Amber Daines – Pioneering Leadership and Inspiring Women’s Success

Bespoke Co | Amber Daines – Pioneering Leadership | The Enterprise World

In a world where exceptional leadership is a beacon of inspiration, Amber Daines, the dynamic Founder and CEO of Bespoke Co., stands tall as a visionary business leader who continually redefines success. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and an unparalleled ability to navigate the ever-evolving business  landscape, Daines has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. 

Her strategic foresight, innovative thinking, and dedication to her small team’s growth have propelled Bespoke Co. to new heights. Her passion for empowering others and her relentless pursuit of best practice have earned her many well-deserved accolades. The Enterprise World proudly introduces Amber Daines as one of the Most Inspiring Women Leaders to Watch Out for in 2023, recognizing her as a trailblazer in the business world and a true role model for aspiring leaders everywhere.

But how does Daines define the essence of entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurial Agility

Entrepreneurs must possess remarkable agility in their roles and responsibilities, adapting to ever-changing markets, shifting economic conditions, and the evolving desires and needs of their clients or customers. Daines, a true exemplar of entrepreneurial prowess, understands this dynamic nature implicitly. Her commitment extends beyond mere managerial duties as she strives to foster a culture of mentorship and conflict resolution, guiding her team to unprecedented success in 2023. 

Recognizing the importance of effective outsourcing and delegation, she demonstrates a meticulous approach to assembling a remote team that works together by creating an environment where each staff member can thrive and contribute optimally. Moreover, her forward-thinking mindset enables her to anticipate and address challenges swiftly, navigating uncertainties with ease and making informed decisions to enhance productivity and overall success. 

As an entrepreneur, she recognizes the power of mentoring the next generation of PR experts, handpicking talented individuals to join her ventures and refining their skills and expertise. By identifying strategic business opportunities, Daines strategically expands her operations, tailoring products and services to meet the unique needs of her discerning clientele. 

Daines says, “Embracing the digital age, I ensure that the day to day operations remain able to embrace relevant technological advancements, regularly updating systems, providing training, and employing cutting-edge marketing mediums to reach the target audience.” In essence, Daines epitomizes the multifaceted and dynamic role of an entrepreneur, a visionary leader who effortlessly embraces change, seizes opportunities, and continuously strives for excellence.

Creating Opportunities and Inspiring Growth

With an illustrious career spanning over 25 years, Daines has firmly established herself as one of Australia’s most agile and accomplished communications professionals. Her multifaceted background includes being an award-winning business TV and newspaper journalist, PR consultant, media trainer, and presentation skills coach. Throughout her career, she has lent her expertise to prominent organizations such as TedX, Deloitte, Sydney Water, PwC, eBay, Sephora, AMP, Chartered Accountants Australia, Westfield, Qantas, and Westpac.

Presently, she channels her focus into media training, crisis PR, reputation management, and podcasting. Her agency excels in elevating clients’ stakeholder communications planning, collaborating with esteemed leaders from diverse industries, including big and small businesses, government departments, startups, and causes seeking expert guidance in impactful communication. Her 2015 best-selling book, ‘Well Said: How to be Heard in Business and Generate Real Influence,’ offers proven insider tips to enhance one’s profile regardless of the platform.

Since 2017, Daines has taken on the role of host and producer for her  weekly podcast, The Politics of Everything, which has amassed an impressive four million downloads through organic audience growth. Inspired by its success, she developed an online course in early 2023 to assist aspiring podcasters in launching and scaling their own showsThe course has so far attracted over 20,000 Kajabi members, showcasing the impact and reach of Bespoke Co.’s offerings.

Throughout her remarkable journey, her expertise and contributions have been recognized with numerous prestigious awards, including the Walkley Foundation Award for Global Business Reporting, Flying Solo Services-Micro Entrepreneur of the Year, Best Business Communications Specialist, Excellence in Media Training Award (Australasia), AusMumpreneur of the Year Category prizes for B2B Business Services, Telstra Business Awards NSW, and PRIA Crisis PR Campaign of the Year.

