all and end all means that everything is orientated to one audience – the choice of marketing option, the creative, the copy and the distribution.

If you’ve tried this tell us how it went.

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CFA marketing training sets participants aflame (with excitement)

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Brett delivered the first of two marketing workshops for Country Fire Authority volunteers in and around the Dandenong Ranges at the Boronia Fire Station last Sunday.

What better way to spend Sunday morning?

Volunteer recruitment was the #1 priority for the workshop which took in some Hootville standards including:

  • knowing (truly knowing) your audience;
  • social media – the promises and reality;
  • creating meaningful traditional media coverage that serves your purposes.

Did you know that the CFA is Australia’s biggest volunteer-based organisation? Nor did Brett but with his training delivered it’s undoubtedly about to get bigger. Brett was delivering the training on behalf of Our Community.

Could your volunteer recruiters use some marketing training?

Brett will deliver a similar workshop for a different bunch of community-minded CFA brigade members this Sunday September 30 in Ferntree Gully. He is hoping to score a quick ride on an appliance afterwards.

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Brett to emcee Australian Sports Technology Network inaugural conference

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Brett is headed across the Westgate Bridge to emcee a new conference on the sports industry calendar: the Australian Sports Technology Network conference at Kardinia Park Geelong, Friday November 2.

emcee conference

Brett isn't Hootville's only elite athlete.

The ASTN was established this year to bring together the players in this burgeoning field – sporting associations, technology providers and major sporting codes and corporations – together. It is open to all interested parties.

Brett – who played goal attack in the indoor-netball-premiership-winning team The Commonwealthers in the early 1990s – was an obvious selection to host the event. He is busily carbo-loading in preparation. High performance doesn’t happen by accident you know.


Vale Emil Kogan

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Founder of the charity Embrace Education, Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development alumni and former Hootville staffer Emil Kogan died over the weekend. He was 25.

Vale Emil KoganEmil was one of the sweetest souls you’d ever have the pleasure to meet but he was more than just big heart and handsome face. Emil had the chutzpah to establish the charity Embrace Education that pairs disadvantaged high schoolers with university students. The idea is to keep the school students learning and connected. Guess what: the idea works and the charity continues to grow. Emil did this off his own bat, with whatever resources he could scrounge, while studying at university. Hootville will hold a fundraiser for Embrace later this year; likely to take the form of a webinar. Stay tuned for details.

After uni Emil sweltered in Manilla for a year as a participant in the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program before returning home and taking a job working with newly settled refugees.

We never met a person more committed to the nonprofit sector, nor one more determined to make a lifelong commitment to social justice. He was polite, humble, earnest, talented and a tad eccentric. He intuitively empathised with the underdog; the outsider and was precisely the sort of person we need in the game.

We have memories of him in the office, headphones on and air drumming as if his life depended on it. We recall him praising a slice of homemade birthday cake as if it were the last dessert on Earth. As receptionist at our Fireside Chat held at the Greek Orthodox church some years back, he inadvertently perverted any efforts to record attendance. Who came? Who paid? Who knows? But who cares?

He’s a great loss.

Hootville Communications extends its deepest condolences to his family and army of friends.


How long?

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how long do we spend on social media?

Prying into the lives of our exes clearly takes time to do properly.

This comes from a site which concerns itself with exactly what you’d expect it to – social media news. It’s rare in that it’s an Australian site.

We can’t vouch for it but it’s good to see a local perspective on social media as most stats and research comes from the USA.



How many?

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Average number of friends and followers

With age comes discernment. And trips to the pharmacy.

How connected are people? Well it depends on how old they are. Gender makes a difference too. Again, this data comes care of Sensis.


How many? How often?

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australian social media use

Non and heavy users pretty balanced out. Ain't Mother Nature wonderful?

What percentage of Australians really use social media? This comes from a survey by Sensis whose business (unwanted telephone directories) has been decimated by the web.

