Angela Ceberano – Managing Director @ Flourish.

Seven years ago I set up a PR company, Flourish Public Relations. At the time, people always asked me, why didn’t you call your company after your name? Angela Ceberano Communications or AC Publicity? Sure. I threw those names around, but the truth is I never wanted it to be under my name because I always had a bigger picture in mind. What if I wanted to merge with someone? Or collaborate? Or when I hired staff, how were clients going to feel about not working directly with me? Or what if I wanted to sell the business in 10 years time? It may have seemed laughable to have such an ambitious mindset back then. After all, I was working from the corner of my bedroom in our small apartment at the time. For the first six months Flourish PR was just me, my laptop and my phone.  It was a ‘cute’ set up, but you have to start somewhere right?

Fast forward seven years, four office moves, amazing staff (some whom have gone on to travel the world with incredible jobs from the great experience Flourish provided), amazing clients across diverse industries, an office in San Francisco, a partner in the U.K, life-long friendships and now a beautiful new brand; created by our incredible creative partner, Yoke.

The true reason I didn’t want the company under my own name was because the bigger vision was to always be much more than PR. I knew one day that we would be in a position to hire a kick arse team and collaborate with awesome people in lots of different specialties.

I know how vital good communication is for any business. In my opinion, the communications plan is the most important. From your internal communications to what you are saying to the rest of the world. More and more, consumers will back people before they will back products. Consumers want a stronger reason to buy these days. Consumers want to feel part of something – part of a community or a movement. The experience and the reason for buying (the why) has never been so important.

I really wanted to start a PR company because it’s the best secret weapon any business can have. I want to not only service amazing businesses, but also our own business ideas. I believe in the work we do so much that we are building Flourish into a powerful business tool so we (as a team) can create brands and products for gaps we see in the market or for projects, concepts and ideas that we are passionate about. Some people build businesses as assets. The products we create will be our assets.

At the heart of who I am, I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve been writing business plans since I was 14. Being a PR person is about 25% of who I am. Sure, I have worked in PR for over 15 years but I’ve been obsessed with business since I was about seven years old.  My dad is an entrepreneur. It’s in my blood. I don’t dream about PR. I dream about how we can make business ideas, brands and products grow and flourish.

At Flourish, our goals revolve around being a powerful business and creative communications hub that collaborates with the best brands, people and events. Whilst doing so, we are also an incubator of ideas, technology and products. We will invest in ideas, help them grow and boldly take them to market for not only our clients, but also ourselves.

The PR game has changed so much. PR professionals have to start working differently. It’s not like the old days. Traditional media outlets may be hurting, but there has never been so many media platforms or channels in the world. Anyone with a phone or a computer is now a broadcaster or publisher.

There are YouTubers in their bedrooms all around the world creating videos to millions and millions of people. Our highest rating traditional TV shows in Australia peak at about 1.7 million on a very good night. A great effort, but remember it costs millions of dollars to create these shows. A YouTuber can create video content for basically nothing, and their audience and reach (millions of viewers globally) are more engaged than ever.  We respect traditional outlets; they are still very powerful.  But we also take new media platforms seriously too. We take influencers seriously. People who deny their credibility or the fact that they ‘influence’ must look at the new data coming through. Global consulting firm McKinsey estimates digital and social advertising accounted for 17 per cent of all advertising spending in 2009 and expects that to double by 2019. As pointed out by business reporter Elysse Morgan from the ABC, ‘this would mean $122 billion dollars up for grabs for people with a smart phone and a creative streak.’

PR has always worn so many different hats. Great PR pros are uber flexible and willing to jump in the deep end and learn. Great PR professionals can adapt well to change because they’re so used to plans changing daily due to news cycles.  Now is the time for PR professionals to stop, listen and change before it’s too late.  Listen to what your clients actually want. Tell them what they actually need. Look around at new media opportunities and digital platforms. How can it benefit your clients? Stop going through the motions. Embrace new media. Learn about it. Play with it. Create your own projects to experiment with it. Teach your clients what you have discovered and how it’s relevant to their business.

Brands and businesses should expect a lot more from their PR company in 2017.

I am so proud of our new brand and our strong vision for the future.

I look forward to continuing to help even more businesses grow and flourish.