A PR Agency with a Difference

Founded in 2017, Bespoke Co., formerly known as Bespoke Communications, emerged with humble beginnings. With just one small beauty client and a mere $1,000 in the bank, the venture took flight when its founder, at the age of 30, made the bold decision to leave a secure full-time position in marketing and fundraising. 

Daines adds, “Driven by a desire to escape burnout and disappointment from my previous career move, I initially pursued PR freelancing and writing as a means to explore new possibilities.” However, her path took an unexpected turn as she discovered her passion for running her own PR agency, leveraging her extensive media connections and keen news sense as a former journalist.

During the agency’s early years, traditional media held a predominant role while social and digital media were still in their infancy. This placed Bespoke Co. in a favorable position, as clients sought a blend of traditional and emerging media channels. In 2023, the landscape has evolved, with many new digital communications platforms growing in popularity, necessitating a keen understanding of how these can help business leaders communicate their messages faster and clearer while curating those that best align with their clients’ business goals. 

Despite the changing dynamics, earning media coverage remains a prized accomplishment, and the company continues to excel in securing valuable exposure for its clients. As the business landscape continually evolves, it stays at the forefront by adapting to emerging platforms and maximizing digital communication strategies, from podcasts to blogs and videos, while upholding the importance of securing meaningful media coverage. 

The Journey till Today

Bespoke Co. has undergone a transformative journey, parallel to the growth and evolution of its founder. Daines says, “I never dreamed of running my own business, and growing up my family was not entrepreneurial, so it was a steep learning curve. I was clued in enough to get a series of mentors and business coaches who could really unlock my purpose and focus on what I had to offer. Even today I continue to seek fresh knowledge and mentoring from others.”

In a world increasingly consumed by digital and social media, media relations are often regarded as obsolete. However, recognizing its enduring relevance and rarity as a skill, Daines, Australia’s most awarded media trainer, has trained nearly 6000 leaders from diverse sectors on effectively managing media interviews – whether it’s for a crisis campaign or a new product launch.. 

The gratification of teaching others to thrive in this space fuels her passion. Moreover, leveraging over 12 years of experience in crisis and issues management, Bespoke Co. has developed a robust crisis communications division, offering support to entities ranging from major banks to charities. Guiding boards and executives through crisis situations, the agency provides clarity on necessary steps and ensures the communication strategies align with their activities. 

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

“Good times do not teach you as much as bad times!”

Similar to many small businesses, the early days Bespoke Co. experienced a hunger for prominent brands and high-profile clients to join their roster. This led to a focus on sales growth and securing big client retainers, sometimes overshadowing the importance of cultivating a client base aligned with shared values and a common purpose. 

Reflecting on these past experiences, Daines acknowledges the valuable lessons learned from these business mistakes and expresses gratitude for the journey that has brought them to their present position. Bespoke Co. has evolved and grown from those earlier challenges by recognizing the significance of core clients who share aligned values and purpose. 

This focal point allows for a more authentic and purpose-driven approach to client acquisition and collaboration. The mindset shift has paved the way for a more fulfilling and purposeful journey, positioning the agency for success and enabling them to better serve clients who share their values. Today the agency works with clients who have a strong ESG focus and are committed to innovation and purpose-led leadership team and business vision.

Creating the Right Connections

Bespoke Co., Daines’s own practice, offers flexibility through collaborations with freelancers and consultants to meet client needs and scale up as required. Due to an unplanned opportunity,14 years ago, she co-founded The Narrative, which was later sold to a larger global business in mid-2013. This successful venture allowed her to establish a team of 15 staff focusing on integrating B2B corporate communications with consumer PR. 

Daines adds, “I am still friends with those two other co-founders of The Narrative, which goes to show business partnerships can be more than transactional, they can be transformational. We call together when we can for casual meetings to challenge ourselves and solve problems we face in our PR businesses and careers.” This camaraderie stands as a testament to the power of nurturing partnerships that go beyond mere business transactions.

