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June 24, 2019

How to plan for your FY20 budget and show off your hard-earned media

The end of the financial year is drawing closer, budgets have been forecast and approved – how will you target your spending in FY20?

A new financial year provides a great opportunity to review your results and reflect on your approach with some concrete performance data that can both prove value delivered and help you make the case for more.

While performance is a critical measure, it’s also a great time to address any internal processes and procedures that may be working against you or impacting other departments and staff. From operating systems and day-to-day workflow to crisis plans and business ready-ness protocols, the opportunity to communicate better throughout your business as well as outside of it can be extremely valuable.

So, when it comes time to evaluate what worked well and what didn’t in FY19 and plan for a successful FY20, here’s some first steps to help you get started:

Set your intentions

Set an intention to celebrate the wins and identify the opportunities to pivot where necessary. Even if you had a great FY19, you want it to grow and have even more success in FY20. If you have a business strategy already for the new financial years, are there areas that you could focus on to have greater impact on the bottom line?

Make a list of questions

Being intentional about your process sparks creativity and prevents the business from overlooking important pieces of information.

  • What are your overall achievements?
  • How did they impact business growth?
  • What were the key learnings from FY19?
  • What were the biggest disappointments?
  • Did you implement a strategy to pivot or constructively address the disappointments?
  • What products/services will be launched in FY20?
  • Did your messaging cut through, and if so, was the audience right?
  • How did your audience feel about your products, services and people – and what insights can you tell other departments like R&D, sales or the C-Suite that could help course correct some of the sentiment?
  • Did you have unexpected expenditures due to a PR crisis, and can you better prepare if this something else happens in FY20?
  • How sustainable are you as a business and are there long-term strategies you could start now that would put you in better shape?
  • Do you need to revisit some of your relationships with key conte Identify your metricsnt publishers, journalists and influences?
  • Are there areas that could benefit from expenditure over others?
  • What do you need to pull together to demonstrate what was achieved, and what could be achieved if your new FY20 plan is supported by leadership?

Identify your metrics

What will you use to measure your professional performance? Alongside your business statements and PnL, other measures like online traffic, media reach, customer sentiment and , sales figures, new subscribers and event attendees.

Carefully review your metrics and ascertain what contributed to your growth, as well as best practices for further growth. Assess the reasons for churn and identify areas for improvement. Are there any other tools and resources you can add to your metrics dashboard?

Review your FY19 goals

Identify which goals are worth keeping, which are to be eliminated and where energy will be most effective. This list of goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) and include short- and long-term timeframes. Goals or priorities for the coming year may be different from the previous year, whether it be hitting a certain new audience, building a certain leader’s profile, a successful new product launch or just staying ‘out’ of certain conversations and stories, these goals are key for your business’ success.

Time for innovation

It can be said that growth invariably comes from innovation. With so much pressure to perform well and report on performance, a different approach to communications tactics and tools can promote greater levels of innovation and encourage a more collaborative environment that welcomes new ideas while ensuring the business keeps up with modern changes. It doesn’t have to be world changing, it could be looking at new audiences, automation, the use of video or updating onboarding programs with all staff media training. The goal here is to think differently, challenge ideas and stay competitive. 

Use technology to your advantage

Understand what is being said about your business, how your audiences respond to or feel, and how you fare against your competitors. Our Mediaportal platform provides a full range of reporting and analytics allowing you to identify the most relevant audiences, the hot topics that need attention and what issues may be impacting your business, as well as additional insights born from your media coverage. This information is useful in planning your future tactics, leverage existing pools of success and continue to stand apart from the competition. Along with these always-on metrics in Mediaportal, our insights reports can provide the quantitative analysis needed to reflect on the year past with a comprehensive overview of share of voice, audiences and reach as well as month-on-month trends, media influence and positioning against competitors. Such reports provide a greater snapshot of your efforts and will assist with setting your benchmarks, goals and budgets for the year ahead.

By gaining a better understanding of what has been achieved and the potential areas for improvement, you will be able to establish an appropriate budget based on your objectives and provide a successful FY20 for your business.

Want to learn more about how to measure the effectiveness of your business and how to plan for your FY20? Let our team show you how, get in touch today.

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Next week’s Federal Budget has many Australians wondering how they will be affected. 

The government has strongly advocated for building a more resilient economy than their predecessors, yet in recent months, the economy is suffering due to a rapid rise in inflation. This has pushed up interest rates and is squeezing the cost of living with both consumers and businesses feeling the pressure. 

