Cath Pope Kris Darmody

Cath Pope & Kris Darmody, Curated Content Agency: Female Leader Conversations

Female Leader Conversations Feature Cath Pope, Chief Creative Officer & Kris Darmody, CEO and Head of Production, Curated Content Agency said, “Talk about it. Work it through it. Understand it. Then get to the heart of what matters most.”

Kris Darmody and Cath Pope lead Curated Content, an independent creative agency whose projects channel their values. Specialising in content creation and interactive learning experiences, Curated Content works with clients from the development and strategy phase, to design and production.

The team focuses on the creation of innovative and emotive work that meets client’s goals and has meaning and connection to their audiences. At the top of the agency’s skillset is the ability to tell brand stories to the right audience in the right format that best communicates the core message, whether that’s through written, visual, audio, video or interactive online experiences.


What are the essential ingredients of a great brand story?

In her book, Belonging, Michelle Obama shared the following thought: ‘Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.’ That’s true of our personal story, and it’s true of our brand story, too. Part of understanding that, is acknowledging our brand stories, just like our personal stories, are always evolving.

Make it personal. Make it authentic. And make it simple. If you can do that in a way that is meaningful by sharing what really drives you, you’ll achieve the purpose of a great brand story – connection. It’s not about whether or not you have a sexy product, it’s the story behind it. Who Gives a Crap make toilet paper, but their story is about helping people in developing countries access hygiene, water and basic sanitation. That’s a great brand story.


How does considered design get a brand noticed?

There’s a couple of parts to this. Firstly, design goes through trends that we end up seeing everywhere (millennial pink, anyone?). Some trends last a while and some, thankfully, disappear quickly. But considered design lasts the distance of time. Think about the colour, font and shape of your company name or the pattern and contrast of your logo – will it be embarrassing, limiting, dull or even discriminatory in ten years?

Secondly, considered design stamps out unconscious bias. And because there is so much lazy design around – sadly those biases continue to flourish. One of the worst offenders is the use of a male toilet block icon in a necktie to signify business. Ignore the design biases and you’ll stand out a mile!


How do you defeat the six second concentration span?

Some platforms are simply designed for six second attention spans (we’re looking at you, Instagram) and there are ways to embrace it through the art of instant impact. We may do that with an image and minimal text. Think about any picture of Greta Thunberg – her face wears the seriousness of her mission and the passion she brings to it. We might spend two seconds looking at the image, but the effect it has on us can be profound and lasting.

We can tell a story across several different content formats and platforms – the skill is working out the best one for the job. Sometimes it can be told in a single image, and sometimes it’s a feature length documentary. Thankfully, the popularity of podcasts amongst younger people is an example of those concentration spans flexing the muscle way beyond the six second mark.


How do your organisational values shape your creative process?

We have three behavioural values: be humble, be open and be a pioneer. Those three values guide our decision-making and help us be authentic in ourselves, receptive to ideas different to our own, and bold in our approach to work. Sometimes living our values means having challenging conversations, and with those values guiding us, our creative process is simple: talk about it, work through it, understand it and get to the heart of what matters most. That translates to embracing a purpose-driven approach to client work and agency-initiated projects.


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Posted by Jade Collins - Femeconomy Director

Jade Collins has 20 years’ global experience in corporate executive Human Resources and management consulting roles in the Mining, Energy and Aerospace industries, leading large scale, complex multi-million-dollar change management programs. Jade finds the combination of her HR, Psychology and MBA qualifications and her leadership experience is invaluable for increasing gender equality in leadership across industries. Jade was a member of the Queensland Government's Strategic Advisory Group for the Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards Initiative and the 2019 CQU Alumni of the Year for Social Impact for her work with Femeconomy.