Jo Scard – founder of Fifty Acres – The Communications Agency

Jo Scard is the founder of Fifty Acres – The Communications Agency was established in 2010.  Jo has played a unique role as a senior adviser in the Australian Federal Government for over a decade. She’s also worked as a communications strategist in London, a TV political journalist (Australia/UK) and as a strategic adviser to countless corporates and Not-For-Profits across the globe.

I’m a dreamer and an optimist and so I approach my clients in the same way – if they can imagine it they can make it happen…

Fifty Acres works with corporates, national organisations and Not-For-Profits providing strategic communications, government, marketing and public relations services. Fifty Acres has represented some of Australia’s premier brands and Not-For-Profits, was invited to be a Telework partner of the Australian Federal Government and are celebration supporters of the Canberra Centenary, the Walkley Foundation and Pro-Bono Australia.

The Agency is based in Canberra and Sydney.

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

The company was born of my desire to work with Not-For-Profits who inspired me.

How do you make money? (please explain your business model)

We are a consultancy business that advises clients.

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months? 

We’ve just completed a major anti-racism strategy for the Australian Human Rights Commission

We are helping to steer a number of extraordinary Not-For-Profits through the next Australian federal budget process

I will be speaking at two national conferences in May – about strategic communications to Connecting – Up – Not-For-Profit Conference and about social media to a national local government conference.

How do you make ideas happen?

I’m a dreamer and an optimist and so I approach my clients in the same way – if they can imagine it they can make it happen and I help them do it.

What does your typical day look like?

We are a telework company so I spend the day:

Speaking to staff

Engaging with clients

Writing and sending emails

Talking to stakeholders on behalf of my clients

And dreaming about what the next thing will be in terms of new projects!

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

None. I’ve never had an overdraft for the business and it’s grown steadily in the last 3.5 years since inception. We utilise technology to make it all work so there are no limitations.

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

We want to establish a network for communications professionals Australia wide – wherever you are.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?

The Village Agency  who are a virtual communications firm (ed see our interview with the founder, Justine Bloome here) and communikate et al in Adelaide

What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?

A whole heap – from dedicating a percentage of your time to pro-bono work to committing to recycling and better environmental practices – to the projects you work on – there are lots a business can do help society.

Name 2 websites you would recommend to our readers?

Women’s Agenda

The Australian Women’s Business Network

Name 2 Australians we should follow on Twitter?

Dee Madigan

Nareen Young

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

Let us know if you’d like to work with us!

Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.

If you could work flexibly from home, would you?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Cork Street Cafe in Gundaroo, the closest village to us.

What is your favourite song by an Australian artist at the moment?

They’re not Australian – Frank Ocean.

We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?

Use of our services to a value of $500.

Make sure you sign-up to join our amazing community for Australians making ideas happen.

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