Media release:Calling all nominations for inspiring people in Victoria’s GLBTI community

Nominations have officially opened for the 2016 GLOBE Community Awards, Victoria’s only recognition of excellence in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and the intersex (GLBTI) community.

Created by GLOBE, the awards recognize inspiring work within the GLBTI community and recognize individuals and organisations for their tireless work for the advancement of GLBTI causes.

Winners of the awards will join an exceptional alumni of award winners including: Human Rights Lawyer Anna Brown; Transgender Rights Advocate, Sally Goldner: Australia’s first openly gay Aussie Rules Footballer, Jason Ball; and iconic Melbourne Cabaret Performer, Dolly Diamond.

Nominations close at midnight on Friday, 28 August 2016.

Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Ro Allen is proud that the Victorian Government is supporting the awards: “The GLOBE Community Awards represent an opportunity to lift our community up, celebrate our success and come together in a way that builds the GLBTI voice in Victoria to reach out further.” says the Commissioner.

“The awards are becoming an essential mainstay on the Victorian event calendar”

“I encourage anyone who has seen demonstrations of great courage, dedication and leadership in our LGBTI communities to nominate that person, so that they may know how appreciated they are by all of us.” adds Commissioner Allen.

David Micallef is looking forward to another year of strong nominations: “We are expecting another round of stellar nominations from across Victoria’s LGBTI community.”

“Don’t hesitate to be the person who makes that move, please nominate!” adds David.

In 2016, awards are presented in the following categories:

  • A healthy community – This category is open to any organisation or individual for work in improving the physical and/or mental health of the GLBTI community in Victoria through either research, health promotion or the delivery of health activities within the community.
  • Connecting the GLBTI community – This category is open to all organisations, including corporates, community and social groups that help bring together the GLBTI community.
  • ANZ Excellence in business – This category is open to organisations and individuals for outstanding achievement in business. The aim of this category area is to highlight the contribution that is made by business and professionals, and to recognise their commitment to LGBTI diversity.
  • Protecting our community – This category is open to any organisation and individual for work in keeping our community safe and/or in advancing the human rights of people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex community.
  • Media excellence – Awarded to a journalist, presenter or program in GLBTI media for exceptional work in media or broadcasting.
  • Artist of the year – Awarded to a Victorian GLBTI artist for exceptional work in the performing arts, visual arts, music or film.
  • Straight ally of the year – Awarded to recognise a non-GLBTI individual for work in supporting the GLBTI community.
  • Volunteer of the year – To recognise the work of a Victorian GLBTI individual who has shown outstanding commitment through volunteer work in our community.
  • John Marriott Sports person of the year – Awarded for outstanding achievement in any sport by a Victorian GLBTI individual.
  • People’s Choice Award – Run by our sponsors MCV, this award will be nominated for and voted for by readers of MCV online.
  • Victorian GLBTI Person of the Year – Awarded to a GLBTI person of any age for outstanding and exceptional work in supporting the GLBTI community.


The winners will be announced at the GLOBE Community Awards Gala Dinner on Friday, 21 October 2016 at Myer Mural Hall.

For more information, go to:

Media release: Diversity and inclusion needs to be a part of every level of sport

The organisers of Pride Cup are calling on Australian sporting codes, at every level to take on the challenge of diversity and inclusion in their sport.

Celebrating its third year, Pride Cup’s founder Jason Ball says that strong progress has been made in the AFL but more work needs to be done by sporting codes at every level.

“Pride Cup has made strong progress in netball and the AFL, has inspired a national Pride Cup match between St Kilda and Sydney Swans, as well as events in other leagues but more needs to be done at every level,” says Jason.

“A lack of diversity in sport has a severe impact on young Australians, and sees them self-select themselves out of the wonderful range of sports that are available in our communities. The other negative of this equation is that Australian sports end up missing out on great talent.”

“As we go into the Rio Olympics, it is a perfect time for anyone who runs a sporting club or code, to think about how they are making their sport inclusive for everyone.

Pride Cup, now in its third year, celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). Played as part of the AFL Yarra Ranges league, the event has been embraced by teams, the local community and the AFL.

The event is supported by a range of community, corporate and government organisations, including Yarra Ranges Council, NAB, Cyber Risk Advisors, Eastern Health, Sherwood Sportswear and De Bortoli Wines.

