I’ve been blown away recently by the demand here in Sydney for hard-working, proactive, capable PR practitioners at a senior level. It seems that there is a skill gap at the moment for mid-senior management level PR professionals across Australia. I’m still so surprised that PR has been taken off the skills list for the skilled visa, but that’s another topic for another day.
Having worked in PR for 12 years spanning Manchester, London and Sydney, I’ve been very fortunate to gain some amazing client experience at some of the best agencies in the world including Frank PR, Taylor Herring and Ogilvy PR (Pulse Communications), which has enabled me to learn valuable skills that I can take to not only my own agency, but also to my peer agencies and co-workers.
I came to Australia at a time when UK PRs were welcomed into roles here in Sydney if they boasted the skillset and experience that the role required. As a result, I’ve had exposure to work on some amazing clients including LG Electronics, Telstra, NRMA, Engineers Australia, 20th Century Fox, P&G, RB, Maybelline NY and Cancer Council to name a few. This invaluable client and agency experience has enabled me to take the plunge into freelancing in 2014.
Since starting out on my own in 2014, I have not only been servicing my own clients for Hollinshead Comms 101, I have also acted as a senior PR consultant to some of the most renowned agencies in Sydney on a contract basis.
Whilst I’m very fortunate to have a solid client base of my own here at Hollinshead Comms 101 and a great team, I’m a true believer that you should never stop learning. I regularly attend courses that can expand my skillset, whilst also upskilling in my existing area of expertise. I’m a big fan of General Assembly and have also signed up for a diploma at Billy Blue College of design in UX and web design, what is it they say, every day is a school day?
I also believe that this is true of learning from your peers, which is why I’ve continued to provide senior council to agencies that I’ve always looked up to.
I feel so lucky that I’m invited to work with agencies such as 303 Mullen Lowe, working on TX Maxx and Harley Davidson (dream client), The Red Republic (recently bought by McCann Worldwide Group), Access-DGC as a senior digital strategist and most recently Leo Burnett (on the Diageo account). I was also invited to work in-house at 20th Century Fox on its theatrical team on titles such as Academy Award-winning Birdman and the Sydney premiere of Night at the Museum 3 back in 2014.
I honestly feel so humbled to be asked to work these roles when they’re clients and agencies that I’ve looked up, and dreamt of working for since I knew I wanted to work in PR 20 years ago.
The fact that I’m still able to consult, whilst having an agency of my own allows me to continue to learn, whilst passing on the skills that I’ve learned along the way. It also benefits my own clients as I’m constantly immersed in this industry that I live and breathe.
The PR industry is such a small world, it’s so important to remember that it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. We’re all in good company, and I for one feel very lucky that I work in this world.