Following groceries, the leading financial stressors for Australians are petrol, rent, mortgage payments and energy bills. And just to make ends meet, Aussies are making more considered purchases, seeking higher paying employment or working multiple jobs. Australians are already anxious about inflation with growing concern there’s no end in sight. 

Will the government restore their trust in Australians and keep their pre Federal Budget promises?

Cost of living crisis

Latest data from CHOICE’s Consumer Pulse survey, revealed that cost of living pressures are a major concern, with 90% of Australians seeing an increase in their household bills and expenses over the past year. 

Inflation pressures are intensifying and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) continues to drive up interest rates - their highest level in 7 years. The government has promised a long-term and sustainable approach to cost of living support in the form of a relief package. 

Concerned about their mortgage payments, up to a third of mortgage holders could struggle to keep up with future repayments, with younger generations particularly concerned about surging interest rates. 

Using Isentia data, during an eight week period from early August to early October 2022, 18% of Australia’s front pages featured cost of living stories. Even in a time of large local and international news such as the war on Ukraine and the Optus security breach, the cost of living crisis was still making front page news.

According to Pulsar data, anxieties around the cost of living, peaked following the RBA's interest rate announcements on 4 September and 4 October. For the sixth consecutive month, Australians have had to tighten an already lean household budget.

Apprehensions around security increased on 24 September as a result of the Optus security breach and again on 10 October when the government announced changes to the country's defence projects.  Also on 10 October, cost of living concerns spiked after growing speculation surrounding the Stage 3 tax cuts being recalibrated. Australians also felt a heightened sense of unease after the announcement of a future surge in energy costs, following a recent  35% rise.

Topics causing anxiety this Federal Budget
Anxieties surrounding topics mentioned by the government. Source: Pulsar

Childcare fees are at their highest in 8 years, with child care subsidies failing to keep out of pocket costs to a minimum. On 16 September, conversation around child care spiked, as Treasurer Jim Chalmers promised to reduce the cost of childcare, yet pledged to keep spending restrained in light of budgetary constraints. 

As part of the cost of living relief package, this reduction won't come into play until mid 2023. Can Australian families wait this long?

Problematic climate conditions such as excessive rain and floods are leading to localised food price increases and diminished food quality. Even in the same area, poorer households are faring far worse than affluent counterparts. Across the board, there has been  a surge in the cost of fruit and vegetable prices (7.3%) and meat, seafood and bread rising by 6.3%

On top of these climate issues, labour shortages in both warehousing and transportation have resulted in added disruption to the supply chain. Freight costs are on the rise, putting intense pressure on importers and exporters. 

Are Aussie consumers looking at a continued supply chain that is more disruptive than the 2020 toilet paper shortage? The rise in the cost of living weighs on households' spending, and Australians are seeking alternate ways to make extra cash.

The thrifty shopper

As the cost of living rises, many Australians are seeking alternate ways to make or save cash; trimming budgets where they can; cancelling home entertainment subscriptions, and reducing insurance coverage for lower fees to name a few. Purchases at all levels are becoming more involved and highly considered, with discounts heavily sought after.

As Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are gaining more buying power, their passion for sustainable commerce is stronger than ever. Selling personal items to make extra cash has been on the rise with retail e-commerce platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and ‘Recommerce’ platforms like AirRobe, are booming. Not only are Australians becoming more financially savvy, they are conscious of the need to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ - a criteria these platforms adopt.

Following the money

There’s no doubt that inflation is changing salary expectations. And for those in industries where movement and remote working is possible, many Australians are following the money.

Data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, shows organisations have reported higher rates of employees leaving to achieve higher pay packets as a way to provide temporary relief for  the rise in cost of living. Interestingly, this higher voluntary turnover was especially concentrated in professional services. 

In response to labour shortages, organisations are implementing a range of non-base wage strategies - e.g bonuses, flexible work practices, more internal training and hiring staff with less experience, as opposed to increasing base wages.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures also show Australians are taking on multiple jobs, as full-time work forces employees to juggle several roles to make ends meet. Although multiple job holding is more common in low-paid industries, a record high of 900,000 people held multiple jobs in the June quarter of 2022. 

This is an increase of 4.3 per cent from the previous quarter and is a reflection of wages growth stagnating and nominal wages barely keeping up with consumer prices. The result; people needing to work more hours to make ends meet. 