This year’s match sees Kinglake take on 2015 Pride Cup Champions Yarra Glen at the Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve – with the ground featuring a rainbow 50m line, the international symbol of gay pride.

The Rainbow Network supports Pride Cup by providing pre-match diversity and inclusion training to players from both teams.

A Pride Cup luncheon for junior league coaches will further spread the message of inclusion with speakers including Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Rowena Allen and openly gay Channel 9 News Presenter Peter Hitchener.

The Yarra Ranges Council, a major supporter of the event will be continuing the message of education follow Pride Cup, with all clubs in the AFL Yarra Ranges league sending two champions for diversity and inclusion training.

Commissioner Rowena Allen says that sporting clubs still present a major barrier for many people who identify as LGBTI.

“There are many young Victorians who are missing out on the benefits that sport can provide because of their sexuality or gender,” says Rowena.

“We know that the attitudes of the Victorian community have changed, and as a community we are more supportive of LGBTI people. I would encourage anyone who runs a sporting club to access some of the great materials, training and education that will help them understand some of the issues that young people face.”

Newsreader Peter Hitchener applauded the work of the Yarra Glen football club and the local community in the Yarra Ranges.

“It is amazing to see a whole community rally together in a show of support for LGBTI people. The Pride Cup is a great initiative, not just for sport, but for communities who want to improve the outcomes for young people,” says Peter.

For more information visit



Media opportunities

Saturday 16 April 2016

What:                      Pride Cup

Where:                    Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve, Yarra Glen

When:                     12pm – Pride Cup Match Day Lunch featuring Peter Hitchener and Rowena Allen

2.00pm – Pre-game ceremony

2.10pm – Senior Football Pride Cup and A Grade Netball Pride Cup

4.30pm – Presentation of Pride Cup to winning football and netball teams

Opportunities:   Interview opportunities and filming at pre-game lunch

Match day filming and photo opportunities

Pride Cup winner photos and interviews

There are a number of interview and filming opportunities available around Pride Cup. If you wish to arrange interviews and filming please contact:

David Micallef, Says David Communications,

Media release: LGBTI Business Groups Call On Community To Remove Support From Telstra

LGBTI business organisations across Australia have slammed news that the organisation has bowed to pressure from the Catholic Church over the equal marriage debate.

The Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise (GLOBE) in Melbourne, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association (SGLBA) and the Brisbane Gay and Lesbian Business Network (GLBN) represent LGBTI small and medium business owners and professionals working in some of Australia’s biggest companies.

They say Telstra’s removal of support for equal marriage goes against the equality message that the company has trumpeted to the LGBTI community, and does a disservice to its LGBTI employees and the community members who have supported the telecommunications company.

President of GLOBE, David Micallef says: “The messages to big business should be clear. If you do not support our community, then we do not support you.”

“I have been concerned by the hate filled discussion that this news from Telstra has generated and the negative impact it has already had on LGBTI people in the community. GLOBE will not accept any sponsorship or financial support from Telstra, and have already taken steps to cancel the organisation’s phone account.

“Supporting the LGBTI community is more than marching in Mardi Gras or having a stall at Midsumma and then jumping ship when things get hard – it shows an utter disrespect for the community and what it stands for.

President of the GLBN Brendan Heck says: “I believe this is a backward step from Telstra and it sends a message that it is out-of-touch with greater society values – and the ongoing positive progression to become more inclusive and accepting.”

“I’m also concerned about the message this sends to  its employees and the view of their basic human rights.  Has Telstrathought about the consequences this may have on its staff and how they will now feel about going to work?”

“Is Telstra’s actions are purely based on money and who it perceives as having the biggest contracts with it.  Has Teltsra effectively been bought by the Catholic Church?”

GLBN, GLOBE and the SGLBA all have Telstra employees who are active members of their networks and the organisations are concerned about the impact that this will have on their staff.

President of the SGLBA Mark Haines says: “Telstra says its workplace demonstrates the importance placed on diversity, and for standing against all forms of discrimination.

However, bowing to commercial threats from the Catholic Church and shying away from its once prominent public support for marriage equality, is an affront to such values and community standards.

It ignores the fact that the majority of the population, indeed the majority of Catholics, including many people in business, supports Marriage Equality.

