This isn’t the end. In many of our lifetimes, we’ve experienced worse situations and survived. This will be yet another instance.
Don’t underestimate yourself. We constantly prove we are a resilient bunch of animals. We’re always resourceful, coping with whatever is thrown at us. That is how we are a supreme species.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Caroline Macdonald, founder and CEO of guerrilla marketing agency, OggaDoon. After turning around a loss making business to profit within a year at the age of 24, working as the National Marketing Communications Manager for a multinational business, and being a partner in an environmental comms business, Caroline founded OggaDoon as a way to deliver impactful marketing… differently. Caroline specialises in unexpected creativity, strategic marcoms, spotting opportunities beyond the brief, engaging content.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I decided to create OggaDoon as it enabled me to tie in my PR passion with a positive social impact; whether that’s creating a better society, environment or world.
The brands we work with solve common obstacles when trying to “go greener”. We use creative and pervasive communications to increase their reach and visibility through quality content in a unique way.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
I can’t necessarily pick just one story. It’s more than just that. It’s who I get to meet and work with and what I end up doing.
During my time navigating the OggaDoon ship, I’ve gone behind the scenes at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, Grand Designs Live and Ashton Gate to name just a few. A particular highlight included attending an exclusive evening with Clive Woodward (Chatham House rules) and meeting a multitude of people with great ideas.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We’ve recently onboarded a new client that looks to change mindsets towards more sustainable travel as lockdown eases. A healthier lifestyle can not only prevent the spread of the virus, but it can help relieve mental health and stress.
We’re proud to work on such an important campaign and the team can’t wait to bring their creativity to the forefront.
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?
This may seem hard to believe, but I’ve honestly done most of this on my own.
The driver behind my success with OggaDoon was becoming a mother and striving to be the best that I can be for my children. Ultimately, being a parent can change your perspective and this has been the case for me.
It’s also about not taking life too seriously. You’ve got to be able to laugh through the good times and the bad.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?
The challenges of running a business whilst also being a full-time mum can’t be underestimated!
Making lunch and checking in to see if they’re focusing on their studies can be difficult. I sometimes get pretty anxious about the amount of computer gaming and YouTube/ TikTok watching that gets consumed in the Macdonald household.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
As I’m sure many parents can vouch, it’s about being proactive and working with your family to make sure it all gets done.
The kids have drawn up a ‘contract’ to make sure the wifi works for each person. It’s pretty much like work, there were business meetings, negotiations and even a settled agreement at the end.
There’s a seven-day meal rota so everyone gets the chance to cook and decide what we’re eating. This has taken my cooking down to one day a week, so I would recommend it!
Can you share the biggest work related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?
One of the biggest work challenges I face as a woman in business is people disputing the worth of contracts or invoices.
With remote working, you no longer have that gap for commuting to clear your head from both your work and your family’s needs. It can be hard.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
With regards to contracts, it’s easier to come up with an agreement by email than meeting in person.
I’ve recently switched to a four-day working week which provides room for blue sky thinking.
It gives me extra space and time to think about the long-term goals and to look after the wellbeing of my family.
This move also makes the business more resilient, allowing other members of the team to step up and take on the responsibility.
Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?
Be clear on when you are at work. When you are not at work, don’t tempt yourself to do something. You need to have defined time to do your own thing.
Stick to your guns about your allotted working hours and the time you spend with family. Give yourself some regular time to do what you want. Time invested in yourself and your loved ones is time well spent.
Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?
Like many people, my survival tips include plenty of hours of Netflix. Don’t underestimate headphones; they allow you to stay on task but also relax with meditative music during quieter periods.
Make sure you spend time with your family. Banter, games, whatever your family habits are, be strict and meticulous that it happens every week. They’ll appreciate the time you spend with them.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
Don’t always consume the news. If the pandemic has proven one thing, it’s that we don’t know how truthful it is at any given moment. Put your phone down and I can guarantee you’ll feel better if you spend that time with loved ones instead.
My tips for the “Light at the End of the Tunnel” are:
- This isn’t the end. In many of our lifetimes, we’ve experienced worse situations and survived. This will be yet another instance.
- Don’t underestimate yourself. We constantly prove we are a resilient bunch of animals. We’re always resourceful, coping with whatever is thrown at us. That is how we are a supreme species.
- It’s a global thing, not just you and me. Whether we’re clapping on our front porch for the NHS or catching up with our friends and colleagues over Zoom, there’s never been more of a community spirit. Just remember; we are all in this together.
- Even in the darkest hours, there are green shoots and opportunities in the face of emergencies or disasters. What do you see that could benefit us all?
- It’s time to go green! Carbon emissions markedly dropped and nature rejoiced, as did most of us. Don’t go back to old habits and ways before Covid. This is your chance to make a change.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Communication is key. If you notice someone needs a helping hand, do what you can to help. Be empathetic and talk about how you feel as that’s how you can rationalize your thoughts.
Take time to do activities together, whether that’s cooking, eating, playing a game. Remember, this can be a difficult time for everyone, including your family, so don’t let them feel lonely.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I live my life by the saying, ‘It’s not a dress rehearsal’. You can only live each day once, so make sure you get the most from it and enjoy every moment. And, that’s never been more important than the second.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can follow the latest from the OggaDoon team via our social media accounts. If you would like any help with your PR and digital presence, we would love to hear from you.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!