Why Celebrity Endorsement Is Here To Stay

celebrity endorsement

Why do brands embrace the faces of celebrity?

It’s not a new phenomenon and has been part of our daily consumption for many decades; in fact, it’s difficult not to name a product or company that hasn’t engaged in some form of celebrity endorsement.

Celebrities can be a vehicle for brands to reach out to new audience niches as well as the mainstream.

Some well-known and successful brand associations include George Clooney (Nespresso), Jennifer Aniston (Emirates), Nicole Kidman (Etihad), Michael Jordan (Nike) and Jamie Oliver (Woolworths).

Success can add millions in brand value through positive association and the power of aspiration.

Consumers are well aware that these arrangements are paid for but will see past that if the association is credible and real.

Guy Sebastian has recently been announced as AirAsia’s brand ambassador in Australia in a deal that promises to work well for both parties. AirAsia receive the benefit of a very likeable personality with a clean image in the vast entertainment industry.

AirAsia sees the synergy of entertainment and travel working together in a lifestyle brand sense to appeal to their audience, produce engaging content and attract attention across borders.

Sebastian in turn is looking to promote himself further across Asia and AirAsia’s massive reach will assist. The airline has worked before with musicians in other markets and several top executives are former music industry executives including the co-founder, Tony Fernandes.

AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the airline was thrilled to have Guy on board calling him a “natural fit for AirAsia”.

“Guy embodies AirAsia’s values and ideals with his support of the community through charity work and will promote AirAsia’s brand,” he said.

guy sebastian

In an interesting twist, about the time Sebastian was announcing the arrangement with AirAsia, controversial Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios parted ways as an ambassador for Malaysia Airlines after just one year. Sometimes the relationship just doesn’t work out, or maybe, wasn’t a good fit to start with.

In another format, Australian radio and TV personality Jules Lund has established a marketing start-up called Tribe which targets brands that want to get active in social media through associating themselves with brand personalities or ‘influencers’.

The marketplace model allows users (influencers) to bid online to provide services or endorsements for a product or brand which can then be purchased by that brand. Tribe promises ‘authentic advocacy’, with influencers choosing brands, not the other way around.

Tribe has just completed a round of funding to fuel expansion in technology and markets. It has claimed to have worked with more than 500 brands and have about 4500 influencers on its books.

If you’re considering a brand ambassador here’s a checklist of some key considerations:

  • Choose the right brand ambassador! What are they going to do for you and who do they appeal to? Is their association with your brand or product believable? Do your research thoroughly.
  • It needs to be a two-way relationship with real benefits for both parties. It’s not just about dollars.
  • All obligations and terms need to be set out in writing for executing. And, also allow for the arrangement not working out.
  • Meet regularly to manage obligations under the contract and explore new opportunities.
  • How will you measure the success or otherwise of your investment? Is it in sales, audience recall, specific brand attribute measurements, or digital media traction? Be clear with your own goals and expectations.

How To Nail A Media Interview And Build Your Brand And Personal Profile


I have been doing a bit of media training for clients lately and it has reminded what an incredibly daunting experience it can be for people who do not deal with the media on a daily basis. For the vast majority of executives – regardless of age, experience or gender – interacting with the media for the first few times can be cause to break out in a rash and immediately commence a search for any number of reasons why it is a bad idea (delegation to someone else to ‘help’ them develop their skills is a favorite!).

Why engage with the media?

Doing a media interview for the first time comes from the same place the fear of public speaking comes from, amplified to the size of the prospective audience. The fear of something going horribly wrong and the consequences for your career, business and social status can be terrifying. So why the hell would you put yourself through that?

Because it is great for your business. Getting your name out through earned media channels allows you to reach a bigger audience with greater credibility than you could image with your paid or owned channels. Earned media drives four times the brand lift of paid media and 51% of millennials are more likely to be influenced by earned media (BazaarVoice, 2012) than advertising.

There are plenty of other reasons why you should engage with the media.

