Caroline Kinsey is the Chairman of Cirkle PR, which she set up 16 years ago after starting out in a career in Marketing. I spoke to her about her journey in PR so far, how she went from a degree in French to the Chairman of a top PR company and just how far a PR degree can go…
How did you first decide to get involved in PR?
“I first started a career in PR about 20 years ago, before which I worked in Marketing where PR was only a small part. I studied French at Exeter University and always had a personal love of language and communications, so it was quite a natural transition from Marketing in to PR. I fell in love with PR straight away; I knew it was the career for me!”
What hurdles and challenges have you had to face throughout your career?
“We have to help clients understand what PR means and how it can add to their brand, so the education process has been a challenge, especially at a time where social media, the media, media engagement and brand transparency is rapidly changing. However, out of these challenges, we have become more strategic and tactical; PR was put into a box, but now people have more of an understanding of communications.”
Why did you decide to set up Cirkle PR?
“I set up Cirkle 16 years ago because I wanted to start and build my own business; I wanted to be a decision maker and an entrepreneur. I come from a background of corporate infrastructure but I wanted to unleash my creativity. I was 34 when I set up Cirkle and I didn’t want to stay at a corporate company anymore. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity – I didn’t want to just be a small part in a big wheel! Cirkle recently won a SABRE Award for Employment Engagement, showing a strong motivated team will get results.”
Is there such thing as a typical week at Cirkle PR?
“No! There is no typical day or hour! If you’re the kind of person who needs a mapped out day, PR is not for you. To work in PR you need to be fast paced, have initiative and high energy. Every day at Cirkle we have to come up with great ideas and get under the skin of a brand. We also have to be business minded, not just creative so that we can work in partnership with our clients. A typical day is coming up with new ways of thinking, new ideas for our clients, working with the media and stakeholders. It is our job to spread positive influence and think about who our brand is trying to influence. No two days are the same!”
Do you think a degree in PR is necessary in order to find a job?
“No! I have a lovely story about an apprentice, Jessica Kirby, who started 18 months ago and won the UK Apprentice of the Year Award! She was working as a waitress but she showed her initiative and came up with great ideas. (Find more about Jessica’s apprenticeship here!) A degree opens a door but doesn’t actually get you a job – you still need to show qualities of agility and drive and you don’t need a degree to be passionate about PR! A degree gets you ahead but it’s not a ticket to security! You have to find ways to set you apart from people with a degree; show initiative and drive!”
I am ever so grateful to Caroline for freeing up some time to talk to me, she is a very busy lady!
To sum up the interview, Caroline shared a great quote with me which I think really sums up a PR career.
“It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours.”
Watch out for my next PR Interview post! 🙂