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Q&A with Louise Rudzki: Breast cancer’s purpose purveyor

Meet Lou, Breast Cancer Network Australia’s brand and reputation custodian. She deep-dives on purpose, the nexus of kindness and decision making, and her festive gin tip.

BCNA and Bakers Delight ran a hugely successful pink bun campaign empowering breast cancer survivors.

We partner with some fantastic people and brands. However, we have a real soft spot for Louise Rudzki – Lou to her friends – and Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).

 

When it comes to genuinely being purpose-led and improving people’s lives, BCNA is as good as it gets.

 

And Lou and the team punch well above their weight from a brand and reputation perspective.

 

They manage everything from BCNA’s content ecosystem, to bringing their Pink Lady symbol to life on the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), and driving media and advocacy campaigns.

 

My personal favourite was watching the team inspire a nation to rally against Facebook when they decided to ban BCNA’s campaign that featured breast cancer survivors without their tops on.

What do you do?

I’m the Communications and Brand Director at Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). It’s an amazing brand, and I’m honored to lead the team charged with both protecting and enhancing our reputation

Louise Rudzk smiling to camera behind door

BCNA exists to ensure the 53 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer every day – 19,535 a year – do not have to go through a breast cancer diagnosis alone.

 

My team helps make people’s breast cancer experience a little bit easier. In simple terms, we ensure those who are diagnosed with breast cancer are aware of, and can access, the wealth of information and support services that BCNA has available.

 

We deliver content – whether it’s through our new online tool, podcast series or our magazine – to help people understand their diagnosis and treatment options, as well as to navigate the system better.

 

We also manage paid and earned media. One of the best parts of my role is leveraging the media to support our advocacy efforts to improve the experience of those affected by breast cancer at a system level.

What mantra are you living by this year?

Be kind.

 

It’s something I try to remember to do in all my decision making.

 

‘Being kind’ doesn’t mean not making hard decisions. Instead, it’s a constant reminder to ensure that my decision making process genuinely has the best interests of my team and the organisation at heart.

Sometimes that means being more direct and honest. But ultimately, my decisions are made with integrity, understanding, and a desire for continual improvement.  

What’s the most important thing marketers can do to drive commercial outcomes?

I think really understanding customers – or members – and what they need is the most important element to improve focus, and deliver the best impact for a brand.

For us, it means putting the ways we have always done things to one side, listening and being data-driven. 
BCNA’S Pink Lady is brought to life on the MCG at the Field of Women event.
BCNA’S Pink Lady is brought to life on the MCG at the Field of Women event.

Who are your go-to thought leaders, and why?

I enjoy reading and listening to Seth Godin, particularly for his insights around marketing. His ethos of building trust and creating a connection for the long-haul particularly resonates with me.  

What’s a cracking book you’d recommend or podcast you swear by?

I’m currently reading Useful Belief. It challenges the ‘be positive’ message, which as we all know is not always helpful if you’re having a nightmare year or a difficult time at work or in your personal life.

 

I’d also recommend BCNA’s cracking new podcast series Upfront about Breast Cancer for anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. (I may be a little biased!)

Our favourite qu: What’s your top beer or wine recommendation?

My favourite question too.

 

If I can only choose one, I’d go for a Four Pillars Gin any day of the week. While I haven’t tried it yet, I am also curious to try their Christmas Gin in the lead up to the Festive Season!

Christmas gin four pillars