A weekly Q&A with interesting people in the Australian Media Industry
Lisa Hollinshead
  • Name Lisa Hollinshead
  • Company Sydney Social 101
  • Position Freelance publicist and Editor of Sydney Social 101
  • Interviewed by Social Diary on 14/7/2015
  • Q
    Describe your career path to date?
    A
    Where to begin... I began my PR career in London in 2006, having graduated from Liverpool John Moores with a BA Hons in Media, Marketing and Cultural Studies I was trying to figure out if I wanted to do PR or journalism. I had attended placements at heat magazine, FHM.com and Taylor Herring - I got offered a freelance contract at heat magazine and Taylor Herring (to assist in the publicity for The Apprentice), a true cross roads in my life, I leaned more towards Taylor Herring so followed my gut. In 2007 I moved back to Manchester to do the PR for an airline and got to travel the world at the age of 22, hosting famils to Antigua and the Ritz Carlton in Moscow - literally living the dream and was well and truly bitten by the travel bug.

    I made the move down under in 2009 and have since worked for prominent agencies such as Pulse Communications, Frank PR and Maverick PR before venturing into the world of freelance PR in July 2013. I've since has an in-house contract at 20th Century Fox and have consulted to SBPR.

    Behind the scenes I've always had a passion for writing and am quite the storyteller - especially after a glass (or 5) of red wine. In 2010 I told many a tale of my dating woes, following encouragement from my friends I started a dating blog : Dating 101 Sydney (anonymously of course). The site traffic continued to grow and before long I found myself being invited to attend VIP events and I was offered a column in 9to5.

    I was having the absolute time of my life and was constantly astonished when people e-mailed me to tell me how much they loved my stories. It was after 12 months of writing a dating blog that I went and found myself a fella - go figure! I believed that it probably wasn't best practice to write about our relationship for all to see... but didn't want to stop writing. One of the things that I found people loved about the blog was the new places to go, insights as to and discovering the details about what's on in the city. It was then that Sydney Social 101 was born in Feb 2012.

    Fast forward two and a half years and The Global Social Network now spans Manchester, London and Melbourne and has over 100,000 UV per month. I'm also launching the VIP 101 Card in September that will see members secure VIPs treatment, gifts and discounts from approved 101 clients.
  • Q
    What do you love about your job?
    A
    I love being autonomous; being your own boss is awesome (I don't like being told what to do, ha). I also love being able to share this amazing journey with my friends. I have over 20 contributors to the site now who are able to take part in money can't buy experiences.
  • Q
    And what's not so great?
    A
    The pressure of ensuring that the brand remains authentic and that we continue to produce quality content that people want to read. The amount of content isn't an issue - quality is absolutely key - there are a lot of bloggers and self publishers out there doing a similar thing to Social 101 - it's about ensuring that we stand out for the right reasons.
  • Q
    Describe your typical day?
    A
    There is no such thing as a typical day for me! Here's a snapshot of a recent day to get an idea...

    Wake up, consider going for a run, choosing 30 minutes more in bed is a better option. Check e-mails on phone, respond to urgent ones, have a shower, have breakfast on the run (I recently invested in a Nespresso machine - best decision ever). Attend back-to-back meeting with prospective clients for the VIP Card, WIPs with my PR clients. Lunch to review a cafe/restaurant. Head back to office, write and schedule posts for the next few days. Brief social media intern to create content. Pitch content opportunities to brands, venues and business owners. Answer more e-mails. Get changed, attend event, share on social. Head home, write review/schedule content, reply to all e-mails. Sleep. Stop repeat...
  • Q
    What is the best experience you've had in your career?
    A
    I have been so lucky to experience some truly amazing moments. In my PR career, working on the launch of Avatar on Blu-ray and DVD here in AUs and it becoming the best selling Blu-ray DVD of all time. Then four years later being invited to work in-house on the theatrical team and assisting on the release of Oscar 'Best Picture' winning title, Birdman.

    In my time as editor and founder of Sydney Social 101, being announced as a finalist in the Pedestrian.TV Blogster awards in 2013 (a year I ran the site remotely from the UK). I recently went to Taiwan on my first hosted famil as media, not the host. Last Monday I got invited to the premiere of Magic Mike XXL - that was a night I'll never forget for so many reasons. I constantly am thankful for the experiences I am able to participate in as a result of Social 101 - I never take it for granted.
  • Q
    What do great PR people do?
    A
    Be kind - it's not that hard! Treat others with respect, work hard in silence, and let the success be your noise. Oh and network... always network! Finally - do your research! I'm not interested in reviewing kids toys - I'm a 30-year-old single women with no kids!
  • Q
    What do bad PRs do...
    A
    Take credit for team efforts, don't research the media (my blog), be over familiar with journalists they've never met. Big PR no-no - zero respect for grammar!
  • Q
    How do like to be contacted and when?
    A
    As I run a PR consultancy, four websites and also work at an agency - always e-mail me. It goes against everything I've ever taught or been taught, but I just don't have the time to be on the phone all day. I think the trick is to find out what the contact prefers, make a note on your master media list and stick to it.
  • Q
    How has social media altered your job since the days when you started out?
    A
    Well for one it didn't exist when I started out - when I began my career in PR we still faxed press releases - NOT EVEN KIDDING! God I sound old, ha! Social Media is now an integral part of the PR execution strategy and should work in tandem with any traditional PR outreach.
  • Q
    Do you enjoy attending industry events, and if so - which are your fave kind?
    A
    Hmmm what do you think! I love industry events where everyone is laid back, enjoying themselves and also paying respect to the host! Nothing worse than your host making a speech and people chatting all the way through!
  • Q
    The media landscape is going through a period of dramatic change - where do you see it in 5 years?
    A
    In five years time AVE will become redundant, all coverage will be quantifiable and trackable against the client's bottom line. There will be no smoke and mirrors or 'massaging the figures'. Content will be king! I also predict augmented reality rally taking off!
  • Q
    If you weren't a blogger, what would you be?
    A
    If not a publicist I'd love to have been a marine biologist - ocean conservation is something I feel passionately about!
  • Q
    Your Instagram/Twitter:
    A
    @SydneySocial101

    @Lisamarie_PR