How to be a communications and idea strategist

Behind every successful business is a communications and idea whiz. Joanne Martin, a Sydney-based Communications & Idea Strategist, has been up for myriad of communications-related jobs; kickstarting her career in hospitality industry, then becoming an 'English as a Second Language' teacher, a corporate trainer and consultant. This, by and large, laid the groundwork for her to set up her own communications agency, Golden Light Designs

There is a certain skill set that is essential in order to make the cut in the industry. Joanne said, you have to be articulate, a great writer, confident in your ability to communicate well with people on all levels, creative, flexible, and a people person.

It’s an exciting time to be a Communications & Idea Strategist because the world is changing; technology is providing the freedom to communicate more effectively …



What does your normal work day look like?

My day generally starts around 5 am, checking emails and social media for anything that needs attention asap. I do my best writing at this time of the day too, so I’ll often whip up some blog posts, a client strategy, send some PR tips or develop a creative way for a client to improve their communications approach.

It’s also important for me to be online during this time so that I don’t miss any overseas clients & can respond before their work day finishes.  Thankfully I can do all this whist sitting in bed, so it doesn’t feel like I’m at work.

I usually drop the kids off around 9 am, head to the gym for an hour if time permits and then get into my day, which can involve client meetings, writing copy & strategy, meeting consultants for coffee to discuss upcoming jobs, attending networking events and sourcing resources for workshops and events.

After collecting the kids, it’s all about them for a few hours. At 8 to 10 pm, I cover off any social media marketing that needs to be done, proofreading client communications, and responding to any emails that have come in during the day.

Then it’s time for some sleep before my day starts again.



I love being my own boss, choosing my own hours… being able to push the boundaries of what is possible from a communications perspective and helping small business owners achieve success.
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What is the best part of your job?

I love the variety of what I do because everyday has new challenges and excitement. But most of all I love being my own boss, choosing my own hours, building relationships with clients, being able to push the boundaries of what is possible from a communications perspective and helping small business owners achieve success.

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Do you think you'll ever get tired of your job?

I have created a job that suits my ideal lifestyle and provides a perfect mix of work-life balance. In the past I was bound to my desk in the office; now, the world is my office and I can literally work from anywhere.

One of the great things about this job is that I can reinvent myself and my job if I ever tire of what I’m doing.  It’s an exciting time to be a Communications & Idea Strategist because the world is changing; technology is providing the freedom to communicate more openly and effectively, and there are many opportunities to use creative thinking and new ideas in the communications space.

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What do you think is your one trait that allowed you to reach where you are now?

The ability to think outside the square and the courage to communicate my creative ideas and strategy.

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What's the one piece of advice you wish you'd known in your teenage years – life and career wise?

Every decision you make will lead you to exactly where you’re meant to be at that precise moment in time. Life is a journey of learning. As we grow, our skills and knowledge will increase and expectations of the world of work will change too. So trying to pick the perfect career and stay with that throughout your entire working life is almost impossible.

You don’t have to choose a job for life. What you should be doing is identifying the gifts you have and developing ways to share those with the world.

Always remember: no job is easy and no matter how glamorous it looks from the outside, you’ll need to work hard to ensure your success.


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