Are you a goodie or baddie?

To be simplistic, most interactions with the media can be characterised as either a threat or an opportunity. How you deal with the media depends heavily on this context and if you are a goodie or a baddie.

Threats are where there is a risk your name or brand could be damaged as a result of a media report. The strategies you adopt in these circumstances are vastly different to how you deal with an opportunistic engagement. It will be fairly easy to tell the difference when the time comes.

If you just jagged a $2 million bonus while profits and shareholder returns declined, you are the bad guy and should expect some tough questions. Your business just went into administration leaving customers high and dry. Expect some tough questions. Like it or lump it, asking these tough questions is a journalist’s job. In these situations, harm minimisation is the main priority.

However, if you haven’t ripped anybody off lately talking to the media is something you should actively be pursuing and can deliver massive return, for minimal risk. The vast majority of interactions with the media are simple exchanges of information. You have knowledge, insight and expertise that the journalist wants to tell their reader, or viewer in an interesting and engaging way. It is a simple transaction. You get your name in the paper, they get a great story to tell their audience.

Nailing the interview

So your PR has done their job and pitched a story and the journalist wants to have a chat. Once you accept that all they want to write is an interesting story about you and your business, it is easy to let down the defences and focus on maximising the opportunity.

The Seven Ps (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Press Performance)

Like anything, being prepared for a media interview will drastically improve the outcome.

Your first step is to understand your audience, or more accurately, the audience of the news outlet you are talking to. Visit the publication’s website to get a feel of who they are trying to talk to. Understanding the publication will better prepare you for the kind of questions you may be asked. Take the time to red the journalists recent pieces to get an insight into what they are looking for.

kmpsIt is also important to develop some key message points. If you already have some key messages make sure you review them and have some proof points handy. Your proof points support your messages and are important to justify your arguments.

Key messages are not advertising ‘slogans’ but are based on the things you want to communicate about your organisation. Responding to media questions will be a smoother and easier process for you, and more beneficial for your organisation, if you have established these key messages and proof points. The simpler the messages the more easily understood they will be to reporters and the public.

Practice never hurt anybody. Ask one of your colleagues to ask you a couple of questions to make sure you are in the right frame of mind. Sometimes the most basic questions can be the hardest. What is your strategy? Tell me about the history of your business? What is your pricing structure?

Interview basics

Once you are actually on the phone or sitting in front of the journalist there are a few things you can do make the experience positive for both you, the journalist and your organisation.

The best stories come from interviews where the journalist and the subject build a rapport. Treat an interview as a conversation with an old friend you are catching up with and telling them about your great new business. Get started by asking them about their day, other stories they are working on or what they are doing on the weekend. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions as well.

Always be looking for opportunities to integrate your key messages while still staying focused on the question. Nothing will annoy a journalist more than simply parroting a bunch of canned lines that has nothing to do with the question. Remember your messages are just that and an interview is not a challenge of your ability to recite stuff verbatim from a cheat card.

If there is one thing you should take away from this blog about interviews it is to try andbe interesting. That is particularly important for people who are not natural salespeople but find themselves as the CEO and media spokesperson.

Remember you are competing for space with other organisations. Journalists even compete for page space or airtime within their own organisation. The simpler, more interesting and exciting your answers the more likely you are to secure your share, or more. Don’t use corporatese, legalese or any other style designed to put an audience to sleep.

This is boring.

“If the external environment remains stable and we can execute our strategy effectively we expect to be able to achieve future growth in line with past performance.”

The silence you can hear is the journalist asleep on the other end of the phone. This is a quote.

“We’re killing it. We’ve got the best solution in the marketplace and our competitors can’t keep up. We expect to shoot the lights out over the next couple of years.”

By adopting these few simple techniques you can earn your business thousands of dollars, sometimes millions, of free publicity.

