22 November 2018

Charities welcome donation bill but warn advocacy is still compromised

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Charities welcome the foreign political donation bill but said that they are still at risk of funding cuts for being critical of government
Charities have welcomed the passing of a bill to ban foreign political donations through the Senate, citing the prior bill would have stifled vital public advocacy.
The legislation for the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill cleared the upper house with parties making the issue a priority, paving the way for the ban to become law before the end of the year and freeing up public, political discussion.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy, said: “The bill would have prevented many groups from receiving international philanthropy for important public interest work and would have had a chilling effect on charities and non-profits that hold governments to account and advocate for better polices.
“Silencing civil society would have disastrously weakened democracy in our country. [Thursday’s] bill is a significant improvement on the original proposal, addressing many of the concerns raised by charities and non-profits.”
O’Shanassy added that they particularly welcomed the change to the definition of ‘electoral matter’ as a substantial improvement on current legislation and will work to free charities from a significant red tape burden.
Government Senate Leader Mathais Cormann said changes to the electoral laws were needed in “good time” before the next federal election, as early as the first half of 2019.
“It’s a reform that seeks to ensure the electoral system in Australia is not subject to undue foreign interference,” Cormann told parliament, adding the “historic” bill would ensure all political actors were subject to disclosure and transparency requirements.
Donations of more than $100 to all “political actors”, which includes parties, individuals, candidates and significant political campaigners, from foreign governments and state-owned enterprises will be banned.
Charities will not be prevented from receiving foreign gifts but won’t be able to use foreign money for political spending. They will also not be prevented from using foreign donations to advocate for non-partisan issues.
The Human Rights Law Centre welcomed the electoral funding bill but warned that the bill “is not the end of the road on the democratic reform”.
The Centre’s Executive Director, Hugh de Krester, said: “The government must do more to address the influence large corporations have through election spending and lobbying. Further, charities across the country still face significant pressure from the threat of funding cuts in retaliation for advocacy critical of government policy.
“Charities and community groups do vital work building a better, healthier society. Our democracy is stronger when they are free to speak up.”
The Greens opposed the legislation, calling for a ban on all corporate donations. They cited that the foreign donations bill is not a real attempt at cleaning up democracy and warned that the bill may create a loophole for political parties to restructure their finances to avoid state developer donation bans, despite assurances from other MPs.
“The big money that is pouring into our parliament from vested interest is a fungating cancer on our democracy,” party leader, Richard Di Natale said.
O’Shanassy said that while the bill is an improvement, there is more work to do.
“A robust electoral finance and donations framework must do more to enhance transparency of donations to political parties and set caps on political donations and election spending.”
Written by: Naomi Neilson
Recently graduated with a Bachelor in Communications with a major in Journalism and Public Relations, Naomi Neilson has jumped straight into the world of media and press with Third Sector. She is motivated and passionate to explore the industry and thrives on creating an interactive and social platform for Third Sectors unique readers.

In her free time she can be found either watching the footy or designing her next big art piece around sourcing stories and engaging with new people.

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blogs posts Naomi Neilson

16 November 2018

Dementia Care Matters unique approach centres around idea that “Feelings Matter Most”

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Dementia Care Matters is a leading international dementia care culture change organisation based in the UK, Canada and Australia. We provide consultancy, learning development, training resources and practice based research. We believe a new culture of care comes from focussing on a model of emotional intelligence.

The heart of care is all about emotional care. This requires a shift in care services from only providing task based care. The shift from ‘doing’ it to achieving real emotional connection is at the heart of ‘being’ person centred.

Dementia Care Matters has a “Feelings Matter Most” approach. Life is an emotional journey; we all crave real human connection. This applies even more to people living with dementia. People learn to trust emotions and rely more on themselves as feeling beings rather than thinking beings.

This philosophy comes from the knowledge that people experiencing dementia live with a condition that affects their ability to process facts, logic and thinking.  However, feelings and a persons’ spirit remain.  In the absence of being able to rely on facts, logic and thinking along with this experience of dementia, feelings become more important.  As dementia progresses, the expression of feelings becomes more vital in how people living with dementia communicate and experience the world around them.

