The new ‘F Word’ for women is Freedom

enjoying lifeAustralian women don’t want to run the world. All they want is the freedom to live their lives as they choose – at work and at home. The new ‘F Word’ is what came out of ten years of research conducted by The Heat Group, Australia’s largest marketer to women.

The Heat Poll tracked key changes in women’s attitudes and lifestyle choices and compared them to 10 years ago, with the research showing a fundamental shift in the priorities for Australian women.

“Women have experienced a change in goals and desired lifestyle choices versus 10 years ago,” said Gillian Franklin, Managing Director of The Heat Group. “The key area holding women back across all areas is the lack of sufficient flexibility and choices, and this is what they are crying out for the most.”

According to the Heat Poll, 40% of Australian women today want flexible working conditions and a family friendly work environment compared to just 19% in 2003. The research showed that 1 in 4 women would happily take a pay cut for flexible working hours, with 92% of these women prepared to sacrifice 10% of their overall salary for flexible working hours. Working mothers also want more Government support, with 33% of women desperate for tax deductible child care, compared to just 18% in 2003.

Today women are ranking lifestyle (62%) and travel (43%) as their top priorities. Interestingly, status and power are almost irrelevant in 2014 as a pursuit for working women, with only 1% of women today placing high value on this compared to 21% in 2003.

But one area that hasn’t changed over the past decade is the focus on family, with 44% of women in both 2013 and 2003 placing motherhood as their top priority in life.

“While women are aiming to have freedom in their lives, they are putting themselves last on the priority list,” said Gillian Franklin. “Our research has revealed that 24% of women are struggling to fit exercise into their life, even though they know it is vital for their mental and physical health and wellbeing.”

The Heat Group is the exclusive Australian distributor of Max Factor, COVERGIRL, Bourjois, essence and Jeanne Arthes fragrances, the official licensee of Warner Bros. personal care, and the owner and distributor of ulta3, Billie Goat Soap and MUD. Despite being relatively unknown to the everyday shopper, Heat is a brand that touches millions of lives each year. Industry data shows that someone, somewhere will purchase a product that was distributed by Heat every 2.6 seconds.

Catalyst to increase women’s representation and leadership in Australian workplaces

Portrait of happy business woman sitting in officeCatalyst, one of the world’s leading drivers of gender equality in the workplace has landed in Australia, opening an office in Melbourne.

Catalyst Australia Women Research and Consulting Limited will engage with employers to create more inclusive workplaces and provide member companies with the tools needed to enact real change.

Catalyst’s presence in Australia will build on the momentum brought about by the country’s ground breaking programs and Catalyst’s successful collaboration with the Australian government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Australia has two Catalyst Award-winning initiatives: Telstra’s Next Generation Gender Diversity: Accelerating Change for Women Leaders (2010) and the Commonwealth Bank’s Opening the Door for Gender Diversity (2012).

Catalyst believes the Australian Securities Exchange’s Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations to increase women’s representation on Australian corporate boards, and programs such as the Australian Government Board Links and the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Male Champions of Change, further demonstrate clear commitment by the government and Australian companies to advancing more women to leadership.

“Australia is uniquely poised to remove the barriers that exist for women in workplaces and communities,” said Deborah Gillis, President and CEO of Catalyst.

“Catalyst’s entry into Australia enables us to bring a wealth of Catalyst resources to the Asia-Pacific market to meet the region’s global challenges and opportunities. We are honored to have a presence in Australia, where we can help transform corporate culture and advance women to leadership.”

Catalyst’s expansion into Australia will give Australian member companies greater access to Catalyst’s resources, and the opportunity to be connected with the Catalyst membership globally, which includes over 700 leading multi-national organisations and professional firms around the world. For more information visit the website: http://catalyst.org/regions/australia

5 Reasons You’re Not As Successful As You’d Like to Be

Change impossible to possibleWe’re all chasing success, but the reality is that only a fraction of us will ever be as successful as our childhood selves predicted. Of course, it can also be said that happiness is the only real indicator of success, and whether or not you consider yourself to be successful probably depends a lot on what your personal definition of this somewhat indefinable achievement may be.