If you’re interested in undertaking our media training workshops feel free to contact me on 0415 743 838 or ben@rgcommunications.com.au


simPRO Secures $40 Million In Funding To Drive Growth

Australian cloud technology group simPRO Software has secured AUD$40 million in growth capital as part of an aggressive product innovation and expansion strategy that has seen the company enter the United States and the United Kingdom over the last two years.

The funding was secured from New York-based growth equity firm Level Equity. simPRO has been self-funded since it was established in Brisbane in 2002 and is currently owned by private shareholders, including current staff.

simPRO Software provides leading-edge job management software for the trade service industry. The cloud-based system helps businesses work smarter, provide exceptional service, and maximise their profitability. The software is designed for operators in the electrical, plumbing, HVAC and security industries.

At the end of June 2016 simPRO had more than 2,500 clients and 80,000 users around the world, with clients ranging from small contracting operations through to corporate enterprises with thousands of staff.

brad-couper-smallsimPRO Software CEO Brad Couper (pictured) said the investment by Level Equity would provide the capital to support a range of initiatives including product enhancements, growing customer support, and marketing.

“We have set ambitious goals for our business over the next few years and believed a sophisticated investment partner with deep expertise in vertical market software could meaningfully enhance the velocity with which we achieve those goals,” Mr Couper said.

“We have been flattered with a significant amount of interest in our business from investors around the globe and spent time with a range of partners both in Australia and the US before deciding on Level Equity.

“Level has a nuanced understanding of our business model and the end markets in which we operate. Their knowledge and capital will be an important asset for simPRO moving forward.”

Level Equity Founder Ben Levin said, “We speak with thousands of vertically specific SaaS businesses each year and have been impressed with what Brad and the team at simPRO have built with no external capital.

“We engaged with the business over a long period of time and have a shared vision for continuing to build world class business software that serves contractors and other tradesmen, allowing them to be more successful as they grow their businesses.”

Mr Couper recently relocated, along with a number of other corporate staff, from Australia to simPRO’s new offices in Boulder, Colorado, as part of a major push into the US market.

simPRO has been slowly introducing its software platform to the US market since mid-2015, but plans to embark on a rapid growth strategy, launching in up to four states throughout the US over the next 12 months starting with Colorado.

The business already attracts integrations with a range of global leading third-party software providers, such as Intuit, Xero, MYOB and many industry wholesalers.

Mr Couper said product development and enhancement remained a core focus for the company and would unpderpin its future success.

“Our goal is to be the dominant contractor software platform around the world. To do that we need to continue to lead the way in innovation for our clients, and be adaptable to their changing needs,” he said.

“We want to be more than a software solution. We want to help our clients pursue what they are passionate about, whether it’s business growth, personal wealth, or the freedom to pursue life outside of work: we call it the simPRO journey.”

The simPRO Story

Company co-founder Stephen Bradshaw, an electrical contractor by trade, said the company had come a long way since he and co-founder Vaughan McKillop began working on a solution for managing his growing trade services business in 2002.

“We only had three or four staff – any bigger than that and you started to lose control,” he said.

“I realised that what electrical and other trade businesses really needed was systemisation and automation. We needed software to help us keep visibility and manageability, and many, many other trade businesses were in the same position.”


Around that time, Mr Bradshaw’s cousin introduced him to Mr McKillop, who was studying software engineering at Griffith University. Mr McKillop left his job delivering pizza to work part-time for Mr Bradshaw, doing data entry for the electrical business in his converted garage.

One day, Mr Bradshaw asked Mr McKillop to create a website for the business.

Mr McKillop explained that his strengths actually lay in writing software. The conversation quickly led to the creation of simPRO.

“I didn’t want other people to have to go through the heartache of becoming a slave to their business. I saw an opportunity for Vaughan and I to try to create a solution together,” Mr Bradshaw said.

Using the web-based PHP and MySQL languages Mr McKillop was familiar with, they began creating the first, cloud-based iteration of simPRO – starting with job lists, then working on a scheduling tool for allocating time and technicians.

