Tell us about your journey?
I've always loved connecting with people and being creative. So I guess it's natural. I fell into a career centred around building relationships with people and finding innovative ways to communicate a brand.
From the age of seven, I have been involved in elements of Marketing through my Grandad's Musical (Steel Pan) business. From creating posters, participating in magazine and radio interviews to managing social media, this ignited a passion for PR and storytelling, leading me to study it further at University.
PR Internships gave me a healthy head start. I was incredibly driven, so while studying, I juggled two, at a bridal dressmaker and a PR Agency. This enabled me to land further placements after graduating with Jimmy Choo and Matchesfashion.com and inspired my decision to shape my career within the luxury market.
After graduating with first-class honours in Advertising PR and Media, I wanted to try out Advertising, so I worked as an Account executive across luxury homes titles for just over a year. I then realized the print industry was not moving forward, and I missed PR, so I left to join a small PR Agency. I found the culture there toxic, so I went with nothing lined up, which was one of the scariest but best decisions I've made. As I closed one door, another prosperous one opened up at KGA where I joined as Digital and PR Coordinator working across their prestige portfolio of fragrances including Cartier, Elie Saab, Alaïa, Issey Miyake and Etro to name a few.
I enjoyed the challenge of being in traditional environments and shaking things up in terms of introducing a digital way which involved incorporating Influencers and social media. This led me to Liberty London, where I managed their Influencer Engagement Department in a brand new role. It was great to work for a heritage luxury brand with a fantastic story and bring a fresh breath of air to their traditional communications.
Working in communications and most specifically the world of luxury, I've always found myself as the only ethnic person in a room, (or one of two max!). Initially, I saw this as an exciting opportunity to stand out and proudly represent. However, as this became a common theme, it became disheartening and wasn't without typical microaggressions and challenges. Social Disruption was born out of a lot of frustration, I sought more purpose through my profession other than being a cog in a corporate machine. I wanted to support positive changes in an industry that's often cited as contributing to and reflecting societal and mental health issues. Therefore, I carved out a niche to support brands to push their boundaries and develop campaigns that consider people and purpose first, has culturally rich narratives and drives positive societal impact.
What services do you offer?
The consultancy provides expertise in integrated Digital PR strategies. This encompasses brand community building, Influencer Engagement and partnerships, Digital Press outreach, campaign management and content marketing. In addition, Social Disruption aims to add value to in-house communication departments often lacking in diversity, to offer a fresh perspective and support on inclusive campaigns and messages.
How do we stay motivated and productive while working from home?
Create a routine, work hard, but play harder. I think we forget the reason why we are forced to work from home. It's not normal circumstances, so taking care of yourself and allowing time for "play" is essential. This will only fuel productivity too, as your mind is allowed time to reset and switch off from work. The structure is necessary, so I'd advise blocking out time for action to ensure you limit distractions and apply the same rule for leisure time too.
How do we create rich content?
There are three fundamental principles I believe that work actively together to produce rich content. These are as follows:
It's essential to listen to what people actually want and what they respond to. A starting point could be looking into what conversations are happening around your specific topic and are of interest to your audience too. Use these insights to create content that will resonate better with your target audience.
- Begin with the end in mind
Before I start anything, I set out what I want to accomplish.
This can be applied to content creation by establishing the purpose and impact you want to achieve, who you want to reach and what message you want to convey etc. Having a clear idea will help shape content that is impactful.
- Add value
The most engaging types of content add value to those viewing. Especially in these times, people want a distraction, so most rich content has a purpose: be it to inspire, entertain, educate, inform, be sharable etc.
What should change about content?
I'd love to see content be more purposeful, beyond just trying to sell people products or a lifestyle which an abundance of evidence has shown is harmful to mental health. I think we are seeing this unfold due to the current climate, as people are engaging most with realistic, relatable and unfiltered content. Tik Tok adopters have led this charge as the content on there celebrates individuality, creativity and serves to entertain.
How do we adapt?
With every challenge, there is an opportunity. We can be more intentional about the content we are putting out and think more about its purpose. We should shift focus to a "people first" perspective, thus keeping the audience, and our community in front of mind as this will enable more robust resonating content and ensure you are sensitive too.