The training we offer is about exploring the ideas personally that underpin these approaches; examine how they fit with their own experience of working in dementia care, in supporting people living with dementia and to think how you can improve the daily lived experience of people with dementia by being a part of this whole philosophy.

The phrase ‘person centred care’ is used in this model of care as it is in many other dementia care learning programmes.  However, we offer this perspective:

From our experience care settings do not change and become ‘person centred’ as a result of just having training, standards and competencies. Care settings change because the people leading it have faced the truth about the experience of people with dementia living in aged care homes.  The truth is that many care settings are consumed with getting ‘tasks’ done whilst people with dementia sit bored and lonely in lounges.

Dementia Care Matters has conducted over 750 audits in aged care homes and we find that on average people living with dementia are not living but instead experiencing ‘neutral care’ (boredom, tasks being ‘done’ to them in silence, being asleep) for 70% of the time we audit. 

Therefore this model of care aims to challenge beliefs and attitudes that underpin much of current dementia care practices. It also aims to support, inspire and reinforce beliefs that many committed staff already have about person centred dementia care.

At Dementia Care Matters we encounter managers, nurses and care staff supporting people living with dementia for whom the ‘Feelings Matter Most’ approach fits exactly with who they are and why they came to work with people living with dementia in the first place. We believe that person centred care begins with ourselves. How can people be expected to implement a person-centred approach if they themselves are not treated in a person-centred way at work or in their personal lives? It’s about getting back to basics.

Step inside a Butterfly Dementia Care Home in the UK, Australia & Canada where like a butterfly, the people working there are transforming their family members’ lives with gentle flitting, colour, movement, touch and stillness.

Gone are the uniforms, drug trolleys, staff toilets, large dining rooms, and features of an institution. People are no longer seen as ' residents ' but as family - the old culture of ‘them and us ' swept away. Task orientation, standing around watching people eat, ‘doing to’ people and having staff notices ' put up ‘in peoples’ own home have no place in this model of care. Detached management styles and an over focus on processes belong to the malignant social psychology of the past.

Instead people living and working together come alive sharing their histories, eating, laughing, and supporting each other to recall who they were. Living in the moment is key - helping people to be reached and connected to whoever they now need to ' be '.

The driving force behind this movement in dementia care Dr David Sheard, Founder of Dementia Care Matters left his employment in 1995, after 15 years in the UK National Health Service, with the words “I won't run factories in dementia care anymore.”

Dementia Care Matters offers Care Home Development, Learning Products and Resources, Tailored Consultancy and Training, Mattering in Hospital and University Recognised Learning in person centred care, leadership and training skills.

The Dementia Care Matters Australian Team is available to help transform your organisations culture! Please contact us info@dementiacarematters.com or visit our website www.dementiacarematters.com.

Written by: Helen Blayden, National Director of Dementia Care Matters

Helen Blayden is an experienced Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Dementia Care, Nursing Education, Coaching, Medical-Surgical, and Medication Administration. Strong professional with a Diploma in Frontline Management focused in Aged Care from Positive outcomes.

15 November 2018

Indigenous youth mental health on the decline

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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released a report that finds one in three Indigenous youth are experiencing very high levels of psychological distress

A new report has found more than one in three Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are experiencing very high levels of psychological distress.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released its 2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adolescent and Youth Health and Wellbeing report, which found that youth mental health is still a leading cause of death among young people.

Manager of headspace Cultural Practice and Diversity, Nathan Bramston, said: “There is a huge demand for social and emotional wellbeing and mental health support to meet the unique needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

“Twenty per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in rural areas with 49 per cent of that figure living in the Northern Territory and it is in these areas where there is a lack of mental health services for these young people.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that suicide is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, accounting for more than 40 per cent of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth deaths.

