Welcome back to our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take moment to interview members of the PR In Canada community to find out more about them and share with you more about the person behind the desk, from how they got their start to where their current role (and everything in between). For our fourth episode we talked to Natalie Bibeau.
Current Gig: Cheese please ! Promoting OKA 125th anniversary
One word to describe: IDEATION (The formation of ideas or concepts ) or INTELLIGENCE
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today: Thanks to my training in classical music, I was able to transcend the discipline gained in my own business. I’m passionate about new ideas and fascinated by the luxury industry and its eternal ability to reinvent itself. I have the good fortune to have been in the PR industry for several years now and I have seen it’s constant evolution. The field of communications, marketing and PR has always been at the core of my interests and passions. It’s a field that allows me to satisfy my ceaseless desire to learn.
What made you start your own agency? My professional life began at the Opéra de Montréal more than 25 years ago. The Opéra taught me everything I know, thanks to people such as Jacques Sauvé, who was delegated by Yves Gougoux, the president of BPC at the time. Mr Sauvé’s mandate was, with my help, to develop the Opéra de Montréal’s publicity campaigns.
Finally, in 2000, I decided to put my strategy, leadership and entrepreneurship talents to the test by establishing NATA PR, an agency specializing in luxury consumer goods in Canada. Since then, we’ve produced countless press relations campaigns for prestigious brands that have helped us evolve and keep us on the cutting edge of what’s new in our field.
What is a typical work day like for you?
- Wake up at 5:30 – 6 AM :
- 3-4 times a week : Love to listen to some podcast while I practice yoga at home or during winter I do a 25-minutes indoor bike training
- 7:30- 8:30 AM Breakfast, feed my dog and read newspapers and watch what is happening on Instagram
- 8:30- 9:00 AM – I have a special book where I write every day my plan of the day and what I must accomplish – Great tool !! Can’t live without it !
- 9:30AM to 6 PM – regular day at the office
- 9:30- 10:30 AM – Staff meeting once a week (we go over a plan where we discuss briefly each of our clients and what needs to be accomplished during the week)
- 10:30 – 11:00 AM – Phone or Zoom meeting with my partner David in Toronto – we discuss mostly business development
- 11:00 – 12:00 AM – Meeting with client or Research to find new innovative ways to promote our clients
- 12:00 – 1 PM (once a week yoga – or lunch at the office – or lunch with potential client)
- 1-5 PM – Work on proposals, talk with our partners (in Miami, Montreal and Toronto) develop strategies and tactics for actual and new clients. Answer urgent clients / media needs, proofreading documents (press kits, press releases, pitches, etc).
- 5-6 PM – I call it the “END OF DAY SPRIN” – I take a moment to look at my plan of the day and try to accomplish in less than an hour what I absolutely wanted to get done. It’s very surprising what I managed to accomplish in one hour.
When did you know you had something? I launched NATA PR in January 2000 – New century, new adventure !! —
It took me a good year to calm my fears and understand that clients were going to pay me. ! Before founding NATA I was for 10 years a Communications/Marketing Director and I received a pay check every 2 weeks. When you have our own company, at the beginning, payments arrive slowly and not every week. I realized that I had a profitable company when I signed two important contracts: one with L’Oréal – I contributed to launch Kérastase in Canada and worked (did PR) for this brand for 13 years. The 2nd contract was for Guess Jeans. I knew that I could serve and especially convince big companies of our talent to serve them well.
How do you balance family-work? No special formula: you have to surround yourself and recruit good employees and especially let them do their work!
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you? It’s a little crazy, but I would say: change office! The fact that we have an office in Toronto and a third in Miami gives me a whole new energy. When I work in our Miami office, it’s like starting a new business.