Ian Caplin: Kia-ora and welcome to the programme. You’re watching G-Reg, the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative. My name is Ian Caplin, and if you’ve just joined us for the first time, this is episode nine in a series of 10 webinars, which, taken together from the G-Reg 2020 annual conference.
It’s our sixth conference year but it’s the first time we’ve done it this way. It is episode nine but you’re not too late, members of the audience, because you can catch up with the back catalogue that’s being uploaded onto the G-Reg website, all the previous webinars, and you can watch them in any order, because although the story arc is common to all of them, the theme is the modern regulator, you can go on and off on any episode that you want. You don’t have to be bound by consecutive numbers in that sense.
G-Reg, if you’re new to us, is the world’s first and only professional user group, user network of its kind, really, for those who exercise the coercive, or facilitative and I say this every episode and those of you who are frequent flyers with us, members of the audience, wait for it, anything else-ive, powers of the government, and I do emphasize that point because we really deal with the whole spectrum of the business of government here at G Reg from education to enforcement. It’s a very, very broad spectrum indeed. It’s based here in New Zealand, but of course we have, as you know, if you’re regulars with us, an international audience watching across all sorts of time zones, watching live and recorded and, indeed, as all of these are, in the public domain.
Wherever, whenever you are, you still remain very welcome here, as we come to our final conference webinar week. This episode nine is entitled Real, and it’s because, in a sense, in this episode, reality bites, although I don’t force that point too much, members of the audience, because it’s been part of the case of this conference that all the things we’ve been talking about in episodes one to eight are indeed very real things with which us as regulators, we as regulators, have to deal.
But there is perhaps a slightly different form of reality to this because this is something that confronts children in the home. It includes internet pornography, bullying, grooming and that kind of situation, which of course is something that’s very much within the regulatory frame. And perhaps the irony of the title is that while we’re calling it real, and it is indeed a reality, the mischief that we’re discussing is virtual when this sort of reality bites.
How did DIA and governmental and other colleagues bite back? And that’s what we’re talking about in this episode, and in just a moment I’m going to welcome Trina Lowry from DIA to talk about how she and her colleagues have used all the skills that we’ve been discussing, all the aspects of the modern regulator in episodes 1 to 8, regulatory savvy, entrepreneurialism, collaboration, stakeholders, stewardship, everything. And that’s exactly the sort of mixture that we see in action, not without a little bit of proportionate humour, which includes some award winning films, but I’ll leave that to Trina now.
As always, in these webinars, members of the audience, please do look at the box below in the Q and A to give your questions and comments and you can start doing that and populating that at any time, and Trina and I will deal with them after Trina’s finished her presentation. But without further ado, members of the audience, a very warm welcome to you, Trina, and over to you.
Trina Lowry: Thank you so much, Ian. Welcome everybody, I’d just like to introduce myself, and then I’m going to start my presentation. So I’m Trina Lowry, I’m a manager at Digital Safety at the Department of Internal Affairs. Our team, my team that are working at Digital Safety is a regulatory team and we work under a mandate through the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act.
So we really look at the kind of content that New Zealanders can view and watch and how that is restricted, and we make sure that people are really, we protect people from harm from that restricted content, so illegal content or adult content.
I have had the real privilege of working on a really cool campaign called Keep It Real Online.
I’m sure many of you have heard about it. If you haven’t, I’d be really surprised, but I’m sure there are some people that may not have. I’m going to walk you through the campaign and why it came about, how we worked collaboratively on it and how successful the campaign has been and then what’s next for us.
So as I mentioned, our mandate here at the Department and our Digital Safety team is to regulate the illegal and restricted content under the Films Videos and Publications Act. In the past, regulating this kind of content has been fairly simple and straightforward. This was prior to the internet. So we’re talking about adult videos that were hidden in the backroom of the video store, or pornographic magazines that were put up on the high shelf in the dairy or the bookstore and where you had to have ID to purchase that.
