Just a few years ago when I stepped on board the Number 8 tram at Punt Road to get to work, passengers were immersed in Melbourne’s great newspaper mastheads – The Herald Sun, The Age or maybe The Australian Financial Review (AFR) or The Australian.
Today everyone is still occupied on the Number 8 tram but there are no newspapers. It's smart phones or iPads and the mastheads are Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and the digital editions of newspapers or maybe games or the inevitably too loud music spilling out from my fellow passengers’ earphones. I feel like a dinosaur as I look up from my home delivered AFR.
It’s just a small insight into our new world where digital and social media have completely changed the way we communicate with each other and the way we find and consume information.
With these changes now mainstream in our personal lives, in the media and in politics, business also has both the need and the opportunity to change the way it communicates and engages with its customers, its employees, its shareholders and other stakeholders.
Business communication now has to be increasingly a conversation based on great ideas, new insights and the best content rather than a broadcast by media release, advertisement or brochure. While this won’t replace these traditional forms of communication, BlueNotes will extend and complement them. For example, we hope journalists can use our stories for context, background and comment to inform their own stories.
That’s the driver of ANZ’s vision for BlueNotes, our new digital publication for news, opinion and insight. Our aim is to use digital media to publish thought-provoking content, drawing from our role in the economy and society and our unique business strategy focussed on Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.
And we want to use this content to reach our stakeholders through social media and to contribute to a refreshing and insightful conversation with them.
It’s part of a wider strategy at ANZ to adapt to the new world by becoming a leader in engagement with our customers, stakeholders and employees through digital and social media. And it’s not just about communication but through the digital banking solutions we are developing in every part of our business, such as goMoney.
It’s a big ask and it requires new thinking and new skills.
I’m very pleased that Walkley Award winner and former Australian Financial Review columnist Andrew Cornell decided to join this venture along with SmartCompany founder and former Business Review Weekly and Smart Investor publisher Amanda Gome.
ANZ has great stories and great insights from our 8 million customers, the 33 countries we work in and from our 60,000 individual staff members.
BlueNotes is a new way of sharing those stories based on quality journalism, research and opinion, and a new way of contributing to the social conversation about the economy, business and finance, technology, innovation, investment, inclusion and sustainability - as well as breaking news from ANZ.
Paul G Edwards is group general manager corporate communications at ANZ. He is BlueNotes’ “publisher” and is steering the bank’s wider engagement with digital and particularly social media. He claims to have no deeper aspirations to be a media baron.