AML legislation to hit Kiwi SME businesses from next month

I sent this press release out today.

29 June, New Zealand.

Anti money-laundering legislation to hit Kiwi SME businesses from next month

The number of Kiwi businesses that need to comply with AML / CFT (Anti-Money Laundering and combating the Financing of Terrorism) legislation will quadruple overnight.

From July 1, legislative requirements will be imposed on the legal, real estate, sports betting, and high-value goods industries (jewellery, precious metals, precious stones, watches, motor vehicles, boats, art or antiques where they take cash payments of $15,000 or more).

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Examining the benefits of self reflection

I’ve often thought about whether one’s self awareness help’s one in doing better at the job or business? Or at communication generally? The answer seems to be a resounding yes. And the article below reinforces this. For the benefits of self-awareness include:

enriched emotional intelligence and greater empathy and listening skills;improved critical-thinking skills and decision making;strengthened communications and relationships; andenhanced leadership capabilities and capacity.


Know Thyself: Examining the Benefits of Self-Reflection

Bruce Berger, Ph.D., University of Alabama, IPR Trustee

 The value of self-awareness has been recognized for millennia. “Know thyself” was inscribed on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Greek philosophers believed self-knowledge was the highest form of knowledge.

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Iran and the UAE- do they hate one another?

I was interested to read this article as to why the Pompeo appointment appeals to the UAE- he is anti-Iran. I understand the politics of religion but not the politics of pragmatism. Nearly all the moneyed-families in Dubai, mostly traders, have roots in southern Iran. And companies in Ras Al Khaimah (an emirate in the UAE) have many trading initiatives with Iran and even offices there. Moreover. much of the reason Iran survived while sanctions were imposed is that dhows (boats) full of goods (particularly white goods) left from the creek in Bur Dubai to Iran. Where does the UAE really stand?I also received a petition the other day regarding a war on Iran, by Saudi Arabia (with whom the UAE is ostensibly aligned to). It said that a war between the two countries will be next. Will it? it might be. It would aid in ensuring that America is great, again.For an explanation on this relationship, take a read of the article below. Pompeo pick pleases Abu DhabiGiorgio Cafiero March 18, 2018 in Al Monitor, Pulse Article SummaryUnited Arab Emirates officials see a shift at the US State Department in their favor, but are unlikely to see all their hopes realized under Mike Pompeo.REUTERS: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) is seen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 8, 2018, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 13, 2018.

US President Donald Trump’s decision to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo came at a time of major foreign policy challenges for Washington. As America’s chief diplomat, Pompeo will have to address several sensitive dilemmas in the Middle East, including the Qatar crisis and Washington’s difficult relations with Turkey and Iran. His nomination is producing optimism in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that America’s positions regarding Doha, Ankara and Tehran will shift in a direction that is more favorable to Abu Dhabi.

Pompeo’s record is staunchly anti-Islamist, which appeals to the UAE. As a US lawmaker, Pompeo co-sponsored the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2015, which identified the movement as a terrorist organization and linked three US-based Islamic groups — the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust — to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. (The bill did not make it out of committee.) In 2014, the UAE designated CAIR and the Muslim American Society as terrorist organizations, underscoring a narrative that certain Islamic organizations in America have terrorist connections. Ultimately, given Pompeo’s strong opposition to such US-based groups, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, it is possible that Pompeo will be far less keen than Tillerson to pressure the Saudi/UAE-led bloc to tone down its rhetoric about Qatar’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism and to ease or lift the blockade.

The UAE drives anti-Turkey discourse in Washington. Abu Dhabi’s ambassador to Washington has harshly condemned Ankara’s role in the Middle East, maintaining that most Americans fail to grasp the extent to which Turkey has changed in recent years as well as the “long-term threat it poses to most of us.” Indeed, tensions between Turkey and the UAE have heated up, especially due to Egypt’s internal political developments since 2013, the failed Turkish coup plot of July 15, 2016, (which Turkish officials and various pundits openly accuse the Emiratis of playing a hand in orchestrating and bankrolling with $3 billion) and the multisided Syrian civil war. In Turkey there is a perception that Abu Dhabi is supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party. The UAE opposes Turkey's Operation Olive Branch and Abu Dhabi condemned Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian fighter jet that was flying over northern Syria (and briefly over southern Turkey) in November 2015.