Well, now that we have the online environment, regulating is actually a lot harder. The online environment is global and it reflects global interests and it’s all encompassing. And so every single little issue, every problem, every hatred, every passion is out there for everyone to access, and to freely access.
We don’t have any framework to deal with this global environment. There is no regulatory framework that can work in this space at the moment because the internet has no borders and it doesn’t sit within jurisdictions.
Access to content online and online behaviour now sits with the responsibility of individuals and the platforms themselves. It’s not controlled by regulation to the extent that it has been in the past when content as in movie theatres, or in bookstores.
For our young people globally, there has been a real fast shift for them. I’ve got a 15 year old. I remember when she was born, I was like,
that’s fine, she’s going to access the internet. But the big huge computer sits in our lounge room, and I’m going to be able to see everything that she does.
Four years later I had another child, and there were tablets and they were already carrying those around the house. Nowadays, our teenagers have smartphones in their back pockets where they have easy access to Wi Fi. They know exactly where the Wi Fi hotspots spots are and they have unlimited access to the Internet and a wide range of applications to boot.
They have the world open up to them and there’s no boundaries for them. So our kiwi children and because of this, face many issues with the online world. And our goal here is because we can’t regulate the environment, our goal is to build deep awareness to change behaviour and prevent harm. And we’re doing that to start off with by opening up conversations with the people that can help support young people.
Because we know that we’ve known about these issues for a really long time. They’re not new, the issues that we had in our campaign are not new, they’re not new to anybody. But what was happening was we were communicating broadly and often across ourselves, and all the other people working in this environment in this digital space to try and make it safe, but those messages were really hard to get heard.
And so we had already started working one of our biggest issues and we know that it’s a big issue internationally, is children accessing pornography. It’s a new issue, reasonably new, but it has been around for a long enough time for us to get a good picture of what’s happening.
We know that our older children, so our teenagers, are using pornography because it’s a really easy, easily accessible resource, so they’re using it for a sex education tool. And that’s really problematic.
It’s not the soft [inaudible] pornography that you used to find in magazines that was one dimensional, it’s three dimensional and nowadays, what they can get is not soft, it is hardcore, and it goes to the extremes.
We’ve also got young people who are accessing the internet and there’s no boundaries for them. So when they’re seven or eight, they’re Googling or looking up stuff that seems innocent, but within one click, they can go to something that’s actually not innocent and at that young age, finding out or stumbling across pornography is not okay, it’s really upsetting for them.
So we were really working last year on what can we do in this space, and we knew that talking to friends and family and colleagues, the minute you talked about pornography, the shutters came down and that conversation became really uncomfortable and really difficult and people just didn’t want to talk about it.
And so we really wanted to build up conversations and awareness around that issue and then Covid hit. So we were already in the throes of thinking about an awareness campaign and then we all went into lockdown.
We all went into our homes, our children started learning online. And we knew that their online usage was going to increase. And very quickly, we found out that everybody’s online usage increased by 40% during lockdown, so our kids were online a lot.
We also knew that parents were online in separate rooms to their children because you can’t
zoom next to each other on different meetings, we know that. And I was one of those parents who had three different room zooms going on during lockdown and kids being unsupervised.
So, we also had children on the internet outside of the school grounds, and in the school grounds we had safety filters, in homes we don’t necessarily have those. We had the Ministry of Education and school supporting children to come online for the first time in their family homes because some people didn’t have internet connection or they didn’t have the devices that they were able to access at school, so they we’re getting those to take home.
So we had parents who were starting to parent in the online environment for the first time as well. It was the perfect storm, and we made the most out of that storm, we made the most out of a crisis, we decided that we need to do something, and rather than use what the work that we’ve been doing to do an awareness campaign on porn, we extended that and used to do it on digital safety in general.
