July 29, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image credit: Oneill Photographics

Business events focussed integrated communications agency Zadro celebrated its 15th birthday in Sydney last night amongst clients and supporters and marked the occasion with the release of new tools and courses for industry.

Founded in 2007 by Felicity Zadro, who cut her teeth with events companies like Staging Rentals & Construction, the agency has worked with 472 clients including 71 associations over the last decade and a half.

Zadro regaled the crowd last night with stories from the organisation’s beginning, saying one of the first things she did starting out on her own was draw up an organisational chart and put her name next to every position. The agency’s first office was 24m2 – smaller than many hotel rooms these days, and the burgeoning agency built its reputations “on the floor of SCEC and MEC” – the two major exhibition facilities, at the time, in Sydney and Melbourne.

“I feel immensely proud of the work that we’ve done,” Zadro told micenet later in the evening.

“I’ve just learned so much over this period of time about all sort of things – about being a leader, about trying to make a difference to the industry and also about the power of the team.”

Of the latest offering from Zadro University (ZU) launched last night, Zadro said it was central to their mission to share their knowledge.

“Our mission is to help organisations connect better with their communities and the only way you can do that is by communicating better.

“We like educating people. I always think of that lone marcomms person working in an organisation with all the other professions around them and they always have 99 views of what a marcomms person should be doing, and so we’re wanting to tool up and advocate for that person – give them the language and the tools to be able to advocate for themselves.

“Because often that person is a young woman,” said Zadro.

“We want to be able to give them more commercial tools and business speak and the language in order to be clear about what the value of comms is to organisations. That’s the whole purpose of it.”

The new offerings from ZU include “safaris” which are short courses covering strategic communications, public speaking, public relations, digital marketing, client and project management and “excursions” which are “short and sharp bite-sized content” covering the likes of working with creatives, building business reputation, communicating value to association members and award writing. There are also some free communications tools available – tips, cheatsheets and templates.

Zadro said the agency has an infinite mindset, in relation to knowledge sharing.

“A finite mindset says that I’m going to not tell you anything that I know because you’ll steal it from me.

“An infinite mindset is that we’ll share what we know to create a better world. That’s our mindset.

“We have an abundance mentality. The better that people are at their jobs, the better it is for all of us, because we’re all then advocating for our profession.”

Zadro said integrated agencies like hers, which cover both marketing and PR, were “an unusual thing”.

“To me integrated makes sense, but the universities aren’t producing integrated communications professionals.

“Most people who’ve come to Zadro come from one profession.

“I’ve spent 15 years teaching marketers comms and comms people marketing.

“That’s how we work.”