Samantha Dybac is the Founder & Managing Director at The PR Hub, a public relations and strategic communications agency for entrepreneurs, business leaders and disruptive brands.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am currently the founder and managing director of The PR Hub, a public relations firm that specialises in working with entrepreneurs, business leaders and high growth disruptive companies.
I am also the host of the Influence Unlocked podcast, where I chat with industry leaders and self made millionaires to find out who they are and what makes them tick.
I started out in brand management and marketing for an Australian company called Nad’s, before co-founding a global, natural healthcare company in my early twenties.
I’ve since worked across multiple startups and spent several years working in government relations prior to starting The PR Hub in 2013. I started The PR Hub because I was passionate about helping amazing entrepreneurs tell their stories so they could get on with the job of changing the world.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Pre-COVID I would have said everyday is so different with a mix of off site meetings, attending client photo shoots or TV interviews, podcast recordings, in the office, post work events and/or interstate visiting clients.
During COVID my day looks more like this:
Wake up about 545am and check my emails and have a quick skim of the major Australian news sites to see what’s happening and if anything might be relevant to our clients.
35-40min gym session (I bought gym equipment at the start of covid and am still training at home)
Drink a huge mug of hot water and lemon and then get myself and my 4 year old daughter, Mischa, dressed and out the door – first stop daycare drop off, then coffee, then the office.
Most days I’m in the office until about 630pm which includes client strategy meetings, internal meetings, new business calls, business planning, and plenty of pitching and follow ups! Lunch is about 1pm and I have a bad habit of eating in front of my computer.
If I’m walking or travelling anywhere I am either on calls or listening to a podcast to make sure I maximise my time.
Evenings are mostly spent at home with my family, making ‘to do’ lists and trawling LinkedIn (I’m a little obsessed!) I also love fitting in a television show a few nights a week to immerse myself in something completely fictional and fun.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Pre covid my work time was always split between the office, home, coffee shops or in the air. I’m fortunate with the type of work I do that I don’t have to be in an office to get things done.
It’s not uncommon to find me working while in a cab only to look up and see the driver has gone the wrong way because I wasn’t paying attention. Running my own business means I easily work a 60-70 hour week which gets spread across all hours of the day and weekends. I do enjoy being in the office with the team so I make sure I do both.
I think we will see a lot more companies offering flexible working conditions now and I am proud that at The PR Hub we have always encouraged flexibility with work from home days or options to change hours or days so that important family events are not missed.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I am someone who loves being in and running a business and sometimes that can become all consuming. I’m terrible at ‘switching off’.
As my daughter gets older I am realising how quickly time goes and how important it is to spend meaningful time with the people or things that matter most.
When it comes to ‘balance’ I think life is a work in progress and the best thing to do is not worry about what other people are doing or what they think and just go with what works for you and those you love.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
This is a really great question. I dabbled in mindfulness last year but got slack and stopped. During COVID I realised I needed to find something outside of my daily routine that would help me refocus and learn to breathe.
Justin Dry from Vinomofo inspired me to get back into mindfulness when he mentioned that he is a big fan during our chat for the Influence Unlocked podcast. I now practice most days and I think it helps me to deal better when the pressure is on.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’d love to say I am reading books right now but somehow that stopped years ago when I became a mum!
I definitely love podcasts and audible books as I can listen to these while travelling between appointments or going out to grab lunch and that way I feel way more productive.
A recent favourite has been The 5 Love Languages of Children but generally I listen to anything investing or property related. I also listen to my own podcast Influence Unlocked each time we release a new episode!
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Between my iPhone, laptop and AirPods I am pretty much sorted. When it comes to apps, Slack is great for business and Headspace is great for my mind.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I would choose Lisa Wilkinson who is currently a host of Channel 10’s The Project. She has carved out a successful career spanning decades in the cutthroat media industry alongside raising a family. Her screen presence is amazing and the longevity of her career while being a working mum is something I really admire.
Photo credit: Jessica Hromas
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