Jackie Frank; respected and synonymous within the Australian publishing industry and media for more than twenty-five years. The former General Manager of Fashion, Beauty & Health for Pacific Magazines and the former Editor in Chief of Marie Claire Australia for over twenty years, has now developed her own business, Be Frank Group which helps connect brands with women more authentically and effectively. X-FILES is extremely fortunate to interview the formidable businesswoman, mother of two and fierce and ardent supporter of women’s issues, Jackie Frank.
Tell us about your formal education and background.
I didn’t really have a formal education, I dropped out of university after doing a year of town planning at Melbourne university. Then went on to do beauty therapy work!
Applying your knowledge and commercial nous to help brands connect effectively and authentically to their female audience, you just launched Be Frank in September. Was the progression innate or a longer-term goal?
It was a natural progression, media has changed so much, and I felt that it was time for me to evolve and use my skills in a different way. I had spent the last 25 years in engaging and connecting with the female consumer, now I feel its time to turn use my skills from traditional media to help brands connects more effectively and more productively with their female audience. Every business has direct access to their consumer through digital, I am here to help them navigate this and fully leverage those opportunities.
Are you a measured or instinctive decision-maker?
I am both, I believe in following your gut but now we have so much data available that it would be irresponsible not to use the data available to check your that instincts are correct. That they marry with the data.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in business
You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
There’s nothing better than collaborating with people smarter than yourself.
Among your innumerable milestones, what has been the most rewarding memory of your career?
I think it’s still launching marie claire. But it’s also the campaign work that we did championing social issues and being the voice for women.
As a champion of women’s issues, rights, and empowerment, in your opinion what is the most powerful tool in making a difference (particularly for those who may not know where to start).
Social media, it has changed the world. The accessibility of being able to have your voice heard and in turn count. We can all make a difference.
Do you think the upward rise of social media and celebrity influence has empowered a wider audience to push these stories and causes forward?
Celebrities have always played a role in influencing public opinion. The accessibility of social media has just extended their platform and have allowed a two-way conversation, which has made them seem more accessible and given confidence for others to follow.
An integral role throughout the media’s ever-evolving landscape over the last two decades, what are your thoughts on the future of media in Australia?
It’s very challenging, as businesses are going direct to consumer. They don’t need traditional media to engage their audience or get their messaging and branding in front of their consumer. People are on their phones and are even more time poor. There is so much content out there they have to compete and cut through the clutter. Media needs to find their role in this world, what they bring to the table that others cannot. Australians have always had a hunger for information, we are a curious nation and good trusted authoritative content is still in demand. It’s the delivery method that has changed not the substance.
What essential advice do you have for a budding upstart or student who has the ambition to pursue a meaningful career.
You must follow your passion. If you find something that has meaning and purpose you will be successful. I also really think that it’s important to be authentic.
What insights do you have in the balancing act of family life with professional pursuits?
That you can have it all but not all at once.
What inspires you?
I need meaningful connections, it’s always been important to me to believe in what I’m doing, as long as I have purpose, I will strive to be the best me.
What words do you live by?
Integrity and authenticity are the two words I live by!