Welcome to the Telum Spotlight, an ongoing series showcasing people working in the PR and Communications space, freelancers and those launching their own boutique agencies. Today we shine the Spotlight on Alice Dodge, Founder of The Comms Suite. Alice began her career as a broadcast journalist with Channel Seven in 2006 before working in PR agencies in London, Sydney and Melbourne.
By way of introduction:
Alice Dodge launched The Comms Suite in January 2022 to bring together her global and local PR agency experience, a nose for news and a creative and a strategic mindset to offer both agencies and brands a suite of communications services to suit their unique needs.
The Comms Suite is based in Melbourne with a “work from anywhere” approach. The suite of services includes creative strategy, media and influencer relations, copywriting, an always-on press office function, and issues and crisis communications.
One thing you would change about the communications industry:
Out of hours boundaries for teams and clients. Everyone deserves to switch off at the end of the day and on weekends, so unless there’s a major crisis, please save those evening and early morning emails and instant messages for office hours. Schedule-send is also your friend, especially if you find that you work more efficiently at different times of the day.
Most admired person in comms:
I have been fortunate to work with some incredible industry trailblazers in Australia and overseas, whose style of leadership I greatly admire. I can’t pick just one, so my list would include: Laura Wood (Global Head of Partnerships at Jaguar LandRover), James Wright(Global CEO Red Havas), Kim McKay (Founder Klick X), Nicole Hamilton (Melbourne GM at Thrive), and Elly Hewitt (MD at Alt/Shift).
Most admired journalist:
Leigh Sales is in a class of her own when it comes to asking the tough questions and holding our pollies accountable.
Advice to anyone starting out in comms:
Really do your homework when it comes to the agency and its clients, or the brand or business you’re going to be working with, especially during that crucial first interview stage. And if you’re not deeply passionate about the world around you - consumer behaviour, compelling storytelling and the undeniable buzz that comes with seeing your story in the media - then this probably isn’t the industry for you.
Essential daily reading:
The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Guardian, ABC, and those who know me well know I love a little Daily Mail scroll at lunchtime. Purely for research purposes of course!
Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, is a must-read for anyone in comms, no matter your job title.
I cannot pick just one! It depends on the mood and we are now so spoiled for choice in the age of ample streaming services.
Dream holiday (we know, they’re all dream holidays at the moment!):
Puglia is firmly on my post-COVID travel bucket list. I would need at least a month there to soak up the sun, sea and delicious dolce vita that Italy does so well.
Clickbait fact about you:
I used to be a network news producer at Seven News in Sydney before making the leap to PR in 2010.
Quotable you: (what’s your most often used saying or quote?)
“It’s PR, not ER”.