Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

New Zealand’s 20 Toughest PR Jobs For 2020

Communicating the Covid -19 lockdown levels was the toughest PR challenge for 2020.

In a first for the annual rankings issued by BlacklandPR, the lockdown levels received a ‘perfect storm’ score of the highest possible public profile combined with the strongest possible emotional reaction, impact and complexity.

The euthanasia referendum and panic buying at supermarkets were second and third hardest communications challenges for 2020.

“Preparing the nation for Covid 19 lockdowns required juggling a perfect storm of practical and psychological factors,” said Blackland PR director Nick Gowland.

“National and regional lockdowns had never been done before, so explaining why the decision was made and what you’re asking people to do would vex the most seasoned PR pro.

“It was especially gnarly PR challenge; overcoming fear, communicating complex ideas and science, without enough information and with local and global events changing at speed.

“This was a challenge of anticipating five million different reactions to the information being communicated and finding ways to persuade every person. Every single person would have a different motivation, and willingness, to adhere to the stay-at-home order.”

BlacklandPR uses a scoring system that ranks issues out of 10 for four factors – Impact (how many people are consciously affected directly or indirectly), Profile (media coverage and ‘talkability’ in everyday life), Emotion (the intensity of emotional reaction), and Complexity (complications and technicalities of the issue).

In previous years BlacklandPR’s PR Challenges list has been headed by events such as Roastbusters, the Fonterra botulism issue, the Flag Referendum and the Capital Gains Tax.

Covid-19 issues left to Government to take responsibility for

Mr Gowland said Covid 19 threw up many communications challenges for government and private companies. Seven Covid-related communications challenges were in the top 20, including panic buying at supermarkets which ranked third.

“The March panic buying was a very high profile and emotive communications challenge, but it wasn’t all that complex.

“The lesson for organisations wanting to reassure desperate customers is do more than just say things are fine. Lack of clarity intensifies people’s fears. Use fewer words, give plenty of visual evidence and offer clear instructions on what people need to do.”

Many private organisations were also able to ‘cede’ responsibility to Government to handle their Covid issues, Mr Gowland said.

“Governments get involved on most of the big issues of the day as they are such an important player in people’s day to day lives.

“This year it increased its leadership of other sectors and issues because the stakes were so high. We’d bet some of these organisations are thanking their lucky stars the Government stepped in to do their communicating for them.

“A few organisations did have to lead their own Covid-related communications. Air New Zealand’s customer refunds and the supply chain issues Ports of Auckland was felt by many New Zealanders. These challenges have added complexity because the commercial futures of both companies were in play.”

The intensity of people’s emotional reactions to Covid-19 and its talkability, meant other issues that would normally rank highly were buried from people’s attention.

“In a normal year issues like Auckland Light Rail, cyber-attacks, food poisoning and the closure of Concert FM would be much more discussed and debated in public. What mattered in the few months leading up to March was pushed aside and quickly faded from people’s memories.”

Referendums defined by personal connection

“Euthanasia was an exceptionally tough communications challenge for opponents because so many of the public were personally motivated to support the End of Life Choice bill.

“They were up against 20 years’ worth of political and news media attention on the issue. Many Kiwis related to the idea that one day they might be terminally ill and would like the choice of being able to end their lives.

“The weed referendum didn’t have that. A sizeable proportion of the population would likely never have tried weed or ever imagine themselves as being a regular user. People’s relatability to the issue being voted on is an important factor in the referendums’ different outcomes.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

TradeMe: Property Prices In Every Region Hit New High For The Very First Time

Property prices experienced their hottest month on record in December, with record highs in every region, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.\ Trade Me Property spokesperson Logan Mudge said the property market ended the year with ... More>>

Motor Industry Association: 2020 New Vehicle Registrations Suffer From Covid-19

Chief Executive David Crawford says that like some other sectors of the New Zealand economy, the new vehicle sector suffered from a case of Covid-19. Confirmed figures for December 2020 show registrations of 8,383 were 25% ... More>>

CTU 2021 Work Life Survey: COVID And Bullying Hit Workplaces Hard, Huge Support For Increased Sick Leave

New data from the CTU’s annual work life survey shows a snapshot of working people’s experiences and outlook heading out of 2020 and into the new year. Concerningly 42% of respondents cite workplace bullying as an issue in their workplace - a number ... More>>

Smelter: Tiwai Deal Gives Time For Managed Transition

Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed to working on a managed transition with the local community,” Grant Robertson said. More>>

ALSO:

OECD: Area Employment Rate Rose By 1.9 Percentage Points In The Third Quarter Of 2020

OECD area employment rate rose by 1.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, but remained 2.5 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level The OECD area [1] employment rate – the share of the working-age population with jobs – rose ... More>>

Economy: Strong Job Ad Performance In Quarter Four

SEEK Quarterly Employment Report data shows a positive q/q performance with a 19% national growth in jobs advertised during Q4 2020, which includes October, November and December. Comparing quarter 4, 2020, with the same quarter in 2019 shows that job ad volumes are 7% lower...More>>

NIWA: 2020 - NZ’s 7th-warmest Year On Record

The nationwide average temperature for 2020, calculated using stations in NIWA’s seven-station temperature series which began in 1909, was 13.24°C (0.63°C above the 1981–2010 annual average). New Zealand’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when... More>>

Quotable Value New Zealand: Property Market Set To Cool From Sizzling To Warm In 2021

Nostradamus himself could not have predicted the strange series of events that befell our world in 2020 – nor the wild trajectory of New Zealand’s property market, which has gone from “doom and gloom” to “boom and Zoom” in record time. Even ... More>>