Now we commissioned that work really really quickly. We worked on a budget bid, and within a week got that up to Cabinet, that was turned around within another week, which is unheard of, but really cool. But we knew that we couldn’t do this alone, we’re not the only people that work in this space, we’re not the only one that works in online safety in New Zealand. There’s a whole range of different organizations that do that.
So we reached out to the main ones that we could work with on this first part of the campaign. We used Netsafe, we worked with Netsafe, we worked with the Classification Office, we worked with Police, we worked with Education and we worked with Network for Learning, which is the school, the organization that provides the school filters, just to understand what was going on.
We helped, we worked with them in partnership to develop an invitation to pitch and we got that out to four advertising companies within two weeks. Within a week, I think. And then we asked them to pitch within two weeks. They pitched to us all via zoom in lockdown and within a very short time frame.
Those, what we did with that as well, was that we pulled together all of the evidence and research that had been done within New Zealand across those partner agencies, and this is a really important point. We used every single piece of evidence and knowledge around how our young people are experiencing harm online and we used that to inform the campaign.
So these are the four main points that we pulled to work on, that we used to work on, throughout that campaign and these are the four main issues that we talked about. So we’ve got grooming, pornography, bullying and inappropriate content.
The people that we pitched to, they were really aware that these are really hard hitting issues and three of the pitches that came back, they were great, but they were mainstream, not mainstream, but there was something that you would expect from a government agency and they were the same kind of messaging that we’d already done and that other countries who already done.
And then we got a pitch from Motion Sickness and it was completely different. And we know talking to them now that they decided that they would pitch a really clever campaign that would either land really well or get them kicked out the door. So they really took a big risk in pitching their ideas to us.
So their idea when they thought about it, they thought a bold creative approach that would stand out from the other Government messaging would be really important at this time. So that’s one thing that they thought about and we thought about was, there was a lot of messaging going on around Covid at this time and we needed to break through that but not not take away from it either.
And the content that we’re talking about, the issues that we’re talking about are really difficult. Not only are they difficult issues to talk about between adults but they’re extremely difficult to talk about when you’re talking to your kids. It’s really challenging, especially porn.
Motion Sickness came to us and they said, look, we know that kiwis have always used humour as a coping mechanism to make hard topics easier to stomach, so let’s use kiwi humour to our advantage. And this is what they came up with; four really cool concepts about the issues that we wanted to tackle. So I’m just going to play this advert for you in case you’ve forgotten it, or you haven’t seen it yourself.
Female nude actor: Hiya, I’m Sue, this is Derek. We’re here because your son just looked us up online, you know, to watch us.
Mother actor: Matt, Matt, darling there’s some people here to see you. So he watches you online?
Female and Male nude actors together: Yeah, you know, on his laptop, iPad, PlayStation, his phone, your phone, smart TV projector. Yeah, anyway. We usually perform for adults, but your son’s just a kid. He might not know how relationships actually work. We don’t even talk about consent do we no, just get straight to it. Yeah, and I’d never act like that in real life.
Female nude actor: Hi Matty, you alright?
Sandra (internal voice) : OK Sandra, stay calm, you know what to do here.
Mother Actor: All right, Matty, sounds like it’s time to have a talk about the difference between what you see online and real life relationships, no judgement.
Narrarator: Many young kiwis are using porn to learn about sex. Keep It Real Online, get help and advice at keepitrealonline.govt.nz.
Trina Lowry: So the, what the concept that Motion Sickness came up with, was getting the parent’s worst online nightmare to appear literally on the doorstep and for parents to handle it like a boss.
That was their pitch that they came up with, it was really clever, it was really not scaremongering, not making people really worry about these issues, but giving people a really good way to deal with them in a positive way and to really have those good conversations with our young people.
One of the other things that we talked about was that we really wanted to show, I guess I’ve already kind of talked about it, but really show, and try and explain, having those conversations in a positive way and not reacting in a negative way, because we know a lot of people were reacting in negative ways around pornography and taking
devices away and that kind of stuff instead of actually having a conversation about it.