So if you’re completely happy with your life and have already accomplished everything you ever wanted, you can stop reading right here. On the other hand, if you’re still pining for a promotion, daydreaming about your own company, longing to see your name on a book jacket, or generally still have ambitions of any kind, you probably aren’t as successful as you’d like to be; in which case, the following might apply to you.

1. You’re Not Selfish Enough

Society doesn’t usually view selfishness as a good quality, but according to researchers, successful people are more likely to be tightfisted, less compassionate and more self-serving.

If that’s not enough to make you want to throw your preschool generosity lessons out the window, a separate study, suggests that a bit of selfishness can actually make relationships more successful.

Naturally, no one wants to be known as a self-serving, egotistical individual, but it’s also true that putting your own needs or desires on the back-burner for someone else can often lead to feelings of resentment later down the line.

2. You Haven’t Written Down Your Goals

Not a fan of making lists and writing out your goals? Well, that might be why you have reached them yet, as research shows that people who write down specific goals are more likely to accomplish them.

According to this study, just knowing what your goals are isn’t good enough; you have to write them down. And, if you want to be even more successful, you can take it a step further and share those written goals with a friend.

The researchers found that only 43% of people who regularly thought about their goals accomplished them, compared to 64% of people who had written them down. In the group of people who had shared their goals with a friend, 76% were successful.

3. You Sleep Too Late

If you love long lie-ins and never get out of bed a moment before you have to, you’re missing a trick.

Research shows that early birds tend to be more proactive, enjoy a better quality of sleep, get higher grades, and might even happier than night owls. A survey of top CEOs found that the majority claim to get out of bed between 5 and 6 am. Why? Because, they feel that; “life is too exciting for sleep.”

Although not many of us can claim ownership of such noble thoughts first thing in the morning, there is just something inexplicably satisfying about being up with the sun and crossing things off your to-do list before most people have even had a sip of coffee.

4. You Aren’t Attractive Enough

The ugly truth is that society values looks over almost anything else in life, including talent and hard work. Research shows that attractive people are hired sooner, get promotions faster and earn an average of 3 to 4% more than their less attractive peers.

Researchers surmise that a lot of this has to do with sex appeal; good looking people are more appealing as potential sex partners, so others are more likely to hire or buy from them because it makes the whole experience more pleasurable.

They also point out that because attractive people are so good looking, they are naturally more self-confident, and this in turn makes them even more attractive to potential clients and employers.

While this isn’t exactly comforting for those of us who don’t fit the mold, at least it means that building confidence can increase our chances of success.

5. You Lack Self-Control

A number of studies suggest that delayed gratification is the key to leading a successful and happy life, and this is bad news for some of us.

All the little vices we give in to on a daily basis, from overeating to smoking to compulsive buying, are examples of just how difficult impulses can be to control.

One study in particular shows that we judge another person’s trustworthiness based on their level of self-control. So if you’ve been engaging in any indulgent behaviors at lately, your reputation has probably taken a bit of a hit.

Fortunately, willpower is kind of like a muscle, (an unused one for many of us) which means it can be strengthened.

About the writer:
Marianne Stenger is a writer and blogger with Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or find her latest articles here.

Naval Officer leads the way for women, peace and security in Afghanistan

Captain Jennifer Wittwer at Monash University Photo: RAN

Captain Jennifer Wittwer at Monash University
Photo credit: Royal Australian Navy

Captain Jennifer Wittwer, originally from Sydney, marked her 33rd anniversary since joining the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service with a presentation at Monash University for International Women’s Day 2014. As the current Director National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security in the Office of Vice Chief of Defence Force (VCDF), CAPT Wittwer dedicated her presentation to the women of Afghanistan.

