Week Ten Blog Activity – Inquiry: Visual Consumer review

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Figure 1.1 – Bunnings Warehouse
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

For this week’s blog activity, I’ve chose Bunnings Warehouse as the website to review. I’ll admit, I’m a nerd when it comes to all things gardening. Bunnings is my ultimate shop – an odd thing to come from a 21 year-old female. I could spend hours wandering the aisles, spending a lot of money and making my gardens and home look fantastic –  if I do say so myself.

As I was reading through this week’s study guide, it occurred to me that Bunnings Warehouse would be an ideal website to cover. The website addresses all the elements mentioned in the study guide and made it quite easy to relay the week’s learnings to real life.

Words
The use of words correctly is paramount for the Bunnings Warehouse website. Visitors of the website need to be able to understand precisely what an object is, how it looks and what it is used for. Each item’s description needs to incorporate concrete words accompanied by qualifier words (Ames 2015) to help the consumer understand what they’re reading.

This example uses concrete words and qualifier words to enable the visitor to understand the product. “Lattice” is the concrete word, without anything else the consumer wouldn’t know too much detail about the product. “Brown, Hardwood” are the qualifier words; these are descriptive and enable the consumer to envision the product and interpret as intended.
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Figure 1.2 – Excerpt Lattice Fencing
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

Logos

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Figure 1.3 Bunnings Warehouse logo – Figure 1.4 Bunnings Warehouse motto
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

The Bunnings Warehouse logos follow the KISS principle – an easy to read, simple design that is eye-catching. These logos both provides a very effective example brand recognition.

According to Gillikin (2015, p.1) a logo is a ‘graphical display of a company’s unique identity’. The logos are recognisable and identifiable to consumers throughout Australia. Figure 1.4 is an example of relaying a message through a logo (Ames 2015). Bunnings have incorporated a hammer as part of their logo – this conveys information about the company and allows readers to gain and understanding that Bunnings Warehouse is a hardware store.


Trademarks
I was unable to find any registered or pending trademarks of Bunnings/Bunnings Warehouse/ Lowest prices are just the beginning. I searched the web address provided and it showed no results. Even though Bunnings does not have a registered trade mark, the phrase “lowest prices are just the beginning” and the image of a hammer in a circle are widely consumer-known trademarks of Bunnings.

Colour
Bunnings Warehouse’s signature colour is dark green, which according to Ames (2015 2015) is reflective of nature and safety. The signature green is a secondary hue made of blue and yellow which has a low colour value with a lower saturation.

The background colours of the website are primarily neutral and natural colours. The colours featured are grey, black, the signature green and red highlights. The website addresses the rule indicated by Ames (2015, p.3) of ‘light coloured fonts on dark coloured backgrounds’.

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Figure 1.5 – Bunnings Warehouse Menu
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)


Font
The font throughout the Bunnings website is simple and easy to read. I suspect they use a sans serif font as the this style would be most effective for the website. This selection of font is easier to understand and interpret (Ames 2015).


Graphics
The graphics used on the website are pictures of the products that the company sells. According to Ames (2015, p.4) ‘graphics assist understanding and complement the message’. The website uses photos and illustrations to provide extra information about a product. The photos used are high resolution, clear and compliment the message of the product.

Where not an image is unavailable, the website features an illustration that is a representation of the product.

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Figure 1.6 – Fencing Accessory
Source: Bunnings Warehouse website (2015)

Balance
The Bunnings Warehouse website has a range of styles depending on what page you click on. The products page features an asymmetrical balance – the left hand side of the page contains a navigation bar, the centre of the page contains the product listing and the right hand side is blank. The welcome page of the website is symmetrical; there is a even amount of information down the centre of the web page and no where else on the page.

Sound
The website doesn’t contain sound unless the viewer opts to watch a D.I.Y video. However, Bunnings Warehouse have a signature jingle that accompanies advertisements and the companies slogan (Ames 2015).

Reflection: I enjoyed completing this task for week ten. Partially because it is one of the final blog activities and partially because I enjoy applying the learnings to aspects of life.

Whilst reading through the study guide and referring it to something familiar, it was interesting to see the strategies and tactics companies use in order to create brand recognition.


Reference:

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 10 – Impact of design, Central Queensland University, Mackay.

