how executives addrssed the australian bushfire

How Execs Addressed the Australian Bushfire

In the wake of the devastating Australian bushfire, many executives have stepped forward to donate to organizations providing relief efforts. Executives can use social media to draw attention to specific causes and inspire others to action, which we have seen in many of our previous articles. Individuals like Bernie Reifkind and Marc Benioff use social media to not only share their thoughts about social causes, but also to showcase the actions they have taken to help inspire others to action.

In this article, we will look at three executives from different industries and how each of them has responded to the Australian bushfires. By analyzing their social media posts, we examine how the tone can vary from post to post while still effectively calling attention to the cause.


Tech: Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes


First up is the tech industry, where the two co-founders and co-CEOs of Atlassian, Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, have each donated $770,000 USD. It started with a lighthearted exchange between Cannon-Brookes and actor Russell Crowe on Twitter. Crowe was auctioning off his hat and announced he would match the amount and donate it to the NSW Rural Fire Service.



In tweets about the fire, Cannon-Brookes’ tone is inspirational. They take a more casual approach that emphasizes the positive impact of donating, and the support that other people are giving firefighters. His tweets about the Australian fire have garnered a lot of positive reactions from other users on Twitter.



Both Farquhar and Cannon-Brookes are active in retweeting other users’ posts and sharing articles about climate change and renewable energy. In some of his posts, Cannon-Brookes uses a few emojis, which help his post stand out and grab the viewer’s attention. Although his tone is more casual than the other two executive’s we will be looking at, he still presents a respectful tone that is appropriate for the situation.


Fashion: Bethenny Frankel


The next executive on our list is Bethenny Frankel, the founder and CEO of Skinnygirl. Her other initiative is bstrong foundation, which responds to current disasters occurring around the world. Its previous projects include distributing cash cards to those who lost their homes due to the earthquake in Puerto Rico, and sending almost 200,000 pounds of supplies to those affected by hurricane Dorian.



Frankel has remained very active on Twitter, discussing the Australian fire in several tweets to reiterate the severity of the situation. Her tone remains consistent, urging followers to act themselves. She is also quick to respond to other businesses reaching out to partner with her and bstrong, such as the tweet below:



This particular tweet about the earthquake in Puerto shows how Frankel and her bstrong foundation is not just about reacting to global events, but about providing long-term efforts. This tweet reinforces her commitment to helping others in need and also strengthens bstrong’s image. The foundation is not just about a one-time donation, but is actively taking steps to be involved over a longer period of time.


Throughout her tweets, Frankel maintains the same level of urgency. Her posts about the Australian bushfires cover her own actions, bstrong’s commitment, and also inspires others to donate to bstrong. She uses a brand-related hashtag, #bstrong, when mentioning her foundation. This is an effective way to make the foundation’s name stand out at a glance.


Banking: James Gorman


The final executive on our list is James Gorman, the CEO at Morgan Stanley, who donated $1 million AUD. Gorman is unique compared to the other executives discussed in that he is not very active on social media at all. While he does have a LinkedIn account, he has not posted or engaged with other users. His only post was on January 9th where he mentioned the bushfires, his donation, and encourages others to donate as well.



Although he has no other content on LinkedIn, his one post has generated over 6,400 reactions and 100 comments, which is significant considering his previous activity levels. Still, this is an example of the wide reach and impact executives have when on social media. Without using any hashtags or other methods to increase his post’s reach, his single post was still able to garner a lot of engagement.

As an Australian himself, he comes across as very empathetic while also very thankful to the firefighters. Similar to other executives who have posted about the Australian bushfires, he ends his post with a CTA asking readers to contribute.


Using Social Media to Spread Awareness About the Australian Bushfire


As we have seen with the three executives discussed in this article, executives can use social media to inspire others to act. Each of them presents a slightly different tone when compared to the rest, with Cannon-Brookes emphasizing a more hopeful and positive tone, Frankel with an aspirational tone that looks to the future, and Gorman with an empathetic tone that ties him to the disaster. What they all have in common is a common desire to contribute to social good using social media.



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