Marketing Firm Director of the Year 2018 – South East England

Carlyle Consultants

Carlyle Consultants is a London-based independent communications and marketing agency specialising in commercial, residential and mixed-use property and luxury. We invited Founder and Director Tricia Topping to talk us through how she came to create this dynamic company and how she draws on her corporate experience to lead it to success.

Following a successful career running one of the UK’s leading marketing and communications company, specialising in property which was sold to a major public company, Tricia decided that she had had enough of the big corporate life and took the plunge and went back to starting a much smaller client focused company called Carlyle Consultants. The firm’s subsidiary company, Luxury Topping specialises in the business of luxury, whilst Carlyle Consultants focuses on property, food and all things surrounding the business of luxury. Tricia explores how the firm has leveraged its small size to ensure clients receive the highest possible level of support and service that they can rely upon.

At Carlyle Consultants we have benefited from working with a small team, in fact one of my current team members, Theresa Riches, was instrumental in helping me build my former business and is now continuing the role of helping us build Carlyle Consultants. Our work in the jewellery sector is continuing to grow and a life-long passion of studying heritage jewellery is turning into opportunities to promote wonderful brands. I have always shared everything with my team, listening and respecting their opinions, as business decisions have to be collaborative.

Recently we were lucky to be appointed to work with the late Commendatore Antonio Carluccio OBE, known as the Godfather of Italian cooking. His passion and knowledge of the world of food, took my team in a different and very enjoyable direction, working with him on his books, promotions and world tours. Our contacts stretch to great journalists, interesting food production companies and restaurants and we want to continue to use this knowledge to the benefit of other clients. Along the way we learnt a lot about food promotion and how to cook pasta. It was a journey none of us would have missed for the world.

Alongside her passion for luxury promotion, Tricia is also committed to women’s rights, and as a woman with wide experience across the corporate landscape she understands the challenges that are faced and the obstacles that have already been overcome, insight which she is keen to share with us.

During my career I have seen immense changes in the role of ‘women in business’, but we still have a long way to go. I feel very strongly that our past defines our future and for this reason it was a team decision to support the recent exhibition held at the Museum of London, to celebrate 100 years of the Suffragette movement. These women were pioneers in fighting for women’s rights and it is inspirational to see across the world the women who are willing to push hard to ensure we have a voice on every platform. We worked with Variety, the Children’s charity on their new initiative, the Catherine Awards, which honours the achievements of inspirational women. I was completely blown away with the women who are out there in big and small companies making big sacrifices to follow their dreams. What is impressive is the majority of those who had children and still found time to support various charitable causes.

“To ensure that women remain supported in business, I believe that there should be more mentoring opportunities for women. I hate to see women making the same mistakes I made when starting a business. It would be wonderful if people could be more open about failure, you learn more from your mistakes and it is better to fail at something than have the fear of failure.”

Specifically within the communications space, Tricia foresees many exciting developments over the coming years which she is keen to take advantage of.

“Ultimately, the communications industry has reached a major turning point; the industry needs to be taken seriously. There has been a number of other companies fail due in part to the fact they have failed to communicate. The odd press release written by an intern is not the way to communicate. Communication starts at the very heart of a company, which is the staff, your customers and stakeholders.

“There are now many different ways of reaching your target audience, who have changed beyond recognition, but the words integrity, respect and truth are still the mantras for communication. The old advertising man and PR girl is a dying breed; they are being replaced with a new brand of communicators, who understand their industry on every level. Major companies are taking communications seriously and I am pleased to see this is happening at board level. Although many industries such as the property industries are still male dominated, this will have to change with the women at board level being paid as much as the men and the old boys network banished into history. However, in the luxury brands, I see more and more women carving a role for themselves and it is inspiring. I look forward to being among them and supporting others in their journey to success.”