As the software grew, they realised they’d created a tool that could indeed help other businesses, and began sharing it with other electrical contractors to test its usefulness, and, eventually, selling it to them.


V2H Australia Appoints Glenn Davis As Chairman Following Capital Raising Completion

Queensland radial drilling technology group V2H Australia (V2HA) has appointed highly-regarded and experienced company director Glenn Davis as Chairman following the completion of a multi-million dollar capital raising.

He is a director of a number of public and private companies including as Chairman of ASX-listed Beach Energy Limited (ASX: BPT).  He is a principal with DMAW Lawyers a firm he founded, and has for 30 years advised companies in the energy industry.

Glenn has extensive experience in the energy sector and governance.

The appointment follows the completion of a Series A capital raising by V2HA. Approximately 40% of the company’s shares were placed to a range of high net worth individuals and institutions. The raising was managed by Adelaide’s SRG Partners and was undertaken as a co-investment with the company’s deployment partner, the Nitschke Group.

The funds will be used to fund working capital.


Mr Davis welcomed the opportunity to work with current V2HA board and executive team as it embarked on a new phase of growth.

“V2HA’s technology is very exciting and has the potential to be a significant step change in the oil and gas industry,” he said. “I look forward to working with Darren Rice and the team as they move from being a technology company to a commercial operation focused on growth.”

V2HA CEO Darren Rice said Mr Davis would be a valuable asset to the company.

“Glenn has extensive experience and contacts in the oil and gas industry as well as the respect of everyone in the industry,” he said.

V2HA is a subsidiary of V2H International, which was created as a result of a merger between technology group Coal Bed Methane Innovations (a spin-off company of CRCMining) and Texas-based Zero Radius Laterals (ZRL).

V2HA will be the world’s leading radial drilling water jet technology company, and plans to expand internationally through partnerships and licensing agreements.

The patented technology owned by V2H International has been under development for a number of years and has applications in both conventional and unconventional oil & gas wells, specifically the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry in Australia. 

More than $40 million to date has been spent developing the technology and in Australia, successful field trials have been completed by BHP and Peabody Energy.

The technology, which is environmentally friendly, can increase production and recovery from existing (or new) oil & gas wells. The system deploys a high-pressure water system that rapidly installs extensive patterns of lateral radial boreholes into multiple coal seams from vertical production wells. 

PR Fail Files: Ryan Lochte’s Good Morning America Interview

U.S. Olympic medallist and ultimate-bro Ryan Lochte has a catchline he blasts at every media opportunity post the Rio ‘robbery’ scandal: “I over-exaggerated.”

This would be OK if you’re a five-year-old fibbing about the size of your Peppa Pig collection, but when you’re a 12-time Olympic gold medallist with an image to uphold, it only takes one “over-exaggeration” for you to be labelled a liar.. Forever… Across the world.

And just like that, the plug is pulled on your career, and the pool water gurgles down the drain taking your millions in sponsorships with it. Bye bye, Ralph Lauren. So long, Speedo USA.

Such was the case with Lochte after Rio authorities revealed that the swimming sensation’s initial recount of being “robbed” and “having a gun at his forehead” was false.

During his Good Morning America interview in the weeks following, Lochte owned up to his blunder but also rapidly blamed journalists for reporting his “huge mistake” and turning it into “the worst weeks of his life.”

Said Lochte; “I have a great team. They are dealing with it, all the legal issues. We’re just trying to get this over with. It’s been dragged out way [for] too long. The media has taken this to a whole new level. I want to put this behind me and move on and move forward, and I think the rest of the world wants that, too. There are other, bigger issues that this world is facing..”

There’s a lot wrong with his interview – for example, blaming everything on the media is a great way to attract even further negative press – but the one standout way Lochte made this a PR disaster can be generally summed up in one way.

He waited too long to say sorry.

And I’m not just talking about the big picture timeline of events. In this interview, Lochte made sure to correct his version of events, made an effort to thank his team, fans and family, and discuss the negative impact of the events on both his teammates and Team USA.

