Leisa Goddard is the Managing Director of PR and Digital Agency Adoni Media. Leisa has more than almost 30 years of experience working and presenting news and current affairs for Australia's three commercial television networks including time as a foreign correspondent and war correspondent. Her award-winning agency has offices in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.
Question: What is Adoni Media?
Leisa Goddard: Adoni is an award-wining Public Relations agency that specialises in media training, digital strategy, media relations and crisis communications. Our point of difference is that I have personally built a team that is led by very experienced journalists who work alongside corporate communication specialists including producers and reporters from high-rating news programs across the Seven, Nine and Ten networks. Our industry knowledge and experience means we know what a "newsworthy" pitch is and when to offer a story to the media that is worth running. We are now a national firm, with growing offices in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.
Question: What originally inspired you start Adoni Media?
Leisa Goddard: Adoni Media is my answer to every journalist who has ever complained about PR people who don't understand how the media works and most importantly what reporters need to write or produce a story. Like too many of my peers, I've spent years turning up to poorly organised media events where little to no planning has gone into basics such as selecting the right location and organising photo/video opportunities. So, I decided to assemble a team of journalists, camera crews, advisors, public relations experts, advertising executives, digital consultants and business leaders to begin creating and managing campaigns that deliver both in the media and online.
Question: Why is it important to you whilst running Adoni Media to still work in TV journalism?
Leisa Goddard: While Adoni Media is my priority, being a journalist, whether it is local news or as a foreign correspondent, is a privilege. You are asking people to trust you to tell their story and often, you are doing so at a time when they are particularly vulnerable.
There is a lot of cross-over when it comes to public relations and journalism. A lot of our day-to-day at Adoni Media is identifying 'newsworthy' angles to generate media coverage for our clients as well as media training and producing Video News Releases. While I work in PR, I very much use my journalism skills every day.
I'm also now a weekly media commentator on The Front Page on Sky News. It's an hour of live TV which means I must put my media and presentation tips into practise all while getting across the day's news agenda, and often breaking stories.
Question: Can you tell us about The Leisa Goddard Scholarship for Excellence in Media?
Leisa Goddard: I understand the passion it takes to work in the media industry, so I have created this scholarship to support a new graduate in getting the qualifications they need to achieve their career goals. We're proud to have an internship program at Adoni Media, and The Leisa Goddard Scholarship for Excellence in Media is an extension of that.
Question: Why was it crucial for you to offer this scholarship annually?
Leisa Goddard: As a junior reporter, I had great mentors and now as the Managing Director of my own agency, I'm privileged to be able to help and guide those starting their media careers. We have had some impressive young graduates come through our internship program who have already achieved so much. This scholarship gives me an opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with a new generation of media professionals and help them kick-start their career.
Question: Can you share some of the systems you've put in place to manage life as a working Mum?
Leisa Goddard: As a mum of two, keeping work and family time separate is always a challenge. It is important to set boundaries between work and home as my job requires me to travel regularly, and often at the last minute. I am mindful that responding to emails or making phones calls at home can have more of an impact than you might think. I've learnt to take the opportunities for balance as they present themselves and to not fall for arbitrary deadlines.
Question: What advice do you have for new mothers looking to return to the workforce?
Leisa Goddard: Don't be afraid to ask for help. As a business owner, admitting you don't know something or that you have too much on your plate can be difficult, particularly when you're leading a team. You need to surround yourself with people who help and support you. Find a balance between work and life that works for you. Never feel guilty for putting your phone down and switching off for the day to spend time with your kids.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Leisa Goddard: In PR, just like TV news, no two days are the same. As you can imagine, my day consists of many emails, phones calls and making sure my team, clients and myself are on the same page. I am constantly seeking positive media coverage for clients and running media training sessions to prepare spokespeople for when the media comes calling. Then there are days when a client is in crisis and our attention turns to managing often volatile and high-pressure media situations.
Question: What's next for you and Adoni Media?
Leisa Goddard: I want to continue to grow Adoni Media and our client base nationally. Through our internship and scholarship program, I hope to continue helping a new generation of media professionals by sharing my industry knowledge and experience.
Interview by Brooke Hunter