Rachel Robertson is the founder and director of Rocket Comms, a Sydney-based publicity and influencer relations agency, specialising in the consumer, technology, news, food, lifestyle, women’s and parenting spaces.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Welllll, I’ve now been in Communications for 27 years, which makes me feel incredibly old. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world with my job, working in the UK, NYC, New Zealand, Melbourne and now Sydney and I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands both in-house and in agency.
I am now the Director and owner of Rocket Comms, which is essentially a publicity and influencer relations agency, although we seem to do a lot more than that for most of our clients, whether that is events, activations, social media campaigns and even media buying sometimes.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
The one thing I can definitely tell you is that it is never the same.
I’m trying to get fitter so I try and start the day with some sort of work-out or a walk, then I pack lunches for my son and I, drop my dog to the dog sitter, drop my son to school and then head to work.
Today so far, I’ve had a call with one of our clients in the States, uploaded a tender for a Tourism pitch (fingers crossed), organised a meeting with a potential sponsorship client for one of the events we work on Drag Expo, and then I’m typing this up before a client comes in for a white boards session to talk about marketing for 2020.
In a Rocket day, you can be pitching a media story, liaising with an influencer, organising sponsorship meetings, planning hackathons, media tours, organising retail activations, attending events, creating social assets – so many different things. It’s why I love it, it’s never the same.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
When I set up Rocket Comms, I had just had my son and wanted to have some more flexibility in my life and I also wanted to be able to offer that to the team that worked with me.
Essentially, I work most days from the office, but I can work from home if I need to – if I can’t find care for my son – that happened on Tuesday this week, or sometimes I work from home if I have to do a lot of writing. I do completely believe in not doing ridiculously long hours, so I always try and leave at 4.30 – 5pm most days.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, it’s about seeing family and friends and spending time with my son, but also being able to do things that are good for me and that I like- exercise, catching up with friends, watching movies, reading, etc.
To achieve that goal, I ensure I work as efficiently as possible; when I’m in the office, I don’t stop, but I’m happy to do that to ensure that I can leave earlier.
I also surround myself with good people, who I trust, who I know will continue to deliver even when I’m not around.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
Do something that you love and that you are excited to wake up everyday and do. Believe in what you’re doing or selling and that makes everything much easier.
Work with your own body clock and routine, so if you’re better in the morning, smash out all the tough jobs in the morning and then do the less brain-taxing jobs when you feel tired. And for me, it is about pushing as hard as possible when I’m in the office so that I can leave feeling I’ve done a good days work, even if I have left early.
Oh, and don’t get distracted – I am incredibly focused when I get into the office and that has really helped me. There are a lot of things that can distract you nowadays and you’d be surprised how ineffective they can make you.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
To be totally honest, I read mainly fiction just to relax – I read a lot, but not really business books. I read The Happiness Project and that was great and reframing the way you think about things.
But really my greatest improvements have come with the people that I have worked with or for over the years – every person I have interacted with from a career and personal perspective has been part of the puzzle of making me who I am now.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Exercise really helps in the morning. And then I’ve already planned my day before I get into the office – it never works out that way because things change, but I have a clear goal of what I want to achieve.
Make lists. Communicate really well with your team so that everyone knows what needs to be achieved and so you can all work together to make things happen efficiently.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Indira Ghandi, J.K. Rowling – any amazing mums who’ve done incredible things. And of course Beyoncé.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I honestly think that people sometimes put in long hours because they feel like they should or because their colleagues are doing it.
One of my cousin’s was very senior in Management Consulting and used to be in charge of major restructures for companies – he once told me that the first people they look when looking to get rid of people are the ones that are sitting there doing really really long hours, because either a) they are not working efficiently or b) they are no good at delegating or speaking out about their workloads.
Stop pretending your working if you’re not, switch off your distractions, really focus when you’re in work and then get out and enjoy the world!
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