Former magazine queen Jackie Frank launches Be Frank Group

“Jackie’s a brilliant creative, clear communicator and strategic commercial thinker all in one.”

Former Pacific Magazines general manager of fashion, beauty and health, and the founding editor of marie claire Australia, Jackie Frank, stepped down from the publishing business earlier this year. But she certainly hasn’t been idle in the past couple of months.

“I have hardly placed two feet on the ground, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Frank told Mediaweek.

No sooner had she left the building and she was straight into a number of special projects.

Frank spoke to Mediaweek about her plans for her new brand consultancy Be Frank Group.

“My first week ‘outside’, I worked with the wonderful team at the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI) on its inaugural Fashion Hub. The SCCI is the brainchild of Dr Gene Sherman and aims to provide an exchange of ideas on fashion and architecture within the broader context of contemporary culture. Dr Sherman is currently in the process of putting together an advisory board, which I am proud to be involved in.

“Two months out, I was whisked away to New York to consult with the Hearst global business for a month. Then-chief content officer Joanna Coles had invited me to bring a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to the publishing juggernaut and offer insights and strategic suggestions from my own observations and experience. With more than 25 years in magazines under my belt, I welcomed the opportunity to be a disruptor in an industry I know – and love – so well. I looked at ways Hearst could streamline its brands globally, work more collaboratively and overcome ‘road blocks’, as well as contributing to plans for publishing initiatives across its portfolio.”

Coles, who has since departed Hearst, spoke about her time with Frank: “I have known and worked with Jackie Frank for 12 years, first in my capacity as US editor-in-chief of marie claire and Cosmopolitan and then as global chief content officer of Hearst.

“Jackie’s a brilliant creative, clear communicator and strategic commercial thinker all in one. She not only understands brands, she has a proven track record of building and driving them to success.”

Meanwhile, back in Australia, a business was launching that Frank had been working with.

“Bumble – the only dating app where women make the first move – was launching Bumble Bizz in Australia. This was an inspiring movement to be part of, witnessing how strong the community of women had become through Bumble and seeing that strength harnessed to create a professional networking app.

“I worked with the Bumble Bizz team on some of its initiatives, which included hosting panels. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy participating in these active forums, and I’ve since done several one-off gigs, talking about the changing landscape in media for Boston Consulting Group and brand building for Business Chicks.”

Frank said she became so immersed in the intense world of magazines that she had overlooked the breadth of knowledge acquired after spending a lifetime in publishing. “It’s amazing and a real eye-opener. It’s also great to still be involved with Seven, doing morning TV appearances.”

She has also teamed up with a US digital company that offers solutions to bridge the gap between offline and online retail. She joined the board of Executive Health Solutions (EHS) with David Baffsky, Ian Ferrier and John Eales. EHS delivers professional and comprehensive health programs and assessments that offer real benefits to companies and individuals.

Frank’s most important work could be creating her own business.

“Building my own Be Frank Group has also allowed me to use my skills from traditional media to help brands connect more effectively – and productively – with their female audience. Engaging with women remains one of my passions.

“I am lucky to have Seed as a foundation client. I will be working with this strong, beautiful brand to help develop its consumer campaigns and provide strategic direction across all platforms. With more than 280 stores globally and an aesthetic that spans all age groups, Seed offers beautifully designed apparel, quality fabrics and a great in-store shopping experience, making it a dream to work for.”

Be Frank Group will be collaborating with other blue chip clients behind the scenes to help them find new ways to engage their female consumers. “While it’s varied work, which suits my personality, the defining element of all these collaborations is the female focus. I have always been an enthusiastic advocate for women and I believe that now is the time companies should be striving to engage better with this powerful customer.

“What I want to do with Be Frank Group is work alongside brands and marketers to help them define and navigate their role in this ever changing landscape, and forge a stronger connection with their female audience. An outspoken woman myself, I want to help businesses heed the voices of women and communicate with them in a more meaningful and engaging way.”

Top Photo: Jackie Frank

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