In the first instalment of our ‘Pure People’ blog series, we want to introduce you to our wonderful Strategy Director, Savanah Ebeling.
A brilliant PR professional with years of industry experience across Australia, Canada, and the UK, Savanah quickly became an invaluable part of the Pure team earlier this year.
Continue reading to learn more about Savanah, her impressive career history, and her approach to work-life balance.
Can you tell us a bit about your career journey and highlights so far?
My career has taken many interesting turns and I am grateful that I have been able to work across a variety of industries, in different countries, and both agency as well as brand side.
Years before my time at Pure, I was the Communications Manager for the Toronto International Film Festival, in charge of overseeing 88 red carpets and eight press conferences within a span of 10 days. The entire experience feels like a fever dream now, but it was definitely a career highlight for me. A particular moment that stands out is being in the middle of crazed fans and trying to manage 60 international media outlets as J-Lo walked the carpet for her film, Hustlers.
How has the PR industry changed throughout your career?
I think PR has become more sophisticated and strategic. The constantly shifting media landscape makes it harder and harder to land effective coverage. I also sense that clients are looking for more strategy and cohesiveness across PR efforts, to ensure they’re aligning with business goals. Thankfully, I think Pure has strengths both in generating that valuable and highly sought after earned media coverage, while also ensuring that there is a clear strategy behind it that aligns with our client’s objectives.
Tell us about one of your favourite memories while working in the industry.
I don’t think anything can top the day I ran 20 red carpets in a day during the opening weekend of TIFF. It was the longest, most stressful, and most exciting career experience I’ve ever had.
If ‘present you’ could give ‘past you’ one piece of career advice for when you first started in the industry, what would it be?
Take yourself less seriously and be a sponge – soak up as much info as you can so you can work out what you enjoy.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about PR from those not in the industry?
I think a lot of people assume you can just write a press release and it will get coverage, but there is just so much more to it than that. Good PR requires a great deal of strategic thinking and creativity that I feel often goes unnoticed due to the ‘behind the scenes’ nature of the job.
What is one thing that surprised you – or continues to surprise you – about working in PR?
How truly meaningful and impactful PR can be! Not only for business success but for social impact too.
How do you think the PR industry will change in the next decade or so?
I think AI is going to change many industries, including PR. Some people are afraid of it because they’re afraid of change, but I see it as an opportunity for the industry to evolve and become more effective and productive if it is utilised in the right way.
How do you prioritise your wellbeing while working in the often crazy world of PR?
Work-life balance can be hard to achieve, particularly in PR, but I’ve learned that it is non-negotiable in order for me to not only be happy but to do my best work. I think you need to find a routine that works for you. For me, remote work has been life-changing. I understand that it is not for everyone, but I always found the idea of commuting, wearing uncomfortable work attire, and sitting in a dreary office day in and day out to be incredibly physically and emotionally draining – not to mention completely stifling for creativity.
When work gets busy, the first things to fall by the wayside are my healthy eating and exercise habits. Remote work means I get far more time back in my day to focus on looking after myself – whether that’s a mid-morning pilates class, an afternoon nap, or lunch with my partner – and this ultimately helps me to stay motivated and engaged.
What has been the most rewarding or exciting PR campaign you’ve worked on?
I’ve been very lucky to work with so many smart and inspiring people, who I have learned so much from. My most cherished memories are those where I could see the work we do having a positive impact on society. One such memory was the small role I played in a campaign called Signal For Help, which aimed to combat the rise in domestic violence that occurred during the pandemic. Seeing the real-world difference this work did was simply magical to be a part of.
What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?
I can’t pick one – I am a big foodie and I love to travel, so eating and visiting new places are my favourite things to do!
If you weren’t working in PR, what would you be doing?
I’m not sure exactly, but I know it would involve spreadsheets and solving puzzles!
Describe your perfect weekend for us.
I like a balance of productivity and relaxation. Saturdays are my life admin days (I’m currently planning a wedding so this takes up quite a bit of my time) and then Sundays are sacred – they’re for walks, reading, puzzles, and spending time with my partner.
In one word, how would you describe working at Pure?