Bunnings Warehouse 2015, viewed on 17 September 2015, available from http://www.bunnings.com.au/?gclid=CLmcys7C_8cCFcUrvQodwqQMuQ

Gillikin, J n.d, ‘Importance of Logos in Business‘, viewed 17 September 2015, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-logos-business-577.html

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Week Ten Blog Activity – Inquiry: Visual Consumer review

Week Nine Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review two examples of curation

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Trip Advisor’s compilation of the best 25 hotels in the world is a example of effective, succinct curation. According to Bhargava (2011, cited in Michiel Gaasterland), effective content curation involves ‘sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue’.

Trip advisor has achieved this by using reviews from its customers that accompany illustrations to add value to the piece (Bradshaw 2013). This is an effective strategy as readers can relate to these reviews; they are real reviews from people who have experienced the hotels.

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CNT’s collection of gold standard hotels is very informative. Gaasterland (2011) acknowledges that good curation involves using only the most specific and best information.

CNT has provided a walk-through description of each hotel; they provide information on aspects of the hotel that the reader would be interested in knowing – the food, the grounds, what activities are available etc.

The website accompanies limited visual aid to the hotel information. This results in the reader having to be directed elsewhere from the site to view the hotel in more depth.

Both of these websites are targeted at an audience for an intended purpose – to provide them with information on the best hotels for 2015 (Ames 2015). Although very similar in target audience and intended purpose, both are very different in design.

Trip Advisor’s website is very clean, well set out and easy to read. Each hotel is promoted succinctly; each section provides 4 images and a short quote taken from customer reviews from the original hotel page.

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Each section features a “more” option that will redirect the reader to the hotel’s Trip Advisor page that features all the excess information that the reader may require.

CNT’s website is condensed to the point of clutter; each section on the featured hotel is one large paragraph. Although this paragraph is very informative, it is difficult to read and could deter the reader due to overwhelming information.

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CNT provides direct links to the featured hotel’s website. The website provides an overview of the hotel and then redirects the reader elsewhere. This could disruption could be annoying to the consumer as they then have to navigate another website.

Reflection: Reviewing both of these websites was quite enjoyable and appealed to the wanderlust in me. It’s very interesting to see how two websites with the same intended audience and purpose can vary so greatly in design.

If I was to (and I’m sure I will) recommend, or choose a website for personal use, Trip Advisor would be my selection. This is mostly due to previous experience with the company and the easy to navigate website. Content curation was a foreign concept to me, but now I have a better understanding thanks to the internet and links provided in this week’s learning material.


Reference List:

Ames, K 2015, COMM11007 Week 9 – Content Generation vs Content Collaboration, Central Queensland University, Mackay.

Bradsaw, P 2013, ‘Journalism *is* curation: tips on curation tools and techniques‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2013/09/30/curation-tools-tips-advice-journalism/

Condé Nast Traveller (CNT) 2015, Gold Standard Hotels 2015,  viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall

Gaasterland, M 2011, ‘What is Content Curation? And how it’s useful to you and your network‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.michielgaasterland.com/content-marketing/what-is-content-curation-and-how-it%E2%80%99s-useful-to-you-and-your-network/

Percolate 2012, What is curation?, video, viewed on 17 September 2015, https://vimeo.com/38524181

Trip Advisor 2015, ‘Top 25 Hotels – World‘, viewed on 17 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1

Week Nine Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review two examples of curation

Week Eight Blog Activity – Inquiry: Social Media of Interest

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“The Visual Bookmarking tool that helps you discover and save creative ideas” –
(Pinterest 2015)

Pinterest – the one stop shop for ideas and inspiration for almost every aspect of our daily lives.

Pinterest can be a very useful tool for both personal and business use. This particular social media platform relies heavily on communication through images and does not require extensive (if any) words to accompany an image (Ames 2015).

As Whitaker, Ramsay and Smith acknowledge, (2012, p. 289) ‘know the demographic of your audience, determine what they know and what they want to know’. This particularly important aspect of writing for social media has been addressed by the creators of Pinterest and can be seen by the 35 various categories users can search through.

From a personal point of view, Pinterest can be used for a variety of different things. Brides-to-be can search for wedding ideas and gardeners can search for gardening tips and ideas. Those interested in D.I.Y can find ideas for around the home, and those interested in arts and craft can find a variety of different hobby ideas.