Using data insights from Pulsar, wages is one of the ‘most anticipated’ topics in this year’s Budget. The Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.7 per cent in the June quarter and 2.6 per cent over the year, which represented a substantial fall in real wages given inflation rose 6.1 per cent last quarter. 

Social media conversation around wages is evolving with other indicators suggesting wages are still climbing alongside extreme uncertainty surrounding global growth and rampant inflation. 

Will Australians see more dollars in their pocket after the Budget is handed down?

The "most anticipated" topics in this year's Federal Budget.
The "most anticipated" topics in this year's Federal Budget. This is a visual representation of the conversation frequency of topics over time. Source: Pulsar

Australians taking action

With Australians taking a greater interest in living a sustainable lifestyle, the government and organisations are prompted to influence the lever of positive change and create actionable outcomes.

Despite a great deal of politicians pledging change, governments are often swayed by the media and public opinion which can derail policies wanting to address complex, longer-term challenges. Millennials and Gen Zs have long pushed to see societal and economic change. 

Results from the 10th Annual Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey shows they are increasingly becoming more politically involved. These influential cohorts are progressively showing interest in political issues, and turning to social media to discuss their opinions. Moreover, they are consciously making calculated career decisions and spending their money with organisations who share the same values.

The top keywords used by key communities discussing the Federal Budget online and social media.
The top keywords used by key communities discussing the Federal Budget online. Source: Pulsar

Social engagement shows left wing millennials are showing concern over the budget and economic issues, with Treasurer, Jim Chalmers gaining the most chatter. Similarly, baby boomers are equally vocal, using the same keywords as millennials but they also seek strong leadership and a strong economy.

For younger demographics, their interactions or relationships with organisations is dependent on the organisation's treatment of the environment, their policies on data privacy and their position on social and political issues. 

For governments, tackling environmental, economic and social issues and their impact requires a huge transformation across all sectors. Market forces alone will not solve the problem, and the onus is on governments to take a lead to meet the sustainability challenge. 

The October Federal Budget is an opportunity for the government to show they are the lever of change by creating actionable outcomes and a positive impact. Australians are concerned for the welfare of the country and previous governments have fallen short. 

The government promises to back clean energy and build new renewable infrastructure across the country, will they succeed or disappoint?

The Federal Budget can be an overwhelming time, with an abundance of promises and policies, it can be hard to stay on top of the latest news. We have a comprehensive range of political news services available to help you navigate the political media coverage at this October Federal Budget. Want to learn what’s being said at this Federal Budget?

Click here to start navigating the announcements that may impact your organisation.

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Blog
How concerned are Australians about the Federal Budget?

The upcoming October Federal Budget has many Australians wondering how they will be affected. 

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“We need to address the societal wellbeing of our nation, not just the economic wellbeing”  Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

The 2019 Wellbeing Budget is hailed by many as a landmark of its time for its undeterred focus on the social sector. [1] The intent for this budget, which is set to be handed down May 30 2019, is to go beyond GDP per capita and debt to GDP ratios to analyse the wider effects on people’s wellbeing and the state of the environment in an intergenerational way.[2] Although New Zealand have GDP growth rates that many countries would envy, for many New Zealanders it has been thought this GDP growth (and previous years budgets) have not translated into higher living standards or better opportunities.[3]

New Zealand is the first western country to design and implement its entire budget around wellbeing initiatives and also instruct its ministries to propose policies to enhance wellbeing for the country. This year's Budget winner's are set to be education, health and environmental industries. The top five priorities of the budget are outlined as follows:

1. Creating opportunities for productive businesses, regions, iwi and others to transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy

2. Supporting a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation, social and economic opportunities

3. Lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities

4. Reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing, including addressing family violence

5. Supporting mental wellbeing for all New Zealanders, with a special focus on under 24-year-olds

The wellbeing approach

The nation enjoys being the third freest economy in the world, and as such, ranks first globally for ease of doing business. The Wellbeing Budget will broaden the focus beyond economic and fiscal policy by using the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework to inform the governments’ investment priorities and funding decisions [4] on complicated issues including climate change, inequality and child poverty. Through effective planning and decision making to combat these issues, it will enable the best choices for current and future generations beyond economic growth and successfully embed wellbeing into the public policy.

While it has been rumoured government agencies have been siloed when seeking budget funding, the Ardern government have introduced a new framework to combat this rumour and encourage a collaborative funding process. This process involves ministers submitting joint proposals with their colleagues for funding requests and enables social issues such as Domestic Violence to receive dedicated and well-rounded funding.

