#PRIAConf15 Speaker Teaser: Yasmine Gray, Red Agency

Mon, Sep 28 2015

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

Today we've got some insight from Yasmine Gray, Principal, Red Agency, on the state of the PR and communication industry, and what she will be speaking about later in October.

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

I think the media/marketing landscape is going through a massive transformation right now – we see it daily in the way we are changing how we interact with the media. As media adjusts to how it sources and delivers news we in turn are being forced to adapt how we interact with them. Newsrooms are getting smaller but the choice of digital platforms is getting larger and the speed with which we need to deliver content is getting faster. We also are increasingly having to think more like marketers and are regularly now dipping our toes in this space. The lines are becoming ever more blurry and we regularly now look to illustrate or support our campaigns through design and creativity.

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

Free to air TV – the opportunities that this opens up to organisations of all kinds is going to be massive, and whilst in 2015 we are all just getting our heads around the possibilities I think this is going to be huge for our industry moving forwards.

What piece of technology has changed the way you communicate?

Apps – I have apps across all my devices and use them in a number of ways to communicate to a wide range of people – different apps for different groups of people – I do wonder where it will all end!

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

"The better informed you are the better decisions you can make however I never disregard good old fashioned gut instinct – despite all the research available today it never ceases to let me down!"


What buzzword of 2015 annoys you the most?


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

Slowly – we could and should be doing so much more – I believe PR will be pivotal in this change period – not sure that everyone gets that!!

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?

It seems to be an endless issue – not sure anyone is doing it really well yet. I think it will take time for culture to change but we have to keep trying. 

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

Everyday – as it should be for anyone in our profession.

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

My staff! They are what make the wheels go round.

The old factory model is argued to be dead, where do you see the role of disruptors in our changing landscape? Is the future for business in start-ups and disruptors?

No. This is just an alternative. Business is constantly evolving, as it should. Those that don’t innovate will suffer but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more traditional style industries that are doing just that and are doing it well. We need a range of businesses so that there are more opportunities for everyone.

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

"Not that I recall – I’ve been in the industry for a long time and there are always ups and downs in agency life but to be honest I tend to focus on the positives and put the negatives behind me and move on."


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

Not sure what the point of this question is but words are pretty powerful – we use them every day to great effect in PR – but to be honest I would hope we would be working together in harmony – not fighting.

What is your biggest fear working in the industry?

I guess every day we work hard to look after our clients’ needs and falling short in any way at all would always be a concern to me – but we just work harder and smarter to ensure this doesn’t occur, thereby avoiding the issue.

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

Um not too good at this one although I insist all my staff make sure they work reasonable hours and do something active like go to the gym. I try and keep weekends free to spend time with my three kids and husband but I love what I do so find it hard to stop!

What is your guilty pleasure?


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

Saying goodbye to my husband and kids and giving them a kiss - oh and my phone – it is essential.     

Have you been to Tassie before? What are you looking forward to seeing?

I went to Tasmania in 1990 and toured the island. I am sure it has changed since then so I am looking forward to seeing as much as possible while I am in Hobart.

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

Sure. It goes without saying that looking after the PR for the Australian Taxi Industry Association is a challenge as we face daily issues that surround the rise of Uber. To add to this the taxi industry is made up of multiple councils, companies and private owners – it is a complex landscape. Stakeholder engagement is paramount whilst also ensuring we look for the few but important opportunities for the ATIA to lead the charge in its fight against Uber. It’s a David and Goliath story that is more complex than probably most people appreciate. I will have some interesting insights to share on what is a unique period in this industry’s history.

If you want to catch Yasmine in action, book your ticket today for the PRIA National Conference, 25-27 October in Hobart, Tasmania.

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

Tweet us at @PRIANational #PRIAConf15.

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