In 2017-18, headspace reported that 7,084 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people visited a headspace centre – which is close to 1,000 more than 2016-17.
The report found almost two in three young Indigenous people aged 15-24 experienced one or more personal stressors. The most common stress was not being able to find employment, followed by a death of a close friend or family member and serious or mental illness.
Over one in three Indigenous young people also reported they were being treated unfairly both in and outside educational settings because they were Indigenous.
“Some of the challenges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people face when help-seeking can be attributed to the effects of intergenerational trauma from past policies and events,” Bramston said.
According to Bramston, there can also be a language barrier when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people try to seek help, as some remote communities speak English as a second or even third language.
Bramston said headspace was working to reduce the stigma around seeking mental health services and were trialing outreach programs where headspace workers visit troubled youth in their communities. The organisation is also implementing educational and employment programs for youth in Indigenous communities.
Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 
Written by: Naomi Neilson
Recently graduated with a Bachelor in Communications with a major in Journalism and Public Relations, Naomi Neilson has jumped straight into the world of media and press with Third Sector. She is motivated and passionate to explore the industry and thrives on creating an interactive and social platform for Third Sectors unique readers.

In her free time she can be found either watching the footy or designing her next big art piece around sourcing stories and engaging with new people.

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts Naomi Neilson

14 November 2018

Four social media metrics that matter more than ‘likes’

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I have banned the words ‘reach’, ‘likes’ and ‘social actions’ at the University of Sydney.

When I’m asked to report on how many ‘likes’ a post or campaign got, I break out into a sweat and worry I’m turning into a lipstick wearing, floral dress loving version of The Hulk.

It’s not because I don’t want people to like our content, like some sort of social media Grinch. It’s because the way that people interact with content social media has changed ( link:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/308393 ).  Metrics like reach and likes are impulses split second reactions as content moves through the feed. They don’t tell us anything about the wants and needs of our audience.

Here are four metrics to use in your next content report that mean much, much more than likes.

Landing page views and CTRs

Anyone can click ‘like’ on a pretty picture or a funny meme, but it takes an invested audience to actually click through to your webpage( link: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/361750134220832 ) (an environment not owned or controlled by Facebook. )

Furthermore, what percentage of the audience who saw your post clicked through? This is called the Click Through Rate (CTR) ( link: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/928745330472862 ) . A low CTR means people are seeing your post and not acting on it because it doesn’t resonate (or you’re perhaps targeting the wrong audience).  A high CTR means it’s hitting the mark.

Both of these metrics can be charted in the Facebook insights tab. Rather than comparing your page’s metrics to industry benchmarks or competitors, start by competing with yourself. Work out what your existing average is and start experimenting with content and audiences to improve it.


“How many likes will I get for $100 on Facebook?” This is another question that feeds the social media Hulk in me.

 Look beyond the likes and prove return on investment for your social media activities by analysis how much you’re paying in terms of cost per click (CPC) and cost per view (CPV) ( link: https://adespresso.com/blog/facebook-ads-cost/ ).

When it comes to Facebook ads, the platform works like an auction rather than a store.  You identify who your audience is and can manually adjust how much you’re willing to pay compared to competitors for a specific action (click, view etc) from that audience.  This, and the relevance of your content (as well as many other factors) determine how much you’ll pay per action.

To see return on investment; take a look at these stats in your page’s Ad or Business Manager tool. Take note of the CPC for content and the CPV for video and aim to work out what wording, creative and audience attributes get the lowest cost per engagement for your brand.

Tagging in comments

The way consumers ( particularly millennials ) are using social media has changed ( link: https://medium.com/@dooleymr/a-new-era-in-social-media-why-millennials-arent-sharing-anymore-15ffe99b9165 ). Have you noticed people don’t post status updates or even share posts anymore?

In the wake of Cambridge Analytica ( link: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/18/what-is-cambridge-analytica-firm-at-centre-of-facebook-data-breach ) and with the rising importance of personal branding and maintaining a squeaky clean digital footprint, sharing content with all of your network is waning.  Facebook users are now far more likely to tag relevant friends in the comments section of content that resonates than share it on their ‘walls’.

Instead of reporting on how many likes you latest post or video got, keep a record of how many people tagged others in the comments to gauge its impact and relevance.

