Keren and Tamir are the cofounders of Wholesome Media a social engagement consultancy working with government and nonprofit clients to work towards a more engaged and participatory society.
Their clients include Parliament of Victoria, Yarra Valley Water, Kidney Health Australia and the ACT Government.
They have a tried and tested methodology for building social engagement strategies and deploying cutting edge techniques for building trust and sustained relationships with stakeholders.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
Wholesome Media was started in February 2011 with the goal of helping good organisations succeed in social media. We wanted to inspire positive change and do that by helping people working mainly in the nonprofit and government sectors.
How do you make money? (please explain your business model)
Our revenue is from consulting and licence fees for our software.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
We are working on the social media engagement plan for Yarra Valley Water and we are excited to see it rolled out over the next couple of months.
Keren is attending the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco in late February and will be developing business connections while she is there.
How do you make ideas happen?
We head around to the back garden at Flaunt cafe where we also spend a lot of time talking and brainstorming.”
We’ve been working together for about six years, so have a strong rapport and enjoy coming up with and refining new ideas. Our space is really light and fun to be in and for a change of scenery we head around to the back garden at Flaunt cafe where we also spend a lot of time talking and brainstorming.
What does your typical day look like?
We kick things off at around 9am, it used to be 10am but we’re being a bit more disciplined these days.
Most days we have meetings and because we generally head to the office in casual clothes (Keren rides her bike to work), preparing to go to a meeting involves a quick change of outfit then downstairs to the bat mobile to get us to the meeting on time.
We usually eat our home-made organic lunches (Keren is a raw foods evangelist) talking or at our computers catching up on news.
A lot of the day is spent making sales calls or doing customer service or working on strategy, research and planning for clients.
In the afternoon we usually head around the corner for a coffee.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
Slow decision-making and risk aversion are some of the key problems we encounter.”
Slow decision-making and risk aversion are some of the key problems we encounter. I think that is different in the USA where organisations are much more willing to try things and to encourage innovation.
There is a lack of support for startups wanting to reach into international markets. “Get on a plane” was literally what one fund manager said to us recently.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Your inner world drives your outer world…. Get that right and the world is your oyster.
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
- David Hood and the Collaboratory
- Michelle Williams at Ideaction (ed check out her interview here)
What about internationally?
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
We believe that business can fill a very important role in social change. Simon Mainwarring’s book We First really sets this out clearly by explaining how stories of positive business practice will drive the success of businesses and consumers will demand ethical, environmental and philosophical qualities of businesses they support.
We also believe government and nonprofits have a very large role in engaging citizens to create social change.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter?
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
We are looking for interns, business connections in the USA and social media consultants who could implement our Facebook application (townhallsocial.com) for their customers.
Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good-looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.
Would you like to meet us for a coffee and find out how we can help you?
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
Flaunt Cafe in Richmond! We also love going to Yongs Green Food, 3 Bags Full, Richmond Hill Larder and Proud Mary.
What is your favourite song by an Australian artist at the moment?
Ganapataye by Murray Kyle
We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?
How about lunch at Flaunt Cafe.