Simon Corbett (Business Studies and Marketing, 2001)
Managing Director at Jargon PR
Simon Corbett founded Jargon PR in early 2008 having been involved in the UK public relations industry for almost ten years. Since its launch, the agency has grown steadily and has a growing client list from a broad variety of sectors.
Simon has always loved the media and was fascinated by how and why stories made it into the press, as well as the variety of reporting styles - “It amazed me that the same facts could be interpreted in so many different ways”. After doing some research and hearing positive recommendations from friends, Simon decided to study the BA (Hons) Business and Marketing course at DMU.
He says: “I really enjoyed the course. It taught me a good mix of marketing, finance, strategy, HR and other disciplines. The placement year was excellent and gave me a chance to put into practice what I had learnt on the course. The Placement Office also gave great insights into what employers were looking for.”
Simon’s first role after graduation was with a PR agency called Porter Novelli, a global agency with UK offices in Oxfordshire and London. The experience gained during his one year placement with The Weber Group, an agency focussed on the technology market, allowed him to join Porter Novelli at a higher level than most graduate trainees.
“The role was exactly what I had been looking for - the chance to work in an exciting agency with some big brand clients (Ribena and HP were two of my first campaigns). I travelled between the two UK offices, working half of the week in each. I loved the agency, the clients and the team.”
After three very enjoyable years, Simon moved to another global agency, Edelman, where he was based in their busy Piccadilly Circus office.
“The agency was truly amazing and the atmosphere was electrifying, with over 200 staff in the office a single day didn’t pass without a media party, press trip or campaign launch. The team I worked in grew from 8 to 38 people during my time there. I had an international client base which involved a lot of travelling, mainly to the US as well as various European trade shows and events. The culture and style was entrepreneurial, energetic and dynamic.”
In 2008, Simon decided to leave the company and set up his own agency, Jargon PR. In less than five years, the agency has grown to employ a team of 12 consultants from offices in Hampshire and central London. The agency has an expanding client list, which includes the British Library and Top Gear, and has gone on to win many awards.
In late 2012 Jargon PR established a US office in the heart of Silicon Valley to service the agencies international technology clients. The office has seen exceptional growth and provides a base to offer a US public relations programme for clients.
“Starting a business at any point, especially in the recession, is hard. However, if you can make it through the bad times, you’ll be ok in the good times. I have worked my way up and I am pleased at the way the agency is growing. Each year fee income increases by at least 25 per cent as we are continuing to expand internationally.”
One thing that never ceases to amaze Simon is the amount of variety. Jargon PR has a broad range of consumer, technology and corporate clients, and as a result one minute Simon is talking to a national newspaper about the British Library, the next an US technology blogger about a clients data security solution and then a regional food magazine about Mortimer Hot Chocolate, one of the agencies consumer clients.
“PR is a wonderful career with lots of variety, travel and fun. However, it is hard work, especially within an agency. If you have five client campaigns to work on you effectively have five bosses. Each one must believe that they are the only one and are the most important to you at all times. Learn how to achieve this and you’ll have a glittering career.”