Undermining women’s threat is bad for men, too.

I just read the most disturbing article. A female primary school teacher who tried to have sex with her 10-year-old student walks free of jail, with her name on the sex offender list for eight years and a community correction order.

The news is deeply disturbing for any right thinking person, I’m sure of it. Especially because, as the victims father so aptly put it, ‘if it was a 46-year-old man and a 10-year-old girl… it would most likely be a different outcome’.

Such a punishment doesn’t demonstrate any level of gender equality. I’m not for a second blaming society on what happened to this poor child, but I am holding it responsible for the punishment of his teacher- who tattooed his name to her chest with an infinity symbol.

While our society continues to undermine the agency of women, this goes further than to handicap all the decent, smart and worthy women we know. It enables those wrongdoers who are deserving of retribution to walk away largely unscathed. If you read, watched or listened to this story and thought it an example of gender equality working in the favor of women, I beg you to keep reading.

Not only is that statement linguistically illegitimate- if you are the victim of inequality you are deemed inferior and therefore this can only work against your favor- but it fails to recognise that women can be threatening.

If more value was placed in the power and agency of women, maybe the severity of this crime would have been brought to justice in a more deserving way.

If you’re too consumed in the facts of that situation, I’ll give you another example: the elevator. Unless you’ve been living under a cactus and didn’t catch wind of the Solange Knowles attack on brother-in-law Jay-Z in the elevator of an American hotel earlier this year, you’ll have noticed all the jokes and memes created in the aftermath of the leaked CCTV footage. While no parties appeared physically injured as a result of Solange’s attack, the incident was still written off by many as laughable. Why? Nobody would be joking about, or trying to justify (by considering what Jay must have done to ‘deserve’) this situation if it were reversed.


It is not funny when women are violent and it is not harmless when women are predators. These are awful crimes against humanity and we all need to recognise that in brushing these incidents off, we aren’t making it any easier to be female than male. We’re undermining their ability to cause damage. We’re doing the opposite and it isn’t good for anyone.


What we can learn from transparent fashion bloggers

Last week Abrakedabra wrote about the need for fashion bloggers to disclose information about sponsorship and working with particular brands. Abrar focused on the cost of featuring in Sydney Fashion Blogger‘s posts, up to $850. While Sydney Fashion Blogger has been criticised for her lack of disclosure, some bloggers use transparency to build authentic relationships with publics. 

PR practitioners understand the need for transparency in an organisation, especially when it comes to affiliations with big brands.  

One entrepreneur who understands this need is Australian fashion blogger Nicole Warne (aka garypeppergirl). In an interview with Renegade Collective, Warne spoke of her qualms with accepting “gifts” from brands, saying that she no longer accepts them due to the associated expectations.

“I don’t do sponsored posts and if I have worked with a brand, I’m quite clear on communicating that I’ve partnered with them.”

 Warne has been criticised by Jonathan Moran (The Daily Telegraph) for her position as a blogger. Moran noted Warne’s current location as “a freebie around Europe as a guest of Contiki in exchange for daily social media posts”.

As Blogger Mrs Woog stated in her guest post on Mumbrella, it is okay to get paid for your work. And Warne was very clear about her relationship with Contiki in all of her captions on her “daily social media posts”. 


PR practitioners can learn a lot from these often-misconstrued bloggers. The good ones, like Warne, understand their audience, respond personally to emails and engage only in things they “love” in order to continually connect with their followers.  

Here is why we need to learn from fashion bloggers. According to BamRaisers:

  • More than 60% of U.S. online consumers say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of reading a bloggers recommendation, and;
  • Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines


So next time you discover a fashion blogger, judge more than her cushy title, because we can learn some good (and bad) internet etiquette tips from them. Warne doesn’t have 826,303 instagram followers for nothing. 

Getting publics to do more than ‘like’ the social media presence of the NFP sector


Turning online awareness and communication into actual engagement is an issue plaguing all areas of PR. The evolution of web 2.0 has empowered publics by giving them an ever-increasing ability to share their experiences with an organisation. The problem is: how can we shift our public’s awareness to changes in behaviour?

This issue is particularly relevant in the not-for-profit sector (NFP) and non-government organisations (NGO), who are constantly dealing with “slacktivists“.


As posted on PR Daily, an outstanding campaign relating “likes” on social media was the Likes Don’t Save Lives advertisements, made by Forsman & Bodenfors for UNICEF Sweden in 2013.

“Social media is a very good tool tog et attention to a specific topic,” says UNICEF Sweden’s Director of Communications Petra Hallebrant. She noted that while this helps “spread the word”, likes won’t save lives.

In February, The Guardian reported on UNICEF’s campaign, with:

  • Tweets relating to the campaign: 10 500
  • Views on the advertisements: 750 000 +

The result of the campaign was deemed successful due to the action that followed: Enough money was raised to vaccinate 637 324 children against polio.