Average watch time

A view on Facebook is three seconds. How much information can you really get from something in that time? Your video may have got 50,000 views, but how many of the people who watched it got past the title slide?  ( link: https://marketingland.com/6-metrics-measure-success-facebook-videos-224452)

Instead of reporting on video likes, or even views, look into your Facebook analytics to determine how many of the total views watched for 10 seconds or more, and what the average watch time is (prepare to be disappointed, Facebook studies have revealed it’s about 10 seconds across the board).

Again, chart what your existing average watch time is, and work at creating video content that gets the call to action across in the first few seconds, and then aims at engaging the audience for more than ten. Make your videos as short and snappy as possible and watch the average view times soar.

What metrics do you report on for social media? How do you track audience engagement and content resonance? I’d love to hear from you on LinkedIn @ HERE

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Jenna Bradwell, Social Media Specialist, Marketing and Communications Division at The University of Sydney                                                                                               

Jenna is a social media specialist with a passion for crowd sourced content, social media activations and effective paid social strategy. Outside of work she is a wine lover, culture-enthusiast and passionate hater of Instagram's 'Valencia' filter.

12 November 2018

Tips to get the most value out of your social media

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Social media is something that will continuously change and develop. With so many new social platforms out there it really becomes difficult to understand where the hype and trend is happening. But for organisations, the question still remains: what is the best way to gain maximum value out of your social media?

Let’s dive into some easy and simply tips that can help you get the most value out of your social media:

            1. Embrace influencer marketing –

sThe power of influencer marketing is increasing than ever before. In 2017 influencer marketing was the fastest-growing online acquisition method of the year! This trend is spreading like wildfire and as a result organisations are spending big bucks on making this part of their social media strategy. By giving people the opportunity to share their passion on certain topics can immensely shape and influence audience opinions. For organisations it’s really about making the right choice with their influencer’ and knowing how much value they can add to your long term goals and strategies. 

2. Establish a solid social media strategy –

It’s easier said than done! Your social media strategy really needs to align with your organisational strategy. What is your organisation about? What services do they provide? How can the benefit everyone? These things should be heavily considered when developing your own social media strategy. Knowing your social platforms and understanding where the hype is occurring can really help the community engage with your business. The content needs to be timely and being able to implement and capitalise on your data can really assist in understanding where the buzz is happening and why. Benchmarking yourselves can push you to stretch your limits and delve into content that you probably wouldn’t touch before.

3. Leverage data  -

Numbers, metrics, data, statistics – these all contribute to provide actionable insights concerning your social media strategy. Some of the raw data that everyone uses are: likes, shares, mentions, comments, hashtag usage, etc. Although this is only bare minimum of what social media strategists look at, but from this we can begin to understand that things like this can help us monitor online social media behaviour.  At the end of the day, organisations use data and analytics to measure their return on investment. If you aren’t getting dollar value out of your social media, then something is amiss. It may be time to reconsider your strategy.
4. Engage your audience  -

Social media isn’t truly active without your audience. Trying to engage the right target audience can be tough. But if you keep your content, short, simple and sweet the target market do respond. The success of your engagement really lies in the way you shape your content. Timely content is key – being ahead of the game and aware of trending news is what keeps your audience engage and your social media alive. Strategically using your hashtags is also another key tip – these hashtags makes it’s easier for people to find you and helps you hop onto trends in your market. Encouraging your audience to share posts can help build audience numbers and ultimately creates an active social network.

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Vishi Peters 
Vishi is a Conference Producer of Akolade’s Government and Digital portfolio. She has a strong interest in current affairs and enjoys giving an educated opinion about emerging trends. She is passionate about photography, enjoys playing cricket, cooking different cuisines and expanding her food knowledge.   

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts @ Vishi Peters

09 November 2018

Staying true to your brand and making tech seamless by YD Head of Retail - Vlad Yakubson

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Amidst all the fluff in retail, it remains true that the best strategies to execute are those that truly resound to your business. We had a “this is for real” talk with Vlad Yakubson, Head of Retail for YD, on what truly matters in the retail industry. Vlad is one of the speakers for the New Retail ’19 event this coming February, where you’ll be equipped with cutting-edge knowledge on how to thrive in the evolving retail landscape.
The absolute key is to remain true to your brand DNA and be absolutely focused on your customer.

