YPDaily: Amanda Alvaro

At a young age, Amanda Alvaro has already built a successful communications brand and is looked at as a “go-to” source in the field. Amanda’s endeavours have left a lasting impact in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds, being a respected and insightful player in the two industries. Get to know young professional Amanda Alvaro today on Notable. 

Notable: What is your Name and age?
Amanda: Amanda Alvaro, 32 

Notable: What is the name of the company you work for and what industry is it in?
Amanda: Managing Director, Narrative Advocacy Media. Narrative is the PR and social marketing subsidiary of award-winning advertising agency, Bensimon Byrne. www.narrative.ca

Notable: Elevator Pitch (we just met on an elevator, we have 30 seconds together in the elevator, please describe your business):
Amanda: We like to think of it this way…Every organization has a narrative – a story- of who they are and what they’re about. At Narrative, we help make these stories relevant to the right people. And we’re made up of a group of pretty talented ex-journalists, pr mavens, social media gurus and political junkies who are really good at reaching millions.

Notable: Why did you get involved in your industry, why this one, what was the inspiration?
Amanda: I started in politics. I was the Press Secretary and Communication Director for the Minister of Education and later worked as the media advisor to the Premier of Ontario in the last election. Four years ago, I hired Bensimon Byrne to develop the marketing plan for Gerard Kennedy’s bid for Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Within a short while, I was hooked and knew the Advertising and Public Relations world was where I wanted to be. I kept thinking, “people get to do this all day, everyday?”…So, when the opportunity arose to start Narrative in 2007, I jumped and haven’t looked back.

Notable: What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Amanda: I get to create every single day. And no two days look alike. It is a big, bold, audacious kind of business that keeps me on my toes and makes me excited for what’s next. There’s always an adventure coming down the pipe and it has given me the freedom and flexibility to be involved with my ‘other loves’…politics, my blog Torontoist, Ad Women of Toronto and Artbound.

Notable: What is the most challenging part of your job?
Amanda: Everything we create is a bit of a gamble. We can research and develop and refine, but at the end of the day, we have to hand it over to the consumer and hope they see the genius in what we’ve done.

Notable: Where do you see yourself going in 5 years?
Amanda: Is retiring in your thirties doable? I’d love to be somewhere decidedly hot and carefree. Preferably with a mojito in hand, a mountain to climb and an ocean to sail. But if dream retirement is still a ways away, I’d be pretty happy with Narrative being nationally recognized as a leading firm in Canada and considered a great place to work!

Notable: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Amanda: I’ve always believed that the biggest rewards are the result of taking some big risks. I’m not a ‘if it’s meant to be, it will happen’ kind of person. I’m a ‘if you want it, put yourself out there and make it happen’ kind of person. And, it’s worked for me because I love the challenge of doing something that seems a little impossible. It’s not for everyone, but it’s what drives me every day. Do something that scares you a bit.

Notable: What is your greatest asset as it relates to business?
Amanda: People are always the greatest asset. I’m in the business of finding the most talented, most creative in the industry and enticing them to come work for our little shop with the big ideas.

Notable: What does success look like to you?
Amanda: Pretty much what it looks like today.

Notable: What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Amanda: The Federal Leadership Convention of 2006. Watching this bit of history unfold and having played a small role in its evolution. It was a pretty important professional moment for me.

Notable: Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Amanda: I co-founded Artbound, in support of Free the Children last year. This month, I will join a dozen young professionals who will travel to Kenya to build the country’s first girls arts school. I am also very committed to breast cancer related charities and events.

Notable: What is Notable to you?
Amanda: People doing cool stuff that matters. Whether it’s in the profit or not for profit world. I am always amazed by the sheer level of trailblazing ingenuity that surrounds us.