Penny Burke is an award winning marketer, facilitator and author of ‘Forced Focus – The essence of attracting and retaining the best people. She is the Director of Essence and the strategic mind behind many of the longest living, most effective television advertisements the country has seen.
She has worked in marketing and advertising in Melbourne, Sydney and London for all her 25 years in the workforce. Prior to starting Essence Communications, Penny spent 12 years at Clemenger BBDO as Strategy Planning Director, overseeing strategic developments for major communications projects. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), and has lectured and tutored at Melbourne Universities such as RMIT, Monash and Swinburne.
Penny Burke sits on the board of Kennards Hire, a privately owned tool hire company, and is a full member of the Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS).
More about Penny Burke:
Penny began the Essence consultancy after many years experience with a wide range of projects, large and small, in a range of sectors from traditional packaged goods and retail to services and social marketing. Her experience in Government in particular has given her an appreciation of the importance of stakeholders – how to identify and manage them in a positive way that adds to a communications project rather than disrupts it.
Combining theoretical models of marketing with practical experience and sensitivity, Penny conducts many focus groups with various demographics each year, and is keenly aware of the drivers of segment stereotypes.
Penny also facilitates a large number of workshops and strategy meetings for a range of clients, and has a particular skill in getting agreement and forward direction from disparate members of a team.
Penny and her team are change agents, keen to explore new boundaries and horizons and find better ways to do things. They bring fresh eyes, intuition and grounded thought to a scenario. In identifying the key issues logically and debating them articulately, they’ll help you develop a way forward and form a plan of action encompassing key stakeholders.
Penny was the final speaker at our conference and was an appropriate finisher. Penny was engaging and entertaining but also had a clear message about ‘personal branding’ which went over well with attendees.– Local Government Association of NSW and Shires Association of NSW
Penny was the keynote speaker for our local government tourism conference with the emphasis on ‘customer service and living up to expectations’ and she certainly delivered a great customer experience: charming, funny and very personable, she nonetheless made sure our audience got the point.– Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW
I have had the pleasure of hearing Penny Burke speak on two occasions. The first time, Penny was part of an Employer Branding panel discussion for an event on Workforce Planning and Development, hosted by the State Services Authority. The panel opened the conference and received high praise (and I’m not just saying that because I organised the panel and its members). As part of the panel, Penny was able to turn the very complex concept of employment branding into an interesting and easily understood idea for the audience. Penny interacted very well with other panel members and was at ease answering questions from the audience. The second time was an Executive meeting at the Department of Human Services. This event was hosted by the Department’s Secretary, Fran Thorn and was attended by the department’s most senior staff. Penny presented on Employer Branding and had the room captivated with her energy and passion for the subject. Penny was very witty and certainly helped bring the subject to life with her relevant stories and examples.– Workforce Planning & Development SSA
Brand passion… this is what Penny brings to any meeting or conference, delivered with great insight and experience. Penny’s use of case studies combined with an unbelievable depth of knowledge based on many years experience really sets her apart from anyone I have seen. All delivered with passion and enthusiasm, there should be more Penny Burkes!– Clemenger BBDO
There are some speakers who can engage and entertain, but impart few if any useable insights. There are others who can impress with sheer intellect, but send you to sleep just when things should be getting interesting. Penny Burke is one of those presenters whose grasp of marketing and communications is unsurpassed and better yet has the ability to lead an audience on a journey through detail and nuance that leaves them wanting more. A confident and engaging communicator who can make you laugh and think at the same time.– Herald and Weekly Times
I have had the good fortune to benefit from Penny’s vast experience and skill now for 12 years. Penny’s strong strategic mind enables her to effectively tackle the job at hand from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Having worked across many industries Penny is able to draw on a broad range of learnings to bring a fresh perspective to her client’s projects. In addition to her strategic mind, broad industry experience, theoretic knowledge and pragmatism, Penny has unrivalled focus which coupled with effective planning and organisation skills makes her highly efficient. It is this efficiency and focus that makes the difference in the planning, and facilitation of clients strategic workshops.– Sancella