This problem is not specific to UNICEF, so how can PR practitioners increase engagement from potential publics (aka donors)? 

According to Karen Sutherland, researcher at Monash University, it is important to be “user centric” and maintain a lighthearted tone throughout your social media activity.

Sutherland’s research (due to finish in 2015), has highlighted three key problems that might be stopping NFP organisations from engaging key publics:

  • Posts are too long
  • Posts are too negative
  • Posts and calls-to-action are too frequent

My advice:

  • Keep it relevant to your audience: they need to be interested!
  • Communicate positive changes your organisation has made
  • Emphasise a specific call-to-action (donate please) and keep this message clear across all departments (this will fit nicely with your integrated marketing campaign)

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! x

Since when was our PM a chief media regulator?

Out of everything said by our politicians and journalists in the last two days regarding the Tony Abbott’s outburst at the perspectives of the ABC, this comment from the PM has been a major stand-out:

“You would like the national broadcaster to have a rigorous commitment to truth and at least some basic affection for the home team”

To me, affection for the “home team” means affection for Australia and all its citizens, not just the views and actions of one political party. Don’t we have a right to exposure of multiple views from multiple media organisations? Abbott wasn’t complaining during the 2013 election when News Corp took Rudd and the labor party to town on Australia’s door-steps each morning.

 Why should we give our government, our navy (or anyone else, for that matter) the “benefit of the doubt” when it comes to reporting?

 Yes, journalists aim to be “fair, balanced and accurate” and to report information that is factual and in the public interest. We don’t need our political leaders to remind us of that. Their job is to lead our country, not our newspapers. It certainly isn’t their job to decide when a journalist (let a lone an entire broadcasting network) has crossed the line.

 To me, a “rigorous commitment to the truth” involves running stories about issues our government is clearly trying to keep at bay. Sure the ABC rely on heavy government funding, but at the end of the day this money comes from tax payers, aka the Australian public. Fundamentally, being committed to the truth means putting thorough research and evidence into absolutely everything you report. However a rigorous commitment to the truth also means biting the hand that feeds you because it is in the public interest. 

Making up a game

The game involves using QR codes to claim prizes won from different cafes around the CBD. The QR codes, when scanned, function the same way a stamp does on a loyalty card (when you put in your password on the website). So one ‘stamp’ is one scan of a QR code on a coffee cup. When you have collected enough ‘stamps’, you win a $10 voucher from one of the stores on your virtual card. The game only runs over a couple of weeks though, so you have to visit the stores enough times while its running to be eligible, hence the cafes motivation for participating. Further motivation for each cafe to participate is the use of Twitter in this game. Each time one of your followers starts playing the game and claims that you told them about it, you get a stamp. For every 3 tweets to the hashtag or to the page of the game you get a stamp. If you visit a combination of these cafes and are one of the first to scan from each of them, you  win the main prize, which is a months worth of free coffee from a chosen participating cafe. Some codes take you to a page where you can also claim instant wins such as a free muffin with your next drink.

The motivation for players of this game is to get the free drinks. The participating businesses are motivated because the game is promoted over twitter, which will raise consumer awareness and bring in new business.

The use of Twitter to market the game will provide potential players with instant, to the point information about what the game involves. Links that provide further detail can be attached to tweets for those who want to know more. Twit pics will be used as evidence (i.e. posting official posters, photos of people with their free drinks). This will aid the projected image as it makes the game appear more trustworthy.


Celestial City 1: produce a digital story

The final assignment for Networked Media in 2013 was to create a digital story and market it to an audience. Here is how we did it.

– Laura Salamit0 & Alex Northcott

Present work to your tutor and go through with this work.

We presented our work to our tutor both via email and in person. We stuck to the theme of humiliating moments and the use of one character for a story that would feature in a video, marketed through twitter hash tags, mentions and blog posts.

Our story.

Our story is about a guy called Frank, and the most embarrassing day of his life. The video combines music, narration and sound effects to make a soundscape that fits our still images. These images are made from royalty free photos and cartoon drawings of main characters.  The still images each go for six seconds, as does each section of the soundscape. The story was quirky, simple and easy to work with and to create a background for.


We had a look on ning.com for social networking options and explored the possible packages you can purchase. We decided, however, that in our circumstances it would be more economic to use a site that we can afford and are already confident with.

We used WordPress and Twitter to market our story to an audience, (young adults). This is effective because they both enable hashtags, both can be followed and interacted with. The WordPress blog is where it all happens. We created a home page with the video, a page for users to post their stories and a page for users to view their stories. There is already a post from an audience member who was interested in the story. Twitter -a more widely and trivially used social networking platform- is of the most use in terms of awareness and promotion. In 140 characters or less, it is easy to convey the crux of our story and inform potential audience members of the blog.

Design principles.