“I joined in 1981 as a Midshipman, when hats, gloves and stockings were the order of the day, and a handbag was the closest thing to a weapon,” explained CAPT Wittwer.

Since enlisting, the dual qualified Maritime Logistics Officer and Management Executive Officer has been instrumental to cultural change within the Royal Australian Navy and more widely the progress of women’s issues in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“I am particularly proud of a number of young, junior women who have over the past few years excelled professionally and personally through the various Navy women’s leadership and mentoring programs which were established in 2008,” CAPT Wittwer said.

CAPT Wittwer was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her dedication and services to promoting the advancement of women in Navy.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be recognised externally across the fields of leadership, innovation and business over the years, but no award equals to the satisfaction I received from my deployment to Afghanistan,” she said.

Last year CAPT Wittwer was deployed to Kabul as a NATO Gender Advisor within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“I saw first hand how necessary it is to integrate gender considerations into the planning and conduct of operations to achieve optimal operational effectiveness.”

“My presentation was focused on the development of women in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as a means to provide justice for women, and to help protect and advance women’s rights.”

“I am proud to say that since attending an International Women’s Day event at the Turkish camp in Kabul last year there has been considerable success with ISAF assisting the ANSF to develop mixed gender training and providing professional development opportunities for women.”

“I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would find myself in the position I am, working through significant world issues and doing my part to improve women’s equality where I can. The Navy has been a fantastic platform to implement positive change for women both within the ADF and around the world.”

“International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on, and support, the rights of women, women’s equality and women’s empowerment, here at home and overseas where women are disproportionately affected by civil war and conflict. This is the message I would like to leave with my two daughters, Taylah and Chaeleigh”.

In the lead up to the 2014 CDF Conference in June, CAPT Wittwer is currently working to establish Defence’s role in implementing the Australian Government National Action Plan for women, peace and security.

Captain Wittwer was also recognised in a Defence Women of Influence Display that was launched in the foyer of Russell Offices, Canberra, in the lead up to International Women’s Day on March 8, 2014.

Staff Officer Gender Advisor, Commander Jennifer Wittwer in Kabul,  	Afghanistan. Photo credit: SGT W. Guthrie, Royal Australian Navy

Staff Officer Gender Advisor, Commander Jennifer Wittwer in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Photo credit: SGT W. Guthrie, Royal Australian Navy

Six Things You Need to Know if you want to be a Female Truck Driver

Preparing for a longhaulTruck driving is one of the few jobs that offer women without a university degree a high income on par with their male counterparts. On the east coast of Australia, drivers can earn as much as $100,000 per year. On the west coast, where demand is increasing, income can be as high as $200,000 per year. Some companies in Western Australia are even offering $10,000 cash as an incentive to east coast drivers who are willing to relocate.

Women considering truck driving as a career or as means to earn more money, need to know that trucking is still very much a bloke’s domain. While no-one wants to discourage you from trucking, women entering the profession need to be aware of the potential pitfalls and how to avoid any unpleasantness while out on the road.

1. Female Truck Drivers Have Many Reasons for Choosing This Type of Work
Trucking allows widows, divorced women, and single mothers to support themselves and their children. Women with grown children become truck drivers to increase the household income. Also, after the kids are grown, a woman who is married to a trucker may decide to get her commercial driver’s license and team drive with her husband, thereby making money while spending more time together.

2. Female Truck Drivers Encounter a Wide Range of Driving Jobs
Out-and-back, home-daily jobs with daily stops to service regular customers are the best fit for widowed, divorced, or single mothers. Customers, however, expect the driver to unload their shipment, which can be heavy. Injuries are common and are more likely to be serious for women who are physically weaker or older and not in perfect health. Nevertheless, most women choose these routes for the predictable schedules and regular time at home. 

A few women choose long-haul-over-the-road routes for the higher income, but these require the driver to be on the road for three weeks or more at a time. Long-haul drivers must plan their time and routing and be able to handle many hours of solitude. Such routes are not for someone who cannot handle loneliness or find ways to occupy his or her mind. 

