Claudine Moore, Social Sciences graduate
When Claudine Moore moved to New York in 1999, she had just $800 in her pocket and a suitcase full of shoes
Now, she heads her own successful PR company and is fast gaining a reputation as one of today's most influential black entrepreneurs.
Starting at the bottom
When Christine arrived in Manhattan, she admits she didn't even know what PR was. However she instantly fell in love with the strong social component of PR in her first temporary job with Visit Britain. "Suddenly I was on the phone all day, meeting people, going to events. I realised that was the kind of fast-paced, sociable working life I wanted."
Claudine set out to further develop her PR skills, working for a series of big-name global agencies including iCrossing, Grey (G2) and McCann Erickson (MRM). Eventually she became US Regional Director of Marketing, Media Relations and Business Development at Hill & Knowlton – the first person of African descent to reach regional director level.
Reaching the top
She set up her own business in 2003, but that was shortly put on hold as she realised there was still plenty for her to learn. It was in 2009 that she decided the time was right to relaunch C Moore Media, her PR, branding and communications agency. "It was the height of the recession, but I figured there are always opportunities in tough times. Because of my experience, I can offer global talent without the global fees. And, because we're small and flexible, we offer a really personalised service."
The day starts early – Claudine is usually in her office by 7.30am. "When you work for yourself, you don't stop. The line between work and play gets blurred. Claudine is a regular at high-profile social functions, usually attending two or three events a week. "Americans are really big on networking. It's a great opportunity to meet people, exchange information and build up a network of contacts. It's so important to be well-connected in a city like New York. There are so many opportunities here. If you're smart and you're motivated, they'll be willing to give you a chance."
Today, C Moore Media is thriving, with a client roster that includes luxury health club chain Equinox and award-winning creative design agency YARD, through which Claudine works on marketing initiatives for Laura Mercier, Treasury Wine Estates and designer John Varvatos.
Claudine's rapid rise to the top has not gone un-noticed. In 2010 she was included in the annual PowerList of the most influential black Britons, and is also one of The Network Journal's 40 Under Forty US Black Achievers for 2011. Claudine was thrilled with the recognition, and admits she took the opportunity to pass on her business card to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a reception held in honour of the PowerList nominees. "I don't think the others could believe what they were seeing! But why not try? You've got to aim high."
Currently, Claudine is aiming both high and wide, with a new office scheduled to open in London. Future plans include offices in the Caribbean and Africa. She's also working on ways of snagging her dream client – Barack Obama. "They're doing a really great job with Brand Obama, but you can always do better."