Pinterest is a curation device. Pinterest condenses trillions of internet pages and features the most popular snippets for users to browse under any particular topic.

In my spare time, I’m an avid gardener and enjoy spending hours in my vegetable garden. I’ve recently moved into a new house and had the job of renovating all existing garden beds – queue Pinterest. Pinterest allows me to browse gardening content from all across the internet that had been condensed and shared by people with like-minded interest. It provides me with inspiration on garden design, tips on what to plant in Spring and how to avoid insects and rodents.

From a business point of view, Pinterest can be a useful way of communicating with customers. Firstly, a business account can encourage customers to share pictures of the product being used; this can be incentivised through competitions or campaigns. This encourages consumers and the business to interact and helps to promote the business.

When customers pin and re-pin products, businesses could potentially see an increase in sales through the promotion of their products. This effectively is promotion of the product without too much output and intervention by the company.

Pinterest has a business dedicated option that allows customers to buy direct from the Pinterest website (Pinterest 2015). Pinterest has revolutionised their site to allow for businesses to set up their own account.

An example of a company that has broadened its horizons to Pinterest is Australian stationary brand Kikki.K (Sperti 2012). The company effectively promotes their products through pinning and re-pinning of their customers. This is an avenue that promotes the products without too much intervention by the company.

In conclusion, from a personal and business point of view, Pinterest is highly effective in connecting people to items of interest without the difficulty of searching the web. The sharing of content on Pinterest increases each day, and I anticipate in the not too distant future, Pinterest will be alongside Facebook as one of the most influential social media platforms of the 21st century.

Reflection: I really enjoyed this weeks blog task. Pinterest is a social media platform that interests me and admittedly I could spend hours browsing various content. I have never gave much thought into just how much a business could benefit from setting up on Pinterest, but Pinterest for Business and the article I referenced have confirmed how beneficial it can be.


Reference:

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 8 – Writing for Social Media Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Pinterest 2015, viewed on 15 September 2015, http://www.pinterest.com.au

Pinterest for Business 2015, viewed on 15 September 2015, https://business.pinterest.com/en

Sperti, T 2012, “Australian Brand Interest in PINterest “, viewed on 15 September 2015, http://digitalmarketinglab.com.au/index.php/2012/03/14/australian-brand-interest-in-pinterest/

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Eight Blog Activity – Inquiry: Social Media of Interest

Week Seven Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a newsletter

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Firstly, let me start by saying that this website for the Crocodile Specialist Group means serious business. I found the website easy to navigate and finding the publication and newsletter section was very straight forward.

The newsletter begins with an editorial and which pays respect to two crocodile conservationists whom have recently passed. The newsletter then proceeds to introduce a book review, provides notes on recent committee meetings and then reports on crocodile conservation in certain regions of the world.

The newsletter addresses recent news regarding a crocodile attack in Indonesia, as well as recent crocodile captures and sightings (CSG 2015). The piece concludes with a science orientated section, and finishes up providing the details of the committee of the Crocodile Specialist Group.

The distribution of this newsletter is through the Crocodile Specialist Group website via a downloadable format or subscription (incurs a subscription fee). This distribution is effective as it would not be risking incorrect or overused distribution (Ames 2015).

It is quite obvious that this organisation’s newsletters are not intended for consumption by a general audience (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012). However, they are directed at a specific target public; conservationists, scientists, persons of interest, or people who are generally interested in the group’s newsletters. These newsletters successfully address the needs and interests of target public (Ames 2015).

All of the stories and sections of the newsletter involve timeliness and allow the reader to keep up-to-date on the group, as well as gaining insight into Crocodilian (CSG 2015) news happening all around the world in a time frame that’s relevant (Ames 2015).

Committee meetings regarding the conservation and relocation of crocodiles would appeal to conservationists, whereas areas such as the science orientated sections would appeal to science journalists for it provides information regarding the habitat, reproduction, relocation and cohabitant of crocodiles and humans.

If a science journalist was to browse this piece, I believe the sections regarding relocation, initiating a breeding program and the conservation of crocodiles in protected farm lands would be of particular interest.

