Women In Media: It’s Jackie Crossman From Crossman Communications

Women In Media: It’s Jackie Crossman From Crossman Communications

In today’s Women in Media profile we meet the CEO of eponymous comms firm Crossman Communications, the wonderful Jackie Crossman. Here, she talks about her career, her motivations and dealing with the Malaysian Airlines disasters from 2014…

Last year, 2014, provided the defining moment of my career to date through the world’s most unenviable PR challenge: rebuilding trust in Malaysia Airlines…

It was the hardest job I’ve ever done, but one of the most rewarding. Against a backdrop of grief, conspiracy theories and intense media scrutiny, we developed a sustained campaign to encourage bookings, curated with sensitivity. Advocacy was key. We secured Malaysia-connected celebrity ambassadors – TV cook Poh and tennis star Nick Kyrgios, whose mother is Malaysian. We provided 24/7 issues management. We engaged with media, government, travel trade and staff on the front-line. We succeeded. Australian passenger numbers in February 2015 were up 7.8% on February 2014, immediately before MH370 disappeared. NZ sales increased 31% in Q1 2015 over Q1 2014. Poh’s travel-logs have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and 134,000 flyers chose her signature dish.

I’m excited by technology and how we can use it…
Taylor Swift can shake it off – but I love nothing more than shaking things up. Crossman already works with start-ups who are out there disrupting industries, turning traditional thinking and conventional approaches on their head and changing how business is done. Why just embrace change when you can also help create it?

The converse side of technology means the business model is no longer there to support brilliant journalism…
I miss all the fantastic journalists whose knowledge of industries, issues, companies and people runs deep and who honed their craft over many years 

I love the public relations business because…
It enables me to make a real difference to people’s lives, clients’ businesses and the broader community. You see it in Crossman’s track record developing and executing campaigns that champion a cause or overcome a social issue, including creating the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon, Research Australia ‘Thank You’ Day to make health and medical research a greater national priority, and National Vegetarian Week to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption for better health. It’s something I continue to be passionate about. Our ongoing Malaysia Airlines campaign, Journey to Closer Ties, is a great example – it’s not about the aircraft, it’s about people and cultures. I’m looking forward to continuing to play an important role in forging greater ties between Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia for improved tourism and trade in the Asian century.

In a parallel universe, if I wasn’t doing this job I’d be a foreign correspondent or travel reporter…
I love experiencing new countries, cultures and understanding what makes them tick and all their issues and opportunities. The world never ceases to surprise and amaze me.

I’m passionate about my family and friends, having fun times and making sure they’re happy…
As an empty-nester I’m loving having the time and energy to really invest in my business. While I love my family, I am enjoying feeling guilt-free and unshackled from the constant juggle of work and family responsibilities.

I love creating brilliant outcomes for our clients…
Delivering amazing outcomes and making a genuine difference whatever the odds. When I’m not working, I’m entertaining, socialising, going to movies and the theatre and, until a recent injury hampered my progress, working out and playing sport.

Leadership is…
Constantly staying on top of your game in the face of rapid change, innovating by always challenging the status quo, equipping my team to be the very best they can be and inspiring them to achieve beyond their expectations.

My favourite advertising/marketing campaign from the past 12 months is #LikeAGirl…
It draws attention to underlying discrimination against women from the moment they’re born and calls for an attitude shift.

My proudest personal achievement is…
Seeing my daughter find her path to happiness and success.

Occasionally I’ve felt like giving up…
But then I count all my blessings, think positive and rev myself up. Challenges are opportunities and every disappointment means you’re one step closer to your next success.

Invest in yourself…
Especially in putting in the time outside of hours to improve your knowledge.

If I could change anything about the industry I would…
Bring back the wealth of high quality journalism we used to enjoy.

My ultimate career goal is…
To leave a legacy of talented highly skilled people making a difference as I have been focused on. And to put in train a whole host of campaigns that change things for the better.

My industry heroes are James Wright at Havas and The Red Agency
We’re on the same page with innovation and making a difference. If you do excellent work, clients, teams and profits will follow.


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