INDUSTRY PROFILES

Elly Hewitt - PR

Elly Hewitt - PR
Q. Describe your journey in a nutshell:
My career began in broadcast and media productions, primarily in the sporting landscape – a space I can’t get enough of. A mentor put me forward for a media assistant position at the Australian Open, which was an incredible networking opportunity and opened a lot of doors for me. From there I went onto roles at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games in Beijing, Vancouver and Melbourne.

My first move into agency life was in 2006 at Haystac as part of a specialist division covering sport sponsorship, major events and tourism, and my second was three years at the DDB network as Managing Director of Mango Communications. All this built up to the most proud (and most nerve-wracking) moment of my career, launching Alt/Shift in 2016 and LYP Events in 2017.
Q. What do you think your business and your team excel at?
Our decision to invest early in both a planning and creative director has really paid off with many clients citing our strategic and creative firepower as what sets us apart in a pitch. This has led to more and more integrated work where content and PR unite to weave a compelling brand narrative.

We never take on anything we don’t genuinely believe we can nail – and the same goes for our experiential agency, LYP Events. High standards and attention to detail has kept clients such as Rolex on their books for six years.
Q. What brands are you currently working with?
Mazda, Crown, Samsonite, Openpay, Sustainability Victoria, Delaware North Parks & Resorts (Lizard Island, El Questro and Kings Canyon), Saint, Origin Energy, Revlon, Rolex.
Q. What’s a recent campaign you are super proud of because you either came up with a big creative idea; worked with a minimal budget; or exceeded expectations?
In an increasingly competitive travel and tourism market, our client Lizard Island needed to stand out amongst a sea of luxury properties. To set it apart, we developed a suite of creative concepts to be executed in partnership with prestige Champagne brand Dom Pérignon. This new and unique offering was launched to top-tier luxury and lifestyle media at a major on-island famil in September and the coverage has been rolling in steadily ever since.
Q. What are the greatest challenges the industry is currently facing?
Attracting and retaining talent is a huge challenge industry-wide. Although, I can proudly say Alt/Shift has never lost a staff member to another agency or in-house role – only to return home to another city or country. We invest in culture and when we finally find the best talent we do all we can to retain them.
Q. What do you love about the industry and your business?
I love the energy and pace, as well as the ability to be creative on a daily basis.
Q. What do you tear your hair out about?!
The competitiveness of pitch phase can force agencies to reduce their rates, which in turn decreases the value of our industry. I’ve never known another industry to give away so much for free, but it’s the nature of the game at the moment!
Q. What’s your greatest career achievement to date?
Founding Alt/Shift.
Q. And your worst disaster!
I know we’ve all had our shockers when it comes to breaking news getting in the way of an important pitch. My toughest sell was back in 2009, when the loss of pop royalty, Michael Jackson, blanketed the news on the same day we launched the Bicentenary of Australia Post. It was a devastating day from both a personal and professional perspective!
Q. What’s next for you & the business?
Replicating our footprint in Sydney and achieving the same solid growth there as we have in Melbourne.
Q. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’m lucky to be able to say that I honestly can’t think of anything I’d rather do! But... if I had the talent I’d love to be a professional tennis player.