Thursday, 28 November 2013

Meet Burke, PR to the Vatican

Last week Pope Francis hit 10 million Twitter followers. He’s also been in and out of the media for cold-calling worshippers, joking around, and hanging out with a little orphan boy on stage during a public address (above). The Pope Francis seems like a pretty cool dude.

What’s the deal with the Pope’s transformation into a media darling? It’s all thanks to Greg Burke: the 53-year-old Fox News correspondent turned Senior Communications Adviser to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, who is quietly changing the way the world views the Vatican city. Instead of the previous tactics of awaiting disaster control, Burke is leading the Vatican into the offensive, one newsworthy/viral-worthy titbit at a time.

Is it working? Last month Burke offered “10 things to know” about the Pope in a further step to humanise the Catholic leader. One of my favourites is number eight on the list, in regards to the Pope’s humility:

Living in a Vatican guest house instead of the apostolic palace, carrying his own briefcase on a trip… that’s just how the Pope is and people will have to “get used to it because we’ll see more of it,” Burke said.

It seems like Burke is doing a great job, and that we’ll probably be seeing more of Pope Francis and his antics!

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Coca-Cola to donate advertising spend to typhoon relief

It is incredibly rare to see a meme on the underdog site, reddit, praising the actions of a global giant. So when the above meme appeared on the forum, it was hard not to notice. Although discussion on the topic varies from critique to compliment, the commitment made by the company in support of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan is significant.

From 18 November, all media from Coca-Cola has been pulled in the Philippine area, with all efforts being directed to relief work. Coca-Cola stated “Any committed advertising space will be redirected to the relief and rebuilding efforts for the people in Visayas.” As well as this, Coca-Cola has already donated $2.5 million cash to relief efforts.

As one of the biggest advertisers in the region, Coca-Cola has not only dominance, but also responsibility to the community. Their swift action has not only demonstrated dedication, but also incredible marketing strategy. I know it’s probably very inapt to analyse the marketing tactics behind such a tragedy – but being a good brand means being a good neighbour. In this situation, where your brand has usually relied on the patronage of the people, it’s only right to give back when the people are in need.

Make a donation to the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal with the Red Cross.

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Wrapping up the year with Master of Marketing

I have said it many times, for me one of the great advantages of being a Master of Marketing student is the abundance of networking opportunities and collaborations with marketing practitioners.  Monday’s Master of Marketing event at the University of Sydney Business School CBD campus was another remarkable example of the continuing engagement of our program with the leaders of the Australian marketing industry.  

Despite the heavy rain, it was fantastic catching up with current and prospective students, teachers, alumni of the program, and a number of outstanding marketing industry executives. As well as a great atmosphere to network, value also came from the panel discussion “Marketing Innovation in the Digital Age” facilitated by Professor Donnel Briley.

The panel guests were John O’Nell and Craig Burtenshaw from Komosion, Georgia Scott from CTD and Kate Charlton, industry specialist and a lecturer of the Master of Marketing program. They shared their real business experience and spoke about what is digital marketing and what does it mean to be digital marketer.

Digital being a hot topic at the moment, there was a lot of discussion! Some key points of the lively and dynamic session is summarised by Professor Donnel Briley in the following order:
  • Be strategic – make sure that your use digital activities as a part of your strategic plan, not only for the technology sake
  • Educate your client and customer on digital – it is important to share similar digital experience with all your stakeholders in order to not be misled by them
  • Be transparent – digital marketing is always accompanied by data disclosure, behavioural tracking, online piracy issues, so marketers should ensure that their digital marketing is conducted in the right way
  • Stay constantly updated – in the digital environment things are changing all time, so it is a big challenge for marketers to keep up with the rapid technology development. You have to be truly passionate about what you are doing because engagement online is 24/7.
Although we all have degrees of personal and professional engagement with the digital world, it was incredibly beneficial to listen to the opinions of these professionals.

The cherry on the top of this Master of Marketing event was awarding two current students Adam Kennedy and Seray Korchagin who employed their digital passion throughout the course on various platforms. Prizes were also presented to students who achieved exceptional achievement in the 'Innovative Marketing Strategy' class.

Thanks to the University of Sydney Business School, Program Director Pennie Frow and particularly Associate Professor Terry Beed for hosting the event and allowing us the chance to engage with such an amazing group of people. 

Photos from the event.

Elena Sveshnikova

Current Student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

How to make a drop-dead cover letter!

Your cover letter is the first thing an employer will read about you, it is one of your key marketing tools, make sure it creates a positive first impression.  It should reflect your strengths and experiences in relation to the job you are applying for and be free of any spelling or grammatical errors.

If there is an advertised position make sure you target the skills sort by the employer for that role.  This means you can’t just use the same old letter for every job, you need to modify it for that role.


