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From the President

In last year's IABC Wellington member survey you told us you'd like to hear more about how the work of communicators is evolving.

So I'm pleased to announce that in the coming months we will launch a 'Future of Communications' series involving three short videos on a range of leading-edge topics and will be hosting an evening event on the use of virtual reality technology in communications. The series is made possible by the good folk at Wrestler, a Wellington-based content creation company who work with many of the capital's most exciting companies.

Shaun Jones

Newsroom event: Thursday 27 April

Former NZ Herald editor-in-chief Tim Murphy and former MediaWorks head of news Mark Jennings have just launched a new home for smart digital journalism,

Join IABC Wellington for an insightful conversation with Tim, who will speak about how Newsroom was developed, the type of stories it features and its place in the market. Chorus, one of Newsroom’s founding partners, is kindly hosting this event.

When: 5.30pm, Thursday 27 April 2017
Where: Chorus, Level 10, State Insurance Building, Willis Street, Wellington
Cost: Free to IABC members; $30 to non-members
​RSVP: by Eventbrite registration by 5pm, Monday 24 April 2017. Please advise of any dietary requirements when you RSVP.

Save the date!

Budget night exclusive
Thursday 25 May, 5.15pm

Don’t be surprised if Trump actually wins… That was the advice given by financial journalist and commentator Bernard Hickey at our post-budget analysis event last year, a full six months ahead of it becoming a reality. What might the economic soothsayer predict this year? Join us on Budget night to get an exclusive insight into the mind of Bernard as he emerges from the Budget lockup, to share his insights and translate what it means for Wellington communicators. The IABC Wellington Budget event is brought to you with the generous support of Inside Recruitment.

10th anniversary celebration
Thursday 27 July, 6.30pm

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the reforming of the IABC Wellington chapter, and we're celebrating with a mid-winter event.

More details to follow!

Wellington wins three Gold Quill Awards

The IABC Gold Quill Awards recognise and award excellence in strategic communication worldwide (the “Pulitzer Prize” of our field). 

Congratulations to the Department of Internal Affairs and Victoria University of Wellington for their win in the Marketing, Advertising and Brand Communication category, as well as Transpower for their recognition in the Writing category. 

View the full list of winners on the IABC International website.

Wrap-up: March Simplicity boardroom lunch

Low-fee, online-only KiwiSaver provider Simplicity launched in August with strong earned media coverage. Its business model disrupted the KiwiSaver market by being a New Zealand owned not-for-profit, and charging much less than competitors.

Simplicity CEO Sam Stubbs spoke to senior communicators at an IABC Wellington boardroom lunch about its strategy and experience with media so far. The event was kindly sponsored by JacksonStone & Partners. 

A few short weeks after its launch, KiwiSaver providers including Simplicity faced intense media scrutiny. An NZ Herald story exposed that Vanguard (which manages money invested with Simplicity and most KiwiSaver providers) was funding tobacco companies and manufacturers of weaponry including cluster bombs. The KiwiSaver industry was challenged by media and the public on why New Zealanders' retirement savings were put to unethical use. When faced with the crisis of Vanguard's unethical investments and huge backlash from media and the public, Sam worked with an external PR consultant and chose to take it as an opportunity rather than to make defensive statements or be silent. 

Simplicity's agility being small and new, without the restrictions and layers of sign-off its competitors have, meant it could respond quickly and be bold: Sam told media he thought the entire KiwiSaver industry should be offer options for investing in ethical funds and should all be more transparent. He then worked with competitors to approach Vanguard and ask them to set up an ethical fund or risk losing all their New Zealand business.

"This approach was in line with our brand. It's always good for our brand to be in the media, if the comments we're making are grounded in our fundamental values which are all about improving the dignity of New Zealanders," Sam says. "That whole issue, and Vanguard taking note and agreeing to establish an ethical fund as a result, really proves the power of the fourth estate. Without the media putting pressure on, it would have been a lot harder for me to convince Vanguard that New Zealand had real market appetite for this."

Sam told IABC Wellington that a key aspect of developing the Simplicity brand was establishing trust with New Zealanders. "We did that by treating people as if they are smart, because I believe that they are. Most KiwiSaver providers take the approach of 'this is really complicated, pay us and we will handle it for you' - we say the opposite and people appreciate that. Consumers are smarter than many companies treat them."
10 past members - where are they now?

Continuing our 10 out of 10 series of articles in celebration of IABC Wellington’s 10th anniversary, we’re looking for the following 10 people from the 1997 IABC New Zealand contacts list:
  1. Catherine Beard
  2. Mark France
  3. Francis Wevers
  4. Robert Greenfield
  5. Claire Wood
  6. Robert Murray
  7. Cynthia Brophy
  8. Nikitin Sallee
  9. Helen Potter
  10. Beppie Holm.
If you have their contact details, please email them to our 10th anniversary celebrations convener Ann Kennedy-Perkins. We also welcome contact details of other IABC alumni you’d like to catch up with.
Welcome to the new IABC Wellington members: 

Anna Symmans,
Nicola Maycroft, 
Alice Wills Johnson.
To receive IABC Wellington event invitations and our regular newsletter with additional information of regional and local interest, please sign up to our mailing list at Non-members are welcome to sign up.

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