As one of the most experienced and formidable women in public relations Maria Farmer knows a thing or two about powering up. Her company MFPR specialises in brand building, crisis management and publicity for some of the best actors, restaurateurs, authors and fashion designers this country has produced. Her current client list includes Celeste Barber, Bill Granger, Baz Luhrmann, Yael Stone, Kat Stewart, Pip Edwards and Camilla Freeman Topper.
With an unrivalled network of media and industry professionals on call, which she uses to achieve exceptional outcomes in whatever area is required or for whatever situation that may arise, Farmer is the secret Swiss army knife in the pockets of some of the top power players this country has produced. But while other publicists can be spotted on the red carpet or sipping champagne at events, you’ll find Farmer hard at work in her office at Paramount by the Office Space. She compares her no-nonsense, results-driven approach to that of any other industry professional.
“People consult a lawyer or accountant for advice on developing their business,” says Farmer. “The same applies for the clients I work with…it’s important to give them the right advice so they can make the best decisions.”
Celebrity clients aside, Farmer has other leading women covered too.
Drawing on her deep experience and knowledge, she now mentors businesswomen across all industries, providing powerful insights and strategic advice to help them succeed in business and in life.
“It’s hard for us all when we are navigating work and life issues alone, with everything coming at us. And an impartial viewpoint is valuable,” says Farmer. “Family and friends will often tell us what we want to hear, but a mentor will be honest and help you see things through fresh eyes and life experience.”
Farmer has joked that her highest-earning word is “no,” and she happily admits to never settling for second-best outcomes.
In line with her own principles, Farmer’s approach to mentoring businesswomen is all about teaching them to be “unapologetic in business and in life.”
“Women are socialised from an early age to be compliant and that’s a hard lesson to unlearn,” says Farmer. “They often ‘go along to get along’ and men are also socialised to expect women to react this way, so the challenges are deeply embedded for us all.”
Mentoring with Farmer can prove a transformative experience for any woman who wants to be more confident, successful and satisfied in whatever her chosen field. With a focus on helping each client identify their goals – and then set about achieving them – her incisive and practical advice is invaluable for all of them, whether celebrity or otherwise.
“I encourage my clients to care about how they feel and to ask for what they want and expect to get it,” says Farmer. “Self-sacrifice to maintain harmony in our work life or personal life is not a strategy and can lead to resentment. Women need to take up their space. The cost of not participating is just too high.”
For more information on Maria Farmer’s mentoring services, email [email protected]