Telstra needs to get the courage of its convictions. It does its many LGBTI and ally employees a disservice if it won’t stand up and be counted in the public arena where it makes all the difference.”

Why you should not trust Tracey to know your audience

Tracey is a communications professional and also a married mum with two kids under ten. So naturally, when the organisation she works for wanted to create a campaign targeting parents with young children, they used her to test their campaign strategy.

But the truth is that Tracey doesn’t really know mums.

She knows mums from her school, who live around her particular area around Melbourne, who are from a particular socio-economic group. She’s comfortable knowing what impacts mums that are just like her, but the truth is that not all mums are like Tracey.

Why is knowing your audience important?

It doesn’t matter how big or small your communication is – whether it is a multimillion dollar campaign or developing a brochure, knowing your audience is central.

Not truly understanding your audience can have a cascading negative impact on your communications that impacts the messages you use, the tactics and channels and most importantly- the results that you will achieve.

Knowing who you are talking to, who they are influenced by, the media they consume and what their day typically consists of is essential if you are trying to create a piece of communication that cuts through and has impact.

It is important to realise that not every communication agency or department will have the expertise in every audience. Worse yet and do not fall into Tracey’s trap of thinking that the person in your office (or communications consultancy) who fits that description is suddenly an expert on that audience.

I am a single gay male who has successfully worked on campaigns targeting dads, on early childhood health, campaigns to increase rates of breast screening for women and campaigns targeting seniors. As a communications professional you understand that your expertise is in knowing how to help your client understand and target their audience.

So how do you get to know your audience?

There are a number of ways that you can get to know your audience. Some of these can be expensive, but some need only time. Try the following ways:

  1. Define the audience – before you start any research, work out exactly who you want to talk to. Be specific as possible.
  2. ABS data – Use freely available ABS and council data to understand the size and demographics of your audience. You will be amazed how much data is readily available through these sources.
  3. Service data – Look internally at any data that you may already have about your customer or audience. This can be formal research data or information about how your audience utilise your service and/or product.
  4. Research – Research can take many forms, from simple survey monkey surveys, to nationally weighted surveys, focus groups and interviews. They are all powerful methods in understanding your audience.
  5. Observation and media analysis- Review online spaces as well as media publications targeted to your audience to understand how your audience are engaged and how those competing for a share of voice are targeting them.

So…. who is the Tracey in your office?

PS… Tracey is not a real person but the first name that came to mind. Sorry to any Tracey’s on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I’m sure you can be trusted. Really.

Want to save the library? Burn books

This is an old case study but always a great reminder of the power of being creative in public relations. Take a look at the video below:

The reason I love this case study is that it highlights the need for strategy to power your communications campaign and why you need to be bold about making a statement that will leave impact on your audiences.

This campaign could have taken a very different turn, a very bland one, if the campaigners had stuck to a standard – inform the public, push the yes vote etc etc.

A strategy is the lifeblood of a campaign. It is what makes the campaign different, what makes it stand out and what powers the messages, content and tactics.

So how do you come up with strategy?

Thinking about the strategy for your communications campaign is where you get to be creative. A lot of people assume that creativity in communications comes in creating content, but it actually starts in the strategy stage.

Your strategy is where you take the cold hard facts from your research that have helped you understand what you need to achieve and combine them with your creativity to come up with a new way of tackling the subject with your audience.

Think about the example of the Troy Library – some of the tactical and content elements of the campaign were creative (i loved the book burning book bags) but the real creativity came in developing the initial book burning idea itself.

Do you have a campaign or a communications topic that you are currently trying to tackle with your audience? What books are you going to burn to make your message stand out?

Says David proud to be a part of the Victorian Government’s Marketing Services Panel

I am pleased to note that Says David Communications was accepted recently on the Victorian Government’s Marketing Services Panel.

Membership on the Marketing Services Panel is required for any marketing or public relations firm undertaking work with any Victorian Government department or agency. I look forward to working with and supporting the great work that is done by Victoria’s state government.

Are you at risk of being collateral damage from your stakeholders?

The current Hepatitis A contamination that is engulfing Nanna’s frozen berries is bad news for the company, but also bad news for its stakeholders.

In my previous post, I wrote about the benefit that public relations gives in identifying and working with those audiences that have an impact on how an organisation runs or the delivery of its service or product to the community.

