CEO of advertising and marketing agency de pasquale, Cos Luccitti is recognising a new opportunity for CEOs to communicate in a new and engaging way with their clients and allies – blogs.

Web logs (blogs), he said, are a way that CEOs and their companies can truly embrace the growing “cult” of transparency that is coming into business.

Mr Luccitti said the digital world has inverted the social physics of information, and today, corporate online transparency is critical for survival.

“Well, at least in the minds of the people that matter most, the consumer,” Mr Luccitti said.

“Businesses recognise that online transparency is a counterweight to consumer skepticism. The net has given businesses a public forum to be open and honest about who they are and what they are doing.

“Corporations that not only publicise their successes but also their failings actually grow stronger. Because the cynical consumer now isn’t just exposed to the hype, they are exposed to the chinks in the heavily-protected armour and consumers appreciate the candour and truthfulness,” he said.

One of the ways businesses have embraced the cult of transparency is through blogging, Mr Luccitti said.

CEOs and business leaders who have taken to the blogosphere have become known as the new breed of naked and trusted executives.

“Their nakedness, so to speak, has helped them become more trusted and consumers have taken an interest. And we all know once people are interested in you, they’re interested in helping you out – by offering ideas, critiques, and their perspective on how to do things better.”

Powerful Medium

Mr Luccitti is personally and professionally enthusiastic about social media and recognises its power as a new business tool. And as such has started what he calls his clog – the CEO’s blog.   

“Naturally, there’s a level of risk that comes along with radical transparency. But I’m prepared to share my dreams, challenges and setbacks with the outside world. I’m prepared to be open,” Mr Luccitti said.

“Committing to corporate transparency and blogging shouldn’t be confused with sharing confidential information. Rather, it means providing some insight into my thinking and considerations, so that those around me can feel involved, educated and empowered.

“My counterparts not convinced of the need to be professionally transparent online will affirm, ‘Blogging will take away from the valuable time it takes the run my business’.

“But I don’t think time is the issue. You devote your precious time to what matters most. If your business’s reputation matters, sooner or later you’re going to be either defending it or going on the offensive. Where the conversation takes place is up to you.

“I’m just choosing the conversation to happen online.”

www.depasquale.com.au

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A new Safe Sex campaign by Brisbane agency Engine Group – the first of its kind in the state – was launched last month by Queensland Health.

Engine Group was engaged by Queensland Health to adapt the highly successful NSW Health Safe Sex. No Regrets campaign for Queensland audiences.

The joint Queensland Health and Family Planning Queensland initiative involves online, street press, ambient activity, and targets specific segments.

Engine Group managing director, Brent Jarvis said, “The research really stressed that our target groups were cynical and had heard it all before, so we had to ensure that the concepts we adapted were strong, relevant and the message very direct.

“It pulls no punches but initial testing tells us that it really works against our targets and does make them sit up and take notice,” he said.

www.enginegroup.com.au/news

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The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has criticised the Queensland Prevention Alliance’s call last month for a total ban of food and drink advertising directed at children.

ARA executive director Richard Evans said a ban on advertising completely legal products and services was stripping retailers of their right to compete against opponents in the marketplace.

“Advertising is a competitive tool used as part of any standard marketing mix. For many retailers the only time to reach busy working mums with advertising messages is when they are watching television or spending time with their children – and it is the retailer’s prerogative to exercise this right. This is an attack on retailers’ right to compete and a government that supports the ban of food and drink advertising is a government that supports anti-competitive behaviour.

“If we start to consider the total ban of food and drink advertising – keeping in mind these are completely legal products – one has to wonder where the line will be drawn,” Mr Evans said.

www.retail.org.au

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