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Easy 100-day comms plan formula

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we do not know what is around the corner.  So that brings up a good question: how do you plan for 2021 when there is so much uncertainty?  When it comes to communications planning I believe it’s essential to keep your plan simple, focused on core actions and short-term.  That way you can remain nimble and change when circumstances require. I find, however, most people run out of planning gumption by 1 December.  And with the exceptiona...

December 31, 2020

Christmas Communications Checklist

Christmas is coming and for many of us that means a long summer break is on the horizon. But before you turn out the lights and head off, take a few moments to ensure you’ve got your communications sorted. Here’s a list of five communications actions to tick off your list before your break. Distribute good news With a dearth of business news coming out over the Christmas and New Year break, journalists are often looking for good news stories to fill space.  This creates an opportunity ...

November 27, 2020

Rocketspark launches first AI SEO tool that generates text content for its website builder

New Zealand website builder Rocketspark has launched what is believed to be the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool on the market that creates text content for its website users, helping get their businesses in front of more customers online. Cambridge-based Rocketspark, with funding from Callaghan Innovation, has developed a tool which enhances customers’ websites, by automatically generating content to improve their website’s search engine rankings. The search engine optimisation (SEO)...

November 18, 2020

Hamilton home sellers cautioned against ‘fast sale mentality’ as holidays approach

The average number of days to sell a home in Hamilton hit 25 in October.  This is the fastest average sale time in the city in five years.  Additionally, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) statistics released this morning report the Waikato region’s average ‘days to sell’ of 28 days is less than the 10-year average for October which is 36 days. This startling ‘quick sale’ trend has prompted Lodge Real Estate managing director, Jeremy O’Rourke, to caution sellers t...

November 13, 2020

Cannasouth submits first product assessment and registration application to Medicinal Cannabis Agency

Cannasouth has submitted assessment applications for its first three white label products to the Medicinal Cannabis Agency (Agency). To date, no new product applications have been approved by the Agency. If successful, Cannasouth expects its products to be available to patients in the first half of 2021.    The Agency has indicated that product assessments and registration against New Zealand quality standards could take up to three months to complete. Following successful regist...

November 12, 2020

Ex-farmer now helping others run viable, profitable businesses

Ex-farmer Daniel Payton is now using his knowledge and practical experience to help farmers make changes to their system, while retaining a viable and profitable business. Daniel (37) is Perrin Ag’s newest consultant. One of his first projects is working as part of a larger team to complete work for the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme – an initiative that aims to increase tree planting across New Zealand, reaching one billion trees planted by 2028. Perrin Ag is being funded by Te ...

November 5, 2020

Media Interview Prep: map your key messages

Planning for a media interview can be daunting, especially if it’s something you don’t do often.  So, it’s imperative that you plan and practise beforehand. One of the most important things you can do to prepare is to write down the top messages you want to come across in the interview.  Whittle these down to very concise statements that your audience can absorb and understand. Think of this planning exercise as a ‘key messaging map.’  The first thing to determine is, wh...

November 5, 2020

Establishing credibility: Why and how to do it

A common reputational goal we set for clients is to establish them and their business as thought leaders in their field, so that the public (and the media) identify them as knowledgeable and the ‘go-to’ for a particular topic, subject or business area. We always say this can’t happen overnight; it takes months and more often years of sustained effort to position a business as an eminent voice. To do so, businesses need to establish credibility, defined as the quality of being believable or...

October 16, 2020

Five factors frustrate Hamilton home buyers and renters

Hamilton’s median house price broke another record last month.  The Real Estate Institute of NZ released its figures for September today, showing the city’s median for last month was $676,000, up from $654,500 in August. Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke says many buyers are being frustrated by rising prices and the extreme competition in the city.  He says five factors are creating frustration for both buyers and renters. Competitive bidding, multiple offers&nb...

October 13, 2020

New Zealanders with disabilities face five year wait for life-changing assistance dog

Those with severe disabilities around the country are waiting five or more years for access to an assistance dog that would give them independence and provide crucial daily aid. Assistance Dogs NZ Trust (ADNZT) is calling on the New Zealand public to help reduce this long wait time and bring this much-needed solution to the 47 children and families on their waiting list, launching their Appeal Week today. Assistance Dogs NZ Trust was founded in 2008 to provide specialist public access dogs to cl...

October 1, 2020

Hamilton Lake housing development to help ease city housing pressures

With demand for housing in Hamilton city at record levels, newly consented residential development Jack’s Landing is a welcome option on the doorstep of Hamilton Lake.  Bordering Innes Common, Jack’s Landing received approval under Special Housing Area legislation which stipulates a portion of the house and land packages must be deemed affordable housing.  At least ten percent of the homes will be no more than 90% of Hamilton’s average house price. The Special Housing Areas legis...

September 23, 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tours NZ’s newest milk powder spray dryer in Waikato

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the Waikato Innovation Park today where she toured the newly-completed $50 million industrial spray dryer situated on the campus. CEO of Food Waikato and the Waikato Innovation Park, Stuart Gordon, says the dryer will meet the burgeoning demand for sheep milk products, with the industry aiming to double in size year-on-year for the next three years. The new spray dryer is tailored to the unique requirements of sheep milk. “This development is a real break...

September 23, 2020

Business growth drives appointment of inaugural Chief Executive

Business growth has driven the appointment of an inaugural chief executive at engineering, surveying and planning firm, Cheal. Rebecca (Beck) Hawke has been appointed to take on the leadership role after 14 years with the company. Starting out as a small Taupo-based consultancy in 1940, Cheal now has six offices across the central north island and more than 80 employees. Company director Phil Rielly says there are no signs of business slowing down. “We have seen steady growth in our business...

