Telum Spotlight On... Anna Abignano, Director of All About PR

Telum Spotlight On... Anna Abignano, Director of All About PR

Anna AbignanoWelcome 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 Anna Abignano. Anna has more than two decades of experience in PR, and has worked with Nine Network, Adhesive and The PR Group. She also runs her own contracting business, All About PR.

By way of introduction:
I first launched my career as a Publicist in broadcast television 27 years ago. In 2005, I launched my own PR contracting business, All About PR, which I ran for 15 years before heading PR and events at Walker Books Australia. I worked at various PR agencies, leading consumer campaigns for Adhesive, Blue Planet PR, and The PR Group, where I was Head of Consumer. I am now consulting at Haystac Denstu’s Sydney office. I also love supporting Aussie small businesses by teaching them the importance of PR and local area marketing.

First job:
My very first role was as Publicity Assistant at the Ten Network in Sydney, and after three months I was promoted to Publicist. Back then, it was my favourite network and I was in heaven, working with my favourite TV shows and local and international celebrities. I was there during the original Baywatch and Beverly Hills 90210! Working in TV gave me great grounding into broadcast media, and I quickly learned about life on set and what made great TV. It is wonderful knowledge and know-how I’ve taken with me throughout my career, having a knack for knowing what TV producers are looking for to get a good story to air.

One thing you would change about the communications industry:
Focus more on good, grassroots stories about culture, the land, and people - especially hard-working people and business owners that make our country great. I’d love to see a lean into collaborating with smaller businesses and individuals, helping to lift them up and open more opportunities for everyday Australians, especially after a very challenging two years. As for the press, I’d love a return to raw, investigative journalism. It seems to be a dying art.

Most admired person in comms:
I can’t pinpoint just one person, but the people I most admire from my industry are those hard-working boutique agency owners. Running a PR agency isn’t just about generating earned media for clients, it’s running every aspect from generating new business to managing staff. PR can be all-encompassing, and I take my hat off to those who have started agencies from the ground up. I’ve quite often returned to agencies more than once when they need help, and I cherish the relationships I’ve developed with them over the years.

Most admired journalist:
I’m a big Ben Fordham fan. There’s just something so honest and “Aussie bloke” about Ben. He has a really grounded, down-to-earth energy and I’ve loved seeing Ben’s career grow from radio to ACA to Breakfast presenter at 2GB. I don’t always agree with Ben, but despite what I’m sure he’s been briefed on, he eventually gets to the truth and I love that. He’s got a real heart and I just love him for that.  

Advice to anyone starting out in comms:
Really get into the minds of your target audience and find that emotional connection between them and your client and speak to that. Also, find an agency with a client mix you’ll love, and don’t be shy to get really creative. I quite often come up with the big, crazy ideas clients get scared of, and I love it when a client is brave enough to go with it, and it’s even better seeing them happy. Dare to think big, have some fun, and really exercise the creativity muscle. The best PRs are creative.

Essential daily reading: and Yahoo Lifestyle, so I know what all the latest celebrity influencers are up to, which is important in consumer PR. And the weekend papers - I still love the printed paper over a coffee and breakfast every weekend. I’m old school!

Favourite book:
Lately, it’s The Courage to Be Disliked by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi. Everyone should read it.

Favourite film:
Oh, too many good ones to name, but The Notebook is a classic favourite, followed by Bohemian Rhapsody. I was a huge Queen fan and Rami Malik played Freddie Mercury beautifully.

Dream holiday:
Italy, Italy, Italy, and Italy. Specifically, the Amalfi Coast where my Papa is from.

Clickbait fact about you:
All my Logies after-party stories but I’d have to kill you if I told you, lol!

Quotable you:
“Live your Truth”

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