Jessica Morgan founded PR consultancy Carnsight Communications in 2016, after 15 years of working with high-profile clients at TEQUILA, Craik Jones and Proximity and then as Director of PR agency Pumpkin, where she worked with M&C Saatchi among other global brands.
Passionate about the benefits well-executed PR brings to businesses big and small, Jess loves working directly with Carnsight clients and the media to create campaigns that resonate and deliver beyond expectation.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m Jess and I run Carnsight Communications, a communications agency focusing on PR and content for creative agencies and SMEs, across the UK. We often work with businesses who haven’t done PR before, or haven’t had a great experience of it, and we work to get them better known for what they do, within the right audience.
I started the business just over four years ago after moving from London to Bath. Before that I worked in agencies in London for 15 years.
We’re a core team of three and also work with trusted freelancers. Just to keep up with the trends we have an office cockapoo called Clifford!
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No – but I did plan starting my own business, namely through a grilling from my dad about the business model! That was actually a really useful conversation as I had to go through the positives and negatives and an informal business plan. He’s very thorough.
Originally after leaving university I knew I wanted to work in advertising, which I did for the best part of a decade, and PR was more of an evolution for me (and one I’m very glad I experienced).
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
I think most people have. We don’t live in an equal society. The advertising industry is very male dominated, so I’ve definitely experienced the boys’ club and having to modify my behaviour as a woman.
PR is more mixed but it’s still the men who get paid the most and often have the best positions in companies. I’ve definitely had to prove myself time and again and had to keep myself steady and confident. That’s also a big part of working for yourself.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Taking the company limited was something I was working towards from day one, and I was pleased to do that this year. That felt like a big step and great to do it with a growing team.
That and being named one of the South West’s 42 to watch under 42 last year was a real boost.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
I’m very tenacious! I always make sure we deliver – reputation is everything and we can’t afford to not do our best at every stage.
But alongside that, I realise that work is work. It’s not the be all and end all and I make that clear for me and also my team.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I’ve only ever had unofficial mentors but they’ve been invaluable. Working for yourself it’s so good to know who you can trust to turn to for advice.
Likewise, I am always happy to give my take to others and support them through difficult times. There are a few people I catch up with on an ad hoc basis and a few groups I’m a part of. I think the quote about being a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women is spot on.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
I think we have to write it into laws, into guidelines, into objectives and KPIs at companies. If targets are missed, someone needs to be held accountable. That’s the only way this will change.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
If you don’t understand something, it’s usually the fault of the person explaining. Never be afraid to ask a question.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
C-19 has been a challenge in itself! Next it’s about bedding in our new team member and growing at a sustainable pace.
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