Share the wins and the failures. Be actively involved with your team to celebrate the wins, and to jump into the trenches with them for the failures. I am completely invested in my team and our clients, and I think it makes for a better leader in the long run.
As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lynn Mooney. Lynn is the CEO and Founder of the PR and Marketing business The Launch. Over the years, Lynn has worked with hundreds of brands around the world helping them achieve their publicity goals. Her clients have been featured in major media outlets like Forbes, Vogue, The Daily Mail, USA Today, and Fox News. She has also worked on multiple crisis campaigns and provided strategic guidance in events such as natural disasters, political crisis, bad press, negative social media chatter and employee deaths. Lynn holds an MBA, Diplomas in Marketing and Business and lives in Los Angeles with her family.
Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Igrew up in Ireland, in a creative and entrepreneurial environment and was encouraged by my family to work hard and dream big. Growing up I was pretty good at communication and sales — so was naturally drawn to marketing and studied it in my college years.
I moved from Ireland to Australia in my early twenties and seriously focused on building a solid career for myself. In 2017, I relocated to the US which, in my opinion, is THE place to be when working in this industry! I then started my own business The Launch to help brands of all sizes achieve their PR and Marketing goals.
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?
For me, and for many women, a common (and comical) mistake is to continually delay launching your company, waiting for ‘the perfect timing.’
I delayed launching mine until things finally felt perfect: my business plan/branding/personal life/finances etc. And within two months of launching I found out I was pregnant — so trust me when I say THE PERFECT TIME DOES NOT EXIST!
I’m now a firm believer that perfection is the enemy of progress. Avoid missing out on opportunities and momentum and just take the leap!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Over the years working in PR and Marketing, I met some incredible entrepreneurs who had a great product or story to share. Unfortunately, as most were just starting out, they didn’t have large agency budgets to invest so quite often we weren’t able to work together.
The purpose of The Launch is to be able to work with clients of all sizes — regardless of limitations like budgets, resources or location. We offer affordable DIY packages for those type of clients, and as they grow, the hope is that we will grow alongside them as their agency.
A big part of our business is working with large, global brands but now we have a solution for the SME’s too. There’s not a huge offering out there for startups and smaller budgets, so I think this makes us stand out.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are currently working on a PR membership program, for brands just starting out on their PR journey. The purpose of this program is to give people the tools, training, and support needed to make their own media connections and secure results themselves.
We aim to create a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who can bounce ideas off each other and share their wins/tips. I hope that this program can teach people how to do it themselves and get results in their early days.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
I honestly think that the very best leaders treat their staff as upcoming leaders too. I believe in empowering your team to work autonomously, while always having an open-door policy for any support they need along the way.
A loyal staff member is a result of your displayed loyalty. So, offering perks like flexible hours, remote working arrangements and career progression shows that you value, and trust, your team and your business will reap the rewards as a result.
I also live by this quote from Richard Branson “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Some of my team are located in various cities around the US, and the reason we can keep things running effectively is by staying connected. I ensure that we have a weekly all-in catch up with the team, so we’re on the same page for the week ahead, and are regularly reviewing our upcoming client goals. We have some awesome systems in place to facilitate open communication like Trello, Hangouts, and Slack.
The ultimate bit of advice I would give is to delegate to your team. If you’re the type of leader who likes to micro-manage tasks or do it yourself, you are creating a bottle-neck in your business and will never scale if you can’t let some things go.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work under some incredible leaders throughout my career. My first boss in Australia Andrew, who I worked with on and off for several years, was an example of a true leader. He was fair, positive and calm in his judgment and always encouraged his team to figure out the solution, rather than simply handing them the answers. I learned a lot from him both personally and professionally.
Another major influence was the CEO I worked with before launching my own business, Fleur. Fleur believed in me from the moment we first met, and enabled me to grow and thrive within her business — initially as the Agency Manager and finally as the Managing Director. She mentored me directly and also allowed me to introduce my own leadership principals into the company. She is fearless in her pursuit of success, unapologetically ambitious and working together we achieved some incredible things!
In addition to that, my husband Dave and my family have always supported my ambitions and encouraged me to chase my dreams. I am forever grateful to have such a strong support system.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Each year, I work on a pro-bono campaign which is something that I will always proudly adopt in my business. I’ve worked with many charities, public sectors and non-profits to help them spread their message and achieve their goals.
Recently, I worked with a human rights organization called Women’s Legal Service to raise awareness around domestic violence, and the support that exists for those affected. Our campaign won an industry award for the best pro-bono campaign of the year and, even better, it managed to reach millions of people and raise significant funding for their helpline — allowing them to increase their support services by 700%.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why?
1. Don’t underestimate the power of positive leadership
I read a saying before that ‘positivity in a negative situation is not weakness — it’s leadership’ and this is such a strong belief of mine. This isn’t to say you can’t have the tough conversations when needed, but more about how to present yourself as a leader within your business. In my experience, it results in a more loyal team and clientele.
2. Hire for personality first, skills second
Over the years, I have hired hundreds of employees, and my main takeaway will always be to hire for personality first. Clients don’t buy into products; they buy into people. Obviously, you’ll need to ensure that they have some expertise in the area your recruiting for, but ultimately skills can be taught — personality cannot.
3. Communicate (and listen)
Always keep the communication channels open with your staff. Be clear and direct in your messaging/expectations and don’t leave anything up to assumption.
Also, allow regular time to catch up with your team. These conversations are essential for identifying any potential issues and mitigating risk.
4. Trust your gut
This one took me a little while to develop but always trust your gut! If it comes to making difficult decisions around staffing, opportunities or clients — don’t ignore your inner advisor. It’s usually right!
5. Share the wins AND the failures
Be actively involved with your team to celebrate the wins, and to jump into the trenches with them for the failures. I am completely invested in my team and our clients, and I think it makes for a better leader in the long run.
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. 🙂
I would love to see more’ collaboration over competition’ happening within the industry (and in business in general). I think the days of women competing with each other is fading and hope that with the likes of incredible organizations like The Wing, Create and Cultivate or Girlboss — we’ll have a new wave of leadership.
I work with many other leaders within the industry; we collaborate with each other on campaigns and refer business when possible. At the end of the day, there is room enough for everyone — and I hope we all succeed together.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This is a such hard one, as I have gathered so many inspirational quotes over the years — my Pinterest board is literally overflowing!
However, one of my favorites and one that I always come back to is from Steve Jobs.
“We’re here to put a dent on the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?”.
This quote has guided me to make certain decisions throughout my career and has always inspired me to push myself to take things to the next level.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Another really tough one to choose! But if I was to pick one person, it would have to be the phenomenal Michelle Obama. She literally embodies everything I’d like to achieve as a woman! An extraordinary mother, wife and leader with endless class, style, and a powerful voice to create change.
If Michelle ever does read this — please know that I am eternally available and will treat you to lunch any time, any place. Oh, and the husbands can tag along too along too if you fancy it 😊
Thank you for all of these great insights!