From wanting to be a vet, then an author, then PR, then advertising, then journalism, Sarah Bailey, group account director at DDB Melbourne now has a job that’s a “bizarre combination of PR, writing, journalism and cat herding”. Here she tells all in our latest industry profiles.
If you could be Prime Minister for a week, what would you do?
Hopefully find some women of merit to put in the cabinet. That would probably take about five minutes so I would spend the rest of the time publicly attending gay weddings, rule climate change a fact once and for all and sort out some appalling refugee processing issues.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
I’m fairly obsessive compulsive but I hide it well. For example I have to have all of the bank notes in my wallet facing the same way so that the plastic windows lined up.
What’s one thing not many know about you?
I am allergic to oranges.
What makes good leadership?
An interesting combination of thinking and doing. Optimism and realism. Forward planning and reflection. Empathy and arrogance. Self-awareness and blind confidence. No wonder it’s so hard to get right.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
The older I get the less sure my answer to this question is! Wherever I am I have no doubt it will be a creative fun place frequented by crazy smart people. I do have dreams of an advertising/café combo.
What’s your proudest career moment to date?
Still being here! It’s touch and go on a daily basis.
Who’s your industry hero?
I have many and they change all the time. But I admire people that are consistent calm and who can bring people along with them. I like conviction. I like great writing and am a sucker for a moving speech or powerful pep talk.
What would you change about the industry?
I wish it was respected more as a discipline and a force of power in business. I truly believe in the ability of a great idea to change the course of a product or company. It is a shame that marketing is often treated as a commodity.
What’s piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
Keep being impatient – but only 90 per cent of the time. 10 per cent of the time it’s ok to wait. Good things will come.
What’s your favourite kind of cheese?
I’m yet to discover a cheese I don’t like. It is a supreme form of food.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, coffee, coffee.
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