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Optus IT Journalism Award finalists announced

​MediaConnect is delighted to formally announce the finalists for this year’s Optus IT Journalism Awards, which is being held in Sydney on May 9.

With more than 300 entries, this year’s awards have been the most fiercely contested in their 12-year history - the Best Gaming Journalist award category received 35 entries alone.

The awards are sponsored this year by Optus, Watterson Marketing Communications, NEC, Concur, and MYOB - and we thank them greatly for their support.

“12 years in and the Optus IT Journalism Awards just keeps growing,” said MediaConnect CEO Phil Sim.

“This year’s awards have really demonstrated the quality and diversity of the technology media community in Australia and I thank everyone who has contributed to making The Lizzies one of the country’s largest and most prestigious media awards.”

“We look forward to sharing this wonderful night with everyone in Australia’s IT media and PR community.”

You can still book tickets to the event, which is again being held at the Crystal Palace, Luna Park, Sydney.

Finalists are announced only for all individual/journalist categories.

The finalists and nominations for media categories (in alphabetical order):

       

JOURNALIST FINALISTS

Best News Journalist

- Allie Coyne

- David Braue

- David Ramli

- James Hutchinson

- Josh Taylor

- Krishan Sharma

- Lucy Battersby

- Luke Hopewell

- Renai LeMay

Best Business Tech Journalist

- Brett Winterford

- Claire Porter

- Krishan Sharma

- Lia Timson

- Nate Cochrane

- Neerav Bhatt

- Paris Cowan

- Paul Smith

- Paul Wallbank

Best Tech Industry Journalist

- Angus Kidman

- Claire Porter

- Claire Reilly

- Chris Pash

- Krishan Sharma

- Luke Hopewell

- Paul Smith

- Patrick Avenell

- Simon Sharwood

Best Consumer Technology Journalist

- Alex Kidman

- Campbell Simpson

- Claire Porter

- Harrison Polites

- Lexy Savvides

- Luke Hopewell

- Nic Healey

- Nick Broughall

- Nick Ross

- Seamus Byrne

Best Telecommunications Journalist

- David Braue

- David Ramli

- Geoff Long

- James Hutchinson

- Josh Taylor

- Mitchell Bingemann

- Nick Ross

- Petroc Wilton

- Renai LeMay

Best Gaming Journalist

- Alex Walker

- Dan Golding

- David Rayfield

- James Cottee

- Jeremy Ray

- Luke Hopewell

- Luke Reilly

- Mark Serrels

- Matthew Sainsbury

- Patrick Stafford

- Paul Taylor

Best Columnist

- Adam Turner

- Alex Kidman

- Angus Kidman

- Ashton Mills

- Brett Winterford

- David Braue

- John Davidson

- Josh Taylor

- Luke Hopewell

- Stilgherrian

Best Reviewer

- Adam Turner

- Angus Kidman

- Ashton Mills

- Campbell Simpson

- Darren Yates

- John Davidson

- Lexy Savvides

- Luke Hopewell

- Nic Healey

- Nick Broughall

Best New Journalist

- Carl Smith

- Corinne Reichert

- Krishan Sharma

- Hannah Francis

- Peter Zaluzny

- Tara Donnelly

- Tiffany Loh

- Zorine Te

Best Technical Journalist

- Angus Kidman

- Ashton Mills

- Chris Duckett

- Darren Yates

- Krishan Sharma

- Lexy Savvides

- Leigh D Stark

- Nick Ross

- Petroc Wilton

- Richard Chirgwin

        

MEDIA NOMINATIONS

Best Magazine

APC, Australian T3, Choice, Game Informer, Government Technology Review, Hyper, Official XBox Mag, PC&Tech Authority and TechLife.

Best Website

CNET, Delimiter, GadgetGuy, Gizmodo, iTnews, Kotaku, Lifehacker, SMH, TechGeek, TechRadar and WhistleOut.

Best Audio Program

Corrupted Nerds, Download This Show, Future Tense, Gadget Grill, Naked Geeks, Risky Business, Tech Daily with Andy Wells and Technology Tuesday with Angus Kidman.

Best Video Program

30 Seconds of Tech, 5 Inch Floppy, CNET Australia, Gizmodo, Good Game: Spawn Point, Good Game, Jetpack Nation, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Munir Kotadia: AusCERT, NotAnalog.com, Paul Wallbank, Player Attack, Sky News Business: Nigel Freitas, The Feed, Vertical Hold and ZDNet.