September 14, 2020

Vendors risk low return on home investment in white hot real estate market

While Hamilton’s housing market is booming, Lodge Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke says some vendors are still not getting the best price possible for their property investment. “Our local housing market is white hot.  Stocks are low and demand is high, which means offers from buyers are coming in very quickly on quality properties.  “In this sort of market it is tempting for vendors to take the first offer that meets their expectations.  But a quick sale isn...

September 14, 2020

Farmers driving genetic gains using sexed semen

Orders for frozen sexed semen at CRV Ambreed have more than doubled over the last two years as dairy farmers look to get more from their top cows through genetic gain. CRV product development manager Peter van Elzakker says an increasing number of farmers are considering sexed semen as a tool for lifting the quality of their herd improvement programme and getting replacement heifers from top producing cows. “For herds with good fertility management, using sexed semen from the very best proven ...

September 10, 2020

New managing director brings fresh leadership approach to CRV

CRV Ambreed’s new managing director James Smallwood has an open-door approach to leadership, with plans to get out in the field with staff and invite farmers to connect with him one-on-one.  In its 50-year history, Smallwood is only CRV’s fourth managing director. He says he is focussed on working with the CRV team to continue offering industry-leading innovations and great products to the company’s farmer customers. “We want to deliver our products and services to farmers in a way...

September 10, 2020

Waikato business survey reports mixed signals

A survey of 589 Waikato business owners and managers has found that while overall economic sentiment is pessimistic, the region’s businesses are more optimistic about Waikato and sector performance than they are about the New Zealand economy as a whole. This optimism is demonstrated by businesses signalling they are actively recruiting new staff, despite an environment of skill shortages and overall sales sitting below 2019 levels.  Businesses’ lack of planning for future scenarios, how...

September 10, 2020

Influencers: the rules are out!

This week the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) released their new requirements for influencers, marking a line in the sand for the industry to follow from 14 September 2020. They state that all ASA Codes apply to influencer advertising content (as well as more traditional forms), and that an influencer could be an advertiser (advertising their own product) or may act as a media platform, posting content controlled by an advertiser or brand. It also doesn’t matter what size an influencer...

September 3, 2020

Leading with and communicating purpose - PODCAST

Unfortunately for many organisations, their purpose, mission, vision and values can be beautifully written statements that look great on a poster but have a hard time jumping off the page and coming to life. This is not the case with owner and managing director of Schick Civil Construction, Pat Peoples.  He is a leader who truly understands what it means for a business to ‘live’ its why.  And he’s taken a very pragmatic approach to communicating and instilling that purpose and Sc...

September 2, 2020

Keep sharing the love

They say every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the challenges of lockdown, we’ve found that working from home with no face-to-face contact prompted businesses to ramp up communications with their team. For businesses that have been out of lockdown for a few months, it’s a good time to assess the internal communications you did during that period. Have you kept it up or have you fallen back into old habits? Internal communications can often be overlooked when we are so outwardly focussed ...

August 31, 2020

Speckle Park cattle offer more than just paddock cuteness

Speckle Park is a fast-growing breed of cattle that not only looks good, but is helping dairy farmers meet demand for a high-quality dairy beef cross product. CRV Product Development Manager Oceania Peter van Elzakker says one key attraction of the breed for dairy farmers is the suitability of Speckle Park for use across all breeds, with the colour mark holding well with Friesian, Ayrshire, Jersey and cross breeds. “The colour marking makes the animals easy to identify and reduces the chance ...

August 25, 2020

Too much grass! Extreme pasture covers present unique challenges for some Waikato dairy farmers

With the prolific pasture growth rates this Autumn-Winter, some farmers across the Waikato are tackling the challenges of extreme grass covers over several paddocks of 4,500kgDM/ha and higher. GrainCorp Feeds’ technical support manager Waikato, Ken Winter, says farmers in the region are being presented with a problem they may not have encountered in the past. “Ordinarily, it’s reassuring for farmers to have plenty of feed ahead to cover what can normally be challenging months for Spring gr...

August 25, 2020

Whanganui teen excels in agribusiness with help of scholarship

Whanganui student Hope Mauchline has been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from Perrin Ag Consultants Ltdto support her study towards a Bachelor of AgriCommerce at Massey University. Hope (18) is currently in her second year of extramural study, majoring in farm management. The scholarship will contribute to her course fees for 2020, with an opportunity to undertake practical work experience at one of Perrin Ag’s offices. Hope finished correspondence school at the tender age of 16 and was awarded ...

August 25, 2020

Hill Laboratories acquires water quality monitoring software Hilltop

Hill Laboratories has acquired New Zealand-based environmental management software Hilltop, used around the country as a water quality monitoring tool. Hilltop is used by most regional councils around New Zealand, as well as electricity generators and environmental consultants, to manage data related to water quality and quantity. CEO of Hill Laboratories, Dr Jonno Hill, says that the acquisition of Hilltop demonstrates the importance the company places on the water quality monitoring market. ...

August 24, 2020

Adapting to an online-first world in the age of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the business world upside down, changing consumer habits literally overnight. As brick-and-mortar shops have had to temporarily shut down during lockdown, the need to adapt and survive has never been greater as consumers have no choice but to shop online. A lot of businesses have had to reinvent themselves quickly and start or ramp up their online presence to offer their goods or services, often with little or no experience with e-commerce trading. This shift is...

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