When Dennis branched into public relations the skills he honed in those early days turned out to be gold. He knew how to craft a compelling story on pretty much any topic you care to name.
Eventually, he became president of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, which has given him a firm grasp on best practice for his profession.
His clients have ranged from the Austin Hospital to manufacturers and inventors in the technology space.
The way he tackles his business now is to first understand the client then develop a media strategy that fits hand in glove with the business objectives.
His first questions are: “What are you trying to achieve? What are the clear messages you want people to take away from this?”
For this you need to be clear about who your customers are and the different categories they fall under for each product or service you are trying to market, he says.
Dennis will ask how you communicate with your employees because how they feel is critical, especially those who on the front line of your business.
With big companies, Dennis will work with the chief executive and the marketing director to get to understand not just the outward facing business but something of the internal politics as well.
And favourite clients? Those in the innovation and sustainability space, he says. A recent example is a client who has perfected a way to recycle old tyres into valuable oil, carbon and steel; another was in rooftop solar panels.