That Pompeo called Turkey and Iran “totalitarian Islamist dictatorships” one day after the failed coup attempt of 2016 in response to the Iranian foreign minister’s tweet expressing solidarity with Turkey’s elected government is not forgotten in Ankara, where Turkish officials view the State Department shake-up with unease. Unquestionably, Tillerson’s recent visit to Ankara was understood as a success in terms of easing tension in the shaky alliance between America and its fellow NATO member. The UAE would most welcome a new secretary of state who is less vested in improving understanding between Washington and Ankara over Turkey’s actions in northern Syria, where the UAE alleges that Ankara’s “neo-Ottoman” foreign policy is a threat to Arab interests.

Pompeo, known as a "hawk’s hawk," has a reputation for hard-line anti-Iran positions. According to Trump’s explanation of his decision to replace Tillerson with Pompeo, differences of opinion on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the US president and the 69th secretary of state were an important factor. Although it is unclear how Trump and Pompeo will approach questions regarding the JCPOA’s future, and how the two would deal with the question of Iran’s foreign policy in the Arab world if the JCPOA unravels, it is undoubtedly clear that Pompeo’s outlook toward the Islamic Republic will provide more assurance to the Emirati leadership about Washington’s commitment to pushing back against the expansion and consolidation of Iranian influence in the region.

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New research on corporate communications

PR and corporate communications recruitment firm VMA Group published a new research report on 19 March (UK time) on "communicating in an integrated world".

To read the full The View report go to: But here are some of the key findings.

 New research on corporate communications in an integrated world

by Stuart Bruce

Digital and social media

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Expats and work permits in the GCC


Work in any Arab Gulf country and you have to have a work permit, which entails sponsorship from a prospective employer. In Dubai, if you didn’t work inside a freezone- in other words, if you worked in Dubai proper - you couldn’t just transfer to another job without first obtaining the permission of the existing employer that you could move to another company. That rule only changed about 10 years ago.

 If you are working for a local company, as I was, expect your passport to be retained. I complained and refused to do so; my ID card was taken instead. I rang the British Embassy when I knew my passport was being confiscated (I have British and New Zealand passports with all my Middle East visas in my British passport) and I was told that even though it was illegal to retain someone else’s passport it happens all the time, usually on the part of employers, and there was nothing the Embassy could do about it. How’s that for exerting authority?

With this in mind, I was intrigued to read the attached article about expats only obtaining work permits if an Emirati couldn’t do the job. Nice thought, but I didn’t work with any Emiratis while at Khaleej Times.

Here’s an article that was printed on 14/03/2018 in Dubai-based Khaleej Times

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Where the jobs are for graduates in journalism

I often wonder what graduates of journalism do. It’s not easy finding a job in any discipline but it is probably harder in journalism- because the landscape is changing all the time; too many people want to be investigative journalists (as if they exist any more), and the demand is for digital journalists or whizz-kids on social media.

 I was OK when I graduated from journalism school in the late 1980s. At least there were still traditional journalism jobs, in the UK anyway. And I specialised in finance and economics- since I had come from the Treasury.

 I was interested read this survey that was carried out in Spain. Unsurprisingly the demand is for digital journalists.

