Hughes PR

Turning Ifs into Actions

Simon Hatcher writes…

Recently, I was again reminded of the benefits of long-term client relationships when Jobs Statewide won a major new government employment services contract to open 17 new offices in two states over the next few months.

 I first started working with Jobs Statewide in late 2007 when they asked for my help with managing a potential issue. I provided some advice and helped them prepare should the issue arise.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same.

Luckily, the issue didn’t arise but unbeknown to me this early advice would lead to a now eight year working relationship.

In 2008, I started helping Jobs Statewide and its commercial recruitment and training company Excel to build its profile and engage with the community and other stakeholders more effectively.

Unfortunately, we didn’t know that less than a year later Jobs Statewide would be facing a much bigger issue when the government re-tendered the government employment services contracts under a new system called Jobs Services Australia.

Jobs Statewide lost almost all of its contract and had to reduce its offices from 11 down to two within a couple of months and make a large number of people redundant. This despite being one of the highest performing providers in Australia and helping more than 41,000 people into work.

If you can keep your head when all about you

It was then I learned of the determination and resilience of Jobs Statewide Chief Executive Officer Wendy-Jayne Williams who had built the organisation from the ground up after walking through the door as a job seeker herself.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too

Rather than hiding in the shadows, we ramped up our communications and went out on the front foot with media and stakeholders, vowing to rebuild and remaining committed to local job seekers, employers and communities.

In her words, it’s about having self-belief.  Belief that if we could build it once then we could build it again.

This approach gained the respect of government and coupled with Jobs Statewide’s ongoing high performance won them a contract extension and a new office just a year later.

I then started working with Jobs Statewide on tender submissions to fund new training programs, employment services and pilot programs to improve government funded employment services systems.

Jobs Statewide won nearly all the funding it applied for along with new contracts to provide disability employment services.

We engaged government by meeting regularly with the Minister and Department and prepared submissions to help refine Jobs Services Australia. All were positively received.

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting

Jobs Statewide bided their time, continued to proactively engage with stakeholders and focussed on maintaining its high performance and developing systems and programs to support job seekers and employers.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run

 In October last year, the Federal Government released its new employment services tender and again we worked with Jobs Statewide on its submission.

Then after lodging in mid-November, four months of nervous waiting began before last week’s announcement of Jobs Statewide’s big win.

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it

Congratulations to the team at Jobs Statewide for not looking back and turning ‘Ifs into Actions’.

Note: Apologies to British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling for use of extracts from the poem If.


Hughes PR

Engaging users with persuasive ‘hero image’ design

Luke Howard writes…


We all know the internet is a crowded space with millions of websites, many poorly-designed, competing for the attention of users.

When people visit your website, one of the first things they see is your website’s ‘hero image’. A well-designed and relevant hero image will help your site cut through the Internet clutter and quickly win over the user, so they are compelled to keep scrolling.

Here are a few simple tips and techniques that you can apply to your website’s hero space, and some examples of sites with hero imagery done well.

High Impact
Full scale responsive images have become common place now as internet connections have sped up. Don’t be shy, and use this space to its full potential. This web site by CH Hausmann is a perfect example.

Keep it simple
Yes that old chestnut rings true again. Minimal visual elements and messages in the hero will actually raise the credibility of your brand.
The Seattle Cider Company have used nothing but a branded image, their logo and a tagline.

Great Photography
Whether it’s photography or artwork, it needs to be attractive and relevant to the user and to your brand.

Grain & Mortar have used some great personalised photography to express who they are. As you learn more about their company, you’ll discover something that’s really important to them is working with clients who get them.

This does not just include your logo. The hero image itself and all the other elements also need to speak to your brand.

The imagery used on the Adelaide Zoo website, particularly the hero images, consistently carry through a branded treatment. Light green is usually very dominant, tying in with the logo, and a spot focus is used.

Text only
These sites buck the trend by only using text in this space while keeping the large responsive image size.

See how bold this technique can be at the New Wave Company website.

Animation is powerful in telling your story, keeping the user, and helping your site stand out from the crowd.

At this point in time, animation is still a bit of a novelty in hero design. Have a look at how Dog Studio cleverly integrate it into their hero images and throughout their web site.

Bold Headings
In terms of hierarchy, making the heading stand out over your logo, main navigation and background image is a great way to maximum its impact.

Checkout how Rainmaker, a digital marketing advice website have done this.

My Predictions for 2015 web design

I believe fly-out side menus will become popular over 2015. At first you may find them jarring, as most changes to website user interfaces are. However they create a more tailored experience on mobile, not just desktop. See how the RAWNET’s web site looks on desktop and mobile to get a better understanding of this new format.

A few subtle changes to a website hero image can make a huge difference to the level trust users have in your brand and their experience on your site.

If you ever want to have a conversation about smart website design, feel free to get in contact with the digital team at Hughes.