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Aug 25, 2017

Q and A: Nicola Archer from Nicola Archer Communications

The Event Awards exclusive PR Partner talks about working with brilliant people, how events can get the most out of their PR Agency and what sparks the media's interest.

What do you aspire to do at Nicola Archer Communications?

To meet and work with the most brilliant people and businesses in the country who make a positive difference. I love to help them shine.

What kind of clients do you work with?

We are so lucky to work with a huge range of interesting, diverse and quality clients which gives us an insight into their world. We are known for working on major lifestyle, elite sports, film, music, fashion and major philanthropic events in Australia and overseas. From the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, promoting the hottest production inside the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, international music competitions, classical music to contemporary arts festivals, celebrating Harley-Davidson's 100 year anniversary in America or launching the National 4 x 4 Show to rolling out the red carpets for the St Kilda Film Festival. It's fantastic being responsible for not only getting national TV, news and radio coverage – we are often involved in the look and feel of events from inception to completion. It keeps us busy!

Give us a sneak peek into your career background prior to founding Nicola Archer Communications.

My first job was at Dive in Australia, promoting the Great Barrier Reef and diving to North America and Japan, then as a publicist for Harrison Communications - the leading agency at the time - working with blue chip companies, elite brands, and media networks. This agency launched “Neighbours” (teaching Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan how to do their first media interviews), started the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman, McDonalds International Junior Tennis Challenge and a truckload of other high profile national events – the client list was impressive and endless. I worked inside this buzzing agency for six years and then travelled to London, where I worked on the no. 1 –breakfast show on Capital Radio, did contract stints with the likes of Ridley Scott Films, recording studios and international advertising agencies. So much fun! On my return to Sydney I had a thirst for working in the music industry where I was assistant band manager for Baby Animals, the Angels and Diesel for a short time - amazing. The Director of Harrison’s asked me to work for him again as head publicist. I was then head-hunted to be the assistant to media magnate and ex Channel 10 boss Steve Cosser whilst he introduced Pay Television into Australia. Everyone was interested in this, including Kerry Packer, Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black. Prime Ministers (past and present) here and overseas were all very interested in the unfolding of this dynamic takeover and unchartered territory that was going to change the television industry forever.

I was then invited to Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival for a holiday and I loved this city so much I stayed! I was offered a brilliant PR and Event Management contract with Sports Marketing and Management. My clients were all sponsors of the Olympic Games – and I headed up and created their campaigns and media launches – such as Telstra Hero messages, Australia Posts Letterlink, Ford Olympic Achievers, the Telstra Dolphins, the Welcome Home Parades and so on. When my contract was completed – Nicola Archer Communications was born – twenty years on and I am still loving it.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

Getting people excited and on board - especially difficult and sceptical journalists, meeting people from all walks of life and sharing their stories, attracting massive media coverage spreading the good news.

How would clients and friends describe you?

Enthusiastic, creative and focussed.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I don’t work with anyone (company or people) whom I don’t believe in, I get a huge buzz helping my clients get noticed in all the right places and I look at things with fresh eyes. This keeps me stimulated, my ideas creative and my values intact.

What tips would you give to events to help them maximise their partnership with their PR agencies?

Invite an agency that ‘gets you’ at the beginning, sometimes even at the drawing board conceiving ideas stage – your success is our success and vice versa. The right PR people can open new doors, find audiences and introduce the client to industry influencers and leaders to help their cause.

What do you think are the challenges facing the events industry? What are the opportunities?

Clients expecting a million dollar spectacular, but only have a third of that budget to pull it off. Audiences and cultural differences and entertainment tastes are changing all the time. We all need to keep up. These challenges also sashay into new opportunities in delivering to these diverse audiences, discovering new ones and what turns them on. And always creating the wow factor with less budget – opening up to new approaches and creating events that haven’t been done before.

In your opinion, what kinds of things pique the interest of media outlets when it comes to events?

This hasn’t changed, it will always be...What’s NEW? What’s hot? Why is it so great? How many people will it attract? Is it relevant to my audience?

What’s your favourite Australian event and why?

The Australian Open – it marks the New Year, the weather is hot, the tennis players are great and it’s impossible to miss the excited vibes of people in the street and hearing the roars of the crowds blowing the roof off the Rod Laver Arena over two weeks in Melbourne.

Views expressed in this Q and A are solely those of the subject of the Q and A.