Talking Straight with Hannah O'Donnell

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

Our next interviewee is our very own Hannah O'Donnell.


Hannah, established Straight Up PR in 2013, after following her intuition and creating an agency that filled a gap in the market. Hannah's vision was to bring to life an agency that specialised in health and wellbeing, two of her greatest passions, and was a little different in how they operated.


Since then, Hannah has delivered a number of successful integrated communications campaigns and has created a culture that exudes authenticity, and prioritises the fostering of relationships and building of communities - the essence of what PR is all about.

SUPR: What does your morning routine look like?


HOD: I wake up, kiss and snuggle with my gorgeous babes (1 year old Beau and 3 year old Frankie) and my husband Craig, before he leaves for work. I'm then online, and check my phone and emails to action any immediate team, client or biz requests. A quick power shower and then I head downstairs for brekky with the kids. Whilst feeding them I down my green Swiish Supergreen juice, cup of English breakfast tea and a bliss ball or two with my collagen powder included (a new thing I’m trying to help get my glow on! – I’ll let you know how I go). It’s then all systems go to pack snacks, lunches, bags, get them dressed and out of the house for daycare or their day with their wonderful grandparents. Once they’ve scooted, I put on a load of washing and hang out one, and head off to a Pilates or yoga class before starting my 'official' working day and heading into the office or onto meetings.


SUPR: What does ‘health’ mean to you?


HOD: Health is how you feel inside - your body and your mind. I know when I’ve had a not so healthy day or week my whole body and mind is just off and out of whack… I lack energy and my zest for life. I’m also extra emotional and tired. I even find it hard to just think and speak – sometimes stringing a sentence together is tough! So, I know for me that health looks like me eating a balanced diet (always still with a side of dark chocolate – preferably organic, Bennetto), limiting my alcohol intake, exercising regularly, walking in nature and in the sunshine, having chilled (not always go-go-going) time with my family, catching up with friends regularly for laughs and enjoying a long quiet and super warm shower.


SUPR: What are five things you’ll always have in your fridge / pantry?


HOD:

- Lebanese cucumbers (love just eating a whole cucumber)

- Chocolate (usually found in my fridge)

- Salted cashew nuts (big fan of nuts)

- Hummus (Pilpel is my fav brand and love to have on veg sticks)

- Tuna (Sirena in Italian oil)


SUPR: What’s your favourite form of movement?

HOD: I don’t love high intensity workouts. I love to walk in nature – on the beach, in the bush, around our streets and often to lots of different parks with the kids! Pilates and yoga are my studio exercises of choice. Mat pilates wins over Reformer every time as I like using my own body weight to build strength.


SUPR: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?


HOD: I’m happy where I am right now. The northern beaches is a pretty amazing place to live and has a great energy and vibe about it. I also love our suburb and the lovely community feel it has and the many beautiful families we are surrounded by here. We are blessed with beaches, parks and open spaces – all at our finger tips. Oh and not to mention, Warringah Mall – I spend way too much time there.


SUPR: What quote do you live by?


HOD: Being a big believer in the law of attraction, I think this one pretty much sums up how I like to live my life.


“How you choose to show up magnetises what shows up for you.”


SUPR: Share a fun fact that people wouldn’t know about you


HOD: It’s not so fun, but I’m allergic to onion. My grandma had a severe allergy to it and I inherited this from her.


A little more fun – my drink of choice is a traditional margarita – with no salt.


My pet peeve is when people mix use '&' and 'and' in copy.


Oh and one more – when people ask, “sweet or savoury?,” I say, “both!” all the way! Have you ever tried dark chocolate with Pic's Peanut Butter? It’s heavenly!


SUPR: Why is it important to you to be Straight Up and authentic? Have you ever struggled in the past with being your true self? 


HOD: I pride myself on being straight up. It wasn’t until I started to brainstorm names for my business that I realised how much I actually referred to myself as straight up. If I was ever asked to describe myself in words I would always include ‘straight up’. This is when I decided that this would be the perfect name for my PR business. With the PR industry often falling short with negative connotations and publicists being seen as ‘spin doctors’ – I thought, Straight Up PR as a name would be perfect – it simply represents the fact that we are honest, provide crystal clean communication, undertake no ‘spraying and praying’ and always stay true to our word. Qualities I live by and I felt were also important for a PR agency to embody.


SUPR: The health industry isn’t perfect. If you had the power to change one thing about it, what would it be and why?


HOD: The health industry isn’t perfect, but nothing and no one is. I think we need to embrace life’s imperfections – as I believe that perfection is an unattainable ambition if we hope to lead an authentic and healthy life. How can we do this? We should start by ceasing trying to satisfy others, as the more you aim to please, the less people will identify with you. People-pleasing is a powerless state and we should embrace our vulnerabilities and celebrate our true identities. We are all born to be real and not perfect.

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