Social media sites are carefully curated, with engagement often reliant on the creativity and quality of the pictures, so the search is ever on to find just the right photo to attract followers on Facebook, Instagram, blogs, web and networking sites.

But at what risk?

Dip into Google Images. Find the image that fits your copy. Upload to your company’s  social media site. Press Post. Send that content out into the world. Open yourself up to the potential of a hefty fine.

If you’re not entitled to use that picture, what you’ve just done is illegal. There’s a fine of up to $585,000 for corporations, up to $117,000 and a possible gaol term of up to five years for individuals. Taking something you don’t own says a lot about your credibility and can damage your reputation.


The success, or failure of managing social media is predicated on one factor:  communication skills.

Engaging in social media can be manna from heaven for business growth and profile building – or a futile and risky dance with the digital devil. 

Simply put, social media is a medium for communication, just like television, radio, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, a sandwich board, email, a blog or the humble telephone. 

Communicating via these channels was traditionally undertaken by professionals with experience in the disciplines of advertising, marketing and public relations.


Flexible working is great, however it increases vulnerability.

Consequently, it is key to stay safe when working remotely. Mobile-device management is essential because portable devices are much more susceptible to theft. It is important to ensure that staff passwords are strong, all devices are encrypted, kill packets can remotely disable missing connections, information is regularly backed up, and that all data is stored on secure servers, such as Microsoft Drive.


A crisis (from the Greek κρίσις - krisis; plural: "crises"; adjectival form: "critical") is any event that is going (or is expected) to lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society.

One of the first things you’ll have to do when your company has had a data-security breach is notify your clients.


Avoiding mixed messages, the press release is the work-horse of media relations, marketers limited and often misunderstood view of PR.

We also cover the breadth of what a PR specialist can bring to the marketing table, how to persuade and influence your audience, together with the all-important topics of strategy versus tactics, measurements and milestones of intangibles.

There’s a few hints and tips on how to choose the right PR consultant too – all this and more covered, “On the Couch”.

Crisis Management: How to handle a cyber-security incident

Elizabeth Heusler was recently asked about her experience in crisis management by London-based cyber security company, CNS Group.

There are plenty of issues that never make the evening news.  The idea is to have plans and strategies in place to prevent the issue in the first place.

Issues by their very nature don’t fit into neat boxes – and almost never occur between nine and five.  They simply don’t run to a text book – no matter how much you’ve read up, how many templates you’ve prepared, there’s that cold day in hell when the hair stands up on the back of your neck, your stomach flips and you know, Houston we have a problem.

It has got to be the most frequently asked question by clients when preparing for media interviews. There appears to be a huge amount of confusion about what it actually means and plenty of apprehension about the consequences of telling a journalist anything in confidence.

So here is a background briefing on speaking off-the-record.

Firstly what does it mean? The trouble is that it can mean two very different things. If there’s confusion about which form of off-the-record is being used, then inevitably it will end in tears – not the journo’s.

It's always a relief to finish a phone interview but rather than the end of it - that's when the real work begins. Here is some background to what goes on after a phone interview which is often referred to as a 'phoner'.

Phoners: Ring your consultant as soon as you hang up.

Don't delay. Your consultant has worked hard to arrange this interview and their credibility is on the line as much as yours. The next best thing to being there with you is to call your consultant the minute you hang up. Your consultant is a media expert who can gauge, not only how your interview went, but will be alert to any discord or miscommunications that you may not be aware of. Consultants can rectify any miscommunication, but only in the moment – not half an hour later when the journo has already written the piece.

 My first suggestion to organisations looking to get involved in social media is to keep a clear head. Question everything and challenge every assumption. Social media is not always the silver bullet it is purported to be; rather it is merely another tool in the communications mix.

Women In Focus

Come and have a cuppa with Elizabeth. She has a love for words and literature which shines through her beautifully crafted answers. If that’s not inspiration enough, her business tip is easily applicable into every business with a click of the mouse.


Commonwealth Bank’s Women in Focus group have A cuppa with Elizabeth


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