With a lean and agile team of 8 staff, Bespoke Co. embraces a niche and focused approach to communications. Since its inception in 2017 with a turnover of $90K, the agency has experienced remarkable growth, achieving the milestone of a seven-figure turnover in June 2023. This impressive trajectory highlights the effectiveness of their specialized approach and the continuous pursuit of excellence in the realm of PR and strategic communications.

Remote, Yet United 

The Bespoke Co. team operates remotely, spanning across various locations such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. Recognizing the importance of continuous growth in geographical diversity, the team encourages upskilling and expanding comfort zones. This is through avenues like short courses in specialized areas such as business writing, account management, AI, or pursuing full-fledged tertiary degrees. ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is a current focus of her agency. At 47, Daines recently graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Masters in Environmental Business Managed and Sustainability, and was accepted to do a PhD in future years.

In addition to professional development, fostering a sense of camaraderie is crucial for the remote team. Despite being spread out, the team actively organizes social events in Sydney or other cities where social bonds can be formed and further collaborative ideas explored.. Furthermore, they prioritize supporting one another beyond client-focused engagements through chat platforms and Zoom calls, creating an inclusive and supportive virtual environment where everyone can ask questions and be heard..

Recent expansion has seen the addition of five new staff members, further diversifying the expertise and capabilities of the micro-sized business. Embracing a leadership style that thrives in a micro business setting, the team comprises individuals of diverse genders, cultures, ages, and locations, fostering an inclusive and dynamic work environment that enriches their collective expertise and perspectives.

Bespoke Co.’s Service Offerings

Bespoke Co. as a B2B communications agency specializes in collaborating with a diverse range of clients. Its client portfolio encompasses financial services businesses, start-ups, leadership consultancies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, medical associations, and ESG-focused entities. Driven by its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, the company is actively engaged with academic departments and tech platforms to develop an innovative ESG communications tool. This tool aims to provide organizations with a comprehensive means of measuring overall sustainability and related metrics. 

Its mission is rooted in democratizing access to ESG measurement and reporting. This ensures that a broader range of organizations can adopt sustainable practices and communicate their efforts effectively.

By leveraging this expertise and passion for ESG-focused communications, Bespoke Co. is at the forefront of driving positive change in the corporate world. Through its collaborations and cutting-edge solutions, it strives to empower organizations to embrace sustainability and foster transparent stakeholder engagement. We are going to make our mark because the work we do for our clients has real impact and can help the wider world become more sustainable, accountable and diverse.

Towards New Horizons

“If we can make clients’ campaigns more meaningful, Bespoke Co is happy to do the work needed with the right tech.”

The evolution of Bespoke Co, driven by both Daines’s vision reflects a commitment to continuous refinement. The development of the new ESG tool exemplifies her core belief that environmental, social, and governance considerations form the bedrock of any successful business. 

While technology and AI present opportunities for increased efficiency, she recognizes that human ingenuity, ideas, and expertise will always be irreplaceable, even in the face of tools like ChatGPT. Looking ahead, Daines embraces the prospect of a transformed PR landscape in the coming decade, driven by advancements in technology such as the rise of self-directed digital newsrooms for companies.  

The company remains committed to striking the ideal balance between leveraging technology and maintaining the human touch. It understands the value of technology as an underpinning for its business-as-usual operations. It also emphasises the importance of human insights, analysis, and expertise in delivering exceptional PR services. By aligning technological advancements with its core values, Bespoke Co. is dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of its clients while maintaining its position as a trusted and impactful partner in the PR industry.

Daines’s Inspiring Message

Hire slowly, fire quickly, always take time to really stop, assess why you are doing something new in your business.. Entrepreneurship is not all capital raising success, high-profile events and growth stories that we tend to see online; it can be lonely and stressful. 

Take care of your health and well-being, exercise and eat well as a basic start, and surround yourself with earnest, talented people who want you to genuinely succeed. I have learned through experience that not everyone who is ambitious and smart is a great fitfor your business. 

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