Essential Report

The real leadership story: Abbott remains unelectable

Jun 22, 2010

First published in The Punch 21st June 2010

This is the week when another round of disastrous opinion polls was meant to spark a mass uprising within the Labor Caucus, as members convinced they were facing one-term oblivion hitched their wagon to Julia Gillard.

Everything was in place, a bunch of unsourced comment pieces predicting a move on the PM, an early Newspoll published in Monday’s Australian. And then? Well apart from a slight narrowing in preferred PM, no real movement in the polls.

Entering the spirit of leadership speculation, Essential Research asked our own series of leadership questions. What emerges is a completely different story – the failure of Tony Abbott to convince voters he is the man to lead the Coalition to the election. Now before you all start flaming me (again) for being a Left-ist agent of the evil ALP, let’s have a look at the questions we asked. Comments »

Buckets of Gold and Fifty Paces

Jun 9, 2010

The last time a determined interest group took on a federal government, EMC was behind the wheel – driving the ACTU Rights at Work campaign.

This time the attack is coming from the mining industry, and if reports are to be believed, the miners are forking out in three months $100 million – about four times the three year budget for the Rights at Work campaign.

Having worked on a campaign that most agree shifted government, it’s worth asking – is the Miners campaign as effective? Are the winning the hearts and minds of the battlers? In short, are they going to change the government?

Here are few lessons we learned from Rights at Work, and my initial reactions on how the mining lobby is faring. Comments »

Political Ads are All About Turnaround

Jun 4, 2010

When the Australian Workers Union decided to inject itself into the national debate on the resource Rent Tax, they called EMC with a challenging brief.

With a 48 hour turn around we were asked to script produce and deliver a 30 second TV ad that would rebut the increasingly shrill complaints of the mining lobby.

Working with Milko Productions, EMC adapted a concept we had been working on for some time – the notion that the mining industry is defined by what it takes out of Australia. Comments »

Coming Up With a Winning Plan is Only Half the Battle

May 8, 2010

There’s an old saying spin doctors are like poisoners – you can have successful poisoners and you can have famous poisoners, but you can’t have successful, famous poisoners.

For this reason, it’s rare for spin-doctors to win awards, but we are proud to say that last night EMC’s ‘Keep Our Cops‘ campaign, created for the NSW Police Association, was awarded the ACTU’s communications strategy of the year.

In many ways, Keep Our Cops is a fairly standard online campaign – many companies build them these days, incorporating online actions with real world events, hosing video, personal stories and email activism tools.
Comments »

Welcome to the Era of the Unspun

May 4, 2010

I have never been comfortable with the term ‘spin doctor’; nor for that matter with ‘flak’, ‘PR guy’ or ‘message manager’ – in fact the failure of this industry to come up with a name for what we do strikes me as a fundamental failure in our professionalism.

Today these labels are even less appropriate – as the traditional notions of a centralised media collapse and more and more organisations and individuals have the tools to tart their own conversations, what eve pretentions we have to managing communication flows have totally disappeared.

We are entering the post-spin era, where the trick is to actually be authentic and open up real conversations, genuine debates and encourage genuine not staged engagement. Comments »



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