3. Be Prepared That You Are Still In a Typical Bloke’s World
Most male truck drivers are typical Aussie blokes. They will have teasing comments for the little woman driving the big truck. However, there is an equal opportunity for male drivers to become the subject of teasing. Whether you are male or female, if you are fragile, shy, sensitive, or timid, working in a bloke’s world may not be for you. 

4. Trucking is Not a Job For Woman Who Want To Be Babied
Sexual harassment policies do not protect female truck drivers from harassment by males employed by other companies. Women who flirt to get a man to unload a 53 foot trailer for them, quickly learn that some male drivers do not respond well to what may be perceived as “an offer withdrawn”.

Driving a truck also can be dangerous in other ways. Some good and helpful people drive trucks, but the job also allows undesirables to travel anonymously and unnoticed. All drivers should remain aware of their surroundings and other people, and avoid appearing vulnerable.

5. Female Truck Drivers Should Follow these Safety Tips While on the Road:

  • Before exiting the cab, always look around the truck and scout the scene. Don’t walk into danger from loiterers who look suspicious.
  • Avoid carrying big purses. Thieves often loiter in truck stops.
  • Be cautious about quickly striking up conversations with strangers.
  • On the way to and from a restroom, walk in the middle of the widest, best-lit area.
  • Avoid long walks through a dark parking lot by taking showers in the middle of the afternoon rather than at night.
  • Avoid provocative clothing. Most women in a truck stop who dress provocatively are plying another profession. Don’t be mistaken for one of them.
  • Avoid engaging in sexual banter on the CB. Walk away assertively and with purpose if a man approaches with a flirtation or sexual banter face to face.
  • Keep truck doors locked at all times and tie a strap or rope from door handle to door handle to secure it in a tough-looking parking spot.
  • Close the window curtains, not just the bunk curtains, when reading or doing paperwork. Avoid calling attention to a solitary female driver or to a driver who is not paying attention to their surroundings.

6. Female Truck Drivers Should Be Aware of Health Concerns
Trucking has one of the highest fatality rates of all professions and the highest injury rate. While no comparable studies on women exist, some studies show male drivers live an average of 55 years – at least 20 years less than the average for other males. Falls, sprains, bruises, rotator cuff tears, and ankle, hand, and back injuries are common. There is strong evidence that the whole-body vibration caused by driving long distances is dangerous to the lumbar spine, and that it is exacerbated in women, as are reproductive problems. Long-haul drivers find it difficult to attend to their health needs leading to serious undiagnosed illness such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, kidney problems, and lung disease. 

Truck driving has some trade-offs, but for women seeking high income and freedom, truck driving may be a career worth considering.

About the Author
Phillip Gruppelaar is the founder of Harley Finance – Australia’s largest truck, equipment and machinery finance broker. Contact Phillip at the website www.harleyfinance.com.au if you have any financial needs or questions with your application.

truckdriver

Navy Appoints First Female Command Warrant Officer

Warrant Officer Martin Holzberger, CSC, RAN presents Warrant Officer Joanne Jordan with her Command Warrant Officers badge at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.  © Commonwealth of Australia

Warrant Officer Martin Holzberger, CSC, RAN presents Warrant Officer Joanne Jordan with her Command Warrant Officers badge at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
© Commonwealth of Australia

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has advised that Jo Jordan from Wangi Wangi, NSW, has achieved an important milestone for women in the RAN.

Warrant Officer Jo Jordan has been appointed as the first female to the position of Command Warrant Officer. The appointment makes Jo one of four senior Warrant Officers supporting the Warrant Officer of the Navy, who reports to the Chief of Navy on a wide range of important issues including training and Navy culture.

“I’m very proud to be the first woman appointed as a Command Warrant Officer,” said Jo. “I am honoured to be in the chain of command in a manner that allows me to contribute to the management of the welfare and development of our people, which is vital to the improvement of Navy’s culture.”