This is an area that would provide a human interest and currency element to a news story (Whitaker, Ramsay & Smith 2012). Currency is relevant as it will be an on-going event and human interest because even though crocodiles are not the most favoured creatures, the conservation efforts will be of interest.

This newsletter is very effective in delivering a tremendous amount of information as succinct and informative as possible. There is a lot encompassed in this newsletter, from news regarding conservation efforts, to recent headlines and news being addressed regarding crocodile attacks and sightings.

Each individual section provides great depth regarding the topic of discussion and is easy to consume. The structure of the newsletter is quite condensed and can be a little difficult to read, however the illustrations and pictures attempt to break this bulk up.

Reflection: I found this blog activity quite enjoyable. I was quite surprised by this task, as I was completely unaware that people felt so strongly about the conservation and well-being of crocodiles. I found the website and newsletter quite interesting, and was pleasantly surprised by the actions and attempts by these conservationists with everything they’re achieving. I’m also enjoying being able to relate the readings to the blog posts and blog activities as it helps to cement the readings just that little bit more.


Reference:

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 7 – Newsletters and Brochures Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Crocodile Specialist Group n.d, digital image, Crocodile Specialist Group, viewed on 15 September 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/

Species Survival Commission 2015, ‘Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter’, Crocodile Specialist Group, vol. 34, no. 2, April – June, viewed 15 September 2015, http://www.iucncsg.org/365_docs/attachments/protarea/34(2-a5b9578f.pdf

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Seven Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a newsletter

Week Six Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a Cirque du Soleil Media Kit

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Figure 1.7 – Cirque du Soleil – ‘Totem’
Source: Cirque Du Soleil website (2015)

There are many elements that comprise this press kit. This press kit begins by introducing elements that explain the story behind ‘Totem’ such as the show overview, a few interesting facts, what the critics say about ‘Totem’ and about Robert Lepage – Writer and Director.

The press kit continues to list elements that go into detail about what is incorporated in the show such as the main characters, the scenes/acts, the creators and costumes. Finally, the press kit includes some information regarding behind the scenes such as set designs and projections, support to the performance, village on Wheels and Cirque Du Soleil at a glance.

Referring this inquiry question back to this week’s readings; biographies, photos and extra information for journalists are all elements included in a media kit (Ames 2015). These elements are also present in the press kit for ‘Totem’. The press kit incorporates plenty of photos and information for journalists as well as biographies of the creators.

According to Frangi and Fletcher (2002, pg. 85) “the purpose of a media kit is to give a complete picture”. This particular press kit was very thorough and in depth regarding information for the show. If I had any questions, this press kit would have addressed them.

The distribution of this press kit was through online media on the Cirque Du Soleil website. As mentioned in the study guide, this style is efficient and enables journalists to source any particular information they require in one place.

How one would go about incorporating these elements into a news story would be dependent on which angle you were writing the news story from.

If the news story was written as a review of the show, background information, biographies and information on the acts would be useful. If the news story was written about the shows premier, background information, information on the acts, production information and interesting facts would be useful.

Reflection: I chose to review ‘Totem’ as I had the pleasure of seeing this show live earlier this year with my partner. The performance was mind-blowing, spectacular and impressed me beyond words. I was really impressed with how well structured the press kit was and how much information was jammed into it. Before commencing this course, I would never have known what a press kit was.


Reference:

Cirque De Soleil 2015, ‘Totem’ press kit, Cirque Du Soleil, viewed on 03 September 2015, https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/press/kits/shows/totem/creators.aspx

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 4 – Writing News Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay.

Fletcher A, Frangi, M 2012, ‘So you want media coverage… a simple guide on how to get it and how to handle it’, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia.


Week Six Blog Activity – Inquiry: Review a Cirque du Soleil Media Kit

Week Five Blog Activity – Inquiry: Find an article that has impact on you …

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The topic of shark attacks and more importantly the reaction and suggested solutions to these shark attacks is of great importance to me and something I am passionate about. This particular piece is extremely informative and attracted me through a strong lead and the well-structured presentation of facts.

The lead caught me straight away; the who, what, when, where and why are answered straight up. According to Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, pg. 23) ‘leads typically emphasise .. the who, what, when and where’. A good lead involves all crucial information in 25 words or less. I believe the journalist of this piece has included the appropriate, crucial information in the lead.

