Dynamic Duos: The PR Hub’s Natalie Crynes and Samantha Dybac

In this week's Dynamic Duos, The PR Hub's managing director Natalie Crynes and CEO and founder Samantha Dybac share how their different working styles have allowed them to push each other and the business to get The PR Hub through to the other end of a global pandemic, bigger and better.

In Dynamic Duos, Mumbrella each week asks two members of the same organisation with a professional and personal affiliation to share with readers the importance of workplace relationships in an increasingly hybridised world of work.

Natalie Crynes, managing director, The PR Hub

Natalie: Sam and I met through a mutual friend in October 2018. I was between roles looking to find my next move and Sam was looking to recruit a senior account manager. I knew I wasn’t the exact fit for the role being advertised. I had a solid background in publishing/media roles (previously marie claire) and more recently in the government/higher education sector and wanted to step back into the creative world as I was missing the buzz and was ready for a new challenge.

Sam and I met for coffee and shared many stories and the conversation flowed easily and was effortless. We both decided the role I was better suited for in the business was that of an operations manager. Being super organised and process driven with years of management experience the vision was clear, if she could find a way to fit me into the business then she would. A few months and conversations later, I joined the business in Jan 2019.

Sam and I are similar yet different in many ways.

We both have a deep ownership mentality and get invested in what we are working on. We have a strong work ethic and are always hungry to learn and like to see the possibility in most situations. We are not afraid to push each other to get the best end result even if it means sometimes treading on each other’s toes. We tend to know what the other person is thinking which makes trusting each other to make the right decision easy. She is supportive and I know I can lean on her when needed.

I am detail oriented and like structure so things run smoothly and to schedule. Sam is known for her ability to whip things together quickly which can mean she lets some processes slide. Although this can be frustrating at times, she has shown me that sometimes going with the flow and changing things up can deliver great results and widen opportunities, which continues to push me to challenge myself in the way I see situations.

We both value hard work and a positive team culture and take pride in celebrating accomplishments with our team and our community through pro-bono work and charity events.

Samantha Dybac, founder and CEO, The PR Hub

Sam: In October 2018 I was working in a shared office and had mentioned to a few people that I needed to hire, as our client roster was growing. Initially my search was for a senior account manager. When I was introduced to Natalie we both agreed she wasn’t quite suited to that role but we had a great connection and complementary skill sets, so stayed in touch.

A few months later we reconnected and by January 2019 Natalie joined as operations manager. Her previous experience in media meant that she had several transferable skills and three and a half years later her expertise has proved invaluable. Her skills also shone a light on some of my shortcomings when it comes to systems and processes. She gave me a renewed focus on the need to start evaluating how we do things in order to continue to grow. As the operations manager she brought skills, personability and detail to the business, allowing me to put my energy and efforts into other areas.

Like so many businesses the pandemic hit us hard, we had a 70% loss of revenue in just weeks. But we have worked hard together to rebuild and we’ve achieved 74% YoY growth last financial year. We now have a team of seven full time staff and are looking to hire another two senior account managers.

Despite the tough times, we have a deep respect for each other and have built a strong bond where we can be open and know we’re both coming from a good place.

As working mums we know the challenges of navigating work and home life and have built a very inclusive and flexible business. Natalie’s empathy, organisation, and fun nature extends from her own family to our team, as she spearheads the social and team building events and keeps us cohesive as a team. I am a founder with big ideas, a passion for coaching & mentoring our people, and a love for networking that supports my role in building the business through new client opportunities and introductions. We also both value the role we can play as a business in giving back to the community, including our ongoing work with Ronald McDonald House Sydney.

I am thrilled to see Natalie recently promoted from operations manager to managing director. It has been incredible to watch her journey and the work she has put in to achieve this role. This is an exciting new chapter for The PR Hub.

Natalie on Sam:

Most memorable moment with Sam: We participated as a team in running a High Tea for the families at Ronald McDonald House Sydney and I arranged a menu and what supplies we needed to buy.

Sam insisted on running out to grab the supplies, however mid shopping trip she received a client call that took her focus and she ended up missing some of the ingredients we needed.  It meant we had to think quickly with limited time to prepare and improvise on a couple of dishes. Luckily I knew my way around a kitchen well and we had a great laugh about it amongst the chaos. Seeing the smiles on the children and families faces as they enjoyed our cooking made the experience that extra bit special.

Describe Sam in one word: Powerful – Her resilience and determination to build the business to what it is today and her ability to push through the tough times and never lose focus of what’s important.

Sam’s most annoying/endearing quality: The way she presses the keys on her keyboard so hard. At first you think she is typing a heated email and then you realise she is always typing frantically. I’ve grown so used to it I don’t even notice anymore.

Sam on Natalie: 

Most memorable moment with Natalie: We were on a super yacht in Sydney for a client’s 10th birthday celebration. At the end of the night the boat dropped everyone off in Manly. Let’s just say we were both pretty merry and somehow ended up trudging in bushland in our party heels in search of a cab. After 45 minutes, some nervous laughter, and a lot of mud, we made our way back to the road. Despite originally planning to squeeze one more cocktail in, we thought better of it and headed home.

Describe Natalie in one word: Dependable. I know Natalie has my back and the best interest of the business and team at heart.

Natalie’s most annoying/endearing quality: This answers both. She runs a tight ship which means next to nothing gets missed.

It also means she is regularly reminding me of things I need to do that she or the team are waiting on. I hate being a bottleneck in the business so it is definitely a good thing!

If you and a colleague would like to submit your story to Dynamic duos, please email kwelch@mumbrella.com.au.


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