So here is another one that we, another ad, we had four ads in the series, not everybody saw all four adds. A lot of people saw the pornography ad and thought that was it. Well, it wasn’t it, we actually went wide. So this is the other one.
Older male actor: Hey Sam, is Sarah home?
Mother actor: She’s upstairs. Sorry, who are you?
Older male actor: I’m Albert, @Albie07 on Insta, Sarah and I are buddies online.
Mother actor: How old are you?
Albert: Me? 13. Just joined Tik-tok, as well, its fire.
Mother Actor: So what school do you go to?
Albert: Um, you know, Boys’ High. Hey Sarah, it’s me, Albie, in real life, I’ve been practising that dance we were talking about.
Sarah: You’re Albie?
Albert: Yeah – so good fun to meet you in person aye.
Narrator: Okay Deb, you know what this is and you know how to deal with it.
Mother Actor Deb: Okay, Sarah, I’m not mad, but you and I have to have a bit of a chat about talking to strangers online. Oh, Albie, you’re not invited, I’m calling the police.
Narrator: 40% of young kiwis have online interactions with people that they’ve never met in real life. Keep it real online get help and advice at keepitrealonline.govt.nz
Trina Lowry: So, as I mentioned, our key objective in these was to raise awareness of the issues. And we really wanted to change behaviour, about how we supported our children and young people.
The video used humour to make the conversation approachable and memorable and the stats show the scale of the issues that actually, amongst these four issues, no family is immune.
The stats show that our kiwi kids are actually experiencing these issues, often. But however the primary call to action for us was not watching the ads, they were great, fantastic in themselves and they had good messages, and if parents saw those, then that sure was enough.
But, our call to action was for parents and caregivers to go to the campaign website for additional resources. Now, in developing this website…this is the website, you can go to, it has all of the issues there.
And what we did was, we know that there’s a lot of us in New Zealand that work in this space, so we reached out to them and we built a hub for the campaign. So this is the hub that we built, and rather than making up new information for parents and caregivers, we instead used the amazing resources that are, all of our agencies in this space have developed themselves and we point parents to these.
So this is not new information that we’ve developed, it actually supports parents and caregivers to get to the right place for the right issue to get that information and it provides them with the range of information that’s available. We worked with so many partners in developing this website, and had really good relationships with them.
The website, one of the things that we really wanted to do too, was to reach as many parents and caregivers as possible. This website has been translated into
five languages. So it’s in English, it’s Maori, it’s Pacifica, it’s in simple Chinese and Hindu.
And the other thing that we did was we made sure it was an integrated campaign, so it is, because, there was a lot of people that we wanted to connect with, so it was an online environment. These are the bus shelter posters that were plastered all over the country.
There were billboards put up everywhere and we made sure that we showed every single issue that we were dealing with in a lot of different environments. We had all of the big digital platforms across the country as well. All the digital signage and we had Facebook, and we had Instagram and we had YouTube and they were being pushed out and advertised to our target audiences.
But the main thing, like I said, our call to action was the website and this shows you how many people visited the website over time. We had over 280,000 visits over the main part of the campaign and it does trail off, after the campaign, kind of the campaign stopped at this point here, but people were still accessing the website and it was a reasonable amount every day.
We had one really exciting thing happen from this, is that people would directly go in to the website, so not coming through from other places.
The adverts were memorable. Keep It Real was memorable and they were directly going to the website by using the web address.
The videos had over 36 million organic views. So that’s not us pushing it out, that’s people going and seeking it and sharing it, it wasn’t us advertising it, so that was really exciting for us. Our website did have 235,000 views, it’s had more than that now.
And this was not only a big deal in New Zealand, but it was a catalyst for a global conversation. We got really good feedback through our online environment and you can see it here. You know, this is a dad saying that he can now go and talk to his son because of what we had, what we had done, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. And we’re really excited about getting that kind of feedback.
