the grass is greener on the internet

Behold, the Blog Star!
April 6, 2009, 9:47 pm
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Behold the Blog Star, for it cometh to guide the way to the birth of…err, well we’re not sure really.

When Financial Planning Australia first announced their ‘Blog Star’ competition, I wasn’t sure if they were kidding – but they weren’t.

As part of their ‘Make a Difference’ campaign they ran a competition to find a student (aka the Blog Star) to blog about what it’s like to be a financial planner, the latest in industry happenings and generally getting students to engage more with the organisation.

So the latest announcement is that the Blog Star has been selected – the anointed one is a guy called Kane Piper hailing from Wollongong. Thus far he’s done the careers fair circuits, a couple of interviews and…interviewed a mascot? (A pig called ‘Terrence Trotter’, whom if nothing else will clash with their brand colours horribly.)

Downside of using Gen Y: grammar. “Strewth! Has the economic crisis effected [sic] you?” Strewth indeed.

Apparently they also thought they could just chuck the poor guy into a whole list of social networking sites and he’d pick up attention immediately. So far…Facebook group‘s looking a little lonely and January 5th’s ‘Kane is ready to Twitter‘ message was a bit deceiving.

A little confused about the website’s name, which is iplan2 – after publicising under the ‘FPA Blog Star’ name it’s a big shift, and hopefully not an attempt to link with the iPod family (please please no). Do not confuse with – a slightly less slick website for personal organisation software.

I am half glad and half mortified that they also took out the domain

I feel bad about criticising the website so much when Kane’s just getting started, especially when he’s managed to inject some humour into what is usually a dry topic. If the polls are anything to go by he’s at least getting some decent traffic (not yet registered on Google page ranks though). Overall it is a slick production but still just doesn’t sit right for me.

Then again – to use that classic ad industry criticism – I’m not the target market.


Who says finance people aren’t sociable?
October 22, 2008, 9:57 pm
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Companies are really getting serious about using the internet and social media to communicate with us difficult-to-understand Gen Y-ers.

You really know that a marketing practice is starting to become pervasive when the financial planners get in on it. This from my inbox today…

Interested in a career in Financial Planning?

If you think you are we’ll give you all the latest gear for a year –
including the latest laptop, coolest phone and camera PLUS a salary package
for 12 months valued at over $25,000*.

It’s a great way to jump start your financial planning, business or media
career and a fun way of becoming the most talked about, most watched
personality in financial planning history.

Get paid to run your own social media campaign. If you’re good with people,
not just numbers, then you could be regularly interviewing current financial
planning students – creating blog posts, videos and photos on their views,
opportunities, challenges and social life. You’ll also be reporting on the
Financial Planning Association’s National Conference and various FPA events,
interviewing all the major financial planning players as well as
investigating the major issues facing future financial planners.

All you have to do is dust off your inner Spielberg and make a video of
yourself. Tell us in 2 minutes or less why you should be the Financial
Planning Association’s Blog Star.

Submit your entries by uploading your video to YouTube and send us the link
before November 13, 2008 for your chance to win. We’ll fly the winner to
Queensland to be introduced as the FPA Blog Star at the National Conference
on November 19.

To enter or find out more go to:

The Financial Planning Association is Australia’s leading representative
body for the financial planning profession.

*Total salary and prize pool valued approximately $25,690. Includes: Apple
MacBook 2.4GHz, Sony handycam 30GB, Canon Powershot A580, Nokia mobile phone
and Wireless broadband.

Wow. Way to appeal. Dude, I always knew I wanted to be ‘the most talked about, most watched personality in financial planning history’ when I grew up.

I don’t really know where to start. They’re trying to use celebrity appeal as an incentive to get a student to run their social media campaign for them (as well as giving them an awful salary, I might add) which seems to come from the assumption that once you have a blog with content and a couple of youtube videos under your belt you’re a superstar.

It makes me want to laugh, and laugh.

Not to mention, how many people do you know who imagine being celebrities for being financial planners?

I’m also confused about the ‘participating universities’ list on the website – what, so anyone not from one of these universities can’t be the ‘Blog Star’? I note that most of the top tier universities are missing. Not sure why this is, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t help.

I am impressed that the industry is willing to take the risks online to better engage with a new generation of graduates and provide more information about themselves. But the whole thing does feel a little bit like ‘let’s do it because everyone else is’ and a little less like it’s being used as a strong tool to accomplish their strategic goals.

Watch out for the Blog Star…