#PRIAConf15 Profile, Chris Savage: How to stay relevant and current in

Thu, Oct 01 2015

1.       How does this year’s theme ‘huge transformations’ relate to you in your work?

I counsel agencies across all spectrums of communications. I help them on growth strategies. Every business I investigate is facing choice- change to survive, or extinction. It’s as simple as that. What got you here WILL NOT get you there. What frightens me is how many leaders are not prepared to change.

2.       Where do you think the biggest shift will come from in the industry in 2015?

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. 

 

3.       What piece of technology has changed the way you communicate?

My new implants/teeth. Now I can speak more clearly.
 
4.       What buzzword of 2015 annoys you the most?

Disrupt. It’s too gentle. Has Uber ‘disrupted’ the taxi industry? No. It has totally stuffed it. Business is not being disrupted. It’s being smashed.
 
5.       How do you think PR is handling the changing media landscape?

OK. A pass mark. Some, a credit to distinction…Edelman, Webber Shandwich, more locally, One Green Bean, Pulse/Ogilvy. Those that put digital, social, data and creativity at the very centre of what they do, and focus on solving client problems using all channels that fit…they will triumph.
 
6.       Comms influence at the c-suite: this is a conversation that has been around for years, tell us who you think is doing it well?

Not the PR industry. Yes the consulting industry….McKinsey, Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, etc.

7.       How important are social and digital in your day-to-day?

Integral. A natural part of my DNA.

 

8.       If your budget was cut in half, what is the one thing you could not give up?

Coffee.
 
9.       Any uh-oh moments so far in your career? How did you fix the situation?

Yes- change or die. One day there I was – sitting on top of a $500 million revenue business making $100 million profit and with 4,500 staff. I knew I was not learning. I was in my comfort zone. I was frightened to take the exit door. I did not know where it would take me. My family pushed me through it. It took me to the ‘garage.’ Just me, my contact list, my experience and my chutzpah. And I am now alive again. Thriving. Learning. Laughing. Growing. Winning. Not winning. Here’s the learning. If you’re green, you grow. If you’re ripe, you rot. Stay green. Push for discomfort. Cliches I know, but true. It’s as simple as that.
 
10.       What is your biggest fear working in the industry?

Not being wanted any more. Not being welcomed into the room.
 
11.       What is your guilty pleasure?

When in Melbourne, at the end of the day, I go for a run, then to the Siglio Bar. A Cohiba cigar and three small bottles of a Spanish beer. Then to Rare, a meat restaurant behind The Windsor. Beef ribs and mushy peas, and a glass of Chianti. All by myself. Thinking. Celebrating what a luck guy I am. Loving it. But shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. My wife thinks I just went for the run. Shhhh.
 
12.   Can you tease us with what you might be talking about at the conference in October?

How to stay relevant and current in your role and in this industry so you don’t end up on the scrapheap of has-beens when you still have so much more to offer. I’m usually the oldest guy in the room. How is that? How is it that here I am, at 55, getting big challenges, opportunities, learnings, fun, when so many people who were with me on the journey are not in the room any more, even though they want to be. I’ll tell you how I did it, and what hairdresser Vidal Sassoon told me 20 years ago that made sure I became that oldest guy in the room. Long sentence. But a fabulous story. Be there to hear it! Please.

Well, if you do want to be there to hear Chris, it's not too late to book your seat at the conference. Simply click this link to take you to the registration page, see you all next month in Hobart.

Author: Chris Savage. the Savage Company.

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