Mary Cassidy

MCH Consulting

My name is Mary Cassidy and I'm a Sydney-based consultant with over 15 years' public relations experience through agency and in-house roles in Ireland and Australia.

I have experience with B2B, B2C, and B2G communications models, and have a background spanning across multiple industries from FMCG to non-profit social services, manufacturing to medical and many other industries. Clients have varied from start-ups through to major multinationals such as Procter & Gamble, Land Rover, Wrigley, OfficeMax, NEC, eBay and Astrazeneca.

I am a full-service consultant and build campaigns based on client needs including media relations, event and experiential activations, crisis and issues managment and internal communications. I like to work as an extension of the marketing and executive teams I'm reporting to and love to add value in an advisory capacity wherever possible.

In particular I have managed end-to-end event and experiential PR campaigns such as OfficeMax's A Day Made Better program, Land Rover Ireland's G4 Challenge national representative search, Life Without Barriers National Carer Awards campaign and Barnardos Australia's Mother of the Year Awards, which have included developing a competition campaign, event and travel management, and publicity.

my core skills

Media relations

event management

crisis management

copywriting

experiential campaign management

Q & A

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

I was lucky enough to work with two amazing bosses who were not only my managers, but mentors and friends.

The MD and his deputy at the first PR agency I worked with in Ireland are fantastic consultants who are considered, smart businesspeople and PR specialists, respectful and build lasting relationships with clients, the media and suppliers. These two people not only taught me the ropes of PR and agency management, but also helped me to understand that creativity in business is at the heart of public relations.

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

No two weeks are the same but I always start the same way: I sit with a coffee and catch up with the news, from daily news (from Australia, Ireland, the UK and France!) through to my clients' specialist trade publications.

When it comes to client work, I could be writing a stakeholder strategy for a B2B client, planning a 300 person event for a non-profit, copywriting, researching for a criris and issues manual, or launching a media relations campaign.

In quieter periods, I catch up with journalists, writers, editors and influencers, update my vast supplier database or read about global trends that may impact my clients in the future.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

I love a good reno, so am currently updating my office with white walls, bamboo and macrame plant hangers! I am wherever my laptop and phone are, and like to hit the road and work in cafes, galleries, or the great outdoors depending on the type of work I need to get done.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

I'm not sure if it sets me apart, but honesty is something I feel very strongly about. I like to be honest about what I feel a client needs, and am happy to make recommendations if PR isn't the answer to a client's business needs for that particular problem.

What are the tools of your trade?

My contact lists! My supplier databases (for, marketing campaigns, events and activations) and media contacts lists are my most valued possessions and of course I need my laptop and phone to access them!

I am also the McGyver of events and have the BEST event toolkit which can fix any unexpected situations!

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

Absolutely, and I personally feel that creative conversations with people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise bring about the most successful campaigns.

I am very happy to put my hand up when I don't have expertise in an area, but make it my mission to know someone reliable who does

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

I probably learned that I don't need to be as process-driven as in a larger PR agency. In my first role I learned how to manage a PR agency from the MD, from forecasting hours through to budgeting and billing, so have always been a stickler for processes. However as a freelancer I have come to realise that I don't need to spend so much time on administration. Until I take over the world...

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