Q&A: ANGELA CEBERANO – Director Flourish Public Relations

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Can women in media really ‘have it all?’ Ex Sony National Publicity Manager and now Director of the very successful Flourish PR,  Angela Ceberano discusses her views with TBS and shares her tips for starting your own business. 

You were working as the National Publicity Manager for Sony Music which sounds like a pretty amazing gig. What made you leave to pursue your own business?

Working for Sony Music was an incredible experience. I had always wanted to have my own business and Sony opened so many doors and taught me so much about the industry. I felt like I really grew up at Sony (I started at BMG when I was 19 and we merged with Sony when I was 20 and I left when I was 26) so it will always be very close to my heart. However, one has to leave the nest eventually and find their own path. Having my own business has been on my ‘to do’ list since I was about 12 years old! I moved to Melbourne when I got married and I knew it was a great time to start a new chapter. I saw a gap in the market and I went for it. There isn’t ever going to be a good time to start, you can find so many excuses but I’m not built that way so I just believed in myself and went for it.

What’s been some of the lessons you’ve learnt starting your own business?

I don’t even know where to begin. Everyday is a lesson! Some of the key lessons that I’ve learnt so far are:

  • Surround yourself with positive people! Cull the people that are bad for you. It’s the most exciting time of your career, enjoy it and invite only the most trusted people into your circle.
  • Kindness & manners go a really really long way.
  • Know your strengths and hire people who have strengths that you don’t. I failed maths at school so the first thing I did was hire an accountant and learnt as much as I could about super, tax and all that fun stuff!  I leave that side of the business in the hands of the professionals but I make sure I keep across it.
  • Your gut is always right – always. Trust it!
  • Be present & be in the moment. Sometimes I can be so focused on the future that I forget to take in the amazing moments that are happening right now. I’ve learnt after 5 years to to stop for a moment, look around and enjoy where I’m at.
  • Choose your battles! I am a passionate person so in the past I could get quite worked up when things didn’t go to plan. There are going to be lots of  things that happen in the workplace that aren’t ideal but instead of reacting straight away, it’s best to take a moment, breathe and ask yourself, ‘is this really going to matter in 1 weeks time?’ I now save my energy for the big battles and react appropriately to each situation with a big picture in mind.
  • Listening and understanding is more important than talking.
  • Manage your time and always be ready. When you run your own business time becomes really precious. My most important strategy to get more done every  day is simply always being ready. When you are ready, you have what you need, when you need it. This means you can use ‘found time’ productively  to move your business forward. I try to work in 15 minute blocks. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes if you  really try. Some days I can waste 15 minutes waiting for a meeting or a conference call, but if I am always ready, then I can buy time back for myself. I used to check emails and social media sites but now I try to do  things that will benefit the ‘long term’ goal. I always carry around with me thank you cards with postage stamps in case I have spare time waiting for a meeting to begin. I can write a thank you card quickly and have it posted as I head back to the office. I also carry things I need to approve or read over in case found time pops up.
  • Take the time to reward yourself and acknowledge the wins!

What do you think the key of successful management is?

Listening, communicating and understanding what makes your employees tick. I drill into my team that the only thing to fear is fear. If you don’t know something, ask. If you’re confused, lets talk and work it out. We have an open planned office and we are a relatively small team so we talk and brainstorm  all day, every day. I think it’s important to set goals and to ensure everyone knows what the expectation is. I also think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously, you want people to come to work and enjoy what they do. PR can be stressful so it’s important to have fun throughout the day!

How do you promote women being leaders in your business?

I love giving young women amazing opportunities that they can grow and learn from. I try to understand what is important to everyone in my team so I can support them on their journey and create satisfying rewards as we are all driven by different things. I really encourage additional learning and I try to lead by example to prove that as women, we can do whatever like if we set our mind to it.

You have great media relationships – what is your advice on fostering great relationships with the media?

Like any relationship they’re all different. Many of my media contacts have become great friends and like all good relationships its based on great communication, mutual respect and an understanding of each others needs. My approach is to be as honest as possible. If I’m offering something exclusive, it’s exclusive. If I’m setting up multiple interviews then let it be known otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time. I think it goes without saying that you should read a journalists articles before approaching them and get a feel for the type of stories they write or the type of talent they have on their shows. It’s probably best to avoid calling a journalist when they are on deadline (unless it’s the biggest story of the month!) or when they on air so find out when the NO GO times are and put it on your wall! I think you have to be genuinely interested and listen to a journalist/producers needs. And of course, manners and old fashion values go a long way. Say thank you and show your appreciation when they do a story or interview one of your clients. We wouldn’t have a job without them, our media is our most important asset. Treat them like it.

How do you achieve work/live balance?

I don’t.  I’ve given up on the work/life balance debate. I think if you choose a career you love then it just becomes life!

Do you think women can ‘have it all?’

Absolutely! As women we are incredible at juggling many balls at once. With the right support network we really can have it all and more! I’m blessed to have a very supportive husband who allows me to do what I do. My husband is a very busy musician so our lives are pretty hectic but we wouldn’t have it any other way. He understands the pressures and what my expectations are of myself/business.  I think we can have it all with the right support and the right people around us.  I think finding the right people takes time but when you do, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

What’s next for Flourish PR?

We are launching a really exciting digital platform which has been a year in the making.  We also have some exciting new client announcements for next year too so stay tuned for  that!

Lean more about Angela and Flourish Public Relations here

About Author

Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee started her career in the media 10 years ago working for various companies including Working Dog, Southern Cross Austereo and NOVA Entertainment. During this time she has been an Announcer, Promotions Manager, Producer, Music Director and Assistant Content Director. Amanda created The Broad Side as a support network for women in media to discuss and share their obstacles and successes in their industry.