Where Trolls and Businesses Collide

Politics can often deliver important lessons for business.

While the Australian Labor Party continues is now month-long orgy of blame and denial – in many cases simultaneously – the new government goes about it s job without serious opposition.

No matter what one’s political view-point, the nature of our political system requires an active and effective opposition. An opposition that offers more than just distain for the current officeholders.

Whilst no party can really claim the moral high ground on playing personality politics, the lack of viable policy alternatives, is providing fertile ground for a growing culture of personal invective , ably assisted by the now all pervasive social media.

To see what I mean read the article by Paul Sheehan of the SMH via the following link:

There is a valuable lesson for business here.

The easy access and immediacy of social media is a magnet for the disaffected, grumpy, nasty, irrational and downright crazy.

Never has it been easier for vile nonsense to be spread about individuals and companies, with absolutely no filter, little thought of consequence and even less chance of accountability.

All businesses need to beware of what is being said about them online and devise means to respond to, engage with, or, if necessary, curtail such public discourse.

This is where a social media strategy and an issues management plan come together. Each is devised for a specific purpose and the point of intersection is fast becoming one of the most sensitive areas of corporate communication.

A social media strategy is much more than posting pretty pictures on some forum and tweeting about the latest product release. It is learning to work with an entirely new, uncontrolled, immediate, vast and sometimes dangerous medium.

Equally a proper issues management plan will track concerns, comments and matters than can impact on business and help corporate communicators determine the right time and way to respond.

Not having one of the two is risky not having either is, in today’s world, foolish!

By John Kananghinis

Crisis what Crisis?

The latest news out of China and the immediate pre-election business confidence survey point to a far less gloomy picture of Australia’s economic future than the confected crisis that both sides of politics were spruiking in the run up to the election.

Whilst there is a wind down of the largest mineral export investment boom we have seen in recent history there is no need to fear imminent doom.

As per our comments in previous issues of The Word ;

China may have slowed from unsustainably record levels of GDP growth, but it is settling into steady high growth that clearly outstrips almost all other economies.

As the Chinese continue the urbanisation and infrastructure development of their vast country, and move to underpinning their economy with a more sustainable balance of domestic and export demand, we can expect a continued steady demand for our resources.

The challenge for the new Australian government will be to ensure that our trade with China continues to grow in both directions. We need to look to add higher value imports to the low value consumer goods we have been taking from China and thus underpin our position as a preferred trading partner and resource supplier. Not a particularly easy task when geopolitical matters are brought into the equation.

However, as is often said, if it were easy then everyone would be doing it.

Australia remains a strong economy with great future prospects. Let’s hope that the steady stewardship promised by the new government is delivered and that we do not once more fall victim to rapid fire politically motivated policy changes.

There is no crisis in the Australian economy, but there is an urgent need for wise heads to maximise the opportunities

PM’s ‘contract’ offers clear opportunities for engagement and growth

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is the first in the top office to have signed a ‘contract’ with the Australian community.

The six-point contract contains the commitments he took to the electorate on which he is asking people to ‘hold’ his government ‘to account’.

The points cover a stronger and diversified economy; elimination of the carbon tax; the end to waste and debt; the building of modern roads and improved services; securing the nation’s borders; and the creation of 2 million new jobs within a decade.

This latter commitment is difficult to evaluate before the next federal election because it is only three years away. However, the Prime Minister will have to demonstrate an improvement in the current situation during his term of office if he is not to breach the contract.

Although the contract can be regarded as ‘symbolic’, it has a greater underlying element. It highlights the desire for greater stability in government planning and decision-making over the previous government. The business sector should now start planning on this basis, along with their government engagement process.


The contract also emphasis that the government is not going to be run by media-driven agendas. Consultative decision-making is what it is seeking; it is now open to be tested in practice.

The business and community sectors should be engaging with government with full knowledge and understanding of the Coalition’s policies and what they are seeking to achieve and what the new Ministers have been saying over the last year when they were in Opposition.

Three-years is only a very short-phase in the business cycle. But it is one with which the CEOs of today are familiar business plans. Living up to the ‘contract’ requires input from more than just the government. That is why the Prime Minster says that Australia is once more open for business. He needs a partnership with business to work or “the contract” will be ‘torn-up’ in by the electorate in 2016.

RMKA has built a deep understanding of government policy formulation and processes and combines that with knowledge of how to effectively engage with government to address issues and implement initiatives of importance to business.

Rob Masters