Best News Coverage

The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, Delimiter, Gizmodo, iTnews, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Player Attack, TechGeek and ZDNet.

Best Business Tech Coverage

The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, Communications Day, Delimiter, Government Technology Review, iTnews, IT Pro, Lifehacker and ZDNet.

Best Personal Technology Coverage

Australian Financial Review, CNET Australia, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, TechGeek and TechRadar.

Best Gaming Coverage

AusGamers, Digitally Downloaded, Game Informer, games.on.net, Good Game, Hyper, IGN Australia, Kotaku, Press Start, Progress Bar and TechGeek.

Best Independent Media

Ausdroid, Live Tech Australia, NitroWare.net, NotAnalog.net, Player Attack, Press Start, Reckoner, TechGeek and Women Love Tech.

Finalists for the David Hellaby Best Media Relations Award will be released later in the week.

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Send all Influencing and ITJourno press releases, leads and news tips to the editorial team by email (editorial@mediaconnect.com.au) or phone (+61 2 9894 6277).

Follow Influencing for the latest media and PR news and features on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google+. You can also follow ITJourno on Twitter.

             

Optus new sponsor of IT Journalism Awards

​Optus is the new naming rights sponsor of the IT Journalism Awards, with entries now open for the 13th annual awards.

The Optus IT Journalism Awards evening will be held on Friday, May 9 at the Crystal Palace, Luna Park in Sydney. Nominations for the awards, affectionately also known as ‘The Lizzies’, are open now and close on March 21, 2014.

Entries can be submitted at the Lizzies website under Enter the Awards:

http://www.thelizzies.com/enter-the-awards/

David Epstein, VP corporate and regulatory affairs at Optus, said that the telecommunications company is “proud to be associated with recognising the valuable work of Australia’s ICT journalist community, and welcomes the opportunity as naming rights sponsor of these very important awards”.

“Technology touches every aspect of our lives and the Australian ICT media are recognised thought leaders in this area – providing valuable commentary, analysis and reporting on how and where it will impact consumers and business alike.”

This year’s awards, which recognise journalism and media created and published in the calendar year of 2013, will include all 20 journalism and media categories awarded last year, plus the popular Best Media Relations award. Additionally, Optus will present an ICT Analyst of the Year award for the first time at this year’s awards, at a special pre-dinner cocktail event.

“For the past 12 years, the IT Journo awards have been the industry’s most prominent, but this year we’re also recognising the important contribution of industry analysts. They play a crucial role providing in-depth commentary and analysis on technology trends and industry direction. We’re pleased to announce the inaugural Optus ICT Analyst of the Year award,” Gill said

Tickets for the event will go on sale shortly, with nearly 350 journalists, PR professionals and IT industry executives attending last year’s awards.

This year’s awards will recognise journalists and media in the following categories:

  1. Best Title

  2. Best Journalist

  3. Best Magazine

  4. Best Website

  5. Best Audio Program

  6. Best Video Program

  7. Best News Coverage

  8. Best News Journalist

  9. Best Business Tech Coverage

  10. Best Business Tech Journalist

  11. Best Tech Industry Journalist

  12. Best Personal Tech Coverage

  13. Best Consumer Tech Journalist

  14. Best Telco Journalist

  15. Best Gaming Coverage

  16. Best Gaming Journalist

  17. Best Columnist

  18. Best Reviewer

  19. Best New Journalist

  20. Best Technical Journalist

  21. Best Independent Coverage

  22. Best Media Relations

Paul Fletcher MP to open Tech Leaders Forum

​Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher MP will open this year’s Kickstart/Tech Leaders Forum next month.

More than 40 of Australia’s most influential technology journalists and approximately 30 of the country’s leading IT vendors will hear Fletcher present the opening address on Sunday, February 16.

Previously called Kickstart, this year’s event is being re-branded as the Tech Leaders Forum, bringing Australia’s influencers and innovators together to explore the IT industry’s most high pressure issues and trends.

The event, which will be held at Sanctuary Cove Resort from the 16th to the 18th, will be book-ended by keynotes from both sides of government with Mr Fletcher opening the conference, and Shadow Minister for ICT Jason Clare closing the event.

Sandwiched between those two keynotes will be sessions exploring the big issues across areas like security, communications, Saas & Apps, Cloud and the Internet of Things.

For more information please visit kickstartforum.com. There are still some presentation opportunities available. Interested technology vendors can call Mike Woodcock on (02) 9894 6277.

