Natasha Netschay Davies is Co-Founder, Director of PR & Digital Content at Moonraker PR, a full-service communications, PR and digital/ social media content firm based in Vancouver, B.C. In addition to her role as advisory council member with Women in PR Canada, Natasha serves as Chair of the Vancouver Chapter.
She thrives on change and learning. As an Instructor at Simon Fraser University, Natasha develops the curriculum for the PR Certificate Program and Digital Media Certificate Program. She also sits on the Advisory Boards for the Lifelong Learning programs. Teaching keeps her connected with the up-and-coming minds in the PR industry. “I learn just as much from my students about ways to communicate as they do from me,” explains Natasha.
From being Canada’s first high tech business reporter to running a PR agency with clients from diverse industries, Natasha’s career choices reflect her passion for innovation. She was recognized as one of Canada’s first Web journalists for her work as executive editor of Internet News, managing editor at Stockhouse, and a business technology reporter for The Globe & Mail.
Name: Natasha Netschay Davies
Business: Moonraker PR
Title: Co-Founder, Director of PR & Digital Content
Describe yourself in 3 words: 24/7, tech-addicted, Montreal transplant
Education: B.A., major Journalism, minor Poli Sci, Concordia University
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Social Media Links: @NatashaNDavies
What inspired you to start your own business? What made you decide to take the leap? – Much of the PR industry has stagnated by not integrating digital technologies and hanging on to business models that are less effective today. No matter how conservative a client is, there’s always room for a fresh approach.
Having my own PR agency and employing people who have that same openness keeps us on our toes.
What was your first job in public relations/communications/media and what did you take away from the experience? How did you discover your passion for working in the field? – It all comes back to storytelling. As a journalist, I saw the writing on the wall for the news media industry. More than 10 years ago I transferred my skills to the corporate sector. I leveraged my breaking news mentality and began building online newsrooms for companies. My journalist/editor hat is always on and that’s how we come up with compelling messages and narratives for our PR clients.
How do you prioritize and start your work day? – With black coffee and skimming two monitors of headlines and newsfeeds from a gazillion sources!
Have you had any challenges in your career? Any specific challenges as a woman in the industry? How did you overcome them? – I found it challenging as a journalist to elbow my way through crowds to get that interview or fact before someone else did. It’s my own personal shyness that made this difficult for me. To a degree, a lot of that shyness was there from being the only woman at male-dominated technology conferences (we’re talking 1995ish here). The more you do something that’s hard, the better you get at it.
While PR is a female-friendly industry in many ways, it has many stereotypes. The pretty young publicist, dressed in pink, organizing openings for boutique hotels or launching new fashion brands. While these positions exist, there’s plenty more industries that require savvy PR pros.
At Moonraker PR, we serve many B2B clients, which in general, can be male dominated (think tech, energy, finance, construction etc.). A couple of years ago I co-developed the curriculum for a B2B Digital Marketing Program for SFU and recruited several women to teach the courses. They are all powerhouses, brilliant at what they do, and my hope is that these courses encourage women to explore new career avenues in PR-related disciplines.
What are your tips for setting yourself apart in the workplace?
Avoid being a generalist, become an expert in specific areas that are interesting to you. Then keep many steps ahead of everyone else.
What advice would you give to your younger self? – Network as much as possible, at all kinds of events, outside of office hours.
How can a new graduate set themselves apart in the hiring process? – Volunteer providing PR support to whatever causes beckon you. Know and understand digital tools and social media networks inside out, even if you don’t understand their business purpose. That’s how you’ll learn them.
What is your greatest achievement in your career? – Balancing family and work life.
What’s next? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? – In the past two years we’ve worked on several global campaigns, both for non-profit B Corp organizations. It was so exciting to work with PR partners based around the world! We traded tactics and approaches, learning about culture through digital collaboration. I’d like to see Moonraker involved in more of these campaigns and add some out-of-country travel to our routines. Also, I hope to hire at least one of my two daughters to help in the office.
Contact Moonraker PR to learn more. Natasha Netschay Davies, is available for media interviews or live media hits.
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