The Nanna’s product recall is a perfect example of this. While on the surface it may seem like the issue lies squarely with Nanna’s and the growers of their produce, there is a great risk of the issue impacting a number of other organisations. For example:

  • Supermarkets are coming under fire in relation to the sourcing of the products of their shelves, as well as making it easier for customers to identify the country of origin of produce.
  • Regulators are coming under similar fire around labeling of food products
  • Competitors in the frozen berry market will come under increased scrutiny from consumers as the issue has an impact on the industry’s brand
  • The fresh food industry will suffer similar scrutiny over the country of origin of products

Many organisations will (hopefully) create issues plans to prepare for potential direct risks to their organisation from issues involving their own products, services, operations and staff, but it is important that organisations also consider the risk that may come from their stakeholders.

Think about your own organisation, and its stakeholders. How are you making sure that your stakeholders are as being run as well as your own organisation? What will the potential impact be if they are not?


So why do we need to communicate?

It is rare when I tell someone that you work as a public relations consultant that people instantly know what you are talking about, which is ironic for an industry that centres around communication.

Communication is one of the most basic elements that makes up the social fabric of our world. The ability of humans to be able to tell, listen, inform, explain, persuade, read, write, draw and watch is what allows us to organise towards a common purpose.

As a public relations and communications consultant, my role is to look at the way that organisations are communicating and ensuring that their communication is the most effective for its audience and its purpose. It may be looking at how an organisation communications as a whole (communication strategy), how it communicates to meet a specific objective (a public relations campaign), how it deals with potential threats (issues management), how it engages with the community (community engagement) or how it deals with specific audiences (internal, stakeholders, media).

How does it differ from marketing?

Marketing’s purpose is the create and bring to market a product that meets the needs or adds value to the target audience.

The purpose of public relations is much broader and deals with all of the groups that an organisation must deal with to make sure it has a positive environment from which to conduct its business.

Think of these groups and how important it may be to communicate with them:

  • Your employees who are the face of your product, service and organisation
  • Government authorities who create the regulatory environment for you to operate in
  • Media who can give third-party endorsement to your products, company and brand
  • Unions, professional bodies and your industry (including your competitors) who may have an impact on your operations or on the standing of your industry
  • The local community in which you operate

While public relations can be used to directly support marketing, think about how difficult it may be for an organisation to conduct its business, if it loses the relationship with any of the groups above?

The things I have learnt from parenting blogs

As most communication and public relations professionals would be well-aware, in our industry you need to keep up to date with the happenings in a range of different offline and online mediums that are relevant to your clients. This is compounded when working in an agency environment where you need to keep up to date with a number of industries at the same time.

This element of agency work is attractive to my easily bored Gemini personality, as my work at Fentons has seen me get into the world of emergency management, deal with government at all levels, get my head around the professional services industry, become an expert on water and electricity supply (there was a point where I could name all the major connecting powerlines in Victoria as we drove past them) and meet a number of wonderful people in my work in the community sector.

Lately, I have been continuing my focus into the world of parenting. While I don’t have kids myself yet, I am the proud uncle to four little ones, including a nephew who is now five days old.

Part of my focus into the world of parenting is keeping up with Australia’s mummy and daddy bloggers, which helps to keep abreast of what is happening in the home. What I have found, however, is that the musings from parenting bloggers are quite relevant to those of us without kids as well – which explains their popularity in Australia.

Here’s some examples:

  • On Tahlia’s The Parenting Files you will find a funny story about surprises that parents find in the bathroom. Not that indifferent to some of the surprises that you find living with housemates. Except its cuter when kids do it.
  • You’re never too old to have a Spiderman birthday cake
  • There are some great tips for the kitchen. Thanks to One Crafty Mama for a great post on spice storage. The number of spices in my kitchen has been doing my head in for a while now.
  • As Rhianna on A Parenting Life‘s recent post shows, there are always distinct advantages to leaving things to the last minute…..

Thank you for some great posts (there are too many to mention!).

Integration- the key to social PR

At Fentons we have been working with our clients to help them integrate social media into broader marketing communications plans, rather than looking at online activity as a stand-alone activity.

This integration is essential in ensuring that you are ‘singing from the same song-sheet’ to your target audience, regardless of whether they are viewing information on your website, reading a brochure or talking to one of your staff.

Read the rest of this post at the Fenton Digital blog.