Where the jobs are for graduates in journalism"The new journalism specialties". The graphic shows that 56% of the Spanish journalists surveyed work in media that have community managers, and 30% employ data and traffic analysts. Click to enlarge the graphic.Where will the jobs be for graduates in journalism and communication? The results of a survey of journalists in Spain give some indication. The urgent demand is for people with digital media skills, but more on that in a minute. The Press Association of Madrid's (abbreviated to APM in Spanish) 2017 survey was sent to 13,500 professionals, and the overall response rate was a respectable 13%. A little more than a third were working in journalism while another third were working in other professions or were retired or semi-retired. The remaining 30 percent were working in communications, mainly advertising and public relations. (News articles about the survey are here, here, and here in Spanish. Disconnect in training The survey results show that the respondents to the survey are not the ones who are filling the new digital media jobs in their newsrooms. For example, 56% of the respondents said their publications had digital community managers--the people responsible for interacting with users in social networks and other channels--while only 13% of the respondents said they were working in those jobs. Versión en español This might suggest that media organizations are filling these positions with people who are coming from outside their own newsrooms. Another possible explanation is that the people being hired for these new digital media jobs are newcomers to the profession and thus not members of the professional organizations contacted for the survey. In any case, the same discrepancy shows up in several other digital specialties: 35% of the respondents' newsrooms have data visualization specialists, but only 3% of the respondents are working in those jobs. Similar discrepancies exist for data journalists (32% vs. 19%) and analysts of traffic and data (31% vs. 5%). This last one of traffic analyst is critical. It seems to indicate that newsrooms don't have people on board who know how to interpret the data about how the public is interacting with their content. Failure to understand the audience in today's highly competitive environment has fatal consequences. Still a popular major The APM's report, which runs to more than 100 pages, noted that there were 22,000 students enrolled in university programs of journalism and communication. In 2016, Spain's universities granted degrees in journalism to 3,400 students. Where will they find work? There were only 27,000 people working in radio, television, newspapers, and magazines, and many of these organizations have been ruthlessly cutting staff and salaries. That's the bad news. The good news is that traditional newsrooms are hiring more people with digital media skills, and the number of people working for digital-only media is growing. More than a third (36%) of the survey respondents were working in digital media or social media roles. For young people entering the communications professions, there are several career paths:in major media, they might replace laid-off veterans who either could not or would not assume new digital rolesthey can join up with digital media natives, which, unfortunately, have small newsrooms and lower salaries and benefitsthey can respond to a growing demand from small businesses for marketing and advertising specialists to create campaigns in digital media.Not all of this is great news, but the trends are working in favor of those who can fill the changing job descriptions.  For journalism professors and managers of media organizations, the message is the same or similar in every country. We have to ask ourselves if we are doing everything we can to prepare the next generation of communications professionals. We need a generation of professionals with the skills to provide the high-quality information and news necessary for a healthy democracy. In a time of rapid change and shrinking resources, we need to find ways to collaborate--the media, universities, and all the organizations and institutions that provide them with financial support--to guarantee a promising future for these communicators and the audiences they serve.

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How social media affects decision making

Nowadays, social media affects all of us, in so many ways. It affects everything we do including our decision making and buying behaviour. This article from the Institute of Public Relations in the USA tells how.

One of its findings is that social media posts from close friends and family were the most influential source, but the degree of influence depended on the industry. Close friends and family were a critical source in the travel industry for all generations: Millennials (62%), Generation X (61%), Baby Boomers (48%), and the Silent Generation (48%). Close/friends and family were also an influential source for Millennials (51%) in the financial services industry and the retail industry (49%). Close friends and family were also an important source for the Silent Generation (42%) in the healthcare industry.

The link for the full report is here.

The key findings are below with the executive summary first.

In a survey of 1,783 internet users, this study explored the level of influence social media has in four industries: healthcare, financial, travel (personal not business), and retail. The results were segmented by four generations: Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation. Consistent with previous studies, the influence of social media continues to play a role in the actions and recommendations of consumers, and that influence continues to rise. This report dives into the results of the survey and gives recommendations for companies.

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How clever is Trump's Jerusalem move ?

I’ve just been listening to a debate on Al Jazeera TV (English) between an Israeli, an Arab representative and a lawmaker at the EU on a number of topics namely about President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (although the latter was scarcely covered because the other two took up most of the time).

 The first issue- that is President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel- is amazingly complicated, albeit interesting. I have my own take on if and how peace can ever be achieved between Israel and Palestine having been in Bethlehem for a conference, and traveling into East Jerusalem from there. What an experience. I learned a great deal.

 So I was interested to read this article that that originally appeared in the Financial Times and thereafter as a Brookings Brief.

 Martin Indyk explains that President Trump's speech recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel did too little to fulfill the annexationist appetite of Israel's right wing, while it also left Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim supporters deeply dissatisfied. This piece originally appeared in the Financial Times.

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Talking Heads: an exhibition exploring culture and gender

For any body in Christchurch who wants to go to an art exhibition please go on 25 August.

17 August 2017: Two Christchurch artists are exhibiting their work from Friday 25 August until August 31, at Next Gallery in Christchurch. It will be an exhibition of portraiture, but with a difference.