Where there is no advertisement (you might be asking for an internship or if a company would consider recruiting a recent graduate), you can use a standard letter but make sure you highlight your skills and experience relevant to employers in that profession.

Many large companies and government departments use online applications and some will not require a cover letter so you may not need to send one for every job you apply to.  Read the instructions carefully before you attach your cover letter.

Generally speaking cover letters should be no longer than one page in length.  The first paragraph should highlight why you are writing and your interest in the company and role.  The following 2 or 3 paragraphs highlight your skills, experience and attitudes relevant to the role – these will be fairly broad statements, you can include more detail in the resume.  Nonetheless you should provide evidence to support your claims. The final paragraph thanks the reader for their time and suggests arranging an interview.

Use good quality white paper and a font like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri, no smaller than 11 point.  Layout is important – the cover letter is a business communication and your communication skills are being assessed by the employer.

If you are emailing your cover letter to an employer, mention in the text of the email that you are applying for the position and that your cover letter is attached.  Attach the document as a either a Word or PDF file.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, your cover letter should be individual and differentiate you from other people applying for the role.

For more information and help on how to write cover letters and have your draft reviewed, please attend the CEO workshops and appointments.  Visit our website for more information:

Susan Smith
Careers Services Manager – Education, Careers and Employability Office at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Netflix is fighting illegal downloading

In our Integrated Marketing Communications class this past semester; we tackled the issue of piracy. After extensive research, many of us concluded that changing the behaviour of pirates is almost impossible. With Australia being one of the world’s most prolific downloaders, some of the research did point to access as being a solution to the problem. If people had faster Internet and if companies allowed instantaneous access to their shows, illegal downloading wouldn't be necessary…. Right?

Although research is still conflicting, with some research indicating downloaders will always download illegally regardless of access, the statistics are proving that access may be the answer. While there are many different sources of on-demand services out there, like Hulu and iTunes, Netflix proves to be the one that is fighting piracy more than the others.

When Netflix entered the Canadian market it saw illegal downloading rates drop by 50 percent, as subscriptions to the streaming service rose. In fact, Netflix say they benefit and learn from illegal downloading, monitoring what shows are trending and purchasing those for their company.

Not only is Netflix out performing its competitors, like Amazon and YouTube, it’s also directly affecting the traffic to sites like BitTorrent. The growth of Netflix has diminished BitTorrent’s traffic, which at five years ago attracted 31 percent of downstream traffic a day, to a measly 7.4 percent during peak traffic period currently. 

But when companies are offering similar access, what makes Netflix different? I believe it is their brand. With a strong personality, great interface, and personalised settings, Netflix is more like a buddy who likes watching TV, than a company providing a service. There is a whole science behind the algorithm Netflix uses to recommend you movies and TV shows, demonstrating the true dedication the company has to their service. And the results show it’s working.

I’ll be sure to keep my eye on the statistics if Foxtel ever let Netflix into Australia, because I believe everyone wants a caring buddy, just trying to please. That buddy is Netflix, and it may be the answer to Australia’s downloading problem.

Hongi  Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Getting emotional about Christmas with John Lewis

I've never been to John Lewis. I had never actually even heard of it until today. But every fiber in my being is telling me I should shop there – and it’s because of their new ad.

The £7 million ad shows the loving story of a hare not wanting his bear friend to miss out on Christmas this year, and was debuted during an entire ad break in Britain’s X-Factor. But does high-budget equal success?

Not knowing much about John Lewis, I did a quick search. Like many retail stores around the world, Christmas is like…well…like Christmas, and they go all out to try to convert even the most stoic to believe in the magic of giving. Known for their high-budget adaptations of traditional songs, every year John Lewis adverts have topped millions of views on YouTube. And this year’s is looking to do the same.

Emotions aside, I think this has ticked all the boxes. Although it may seem a little cliché – nostalgia, friendship, glowing saturated hues – I think certain conventions just don’t get old when it comes to Christmas. Some classics are classics for a reason. Could #bearandhare be to John Lewis what Santa Claus is to Coca-Cola?

Hongi  Luo

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Make your resume exceptional

With the final Master of Marketing course wrapping up last week, many students have already begun looking for job opportunities. Some have even sought out short- term professional experience opportunities to undertake during the study break period. To speed up the process, we spoke to the Careers and Employability Office at the University of Sydney Business School who gave us some useful tips on how to effectively navigate the job application process.

We start this series of posts with tips for resumes
Your resume is your marketing tool to an employer.  They will use it to determine if you have the potential to do the job and want to further explore this potential at an interview.   Your task is to ensure that your resume presents you in the best possible light and provides information that convinces the employer that you can do the job.  Therefore it should focus on the skills set needed to for the advertised role – this skills set is often described as the selection criteria.

So how can you focus your resume? 