Shadow Minister to close Kickstart/Tech Leaders Forum

​Federal Shadow Minister for Communications Jason Clare will deliver the closing keynote at the 2014 Kickstart/Tech Leaders Forum to held at Sanctuary Cove Resort in Queensland next month.

As well as Clare’s keynote, MediaConnect has confirmed it will host a lunchtime panel session on cyber-surveillance and online security on Monday.

Phil Sim, CEO of Forum host MediaConnect, said that this year’s event will have a greater focus on presenting interesting and fresh viewpoints and news.

“The Forum has always been recognised as the number one opportunity for media relationships, networking and education, but this year we’re focusing our energies just as much on delivering newsworthy content,” Sim said.

“We’ll have major keynotes to open and close the three-day event, with the cyber-surveillance panel sandwiched between the two - so we’re taking responsibility for providing a major point of interest and news on every day of the event.”

As well as delivering the keynote, Clare will spend close to a full-day at the event, as a guest of honour during the Monday night dinner, and meeting and talking with journalists and vendor executives on Tuesday.

The Kickstart/Tech Leaders Forum will have up to 30 vendors talking on topics across the breadth of the IT industry, with sessions covering SaaS and applications, cloud & infrastructure, security, communications and ‘internet of things’.

Vendors participating include iiNet, Macquarie Telecom, VMWare, MYOB, Dimension Data, Symantec, Fireeye, AVG, Motorola, Reckon, NEC and many more.

There are still a limited number of presentation positions and dinner sponsorships availables and enquiries can be made to Mike Woodcock at mike@mediaconnect.com.au or on (02) 9894 6277.

Journalists who wish to attend should contact Gursi Kaur at gursi@mediaconnect.com.au or click the registration link in their emailed invite.

The Kickstart Forum has been running for more than a decade but this year will be re-branded as Tech Leaders, which is in keeping with the direction of delivering influential thought-leadership views and IT news.

PR is eating SEO

​If you’re a PR company and you have no idea about SEO then you’re missing a huge opportunity, because many would argue that PR now equals SEO.

What do I mean by this? In days gone by, a lot of SEO work was about ‘gaming’ Google’s search engine.

Essentially Google’s PageRank algorithm could be boiled back to adding up the number of links a page received in relation to any given keyword. There were any number of tricks you could use to push your results higher; submitting pages and links to online directories and press release sites, buying links, through to just making sure that pages were crammed with your important keywords.

However, inch-by-inch Google has been actively working to identify and counter these methods of gaming. Recent updates to Google’s search algorithms — named the Penguin and Panda releases — have de-emphasised some of these traditional indicators in preference to emerging signals like social shares. However, it has also moved against some of the “black hat” tactics of the past, and now penalises the ranking of companies it believes have tried to game their search engine results.

Most recently, Interflora found its website disappear from search engine rankings because it was deemed to have paid for links. It didn’t even do so, in a manner that might be perceived as particularly underhanded, rather it bought editorials in a large number of respectable outlets including UK newspaper websites. Google not only penalised Interflora, but also the newspaper websites themselves.

Explaining why this was happening, Matt Cutts, who heads up Google’s search engine ranking team, explained that the search engine kingpin was cracking down on all artificial indicators of a website or page’s quality and popularity. He advises those who want to improve their search engine results to focus on getting real, organic links and shares of their website and pages.

In other words, if you want to do SEO then you have to do PR. And you can probably break that down into two types of PR — getting your story into external media outlets, hopefully with a link, but perhaps even more importantly creating great, interesting content on your own content channels that compels other people to link or share those with their social networks.

That in itself has enormous benefit to a company’s marketing, but it is now increasingly backed up by the double whammy of positively influencing search results.

As such, it would seem compelling for PR professionals and agencies to have a reasonable understanding of SEO and how your PR initiatives impact that area of marketing. I would suggest it needs to be an element of PR measurement and metrics and you should be selling it as a benefit of your work to stakeholders and clients.

Or else if you can’t be bummed on the upside, realise that a mistake like that of Interflora could be incredibly damaging — Interflora’s ban likely cost the company millions.

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Send all Influencing and ITJourno press releases, leads and news tips to the editorial team by email (editorial@mediaconnect.com.au) or phone (+61 2 9894 6277).

Follow Influencing for the latest media and PR news and features on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google+. You can also follow ITJourno on Twitter.

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