January 24, 2021
Introducing C81 – Meet Mia
We’re an always-evolving team here at Chapter 81, and we’re very happy to welcome in Mia Hodgkinson! Read on to find out more about Mia…
Q: Hi Mia! What is your C81 job role?
My role is predominantly supporting Simon with PR and media relations, along with additional bits of copy as and when it’s needed.
Q: What does that mean, in terms of what you get up to for the business day-to-day?
This means I get our amazing clients noticed and covered in the press and in broadcast media, but I’m also treating Chapter 81 as a client and getting the collective noticed so it can grow its client base.
Q: What other work do you do?
I’m part Maltese, so I’m also venturing into supporting a couple of projects over in Gozo using my PR skills and connections built over there. It’s still in its early stages, but I’m so passionate about Malta and its culture that it seemed like a great opportunity.
Q: What led you to working with C81?
I was made redundant in October 2020 due to the pandemic. Simon and I had been connected on LinkedIn for a while, and we know a lot of the same people, so he reached out to me to ask for some support with the PR side of the business.
Q: What’s been your professional career so far?
I’m a trained journalist, having gained my qualification after working for The Press Association shortly after uni. I’ve always written since I was young. I wrote articles for a music ‘zine when I was 15, travelling around going to gigs, writing reviews and supporting with merch sales, as well as getting people to sign up to mailing lists. I’ve always loved chatting to people and using my writing to get people noticed, and previously freelanced for the Leeds Guide and Absolute Leeds. It was a natural progression to move into PR and comms.
Q: Are you a Leeds lover? Born and bred, or moved here?
I’m a total Leeds lover. I’m from Newcastle originally, but Leeds was my first choice for uni and as soon as I moved here, I knew I’d never leave (apart from the year I lived in France as part of my degree). I’ve lived in West Yorkshire for 19 years this year! I now live in Shipley. I’m only 15 minutes away from Leeds city centre on the train and I love that balance between slightly more rural living, but with the city on the doorstep.
Q: What’s to like about Leeds?
What’s not to like? It’s such a vibrant hub of creatives, independent businesses, amazing food and some fantastic events. I just can’t wait for things to re-open and for this summer to be THE best summer ever, in terms of festivals, events, and really uniting the city with its people once again.
Q: What has gotten better since you’ve lived here?
There’s so much more of an indie culture than there was previously. The city centre has transformed since I’ve lived here, and so many more cool places are popping up. Outside of the centre, the suburbs are booming with incredible talent. The ‘Support your local indie’ directory is something I’m so excited to delve into when I’m able to, as I’m itching to support more local businesses and discover what’s out there. Art and culture are so intrinsic to Leeds and I love that about it.
Q: What about C81 excites you?
I love that Chapter 81 is a collective. It’s such a unique way to present a full service agency and everyone is so different in their skillset. I think collaboration is key in any business and I don’t believe in hierarchies. There’s so much of that in business these days, and we’re all valuable in our own right, so why put a label on where you come in the food chain? Chapter 81, to me, is refreshing and creative, something I’ve been looking for for a while in my career. I’m a massive foodie and I love art and culture, so it’s a great fit for me. I can’t wait to work on more projects.
Q: How has COVID affected you, and your work?
As I mentioned, I was made redundant due to COVID, but it made me realise what I really wanted out of my career. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with the collective at Chapter 81, doing what I’m most passionate about. I like feeling good about what I do, and feeling fulfilled. It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s so easy to get stuck into a 9-5 job and not come up for air enough to really consider if it’s the right thing for you. I’ve had time to reflect and make some changes, and I’m now moving in the right direction.
Q: What do you hope to see in Leeds in the next year?
I can’t wait to get back to gigs and try new restaurants. I also want to be part of the food festivals that Chapter 81 works on and immerse myself in the world of independents. COVID has taught us so much, but one thing that stands out is that supporting each other is so, so important, both personally and within business. I want to see more people supporting circular economies, and for Leeds to gain even wider recognition for being generally ace.