Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.
This week we head to Sydney to Quiip CEO Alison Michalk.
Duration in current role/time at the company:
Founded the company in June 2010.
In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?
We partner with brands to develop and manage online branded communities and also manage their social media around the clock.
In one sentence, what does your role involve?
As CEO with a team of 22, my primary focus is strategic and business development, however, I am most passionate about fostering and building the company culture.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?
We expanded our offering to providing in-house staff in our clients’ offices and won
significant new business with top-tier brands from the finance, utility and FMCG spaces.
Best thing about the industry you work in:
The online communities that resonate most with me are ones that have a meaningful impact on people. We are lucky to work with ReachOut, SANE and beyondblue, but it’s not only health communities. Connecting online can be a profound experience for many, especially marginalised people.
Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:
Prior to launching Quiip I was at Fairfax Digital and Big Brother (Endemol Southern Star) but I’ve largely been self-employed my whole career.
Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?
I’m on a trajectory to mastering the work-life blend I’ve been seeking, so in three years I’d like to think I’ll have honed that but more importantly helped my team to have improved on this too.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
That I once was Frenzal Rhomb’s Tour Manager or that I’ve played over 2,000 games of Lexulous!
Top networking tip:
Forget the networking outcomes - share your wisdom and seek to connect people and ideas. The rest will follow.
My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:
I’ve had some great lunch meetings at Sagra on Stanley St Darlinghurst.
My favourite advert is:
This US ad that ran during the 2015 Super Bowl is so powerful. It gives me chills every time I see it.
My must-have gadget is:
My iPhone 6-plus.
My favourite media is:
No set outlet. The best and most relevant content is surfaced to me via social.
My favourite TV show is:
This changes constantly thanks to Netflix! I just enjoyed How to Make A Murderer and Master of None.
The last book I read:
Ron Friedman’s “The Best Place to Work” - a fascinating look at the science of creating productive workplaces and the discrepancy between what is practiced.
My mantra/philsophy is:
I’m passionate about being at the forefront of the future of work, having run a successful distributed team for many years, and continuing to create a great (virtual) ‘workplace’ for the Quiip team, enabling them to succeed in their personal and professional lives.
I got into the industry because:
Communities are the biggest assets a company can build and we're increasingly seeing a correlation between an organisation's performance and the value they place on their community. It's still very early days for communities in a commercial context and we also believe that social media hasn’t scratched the surface of its potential.
Social media itself will continue to evolve rapidly and as a result brands will need to be more creative in how they engage with consumers on social, further increasing the need for branded/owned spaces for organisations.
If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Running another business. I’m destined to tread my own path.
In five years' time I'll be:
Celebrating a decade of Quiip, a great client portfolio and our achievements showcasing the future of work as a distributed, radically-flexible company.
Define your job in one word:
What's your poison:
Coffee and wine. Two of life’s simple pleasures!
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