As you may have read in a previous Ruby Assembly blog, Iolanthe our Director attended the Spirit of The Black Dress Fundraiser and met many interesting and innovative young marketing and PR types from Melbourne’s fashion industry. Amongst them was the charming and creative Kyra Pybus of Pybus PR. Kyra runs a highly successful PR company, representing the ‘gentle industries’ as she aptly names them. Ruby Assembly are delighted to feature Kyra as this week’s Business Ninja. Here’s Kyra!

1. What makes your business magical, setting you apart from other competitors?

My work in the Fashion and Lifestyle categories is informed by my background in the culture sector. This is my signature. I’m distinct from your average consultancy because my training is in Cultural Theory first, and Media second. The advantage for my clients is that I am able to position them strategically within a greater cultural context and develop a truly compelling narrative for their brand. Also working in my industry in the UK and the Middle East has given me a more global perspective.  My contacts in the media appreciate this and the difference shows in the results we achieve.  

2. What are your maddest ‘ninja skillz’?  

Ha ! Well I have some rather fancy moves to make sure clients appear in some really great media. I also am pretty deft at helping deserving creative businesses get to meet those in corporate or finance-land who can ‘make it all happen’ for them. I am very interested in the beautiful symbiosis that occurs when the corporates and the creative industries are brought to the same table. I guess you would call that the ‘magic’!

3. How did your lightbulb moment in creating your business come about?

I returned to Melbourne after working in Dubai and prior to that London.  I wanted to get a position at a boutique PR agency and make the most of the brilliant fashion PR experience I had gained. However, after doing some short-term and project work here and there I found that there was an alarmingly flabby approach to business ethics in this category. Indeed I didn’t see an agency that I really wanted to work with. At the time I had a couple of Fashion and Lifestyle clients approach me to do their PR work. It was suggested by associates that I start my own practice and I slowly warmed to the idea. Now I’m more than two years into it and things are going well. 

4. What is your earliest memory?

Sitting on my Grandfather’s knee and looking at the Bird Book. It was an encyclopedic illustrated tome that we studied together every evening. I had it memorized! I was 19 months I’m told.

5. What would your last meal be?

I was thinking a seafood feast after a day of fishing on the open ocean, but I just got an email from an associate who signed off with “Don’t order the Fisherman’s Basket, its always disappointing”. So I’m rethinking. But definitely Id cook my last meal myself and share it with all!

6. What is your best tip for recruiting staff or choosing business partners?

That funny ol’ cliché about trusting your gut feeling – so true. I’ve been really lucky and have been rewarded to work alongside some wonderful people. Like everyone I’ve also been blindsided by a couple of completely dodgy ones too! Great advice once given to me was to make sure you get together with a possible new client (or employee) three times before committing. It doesn’t have to be formal each time, but a coffee here and then perhaps attending an industry event there… It’s a good chance to learn more about what motivates them. It doesn’t hurt to ask around about a person’s business reputation either. I’ve wished I’d done that with a few tricky people in the past.

7. What is your favorite sound?

The coffee machine in the morning. It’s a Pavoni hand-press. They call it the ‘Chrome Peacock’.

8. Who would you like to invite to dinner?

My grandfather and his Bird Book.

9. Who has inspired you to be a better ‘Business Ninja’?

In the media there are so many brilliant women. Jenny Brockie from Insight on SBS seems measured, empathetic and well-informed. Also Laura Anderson, the Chairmen of L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, inspires me. As well as a very formidable ninja, Laura is always impeccably dressed and truly kind.