#PRIAConf15 Speaker Teaser: Leigh Carmichael, MONA

Thu, Sep 03 2015

53 days and counting until our national conference 'Huge Transformations' from 25-27 October, in Hobart, Tasmania.

Today we've got some insight from Leigh Carmichael, Creative Director, MONA, on the state of the PR and communication industry, and what he will be speaking about later in October.

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

MONA has been recognised across Australia for transforming the Tasmanian Cultural Tourism sector. As part of the branding and communications team, and more recently the Dark Mofo festival, we see first hand how a transformation in perspective and attitude can influence outcomes. 

Where do you think the biggest shift will come from in the industry in 2016?

We are still grappling with the massive shift to mobile, which started a few years ago, I don’t want to know about 2016 yet. 

Art v science: how are you using data to inform your decision-making these days?

"At MONA, under the direction of David Walsh, data is king. But, we usually choose to ignore it."


What buzzword of 2015 annoys you the most?

I have always struggled with marketing speak, but I find it more amusing than annoying.

How do you think PR is handling the changing media landscape?

I think we are still managing to bluff our way through, nothing has really changed. 

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

It’s a minute by minute situation. 

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

The chance to negotiate to get it back. 

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

"Every time I agree to speak at a conference I have an ‘uh-oh’ when I realise that its time to prepare the talk. It’s usually too late to fix it."


If there was a fight between a journalist, a marketer, a PR professional, an advertiser, a tech guru, a digital whizz and a creative, what tool would you bring to the fight, and who would win?

The tech guru should have enough private data on the others to ensure a peaceful outcome. 

What is your biggest fear working in the industry?

Relying too heavy on the past successes, rather than embracing new ideas that may fail. 

How do you manage the work life balance? What does your daily routine look like?

I’m still working on balance, not my area of expertise. Routines are mind numbing. 

If you had to leave your house in a rush, what is the one thing you could not leave without or leave without doing?

The car keys. 

Can you tease us with what you might be talking about at the conference in October?

If I knew, I’d be more than happy to share. Something about transformation?

If you want to catch Leigh in action, book your ticket today for the PRIA National Conference, 25-27 October in Hobart, Tasmania, before standard rates closes on 15 September 2015.

Author: Neil O'Sullivan, National Marketing and Communication Manager, PRIA.

Tweet us at @PRIANational #PRIAConf15.

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