Founder & PR Specialist / Boss Media PR
What do you do when travel runs through your veins? When the thought of working from a remote island, or another country does more then tickle your fancy? When your thirst for adventure is only quenched by adventure? Well if you are anything like today’s #careerstory the answer is simple. YOU. JUST. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.
Tahlia Crinis is an award winning Public Relations specialist with over 10 years experience in PR and Marketing. She is the Founder and Director of boutique PR consultancy Boss Media PR, who specialise in lifestyle, health and beauty PR. Throughout her career Tahlia has worked for a variety of high profile brands and celebrities, both locally and internationally and at one stage in her career worked for Lara Worthington exclusively. Yes, THAT Lara Worthington.
I am obsessed with Tahlia’s story and perhaps a little envious. Not only has she been able to carve our her niche in the PR and Marketing industry, but she has been able to make that career work for her, not the other way around.
Get ready to be blown away.
Love this girl.
Hey Tahlia, welcome to The Cool Career. Can you tell us where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are, and the career that you are in today?
I grew up with nomadic parents who loved to move around a lot. My childhood was spent in so many different places throughout the Sunshine Coast in QLD and in the Illawarra in NSW. We spent time living on a farm in Kureelpa QLD (population of 907 people) and my teenage years living near the beach at places like Coalcliff and Bulli in NSW. I think at last count I went to about 8 different primary schools but thankfully my parents stayed put when I got older and so I only attended 2 high schools.
This gypsy lifestyle definitely influenced the person that I am today – Whilst I don’t like moving house too much, I definitely have an incessant need to travel. This has also influenced my career and my decision to start my own business. I believe working in the same office day in and day out stifles creativity so now I don’t actually have an official office.
This allows me the flexibility to work from wherever I am – whether it’s just from my home office, at a local café, or on the other side of the world. This of course can have its downsides depending on the types of clients you might want to work with, but ultimately it allows me the freedom that I crave. I find I get very bored very easily so I want to be able to jet off at a moment’s notice.
Last week I worked around cafes in New Zealand and next week I’ll be in the Gold Coast. Whilst that might sound like I get to have a lot of ‘holidays’, the truth is I’m always working – it’s just the setting that changes up every now and then.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I spent most of my High School years at a school called Bulli High School. Bulli High is situated a stone’s throw away from the beach so it was definitely more of a sporty type of high school than an academic one (one of our school subjects was surfing)!
I don’t think I was nerdy enough to be accepted by the smart guys but I also wasn’t cool enough to sit with the cool crew. Because of this, I threw myself into my study and did quite well in most subjects (except maths)! I also did a lot of extracurricular activities like the SRC (Student Representative Council) and was voted School Captain. Lacking social connections was a blessing in disguise because it meant that I could really focus on getting good grades. In saying that, I was lucky to be surrounded by an incredible group of people who I’ve now connected with after we left school. In fact some of my best friends now were in my classes at school, yet it took a couple of years after high school to become friends.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
I think high school helped me to figure out what I wanted from life, but when I left I really didn’t know what I wanted to do! I think my grandfather was the one that suggested I get into Public Relations, although he thought it would be in Politics. I left high school feeling confused about career choices, but it certainly gives you an insight into what you enjoy doing. Finding things that you enjoy doing is the key for any career. We spend most of our lives working and if you don’t enjoy it, it can make for a pretty miserable existence. My advice would be to follow what you love and everything else will fall into place – never chase money or do things just because everyone else is doing it.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
I’m sure I must have but I can’t really remember what they were. I started working part time as soon as I was old enough so I’ve had a lot of experience in many different fields like retail or hospitality. I also grew up with my parents owning fruit shops, so once I left high school I’d already gained a lot of experience in many different fields. I think this is incredibly important – so many skills in business are translatable and I swear I still remember practical things back from the days serving the cash registers at Crinis Fruit!
