Ben Gotto-Smith

Future Story

I have twenty years of creative yet commercially-accountable consumer brand marketing experience; starting as a strategic planner, moving into public relations, then events, experiential and social media, now fully integrated communications.

Available for communications and marketing consultancy to brands and agencies in Australia and UK:

 Strategic planning

 Creative PR ideas

 Publicity campaigns

 Social media integration

 Event and experiential concepts and amplification

 Talent negotiation, management and leverage

 Crisis management planning and execution

 Stakeholder communications

I run a cost-effective yet fully-accountable creative collective model, hiring in hand-picked resources only as and when needed, including graphic and web design, SEO, paid media, copywriting, event production and theming.

I love developing and delivering ideas that drive consumer engagement at scale to increase client revenue. Recent sectors include travel, hotels, start-ups, beverages, architecture, interior design, aged care and the exploding drone economy.

My childhood was spent between Australia, Saudi Arabia and England, with education including Classics and Maths at Westminster School and a Bachelor of Science in Economics & Philosophy from the London School of Economics.

Early work was in London, marketing at IBM and as a strategic planner for the Bates / Saatchi & Saatchi European network, then spending over a decade at top Australian PR agencies, including Stellar* Concepts and Hausmann, culminating in successfully launching and growing Shoreditch hotshop Splendid Communications’ Australasian HQ in Sydney; before returning to London as Director of Communications at leading integrated agency, Exposure Europe, managing their Comms team of 40.

Based back in APAC from 2011, I have consulted to the likes of @radical.media (film), 303MullenLowe (ATL), Maverick (experiential), The Mint Partners (PR), PPR (PR), W Communications (PR & events) and Karmarama UK (integrated comms), with clients including McDonald’s, Nando’s, Jenny Craig, Dettol, Greggs, W Hotels, The Canggu Club and Hanging Gardens of Bali, applying integrated comms creativity to win pitches and solve bottom-line challenges.

I ducked back to London in 2014 for a European Board-level Managing Partner contract with a pitch-winning remit in the PR and experience team at iris Worldwide’s HQ, and my old alma-mater Splendid in a senior creative/pitch-doctor role; before returning permanently to Australia in 2015 to be closer to family.

From 2016 I enjoyed an extended contract as Creative Director to the rapidly expanding Dialogue PR & Communications, helping more than double revenue, leading pitches and major projects across the interiors, lifestyle, architecture, property, education, travel, tourism, hospitality, CSR and, especially, alcohol sectors.

With a strategic backbone throughout my career, I love conceiving insight-led, creative, integrated campaigns that use multiple communications channels to drive media, influencer and consumer engagement at scale; then selling these ideas in the boardroom by demonstrating brand building and measurable, sales-driving ROI; finally working closely with my teams, partners and, crucially, my clients, to constantly exceed KPIs and deliver best-practice campaigns on time and on budget, hitting then exceeding aggressive P&L targets, to best accelerate the growth of both my clients and agencies.

Experience by sector includes alcohol (wine, beer, cider, champagne, clear & dark spirits), consumer tech, cosmetics, education, fashion, film, finance, FMCG, fine & fast food, healthcare, hospitality (hotels/restaurants/bars/clubs), interior design, luxury goods, manufacturing, music, not-for-profit, property, publishing, retail, soft drinks, sports, telco, travel and white goods.

my core skills

Event management

experientials

social media content

paid social media

influencers.

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Career highpoints include London's first pop-up hotel, anointing Hanging Gardens Bali as home to the 'world's best pool', making Diageo clients cry (with joy) in a pitch, 'changing the way Exposure does business' (to quote CEO Tim Bourne), helping Tetsuya fanboy Electrolux, teaching Sydney socialites how to ‘pimp their prosecco’ and putting Parramatta’s first five-star hotel firmly on the map.

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

Every week is different and I love that about freelancing and consulting! One week might be all about devising strategic insights and creative campaigns, then the next about storytelling to media and influencers to make my clients and their brands famous.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

I run a lean and effective virtual agency model, based out of my home office in Sydney's harbourside Rose Bay, but very often in the car en route to visiting clients and suppliers, as I'm a big believer in the power of a face a to face meeting.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

My experience in some of Sydney and London's brightest and best agencies makes me remarkably well-placed to help my client solve even the most complex of marketing problems, yet I work hard to keep my rate reasonable so I can keep delivering best in show return on investment for the clients who trust me with their reputations.

What are the tools of your trade?

In addition to my own prized and hard-earned little black book of media contacts, I have access to many of same suite of tools as much larger agencies such as the AAP Medianet journalist database, Slice media monitoring and Coveragebook reporting and measurement, something I'm passionate about.

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

My integrated approach to PR relies on a close network of trusted, tested, like-minder suppliers who I know I can rely on to deliver the same standard of work that I pride myself on. These include but are not limited to graphic and web design, SEO, paid media, copywriting, event production and theming, direct mail, as well as other publicists who may have different contacts to mine.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

To treat every client as if they are my only client and not to pass on any problems I may encounter until I have a solution.

examples of my work

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