LBPR named Australia's public relations consultancy of the year

Smart business: Yazmin Thomas, Amelia Penning, Lisa Burling Blake, Natalie Zagaglia, Lauren Fellowes and Harriet Adams at Smart Space, Enterprise 1 building at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus. Picture: Adam McLean.
Smart business: Yazmin Thomas, Amelia Penning, Lisa Burling Blake, Natalie Zagaglia, Lauren Fellowes and Harriet Adams at Smart Space, Enterprise 1 building at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus. Picture: Adam McLean.

The year 2020 has been challenging for almost everyone, but for Lisa Burling Blake it has also been productive.

Not long after her recent marriage, Mrs Burling Blake got word her business LBPR had been named National PR Consultancy of The Year at the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) Awards.

That was followed by news she had been elevated to the status of Fellow by PRIA.

The College of Fellows is a senior group of practitioners that bring their collective skills, experience and knowledge together to help guide PRIA through evolving issues in the industry, particularly in the area of ethics.

Mrs Burling Blake said it was the highest honour in the public relations industry and she was proud of her whole team for what LBPR has achieved in 2020.

"We were up against eight other small consultancies nationally and to take out the top award in a year that was tough is something I'm very proud of," she said.

LBPR has managed to grow in 2020 with the business taking on three new University of Wollongong graduates in the last six months, including a graphic designer for the first time.

The team has grown from four to eight this year and is now located in Smart Space at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus.

Mrs Burling Blake said LBPR had previously won NSW Small PR Consultancy of the Year Award twice and been highly commended at the national awards. But to be named best in Australia in 2020 was particularly special.

"I set up the business in challenging conditions. Then during a global pandemic to have the best year we have ever had is amazing," she said.

"I have learned a heck of a lot in the last seven years. This year we have spent a lot of time working on team structure. We also have an incredibly solid client base.

"The businesses that we work with are predominantly from outside the Illawarra. They are big and they understand how critical it is to not only keep PR activity going but actually ramp it up during tough times.

"It is almost like we are reaping the benefits of the hard work we have put in over the last seven years."

Mrs Burling Blake said LBPR clients come from many parts of Australia and New Zealand looking for the content creation service it delivers.

"We are really fortunate to work in an industry where working virtually has actually allowed us to connect better with our clients this year because everyone is now so comfortable with Zoom. Location is no impediment to having a business that can spread its footprint nationally and internationally."

LBPR still does work locally for clients such as Destination Wollongong and RMB Lawyers.

The team ends the year twice the size it was when Covid-19 began.

  • LisaBurling Blake
  • Lauren Fellowes
  • Kasey Simpson
  • Colin Burling Blake
  • Natalie Zagaglia
  • Yazmin Thomas
  • Amelia Penning
  • Harriet Adams.

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This story LBPR named Australia's public relations consultancy of the year first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.