THE FEMALE FOCUS SERIES: JESS MACINTYRE, CO-FOUNDER, MAC&MOORE

If you follow CLO PR at all you'll know that we're fierce cheerleaders of marketing consultancy, Mac&Moore. We have a tight partnership based on a shared vision, attitude and we also share some stonking client work too! We caught up with one half of Mac&Moore, Jess MacIntyre, to delve into why she aims to promote equality with attitude and her perspective on creating positive impact for clients, people and the world.

I don’t want to just talk about the unfairness of equality. I want to do something about it.
 Jess's love of sassy female musicians played out in her teenage years

Jess's love of sassy female musicians played out in her teenage years

Did you have a female role model or someone you admired as a kid?

I was completely obsessed with music when I was a kid and instead of going stir-crazy over boybands I was more interested in singing an angst ridden female anthem a la Alanis Morrisette and Gwen Stefani. In real world terms I was lucky enough to have some kick-ass BFF’s who served as my everyday role models by bucking the status quo with a general “I’ll do whatever I damn please” sassy attitude. This definitely taught me the importance of being a part of the sisterhood and how we’re stronger together.

What led you to start Mac&Moore?

I’d been thinking of going solo for a few years before Mac&Moore was dreamt up as quite frankly I had a perpetual headache from being pressed up against the glass ceiling.

Aside from that, in my 20s I’d always felt like something was missing doing the 9-5 grind and working for somebody else. It became especially difficult when some of the interactions I had in business showed how little integrity and empathy was present. I just wanted to work hard and be nice to people! As soon as I set-up on my own I knew I’d found my calling.

How do you think your early years have influenced what you're doing today?

As a child I really didn’t understand some of the injustices of being a girl. I was often scolded for being “difficult”, “bossy” and “opinionated” whilst noticing that when boys (or adults) acted the same they were treated differently. It genuinely perplexed me as to why this was the case. I was a really curious child and being silenced when I spoke out had a huge effect on my self-esteem. So I’ve always wanted to prove people wrong and that anger about being silenced initially fueled me to do things differently, take risks and build a huge amount of resilience which is needed in today’s business world. That anger has dissipated now but I’m grateful for where it got me.

How do you keep learning more whilst building a business?

I’ve always been obsessed with reading. However especially in the digital age coupled with my severe lack of patience I struggle to make it through a full book or dedicate daily reading time. So to counteract this I consume blogs/podcasts and Ted Talks which cover a wide range of subjects from philosophy, women’s rights to science. I’m currently obsessed with Farnam Street a blog dedicated to “mastering the best of what other people have already figured out.”

I also love meeting new people especially if they come from a different world than I inhabit. You can learn a lot by asking the right questions and taking the time to listen to others. I try and meet one new person a week – it’s a hard task but I’m all the better for it.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I love the “underdog” so whenever I see somebody who has overcome an incredibly difficult situation/life experience I always feel hugely inspired. I’m currently in awe of Hannah Gadsby and her Netflix comedy special Nanette. Her intelligence, self-awareness and passion to speak out about her story using the vehicle of comedy absolutely floored me.

 Jess with her BFF, Jade

Jess with her BFF, Jade

Why do you promote equality with attitude? 

I’m a strong believer in “action speaks louder than words”. I don’t want to just talk about the unfairness of equality. I want to do something about it. I’ve been subjected personally to sexual harassment in the work place and been undermined repeatedly because I’m a woman. Enough. I want my business to be platform for women and men who want to push for a fairer workplace and world. Working as a mentor for the incredible charity YouMakeIt is another small way I can use my privilege as a platform and create positive change.

What do you think is missing from businesses in building true diversity?

The total female population worldwide is roughly 49.6% (3.52 billion) and yet most businesses have way less than 50% of women in their workforce – how is this reflective of today’s world? Whilst businesses are becoming more diverse I still believe there’s a long way to go in order to create more equality and diversity at management/board level where most critical business decisions are made.

 Jess, during Mac&Moore's sojourn in Amsterdam

Jess, during Mac&Moore's sojourn in Amsterdam

What are marketing agencies doing right / wrong in 2018?

Being short sighted by thinking more about revenue than about what’s right for their customers, employees and culture. The very best agencies are just being themselves and constantly challenging the status quo. Creative work should be brave and you shouldn’t be afraid to challenge the client.

Also the best agencies nurture talent. Giving autonomy and confidence to young people is crucial if you want to get the best out of them.

What advice can you give to businesses that want to make a mark through their marketing?

I love this quote from Dave Trott: “People buy a product for what it DOES. But they buy a brand for what it SAYS about them.” Think about what your business and customers stand for. Then communicate these values effectively and consistently via all of your chosen marketing channels. I’ve recently purchased a Chilly bottle as I’m super aware of how much plastic I’m using day-to-day and wanted to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles I buy on the move. Reusable water bottles are a bit of a “statement” piece of kit so I chose Chilly as I loved the brands style, ethics and product benefits.

Name a brand you admire and why?

Here’s a few:

Aesop: Beautiful design paired with ethical quality ingredients.

Vice: They saw a gap in the market and gave the next generation a platform and voice. It’s incredible to see how much they’ve achieved in such a short space of time and truly are the voice of a generation.

Bodyform: Two GREAT ads the first a hilarious tactical campaign in response to a Facebook post – check it out here. The second is their latest Blood Normal campaign. We loved the second ad so much Nat wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about it!

What have been the essential factors that have enabled you to be an entrepreneur that you'd think you'd struggle without?

I’ve always hugely relied on external validation and I’m working hard to change this as I’m aware this isn’t a healthy habit. So practicing self-care and setting up new daily habits/routines such as exercise, good eating, new ways of learning and avoiding toxic people have made me better as a person and at what I do. Also my amazing boyfriend, friends and family who give me that boost of support when I need it the most.

What's your biggest learning so far since starting Mac&Moore?

  1. Stop listening to what other people think. Have the self-confidence to listen to yourself. You’re better than you think you are.

  2. Lots of men will mansplain to you.

Who's a woman you watch or someone you admire in 2018?

I tend to look in the real world first than to someone well known. We’ve recently made pals with loads of incredible females in the creative entrepreneur/advertising world so I can give a few shout outs here! Cookie and Alexa from Mellor&Smith, Jana who runs The Completist, Jess Sims, Natalie Cutler, Sophie Livingston and of course our favourite Claudia from Clo PR!

 Friends Anneli, Jade and Jess

Friends Anneli, Jade and Jess

Name the quote you live by.

“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Stop saying yes to shit you hate.” Unknown legend.