As you see on the left left, a third of people surveyed claim to not use social media. This group is more or less equalled by those who use it once daily or more often.

Sensis also reports that the web is getting greyer. Thus, your organisation has less excuse not to get its online act together. Build it and they will come; if a little slowly and carrying cups of tea.

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Searching for that last vital .34

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emcee for hire Sydney

Brett keeps his Auslan interpreter's hands full.

The feedback is in for Brett’s Disability Employment Australia conference emceeing performance. It was his fifth turn so you’d think he’d have it down pat by now but it seems he is still short of perfect – 0.34 short of perfect to be precise. The 600 or so conference-goers rated him a 4.66 points out of a possible 5. Brett is devastated to not be granted a perfect five. That’s his problem. If you want an emcee that divides your audience (between 4.5 and 5 out of 5) contact Hootville today.

In other recent moments of testimonial bliss David Seignior Melbourne program director at Centre for Sustainability Leadership said of Brett’s recent Media savvy 101 presentation: “We can’t express enough how grateful we are. We are certain you have upskilled our Fellows. Thanks.”  

Jan Phyland Communications Manager with Southern Cross Care said of her Social Media Savvy 101 webinar:  “I got more from those two hours than anything I had heard previously.  So kudos to you!!”

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Politicial campaign job available.

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Here’s an opportunity for anyone in Melbourne looking to rack up some political comms / campaign experience. Cr Claude Ullin of the City of Stonnington is looking for to employ someone in an extremely hands-on capacity for his re-election bid.  (The guy doesn’t know how to quit.)

political campaign job available

Help Cr Ullin take this building.

Claude needs someone to work, as of now, for 8 weeks up to 27th October. The role is a flexible – say four days per week of five hours per day between Tuesday to Friday. duties include:

 ·         Finding addresses

 ·         Mailing invitations

 ·         Helping with preparing correspondence

 ·         Preparing leaflets and promotional material

 ·         Arranging printing

 ·         Organising of manning 7 booths for election day

 ·         Organising people to assist with transport for people wanting to vote

 ·         Taking phone calls and allowing me to go out to campaign during the day

 ·         General administrative tasks

The remuneration is humble but it’s certainly not a voluntary position. This is primarily an opportunity to get some realpolitik communications campaign experience. Don’t contact Hootville about this position, talk to Cr Claude on 0417 773 833. Hootville knows him a little and he’s a good egg. When you do call him tell him it’s about time the City of Stonnington engaged Hootville to provide training for local community groups. Thanks. 


Good copywriting examples

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No doubt about it – this is good copy. Well a good headline at least. The rest is awful but let’s look at the positives:

Good copywriting example

Well HAVE you ever not read a text? HAVE you?

1. It takes advantage of every copywriter’s go-to tactic – the rhetorical question. We like rhetoricals because they connect with the audience.

2. It confidently delivers a truth (advertising folk sometimes call it an “insight”) which may just give the reader pause for thought. In this case the insight is that text messages DO get read.

Anytime you give a reader pause for thought you have a chance to persuade them. You may also gain something akin to the reader’s respect for telling them something they didn’t already know.

After the headline the rest is pretty awful and yes, even we can spot some grammatical errors. Still; that headline is a winner.

great copywriting examples

Opening paragraphs like this aren't written everyday.

We truly love this great copywriting on the left for several reasons. That opening paragraph is a show stopper. We present it as part of our Copy Savvy 101 workshops and can report that 98% of our participants find it funny, attention-grabbing and disarming.

Additionally, we love it because it is exactly what you wouldn’t expect from the client (ABC Shops).  A brave copywriter submitted these words. Kudos to them.

Copywriting tip: when you have a left-of-centre idea never present it for appraisal by itself. Make it the third of three options when it will stand out against the vanilla opposition. This is especially true and easy to do when submitting alternative headlines or quotes for a media release. You may even deliberately choose to present two boring options as alternatives to your preferred, enzaned option. Yes we just made that word up. Feel free to use it.

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