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
I had time off after high school then enrolled in University for about 2 months. I realised pretty quickly that University wasn’t for me and so I enrolled in Tafe instead. I studied Marketing and Public Relations at Tafe which for my industry I found to be a lot more practical. I chose Marketing and Public Relations because these courses incorporate so many things – Whether it’s writing or building a business proposal, these types of skills are needed for most careers. Beyond that, I’ve continued studying throughout my career and have done a Business Course at Tafe, Digital Marketing Course at General Assembly, online courses through Coursera and am now actually studying an Acting Course. Understanding human emotion and being confident in front of audiences are skills that I believe will continue to enhance my career.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
Where do I start?! I’m one of those people who have had SO many jobs which can be both a good and a bad thing. Many employers might look at someone who has had many different jobs as a risk but the way I see it is that I’m pretty self-aware and can work out quickly if something is for me or not.
I’d rather leave a job if I’m not happy there because life is too short!
Beyond working in retail and hospitality when I was younger, I started on my career working as a Receptionist at St George Illawarra Dragons Rugby League Club. From there I left and worked in PR at Sweaty Betty PR, before leaving and opening my own Men’s Clothing Store which I ran for 2 years.
I then moved to Noosa in QLD where I worked as a Travel Agent at Flight Centre before getting a gig working in Events and Marketing at Sea FM and Mix FM. I loved working in radio and if it wasn’t for getting a little homesick, I probably would still be there.
Whilst I was still living on the Sunshine Coast I flew down to Sydney for a Public Relations Assistant job at a Management Agency called Whole Brands (now called Moskos Communications). I didn’t know it before the interview but the assistant role was working with the amazing Aussie model Lara Worthington (at the time Lara Bingle). This is definitely be a career highlight for me, not only from a learning perspective, but from getting the opportunity to work with Lara. Lara is incredibly smart and creative, and one of the kindest and most generous people I know. When Lara left the Management Agency, she asked if I’d like to go work directly with her and I of course jumped at the opportunity. We worked together for a further year before we decided to part ways.
At the time Lara was living overseas and the time zones combined with the fact that a lot of Lara’s work was elsewhere just didn’t make sense for her to have a representative here. From there I went and worked as an Executive Assistant for a couple of years because I realised I lacked corporate experience. Before working in a corporate environment I’d always worked for smaller, less structured companies and I didn’t know much about things like P&Ls or effective Reporting. Once I got a little bit of corporate experience, I went to work for a couple of PR Agencies. By this time it was the end of 2017 and whilst these jobs were incredible, I just felt exhausted from the hours and burnt out entirely. So I quit without giving it too much thought, went on a holiday to Japan and by the time I got back decided that I was going to start my own thing.
I started Boss Media PR at the end of 2017 and it is definitely the thing I am most proud of. It is by far the hardest I have ever had to work in my entire life but now I’m in a position where I get to decide how my career will go.
How did you get into the job that you are in now?
I started Boss Media PR at a time when I was probably taking a really big risk. I quit a secure full time job without any savings and just decided to give my own thing a go. It was definitely a leap of faith that only worked because of the work I put in. I didn’t have a plan B and just had to put in the hours and work really hard. I started off with just one client and then built it from there. I’m still learning things every day and I think for anyone in business that’s incredibly important. This industry is changing so quickly so you have to keep learning and growing professionally.
What is the hardest part of your current job?
Definitely not being able to take time off. My ‘holidays’ now consist of me working most days so it’s lucky that I love it! Owning your own business can sound glamourous but in reality it’s really hard work. With social media and the 24/7 news cycle you always need to be switched on and in tune with what’s happening. So there isn’t really a specific line that determines work/life, it’s more just blurred into one!
What does a day a typical business day look like for you in your current job?
I like to get up early and check my emails before I go to the gym. I try not to start work until about 8:30am (after I’ve been to the gym and had time to think about my priorities for the day). Then I’ll sit down for 10 mins, read the news, have a coffee and then diarise what my day should look like. I try to reach the end of the day with all the important stuff done.
I try to take a walk at lunch time if I’m working from home, or otherwise I’ll pack up my stuff up and go relocate to a café or shared working space. I often find inspiration when I’m somewhere new so I always try to use this to my advantage.