Interestingly, since the Wellbeing Budget was first announced 13 December 2018, there have been 600+ mentions across broadcast and print. Unsurprisingly, Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson has been leading the conversations with 43 per cent alongside Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern with her share of voice being 29 per cent. The wellbeing budget is surely getting a lot of airtime with 34 per cent of all mentions being across broadcast channels.

At the heart of the Wellbeing Budget is the Living Standards Framework (LSF) – a new dashboard of indicators to be used to advise successive governments’ how their policy choices affect New Zealanders over time and by using this framework, it will effectively embed wellbeing in New Zealand's public policy. In addition, the Ardern government is being guided by other indicators, including the new Child Poverty Reduction Act which obliges the Minister of Finance to report at each budget how the country is tracking on a set of child wellbeing and poverty measures. The current Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will be the first finance minister to do so.

Beyond GDP

Historically, GDP was never intended as a measure of societal progress and it’s only quite recently that alternative measures of societal progress have been developed and a global “beyond GDP” has emerged.

Internationally, this has led to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the OECD Better Life Index and the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. Having these goals allow countries to track their progress towards aspirational goals including good health, superior education and wellbeing.

For a country that is socially progressive, it has taken a long time for the NZ political system to discuss wellbeing and the roles of values. Other taxpayers’ interests such as tourism, housing, immigration and education are also high on the list and the government has a great opportunity to reframe its budgets around the anticipated effect of the policies they’ve announced.

So, is the wellbeing budget a new way to measure the success as a country or is it just the introduction of another ‘first’ to keep the momentum going as a forward-thinking country?

If you would like to learn more about how you can stay across the wellbeing budget or any other topic, get in touch with us today

References

[1] https://www.bizlatinhub.com/nz-budget-2019-how-will-stack-up-business/

[2] https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/02/01/80182/what-2019s-wellbeing-budget-might-look-like

[3] https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/05/15/585288/robertson-shuns-rockstar-economy

[4] http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1904/S00496/social-enterprises-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place.htm

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Blog
The 2019 Wellbeing Budget is set to broaden New Zealand’s focus beyond economic and fiscal policy

New Zealand is the first western country to design and implement its entire budget around wellbeing initiatives. We take a look at NZ’s Wellbeing Budget.

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The HKSAR Government announced the Hong Kong Budget 2019 on late February 2019. Looking ahead on 2019, Hong Kong should endeavour to diversity its economy and sustain growth in economic performance. In this whitepaper, we will look into the key takeaways of this year’s budget and what society concerns about this budget.

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Whitepaper
What are the societal concerns with the 2019 Hong Kong budget?

Looking ahead on 2019, Hong Kong should endeavour to diversity its economy and sustain growth in economic performance. In this whitepaper, we will look into the key takeaways of this year’s budget and what society concerns about this budget.

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When it comes to reputation management, understanding your audience perception puts you a step ahead. Learning your audiences frustrations and what drives them, provides insight into how to positively engage with them. As a PR or comms professional, knowing which audience segment impacts or influences your brand reputation is key, especially when sharing messaging.

Reputation is important at the best of times, yet throughout the pandemic, pharmaceutical companies gained the media spotlight whilst their reputation was under scrutiny. As a result, they had to act swiftly and develop new vaccines for immediate and long term use on a global scale.

How do audiences perceive the pharmaceutical industry?

Since the pandemic, we've learned companies are expected to lead. Large companies that failed to take significant actions lost reputation. Those that acted on the opportunities presented to them, flourished. To build or maintain a positive reputation, companies needed to become agile and evolve their operations. 

By using media monitoring and audience intelligence tools, brand reputation and audience perception can be tracked and managed by monitoring traditional and social data, news and industry-specific artificial intelligence (AI). 

Audience perception comes from customer experience, functionality and reputation across mainstream and social media conversations. With social media being an unfiltered platform, it can be hard for brands to control their narrative. However, when you know what your audience is saying about your brand, you can better understand the influential voices and outlets leading the conversations. Monitoring traditional and social media allows you to:

The change in audience sentiment

As an industry that’s responsible for the research, development, production and distribution of medications around the world, having a positive reputation is invaluable.

Pharmaceutical companies frequently use social media to communicate health concerns, new advancements and potential outbreaks. Furthermore, they have been in the spotlight for the past 24 months, helping a society navigate through COVID-19 and out of lockdowns.

