March 2017

98 APAC / March 2017 , RebeccaWilson talks to APAC Insider about WE Buchan and how the business operates. A Trusted Advisor The recently awarded Communication Large Agency of the Year, WE Buchan is one of Australia’s leading integrated communication agencies. With offices in Melbourne and Sydney, WE Buchan has provided exceptional communications services in the Australian market for more than 30 years. Headed up by CEO Rebecca Wilson, an employee of WE Buchan for over 16 years herself, the agency has expertise in corporate communications, investor relations, consumer and stakeholder management with a focus on the innovative industries with specialist teams working in health, technology, consumer brands, digital and financial and professional services. More recently, the agency has been investing significantly in its technology and digital expertise. “We have always had an eye on the future and developing client campaigns that are disruptive and challenge the status quo as a way of differentiating brands in what is a cluttered communications environment,” says Rebecca. “Now we are combining traditional and digital strategies to bring campaigns to life through meaningful brand engagement and exposure.” This has proven to be a very successful strategy for the firm. In the last 12 months alone WE Buchan has been named Agency of the Year by the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), awarded for its healthcare work with NovoNordisk by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with a Gold Quill and a Bronze Quill, and has been shortlisted for PR Agency of the Year for the coveted Mumbrella CommsCon awards. “We have created a business environment that is agile and allows us to pivot and capitalise on new trends and opportunities for our clients and our employees. More than just communication experts, we are industry experts, intimately understanding the sectors that our clients operate in. “We’ve also worked hard to empower our employees to make decisions, be creative, and take chances, even if they don’t always work out. In my opinion, this is essential to creating a workforce that loves what they do. At the end of the day, we are only as good as our people and while we are serious about delivering outcomes and results, we also have a genuine passion for what we do and have fun along the way.” In April last year, independent global communication group WE Communications acquired a majority stake in the agency, expanding an eight-year long partnership. “The deepening of our relationship with WE is very exciting for us,” Rebecca says. “We now have the scale to meet global challenges, and combine this with our localised expertise. For our employees, the partnership means that we can remain competitive within the industry, attract the best talent and offer them greater career opportunities including more training, access to best practice tools and analytics, and cross- border career development.” Rebecca, or “Beck” as she is fondly known by her employees and peers, possesses many important attributes which she believes have helped make her the success she is today. “Tenacity has been a cornerstone of my career,” she enthuses. “Working hard and approaching advice from the basis of the broader business context leads to communication professionals naturally becoming a trusted advisor and mentor to clients and employees alike. And in my opinion, being solutions- orientated secures an influential position in the boardroom.” “As a consultant who has worked with hundreds of companies, including some who have been WE Buchan clients for 30 years, it’s so personally and professionally satisfying to see how our input shapes elements of that business. Having influence over many companies, but more importantly, being trusted by a company with their brand and reputation is an extraordinary privilege. “Finally, the power of choice is an extraordinary motivator for me. Consulting is exciting but it’s also relentless. Knowing that you have a choice to create change is a great way of recalibrating when feeling flat or overwhelmed.” Over the next five years, Rebecca hopes to see exponential growth for the company. “As we continue to embed ourselves in the WE global network, we have an opportunity to accelerate our global positioning and play a greater role in the leadership of the network. This is a great opportunity for me and for the Australian team. “I’m not one to plan too far into the future, especially when opportunities continue to present daily. The powerful role serendipity can play in shaping the future has kept my career interesting. I would like to see more communication business professionals with roles on Boards, and will look to pursue that opportunity for myself at the right time.” K Company: WE Buchan Name: Rebecca Wilson Email: [email protected] Web Address: 1702AP02