Don’t use the same resume for every job, highlight information most relevant to the selection criteria.

Under each job heading when you record your duties, record the most relevant duties (to the job you are applying for) first.  Use active verbs to start the sentences that highlight your duties.

Make sure your resume is achievement oriented – highlight academic achievements and work based achievements.  These could include positions of leadership, prizes, awards, promotions, additional responsibilities, targets met or exceeded etc.  The achievements could be included under each job you have held or recorded as an Achievement Summary

Include a skills section that directly addresses the selection criteria. Don’t rely on a simple dot point list – state the skill and then provide evidence to demonstrate where you have developed or enhanced the skills. For example:

Special Events Coordination - Initiated several local and regional promotions. This involved extensive research, planning, negotiation of sponsorship, liaison with police, councils, community service groups, volunteers, sponsors and media. Organised production of leaflets and promotional material and distributed and directed operations on the day. Responsible for budget and the financial success of events.

Employers will spend a very short period of time scanning your resume looking for relevant information.  An often quoted figure is that they will spend no more than 30 seconds –although one recent report says only 6 seconds! Therefore you need to make it reader friendly, with clearly defined headings, and dot points instead of long blocks of text.

Many large companies and government departments use online applications and some will not require a resume so you may not need to send one for every job you apply to.  Read the instructions carefully before you attach your cover letter.

Online applications
Think about this simple equation:

Your strengths and skills + the skills and behaviours the job requires = A MATCH!

Online application forms are designed to see if you have the motivation, the necessary insight and the personal effectiveness to make the right impact as a graduate in that organisation.   

Follow these top 5 tips and ensure your application form makes it through to the next round.

PREPARE! – all the clues are right in front of you.
Research and analyse the company, its goals and values, the graduate stream that you are applying for.   All the clues you need to complete your online application form are there on the company literature, annual reports and website.  Attend employer sessions on campus and use every opportunity to network through careers fairs and campus events.

WHY THEM?  - what is it about THAT organisation that stands out?
Don’t proceed to tell the employer why you want to work for them by stating the obvious. Banks already know if they are in the top 4 in the country. You need to differentiate more on why they are your employer of choice, by the values they hold, the graduate programme they offer, the opportunity for exposure to key influencers and mentors in your profession.

If you need anymore information, visit the Careers Office

WHY YOU? - be clear about your skills and value.
Approach the application with a clear idea of your strengths and skills and your career aspirations. Draw out how this organisation will play to your strengths and enhance your career prospects. You need to be aware that every question they are asking on the application is a chance for you to market yourself well. Have you really understood the role that you are applying to and what you will be asked to do as a new graduate? Within a couple of weeks, you’ll be working with your own clients and solving problems that you might not know anything about!  Resilience, the ability to ask the right questions, the confidence to take the lead, the professionalism to deal with the situation. 

WHY NOT? – give them a reason to say yes!
Try to steer away from bland, vanilla statements that don’t really get to the heart of the question. Really THINK what behaviour or skill they are trying to elicit from the question. Be specific, be focused and drill down to a deeper level to describe your behaviours and prove why you should get the job.

For more information and help on how to complete resumes and application forms, please visit our website for more information.

Susan Smith
Careers Services Manager – Education, Careers and Employability Office, The University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 4 November 2013

Breaking News! Don’t Miss ‘Marketing innovation in the Digital Age’

Don’t miss the Master of Marketing Event at the University of Sydney Business School CBD Campus, Monday 18 November 5:30-7:30 pm. Here is some more about Komosion and CTD who are joining our panel discussion on Marketing innovation in the Digital Age. These companies are active in both digital marketing and in bringing innovations to the market place.

Komosion is a strategic marketing agency with more than 10 years’ experience in fusing strategy, creativity and technology to drive client success.  They operate from offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Vietnam, have a team of approximately 30 and have enjoyed 60 per cent growth during the last three years. Their expertise extends across a broad range of digital technologies including mobile, social and website platforms. Komosion has more than 115 clients spanning private sector companies, member- based organisations, not-for-profits and state and local government agencies. They have won the AMI Awards for Digital Marketing Excellence two years in a row, 2012 and 2013.

CTD is also the recipient of a 2013 AMI award for an outstanding consumer product campaign built around a marketing innovation. Gaining access to the Australian grocery trade can be difficult for international and local brands and companies with new and emerging products. For Australian retailers, sourcing innovative products to drive sales and market share growth can also present challenges. CTD notes that it works closely with retailers and suppliers to bring unique products to market and get them into shoppers’ bags. Currently importing from countries all over the globe, with branded lines across multiple categories and channels in the Australian market, CTD understands what retailers are looking for. That’s how CTD has become the preferred partner and one-stop-shop to innovative manufacturers looking to establish or reinvent their brands in the Australian market.

Register for this event.