Many years ago, while working at the government’s Central Office of Information (COI), Patricia Macauley spotted a significant gap. Despite being a melting pot of cultures, religions and ethnicities, the UK’s government campaigns often failed to embrace this diversity – missing an opportunity to fully engage with the country’s multicultural communities.
To address this, Patricia set up a Cultural Diversity division within the COI, the first of its kind, where she made it her mission to ensure campaigns were tailored to ethnic minorities, who she felt were too often excluded from mainstream government campaigns. From health and housing to education and careers, Patricia spent the next 12 years leading government communications by effectively engaging culturally diverse communities.
When the COI dissolved in 2011, Patricia knew the work needed to continue. She felt a personal responsibility to make sure the communities she had worked with continued to get the information they needed, which was critical to improving their lives and reducing the inequalities they faced. So in March 2012, Patricia made the brave decision to embark on the path of entrepreneurship – and founded MMC.
Ten years later, MMC is recognised as a pioneer in helping organisations better understand and connect with multicultural communities by developing targeted campaigns that create impact and drive change. It has also become the go-to multicultural specialist agency for many of the big PR and advertising agencies, including freuds, Four Communications and Mullen Lowe. But the journey hasn’t always been easy and as MMC celebrates its 10th anniversary, we sit down with founder Patricia Macauley and reflect on some of the highs and lows it has experiences along the way
Have your goals changed since you founded MMC?
Since the beginning, our goals have very much remained the same: to improve lives and narrow inequalities within the UK’s multicultural communities.
What are some of your highlights from the last 10 years?
We’ve been incredibly fortunate to work on life-changing campaigns, which have involved tackling some of the most pressing issues facing us as a society today. Being able to measure the impact we’ve had on our communities is the best part of our work and some key highlights include Covid, Black Adoption and Better Health. I’m really proud of the results we’ve managed to achieve as a small team. Even in the face of trying challenges like the global pandemic, MMC has thrived and come out stronger.
“Since the beginning, our goals have very much remained the same: to improve lives and narrow inequalities within the UK’s multicultural communities.”
What challenges has the industry faced since you started?
In many ways, the challenges the industry faces have remained the same; a lack of real insight into minority communities and being able to build authentic relationships with them as a result. Global events such as the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement have highlighted this more recently, with the industry feeling more pressure to identify key differences, to adapt and be more inclusive.
It’s sad that in this day and age, it takes such shockingly painful events for the world to realise the extent of injustice certain communities face. While before it continued to be brushed under the carpet, recently there has been a real shift in dialogue, which is sowing the seeds to create systemic change.