We got a lot of feedback internationally about how amazing New Zealand was and I think that was on the back of our Covid response and everything that’s happened in the last few years around Christchurch and Jacinda Ardern, so it was really cool.
There is a lot of feedback here, these slides are going up so you’ll be able to read these online at some time, but some really cool feedback about how effective this has been for people and how much they like it, yeah, and really good feedback for us, that a government agency or a government has done this kind of campaign, which was exciting.
We had over, we were, it was published in over 200 international newspapers and translated into over 20 languages. We were interviewed by the likes of the BBC as well. It was a really big deal internationally, particularly the pornography ads. It’s just obviously a topic that needs to be addressed and we’d addressed it in a really cool way that got a lot of attention.
So I talked about the results. We were asked, and I just pop this up. We were asked where it went viral. We actually went viral on every single platform that it was pushed out on and reddit took it up and that just went off there as well, so we don’t actually know how many times the adverts have been viewed.
We just know how many times we can actually track it ourselves. But it’s gone beyond that and we don’t have a clue, so it’s been viewed
a phenomenal amount of times, which is really exciting. But the most exciting thing is that we have celebrities that are, this is what we got excited about, and what Motion Sickness got excited about, was Queen Latifah’s seen it, and she’s provided us with feedback. So that was pretty cool for a little government agency to get that kind of feedback.
And so just want to talk to you about learnings. We, do you know, in this campaign, we were bold and we took creative risks and it was a little bit scary but the thing that we did, was we made sure that we partnered with all the people around us really closely, we got them on board. They helped us make decisions with the creative, we made sure that everything was in that creative that needed to be in it.
And we used the research and evidence to support the campaign. So while we were taking risks, it was heavily embedded in evidence. We used kiwi humour and we found that it was relatable on a global stage and we’ve built really strong brand equity in the keep it real online. And it has real value in the future, and we’ll be using that.
Once something goes viral, it’s actually really hard work. So just keep that in mind if you want to do that kind of thing. It goes off and gets a little bit out of control. And we had to remember that it’s nice that this international stuff is going off, but our real purpose for being here is keeping our kiwi children safe online and we needed to keep that focus.
We knew this was, this campaign was organised at pace and remotely, but it was again heavily grounded in evidence, so that allowed us to do that. And we did receive complaints about the adverts, I don’t think, and we were expecting them. You can’t put naked porn stars on a doorstep on primetime TV without getting complaints, but all of those complaints, none of those complaints were upheld because we had such a strong reason for doing this and the evidence helped us. And yeah, and one of the other things, just lastly, we worked really hard to ensure that there was nothing else in those ads that would cause noise.
We did have one that we worked on really late in the peace and that did cause a bit of noise and that just went to show us that, actually it’s really important to take the time if you’re doing something this risky, to make sure that all other noise is just, all other risk is taken out of the picture.
So this is my last slide, Ian, you’ll be happy to know. What are we doing next? So we’re not stopping here, we’re actually going bigger and bolder and risky and our next campaign, phase of the campaign, kicks off in two weeks’ time, so watch out for the eggplant.
Some of you will chuckle about that because you will know what the eggplant emoji is. Some of you will not and that’s okay because you’re an adult and it’s the teenagers that know what is, so our next phase is actually targeted for teenagers and we’ve worked with them really closely to develop something in their language and in their world and on their platforms.
So it’s completely different to what I think has ever been done by a government agency before, and we’re putting out a mini series for them that tackles these issues and uses a lot of humour. So we’re really looking forward to that. And we’re in the middle of that right now. So I will hand back over to Ian and I’ll stop sharing my screen.
Ian Caplin: Trina, thank you very much, that was absolutely terrific and like with top flight presentations that kind, there’s so many bits that we get, we will have different favourites.
Just while the audience is perhaps thinking about more questions and comments, you were talking about, I mean, it’s an amazing campaign. You’ve got the metrics that show it’s been received, then it kind of blows all the ratings and just goes viral in the nicest of ways, so you don’t really need to track it anymore because you’re happy with it.
