Yarra Valley. Daylesford and Macedon Ranges. Melbourne Zoo. Halls Gap. Hanging Rock. Tourism Victoria are responsible for the marketing of these incredible Victorian destinations. Lisa, Sam and Natalie are lucky enough to work on the visitvictoria.com site on a daily basis and assist the listed business operators in achieving their goals.
I was lucky enough to sit down with the three of them and hear about their passion for customer service, digital and tourism. Here’s how they all responded:
Tell me about yourself, how did you begin your career and make your way to IE / Tourism Victoria?
Lisa: I completed a Bachelor of Communication Management back home in Belgium and moved to Melbourne a couple of years ago. But before that, I worked as a channel marketer in a publishing company in Belgium, Wolters Kluwer. I was lucky enough to see a snippet in a newsletter asking for a coordinator for 3 months at Tourism Victoria last year. I moved over to working for IE in September last year, then in December I became the manager of the team.
Sam: I have a background in environmental science, which I studied whilst looking for work in the sustainability and conservation field. I was lucky enough to get a role with IE last year doing the Google Trekker job and travelled around Victoria mapping prime tourist locations. Tourism Victoria funded the project, and it was an amazing experience – I was able to go to places around the state I’ve never been to before. When that role finished in late July last year, I was contacted by James at Tourism Victoria and Berry at IE to fill a coordinator role. That was in November, so I’ve been here for about 9 months. It’s been a great opportunity so far to work in the digital space, and also be exposed to tourist products that I had no idea about.
Natalie: I studied a Bachelor of Business and Tourism, and soon after that finished I worked in the States for a year at Disney World as a lifeguard. Once I came back I worked for a tour guiding company in Melbourne and both those jobs managed to impress the Tourism Victoria team a few years ago. I was in Lisa’s role for about a year and a half then decided I wanted more event experience. When that contract finished in March I randomly called Paul Baron (Group Manager Online Marketing at Tourism Victoria) and said: “Hey Paul, what’s up? Any jobs going?” and he said, “Actually… do you want to start next week?” So it’s been a lovely six weeks with the new team!
What’s been your favourite thing about being at Tourism Victoria and your key highlights so far?
Lisa: Getting close to the product. I didn’t realise before I started at Tourism Victoria, being from overseas, that Victoria had so many different regions. What I thought was Melbourne and a few different other areas, suddenly showed me that there is so much to do and see. Direct contact with the product is great too – Sam and I went to Daylesford and Macedon Ranges and did a workshop there to get people to sign up to the website. It was great actually getting one-on-one time with the operators, and seeing the region of course.
Sam: I think, additional to what Lisa said about getting to know products, coming from a customer service background, there are operators (listing posters) that are pretty fantastic people and generous with their time. At least, they are appreciative of the time that you make to getting their content online and the advice you give about what they can do for their social media or other channels. In that regard, it is rewarding.
Natalie: I agree with all of that. Sam and I went to see the David Bowie exhibition because we’re Tourism Victoria so that was amazing! But getting to know products, being online and interacting with customers. And the teamwork – I’m a sucker for teamwork.
How do you all feel about agency life and the culture?
Lisa: I suppose you could say a perk is having the best of both worlds. Getting the chance to be part of a team here, but also having the chance to say “I’m part of that team”. It’s a good career opportunity that I have worked at both places.
Sam: Further to what Lisa said, it’s about having the opportunity to be exposed to what’s going on more broadly in the agency. Whether it’s Foyer or a website launch, getting the opportunity to see what goes on in the agency, where people celebrate milestones and getting things finished, that’s a good opportunity for us.
Natalie: I like being able to see all the knowledge sharing that happens over emails because my digital knowledge is basic, so to read this different content coming through is pretty interesting. I enjoy it a lot.
Three words to describe IE?
Lisa, Sam & Nat: Innovative, Modern, Sociable.