Monthly Archives: February 2015

New funding platform

Icon for Post #4355
crowd funding platform

Get yourself some money

Media Release

February 2015


StreetSmart  launches crowdfunding platform to secure grassroots projects

Melbourne based not-for-profit, StreetSmart Australia, is branching out from its DineSmart and CafeSmart fundraising events to launch an online crowdfunding platform and boost support for community organisations.

Adam Robinson, the founder of StreetSmart Australia, says crowdfunding is an innovative way to support local, grassroots projects that help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Since 2003, StreetSmart has raised over $3.1 million to fund 938 small-scale local projects by running its successful national events (DineSmart and CafeSmart). According to Robinson, this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the need for funds for local community-based organisations.

“We are now taking StreetSmart’s fundraising out of dining venues and taking it online using our ‘Projects’ website and harnessing the power of the social web,”  Robinson said.

“The new ‘Projects’ platform enables us to directly connect donors with community organisations that need support right now.  As State and Federal funding is cut our smaller community based organisations need our support.

“We want to build a community of supporters who see the benefit of supporting the smaller, independent not-for-profits. These organisations are out there on the front line, delivering critical support, often operating on tiny budgets and too small to raise a crowd themselves,” said Robinson.

Robinson said that crowdfunding gave the community a way to support this work and make a meaningful contribution, directly, while raising awareness for these smaller organisations.

StreetSmart is staying true to its roots and focussing the ‘Projects’ site to assist smaller charities, social enterprises and organisations that help people who are homeless or at risk.

“Homelessness is something we need to urgently address. While there are major structural changes that need to be made, such as building more affordable housing, we also need action to help people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk right now.

“We are keen to work with and support smaller organisations who are interested in this type of fundraising.  We also want to hear from corporate partners who want to join us, and the public, to direct their community support to where it is needed most” said Robinson.

For more information contact StreetSmart CEO Adam Robinson 0488 336419 or

Tagged ,

Great pitch leads to media hit

Icon for Post #4349

Within hours of last week’s Lowdown announcing Brett’s return to radio we received this snappy pitch which had the right tone, topic and timing. New shows, in any medium, are more open to suggestion.  And this positive, pithy pitch fills the quirk quotient. Kudos Lisa.

Dear Brett,

I see from your latest Hootville newsletter that you are looking for quirky stories to fill your latest radio spot. Well, do I have something for you?!

Wyndham City Council’s arts program is running a 3-month artist residency and currently looking for expressions of interest.

Big whoop? So what?

Well, the twist is that the residency will be based at the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee. Yes, the ‘sewerage farm’ for those playing at home. And why? Well, the plant’s wetlands location is actually an important habitat for thousands of bird species and some of Victoria’s most endangered animals, so we think it’s kind of important to tell the world about how critical this space is to our natural ecosystem.

By producing beautiful art inspired by the plant, and displaying it at a special exhibition, the people of Melbourne can see just how important the plant and its surrounds are.

Please see more details attached and let me know if you would like any more information at all. Our Arts Curator, Megan Evans would be more than happy to have a chat if you’d like to pursue this for your listeners.


Lisa Fairweather   |    Public Relations Adviser  |   Communications & Events

Seeking an intern: meet Victor

Icon for Post #4346

Victor Mims is a fine young chap who worked for Hootville some time back. He’s looking for an internship. We recommend him. Interested in exploiting his goodwill and hope for the future?  Read on:

Free PR advice for 10 Australian nonprofits

Victor is well dressed and enthusiastic.

My name is Victor Mims and I am currently completing my final year of a bachelor of Media and Communications at Deakin University.  I am interested in completing an internship during my last year. I am looking for an un-paid position to try and gain experience in Media, Communications, Journalism and Public Relations. I find working in the non-for-profit industry a rewarding experience and I believe my skills could positively impact on any organization.

I want to gain experience and new skills over a 100-120 hour work-integrated internship. I am flexible with my hours. I would hope the placement would include a combination of observation and completing tasks. I work at Meals on Wheels, which provides me with an interesting insight into the lives of disadvantaged and elderly people. I have a passion for social justice and helping people.  I consider myself outgoing, happy, hard working and a good communicator. My interests outside of work and study include AFL, fishing and travel.