RLC: What are some of the most innovative or intriguing things you’re seeing in retail at the moment?

Vlad: We all know that the industry is continuing to evolve and move at a pace not seen in prior years. What’s intriguing is how Gen Z and Millennials are changing the transactional experience. It’s truly a time where the customer dominates the market with more choice and accessibility than ever before. There are many start-ups and phygital brands that are taking innovation to the next level. For instance, there are trials in South Africa with a number of delivery providers track your exact location and deliver to you on the go. Convenience and ease of shopping are key competitive advantages. Stitch Fix is another great example of an on-line store providing a styling experience that’s tailored and personalised. Great way to make shopping easier without the worry of returning items that don’t fit.

RLC: What do you see for the retail industry moving forward over the next 2-5 years? 

Vlad: There will be a couple of key trends and strategies that retailers will peruse in the coming years. There will be a rise in e-commerce showrooms where the blend between on-line and physical bricks and mortar stores will be blurred. Think “store experience per square metre and not just sales per square metre”. As AI technology becomes more affordable and intuitive, more traditional brands will allow AI to make their way in stores. It’s not as much about robots improving technology and efficiency, it’s about enhancing the shopping experience.

RLC: What do you hope to see more in the retail industry and how do you want the industry to move forward?

Vlad: The absolute key is to remain true to your brand DNA and be absolutely focused on your customer. Every retailer has to listen to what their customer is telling them and evolve with them. Stay true and play to your strengths. Sometimes the absolute basics of service and store experience go missing when it becomes about everything else. Who said there was anything wrong with saying “How Can I help you?”

As AI technology becomes more affordable and intuitive, more traditional brands will allow AI to make their way in stores.

RLC: What do you think retailers could do to improve their business to continue to stay ahead of the market?

Vlad: Don’t over complicated and introduce technology just to be in the game. Everything has to be a seamless experience. Innovation and investment from all levels whilst having a clear strategy for your business will ensure you stay relevant. Our current and future generations expect more and want the ability to have it now. We need to keep up.

RLC: What kind of knowledge and inspiration can attendees at the upcoming New Retail ’19 event expect from you?

Vlad: The great news is that I’m involved in operating a very successful brand with yd. We have over 105 brick and mortar stores, our online store continues to grow to new levels and we are growing our social media engagement by 10% per month. What this does is it allows me to present a point of view that is relevant and successful and may help others in the industry. I’m a big believer in staying true to your brand DNA and always listening to your internal and external customers.  
About Vlad: 
Vlad is a brand specialist who takes a holistic approach to growing businesses. He has extensive experience in senior management and a proven track record of leading across multiple business functions in sales, marketing, visual merchandising, finance and property. He is the Head of Retail at yd. Australia, with previous roles in Mad Mex Fresh, New Vintage Store, Glue stores, and McDonald’s Corporation.
Join Vlad in New Retail '19 this coming February at MCEC Melbourne. There will be more than 70 speakers, thousands of delegates, and top brands exhibiting at this biggest gathering in retail.

07 November 2018

You’re part of a National Facial Biometric Matching scheme...

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New laws will allow federal and state government to access data and photos from passports, driver licences and visas as part of a national facial recognition system; the ‘ National Facial Biometric Matching capability’.

Unlike My Health Record, citizens won’t be able to opt out of their details being included in the system.

The NSW Minister for Counter-Terrorism David Elliott said it would enable authorities “to quickly identify a person of interest to help keep the community safe," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

A Parliamentary Joint Committee inquiry into allowing identity matching services for “identity or community protection activities” has attracted submissions labelling the laws a breach of privacy rights.

Monash University Criminal Jurisprudence Professor Liz Campbell argued that the collection, storage and sharing of personal details from innocent people not suspected of an offence would compromise privacy rights.

Alongside this are the concerns that predictive algorithms misidentify ethnic minorities and women at higher rates than the rest of the population.