His semi-apology – “I’m taking full responsibility” – then came later. By this time, though, it’s too late in the discourse.

Lochte’s apologies were also peppered with elements of self-defense. For example, Lochte wasn’t sorry for the incident, he was simply sorry for “not being more careful” in explaining the “traumatic” events. See the difference?

Lochte has lost an estimated $1m in sponsorship agreements since the Rio incident, including been dropped from leading brands like Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren, that many hard-working, deserving athletes would jump hurdles for.

His swimming career is over, but his recent drama is likely to fuel strong interest in his reality television switch when he appears on US ‘Dancing with the Stars’.

In light of this, here’s a sentence that I never thought I’d find myself uttering:

Can ‘Dancing with the Stars’ redeem Ryan Lochte?

Here’s the crazy part… With the right PR strategy and media training, it actually could.

Adding steak to the sizzle to make an effective communications strategy

Words, content

When developing a communications strategy it may be tempting, especially for a communications specialist answering to a higher authority, to come up with dozens of different marketing and PR delivery tactics or to get sucked into the latest piece of marketing automation tech. This is usually done in order to make a strategy seem more impressive, but having pages of points in your strategy that say things like, ‘we’ll use social media outlets’, or, ‘we’ll send a media release to all the major newspapers’ is not so impressive. If these tactics don’t have quality content backing them up, it can be counter-productive to the overall goal.

Some of the most effective strategies often take a simple ‘quality over quantity’ approach, by spending a little more time on the story that needs to be told, rather than focusing all the effort on the latest marketing and PR trends to distribute that story.

There are a few easy tips to ensure a communications strategy is not ‘all flash and no substance’.

Know the platforms – match your content to their language

Choosing communication channels for your strategy is only half the battle. The next challenge is how to communicate through those channels.

For example, wanting a media release on an online news platform or in the newspaper means making sure the content is ‘news ready’. This means the release needs to be interesting, informative and written in an appropriate news style. Journalists go through a gargantuan amount of media releases, but a large number end up lining bird cages because they appear more advertorial than informative, like promoting a business rather than what the business’ accomplishments mean for news readers.

Another example is using social media, where content needs to be suitable for interaction, discussion, sharing/social interaction and have character limits.

Know the audience – how do they absorb content?

This is one of the most important factors because it’s where the most can go wrong. An off-putting message or message delivery is a business-killer. Taking the time to understand your audience leads to knowing what they want to hear, and how they want to hear it.

This does not encourage lying or spin; it simply means knowing how to engage correctly.

For example, young adults are likely to lose interest with long and text-heavy emails or articles that contain unnecessarily pretentious vocabulary. It’s important to know how they absorb messages before delivering one. In the case of young adults, tailoring content to them may involve writing short and sweet pieces that get the message across in a light and conversational tone. Even a small video that can visually illustrate a point help drive a message home for this particular group.

Similarly, a political or executive audience is far more likely to take you seriously if you communicate though formal and professional content, rather than an informal ‘hey, wassup?’ piece of marketing.

Know the product – how should you talk about yourself?

Understanding the value of a product or service is the biggest element in dictating how to talk about it. A communications strategy should weigh the impact of the product or service it’s supporting, and then the content should present a tone or style that reflects that weight.

For example, trying to write a glittering academic feature for the Australian about your company’s new brand of toaster might be excessive and unrealistic, but similarly the promotion of a state-wide awards gala shouldn’t be limited to a paragraph on Wikipedia and a casual post on Twitter.


The best way to remember these points is to consider a simple truth: Before you communicate, you have to have something to say.

5 Social Media Tips For Tourism

If you’re in the tourism industry and looking to enhance or begin your social media and online presence, then there’s some key considerations to think through and some planning required. Have a look at what other successful businesses are doing and learn from their efforts.


