Marketing on Shifting Sand

Written by Michelle Fragar, Queensland Committee Chair

Sometimes in life we focus on the project so much we forget to step back and view the optics from a different perspective. For the last 4 months, my amazing QLD AMI committee and I have been working hard on a flagship event we hoped would bring so much value to our community that we would bring our biggest crowd together.

And since COVID slammed all our events last year, we focused on 1) a topic we thought was educational 2) was topical and 3) delivered by experts in their respective fields. We did this, we have 4 amazing experts with so much subject matter knowledge that at our pre-interview I was over the moon with excitement. I was excited and proud to be the MC for the event and to be the Chair of a dedicated committee that put all their spare time into the progression of Marketing in Queensland.

Now what I didn’t do, is step back and look at the optics for those who don’t attend events or regularly communicate with the AMI or our Committee. What was missed is they wouldn’t know that my QLD committee is 80% female, Tracey Mesken, Natalie Hocking, Kate Mitchell and myself, and 20% male, Dan Todd. They also wouldn’t know, that at the event we planned to introduce you all to two more female marketers that as of May have joined the committee.

So when the event was posted on the AMI’s social media, we were saddened with people comments regarding the gender balance on the panel. We have worked incredibly hard on this panel. We tried to achieve the balance, however, unfortunately, invited women were not able to attend. But I will own I wasn’t focused on diversity, I was focused on the quality so that we could bring marketers together again. After 2 years of no big events, we focused on getting this right from a content perspective.

We hope this explanation helps you see the other side to some peoples objections. As an outcome, I do believe we have made a positive change with the AMI by agreeing to recognise the state committees when they are the organisers so you can truly see the optics that we see. We heard “be better”, and this is step one of many to ensure we do.

We look forward to seeing you at this event. Register today at


1 Comment on Marketing on Shifting Sand

  1. *Speaker Change* || Audience Group is happy to be sponsoring the Australian Marketing Institute’s efforts to generate thought-provoking discussions amongst marketing professionals across the country. However, the panel wasn’t complete when we came on board for this event. Once we saw the event promo last week, we set about doing our part to change it up.

    To help address the lack of diversity on this particular panel, we’d like to announce a Speaker Change. Representing Audience Group’s views and accumulated expertise on the event theme will be our Account Director, Ashleigh Toeke.

    Ashleigh will of course combine that with her own well-informed point of view, the product of more than a decade of experience in media strategy across such organisations as SBS, Carat Australia, Starcom and OMD Australia.

    Thanks, Ashleigh, for agreeing to jump in and take on next week’s keynote and Audience Group’s spot on the panel!

    As a new AMI event and award sponsor, it was good to see this post promising to take steps to ensure more diverse panels for future events, as AMI has in the past.

    – Tom Evans and James McDonald, co-founders of Audience Group

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