Liz Mckenzie, the head of PR and Communications at Canva, Sydney is an expert storyteller with a knack for turning out boring jargons and speeches associated with the corporate world into something interesting and exciting. That’s why her speeches always have an eager and enthusiastic audience. Liz is forever looking at ways to make her clients stand apart with her innovative approach to PR and communications.
The strategic consultant’s stint with Red Agency resulted in a rich harvest of awards at many national and international award events. Liz has an enviable client list which includes Microsoft, Google, Capgemini, Equinix, HTC, Concur, Okta, AT&T, Fairfax Digital, Indiegogo, Kingston, Mitel, and SuccessFactors. She has also done PR activities for many non-tech clients.
Liz Mckenzie has also worked with many NFPs including the most popular ones such as The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, Oscar’s Law, WWF, The Sony Foundation, The UN Foundation, Vital Voices, and The Prince’s Rainforest Project.
Liz has won many prominent awards for her creative efforts in the PR and Communication niche including the Cannes Lion Bronze in PR, LIA 2011 Best Integrated Campaign and awards from reputed platforms such as Spikes Asia.
Liz is the founder of Picnic Markets, a Sydney-based flea market focused on encouraging creativity and a sustainable lifestyle among the locals.
I’ve always been interested in the intersection between storytelling and influencing human behaviour – there’s a fine art in conveying a message to elicit the action or reaction you want from others.
I look after our global PR communication efforts at Canva – particularly media relations, sponsorships, partnerships and community engagement.
“Wherever you are is exactly where you’re supposed to be – no matter how things may seem to appear.” I love this because it gives me comfort when things don’t go exactly to plan, which can happen quite often in my industry! I like knowing that there may actually be a silver lining amidst the chaos 🙂
I’m going to go super old school and say Charles Dickens. His ability to tease out the humanity in a story and keep people engaged. That, and his stories are still relevant and much loved today!
Facebook is my go-to – it has everything from short/long-form video, chat, events, groups …
I think there’s a time and place for choosing to engage via written content or visual. They are all fantastic platforms for conveying your message. But it’s important to remember that it’s not just the content that makes something stick – it’s the discussions that are created from them. So the real question here is how do we effectively utilise these channels to make our content more interactive? At Canva for example we’re redesigning presentations to allow for audience participation via real-time feedback, so that we can encourage more diverse thinking and meaningful conversations. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Audience demographics – your target audience shouldn’t be categorised based on age or gender. I prefer understanding personas based on interests instead, which is by far a better representation.
Instagram – they’ve upped their game with IGTV.
We need to continually challenge conventional thinking. How are we communicating with our audience in a way that would ignite their imagination and spark meaningful conversations?
Relationships are at the core of PR. Forget about myopic one-off campaigns and think long-term to build a relationship with your audience that lasts.
This isn’t rocket science, but the best visuals grab attention within the first 3 seconds – that’s what makes them pay attention and want to explore your content further.
Be comfortable with just-in-time learning. We’re in an age of disruption where many of us are doing things for the first time, or exploring a new communication platform for the first time – it’s important to acknowledge this and be prepared to explore outside your comfort zone. It’s great to read up on marketing theories but no textbook is going to teach you how best to communicate in today’s ever changing environment.
We’ve just celebrated our 5th birthday at Canva with a release of our new editing tool. Canva 2.0 is more responsive, more intelligent and more reliable, and also features hundreds of new design and publishing options including presentations, animations and websites, and coming soon, a social media scheduler – a dream come true for communications and marketing professionals everywhere.
My partner and I also have a side hustle called TimeChi. It’s a focus and productivity tool based on the time-boxing system, designed to help people be more effective at work. Check it out on www.timechi.com.
You can follow Liz Mckenzie on LinkedIn.