Here you can see where either Lou or Dave has been in a media story.
21 February: NBR Radio and Dave, regularly the twain shall meet.
Dave was interviewed on NBR radio about Dan Carter's drink-driving charge, his reaction to the event and the severing of sponsorship ties between Dan Carter and Land Rover. Dave reckons it's a template on how to handle PR in these situations.
20 December: Dave on, you guessed it, NBR Radio
Dave was interviewed on NBR radio about Lance Armstrong's trip to New Zealand to shoot a commercial for Lion breweries. Would it be good for Lance's reputation? What about Lion? Who wins and who loses out of this deal?
26 November: Dave on the Nation again
On 26 November, Dave took part in The Nation's panel with NZME Business Editor Fran O'Sullivan and Newshub Political Editor Paddy Gower.
20 July: Dave on NBR Radio, yet again
Dave went on NBR radio to discuss the plagiarism scandal plaguing Melania Trump, who allegedly "borrowed" from Michelle Obama's speech. Dave has some helpful advice for what to do if you get caught out in the same scenario.
24 May: Dave back on NBR Radio
Dave was again interviewed by the NBR on Sky TV's latest social media campaign where you could #commandtheunsullied. A social media campaign that didn't quite go to plan.
7 May: Dave on TV3's The Nation
On 7 May, Dave took part in The Nation's panel with Fairfax political editor Tracey Watkins and former ACT leader Jamie Whyte.
6 May: Lou on TheRegister.co.nz
Lou wrote this blog on the Farmers Mother's Day blunder. Retail industry title The Register picked it up for their story.
"Managing partner of Draper Cormack Group and PR professional Lou Draper also talked about how to avoid Farmers' situation onLinkedIn:
Mistakes happen. Farmers have managed it well, they've apologised, acknowledged their mistake and contributed towards how they'll do better next time, but what could they have done to prevent it happening in the first place? And what can you do to make sure a similar thing doesn't happen to you?
Put your audience at the heart of your communications. Create personas for your customer segments. Get to know those personas inside and out and learn how to talk to them best. Peer review. Have a sign off process, 3 people deep. Mostly though, ask yourself the questions your comms is asking of your customers. Any hint of uneasiness and it's back to the drawing board."
24 April: Dave on Stuff.co.nz
Dave wrote another Op-Ed that was published on Stuff.co.nz (link) on how having a good relationship with Government can be hugely beneficial to you and your business. You just need to know what to look for.
Politicians get a bum rap in terms of reputation.
Each political scandal gives us another reason to mistrust them, but that doesn't mean that as business owners we should discount them. We may think that government just gets in the way of business, but there are opportunities for government to help out, we just have to make it happen.
Outside of the Wellington bubble you realise that most people simply don't care about politics. The feeling towards government is one of apathy and there's an attitude of "the government could never help me anyway".
There are many great reasons why you should try and foster a warm relationship with government and MPs. Some are to stop bad things from happening, but there are also plenty of positive opportunities.
Right now the raw commodities market, which has been keeping NZ Inc. afloat for so long, is struggling. As a result, if you're in another industry there's a great opportunity to stick your head above the parapet and let the Government know that your industry is doing well. A good news economic story would go down a treat.
But why should you? We know there should be a return on investment on an action like that. So what's the return?
There are a few things. Firstly, Ministers like to travel. A lot.
Right now Steven Joyce is touring the United States hoping to cash in on New Zealand's participation in the WTO's Agreement on Government Procurement. There's $600B up for grabs in the US and Joyce is over there hoping to get some. And his backing band on this tour is a bunch of heavy-weight CEOs from major NZ companies. Not long ago, John Key took a trip over to Australia and he also took some CEOs with him. So if you're in the business of exporting then you should want to get in on this action.
Secondly, you want government and other MPs talking positively about you. If Ministers stand up at a speech and mention you as the bright light of New Zealand's trade and export economy, then people are going to look you up.
