Brisbane’s Lady of Public Relations is Kath Rose.

Kath Rose is Brisbane’s public relations and marketing queen who this year celebrates twenty years since she threw caution to the wind to start her own PR agency – Kath Rose & Associates. In this time, Kath has single handedly become an industry leader working with names such as Cirque du Soleil, JLL, Stokehouse Q, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Disney on Ice, Queensland Theatre Company, Emporium Hotels, Bacchus Dining, Soleil Pool Bar, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Paniyiri Greek Festival and Brisbane fashion labels White Label Noba and SunSoaked.

Kath is very special to me, she has always believed in me, supported me and has given me so many wonderful opportunities that I am forever thankful for, love you Kath xxx.

 Brisbane's Lady of Public Relations - Kath Rose Brisbane’s Lady of Public Relations – Kath Rose

In Kath’s own words …

I grew up in a teeny tiny NSW country town called Bingara – no-one’s ever heard of it. I rode horses since I could walk and loved the feel of the wind against my face going like the clappers with my bestie Bernie alongside me, wearing no helmets, bareback and completely oblivious to any risk. You only understand risk when you grow up. I loved growing up in the bush, went to innumerable B&S Balls, drank rum and cokes and learnt to drive at 11 years old. I went to Uni at Bathurst and loved it.

 Little Kath. Image credit - Kath Rose. Little Kath. Image credit – Kath Rose.

Where did you get your idea/inspiration for your business and what you do?

Hmmm … well, I always wanted to be a vet and was accepted into Vet Science at Uni, but then realised I couldn’t cope with seeing an animal in distress, so I opted for words. I’ve always loved words, they are the most powerful weapon in the world and can make people feel anything and everything. Starting my own business was a bloody huge leap of faith, but I thought that if I worked half as hard as I did for other people, I’d make it. It’s tough being a solo operator, but I’m also a mad insomniac, and that gives me a few more hours every day! I wouldn’t have my professional life any other way.

What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Balancing the see saw of life. It still eats away at me – all those questions that we women constantly bombard ourselves with – am I good enough, am I a capable mother/wife/friend/human, do I look OK, do I really need that extra macaron, should I wear sparkles on a Monday, do I swear too much, am I a good role model, do I spend too much/too little time at work, is my family OK, is my (patient) husband OK, will my business survive, what legacy will I leave, am I ok… yep, this is the giant bloody see saw of life and it’s the biggest challenge each and everyday. How did I overcome it – I haven’t, but I have learnt to live with it because I believe having these questions run through your brain keeps you human.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to women, wanting to start their own business, who are reading this?

Be authentic, be upfront and surround yourself with good, honest, trustworthy people who would take a (figurative) bullet for you. Have realistic expectations for yourself – you WILL stuff up, you will make mistakes, and that’s OK. And don’t be a dickhead.

Tell us something that not many people know about you?

I worry – all the time, if I have nothing to worry about, I worry about that.
I can hold my own on a horse.
I am a hopeless cook.
I can’t stand ice sculptures.
I adore Sylvester Stallone.
I’ve always wanted to write a book.
I can’t swim very well.
I don’t like seafood – coming from the middle of nowhere, 7 hours from the coastline, seafood wasn’t something that was served at the top pub in Bingara, and when it was, it was woe-woeful.

What trends do you see Brisbane adopting in the next 5 years?

Effective Integrated Transport between the city’s precincts – with Queens Wharf, Brisbane Live and the Howard Smith Wharves among others all ready to roll, or rolling out, Brisbane will become a city of really defined hubs, and a proper transport system needs to be devised for residents and visitors alike to experience them.

Walk-up tickets to arts and entertainment – Brisbane has never really been a city with a walk-up mentality – where you decide to see a show and go on the same day. I’d love to see this trend be embraced. As far as culture and activities go, Brisbane brims with excess. To ensure the big shows and the small keep touring to, and being developed here, we need a greater ticket buying culture.

Real people running for politics – I’d love to see the trend where REAL people run for politics, people who have run businesses, experienced life, made mistakes and can share real experiences with their voters. That’d be a great trend!!

Loving Brisbane – domestic blindness afflicts all cities around the world, I’d love to see a trend here in Brisbane where locals become tourists, and experience our city through a different lens. Brisbane is a ridiculously brilliant place to live.

Grown Here – I’d love to see a trend where cafes, restaurants and bars can use a “Grown Here” LOGO, like the Heart Foundation’s tick. The logo would signal that the produce used and served, has been grown within a 3-hour radius of Brisbane. Eating locally will become more and more important, but again, business is business so there needs to be commercial benefits, and reward.

 Kath with one of her 3 beloved dogs. Kath with one of her 3 beloved dogs.

Where is your favourite place (be it food, somewhere to relax or thing to do) in Brisbane?

My backyard. It’s home to Gary Gorilla, Hetty the Horse, Leon the Rock Lobster and is a magnificent garden that my husband the Man Mountain maintains with intense diligence. It’s perfect, absolutely perfect.

Any street of this city is worthy of a walk – and I love nothing more than walking. Anywhere. Whether I take my dogs or catch up with a podcast, it is the best way to clear my mind, breath, and see where I live.

What to you is Brisbane’s best kept secret?

It’s not really a secret, but the walk across the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, down through South Bank, across the William Jolly, through the city and over the mighty Story Bridge is fantastic – and it’s a walk worthy of any city of the world.

The one restaurant visitors to Brisbane must try?

Goodness, that’s a question I can’t answer because we are blessed to have some amazing flavour makers in this city – Bacchus Restaurant at South Bank is a shining example of absolute food porn! The plating is exceptional, the flavours local and the service perfect. Stokehouse Q is the epitome of an icon Brisbane setting, with a brilliant Chef in Richard Ousby. Vaquero at Albion is a tapas bar that would hold its own in any city of the world. Freja’s Café in Wilston does breakfasts that are the bomb. My advice to visitors, find a restaurant that believes in local flavours and walk right on in!

Give us one piece of your wisdom please.

Always be authentic (i.e. don’t be a dickhead).
Always work harder than anyone else.
Use Mr and Mrs.
Always say thank you, and send real letters and cards to people.

I hope you have enjoyed reading Brisbane’s Lady of Public Relations. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.