Completing my Journalism Major has left me with a sound writing ability, having written a lot of editorial pieces, feature articles and hard news pieces for assignments.  I finished my Journalism major with a distinction grade point average. This interest in writing lead me to working with Brett de Hoedt on his website I was hired to write and publish the news article sections on this non-for profit, job advertising website. I used to update the website weekly with original and relevant news articles to gather search engine interest and to add credibility to the website.

I am also currently completing my Film Major at Deakin University. This has given me the ability to work with different mediums within my Media and Communication degree. I am now comfortable in front of and behind the camera. For example conducting filmed interviews and using post-production skills that are required to make a finished film product. I have always had a passion for film, which has led me create a lot of film work.  In 2010 my year 12 Media film was short listed in Geelong’s Short Film Festival.  Last year I made a short current affair news film on the possibility of a ‘lone’ terrorism act at the AFL Grand Final. I interviewed MCG staff, patrons and a board member of the Islamic Council of Victoria.

This documentary can be viewed at

My knowledge about creating digital media could be useful in supporting non-for profit organizations aiming to connect with a broader audience.

I would be delighted to have the opportunity to work with a professional communication team. I would be happy to provide any additional information that you require, such as examples of my work or a resume. Feel free to contact me with any questions about my application. I would be very happy to attend an interview and discuss an internship further with you.
Thank you for your consideration,

Victor Mims

You really should meet Lucy Perry.

Icon for Post #4337

Speaking at a Commonwealth Bank event for NFPs last year Brett was hugely impressed by CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia Lucy Perry who delivered a presentation that ranks as the best of its type.

“I train people in marketing,” he recalls. “I present about marketing. Lucy Perry gave the best NFP marketing presentation I have seen. Including mine. Damn her to hell.” Hootville spoke to Lucy about marketing and communications:

Do some NFPs forget that they are in the marketing game whether they want to be or not?

My team runs a dedicated communications and fundraising company on a business model. We don’t run the hospital in Ethiopia. We FUND it. So our team here focusses on marketing and fundraising all day long! We don’t get dragged into the mechanics of program delivery. I have always treated this as a world class company, delivering awesome communication to a targeted audience. I think it is a mistake for not-for-profits to think they are a poor charity that has to beg for everything or that they compete with each other. Get the marketing right and charities can access support that wasn’t even up for grabs before they made the needs of the organisation accessible and rewarding for the right people.

The many faces and hair colours of Lucy Perry.


You’ve got lots of work to do. Why do you leave the office to speak face-to-face with people? What does this achieve?

Great question. There are several million good reasons to go keynote speaking. Here are the top five:

1. My speaker’s fees bring in a LOT of funding our work in Ethiopia. My entire speaker’s fee goes to the charity so that long after my keynote is delivered, the impact of those funds will have ripple effects in Ethiopia for years to come. My public speaking is now a significant income stream for Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia – up to a quarter of a million dollars a year. Enough to fund one of our regional hospitals in Ethiopia.

2. Speaking engagements spread the word about what is essentially a niche charity but I package that up with other subject matter that conference organisers can’t get enough of. You think you’re attending a speech about social media? By the end of that speech, you’ve learned a lot about social media but you’ve also seen examples which illustrate the plight of our patients and you’re inspired to take action. It’s a win-win!

3. I have met some of the most fantastic people at some of the best conferences in the world. The other speakers at these events have become important contacts and good friends. I have also learned from seasoned professionals like Bernard Salt (he gives 150 speeches a year) on how to hone my delivery.

4. People in my audiences blow me away. I have met so many awesome humans after I have delivered a killer speech.

5. It’s fun. That’s one of my rules for everything. It has to be fun. I find keynote speaking a lot of fun, I learn a lot from the people I meet and I enjoy entertaining people. I truly hate the hour before a big speech, but after that it’s all fun.


What makes your presentations work so damn well?