Think about what types of online media your audience is likely to use. Is it Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter? Or something else? And don’t forget about TripAdvisor. Many consumers rely on online reviews for their decision making. Peer influence is very important in the process. Over 50% of Facebook users say their friends’ photos have inspired their choice of holiday and shaped their travel plans.

Here are five key considerations to shape your tourism social media efforts:

1. Be informative

Your goal should be to become an authority on your region and its attractions. Avoid the temptation to simply plug your own business at every opportunity. You will win a loyal following if you’re able to provide a regular flow of useable information that provides advice and tips for visitors.

Provide accurate updates on local happenings and interesting events, new tourism product, travel conditions and yes, even the weather.

Suggest a list of key things to visit, great photo spots, provide maps and amazing photos.

If you employ an imaginative and informative content strategy it will help in SEO and have your business rank more highly on search results.

If you give potential visitors value in terms of superior content, they are more likely to have a connection with your brand.

2. Be authentic

Be real and believable.

The effect of ‘gilding the lily’ can be a loss of confidence in your business by visitors and result in negative online reviews and an erosion of trust with your audience.

Show what the experience is that visitors can truly expect – accommodation, activities, scenery, food and most importantly the character and characters around you.

A rising tide floats all boats, so the more you can accurately enhance the profile of your region the better for you. There’s not a finite amount of success available.

3. Involve your audience

Social media is very much a two-way street. Interact with and have a conversation with your online community. Ask questions, ask for feedback and invite them to contribute content. You’ll be amazed at how many gorgeous photos, stories and experiences can be shared from your own visitors.

Feeding time at Lovers Cove 🐠🐟💦 #fishfeeding #daydreamisland #lovewhitsundays #thisisqueensland 📷@dream.living

A photo posted by Daydream Island Resort And Spa (@daydreamislandresortandspa) on

They’ll give you honest feedback and recommendations. Thank them for their reviews and don’t ignore their communication – good, bad or otherwise.

Consider what competitions, promotions or incentives you can run on your platforms, big or small. Encourage guests to tag your accounts on their posts on their own pages.

4. Employ a content marketing strategy

A lot of great content doesn’t happen by accident. Much of it is planned and thought out.

A simple but effective tool is to utilise a content marketing strategy and it can be as simple as using a calendar. This can be a spreadsheet, online doc, or paper diary.

  • What advice pieces can we create?
  • Consider the time of year e.g. Christmas, Easter or school holidays
  • List local events we can post about
  • Look at seasonal opportunities
  • Are we running any promotions for specific booking periods?
  • Look at a theme for a certain period – e.g. to coincide with Mothers’ Day, or a local food festival.

Once you start its pretty easy to brainstorm a whole list of topics and specific pieces that can form your content platform.

You will also need to consider what medium it’s best for – your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, local or national media, or all of these.

Don’t forget to include video. It’s one of the most powerful forms of delivery and all platforms are embracing it. Your videos don’t need to be long or elaborately produced productions.

Once you’ve got a calendar settled it will help drive your activity and keep you focused and motivated. It needs to be flexible but with a bit of effort should help fuel your content creation.

Here’s an example of what a calendar may look like:


Source: Webbedfeet.com.au

5. Post regularly across all channels

Don’t allow your content or online presence to wither on the vine.

Post regularly across all your social and online assets. It doesn’t need to be every day for each medium but you should feature regularly and make sure you are responding to messages and thanking your community for their involvement. They will like being appreciated. And, don’t forget to share…


3 Easy, Afforable Tools To Produce Great Video Content


Video is massive. It is quickly becoming the main weapon in any marketers social or content marketing toolbox. If you’re not convinced the stats speak for themselves.

  • Facebook users watch more than 4 billion video clips a day
  • 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future
  • By 2019, 80% of all internet traffic will be video.

Still not convinced here are 31 Video marketing Statistics To Inform Your Strategy

Jamming hard up against this opportunity is the clear challenge of producing video content in a simple, cost effective way. For most SMBs the days of hiring a camera operator, sound guy, producer and editor to produce 60 seconds of video for $30,000 are well and truly in the past. Thankfully, like many industries, there are lots of smart people out there finding ways to let companies produce relatively affordable video content.