If I have an important proposal or press release to write, I’ll usually do this from somewhere other than my home office. On any given day you’ll find me consuming a lot of media which is an incredibly important part of this job. You have to know the types of media that you’re pitching to, understand the style of publication and know the tone of voice. This helps tremendously when you have to pitch a brand or story idea to a specific publication. I’ll also spend a lot of time writing or crafting pitch ideas, going to meetings with clients or media, and then trying to keep the day to day admin aspects of my business on track.
At about 6pm I try to finish up work for the day, however occasionally I might have to do some overtime. If I’ve got a day with lots of meetings it might mean I’ll catch up at night or do some work on Saturday morning however I’ve learnt to try and keep some balance. Working from home can mean that you get stuck working too much so I try to be a little bit strict with setting some working hours so I can have a bit of a life outside of my job
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
My sister Sian is definitely my hero and greatest inspiration. She also works with me at Boss Media PR and on the days that she is here I just love my job even more. I idolised her growing up (she’s the older sister) and today she is my best friend. Sian is fiercely loyal, courageous and isn’t afraid to do things her way. She always stands up for what she believes in and never worries about what anyone else might think of her. She’s also the first one to tell me the honest truth and I can trust her advice knowing that it is coming from a place of love!
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Just go out and get real experience working for an agency. Almost everything that I know came from working on the job, not what I studied. Yes, study helps to gain a better understanding of the role, but all the practical stuff comes from experience. Also try to spend time consuming media so you get a better understanding of the different types of publications and the media landscape as a whole.
What is your biggest career f*ck up? (Did you fall over in a job interview? Did you accidentally email someone by accident?)
I distinctly remember when I was working with Lara she had a live on air interview at a big Sydney radio station.. In the week leading up to her chat the station had heavily promoted that they would be having Lara on air. On the morning that she was supposed to go in she called me to tell me that she sick. She sounded awful and I knew that she wasn’t going to be able to make it so I told her I would let the producers know. It was about 5am in the morning so I emailed the producer to let him know the news that Lara wasn’t coming. I shut my laptop and just left for work for the day. By the time I’d arrived in Sydney my boss was furious with me because he couldn’t get a hold of me on the phone ( I must have been out of range) and couldn’t get a hold of Lara. He’d received a frantic call from the producer wondering where Lara was. Turns out my email that I sent was still sitting in my outbox on my laptop and hadn’t actually gotten through to him. Which meant they kept promoting the segment on air right up until it was time for her to arrive. As you can imagine it was a huge f*ck up – not only did it look incredibly unprofessional on Lara’s behalf, but it was a poor reflection on myself, and boss’ business. It almost severed the relationship we had with the producer too and could have limited future PR opportunities with the station. But in saying that, f*ck ups are the things that you learn from. Whilst at the time it was a really traumatic and stressful experience, I now know that urgent things require a phone call. At the time I was trying to be polite and not call someone at 5am in the morning, but it’s breakfast radio and the producers are usually at work at that time. A phone call would have ensured that the message got through and given me the opportunity to explain the situation (plus given the producer time to pull the promos off air)!
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
- Favourite Websites: Mumbrella and B&T are great for getting an insight into what’s happening in the industry, PSFK for inspiration and any news or beauty website. The Daily Mail for a guilty pleasure and for keeping me up to date with what’s happening in the celeb and influencer world.
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: Of course @bossmedia and my clients Instagram accounts, but also I’ll check a lot of different media and influencer accounts to see what’s happening. I’m obsessed with keeping up to date with @laraworthington, @blakelivey, @vancityreynolds and also @tashoakley or @devinbrugman from A Bikini a Day. If I want to have a laugh I’ll check Instagram accounts like @overheardnewyork, @browncardigan, @camera_duels, @celebritieseatingthings or @kanyedoingthings.
- Favourite Podcast: I love all true crime Podcasts like Serial or The Shrink Next Door
- Favourite Netflix Series: It’s impossible for me to name just one but right now I’m obsessed with Dead to Me. Otherwise Breaking Bad, Ozark, You, What/If or an old favourite – Gossip Girl.
- Favourite all time book/s: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
- People: My family (including my adorable nephew Finn and partner Alex).