In terms of the effect, I suppose, looking at the compliance temperature, is it possible to measure anything further than that in terms of its effect, or are you saying that the desired effect is really to get people onto the hub and then leave it at that. What’s the kind of secondary level of measurement, how do you know that it’s actually done its job very, very fully?
Trina Lowry: that’s a good question. I think there’s a lot of things that have happened, and it is hard for us to measure. But there’s a lot of things that happen, for instance, we’re working with Network for Learning, who have filters in schools, and they noticed a shift in teenagers trying to access this kind of content in the school grounds.
Who knows why they try and access it in the school grounds, but they do and they noticed a downward shift in that, it’s not a huge downward shift, but it is one and we’ll be looking at that for the next phase that we do. So that’s something.
The other thing, too, is that in the hub, is a whole lot of partner agencies that provide advice and support to the likes of schools or health care workers and that kind of thing. And interest in their support and their education has increased significantly. So we know that people reaching out to have, to learn more and to get more resources, and learnings into the areas where people are looking after or supporting children and young people. So that’s another example.
Ian Caplin: Thank you. And I’m just looking actually at Madeline’s question here. And I think it probably speaks to that which is, was there any kind of qualitative evaluation framework beyond the positive
feedback on social media. I think Trina, in a sense, you’ve dealt with that already.
I guess the other thing, while the audience are conjuring up more questions, and by the way, members of the audience, as always you can vote on the questions, then you know, they’ll whizz up and down the screen and you can watch me kind of move around quickly or quicker.
You talk about a kind of multilateral
stakeholder network. You’re getting everyone on side, even before you launch the films. We’ll come to the risk element of the films themselves in a minute. But who did you get in that coalition in government at speed as you’ve said, competing with Covid and dealing with that. Who were the other partners in the equation that really played their part?
Trina Lowry: Yeah, so in the main, we had a main group, where we had
three organisations. So that was the Classification Office, so they obviously have a real interest in the material that people are accessing and using, they classify it all.
Then we had Netsafe, who provide you know, really good advice and support for young people to parents and all that kind of stuff. And then we also had Education, so they have a really, you know, they were really keen to make sure that our young people are safe online as well and have a real part to play in this.
The other one that, so they were on, we brought them into the panel to choose the pitch from the advertising agency, so they’ve been along us right from the beginning. And I can’t say that it’s been easy. It has been, we’ve had our moments and we don’t all come from the same page.
We all have different perspectives and different ideas and we are doing something completely different and risky. So trying to kind of smooth that over and have conversations about that takes time. But we did that in a really good and supportive way, and were quite open in our communication.
The other thing, too, is that Police were another one that actually, we did an ad on grooming, and that’s their space, not ours, even though it can lead into stuff that leads into our space. But grooming is their patch, not ours, but they were too busy over Covid to be able to be involved in this. So we just kept connecting all of them and making sure that we’re happy we’re doing the right thing and they were happy for us to go off and do this.
Ian Caplin: That’s really heartening and that piece actually about, if you like, the patch protection, if I can put it that way. And the idea that there’s a responsible co partner giving way, there’s other things going on. And the sector working across. Regulatory stewardship, exactly the sort of stuff we’ve been talking about, collaboration, in our earlier episodes in this webinar series.
And Sonia points out, just looking at some of the comments that are coming through, not a question, but a comment, to say the conversation that she’s had with her stepson really broke down, with the ads, really broke down, that awkward discomfort to open a dialogue and it is a terrific kind of catalyst, that humour. It just cuts through so much.
Just one thing I’d jump in with, if I may, Trina, is; you’re talking about some organisations that quite naturally might be perceived as leaning towards conservative approaches that you’re working with. How did you sell the videos if I can put it that way, and the approach behind it to them?