The pandemic led to a rapid change in public sentiments over a short span of time. People expressed sentiments of joy and gratitude toward good health, yet sadness and anger at the loss of life and stay at home orders. 

It’s important to understand audience perception toward health-related content, and how your audience perceives the news you share or is shared about you. As the world turned to pharmaceutical companies for vaccines, heightened media coverage meant the public were listening, watching and paying more attention than ever before. This gave those companies the opportunity to redefine what they stand for.

Australian trust in pharmaceutical companies versus global country average. Source: Ipsos and Statista

The role of social media

Historically, the sector had been tarnished by bad publicity. However, the Ipsos Global Trustworthiness Monitor 2021 report revealed pharmaceutical companies are now seen as more trustworthy than they were three years ago. 62% of Australians say they trust pharmaceuticals, in comparison to a global country average of 31%.

Social media intelligence plays an important role in how audiences discover, research and share information about a brand or product. Pharmaceutical companies need to continue their connection with their audiences, through storytelling. With this, they can influence a positive narrative and maintain the positive shift in reputation.

During the pandemic, Pfizer dominated social media. On Twitter, Pfizer was the most mentioned company compared to other competitors during the same period. Conversations about the actual brand were not as popular as vaccines, yet social media buzz was inline with Pfizer's consequential milestones and notable events during the pandemic.

Audience perception on twitter

With company mentions of this calibre, there’s no denying the number of conversations involving pharmaceutical companies. Audiences are talking in an unfiltered manner. Whether it's about their credibility, reputation, or the effectiveness of treatments, there’s no escaping the global conversations about the pharmaceutical industry.


Companies cannot afford to ignore conversations that could influence their reputation. Rather than treating it as something beyond their control, using reputation management tools within a media intelligence platform can assist in rolling out a more effective and efficient comms strategies on both traditional and social media.

The power of audience perception

A recent study on Eczema & Atopic Dermatitis by our sister company, Pulsar, shows a topic that is considered an intensely private conversation, has since moved online. An analysis was performed on the relationship between influential figures and wider audiences.

The below chart shows what the engagement metrics look like for the 19 most-engaged with accounts describable as either dermatologist, esthetician, medical doctor, nurse or pharmacist. 

From this chart it tells us dermatologists hold authority in this conversation with three of the highest engagement tallies originating from dermatology accounts. This suggests their audience trust their expertise and are favourably perceived.

Comparing the mentions and engagements of the top 19 influencers, by engagement, in the atopic dermatitis and eczema conversation. Sept 2020- Oct 2022. Source: Pulsar TRAC.

Audience perception on twitter
Audiences engaging in the conversation around both eczema/atopic dermatitis and medicalised skincare on Twitter, set against the more general eczema/atopic dermatitis conversation over the same period. Sept 2020 – Oct 2022. Source: Pulsar TRAC.

The above chart shows a comparison analysis on audiences engaging in conversations around both eczema/atopic dermatitis and medicalised skincare on Twitter. This is set against the more general eczema/atopic dermatitis conversation over the same period (Sept 2020 - Oct 2022).

Healthcare professionals remain a significant presence. Viewing the two audiences alongside each other:

  • Young black communities cohere into the single largest community.
  • LGBTQ+ communities emerge as a far greater presence in the wider conversation. 

From this study, we can see there is a seamless loop between conversation analysis and audience segmentation. This allows for a dynamic view of how each community talks about a topic differently. 

3 pillars to consider when repairing brand reputation

1. Be active and engaged on your social networks to help control the conversations. Turning the mythology around can be difficult, but with a compelling or positive evergreen story, it can change the perception audiences have about your company.

2. Monitor what is being said. Negative news gets more attention. This creates unwanted negative conversations and commentary. Tracking analytics, such as media mentions, share of voice and media outlets with a media intelligence solution allows you to keep a vigilant eye on the type of media coverage you’re receiving. When repairing a negative reputation, at least 35% of the company’s share of voice should involve company representatives.

3. Create a recovery roadmap to deliver on business improvements. Be transparent and authentic when it comes to communicating to customers and stakeholders. This will help with rebuilding trust and repairing your reputation. 

When a company needs to repair their reputation there is a need to use sources of traditional and social media. These will form the pillars of their repair strategy. These pillars can support a comms strategy with real-time data, identifying what's working and what isn’t.

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Blog
Reputation Management: How Important is Audience Perception?

Reputation management is crucial for any brand. With unfiltered social media, it is critical to understand your audience perception.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or request a demo.