Aged 52, Jo joined the Navy straight from Toronto High School in May 1981 because she was looking for a challenging and rewarding career.

“It seemed like a really great career,” she said. “My older sister Denise had joined before me, so I was following in her footsteps and was excited about the opportunities for adventure.”

Jo says since she joined the Navy some 33 years ago the organisation has come a long way with respect to the employment of women. “And I don’t foresee the challenges for me in this job being any different from my male colleagues,” she said.

Jo said the Navy had evolved as an equal opportunity employer and that other women should consider careers in the RAN.

“There are different opportunities available to everyone in the Navy, so it’s really what you want to make of it,” she said. “Sometimes you get presented with challenges, but if you make the most of the opportunities presented to you, are willing to work hard and be proud of what you’re doing, it doesn’t seem so challenging and the satisfaction is multiplied.”

Since joining the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service as a Writer in 1981, Jo has been employed in a variety of human resource management roles both at sea, ashore and overseas, on active operational service and in diplomatic roles.

Following promotion to Warrant Officer in 2005, Jo served as the Senior Personnel Manager HMAS Kuttabul, Ship’s Warrant Officer in HMAS Darwin and at the RAN Recruit School.

She has attended the prestigious Australian Command Staff Course and completed the Joint Warrant Officer Course and was deployed to the International Zone in Baghdad with Joint Task Force 633.

Jo said that when the busy work tempo allows, she will return home to Wangi Wangi to visit her mother Colleen (McLachlan), brothers James and Richard and sister Gilly, who still live in the area.

“The family support that I get is very important to my career in the Navy,” she said. “I’m single but I’m very close with family and I have some very good friends who help provide that important work-life balance.”

What I've learned in 20 years as a practicing solicitor

Gavel & judgeBeing in law school was, as you can imagine, much easier than the workforce, due to the controlled environment of the school. We would do mock trials under the guidance of our tutors and it was not as vigorous or as strenuous on us as, say, actual clients and judges. We also had the advantage of knowing the people that we were going into these mock trials with (fellow students) and therefore felt much more comfortable in that environment.

After graduating from law school, I found it difficult for me to start my legal practice in 1996 as I didn’t have any financial backing and it was very hard to obtain a business loan from the bank at the time, due to being self-employed. The bank would not lend any money unless you had property as security, but after six months of saving every dollar I eventually managed to get an overdraft that allowed me to start my practice.

However, it was not just financial difficulties that made it hard for me to to start CM Law – the profession was definitely much more male-dominated then than it was now. I had no mentors in the inner west – most of the solicitors in the area were male and viewed me as someone very different to what they were used to, due to me being female. The manner in which they dealt with me was very different to, say, if they were dealing with other male colleagues.

After being in this field of work for two decades, the advice I would give to a young woman wanting to start out in a legal profession in this day and age would be, firstly, to excel in her results at university to give her the greatest advantage in entering the workforce. It is also probably worth her while to try and specialise early on in her profession in an area of law that she enjoys doing. Most importantly, if she intends to work for herself in the future, it is vital to have a strong and steady savings record in order to be independent and have the flexibility to take her career in the direction she wants.

When I entered the legal profession back in the 90s, there were fewer female lawyers than there are today. Now, it appears that the representation of female lawyers is possibly on par with men – if not greater.

I think it is also important to have some type of mentorship within the profession. I personally joined the Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales, a group of female lawyers and barrister that would give support to each other. Indeed, I found it very supportive, due to the shared common goals and interests within the group. However, more importantly, it is beneficial to develop positive relationships with other solicitors and colleagues in other practices that they come across in their day-to-day work and build up friendships in that manner. This allows you to be able to call upon other colleagues for advice and assistance further down the track.

