Saturday, 21 May 2011



We used a variety of tools to market our social business organisation idea. We started a blog on wordpress initially and set up our Facebook and Twitter accounts and linked them with it. We changed to blogger to customise our blog and integrated a few other web marketing services such as Entrecard to boost traffic to our website.

We targeted users with a general interest in cars ,transport and people with an interest in public awareness. We did so using Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, DiGG, StumbleUpon and other freely available web tools. A result of it was that we have 210 fans on our Facebook fan page as of 22 may 2011 .

Our social media strategy worked to a limited extentAnnoyed. We learnt from our visitors that the information that we had was hard to understandConfused smile or that the business that we had in mind was too complexThinking smile to digest for which acted on the feedback from our users and started clarifying their doubts and made the information simpler to understand and thus generated further interest. We submitted our blog website to various search engines for them to track the blog for new content.

We made a video of our business idea

PARC Promotional video

Although nothing has yet gone viral yet we are slowly working towards that by generating a lot more relevant content and learning from the feedback from our visitors.

An enthusiastic fan Adam Ellison also made this for us to use which made us really happyOpen-mouthed smileOpen-mouthed smile.


Friday, 20 May 2011

Conducting Business Face-To-Face

Conducting Business Face to FaceMarty from 3Fish discussed the importance of dealing with stakeholders face to face. He went on to explain the positive effects that face to face communication has on a business. It helps build stronger relationships with stakeholders which creates a relationship that is more trusting and open. This also helps with the running of the business as things are clearly articulated and agreed upon. It was clear that a core value for 3Fish is to make an effort to meet all stakeholders face to face and to be very involved with all aspects of the business. Marty often visits India to meet with suppliers and factory workers and to see the conditions people are working in.  This ensures that the products 3Fish are making are being made the way 3Fish wants them to be made. As a fair trade organic company it is highly important for 3Fish to maintain an extremely high ethical standard and to meet their social obligations conducting business in the manner that they do ensures this.
This approach to business has created an expectation of how things are to be done, it has also created a positive culture through the entire manufacturing cycle as everyone is acknowledged.
Like 3Fish, P.A.R.C. wishes to create this approach to business within the parking fine industry. We strive to conduct business in a way that allows us to know everyone and for stakeholders to know they are appreciated and their opinions are valuable to us.
An article by Damond Nollan called The benefits of meeting face to face which can be found at has a similar approach to 3Fish , it discusses the benefits of this approach such as learning the environment, better customer service, better health as it takes you outside of the office, improved communication, increases trust and getting extra stuff and information.
All these benefits are what we would like to see at PARC, we always want to follow or core values and conducting business face to face is clearly a positive approach to business!
Christine Rainsford.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The need for local council to show responsibility.

These days image is everything. With social networking now playing such a large role in our lives it is easier than ever for information about how companies (and councils) act to become public knowledge and affect their image. It has become more important than ever that organisations act in an ethically and socially responsible way so that they can keep a positive reputation as not to damage their sales/votes/etc.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has defined corporate responsibility as “the continuing commitment by companies to behave ethically and to contribute to economic development, while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families, as well as the local community and society at large.”  So to paraphrase (for the obvious benefit of my blog/our cause) it seems to me that corporate responsibility is largely about improving the local community and society at large.
Greasing the wheels of private companies with a significant portion of money raised from the community doesn’t exactly sound like our local councils are acting in a responsible way. But hey, this could be viewed as an opportunity for them rather than dirty doings that need to stay out of the public eye. Picture the first local councilman, state politician or federal MP to stand up and say “for too long funds raised by parking fines, etc in the community have been going into the pockets of corporate Australia…”. There’s a member of my local council who would have my support.
Elected members of any level of government above almost anyone else need to be highly concerned about their public image which reflects upon how responsibly they act. The current distribution of parking fine revenue is not ethical and if it were an issue that the public was more aware of, it could do some damage to the reputation of our local councils. It’s time to effect change, and it seems that putting support behind us or even showing interest in our cause could only put those with the power to change the situation in a positive light.
This could be a win-win situation. Local governments could redirect private funds to aid charity and community efforts and at the same time put themselves out as ethically minded, responsible individuals doing their best for society. Perhaps more of a push is what’s needed before this situation will change. So please, like us on Facebook, show your support and hopefully we can make the council act responsibly!
Murray Robinson

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A mini guide to building an online presence

#1: Determine Your Goals and Objectives

What’s important is to understand your social media goals and objectives and how they tie into your overall goals.

Keep it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timely (aka be SMART!).


Social media in plain english
#2: Research, Research, and Research Some More

Develop a list of social media sites where you can potentially engage with people.  The list will most likely start off with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a few select blogs and forums.

Check out each of the social media sites on your list and do additional research to determine relevancy by searching for your brand name, your competitors, and your target keywords.  Listen to what’s out there, identify, and understand your target audience.

#3: Create a Digital Rolodex of Contacts and Content

When social media is done correctly, relationships will build naturally.  Begin making connections by following the conversation.  You can do this by subscribing to blogs in your industry and by making a list of influencers who are relevant to your business.

#4: Join the Conversation to Develop Relationships

Now it’s time to start making use of all the research you’ve done.  You can start joining the conversation by posting comments on blogs and forums, answering questions on Yahoo! and LinkedIn, joining groups related to your industry and joining Twitter chats.

Begin developing relationships by following and friending influencers and those in your industry.


#5: Strengthen Relationships

It’s easy to hide behind your avatar or profile picture, but face-to-face is incredibly powerful.  I think more people are now realizing how underrated the in-person interaction really is because of how far social media has come, allowing so many people to “hide.”

Attend offline events related to your industry—not only to strengthen your knowledge base but also to network and strengthen relationships with those you might have conversed with via social media but never met in person.  A popular offline event is known as a tweetup.

#6: Measure Results

You have goals and objectives, right?  That means you should be able to measure  your success.

Remember, what you measure will tie into the goals and objectives of your social media strategy.

Let’s take the four commonly used objectives:

Improve brand presence across social channels—The measurement goal here is an increase in the number of followers on Twitter, number of fans on Facebook, number of comments, number of times your brand is mentioned in blogs and forums and so on.


Increase positive sentiment about your brand—The goal here is to convert the number of positive mentions while taking note of negative mentions.  Has the ratio of positive to negative comments improved?  With the good comes the bad in social media. Get used to it!

Develop relationships for future partnership opportunities—This goal is to keep track of those with whom you’ve connected.  For example, if you met a potential speaker for your webinar, include that person into your digital Rolodex.  If a vendor contacts you through your blog, capture that lead and take note.

Increase traffic to your website—Keep track of visitors to your website who come from each of your social media sites.  If you’re promoting an event using social media, consider using a unique code to track the campaign.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Other $5 000 000

We just want the other $5 000 000.

70% of the $15 000 000 Stonnington Council obtained last year in parking fine revenue went back to the community in some form or another. Through this revenue the Council is able to fund many projects which would otherwise just not happen. There could not be a more fitting use for this money, which is sourced from the public, to be spent on the public. As disheartening as it can feel to get a fine, the system works i.e. the streets aren't filled with chaos from people leaving their cars on the footpath and the money raised goes back into the community. Perfect - for that 70%.

It's the other 30% that concerns me. The other $5 000 000. 

By operating this service as a NFP we could not only put a positive spin on society's experience of parking fines, but we could also put between $3-$3.5 million dollars back into the community from where it came. 

What could we fund with this kind of cash? How about:
  • 3 community centres.
  • 2 million meals for those at risk of homelessness.
  • The annual budget for 6 local NFP organisations.
So where do you think the public's money should go?