We followed the lecture advice and did more than just video for level 3. We used video in combination with text and still images, all embedded into a blog for audiences to explore, interact with and contribute to. In taking the given advice and accepting that we weren’t going to use actors was a good decision of ours, as the way we worked in terms of timing was completely up to us and we didn’t have to depend on the abilities or commitment of others.  We relied on production skills we already had- Alex’s awesome drawing, my ability to source and mix sounds and our critical thinking in terms of marketing.


Alex and I worked well in a group together. We both used our individual strengths to our advantage. For example, when making the video, she drew and photoshopped the cartoons and I put together the soundscape. This was something we wouldn’t have been able to do on our own.



blog: http://flusteredfrank.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/flusteredfrank

hashtag: #flusteredfrank


All images were sourced from wiki commons and archive.org

All sound effects were sourced from Freesfx 

The music was by Kevin Macleod 

All content was royalty free.

Digital storytelling review

Here is a review of three different digital stories.

  1. Sound of my Voice trailer 
  2. Take this Lollipop 
  3. Sins of the Fathers 

Sound of My Voice

This digital story was really captivating. While I only saw the trailer, I felt anxious, confused and frustrated on behalf of the characters. It functioned well as an online movie. At the end of the trailer there was a link to watch the first 12 minutes of the full movie. Clever. A strength of an entire movie functioning as a digital story is that the audience can watch it at their own leisure. They can pause, skip forward, back and watch it on the go. This does double as a weakness though. Many people would still be more receptive to seeing a movie in its entirety at the cinema, where there is no disturbance, surround sound and minimal lighting. Therefore, they are less likely to get bored and are more likely to engage closely with the story. While I think its a great story, I don’t think its a significant development in terms of storytelling, as all that has changed about this movie is the platform.

Take this Lollipop

This is a brilliant form of online storytelling. In personally engaging the audience (by making them the main character of the story), it has a lasting effect on their mental state. It is therefore more likely to be remembered than any other story about stranger danger. In this story- you’re the one in danger. A strength of this story was the use of current Facebook data as narrative content. The one big weakness was having to put your Facebook password in. Even though it says on the home page that the creators don’t like hackers, its hard to trust any site that asks for such information. I think its great, a really significant development for storytelling. It reminded me of those personalized books you could order as a kid. But this time it actually had a meaning. While it was all fiction, it dealt with real life issues and implications through its association with social media and your own personal internet use.

Sins of the Fathers

This was a film made in an acmi workshop about digital storytelling. It had no significance in the way of storytelling development but it was still an engaging story. A strength was the use of calm, slow narration and soft background music in combination with abstract pictures as well as real photographs. A weakness of the video was that in the form I watched it (and I’m sure other audience members did was well), the edges of the screen were cut off. 

Overall I think these were all quite gripping, innovative stories that made effective use of delivering a story online. 

It happened to me at RMIT

I was down in the edit suites in building 9, editing my TV project for Broadcast Media. It was late at night. I was alone. Anxious.

Then it happened.

The circle of doom.

-You know the one. When you’re working on a mac and that rotating rainbow circle appears on screen. You just know you will loose all your work.-

Apple ‘S’, Apple ‘S’! … Nothing.

My TV project is gone. Final cut, you bastard.

ps… check our my qr code I put down in the tech services for other students who are editing!

0-1 0-2 0



And… It works!



Remember the days before smart phones? When the most exciting thing you could do with your phone was get sport updates texted to you or play snake? It was pretty limited before the smart phone app phenomenon.

But apps aren’t really new.

When thinking about the pros and cons of apps (see below for my list), I could come up with a lot more pros than cons. Therefore this phenomenon is fairly important in the contemporary mediascape in terms of business opportunities. I know from personal experience  if a company doesn’t have an app (or at the very least a mobile site) I will get frustrated and move on to its competitor. Not only does creating an app for your business or organisation increase consumer access, but smartphone apps function as another advertising medium.

Watching this video made me realise that apps have been around for a while, and it is the medium in which they are used that has changed. As stated in the video, apps used to be expensive, offline and sometimes time consuming.
The pros of apps:
  • they’re entertaining
  • they’re cheap and often free
  • they don’t take long to download
  • they don’t require you to open a web page
  • you can design them yourself
  • there are apps for everything from diets to social media to public transport help
  • yon can collect and categorise them

the cons of apps:

  • they eat up battery on your phone if you don’t close them properly or frequently enough
  • they can take up a large amount of storage space
  • they can have hidden add on prices or extras


Some apps I recommend:

  • One really popular app at the moment is ‘4 pics 1 word’.
  • Robot Unicorn Attack- as a game to kill time. It’s odd and you get to run through things and explode them
  • Face Switch: to merge your friends faces and see how hilariously ugly they are
  • The Silver-Top taxi app- every time I use it to book a cab (even a maxi on a busy night), it has arrived on time