Another society to be aware of is the Law Society of New South Wales, which provides mentoring and counselling for solicitors, both male and female. I believe it is essential that all solicitors touch base with the Law Society of New South Wales as that gives them a good basis for support, both in their private lives and in their working lives as solicitors.

christineAbout Christine Manolakos
Christine Manolakos (pictured) offers a fresh, feminine perspective to the practice of law in Australia. Of Greek background, Christine has excelled herself in legal practice to single-handedly build a thriving suburban law firm with a diverse client base.

To read more from Christine, and her husband Alex, visit CM Law News

How to become a More Confident and Effective Leader

young indian businesswoman and teamAustralian companies have the lowest percentage of women in top executive roles compared to other developed countries including New Zealand, the United States and Canada. In fact the number of Australian women on boards and in senior executive positions has not changed significantly in the last 20 years, even though there has been much dialogue about the positive benefits.

Given there is general acceptance that having women on boards and in executive teams is vital for ensuring a diversity of views and for enriching an organisation’s capabilities, what dynamics are keeping female representation in leadership roles so low?

Could it be that the numbers are due to a perceived lack of capability, or is it something to do with the Australian culture? Or perhaps it has to do with women not wanting to participate at the more senior levels? Could it be a combination of all these factors (and more) which results in an unconscious belief bias?

In my experience, until female representation in leadership positions is genuinely considered a strategic imperative and indeed a strategic advantage, it is unlikely that diversity of thinking will become an everyday possibility in senior teams and boardrooms across Australia.

Women also have a role to play in driving this change. A key possibility for opening up the leadership doorway involves choice. Women need to want to take up a seat at the leadership table as it becomes available. And, like anyone aspiring towards key leadership, there is also the choice involved in developing confidence and leadership capacity – which includes broadening their capacity to think and act differently, challenging limiting beliefs and assumptions as well as learning new skills.

So, how can women become more confident and effective as leaders?

Choose to participate

Many women have questioned the path towards earning and keeping a seat at the senior table or boardroom, particularly in male dominated industries. Many look at how the game is played at the senior levels of organisations and make a clear and conscious choice to not participate.

It appears that in professions or industries such as human resources, education, health care and small business, where the representation of women holding senior positions is more proportional, this isn’t the case. So why is it generally different at the most senior levels in medium to larger organisations (private and public)?

A couple of years ago, a senior executive I was working with in the banking industry, expressed his concern about the lack of diverse views and thinking in his team as there were too few women reporting to him. He set about to change this but found it hard for two reasons.

Firstly, because there were few women available with the requisite capabilities, time availability and willingness – his functional area was renowned for being “blokey”.

Secondly, because within the organisational norm there was a deeply held belief that only males were capable of holding down the majority of the executive and board positions – with few exceptions.

Roma Gaster is the Director of The Leadership Circle Asia Pacific, a private company that offers a leadership and development program. For more information visit the website: www.theleadershipcircle.com

Is this the best parental leave scheme for retail workers in Australia?

Anjana Subed and her son

Anjana Subed and her son

It’s a widely held view that the retail sector isn’t very generous when it comes to pay and working conditions for it’s employees – most of whom are women. So we reckon IKEA’s parental leave scheme for mums, dads, adoptive parents and same-sex couples, has to be the most generous for retail workers in the country.

The Federal Government’s current parental leave scheme provides for 18 weeks maternity leave pay at the national minimum wage. But if you’re lucky enough to work at IKEA for two or more years, you have the option of taking 26 weeks maternity leave at full pay, or one year off at half pay.

When she was expecting her first child, IKEA employee Anjana Subed informed her manager of her pregnancy, and the two of them had a meeting with the HR department to discuss the parental leave entitlements that were available to her.

“As I have been at IKEA for more than two years, I was given the option of one year off with either
52 weeks of half pay or 26 weeks of full pay,” said Anjana. “My final decision was to take the full year with 26 weeks paid leave.”

“Having the extra time with my boy meant that I didn’t have to miss any of the special moments that the first few months of a child’s life brings. It also meant that I had plenty of time to adjust to my new lifestyle.”

