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PR Profile | Kira Reed, Head of Corporate & Internal Communications at Australian Red Cross

25 March, 2024

In this interview with Kira Reed, Head of Corporate & Internal Communications at Australian Red Cross, she shares insights into her career journey and the impactful work she and her team are involved in. With a passion for storytelling and connecting people, Kira has navigated through various industries to ultimately find herself at the forefront of delivering communication strategies in the humanitarian sector. 

Head shotCould you tell me about yourself and your role at Australia Red Cross?

I’ve always loved the thrill of breaking news and telling Australian stories. Fortunately, my role at Australian Red Cross often has me involved in delivering both. 

As an auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has a unique humanitarian mandate to respond to disasters and emergencies. Australian Red Cross delivers this through our 20,000-strong members, volunteers and staff who are based in almost every community across Australia.  

This unparalleled presence means our people are often on the frontline of environmental disasters or unfolding tragedies. It also means that they’re at the centre of major breaking news stories from the very start and continue to support communities long after the cameras have left. 

Although the stories my team and I are involved in often shine a light on the struggles of humanity, I’m proud to say they also showcase the power of humanity, that’s people helping people, something at the very heart of what Australian Red Cross and the broader Red Cross Red Crescent Movement stands for. 


What is your career background, and how did you get started?

From a very young age, I knew I wanted to know everything behind the news before or as it was unfolding. I also loved the thought of connecting people through storytelling. 

Getting a foot in the door to work in communications was hard work. However, through a combination of interning, volunteering, and study, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a career that has seen me deliver communication strategies across a wide range of industries, including aviation, travel, fashion, financial services, and, most recently, the humanitarian sector.


What are some of the highlights of your career so far?

From travelling the world launching new destinations and aircraft with Qantas to helping media capture the humanitarian impacts of environmental disasters and conflicts the highlights of my career showcase the variety that a career in communication can offer.  


What advice would you give someone trying to develop their career in Communications?

Volunteering is a great way to broaden your communications experience. In the early stages of my career, I volunteered with the Surfrider Foundation Australia and gained experience delivering large-scale events, proactive media management and marketing. It also felt great to give back to an organisation that does such great work for the protection of Australia’s waves and beaches.    


What are you most proud of in the work that you do?

Enabling the voices of those most vulnerable in our communities both here in Australia and abroad to be heard. It’s a privilege to share these often very personal stories and as such is something my team and I approach with great care and compassion. 

I’m also proud of the relationships with media that my team and I have built in doing this work. These partners not only help us with our sensitive storytelling but also go above and beyond to help Australian Red Cross raise funds for critical humanitarian crisis events. 


What's the most valuable lesson you've learned about work in the Communications industry?

Listen and take notice of what people are discussing in the community around you and beyond. It just may generate a unique thought for your next story pitch, be the creative inspiration for your next campaign or deliver a groundbreaking idea for how your organisation communicates internally. 


Could you tell me about a recent campaign or project you have worked on that has been particularly successful? 

Australian Red Cross is fortunate to work closely with a range of generous corporate partners who share our passion for humanity.  From a communications perspective these partnerships often see us working hand-in-hand to deliver some incredibly creative campaigns. 

Recently we worked with Uber on our annual clothing drive campaign which aims to show how the simple act of donating pre-loved, good-quality clothing can help Australian Red Cross raise much-needed funds which are ultimately used to deliver our work in the community. 

The campaign consisted of a number of activations including a celebrity endorsement from soccer superstar Sam Kerr, and a unique social media AI stunt that saw tonnes of pre-loved clothing wash up on Bondi Beach.  

The incredible engagement rates these campaign elements generated resulted in more than 100,000 kg of clothing being donated on the day of the clothing drive – our most successful campaign to date.  The overall campaign also won B&T’s Campaign of the Month for October a really exciting achievement.  


What is something about your work or yourself that people would be surprised to learn?

Although my role is primarily focused on communication activities both internal and external, I often find myself involved in steering or influencing elements of our organisational strategy, marketing, and commercial activities. This broadening of scope is something I really enjoy and I’m thankful for the opportunity to showcase the variety of benefits that communication professionals can deliver to their organisation.

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