Five Minutes With... Sarah Thompson, director and founder of GoodFit PRBy Elly Glendenning in Marcoms News on Friday, 12th April 2013 at 10:02am
Influencing spends five minutes with Sydney-based GoodFit PR director, Sarah Thompson. She shares her background in PR and tells us why she believes digitization is the biggest issue facing the media industry.
Where do you work and what do you do?
I’m the director and founder of GoodFit PR. We are Australia’s first agency specifically dedicated to brands, people and services working in the fitness, health and wellbeing industries. My clients are Lorna Jane, Sharing Bali, Michelle Cooper, Lean Mumma, fithoop and The Jungle Body,
How did you get into PR/comms, and where else have you worked?
I studied a BA Communications (Hons) degree at UTS, and as soon as I’d finished university I jumped on a plane to London. Initially I started working in event management at the British Film Institute, and then moved on to working for a strategic marketing consultancy called SCB Partners.
When I came back to Sydney in 2008, I worked for a boutique PR firm that represented lifestyle brands. It wasn’t focused enough for me, though, so, at the beginning of 2012, I combined my passion for health and wellness with my extensive background in PR and started GoodFit PR.
Do you have any advice/tips for journalists/bloggers/influencers to work with you better?
I find it really good when media can make time to meet face-to-face - even if just for a 15 minute power meeting over coffee! It helps you to build a relationship and really ‘get’ each other. Failing that, a good phone chat can be just as good!
What do you see as the biggest issue facing the media industry right now?
Digitisation. There is no question that traditional media, such as newspapers, radio and TV must now integrate social media. Whilst I watch 24 hour news channels, I rarely turn to other TV news programs, radio or newspapers for breaking news. I turn to Twitter.
I think that video content is going to be crucial for newspapers to stay afloat - and possibly also magazines. I’m not forecasting the death of newspapers or print media, because we will always cherish the tangible feeling of paper. But being able to view the raw footage of a football game or a high profile interview is very valuable.
And how do you think that issue could be fixed?
As I said above, I think integration is key. Social media no longer exists in a special, magical realm of its own. It’s everywhere and it influences everything.
What’s been the highlight of your career?
Starting GoodFit PR. Every day when I walk into my office and think of all the amazing clients and people who I’ve surrounded myself with, I realise I’ve made my own dream come true!
What’s your favourite word?
‘Yes’ (especially when it comes from a journalist who wants to run a story I’ve pitched!)
What word, or words, do you try and avoid using too much (or at all)?
Innovative, cutting edge, must-have.
What media do you consume on a daily basis?
ABC News 24, Al Jazeera, News.com.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph and everyone on my Twitter stream. I also keep my eye on Mumbrella.
What are the most important lessons you've learned about PR/communications?
Be genuine and professional. If you’re not passionate about the person, service or product you’re promoting, you will always face an uphill struggle to get the job done.
Do you have any secret hobbies or talents?
Hula hooping. I also have a huge collection of lycra gym garments and clothes with sequins.
What's your personal mantra you try and live by?
This is a quote from Bear Grylls that I love: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, covered in scars, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, ‘Wow, what a ride!’ ”.
Your favourite place in the world?
That’s not a fair question! I’ve travelled far and wide. Istanbul for its architecture, Budapest for its baths, New Orleans for its old Southern grandeur, Venice for its canals and Bienale, Burma because it is like nowhere I’ve ever been. But when it comes down to it, I love Sydney most. I was born and mostly raised here, and seeing the view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House when you fly back into Sydney after being away is one of the best feelings in the world.
What's the greatest meal you've ever had?
That’s tough to answer as well! I’ve eaten at lots of top restaurants, from London and New York to Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur. But the most memorable meal I’ve had would probably have been camping with friends. Anything you can manage to cook over a fire at midnight in the middle of the bush tastes great.
Do you follow any sports teams?
I love watching soccer, so The Socceroos. Is that daggy?
Top three albums of all time?
Let’s just say I’ve been a Kylie fan for a very long time...
Top three books of all time?
Books I can’t answer. But my top three authors are F Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh and Oscar Wilde.
Top three movies of all time?
Withnail and I, and anything involving Will Ferrell.
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