Trina Lowry: I think we, interestingly enough, there was a little bit of, an even internally, you know, a little bit of hesitation, but when we talked about the fact that these messages have been done before, we need to do something different, and we want to be positive, we don’t want to have, it could have been quite dark, this campaign. We could have gone down the ‘let’s be all scared and frightened’ kind of way. But we decided that we didn’t and wanted to keep it light and we wanted to keep it positive. And so we just kept bringing in all of that, that you know we need to do something different and we want to be different, we want to stand out. So let’s do that. Let’s be brave.
Ian Caplin: Absolutely, and you get Queen Latifa koshering that, you can’t you can’t get more of a response to bravery in some ways, than that. Let’s go to some of the questions. From Kirsty. You said it was an initiative that moved really quickly. Is there anything you changed on your website hub as you learned more and I’m going to wrap a second question into it, which was one of mine actually as well, so well done Kirsty. Second question is – is there anything that you would do differently now being a genius in hindsight, so I guess the first point is how iterative was this… and what would you do differently?
Trina Lowry: I guess with the website, it was easy. We had, we were doing that. I had somebody working alongside that, so I was working on the ads and my other team member was working on the website and we were talking to each other.
The website is a lot more than the four that were on the ad campaign with us. It was a wider group of organisations. We again have really good relationships with them and all of us have good relationships with each other, so it was really about, it wasn’t that hard to pull it together. All the information was already there and nothing was new, so it was already there.
We knew the issues that we wanted to tackle, so it was just about bringing those issues together, all the information about those issues together in a really good way. And I think we’ve achieved that, so we’ve gotten really good feedback on how easy the website is for people. And I guess that’s something that we talk about in the department, that’s one of our mantras, is let’s make it easy, make it work.
And so, that’s something that we really wanted to do with the website, was just give people one place to go, rather than the many. Yeah, and you talked about would there be something different that we would do? I would say, you know, it was at pace, so while the pace got us moving and got us getting things done really quickly, which is always great because then you’re not procrastinating and doing a whole lot of things that are unnecessary. And people got out of our way because we were in a hurry. I guess the one thing is, you know, bringing stakeholders along the journey when you’re at pace is really hard, and sometimes you have to make calls and they may not agree with them. And we had to take ownership of those and just say, sorry, we need to do this today, or we need to do this, this week and we had to actually, do that.
It’s not great when you’re working with partners, but there was a little bit of understanding, we built the understanding around that. So we tried not to do that too often, but there were times that we had to do that. If I was able to do it again, I wouldn’t do it in lockdown, that was really hard.
Ian Caplin : Of course.
But yeah, it was fun. And we’re doing it again now with the next phase, which has been a bit trickier but we’ve learnt lessons in this as well. And I think it’s just about giving your partners the time and space to digest, and we’ve had to work quickly on this one as well. Because even though we thought we had more time, it actually happens at a real quick pace, so it’s about opening up the conversations and making sure you’re giving your partners the right amount of time, because while we try, it’s never perfect.
Ian Caplin: No, and I guess there’s a margin there that goes in this – to Wendy’s question, which I think is really been answered very nicely. What were some of the challenges of working with your partners and indeed, what sort of things got in the way? My question also, Trina would be – lots of different people watching this programme who regulate work with stakeholders in all sorts of different areas, subject matter, completely different potentially, but what would your kind of nutshell advice be to them if they’re looking to get something out that makes a splash, not for its own sake, but gets a message across. And make some noise, competing with all the other bits of electronic A4 in the world, or perhaps more sombre toned films, what would your nutshell advice be to them?
Trina Lowry: I would say, think about your audience. Think about what they need, not what you need. Think about what they need. Think about where they are. Think about how you’re going to reach them and think about the beast vehicle to get there.
So for our next one, we’ve done something completely different. We are doing a miniseries. Yeah, it’s going to be on TVNZ on demand and YouTube. It’s going to be completely different to anything we’ve ever done before. And I’m not sure if any other Government agency has done it before.
