Welcome to the Telum Spotlight, a quick insight into some of the interesting people in the PR and Communications space, as well as freelancers and those launching their own boutique agencies. Today we shine the Spotlight on Paul Cheal. A former journalist, university lecturer and Managing Partner at Honner, Paul is now a PR podcaster, runs his own specialist corporate and financial communication consultancy, 3cPR, and Managing Partner & CEO of measurement firm, The Communication Dividend.
By way of introduction:
I've been working in corporate and financial PR agencies for over two decades. Last year, I decided to set up my own consultancy - 3cPR. Beyond a light-hearted play on C3PO from Star Wars, the three ‘C’s - Consult, Create and Connect - reflect my values of building deep, trusted relationships. Today, I work directly with clients, and partner with agencies as a senior consultant, to deliver strategic and measurable communication programmes that cut through the noise.
Journalist. I picked up a job at Reed Business at a time when it was the leading trade publisher in Australia, with over 50 niche titles. I landed a gig on the ever-exciting MetalWorking Australia, and the equally impressive Electronics News. It was the lead up to the dot com boom, and I got to transform these staid monthly publications onto a web platform - innovative at the time.
One thing you would change about the communications industry:
That we take more pride in the contribution we make as a profession. The pandemic showed how important effective communication is for organisations, governments and the community. We have a unique opportunity to ride this wave and continue to place our profession at the forefront.
Most admired person in comms:
I have always said Jim Macnamara is a person who after talking to, makes you feel immediately smarter. I was fortunate enough to have him as a lecturer during my Masters degree at UTS, and also had the opportunity to work alongside him when I was a casual tutor at UTS.
Most admired journalist:
I have worked with so many great journalists during my career, but Barry Dunstan, who back in the day wrote definitive features on the superannuation and finance sectors for The Australian Financial Review, is the one who stands out. As a young PR professional starting out, getting clients in front of him was the pinnacle. John Pilger was probably the journalist who inspired me most to want to be a journalist when growing up.
Advice to anyone starting out in comms:
Get into a good agency and learn as much as you can. You’ll have strong leaders and mentors, be given autonomy to drive programmes, make lots of connections (and friends) and see inside lots of organisations. Do that for a few years and you’ll quickly learn what you like, what you’re good at and what you are passionate about. I think I have said that to every grad I’ve ever interviewed, and it holds true.
Essential daily reading:
The Australian Financial Review.
I am an avid non-fiction reader (and listener, via audio books), but if I had to say one book it would be Moby Dick. It was an accomplishment simply to finish it!
It has to be Top Gun - the original!
I’ve been lucky enough to live abroad in both North and South America, and have travelled extensively through Europe. With those backpacking days behind me, and kids now in tow, I’d say my dream holiday today would be Hawaii. Though any time I can get away with friends, it’s to somewhere with snow.
Clickbait fact about you:
I have a passion for learning and trying new things, so this sees me have a few side hustles: I am a partner in PR measurement platform, The Communication Dividend
; a lecturer on Digital Storytelling at Curtin University; and Host of Australia’s first PR Podcast, Smoke Signal
- check it out!
“Nothing worthwhile in life is easy.”