Industry Profile: Kate Ward at Icon Agency

By AdNews | 17 August 2023

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

Kate Ward: director of consumer PR and communications at Icon Agency

Time in current role:

Ten months.

How would you describe what the company does?

Icon Agency is an independent, fully-integrated communications agency with purpose at the heart of what we do. At Icon, we make what matters. We are boundlessly proud of the work we do, the briefs we respond to and the results we deliver. However, more than anything, we’re proud of our people.

What do I do day to day?

At Icon, I oversee our consumer brand portfolio and manage our suite of Queensland-based clients. I am passionate about all things strategy and apply much of my time to developing fully-integrated campaigns that leverage the power of content, for both existing clients and new business prospects.

Our current consumer clients include MyFitnessPal, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), Clarion Clinics and the Parenting Research Centre.

Define your job in one word:


I got into my industry because:

I realised that journalism as a career was exceptionally hard to break into! I originally wanted to be a journalist but, having discovered PR as an alternative career in which I could still do plenty of writing, I decided to change direction.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?

I really don't think the industry values itself highly enough. We engage in a race to the bottom on price, allow advertising to be thought of as the creative, and constantly talk about the shrinking media landscape rather than its continued importance in a world where people don't know who or what to trust.

Previous companies:

Dentsu, Edelman, Zeno.

Notable campaigns/initiatives:

Our award-winning Still Six Lives campaign, a national awareness and education campaign to lift the lid on the hidden tragedy of stillbirth. Also, working on Ostelin’s National Vitamin D Awareness Day campaign for six years in succession - it was amazing to see the evolution over the years, and watch the brand go from strength to strength (pun intended).

Who has been a great mentor to you?

Tom Lock. We previously worked at Dentsu together, now he has joined me at Icon. He continues to inspire, coach and level me in equal measures.

Words of advice:

Be kind to yourself. PR is a tough gig and resilience is a must-have. However we all have bad days and bad situations - just remember that it’s ‘PR not ER’ and give yourself a break.

If I wasn’t doing this for a living:

I’d be running a farm, riding Arabian horses and generally living the simple life!

My philosophy is:

See above!

My favourite advert is:

Currently, it’s Apple’s ‘The Waiting Room’ ad promoting the importance of protecting your health data. Never fails to make me chuckle!

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? 

What DON’T I subscribe to?! Every TV streaming service and Spotify, along with Audible and a few health apps.

In five years’ time, I'll be:

Overseeing a large Brisbane-based Icon team and managing the agency’s Consumer Health division.

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