Australian Democrats in Victoria are in danger of not being registered as a  political party. Membership has fallen below the minimum of 500 financial members to be registered as a political party. Unless this is remedied by March 2010, the Democrats won’t be able to run candidates in the 2010 Victorian state election.

Today, I met with a former colleague, and firm friend of more than 30 years, who is a relative of one of NSW Parliament right-wing members. They informed me that the arrangements for Keneally to take over were settled last Sunday November 29, 2009. “The American girl is going to take over,” was the message received.

Did Bob Ellis ghost-write Nathan Rees’ comments about malignity and treachery?  The homage to Dr Evatt’s paranoia is highly redolent of Bob’s prose at its finest.  (Submitted by “CATO”)

Apparently a former National Party Premier is working for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Queensland. Wonder if any of your readers know what Anna Bligh has him doing?

More WA government departments are being forced to move to the notoriously inefficient Shared Services for HR and financial functions.  Most have online, and reasonably effective, HR systems supplied by outside contractors.  With the Shared Services model, HR functions (such as booking leave or arranging higher duties payments) will return to paper forms requiring signatures.  Expect paper expenses to soar as nervous public servants copy each form in anticipation of it being lost!

The investigation by part-time Age CEO Don Churchill into the antics of an Age senior executive in South Melbourne in front of shocked Age advertising clients, has now been completed.  Following publication of Crikey‘s exclusive story, The Age advertising director David Hoath, who is alleged to have escorted the executive from the hotel’s premises, was among a number of people interviewed.  Age employees are now waiting with bated breath to see what action will be taken in the lead up to The Age‘s Christmas Party at the Hyatt’s Spice Bar.

Looks like the CBA powers that be read Crikey — only two weeks after their failed PR push was exposed, they have given the aggressive head of PR, Stephanie Barry the push. If only they dealt with the real issue that the Group Exec for Marketing, Barbara Chapman believes media management is just another form of product push, as you can see from her email announcing the changes:

Dear team,

As you know, in the past year a lot of attention and focus has gone into more clearly understanding the importance of our reputation and brand in achieving our goal of reaching number 1 in customer satisfaction.

A key part of this has been the development and execution of a PR strategy focusing on three core elements:

  • Customer Service leadership (and the launch of the Customer Service promise);
  • Community support (including the campaign focusing on our 12 community partners, onemillionkids and school banking), and
  • Australian leadership

To ensure brand alignment, these strategic areas have been driven by the Brand, Marketing & Advertising area and supported by the PR team in our Communications area. Separately, and in addition, the PR team has also been successfully involved in a wide variety of initiatives supporting our Business Unit and Product areas.  These initiatives have been valued by our business partners and have resulted in some excellent media coverage.

Going forward, as we continue our focus on reputation, I believe it’s essential to bring together the Brand and proactive PR areas of our teams. This will mean better integration of our campaigns and our efforts, along with more opportunities for Marketing and Communications to bring a single interface to our customers.

So, from the start of next year we will formally disestablish the PR team under Stephanie Barry and move this small team into the Brand, Marketing & Advertising area.  Other areas of the Communications team remain unchanged.

As a result of this restructure the role of General Manager Public Relations is no longer required, and unfortunately Stephanie Barry will be leaving the Group.  I would like to congratulate and thank Stephanie for her hard work, and in particular for her commitment to improving the results we have had with our proactive PR initiatives.  Through her efforts we now have a much more effective PR capability, which will only continue to get stronger as it comes together under a more integrated marketing structure.

If you have any questions about this change please contact myself, Bryan Fitzgerald or Mark Buckman.

Kind regards,
Barbara Chapman

Peter Fray

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