Finally a good relationship with government means your voice is listened to. This is particularly important when it comes time for regulatory settings. Having a close relationship with government ensures your voice is heard when the writing is being done.
Why would government or an MP want a relationship with you? Because as already mentioned, they're looking for success stories, they're looking for reasons why the New Zealand economy isn't doing badly and if you can provide a tale of success then they're going to leap onto it.
Getting in with government isn't as hard as you might think. It's clearly a case of who you know so you just need to find someone in Wellington who's connected. You will have to possibly get some help in translation. Government is a language unto itself, so find someone fluent and pick their brains. Get them to introduce you to the right advisor and have a think about what sort of impression you want to leave.
While the perception of government may be one of nuisance and of stymieing business innovation, government is an institution that will always exist and will always have influence. For this reason we need to seek opportunity there too
3 April: Dave in the Sunday Star Times
Reputation. It's an intangible asset but it's probably one of the most important you have. A bad reputation or a non-existent one will be harmful to your bottom line. A damaged brand can send a business into a death spiral.
Imagine you've spent years building up your business. You turn a nice profit. You've got a Facebook page and a Twitter account. You don't use them much though, just every now and again to advertise specials.
Then someone has a bad experience with your company. That person voices their displeasure on social media, and that displeasure gets echoed around multiple platforms. Then the mainstream media picks it up and your organisation starts getting hammered. You keep getting messages from people telling you how awful you are, now customers are mentioning it. What's become of your reputation? How do you fix this?
This happened recently to Auckland restaurant, Miss Moonshine. Its owners tried to be funny and irreverent by having 'witticisms' on the walls of the men's toilets. People didn't find them funny and irreverent though, they found them offensive.
It was first talked about on social media, then the mainstream media got hold of the story and before you knew it their reputation was taking a massive hit.
Initially Miss Moonshine's owners got it wrong. They deleted their Facebook and Twitter account. Then they figured it out. The next day they apologised for the slogans. They took responsibility for their actions and said they'd change the behaviour. Brilliant. They could have even gone further and made a donation to a relevant charity, and they could also have added that pulling their social media accounts was because they panicked – honesty and transparency is usually appreciated and is always the right way to go. Never. Ever. Lie.
It's understandable to want to get off social media, but it won't stop people talking about you. It just stops you from seeing what they're saying and being able to respond. This is a double-negative, and in this instance that does not equal a positive. If you face a crisis: stop, take a breath, meaningfully apologise and then ride the storm. Salvaging your reputation happens at the end.
I know of very few organisations who think about their reputation when they're planning for the year. Even fewer who allocate budget for boosting, improving or maintaining their reputation.
As business owners, we know we need to have up-to-date technology. We need computers that work fast, phones that double as personal assistants, and of course our data and intellectual property is usually saved on servers.
We also know these things cost. They cost to buy, they cost to maintain and they cost to repair if it comes to that. Though it's easier to try and maintain something than it is to repair it. Think of a car. An annual service, getting the oil and spark plugs changed, could save you a lot in the future, and help it retain its value when you sell it. Why not treat your reputation the same?
Before you start working on improving your reputation you should figure out what your reputation is. Knowing for sure how your reputation looks is very very hard.
There are tools to find out. Get someone to do a reputation audit for you. Interview your most important stakeholders – customers, staff, investors – and get an accurate picture of where you stand. But just like a dictator can never really know if people are laughing at their jokes because they're funny or if people are afraid not to laugh, if it was you who asked your staff, customers, and other stakeholders what they think of you, you're not necessarily going to get an honest assessment.
Even though we can't hold our reputation in our hands or turn it off when we leave the office, as business owners it's crucial that we start treating it like the other assets we own. Invest time, planning and yes, sometimes money, on making yours great.
It's not just a positive, but if your reputation is good enough, it gives you enough social capital to ride out possible crises.
31 March: Dave on NBR Radio
Dave was interviewed by the NBR on how he perceived Bunnings' reputation management during the recent defibrillator story and what they could have done differently..