Hobart-based startup Biteable is not only slicing down that time to less than 10 minutes, but also making the process as simple as it is to create graphics on Canva and as cheap as creating professional videos can get.

So how does it work? You create a free account on biteable.com; and then start making videos by selecting a ‘scene’, customising the colours and text, adding more scenes to your heart’s content, and pressing done.

A watermarked version of the video will be sent to your email in 15 minutes or less; and if you’re happy with your creation, you can purchase a High Definition non-watermarked version for $99, which can then be posted anywhere online. If you’re not happy, you can always go back and edit as many times as you like.

We used Biteable to create our explainer for Content on Demand. Took me one hour to create the initial video and will take half as long again next time.


The Shootsta platform provides large companies with the necessary training and camera kits for them to shoot their own videos, with the footage then sent back to the startup for post-production. In just six months the company has secured more than 20 clients, including Qantas, Bank of Queensland and Toyota. It has also scored a $1 million investment from AdCorp.

In their own words.

“We came from the corporate video production world and constantly had clients tell us they wanted to produce internal, marketing or promotional videos every week but it was just too hard and too expensive. We realised if we could equip companies with the right gear and training they could film their own content and we could do all the heavy lifting with the post production. And that’s when Shootsta was born.”

Shootsta offers packages starting at $2,000 per month on a 12 month plan which includes 2 videos per month. The $9,800/month package includes unlimited videos, 24-hour turnaround as well asa  range of add-ons.

Big Review TV

Big Review TV Ltd is an ASX-listed group providing online video content, video reviews and online marketing services to small and medium enter- prise through bigreviewtv.com

Bigreviewtv.com is a brand new video review platform aimed at consumers. It is a video review platform that integrates video review shows, video marketing, and user- generated video content with social media via the Big Review TV app. The Big Review TV App is a free video review mobile phone application that allows consumers to search and view video reviews of places of interest, and produce their own video reviews that upload automatically to Bigreviewtv.com and can be shared via social media networks.

The app can also be used by merchants as a video marketing tool to communicate with customers by uploading video news and updates to their business profile page on Bigreviewtv.com

It then uploads the videos to its tech platform, allowing customers hungry for reviews of products, events, restaurants and more, to actually see what they want in living colour – a big edge over a written review.

Following the initial video, the company then charges subscription fees to the merchant for a place on this online eco-system – providing exposure and customer engagement for businesses while giving people access to slick video content that helps them to decide where to spend their cash. A win for everyone.

Customers can then upload their own video reviews to this company’s website, adding to the community conversation and to the value of the service.



FIIG Securities’ Managed Portfolio Service For Bonds hits $100 million


Australia’s first of its type managed portfolio service for bonds has now exceeded  $100 million in investments, with a range of individual, institutional and not-for-profits (NFPs) embracing the service for its high level of control, transparency and performance.

FIIG Securities launched the Managed Income Portfolio Service (MIPS) in mid 2015 as a way for investors to retain direct ownership of their bond portfolio and either receive fixed income or reinvest it while delegating the portfolio’s day-to-day management.

FIIG developed four different Investment Programs for MIPS, from which investors can select depending on their requirements for return and tolerance for risk, with the minimum investment starting at $250,000. Customised programs are available for larger investors ($5 million+). 

Performance has been a key driver of demand for MIPS with average performance, net of fees, for each of each program for the three months to end of May 2016, outlined below. 


Month ended
May 31, 2016

to May 31, 2016

Annualised (quarterly)


Launched May 2016

Core Income




Income Plus




Inflation Linked





Since launching, more than over 50 investors with an average investment of around $1.75 million have utilised MIPS with total investments passing $100 million last week, with the most popular being the ‘Income Plus’ program.

