Robyn Holland

Pure People: Meet Robyn Holland, our Senior PR Manager

In our latest edition of Pure People, we chat to the fantastic Robyn Holland about her extensive career, which began as a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Robyn has managed communication and PR needs for a wide range of sectors including industry associations, education, tourism, events, health, hospitality, construction, local and state governments and not-for-profit.

Can you tell us a bit about your career journey and highlights so far?

I began as a newspaper journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald which was an excellent training ground for a young journo. My time there was brief though, because I moved north to Queensland where I worked in media relations and as a publicist for a PR agency as well as a freelance journalist. After more than a decade working in corporate communication for local government, I landed at Pure. My highlight at the SMH was editing Column 8, and as a freelancer, writing a book when I travelled around Australia in a caravan.

How has the PR industry changed throughout your career?

Digital and social media have changed the landscape dramatically. The market we pitch to is actually smaller now and journalists are usually stretched and short on time. This makes PR even more challenging!

Tell us one of your favourite memories while working in the industry.

Promoting tourism for a region in NSW known as “Big Sky Country” which included 12 towns – plenty of farm stays, food festivals and nature trails!

In 2018, I was part of the busy communications hub for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

If ‘present you’ could give ‘past you’ one piece of career advice for when you first started in the industry, what would it be?
Trust your instincts. Go with your own strengths and don’t compare yourself to others.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about PR from those not in the industry?
That we’re just spin doctors who deliver fluff. Landing good coverage requires a whole range of skills – strategic thinking, good writing, news sense and persistence are just some of what you need.

What is one thing that surprised you – or continues to surprise you – about working in PR?
Everyone is hungry for a story. Knowing how to deliver those stories is mastering PR.

How do you think the PR industry will change in the next decade or so?
Social media and now AI will make cutting through with authentic messaging even harder.

How do you prioritise your wellbeing while working in the often crazy world of PR?
Swimming, yoga and beach time. And at Pure, we aim to have a meeting-free day every week which helps to keep us focused!

What has been the most rewarding or exciting PR campaign you’ve worked on?
Supporting the veterans’ facility for our client Pro Patria Centre’s fundraising campaign to purchase their own premises.
Seeing my client, the Australian Association of Psychologists (AAPi), become more recognised and its influence on the government slowly growing.

What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Travelling – there are so many more countries to see! And music – going to gigs or just listening to music.

If you weren’t working in PR, what would you be doing?
Working with children.

Describe your perfect weekend for us.
A slow read of the newspapers with a good coffee; a swim or a few hours in the garden;
hosting dinner for friends or family; and a very chilled Sunday – a day at the beach, a bushwalk or just a book.

In one word, how would you describe working at Pure?

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how our team can help power your PR.

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