Kate Morgan is the Founder and Principal of the Award Winning Morgan Publicity (Teen Vogue, Women’s Health, Ask Men, plus many more top tier Industry related accolades!). Morgan Publicity has become lovingly dubbed by industry peers as the #PRFirmWithSoul and generates many top tier media wins for the brands that sit under Kate’s remit. Kate is frequently being interviewed on ‘Best PR Practices’, press highlights include profile pieces on SWAAY, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Byrdie, Beauty Independent and more. Some of Kate’s major and significant career achievements attest to her ‘new wave’ PR skills; a cognoscenti and impactful approach to media relations, which have at times garnered major shifts in how the industry itself operates. An example includes working with Members of UK Parliament to bring about a change in law regarding how Press handle airbrushing and media distortion to prevent mental health and body dysmorphia issues through a Beauty PR Campaign: ‘Be a Force of Beauty’. Morgan Publicity represent companies and experts in the beauty, health and wellness space — from start ups through to legacy brands.
Thank you for joining us Kate! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was living in London at the time, and was approached by a PR agency that were in need of an expert communicator to garner major press wins for their portfolio of industry leading beauty brands. I started my career the other side of the fence: journalism. I knew from that experience how NOT to pitch an editor, which gave me an edge compared to other PR professionals. Through seeing the inner workings of how a magazine and website operates, I knew I had a unique ability to be a leading PR Professional — and that’s how it started!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
I have never had to proactively seek out business; it comes to Morgan Publicity due to our reputation and proven ability to generate results that rank within the top echelons of the beauty/health and wellness sectors. Why is this interesting? It isn’t industry norm! Morgan do PR differently; we constantly strive to get the major press hits, to bring in industry awards — to make Morgan brands leaders in their category. This is what keeps it all interesting! The commitment to excellence.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Mistakes aren’t mistakes at all really: they’re learnings. In order to grow and develop, it is essential that we are always educating ourselves on how to do — or be, better. One major ‘learning’ when I first got going as Morgan Publicity was using my then-boyfriends’ laptop to work from. When we broke up suddenly — and your LIFE is on that computer — eek! But the ‘learning’ for those that are starting out… have your own set up from the get-go!
What are your top 10 business lessons that anyone starting out in PR should know and why? Do you have an example for each that you can share?
- NO LAZY PITCHING: ‘one and done’ doesn’t work. Craft a thoughtful pitch, and follow up thoughtfully too.
- NETWORK: you’re as good as your personable relationships, say yes to as many networking platforms as possible.
- HOW YOU PITCH: do not send an editor a ‘pitch’ through their personal social media — they hate it, and it will get you blacklisted. Send a professional email.
- HOW OFTEN YOU PITCH: if you send the same editor several different pitches in one day, say — for example, because you are working at an agency and are spread across a few different accounts. Just stop right there. Take the time to format a tailored and bespoke pitch letter: respect an editor’s inbox. They receive thousands of pitches a day; help yourself by helping your targets — keep them pitches tidy and succinct.
- ENTERTAINING AN EDITOR? KNOW THE ETIQUETTE: some of my best media hits have been achieved through entertaining an editor via fine dining moments. Ensure your guest (the editor) has the prime seat at the table, which usually is facing into the restaurant. Devil is in the details… and it is what will set you apart!
- IN IT FOR THE GLAM AND THE RED CARPET MOMENTS?: don’t get into PR. Yes — this is a major and enjoyable perk of the job, but PR is also long hours, hard graft, grit and determination.
- MEDIA NEVER SLEEPS: A breaking news story is usually (/always) not anticipated. A pro PR is the PR that gets to the media first with their clients — and their client’s expert commentary — on the topic in question. If you want to get into PR, monitor media traction constantly.
- INTERN: seek out internship programs that will educate you on the practice of PR. I offer this to interns at Morgan Publicity; which essentially, involves judging the work of others in order to better them professionally.
- SEND THANK YOU LETTERS: did an editor include your client in a feature that made your client very happy? Send a thank you letter. I tend to send flowers for really epic wins. I always send a note regardless. Manners cost nothing, and an editor will remember if you were grateful and appreciated the coverage.
- RESPECT YOUR CLIENTS: You are their mouth piece to the media, and that is a tremendous responsibility. Make sure you know their brand/messaging and key selling points inside out; you need to behave like an extension to their in-house team
Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in PR?
It is a very competitive industry. Get as much work experience as possible. INTERN!
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
Follow up! Did you enjoy meeting someone? Exchange details, and arrange to meet again for a tea or lunch — get another meeting on the books, and massage the relationship. Businesses are people, and people defer to their inner circle before branching out. Get in the inner circle!
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
I loved Dr. Erin Haskell’s ‘Awakening’ — the chapters are exercises that help to better you on an overarching level. If you’re a happy and content person, that energy will transcend to your professional career too. Speaking of being happy: Rob Mack’s ‘Happiness from the Inside Out’ is a terrific read, and he is a terrific human to boot. My sister’s book ‘Anxiety for Beginners’ by Eleanor Morgan sits on the Top 10 Best Selling Lists often, because who isn’t anxious at one point or another? This is a great book to reference whenever you feel a little nervous/anxious. In short: developing yourself on a personal level will always benefit your career goals.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I launched Peace Out Skincare into major beauty retailer Sephora, and every single new launch product has sold out within a few short weeks; this has been documented by the media via pitching them! The brand are currently the Number 1 selling Dark Spot treatment at Sephora, and are Number 2 overall in the skincare category. For a brand that is new to market, this is a major achievement! I get excited every day as a PR; knowing that my work makes a major impact on a brand’s industry ranking — it is very rewarding!
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
As a seasoned PR Pro, it is important to pass the baton and help those that are just getting started. I want to inspire other PR professionals to do the same. As Michelle Obama states beautifully: “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed”. I have interns that shadow my work, and I educate on the PR Process, ensuring they are equipped for job interview experiences, and have the tools to flourish in the PR industry.
This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.