Self-portraits by at least 80 participants will be on display, many by Fine Art students from Banaras Hindu University.  Consequently, it will be a kind of dialogue between New Zealand and Asia and will highlight the differences in gender and culture between the two regions and communities. Over time, the exhibition will include other countries, with the intention of encouraging further dialogue between communities.

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It's all about real life relationships

I’m always curious about how journalism, communication and PR come together. The point at which they merge is all about relationships. You need to foster good relationships to become a good journalist, a good communicator or a PR professional. This is especially true of personal branding: authenticity and spontaneity matter.

 Hence, this article by public relations professional, Stephen Waddington, made me nod in agreement. Yes, it’s always better to have a meeting face-to-face and in person. Social media can never be a replacement for a face-to-face meeting.

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Why you don't need a personal brand

Increasingly, we're hearing about the importance of personal branding. It shapes who we are and how other people see us, supposedly. It's hard finding a personal brand. But now we are told that we are better not to have a personal brand. People do not have a brand, says Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook. This is what she said, as recorded by the BBC.

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The impact of PR on consumer brand perception

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about how media and PR impact on brand, particularly politicians. Even though this study doesn’t look at politicians, the study can be translated to other fields. A recent study shows how it might be.

Measuring the Impact of PR on Consumer Brand Perception

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Personal branding: what to do

So many of us are trying to create our own personal brand, but are we successful? Are there particular steps we ought to be following?

 Here is an article by the Institute of Public Relations that outlines seven steps. Are you achieving them? What can you do differently?

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Worldwide push to eradicate AVEs: AMEC

We've recently become a member of AMEC, because we believe that measurement and evaluation of the media and PR is very important. Companies need to know a great deal more how effective their media and PR campaigns are. One of the areas we are specialising in is tourism. A different methodology will have to be used for hotels and hospitality than for restaurants and adventure activities for example.

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#FuturePRoof: Leaders speak out on value of public relations

Why should companies engage in public relations, or even better, engage a public relations professional to communicate their message to the wider public?

Sarah Hall, is at the PR Festival in Edinburgh to explain why. Sarah is also instigator of the #FutureProof Project- a compilation of stories related to communication written by leading PR practitioners.

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Accessing the right information in crisis situations can be crucial

This article appeared in the last newsletter distributed by the Canterbury Refugee and Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRC)- formerly the Canterbury Refugee Council. In this article Lucia Dore and Melisande Middleton, founder of the Center for Internet & Media Ethics (CIME), discuss how information flows matter in crisis situations, even in small, far away countries like New Zealand.

During the civil war in Afghanistan (1989-92) Iran opened its borders to refugees but not many people knew about this, cites an Afghan familiar with the situation. “Many people fled to there and sought safe haven and temporary education for their kids. Many didn’t hear about it and stayed and I know many people who lost their loved ones because they didn’t know that Iran had finally opened the border.”

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The FT drives traffic using What’sApp

Social media is deemed to be the driver behind business growth these days, and this is perhaps more true of publishing companies than most.

 What is seldom spoken about is the use of What’sApp as a social media tool to drive traffic.   However, it seems to be particularly successful for the Financial Times (FT) anyway.

 I was part of this organisation for a few years while I lived in the Middle East so I wonder if the FT will use, or is using, WhatsApp to drive traffic in its publishing business which comprises magazines such as The Banker and Fdi?

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Global Communications Report Predicts Convergence of Marketing and Public Relations

The convergence of marketing and PR is often discussed, and the recent AMEC meeting in Bangkok was no exception. Some continue to argue the two are distinct skill sets while others maintain the two are converging. The findings from USC Annenberg’s 2017 Global Communications Report predicts the latter.

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How tolerant are you?

I gave a talk recently at Toastmasters, in Queenstown, New Zealand, about my experience travelling to the West Bank and my time in Bethlehem. What I found interesting is that even in a place as supposedly “tolerant” as New Zealand, the audience response is still subdued as regards Palestine, and way more “moved” by what happens to and in Israel. Admittedly, I was wearing a hijab or a headscarf.

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Future Proof - A Podcast

Measurement, a capabilities framework, mental health, the CIPR at 70 and #PRfest, are all among the topics discussed on the latest #FuturePRoof podcast.

Sarah Hall and Stephen Waddington  recorded a new edition of the #FuturePRoof podcast this week. Here's what you'll learn.

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