I think my presentations hit the spot because I take people on an emotional roller coaster. I make ‘em laugh, I make ‘em cry! I make ‘em laugh again. I keep the pace really nice and fast, I plug my speeches full of stories and have learned the art of emotional storytelling. I sometimes cry when I speak about the patients in Ethiopia. Can’t help it. But it’s authentic and part of who I am and the journey I take my audience on. I never have notes and only speak to slides of images – usually photographs that I have shot myself. I’m pretty confident that there is no other speaker like me in the world. I guess we are all unique!

What role does media coverage play? Is there much interest?
We reach more than 2M people through traditional media every month. This is in addition to our social media reach of more than 20M a month. Given that our core donor profile is professional women who are aged 40 – 70+ traditional media is still an important part of the communication mix. A piece on ABC Radio National is GOLD and will net more donations than a Facebook post.

marketing speakers

Dr Catherine Hamlin. Worthy of a knighthood.

What role does direct mail and print-based comms play for you?
Any good fundraising professional will tell you that if you use cross platform campaigns (email, traditional media, social media AND direct mail) you will have a higher return.

We have two major appeals each year and these are delivered across all platforms including direct mail. So our key support database of 20,000 will see our two major appeals in their inbox, their newsfeed and in their letterbox. If we are on a winner, they’ll also catch an interview on the radio or see a story in a major metro paper.

I think that thanking our donors and retail customers is absolutely essential and while I am the boss, we will always send our donors and customers hand written thank you notes. No matter how big we get!

This is where print media and good old fashioned snail mail are essential. Our volunteers write these thank yous and take the time to personalise each note so that it is meaningful and heartfelt. We are nothing without our donors. Thanking them is an essential part of our relationship with them and print media is the best way to do this.

How the hell do you get such fantastic engagement on social media?
Why thank you! I was forced to get my head around the Facebook algorithm very early on because as a start up, we had no budget. Facebook was free and so it was an important communication platform to wrangle. When Facebook makes changes to it’s policy and announces it to business page admins, I take note! I adjust our Facebook content to maximise the algorithm and make the most of organic reach.

In a nutshell, that means creating original, sharable content that people find sociable and entertaining. Surprise and delight is a handy tool. People love to see something unexpected and humour goes a long way. Users don’t expect a charity curing catastrophic childbirth injuries to be funny or fun. We mix up the humour with spine tingling stories that get the most engagement. My rule of thumb is that if a post made me cry while I was writing it, it will make the followers cry and we have a winner! There are a lot of other little tricks for making the most of Facebook organic reach and I try to use those wherever possible.

More about Hamlin.


Tagged , , ,

Brett returns to radio

Icon for Post #4303

Our media release is below. Note that this weekend gig no way impacts on Hootville’s training, speaking, consulting and emceeing.

abc774 radio competition

No buying, swapping or selling here.

Saturday February 7, 1377 MyMP will see the debut of Hootville – a savvy magazine style program from 10am to noon presented by Brett de Hoedt.

de Hoedt last hosted 9pm to midnight weeknights on Talk 1116 a decade ago and was the last presenter on-air before the station relaunched as sports station SEN 1116. Since then he’s spent his time building his media and marketing agency Hootville Communications but always aimed to return to radio.

“Nothing compares to radio, especially in the Saturday morning timeslot,” says the former Seven Network publicist, Truth cadet and New Idea reporter. “You get paid to talk to interesting people. Plus I no longer have to feel guilty about not going to the gym on Saturday morning. Win, win!”

The Hootville line-up includes:

  • sport with sports tragic Julianne Page;
  • God and religion with comic, cleric and social commentator Reverend Howard Langmead;
  • movies and TV with critic Sash Fong;
  • food with The Age food writer and editor Roslyn Grundy;
  • thinking with Jason Clarke and Lisa Smith of Minds At Work;
  • technology with Tech Talk Radio’s Andrew McColm;
  • law and order with former Victoria Police detective office Ron Kileen.Media contact: Brett de Hoedt 0414 713 802 / /
  • There’ll be crosses to events across the state, vox pops and talkback. Segments of the show will be available in bite-sized podcasts. The show has a Facebook page: