Telum Spotlight On... Daniel Deutsch, Principal of Affect Communications

Telum Spotlight On... Daniel Deutsch, Principal of Affect Communications

Daniel Deutsch

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 Daniel Deutsch in Sydney. Daniel recently launched his strategic communications agency, Affect Communications. He brings over 15 years' experience in PR and advertising, having worked in Sydney, Melbourne and the UK.

By way of introduction:
I launched Affect Communications in early April this year. We merge an understanding of issues, reputation and stakeholders, with human and social insights, and an ability to develop more creative communications to cut through and create impact. We strive to take a human-led approach to strategic communications and base much of our work on the fact that people process information and make judgements using their emotions and values.

First job:
I began my career in advertising at The Monkeys and then worked at agencies in London and Melbourne before coming back to Sydney. Working in advertising opened my eyes to creativity, and its ability to capture attention and make people feel something. Jumping into the world of strategic communications, I began to bring creativity to the work I was doing in corporate positioning, issues and reputation, and found the end product to be all the more compelling.

One thing you would change about the communications industry:
Not something I’d change, but perhaps something we could all be doing more of: I think as an industry that develops messaging, we have a big part to play in championing truth.

With the world increasingly negatively impacted by false narratives it’s important that we act with high standards and integrity, and ensure we write and promote truthful messages.

Most admired person in comms:
I’ve been lucky to have worked with impressive people throughout my career, and I’ve tried to learn from each of them. Jodie Brough in my time at SEC Newgate stands out, though. Not only is she a brilliant consultant, but she really encouraged me when I made the switch from advertising to strategic communications, and I think she helped me refine my craft with sage and warm advice.

Most admired journalist:
I always love reading anything by Niki Savva. I like her writing style and I find her bold, incisive and well-researched.

Advice to anyone starting out in comms:
Two things:
  • Spend time working on your writing - it will open doors for you.
  • Focus on understanding issues - it will enrich your thinking and help you to provide sound advice.
Essential daily reading:
The opinion pieces across the main papers. Combined, they give you a sense of where the conversation is and where it’s headed.

Favourite book:
It’s an old one, but I like Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It’s full of humanity and beautifully written.

Favourite film:
I’m a bit of a sucker for Sci-Fi. If I had to pick one, it would be the time-bending short story Arrival. Funnily enough, a movie about communication.

Dream holiday:
New York. It’s a playground for adults that you can taxi across.

Clickbait fact about you:
I starred in a Yahoo campaign soon after joining The Monkeys. Tradies get sent to the hardware store to buy a left-handed screwdriver on their first day. As a young ad executive, I got thrown into a national ad campaign.

Quotable you:
“Take a chance and back yourself.”

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