TREVOR YOUNG | PR AND CONTENT STRATEGIST, COACH & MENTOR
in a nutshell …
I’m a seasoned PR and communications practitioner; I’ve worked in this capacity with some of the biggest consultancies in Australia, as well as running my own agencies.
I've also been an industry pioneer in the areas of social media and content marketing. In 2007, I started my blog PR Warrior, which went on to become one of Australia’s best-known and most popular PR and marketing blogs (and continues to this day).
“Trevor Young has built PR Warrior into one of the world’s foremost showcases of what can be achieved at the intersection of public relations and social media.”
Starting the PR Warrior blog – while concurrently becoming active on social media – had a profound effect on me professionally. Indeed, it completely changed the way i approached PR and marketing, from both a strategic and tactical perspective.
Firstly, blogging (combined with social media) elevated my profile beyond just the PR and marketing industry, and into business circles more broadly.
This led to more and more speaking engagements, followed by a book deal with one of the world’s biggest business book publishers, John Wiley & Sons.
As a result, my personal brand continued to grow, thanks to ever-increasing levels of media coverage on the likes of Channel 7, Sky News, in The Age and The Australian newspapers, as well as on ABC 666 Radio in Canberra.
I was named by Sydney Morning Herald as one of the ‘heroes of Australian content marketing’, while Brand Quarterly twice included me on its global ’50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50′ lists. In 2018, Smart Company named me one of Australia’s ‘Top Business Thinkers’.
On an educational front, I was one of three professional contributors to the world’s first accredited Diploma of Social Media Marketing course, published by Social Media College. I was also recruited to be a guest expert for Squared Online’s digital marketing leadership course, developed in conjunction with Google.
Today, I focus on helping companies, organisations and individuals harness the power of owned, earned and social media to build public recognition for their business or personal brand.
I continue to consult to clients. I speak professionally, and I coach and mentor professional experts and aspiring thought leaders.
Want to dig in a bit deeper? My expanded bio is below
presenting at the annual rsca conference in fiji
Early days: Journalism and PR
I kicked off my professional career in journalism. I worked for a couple of regional Victorian newspapers as a reporter (with some editing stints) before heading to Melbourne – “the Big Smoke” – to try and break into the public relations industry.
I joined PPR, Australia’s biggest independent PR network at the time, and quickly adapted to the consulting environment.
More PR senior consulting gigs followed – with Grey Buchan (now WE Communications), The Rowland Company, and Porter Novelli – before I got the entrepreneurial bug and struck out on my own.
launching spark communications
In 1998, I got together with a former colleague (Richard Chapman) to form a new agency called Spark Communications.
Over the course of eight years, Richard and I built the company into one of Australia’s leading consumer brand PR agencies, eventually selling the business to Harold Mitchell’s Mitchell Communication Group.
Spark made an immediate impact. By focusing on strategic consumer brand communications when major agencies at the time were heavily invested in the corporate arena and only paid lip service to the marketing side of PR, Spark’s message to major brand marketers quickly paid off.
Spark evolved quickly. We pioneered the concept of experiential-based PR when, in 1999, we established a national network of ‘Street Teams’ for brands requiring guerrilla marketing tactics. We later rolled this service into a stand-alone brand experience agency called Ignition Marketing.
Experiential-based PR is common today but was rare back in the early 2000s; the Spark/Ignition combination worked together on a great number of projects before Richard and I sold our stakes in the business some years later to a third equity partner.
Over the journey, Spark boasted an unparalleled client list that included a veritable ‘who’s who’ of blue-chip brands including:
“Foster’s, CUB, Ford, NAB, Telstra, Cadbury, Schweppes, Coles, FlyBuys, Optus, ANZ, Coca-Cola, Dairy Australia, Leader Newspapers, IKEA, Hard Yakka, Hugo Boss, Motorola, Puma, Bolle, and the Australian Made campaign.”
Of note, Spark was one of Australia’s only public relations firms to specialise AT THE TIME in sports PR and sponsorship leverage campaigns.
We worked with sports properties and organisations such as F1 Grand Prix (for five years), Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2007 World Swimming Championships, NRL State of Origin, Victorian Racing Club, Athletics Australia, Hockey Australia, the Mark Webber Challenge and the AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA).
Spark also managed PR programs for a solid portfolio of tech startups and fast-growth B2B enterprises. Our roster included Multi-Channel Network (Foxtel) and Commander Communications, as well as community-based nonprofit organisations such as Banksia Environmental Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) and the Clown Doctors.
My role at Spark cut across the spectrum of duties including new business development, account direction and strategic advisory for clients, staff training and mentoring, as well as marketing of the business.
One of my most pleasing accomplishments was the role I played in helping build a vibrant and respectful ‘can-do’ working environment. Some of our long-standing team members have gone on to senior positions at Jetstar, Australia Post, NAB, Nike, L’Oreal and the AFL.
At its peak, Spark employed up to 30 people across offices in Melbourne and Sydney, as well approximately 50 casual staff, through Ignition Marketing.
PARKYOUNG ... AND EDELMAN
After leaving Spark in 2008, I took the opportunity to dive more deeply into the world of social media, becoming one of the country’s first social media consultants in the process. In hindsight, I was probably a bit too early in this regard 🙂
A year later, I joined forces with a former client from CUB, David Park, and we established a boutique communications firm called parkyoung. We later merged this business with the Melbourne office of Edelman, the world’s biggest PR firm.
In my role as Director, Strategy & Innovation at Edelman, I helped to re-energise Melbourne’s consumer brand service offering, as well as worked on strategy planning and new business development across both Melbourne and Sydney offices.
EXPLORING NEW PROFESSIONAL horizons
I left Edelman after two years to explore other options outside of a traditional agency structure.
In essence, I became a ‘solopreneur’ with a portfolio of roles.
In 2013, I released my first book through Wiley – microDOMINATION: How to Leverage Social Media and Content Marketing to Build a Mini-business Empire Around Your Personal Brand.
Around this time, my speaking career started to take off. I have since presented throughout Australia, as well as overseas, including Asia, the UK and the US.
I also spent time as one of the early producers and presenters on emerging digital news network, Ticker TV.
which leads us to today …
Today, I provide PR and content marketing consulting services to fast-growth companies and progressive nonprofit organisations, including professional member-based associations.
I still speak professionally, and as well as coach and mentor professional experts and emerging business and community thought leaders.
I continue to write books (my latest being Content Marketing for PR), plus I produce and host a weekly podcast called Reputation Revolution.
in other extracurricular activities …
I am an experienced and passionate educator and have in the past guest lectured at Monash University and RMIT in Melbourne, as well as taught PR subjects at Box Hill Institute and Swinburne.
I am a former member of Swinburne’s PR industry advisory panel, the brand advisory group for The Reach Foundation, and the sponsorship, media and marketing committee for Athletics Australia. I recently spent several years sitting on the Marketing & Development Committee for Melbourne Youth Orchestras.
On a personal front
I’m married to Tracey and we live in Melbourne with our two daughters, Molly and Ruby.
I’m interested in typography, I enjoy watching ‘Nordic Noir’ TV shows and films as well as to listening to podcasts, movie soundtracks and early 1960s hard-bop jazz. I read heaps, walk often and don’t mind nudging weights in the gym.
Oh, and I might be slightly obsessed about Geelong Football Club, and seem to be forever plotting and planning the Great Australian Crime Novel!
Please feel free to contact me via email or phone.
I live and work in Melbourne, Australia.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 412 368 683