As Anjana’s maternity leave was coming to its end, she was nervous about returning to work. Having had trouble finding the right childcare for her baby, she approached IKEA to discuss her return to work and her concerns about leaving her baby. IKEA worked with Anjana to come up with a flexible work arrangement.

Anjana’s flexible working arrangement involved her choosing her own hours, allowing her to work
on the weekends, while her husband stayed home to look after their baby. This also meant that
she could finish work earlier than usual, so that her baby’s bedtime routine was disturbed as little
as possible.

“More than anything it meant that I could still spend the time I needed with my baby and return to
work at a pace that worked for me and my family,” said Ajana.

“Returning to work full-time would have meant that I would be tired from work and hence not be able to give 100% as a mother. Being able to work a 20-hour week provided my family and me with the perfect balance. I really enjoyed the financial and personal independence of my work, while still having plenty of time to spend with my baby and my husband.”

Anjana will be returning to full-time work after six months of part time work and IKEA says it will continue to support her with additional flexible hours of her choosing.

In addition to these maternity leave entitlements, IKEA offers Dads who have worked for the company for two or more years, four weeks paid paternity leave at full pay. The Federal Government’s Parental Leave Scheme currently provides for only two weeks pay at the national minimum wage. The company also provides maternity and paternity leave for the adoption of a child, and for same-sex couples.

For more information about IKEA Australia visit the website http://www.ikea.com/au/en/

If you know of a more generous parental leave scheme, we want to hear about it so we can share it with the women of Australia.

A Valentine's Dedication: "Our Love Affair with #PR"

© andrewgenn - Fotolia.com

© andrewgenn – Fotolia.com

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Nicole Reaney and the team at InsideOut Public Relations have declared their love for their chosen career with a list of the perks, love affairs and highs they get from working in public relations.

No matter how many years in the industry, there are certain highs you get from working in public relations. If you’re in the industry, we’re sure you’ll relate to these. And if you’re about to step into PR as a career – take a peek at what you can look forward to!

1) Seeing your media stories published and aired – and being part of what made major news.We never get sick of this. We get a complete kick out journalism/PR synergy: the right angle, perfect timing, a story that works.

2) Your idea for a publicity campaign brought to life. What started as scribble during a ‘light-bulb moment’ in a team brainstorm – through to the launch, and seeing public energy and appreciation surrounding the campaign. It makes all those late nights worth it.

3) Post-event drinks with the organising crew. Your feet are wrecked and you can finally take a load-off, but everyone is still buzzing from the success of the event. There’s always a behind-the-scenes element to PR due to our desire to take risks and push boundaries, and here’s where we share a laugh around what could have gone wrong, but didn’t.

4) When your client sees the difference PR is making to their business. We often hear this with industry colleagues, where PR is seen as the icing that the cake could easily go without when purses are tightened. We’ve been fortunate to work with clients that appreciate the value and see it as the ‘egg’ that holds their business together and helps it rise. (We also like cake).

5) The transition from a zero social media fan-base to an online community that self-regulates and actively participates with the brand. As a community grows and engages, the brand speaks for itself – it’s really rewarding to see this development as a direct result of your campaigns and strategy.

6) The pitch. The biggest buzz for us still comes down to pitches. From a completely blank slate to the research and multiple brainstorms, creative frustration as you near the ‘big idea’ and then the elation when you nail it.

Let us know what you love most about PR?

About Nicole Reaney

nicolereaneyAfter being appointed the Corporate Affairs Manager and Media Spokesperson for Colgate-Palmolive at just 23 years of age, Nicole had her career fast-tracked, experiencing corporate success on an international scale. At 27 years of age, Nicole started her own communications business, InsideOut PR, a successful boutique agency that is an industry leader in creativity and technology solutions for clients of varying sizes and budgets. She became a board member of the peak PR industry association that same year