And the reason why we’ve done that is because we’ve gone to the people that we trying to reach, which is young people. We’ve understood where they’re at, where they’re hanging out, what kind of language speaks to them. The humour has been developed in collaboration with them. So it’s really, if you’re going to do something this big and risky, think about your audience, because that’s exactly what we were thinking about when we did the first lot of ads.
We were thinking about parents and caregivers. And luckily, we were them, so it was a bit easier. Whereas, our next lot of audience is a lot harder. So that’s our key piece is thinking about the audience and making sure it’s for them.
Ian Caplin: Very much looking forward to that, Trina. Just a couple of quick questions here. Just in terms of actually the brass tacks of getting this done, from Paul. You involved other agencies in the selection panel. Did you have any formal structures like a steering group or anything like that because it can be, it can be tricky. How did you do it?
Trina Lowry: I know this sounds really crazy, we had nothing like that, we just did it. And we just, we kept, everybody kept their exec informed. I think we were probably the only agency that had to do that, everybody else was the exec, so like we had a Dep Sec from Education, which was helpful, and the CEs of the other organizations. So we had that high level from them.
And then we had the permission from our, our organization to go ahead and do this and we kept them well informed. So there was no steering committee, it was just about keeping the communication going up the chain often, having really good open conversations with them, keeping Ministers involved and letting them know exactly what was happening the whole while too. It was fast. It’s not how a campaign would normally work. I know that, it is different,
but it can be done in this way as well. I guess that’s another learning for us. And we’ve done it this way for the next one too, we haven’t got a steering committee for that one either, we’ve done it exactly the same.
Ian Caplin: Absolutely. And I mean, it’s interesting – a completely different context, but those in the audience who saw the last episode with local networks, local authorities, a conversation that was had there about just getting that initial mandate from CEs and mayors, as it was in that particular meeting, meant that you didn’t have to keep reporting back in that kind of formalised, cordoned way.
And that you still had the anointment, you could get on with it and just do it, particularly under urgency, as you and your colleagues were. Final question here, and it was just one comment from Leanne: and again, great site, useful information as a parent and looking at that.
Do you have any other target audiences other than children and their parents, I guess in relation to this campaign, and also the sequel piece?
Trina Lowry: Yeah, absolutely. So one of our main audiences that we’re really keen to get involved and use this, is teachers and we’ve had feedback from numerous teachers in the first phase of the campaign saying that these are brilliant. There’ll be able to use them in the classroom to start conversations, which is great.
We’ve gone out and checked our next phase of the campaign to see if they can use it or support it. We actually use a lot of humour and it is in a school setting, so we’re hoping teachers are okay with that. But the audience that we’ve tested it with in that space love it.
They’ve said it’s like the educators so, they like the laughing at themselves a little bit, and they can absolutely use it in a classroom setting. So that’s really cool, because that was one of our key things. While it wasn’t our main objective, it’s a great outcomes as well
Ian Caplin: That’s brilliant, Trina and we’ll leave it there. I’m really looking forward to the sequel pieces and I know that the audience will be as well. Trina Lowry, thank you very, very much indeed.
Members of the audience, it’s over to you. We’re just going to put the usual poll that we have at the end of each webinar out, which broadly says, how much is this webinar encouraging, in fact, specifically says, how much is this webinar encouraging you to use innovative stakeholder media approaches where you can, to help your agency’s messaging. In some places it is a best kept secret, it is eight wire thinking, it’s canny, it’s clever, and it’s got to be measured. Clearly, it worked. And it was here. Do please fill in that poll and just a heads up that we are coming towards the close of this series of webinars. Our final episode is transmitted on Friday, 11 O’clock New Zealand Daily Time.
Wherever or whenever you’re watching it though, you’ll be very welcome. And do please have a look at the G-Reg website for all sorts of other pieces of information about the conference series, the qualifications and the other G-Reg products. And if you’ve got something to say, drop us a line too. Until next time, from all of us here, stay well, and ka kite ano.