FIIG Head of Institutional Markets John Cummins said the service provided clients with direct access to a well-diversified portfolio of direct bonds combined with professional management and oversight.

“Direct ownership of bonds has many advantages over buying them indirectly through a bond fund,” he said. “MIPS gives you all the benefits of beneficial ownership while delegating the day-to-day running of your portfolio to our fixed income experts.”

“Since launching we have experienced a steady inflow of investments with many investors increasing their programs once they fully understand the benefits,” he said. The success of the service over the last 12 months has gives us confidence there is a strong market for the MIPS and we will continue to grow well into the future.”

Under the MIPS offering investors simply set a mandate and FIIG’s portfolio management team manages the portfolio for them.

Investors through MIPS receive full professional investment management, retain beneficial ownership of their bonds, can choose to receive  or reinvest income,  and enjoy full transparency, with online access to details of their portfolio such as portfolio performance, valuations and transactions. (cont’d)        

FIIG Securities Limited, which is licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), is Australia’s largest specialist fixed-income dealer. FIIG now facilitates over $1 billion of corporate Bond transactions per month for individuals and corporate investors.

FIIG has more than $11 billion in term deposits and corporate bonds under advice in its short-term money market, bonds and custody business.  The company has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. For more information about FIIG Securities please visit www.fiig.com.au

ENDS: Media enquiries to Ben Ready on 0415 743 838.


Collect Cash Faster With IntegraPay and ezyCollect


Collecting money with Xero is now faster and easier than ever with a new partnership between two of Australia’s most innovative software companies.

Leading payments technology innovators IntegraPay has teamed up with cloud-based collections automation business ezyCollect to accelerate accounts receivables recovery for small businesses using the Xero accounting platform.

Under the new partnership, businesses that have signed up for ezyCollect’s automated invoice reminder add-on can integrate with the IntegraPay add-on to make it easier for their customers to make payments using a range of different options including credit card, BPAY and bank debit.

The combination of regular reminders and easy payment options offered by the new solution can have a dramatic impact on accounts receivable with some clients reducing overdue debt by more than 50% and reducing bad debts by more than 90%.

IntegraPay Chief Executive Officer Chris Urry said the partnership brought together two solutions with a shared goal of helping clients to collect payments faster and more efficiently.

“Collecting outstanding invoices is one of the biggest challenges for small and medium sized business,” he said. “By combining regular, automated reminders using ezyCollect and giving clients a range of payment options using IntegraPay, debtor days are smashed and cash flow become much easier for businesses.”

“Individually, we have both been able to demonstrate the value of our systems… combining them together on the Xero platform will give businesses a great opportunity to get ahead of their receivables and improve their bottom line.”

According to a study from Dun & Bradstreet, more than 90% of business fail due to poor cash flow. The leading cause is bad receivables management.

ezyCollects software solves this problem by intelligently automating unproductive, manual and repetitive tasks done by accounting departments. This allows businesses to focus on the most important part of their business – growing sales and building customer relationships.

The results speak for themselves, with most customers seeing a 50% reduction in overdue debts in under three months.

ezyCollect CEO Arjun Singh said the partnership with IntegraPay brings together two unique platforms.

“We both understand the importance of cashflow to business success and have developed solutions that unblock the payment pipeline at key points,” he said. “The combination of ezyCollect and IntegraPay has the potential to slash your overdue debtors in weeks.”

The IntegraPay Xero add-on brings together a number of important features, including utilising all the most popular payment methods, and for the first time allows you to include BPAY as a payment option.

IntegraPay allows customers to pay Xero one-off invoices or recurring payments using a range of other options including credit card, bank transfer or regular direct debit, straight from the invoice.

Customers click on the Pay Now button on their invoice to be directed to a menu of payment options. From there they simply select the solution that works for them and make the payment.

IntergaPay’s Xero payment solution automatically reconciles payments from the invoice in Xero to reduce manual data entry and administrative costs while removing the risk of reconciling a payment with the wrong invoice.