Communicator’s Corner with Iolanthe Gabrie

Wizard of Oz fans will get a kick out of this week’s Q&A with Iolanthe Gabrie, Director, Ruby Slipper Consultants.

What’s your elevator statement – who are you professionally and personally?

Professionally, Ruby Slipper’s one explanatory word is ‘Magical’. We write energetic, natural material for our clients to use across a spectrum of media from their advertising collateral and websites, through to their identity in the social media real.

Personally, I’m a vibrant, excitable and interested young woman with a love of Melbourne’s café culture and underground fashion industry.

Tell us about your typical day in communications?

I’ll be meeting with clients to find out more about what their activities are in the coming month, and constructing a series of articles to post out on their blogs to represent them adequately online. I’ll be going to properties and meeting vendors and estate agents, and writing dynamic text for their homes. I’ll be plotting dangerously motivating marketing ideas for clients who’d like a one-off promotion concept.

When did you first know you wanted to work in communications?

I didn’t really ever know I’d end up being a ‘communicator’. I finished my BA in Dublin, then managed a business in Edinburgh, then came to Melbourne and became an estate agent and auctioneer. Ruby Slipper has now allowed me to pair my love of writing with a passion for business.

Who’s your communication hero/mentor?

Lady Melbourne (Phoebe) and Kyra Pybus of Pybus PR. Elegant, eloquent, feminine and intelligent. Win!

Which tools can’t you live without?

My pink Sony Vaio computer which is a replacement pet, it’s always somewhere nearby. I’d consider my Lancome Brow pencil and Kikki-K notebooks essential tools also.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Time management, as I can become consumed in an idea and spend a little longer on it than I ought. Also, working out the best way to contract to a client can be a puzzle in itself.

Tell us about the best campaign you’ve ever worked on?

My favourite campaign to date has been my blog work for AG Property in Carlton, who really understand that social media is about interacting with some truth in your community. I’ve also enjoyed my work with Kreatrix at The Spirit of the Black Dress, L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.

Which campaign do you most admire?

The Great Melbourne Treasure Hunt. I’m a lover of Melbourne, local business and savvy viral campaigns.

What’s been the biggest change to communication/marketing/public relations since you began your career?

The swift rate which social media applications keeps growing – nothing remains static.

If you had to cut/keep something in your communication budget, what would it be?

I’d always try and utilise Facebook advertising, as it’s a great way for clients to keep reminding their fans of their existence.

What quality do you look for in your communication team members?

An openness and honesty in the writing, as well as an ability to listen with care.

What’s your favourite brand?

Canturi. From their print media to their in-store service and ongoing client relationships – I can’t fault them.

What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?

I really love Sugarpie Farmhouse, written by a Californian woman living in the Ozarks. She’s got a great blend of e-commerce hidden in a (saccharine) charming blog on her life and style. Really clear authorial tone.

What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in communications?

If you don’t like the client, don’t work with ‘em.

Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is… helping clients present their essence in an exciting and simple fashion.

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