I’m a tech PR founder. This is what I don’t fucking do.

You’re scrolling through a company website and you come across the all-too-familiar feeling that you’ve read this content somewhere before. You aren’t even absorbing any of the words as you scroll down the homepage. The words start to amalgamate into one big blob of value-less nothingness, spelling the letters to the words Groundhog Day into your subconscious mind. Smoke and mirrors. Fluff.

At this point, you’re exhausted by the scrolling, the information overload, the constant skimming through and sieving for something real. But where, you ask yourself, is the value in all of this?

When I set out to create Studio Self, I knew I was going to create a PR agency like no other in the country. In fact, being a transgender woman, I knew I would be one of only five trans women in the entire universe who runs a creative agency. Wild.

With my background in programming, coding and tech startups, I set out to find clients who are making a huge impact in their respective fields, through actual technology. When I taught myself how to code in C++ at 13 years old, I didn’t do it to be a part of a hype machine. My simple rule is this: No dog-walking marketplaces. No bullshit.

This isn’t what we do at Studio Self. This is what we do not fucking do.

We’re tired of the same old same old, aren’t you? We’re tired of the empty promises, the illusions of grandeur, the exorbitant fuckery of traditional public relations agencies. We’re done to death with frivolous ‘care packages’, meaningless launch days, bucketloads of discount codes and tacky influencer culture. We’re over capitalism, specifically butt wedgie gym tights, slimming teas and apple cider vinegar gummies. We’ve had enough.

  • We don’t create gimmicky hype / viral campaigns
  • We don’t work with clients who don’t offer real value
  • We don’t do consumer PR-type projects
  • We don’t work with clients who compromise on their values
  • We don’t rate sellouts, fakery, toxic workplace cultures — high vibrations only

We’re not ‘different from the others’, We ARE the other.

We only work with technology companies who are revolutionising super important shit. Think maggots that munch through food waste and remove greenhouse gases caused by agriculture out of the atmosphere. Or the most well-known name in the Covid-19 contact tracing scene, used by businesses and the Australian government alike. We set out to break the mould so that’s what we actually do (we make promises we can actually keep around here).

How we’re Injecting Value back into the Infamous World of PR

Our ethos is: nothing should be shared that does not provide value. We absolutely mean it. Every little thing that we emit out into the universe needs to provide value to those who are consuming our content. We won’t stand for anything else.

Our aim is to bring a creative angle to the way technology companies tell their story — we’re about communicating things that your readers care about and find interesting. Not the other way around. And because we speak the tech language and have creative flair, we were made for this. Hell, we were born out of the stuff.

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Joan Westenberg is an award winning Australian contemporary writer, designer and creative director. She is the founder of branding and advertising firm Studio Self. Her approach to messaging, communication and semiotics has built her reputation as a writer, and she has been named as one of the leading startup voices in Australia by SmartCompany.

Her writing has appeared in The SF Chronicle, Wired, The AFR, The Observer, ABC, Junkee, SBS, Crikey and over 40+ publications. Her regular work can be found on Pizza Party, a blog about creativity, culture and technology. Joan is the creator Transgenderinclusion.com, an open-source workplace inclusion hack, and the author of the book #DIY, a manifesto for indie creativity.

Written by

Chaotic good. Award winning creative director & writer, ft. in Wired, The AFR, SF Chronicle, Junkee. founder tinyspells.xyz / thisisstudioself.com ✨ She/Her.

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