While Minister Elliott said there will be a threshold limiting the use of the system, there are currently no proper definitions of how the data will be used.

"People will not be charged for jaywalking just because their facial biometric information has been matched by law enforcement agencies," Mr Elliott said in state parliament. "The Government will make sure that members of the public who have a driver licence are well and truly advised that this information and capability will be introduced as part of this legislation.

"I am an avid libertarian when it comes to freedom from government interference and [concerns] have been forecasted and addressed in this legislation."

Still interested? Stay tuned for information on upcoming conferences and summits by following us on Facebook @ Akolade Aust 

Written by: Claire Dowler

Claire is the manager of Akolade’s government and digital portfolio. She’s passionate about emerging digital trends, particularly in the public sector. In her spare time she enjoys picking up heavy things and putting them back down again and animals are her favourite kind of people. 

Follow me on LinkedIn for information regarding future Akolade events as well as future blog posts @ Claire Dowler

The 11th Social Media in Government Conference: A Twitter bird's-eye view

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The Social Media for Government conference provided a platform for social media managers to share an array of information for us to both take in as well as disseminate. As you would expect from a conference about social media, attendees hit the many channels of their social media accounts to engage with one another. Twitter in particular.

So here is my review of the event - with a bit of help from the Twitter bird.

I'm not sure if the conference turned out so wild that people were swinging from the chandeliers, however, thanks to Akolade Australia, the 11th Social Media in Government conference was a joy to be a part of. With many people sharing their experience and knowledge to the over 100 delegates that attended the two day event.

I really enjoyed delivering a presentation about the importance of Archiving Social Media, covering facts and information that may have been overlooked by the audience beforehand, not anymore. Covering items that included the responsibilities social media users in government hold, especially when deleting a post. Items such as, "does your social media policy allow it?" or "Does legislation allow it?" These are all questions that specified government bodies must think about before making a rash decisions in the form of deleting content. We need to learn from mistakes made in the past, and there have been quite a few to learn from.

Throughout the two-day conference there was a total of 20 speakers, of which most spoke about how government bodies can best engage with their communities on social media. There were many interesting strategies different organisations used that was displayed through case studies.

Jessica Ryan from Australian Securities and Investments Commission gave some useful insights on how to get the whole organisation behind the social media effort. From how to convey your ideas to other teams who aren’t across social media, to reporting to those both up and across the chain in order to engage the audience.

Ryan Vanderhorst from Vic Emergency delivered a very popular presentation in which he explained to the audience how social media can connect those in need with those who can help. Key takeouts highlighted how social media is the quickest way to disseminate information these days, and thus can be a lifesaver when unexpected emergencies hit. Did you know that Emergency Management Victoria can get from 20,000 to 30,000 messages on a weekend when emergencies hit. Talk about a twitter storm. And yes, we too joined in on the twitter party…

The conference also held its fair share of international speakers, notably the keynote, Dirk Von Holleben, a Social Media manager from the German Ministry of Defence was the international keynote speaker. He has done a great job with engaging with his audience through their very active social media channels. YouTube was his main topic of interest, as he found great success in using it to engage with the younger generation.

And as always, the conference had guest speakers from Facebook and Twitter. Talking about what's new and upcoming on their platforms. Sharing some trivia that you may not have heard of. Did you know that the average Facebook user scrolls through more than 100 meters of feed per day. That's higher than the statue of liberty. So how do you get them to stop and read your post? Luckily, that was something that Kylie Mackey, Senior Events & Marketing Officer, City of Greater Geelong covered.

All in all, the 11th Social Media for Government left us all with a lot to think of.
Jay Batten posted a tweet that I think summarised the event perfectly.

If you missed the event but would like to have a discussion around social media in Government, we’re happy to have a coffee and conversation as one thing is certain; social media is here to stay and increasing in complexity and importance so we need to be across the management of it!

Written by: Damian Martina, Sales Manager at Brolly

An accomplished executive-level sales professional offering 15 + years’ experience analysing current and potential business processes to identify clear opportunities for improvement, meeting business objectives, ensuring client satisfaction and increasing employee productivity.