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June 24, 2019

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

“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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IIt was just a week ago when I was asked to travel to Canberra to assist the Isentia Canberra team with the 2022-23 Budget. The team was preparing to provide our clients with a range of Parliamentary Services to support them throughout the Budget announcement and plethora of reactions, resulting in the most significant media day of the year. 

Isentia has an office right in the middle of the Parliamentary press gallery, above the House of Representatives, alongside the ABC, The Conversation, 9 News, 7 News and SBS had my head reeling. We are in the thick of the Budget conversation at Parliament House and have access to the Budget papers during lock-up. I am not going to lie, I would have loved to have gotten my hands and eyes on what lay inside the mass that is the Budget, but I was just as excited to be a part of Isentia’s first live stream of the conga line to deliver immediate stakeholder perspectives.

Lock-up team Whitney and Crystal ready to unpack the 2022 Budget for clients, pictured with Account Executives Melvic (right) and Nikhar (left)

This is my first time in Canberra and walking into Parliament House. It may sound ridiculous to some, but I felt the magnitude of decisions and words within this space as soon as I arrived. This could be due to the physical size of the building, the maze of corridors (I did get lost), or that Greg Hunt, Minister for Health and Aged Care, passes by you, or Laura Tingle, ABC political journo heavyweight, is standing inside the courtyard cafe – no longer just a revered top news journalist on my TV screen. I am tempted to approach her and ask her thoughts on any Budget revelations, but professionalism nips that one in the bud.

The live stream is my main priority and ensuring we capture stakeholder responses as soon as lock-up ends. With the cool, calm, and collected Melvic (Canberra Account Executive) by my side, I felt we were prepared to capture all the opinions and critical commentary on Frydenberg’s latest Budget. But as Melvic had said to me plenty of times over the past couple of days while in Canberra, “you can’t exactly prepare for Budget night.” Speeches can go on for longer, lock-up can be delayed, and elevators can stop working. It was 7.30pm, and we (Melvic and myself) could not get to the second floor, where the press gallery and the conga line were to be. After semi-frantically looking for a way to get there – the elevator wouldn’t go to floor two, and the staircase was blocked off – our prayers were answered in the presence of a former staffer who took pity and showed us to an elevator that could get us there. The doors opened, and we were awkwardly confronted by a crowd of diners enjoying a catered event, but after casually walking by, we were able to get to the gallery and stream the conga line.

I staked my claim on a small footprint of space to set up Isentia’s nimble streaming equipment among tall, solid guys supporting big TV broadcast cameras. As speakers were changing over, we had to pause for one of them to change their camera battery. The speakers were unfazed by the background buzzing of phones, regular triggering of Parliament House clocks and adrenaline-pumped chatter of people in the corridors. I was particularly moved by the words of Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director at the United Workers Union and a team of aged care workers who felt a lack of respect for what the Budget provided them. I wondered how journalists could keep it together when they were listening to the stories and concerns of people who really feel impacted by the decisions made here. These are comments and opinions that matter to our clients, and providing this service allows them to better inform their operations and objectives. After the last speaker, Melissa Donnelly, National President of the Community & Public Sector Union, had finished, the live stream was done. But the active alerts team weren’t.

Live stream conga line of Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director, United Workers Union & Aged Care Workers (Curtis, Marina, Shin,Teresa)
Live stream conga line of Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director, United Workers Union & Aged Care Workers (Curtis, Marina, Shin,Teresa)

The team, rapid-firing live alerts to clients after lock-up release, are able to provide clients near-immediate knowledge of key topics concerning their organisation. This being my crash course introduction to the chaos of a Budget night, I was not expecting the personal understanding and touch that went into the live active alerting process for clients. I pictured images of machines whirring and topics automatically ticking through Budget content, machines that made a detached decision about what was relevant to clients and made blanket sends without consideration. How our Account Executives, Crystal and Whitney, understood the ins and outs of the needs held by our clients does make a real difference to accuracy and content relevancy.

With the speed and focus they applied to this product offering (active alerts), you would have thought they were machines anyway. But a machine is not going to have their ongoing long-term client relationship and understanding of client development.

 It’s a wrap! Budget 2022 Isentia team, (from left) Crystal (Account Executive) Loren (Marketing Executive ANZ), Whitney (Account Executive), Melvic (Account Executive), Nikhar (Account Executive), Russ (Chief Commercial Officer). 

After the last active alert was sent, you could still feel the adrenaline. The pace and unpredictable circumstances that this team worked under were staggering, but we made it in the end. After a justified amount of snacking, we packed up the Isentia Parliament office and found our way to the car park, where everyone there that night was in a state of buzzed debriefing as they crouched into their Ubers home. I doubt anyone there got more than 5 hours of sleep that night, but it was amazing to be a part of how Isentia offers a unique service to clients. We look forward to giving the same level of tailored content to clients during the election coverage.

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Isentia bringing the 2022-23 Budget to Clients

Our Marketing Executive gets a crash course in Budget night at Isentia. We provide tailored media intelligence offerings. Discover the Isentia difference!

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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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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?

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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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Credit keeps the world economy moving, with Visa, MasterCard and American Express brand names easily identifiable. As time passes by, we can see a definitive shift taking place, with each of these brands increasingly becoming part of conversations taking place around the world.

This Global Report, powered by Isentia and Pulsar's data, analyses international trends and zeroes in how credit card incentives are discussed in Singapore.

Fill up the form below to download the whitepaper and read more.

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Whitepaper
[Pulsar Report] Transactions & Reactions: The Online Credit Card Conversation

Credit keeps the world economy moving, with Visa, MasterCard and American Express brand names easily identifiable. This Global report sheds light on international trends and zeroing in on how credit card incentives are discussed in Singapore.

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