Tell me more about that?
This is a great time to build more reliable connections with your community, add value to them, support them, relate to them and help them through this time.
It's also an excellent opportunity to reinvent and pivot by trying something new such as shaking up your content formats, organizing virtual community spaces and partnering up with a new brand or creative.
How do we nail our niche?
What I've come to understand and embrace is that being different is a strength. It's great to have a niche and use the uniqueness of what sets you apart to stand out.
To nail our niche, I'd say it's essential to:
- Remember your "why": Use this to fuel your passion for your niche and stay true to who you are
- Community and collaboration: Celebrate your niche with others and collaborate with individuals to create a more significant impact
- Stay ahead of the curve and abreast of developments in your niche area.
- USP: Define what makes you stand out and leverage this in your niche area.
What is the future of female leadership?
What first comes to mind, is more diversity, inclusivity and collaboration.
Women are realizing the power of reaching down and bringing others up, instead of competing and dragging each other. Particularly at this time, I'm seeing so many multicultural female entrepreneurs working together to leverage each other's business and create a multi-dimensional value for their customers/ audiences.
To add, gender equality is a hot topic. Therefore more businesses are being called out for homogeneous pictures of leadership, which is often white, male and middle class, so they are pressured to support the efforts to change this narrative.
Do you see this changing during this time?
I see this getting stronger. In America, I believe black women, in particular, are going into business at record speed. This is an indication that women are more confident about assuming roles such as founder and CEO as they see other women occupying these spaces.
What did you learn from being quarantined?
I like to see and strategies things before executing, so given the uncertainty of this time and how fast things have unpredictably unfolded, I've really learned to let go, have faith and trust that everything will work out. This has allowed me to slow down, reflect and enjoy moments of stillness and peace. By doing so, I've been more productive at work and have embarked on new hobbies.
What tips do you have for a female entrepreneur?
- Leap with faith: Sometimes you don't need to see the next step, just boldly take it and believe everything will work together for your good.
- Sometimes you're the only "hype man" you have. So ensure your self-thoughts are positive, encouraging and empowering.
- Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle, or your middle to someone else's end. We are all on different journeys - comparison is a thief of your time, peace and joy.
- Lift and build others, even if they don't look like you or come from where you came from!
- Feel the fear and do it anyway
- Let go of perfection.
How are you coping?
I'm coping well, and I'm thankful to be able to say that. Don't get me wrong, this time has been challenging, I've launched a business in the middle of a pandemic and have also lost a close relative during this time. However, there's a lot I'm grateful for which I've been turning my attention to and thanking God for.
What are you grateful for?
Firstly, I'm alive, healthy and sane. That's a blessing in itself at a time when thousands are paying for breathing assistance to stay alive.
I'm grateful for my family and friends, a day doesn't pass that I'm not being entertained, laughing, working out with or face-timing someone. Coming together is really important at this time, so I'm grateful for the opportunity for that in these isolating situations.
What is the lesson you learned from your grandmother?
My Dad's mum really instilled in me the importance of gratitude. I don't think I have ever heard her complain. She's always citing the story that she came to this country with one suitcase, and now she has 20+ grandchildren, which makes her richly fulfilled in a way material richness could never achieve.
My mother's mum was the backbone of our family. Strong, giving, no-nonsense, but she had a witty sense of humour too. No matter where you came from, you were always welcomed at my Grans house and often left with your belly full (usually with her famous Roti). A giving nature, love for my culture and respect for others is something essential learned from her generosity. This is mostly why it's always been foreign for me to be in environments which don't show respect and understanding to people who are different to them.
What message do you want to send the universe?
I'm too blessed to be stressed..no matter the circumstances.
I'm all about good vibes and giving out positive energy. There's a lot wrong with the world, so instead of focusing on this, I make a conscious effort to add value to the people around me through positivity and hope this same energy comes back to me.
At this time, I'm sending out thoughts of peace, health, prosperity, abundance and hope.
Thank you for joining us and let's keep the posted vibes coming. Love Charlotte