Inspirational Woman: Jody Hall | PR Partner, 23red

Jody HallJody Hall joined 23red in January to head up Fame23, our PR offer. Since joining she has led the award-nominated Petfished campaign for Defra and campaigns for the Environment Agency and Department for Transport.

She also leads the influencer work for UK Transition and COVID-19 for the Cabinet Office.  Prior to joining, Jody spent 15 years at freuds leading all workstreams for Public Health England including launching Change4Life, Stoptober and Dementia Friends.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I am PR partner at 23red, a purpose driven creative agency that specialises in behaviour change. I joined just over two years ago to set up Fame23, our PR offer, as I firmly believe communications can be an important force for good.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I fell into PR by lucky coincidence.  A friend of my parents offered me a day’s work experience and stayed for seven years.  I now recognise just how difficult it is to break into the industry and how un-inclusive that entry point can be.  At 23red, we are tearing up the rulebook to see if we can change this, and that makes me proud.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I was made redundant fairly early on in my career as part of a major re-structure, I didn’t see it coming and it had the potential to derail my confidence. Fortunately, my previous boss offered me freelance work as soon as she heard the news and that helped me keep up my self belief. With hindsight I think it was the spur I needed to take more risks with my career and push for opportunities rather than waiting for them to find me.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I joined 23red two months before we went into the first lockdown so growing our PR offer to be worth 20% of the revenue in such challenging circumstances is definitely my biggest achievement. I think I can honestly say I have never worked as hard in my life but it’s been rewarding and I’ve had great support from the agency and from my team along the way.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

I’ve managed to keep my integrity and that helps me sleep at night. I’ve never been one for office politics.  I stay honest and respectful.  I prefer to let the team take the credit for a job well done.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I have been extremely fortunate to be mentored by some of the industry’s greats and they’ve been there with words of encouragement or a stern talking to when I most needed it.  Right now I have a close circle of other strong females in PR that have grown through the ranks alongside me and we encourage each other when the going gets hard, whether through laughter or tears! 

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

I’ve been lucky, the PR industry is full of strong female leaders and I’ve never felt held back but I worry about the future.  I recently worked on a menopause campaign and was shocked to learn just how many people fall out of work as a result of not being able to cope with the change. I mean, how can it be that we don’t have the support networks in place when it’s going to happen to half the UK’s population, that makes me sad.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

So many cliches spring to mind. I think I would say ‘find your people and support each other through thick and thin’. I’ve never had a job I didn’t love and I think it’s because I have always found kindred spirits to have a laugh with and keep my work-life balance in perspective.

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