Movers and Shakers: Claudine Moore
Describe your business in one paragraph
C. Moore Media (CMM) is a boutique international communications agency specializing in international corporate communications, media relations, strategy and branding in the general and multicultural US & UK market as well as the emerging markets with a focus on Africa. The company is headquartered in New York and was founded by international award-winning communications expert Claudine Moore.
Number of employees: 5-10
Company location: Headquarted in NYC
When was your company founded?
Originally CMM was founded in 2003 but the company officially re-launched in 2009
Why did you decide to start your company?
I moved to the US from the UK and saw so many people around me pursuing their own business ventures. I have always had that entrepreneurial spirit myself and felt ready for the challenge. I also saw a new gap in the market place…the need for brands and companies to work with senior level global agency talent but due to the economic climate, many could not afford global agency fees. I wanted to create a small agency that had this talent.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
I was the Regional US Director for one of the world’s largest PR firms so in terms of quality of company there was really no where else to go. In terms of position, I guess a global roles servicing clients on a global level…basically what I am doing now through my own organization.
Did you always know that you would become an entrepreneur?
No not at all…I have wanted to be a variety of things in my life ranging from a historian to pathologist. Right before I started my career in PR I undertook a masters in Psychotherapy as I wanted to be a Psychotherapist!!! I think I will still go back to that in the winter of my life when the fast paced and hectic life of international PR becomes too much for me!
Precious: Tell us about the business planning stage (for example: did you write a business plan? did you contact any business support agencies?)
I guess I should say yes that I did some serious due diligence but I didn’t. I immediately started my business with an international client base spanning US, China and the W.I.
I will say that as the business grows we have found the need for business strategy and have a brilliant Ivy League educated strategist consultant on our team as a senior counsellor. He advises us on business development internationally and especially as we expand in Africa.
In addition, I am always on the quest for knowledge. so will shortly be undertaking some business strategy courses to help us expand more efficiently and effectively.
What are you working on at the moment and can you describe your typical working day?
We are working on several initiatives including some really exciting work with other agencies in the US. Emerging markets is an exciting area for us and we have already won some key accounts in Nigeria including Arik Air which is the major airline servicing West Africa.
My days starts at 7:30 and ends whenever( lol). There really is no typical day…it could be non-stop meetings or a whole day in the buried in the office.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
Winning international awards for the work I do with my own company. That has been a major accomplishment. I was placed on the 2010 UK Powerlist:Britain’s Top 100 Most Influential Black Britains and The Network Journals ‘Forty under 40′ US Black Achievers in 2011.
There are so many people and companies that do PR; the industry is very cluttered with people and companies making all sorts of claims regarding their credentials. To know that others consider the company that I am building and the work that we do, to be worthy of endorsing us with international business awards is amazing. Makes the hard work all worthwhile.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Having to wear so many hats…it is exhausting to be the lawyer, HR, client services, business development and in some instances administrative all at the same time. It is exhausting and very draining at times.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
I am a born again Christian so my inspiration ultimately comes from Jesus. After that I draw inspiration from my family and phenomenal figures like Michelle and Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Nelson Mandela. I also draw inspiration from people I meet on my travels in developing countries who often have so little but share so much with me…a complete stranger. It is humbling, heart warming and inspiring…I have learnt that all of us have everything we need inside of us.
How do you work on making your business grow?
We watch and analyse business trends, remain on top of current affairs and popular culture, we listen to our clients and we stay relevant by constant education and upgrading our expertise. Oh and we also are avid net-workers.
Precious: What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learnt as an entrepreneur?
1) Follow your instincts 2) Have faith 3) Maintain your sense of humour.
What other passions do you have away from your business?
All a bit cliché but I love traveling, working out, reading, spending time with my family, friends and significant other. I also am passionate about being a Christian and therefore my spiritual development is important to me. It is my lifeline really.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start their own business?
Develop a thick skin, surround yourself with positive people, be resilient and focused on your dreams. Believe in yourself because we can all do it. Also make sure that you are not the smartest person among your group of friends or business associates. You need to learn from others.