From accidentally praising your own political announcements on social media to celebrating in the wake of announcing a budget emergency, policy and political communication are challenging and when done badly can be catastrophic.

On this week’s Policy Forum Pod we dig into the alchemy of policy communication – where it’s been done well, when it’s been done badly, and how it can be done better – with our expert panel Frank Bongiorno, Fiona Benson, Andrew Hughes, and Pamela Kinnear. It’s essential listening for anyone involved in the policymaking process. Listen here:

This week’s policy panel are:

Fiona Benson is founder of FJ Partners Strategic Advisory. She is a former press secretary to two federal cabinet ministers, and specialises in devising innovative stakeholder engagement, media, and communications strategies.

Frank Bongiorno is the Head of the School of History at ANU and is an Australian labour, political, and cultural historian. His books include The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed AustraliaThe People’s Party: Victorian Labor and the Radical Tradition 1875-1914; and The Sex Lives of Australians: A History. He was co-editor of Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia.

Andrew Hughes is a lecturer in marketing in the Research School of Management, where he teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Pamela Kinnear is the principal of Kinnford Consulting. Her consultancy work is grounded in a successful 20-year career at senior leadership levels across government, non-government and research sectors, backed up by a strong academic background.

Our presenters for this episode – Bob Cotton and Martyn Pearce – also discuss the recent UN report on biodiversity loss, tackle some of your comments and suggestions for future pods, and tell you how you can get your hands on a very limited edition Policy Forum Pod mug!

Bob Cotton is a Visiting Fellow at Crawford School. He has a strong interest in public policy issues, including Australia’s engagement in the Asia Pacific Region. He is a mentor at the National Security College.

Martyn Pearce is a presenter for Policy Forum Pod and the Editor of Policy Forum.

Show Notes | The following were mentioned in this episode:

UN report warns about one million species going extinct

Crawford School of Public Policy

Make a suggestion on the Policy Forum Pod Facebook group

Gough Whitlam’s ‘It’s Time’ campaign

Timeline of William McMahon’s prime ministership

John Howard: “But we will decide who comes to this country…”

Labor election promise on childcare and pensioner dental

Julia Gillard’s first interview as PM with Kerry O’Brien (transcript)

Bill Shorten defends his mother

Franklin Dam and the Greens

Kevin Rudd: How we staved off recession and the GFC (Financial Review)

My Health Record information

Campaign Against the Australia Card

Labor election promise to increase childcare workers

Tony Abbott’s 2014 Budget emergency

National Commission of Audit

Former Treasurer Joe Hockey questioned over dancing

Joe Hockey pictured smoking cigar

History of Australian climate policy failures

Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s Facebook mishap

Former Environment Minister Peter Garrett, Pink Batts, failed home insulation program

Clive Palmer’s mobile app

Podcast: Putting community engagement in the neighbourhood of good policy

1980s economic reform under Labor government

Podcast: Nail Kabeer – the gender agenda

Get Up & Grow health campaign

Information on election funding (Australian Electoral Commission)

Franking credits reform

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesSpotifyStitcherSubscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

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