Digital Boost has hit Hawke’s Bay

Super excited to have been appointed as one of the Hawke’s Bay DigitalBoostNZ Ambassadors as part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment‘s groundbreaking program Digital Boost. I will be helping with Hastings and Waipukurau and the super talented Matthew Miller of Mogul will be facilitating Napier.

I’m 100% certain you’ll benefit whether you’re a business owner or marketing manager in varying skill sets.

Plus there is also online resources available for you NOW for FREE!

Waipukurau with Elizabeth-Marie 1st June at 1pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-boost-workshop-with-digital-ambassador-elizabeth-marie-nes-tickets-154758445677

Hastings with Elizabeth-Marie 1st June at 5:15pm: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-boost-workshop-with-digital-ambassador-elizabeth-marie-nes-tickets-154758664331

Napier with Matthew Miller 31st May at 8am: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digital-boost-workshop-with-digital-ambassador-matthew-miller-tickets-154338182659


Regional Business Partners announcement

I am really excited to announce that I’m now a regional business partner! 

‘The Government has allocated additional funding to the Regional Business Partner Network to support New Zealand businesses and service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Business Advisory Fund available through the RBP Network was limited and had been targeted at businesses seeking initial advice during Alert Levels 4-3. The current level of demand has met the allocation available.’ 

I’ve agreed to join and am offering my services throughout New Zealand of social media marketing advising. If you’re a New Zealand business that offers services I strongly recommend you become a provider and if you need help to join now.

Click here to join

Discover your why before you send a Covid-19 email

You’ll have had the following kind of email by now. 

“Hello ___insert your name here_______ , 

During these unprecedented times, we’d like you to know that no matter what happens, we’re ready to sell you more stuff. Coronavirus presents us with an opportunity to contact you, so we’re taking advantage of it. You probably only ever bought one thing from us and forgot to unsubscribe, but that isn’t going to stop us from having a go at selling you things. Here’s a link to our site with a 5% off stuff you don’t need.” 

Tone-deaf, out-of-context email marketing is, unlike the present day, not unprecedented. But it’s become inexcusable. Right now, there’s one thing brands and businesses need to be saying: 

What can we do to help? 

That’s it. If your customers need to know about how you’re operating, then expand the message to: 

This is what we can and cannot do at the moment. 

Anything else is selling, and if there’s one thing people do not want to hear, it’s tone-deaf sales pitch. 

People before profit

If you need any more proof that now, more than ever, people really do care about how you talk and what you say, this special edition of Edelman’s Trust Barometer finds that customers expect brands and businesses to change the record. The good news is that most people surveyed think brands are in a powerful position to help. But if brands put profit before people, then they’ve lost the trust of 71% of the 12,000 surveyed. 

It is not possible to pay corporate lipservice to COVID-19. It does not listen or care. Its effects are immediate, and the effects of business’ responses are immediately noticeable. You cannot manipulate it or people’s perception of how you act in response to it. You’re being helpful or you’re not. Either will be remembered. 

Understand your motivation

Regardless of pandemics, marketing should be about addressing a need, rather than pushing a company’s agenda. Today, people need lots of things. Reassurance. Practical assistance. Hope. And maybe even an element of business as usual. It’s good to know that the real estate agent is still working on making your house sale happen. It’s good to know that the supermarkets are open. It’s good to know that life carries on. 

So if you’re thinking about communicating with your audience, be honest with yourself about why. Why do you want to send that email? Is it because you have something to offer? Or is it because you feel like you should be doing something because everyone else is? 

Of course, your business feels like it’s there to help. Thing is, so does everyone else’s. But what value can you actually bring? From the biggest – Ford making face shields, Anheuser Busch producing hand sanitizer – to the smallest – tiny clothing maker and retailer SirPlus offering its shipping account to anyone that needs it – there are many inspiring examples of helpful. 

It is what you say, and how you say it

And if you can’t be helpful, don’t say anything. An ad for a burglar alarm popped up on a community neighborhood website, full of posts offering to do shopping for elderly people self-isolating or advice on which shops have toilet paper. The company’s message? You’re going to get burgled as the streets are quiet, so better buy one of our alarms. Exploiting fear will not endear this business to anyone. 

Tone and language are critical. This most human of crises demands a human voice, shorn of tone-deaf corporate speak, hard selling, and jargon. Get to the point. Stop optimizing and leveraging and start making things better and using your skills. Edelman recommends that “brands should communicate with emotion, compassion, and facts.”

Call someone who has nothing to do with your business and read what you’ve written to them. If they can’t understand what you’re trying to say, start again. 

What will you be remembered for?

In all of this, there’s a positive note to sound. This is a unique chance to make a huge difference, to be remembered for the right reasons. To do some good. People expect it: Edelman found an expectation among respondents that brands and businesses can and will help. In fact, 62% of consumers said they did not think their country would make it through the crisis without brands playing a “critical role” in the fight against the coronavirus. 

Because soon the question will not be, how did you survive the great pandemic of 2020? The question will be, what did you do in the great pandemic of 2020? 

