Interviews / PR & Communications

Balancing the Grind with Rachael De Foe, Founder & Managing Director at Redefy

Rachael De Foe is the founder & Managing Director at Redefy, a strategic communications consultancy helping visionary founders

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m the Founder and the Managing Director at Redefy, a strategic communications consultancy helping visionary founders unleash their brilliance to the world. 

My career prior to this has always been at PR agencies where I saw how the pressure to push content was burning out professionals, overwhelming audiences with noise and watering down project impact. Being in the thick of it helped me recognise a distinct opportunity to change what good communications could look like – both for the startups being served and for the people crafting their stories. 

That’s what catalysed the launch of Redefy. Anyone who has worked with us would have noticed that we take a different approach to typical communication services. We define that difference as “strategic communications”.

Unlike activation-focused PR or marketing only campaigns, strategic communications is a practice that involves a strategy-led approach to building reputation and credibility plans, which could involve a blend of media relations, branding or tactical internal initiatives. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I try to start my days with a moment of quiet before diving into the nitty-gritty. What drives my mornings is figuring out what the most timely tasks on my plate are. After all, everything is important but not everything is urgent!

My team and I approach each project with new eyes but typically, it starts with conversations with our clients and/or Studio Partners, and turns into very action-oriented communication projects. 

Whether it’s emerging technologies or complex systems, my team and I aim to discover what makes founders extraordinary and transform them into powerful stories that connect and resonate. Stories that have the potential to shift perceptions and shape the ecosystems around them!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Being comfortable with flexible and remote working is a must at Redefy. My team only meets in a physical office environment once or twice a week. On all other days, we can work from home or utilise a membership that gives us access to several co-working spaces of our choice.

This was intentionally structured so my team and I have every opportunity to find the most conducive spaces to support our productivity and creativity. Some days this means finding a quieter environment for deep work, on others, it may mean searching for a place that inspires us to push our thinking. 

It also means when we gather, it’s a rapport-building touchpoint we all look forward to. Our weekly work-togethers are meant to help us brainstorm, get inspired and also catch up socially.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life harmony would be a better definition of what I aspire to. It’s a perspective that takes the pressure off of finding a sweet spot where we are completely fulfilled in our professional and personal lives. To me, achieving that harmony is less about finding a counterweight to heaviness – that comes with both work and life – and more about gravitating towards what could be most energising.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Carving out time in my calendar for no plans! Giving myself space to decide at the moment what “relaxing” or “energising” should look like for the day has been really freeing. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I’m a big fan of Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan’s latest book AI 2041! Even if Artificial Intelligence or technology forecasting doesn’t sound like something you’d usually be keen on, it’s a great book to appreciate for its blend of fiction and non-fiction storytelling.

I’d also like to throw in a biassed recommendation for everyone to listen to The SG Boys, a podcast I manage on a pro-bono basis. It’s a feel-good show that captures heartwarming LGBTQ+ stories from Singapore, a largely conservative country where same-sex sexual activity is still illegal.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Asana, Whatsapp, Spotify and Wordle.

My portable monitor has also very much become part of my remote-working kit. Working with an extra screen makes it easier to ramp up my productivity!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

More Gen-Zs on what work-life harmony looks like for them!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.