Women In Meda: It’s Magazine Publishers of Australia’s Executive Director Mary Ann Azer!

Women In Meda: It’s Magazine Publishers of Australia’s Executive Director Mary Ann Azer!
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Yes, it’s your daily dose of Women In Media. Here, B&T probes none other than Magazine Publisher’s executive director Mary Ann Azer. The mag boss talks her motivation, favourite campaign and why print is still incredibly exciting…

I felt that media offers the best of both worlds…
I’ve worked in media but on the client side at P&G for several years within my 20-year career. You can do strategic high-end work as well as creative work. You can’t find a better combination than that.

I am very proud of building talent and individuals…
Across my career, I had numerous direct reports and mentees who are now leading organisations and business across marketing and media in different global and local companies. Building people is by far the best legacy I can leave.

At this stage in my life…
My goal is to have a challenging role that makes a difference yet balances well with my personal life as I have young children and am also involved in charity work.

If I wasn’t in this role…
I would be dedicating all my time to help the community through charity work. I would use my media and marketing skills to do that.

If I could change anything about the industry…
Where do I start? I will choose one thing: the sweeping statements that media use to describe different mediums like ‘print is dead’ or ‘digital is the future’. MPA members have businesses on the print and digital side but I don’t support sweeping statements like these. With every brand challenge, basic training tells us to understand who are we targeting and what’s the best media to surround them with. What suits someone in country Victoria, will not work with a 20-year-old living in (inner-west Sydney) Balmain.

The most challenging thing about working in the industry is…
The talent in media is very young and relatively inexperienced. The focus on training them and building their capability is crucial. That’s why I think the work that the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) does with new people that join the industry through NGEN (young media support network) is quite important.

I am a bit of a data nerd…
I love research and numbers because I can prove a story that you can’t argue with. Opinions are great but data trumps! Outside of work, my family is my passion. I have twin boys, George and Anthony, that have turned 13, and my husband as well. I love travelling, I just need more holidays!

Leadership is envisioning people around you…
And engaging them on that vision and enabling the execution of this vision. I love the servant leader model as I think the best way to lead is from behind.

I am a bit of a control freak…
So I love it when I am under control: projects are moving in the right direction, to-do list ticked off. These things really motivate me to keep going.

To get others on-board with my vision…
I usually find some common truths or insight about them so they can get sold on that vision, knowing what will motivate them is the key to buying your vision. For example, you can’t ask someone to help you double the business, when there is nothing in it for them.

The continuing changing media landscape is by far the most exciting and scary thing happening…
It’s pushing everyone to rethink their business model. If you don’t evolve and adapt, you will eventually die. I know within the magazine publishing industry, this is exactly what is happening, new models are being created, new revenue streams and new capabilities being built. That’s exciting!

I look for strategic creative and logical thinkers…
People that want to get things done and who are passionate about the business. The rest is all trainable in my opinion.

My favourite advertising/marketing campaign from the past 12 months is…
I worked at P&G for 20 years so I will have to choose the Always campaign ‘Like A Girl’ – gutsy, risky and right on brand equity – not an easy combination to have.

If I was 20 again…
I would do things exactly the same, but I should get less stressed about it! I have had many days when I was younger worrying about business issues. Somehow everything works out at the end.

I wouldn’t say I have an industry hero but…

There are many inspiring people in the industry, especially females that juggle a career and a family. But I have to acknowledge the people that helped push my career further, mentored me and supported me, like Maile Carnegie, current MD of Google and Joanne Crewes ex-P&G executive.

Make sure you grab some tickets to the event here! B&T’s proud Women in Media sponsors include…

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