Zoom calling etiquette 101

NOTE: Before you begin reading this, there is no offence to any Karen made. I feel sorry for the Karen folk of the world being shamed on the internet right now.

I feel like I should have a Diploma in Zoom. The majority of Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand for that matter seem to be using Zoom. After having Zoom calls virtually hourly (see what I did there) 😉 I should be awarded a participation award already. I’ve discovered that there is an etiquette to zoom calls.

NOW… You must think it’s highly petty of me to think this but when you sit online for 18 hours a day on a computer / device. With lots of previous experience, you find yourself getting quite anal on these things, called video calls.

Zoom US stock shares have gone up since last week. Wonder why?

Etiquette to these calls is as follows.

what not to wear or do (great stock image)
what not to wear or do (great stock image)


1. Don’t dress to impress, as my nana use to say no boobs or bums for the camera. The host could be recording 😉 Dress like you’re attending a meeting.

2. Sit up and shut up. Sit properly.

3. Make sure your waitress or waiter, supplies you with that hot or cold beverage before the call.

4. Lighting needs to be on point, and the top tip is to have a minimal, non-distracting and dull background. We don’t want to watch what your husband Jim is up to in regards to preparing for your date night.

5. In prep, For just at least 40 mins switch your god damn ringtone off, CARLA hates hearing it in the office. She will go nuts in a zoom call. Make sure all your annoying notifications are off as they’re So distracting.

6. Make sure your desktop is looking mint so that if screen sharing your NWS content is not on display.

7. Be there before the meeting starts as you’ll look like an idiot if you show up late. You’ll be known for being a leper.

8. Gentleman folk, have a brush, shower and shave, sorry I excluded the other S word before shower. You don’t want to look like Nigel in my last Zoom meeting who had an orange and got it stuck in his molars.

9. Align the zoo, make sure your cat or dog or rabbit even is not going to make a guest appearance.

10. Don’t have the following on display: toilet paper, hand sanitizer, baby wipes and teddy bears. You don’t want to look like a hoarder and the bear hunt isn’t happening on this zoom call, unfortunately.

11. Have an agenda, that way it’s a quick in and out, and it might save you having to upgrade to the business plan so you can get away with a free 40-minute account.

That banana though!

That banana though!

12. Make sure you’ve eaten the banana before the call rather than afterwards. Don’t eat on a call.

13. When positioning your camera, particularly with us, ladies don’t have your cleavage on display as that is distracting for the male folk.


14. Firstly, when the meeting starts to TELL your guests that you’re recording as nobody likes to drop a bombshell.

15. If you’re the host, make sure that if Alyssa from Marketing knows Alana from Distribution Management as it could get quite awkward in the team zoom meeting.

16. Anticipate bad connections and internet drop-offs and audio malfunctions it’s bound to happen. Just be patient.

17. Mute the microphone, when Henry is talking; we want to see Henry’s face not your camera because you can’t sit still and keep moving your chair.

run run run!
run run run!

18. Do not change the background. Please, Ken, stop changing the virtual background to when you’re in a Jurassic park scene. TWIT!

19. If you want to speak but your hand up, so people know you want to talk and won’t interrupt.

20. STAY in one spot, if you need to excuse yourself then do so politely.

21. If you’re talking, talk to the other people not by looking at yourself. There are these things called mirrors.

Attention spam graph

22. Stick to the meeting. Meaning do not check your Facebook or emails. FOCUS. Control your attention span. Edward can wait till after the meeting for that naughty selfie. Also, another reason why I pointed out, turning off notifications. (as mentioned in number 4)


23. If you’re the host stick around until everyone has left so that people leave at their own pace and when they want and if they have lingering questions like, “CAN I GO BACK TO WORKING AT THE OFFICE” (obviously your answer is going to be ‘NO STAY HOME’ can be answered privately. A host leaving the party first is like bailing on your own party. LOL AWKS

24. Reward yourself with a beverage for completing your work related video call.

25. If you’re the host abide by numbers 1-24. You need to lead by example.

My queue position at 11: 34 AM
My queue position at 11: 34 AM

Also, if you try to connect to ZOOM support, I was today on number 354 of my question and am still waiting for my question to be answered almost 12 hours later. Have fun getting support! Talk to your local excellent IT company for help. BOOM! Shout out to HB Technologies.



  1. Dress professional.
  2. sit properly.
  3. beverages need to be sorted before the call.
  4. appropriate lighting.
  5. switch notifications off.
  6. have a clean/sorted desktop, prior to screensharing.
  7. remove pets from all calls.
  8. be mindful of your environment.
  9. have a clear and crisp agenda. 
  10. do not eat on a call.
  11. position your camera on a professional angle.
  12. Be punctual
  13. Have a groom first.


  1. Inform your guests you’re recording before the call.
  2. Introduce guests if needed.
  3. Anticipate bad internet connections and audio malfunctions.
  4. Mute your microphone when you’re not talking.
  5. Do not change your virtual background.
  6. Don’t interrupt people. (If needed raise your hand before speaking.)
  7. Sit in one position.
  8. Look at the people rather than yourself in the camera.
  9. Focus your attention span on the call.


  1. If you’re hosting the call wait until everyone has left.