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Blog post
June 25, 2019

Isentia & Variety Celebrates Christmas Together!

Isentia takes a moment to celebrate with Variety Australia at the Children’s Christmas Party

Isentia is involved with a number of different charities and not for profit organisations, but for feel good factor it’s hard to go past helping out at the annual Variety Children’s Christmas Party!

A couple of the Isentia ANZ CSR Committee members plus 4 other staff were lucky enough to be able to volunteer at the party this year and I think it’s fair to say we walked away a happy, tired, glittery bunch – really pleased to have been able to help put a smile on almost 4,500 children’s faces this Christmas.

We rocked up bright and early at the All Phones Arena at Sydney Olympic Park and were briefed on the running order of the day while taking in the fairground rides and were quickly dispatched to our respective areas for the day.

Watching the kids faces light up when seeing their favourite superheros or playing with the animals would be a highlight for me. Helping out was the most rewarding and fun experience

– Nat

We had about half an hour to be briefed and clear on our jobs before the kids starting arriving and before long a steady stream of children and their carers filled up the arena with chatter, laughter and the sound of popping balloons!

I was lucky enough to be allocated to a craft stand – making hats! Yay! So I set about with the other 20 or so volunteers to make and decorate hats for the kids to choose from as they wished. There were also face painting stands, a Lego building area, Christmas card craft and mask making in the craft section. But on the other side of the arena the kids were also being treated to pony rides, a stage show including the NSW Police Band, cotton candy, karaoke and so much more! It was exhausting just wandering around watching the kids take it all in!

For me the best part of my day was helping a young man of about 8 build a gold crown that met his very exacting standards – and seeing his smile and that of his carer when we finally got to what he wanted was brilliant!

Oh and of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without a picture with Santa which we managed to sneak in after the kids had left and before poor Santa was all jollied out!  

Variety and the Ladies of Variety work tirelessly to put this event on every year. And every year around 4,500 disabled, sick and disadvantaged kids get to come along and enjoy a magical day of fun. But honestly I think that the volunteers get as much out of this day as the kids do!

What stood out for me was the enormity of the event and how smoothly it seemed to go, clearly the Variety people have this down to a fine art!

– Gina

What I can say though is it was one of the most humbling and fun experiences I’ve had in a long time. Such a great day for the children and an amazing event to volunteer at. Nothing as rewarding as hearing these children tell you it’s the best day of their life

– Josh

Isentia is a proud supporter of Variety across all states in Australia and we support them through our services with access to Mediaportal and Connect

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Each country has a different way of celebrating the holiday period. The lead up to Christmas can bring the onset of the largest shopping season of the year.  

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Click Frenzy and Boxing Day sales are great for consumers but how do they fare for retailers?

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published anti-greenwashing guidelines for businesses making environmental and sustainability claims. Despite these efforts, media coverage of greenwashing, particularly focusing on senate inquiries and regulatory court cases against major offenders, continues to expose brands and industries stretching the truth in their sustainability messaging. This exposure is causing a growing disconnect between consumers and corporations, as audiences increasingly call out misleading practices and question the authenticity of corporate sustainability claims.Isentia’s sister brand, Pulsar conducted recent research exploring media and public discourse around sustainability. Part of this report examines how greenwashing is covered in the news and on social media, particularly in relation to the broader sustainability discourse. Let’s investigate those themes in more depth here.

Social media data is decreasing while online news activity re-engages, indicating incident-led conversations. Regulatory bodies like the ACCC, and state and federal governments are tackling greenwashing by identifying major corporate offenders and their misleading actions, such as 'recyclable' packaging, carbon credit misuse, lack of transparency in fossil fuel investments, and exploitation of government climate programs. Audience conversations often align with news coverage on these matters.
The term in Australia particularly gained traction among social audiences around November 2022 when the UN called out the Australian government for allowing the use of carbon offsets in corporate emissions reduction strategies. News of the apparent collusion between the government and large corporations has caused public faith and trust in both to dwindle. As these stories emerge, Australia's positive sustainability impact on the international stage is significantly undermined.

https://twitter.com/janegarcia/status/1591662729664004099

When we look at which sectors are most discussed within the greenwashing topic, energy, finance, and food take the lead.

Much of the discussion regarding the energy and finance sectors emphasises their interconnectedness, particularly the investment by financial institutions, including super funds, in environmentally harmful industries. Despite some super funds claiming to offer options that avoid unsustainable investments, reports have revealed that they collectively hold millions of shares in the fossil fuel industry. 

Many industries are being criticised for using carbon credits, such as REDD+ offsets, to appear more sustainable. Advertising, marketing, and public relations also play a significant role in promoting misleading sustainability initiatives, thereby contributing to greenwashing. However, stakeholders are aware that the advertising and communications industries have a huge impact on the profitability and success of an industry or product. The European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint classification system, for example, has been criticised by Australia’s wool industry for being unfair to wool products and for greenwashing. This, they argue, not only undermines the pursuit of a green transition within fashion but also damages a vital industry.

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Much of the conversation focuses on misinformation and lack of transparency in communication and marketing. Certifications like Fair Trade are being questioned, particularly for products like chocolate, and eco-certification for farmed salmon. It particularly muddies the waters for political figures when they get entangled with brands coming under scrutiny for such greenwashing.

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Furthermore, some companies feature in the media conversation due to their involvement in a senate enquiry initiated in March 2023, with a report expected by June 28th this year. 

Analysis of the ANZ reveals a shift in mindset, with consumers emphasising individual actions for solutions like composting or guerilla campaigns on mislabelled environmentally friendly salmon products. Grassroots and individual activism leading to actions like divestment from conflicting companies. Community groups like uni student clubs showcase how groups with shared values and experiences can make noise and incite change with how universities invest. However, there are ongoing debates as to whether it’s the role of sectors like higher education or Super Funds to prioritise the environmental implications of their decisions.

The rise in curiosity around greenwashing highlights the growing consumer demand for transparency and genuine sustainability from brands. As regulatory scrutiny and public awareness increase, brands must ensure their sustainability claims are genuine or face reputation damage.

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The Eco-Spin Cycle: how brand’s sustainability claims come out in the wash

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As the spotlight on sustainability intensifies year by year, it has become a focal point for legislators, media entities, and audiences worldwide.

This dynamic environment demands that brands and institutions elevate their standards in messaging and actions, holding them accountable like never before. For professionals in the PR & Comms realm, it is imperative to grasp not only how sustainability is being discussed but also the potential pitfalls, such as greenwashing, and gain a profound understanding of the diverse audiences receiving these messages.

Explore over 20 beautifully crafted pages of data visualisation that illuminate audience insights sourced from social media, news outlets, and search engines. Gain valuable perspectives on how one of the defining issues of our time is being discussed and understood.

Our exploration of this crucial topic delves deep into uncovering insights that are indispensable for crafting effective strategies, both tactical and long-term:

-Unraveling trends in the sustainability conversation

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-Understanding the diverse audiences of sustainability

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Blog
Sustainability: Mapping the Media & Public Conversations

From accusations of greenwashing to the role of misinformation, we explore the comms landscape around sustainability.

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