The speech used is precise, understandable and and simple; it reveals the facts without exaggerating detail. The journalist has incorporated primary sources in this piece adding to credibility, including direct quotes from Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair and Head of DPI’s shark research centre Vic Peddemors, both of whom are reliable, credible sources. These sources were selected on basis of proximity to the story. According to Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, pg. 20) ‘giving the local angle’ is crucial in delivering news about an event.

It provides background information so that the reader doesn’t have to follow links to other news releases, and incorporates interviews and quotes from important and valuable sources.

Throughout the whole piece, the journalist has done well to incorporate all crucial pieces of information relevant to the topic. There is no bias or opinion in this piece, the story has been formed around information released by the New South Wales Government. This piece allows the NSW Government to be shown in a positive light. They appear to be proactive in relation to finding a solution for the shark problem that is beneficial to both parties involved. The government is concerned with protecting the public whilst keeping the interest and safety of the sharks top priority. Furthermore, the article details what the Department of Primary Industries are doing to assist the situation.

Reflection: After reviewing multiple news websites for stories from the previous week, I found little to nothing of interest. However, I found a lot of entertainment news, sporting news and opinion pieces surrounding political debates. I wanted to write this particular blog post on the debate surrounding same-sex marriage legalisation, except there are far too many opinion pieces and not too many factual, news stories.


Reference:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation ABC, ‘NSW launches shark tagging, surveillance on North coast in wake of series of attacks’, 14 August, viewed on 14 August 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-14/nsw-launches-shark-tagging-surveillance-in-wake-of-attacks/6696392

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Five Blog Activity – Inquiry: Find an article that has impact on you …

Week Four Blog Activity- Inquiry: Review the following two pieces ..

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One of the main issues with this story was that the headline and body of the piece tell different stories. The headline claims that Robert Pattinson talks with Dave O’Neil about Pattinson’s new film, The Rover. The body of the piece involves O’Neil talking primarily about Pattinson’s rise to fame and his body guard Dean, with little to no quoted conversation regarding the movie. The headline attracted me as a reader, but quickly lost me when the rest of the piece dragged on about useless information surrounding the star’s love life and body guard who was present at the time of the ‘interview’.

Talking points are essential so that the interviewed talent can consider their response to possible questions (Ames 2015). This soft news piece had no talking points; there was nothing prepared for the journalist to ask the interviewee. According to Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, pg. 141) ‘great interviews result from substantial efforts on the part of the interviewer’. This interview had no talking points, no interview questions prepared and no key messages. There was no substance to the interview.

Unfortunately, the piece was uninteresting and did not develop the headline as the body progressed. All is not lost though, as this piece provides strong argument in support of talking points and planning for the event. Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith (2012, pg. 156) provide a fantastic insight into improving interviewing skills, perhaps O’Neil should pick up a copy.

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This media release is well structured and straight to the point. This piece is supported by credible evidence. It contains important news values such as proximity, impact and currency.

This piece contains the important elements that a well-written news piece should; accuracy, brevity, and clarity (Ames 2015). The key messages for this piece have been developed when writing the release.

Throughout the piece, each statement is referred back to the survey conducted by AgForce. The way the facts and survey have been incorporated into this media release present the reader with hard-hitting credible evidence. The release is precise and to the point; it doesn’t drag on or present unnecessary information.

This piece emphasises the importance of well-structured sentences and the organisation of important aspects of a piece in the correct order.


Reference:

AgForce Queensland 2015, ‘Drought worse in living memory: AgForce survey‘, 20 May, viewed on 09 August 2015, http://www.agforceqld.org.au/index.php?tgtPage=news&id=view,478

CQUniversity 2015, COMM11007 – Week 4 – Writing News Study Guide, CQUniversity, Mackay, viewed on 09 August 2015.

O’Neil, D 2014, ‘Robert Pattinson talks about his new film, The Rover, with Dave O’Neil’, 16 June, Sydney Morning Herald Entertainment, viewed on 09 August 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/robert-pattinson-talks-about-his-new-film-the-rover-with-dave-oneil-20140619-zs99j.html

Whitaker, WR, Ramsey, JE & Smith, RD 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast and Public Relations, 4th edition, Routledge, New York.


Week Four Blog Activity- Inquiry: Review the following two pieces ..