Communication … it’s essential

Edited interview with Janine Cullen, MD JC The Power of One

Long time Illawarra Business Chamber board member and NSW Business Chamber councillor Janine Cullen, was one of our e-zine’s very first profiles which is perhaps not surprising since she takes pride in being actively involved with any local business initiatives she thinks have the potential to improve the area’s prosperity.

Of course, running one of Wollongong’s leading communications consultancies, specialising in media, public relations, event management and marketing together with supervising all aspects of television and DVD production, means she is nearly always busy working with an extensive clientele comprising of a number of high profile locally-based corporations. But she always finds time.

Given her recent re-appointment to the Port Kembla Port Corporation board by the new NSW Government and the OAM she received in 2011, it seems both state and federal governments appreciate her business and community-minded efforts and this official recognition must add substance to her latest forecasts for our region.

In the WOL SPIN column dated September 2002 she made a number of ambitious predictions that have in fact come to pass. They included increased student numbers at the University of Wollongong, more industry partners at the Innovation Campus, the planned expansion of port facilities at Port Kembla, the addition of new tourist hotels and the building of the Shell Harbour marina.

However, not all of the positive predictions eleven years ago have been realised, with projections on car import numbers and container movements at Port Kembla being over-stated.

And there were a few major disappointments including the abandonment of both the Maldon-Dombarton rail link and the MagLev very fast train project.

Janine is confident though that high speed trains will eventually be adopted in this country but is not optimistic that Wollongong will ever become part of an eastern seaboard track extending from Brisbane to Melbourne or possibly Adelaide.

She is more bullish about the Maldon-Dombarton line which she predicts will eventually be completed and leverage a now privately-owned and hopefully rejuvenated Port Kembla Port operator.

WOL: How would you describe your personal business philosophy?

JC: Being in the communications business I firmly believe that all businesses should be good corporate citizens and actively engage with their customers and the communities they operate in. They have a moral, if not strictly legal, responsibility to let people know what they are doing and how it might affect them.

WOL: How would that be done?

JC: In many cases a simple newsletter is enough but there are often other media that can be utilised for this purpose. It really depends on the circumstances.

WOL: What about online. Is social media a possibility?

JC: Yes, in some instances social media is a very good option, but it does not necessarily suit all situations and may not be appropriate for an industrial company for example. Expressing an organisation’s values and demonstrating ethical behaviour should be the goal of all ‘thinking’ enterprises and these messages should also be addressed to their employees and any other stakeholders.


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