Page 16



John Peel played our record and he said it was the best name for a band he had ever heard.

Caraline Brown, founder and MD of Midnight Communications, celebrates her company’s 21st anniversary this year. Midnight was at the forefront of the Internet revolution as the first PR company to recognise its huge impact, and, as well as winning the title of PR Week’s PR Company of the Year, the firm also produces the highlyregarded Sussex Business Awards. Ian Trevett spoke to Caraline about how she created such a successful brand.


have known Caraline for the best part of 15 years and there has always been one constant: if you are invited to a Midnight

revenge in print. In organising events, Caraline

played her band’s record on Radio 1. And she

simply applies the same professionalism and

has only just started, as she reveals when I ask

attention to detail she has in any aspects of her

her what her current ambitions are:

Communications event, you don’t miss it; you

spectacular career in PR, in which she rode

know it will be expertly run, the venue will be

the wave of the Internet boom and broke down

country, to travel the world, to come up with

just right, the guest list will be spot-on, and

the barriers in a profession which had been a

a death-defying app; to come up with a really

you will have a great time. Always sociable,

largely male preserve.

good killer idea. I’ve had loads of business

Caraline knows how to put on a fantastic party.

“I want to write a novel, to live in a foreign

Along the way, she sold her company and

ideas over my life and I’ve never had the time

To start a feature making the point that

bought it back for a fraction of the price, she

or the luxury to make them work. I’ve got one

Caraline is adept at organising events is not

led Midnight to the accolade of PR Week’s PR

more dance left in me, as the song goes, and

the introduction she would choose, but the

Company of the Year (as well as winning several

I’d like to do another business. When I set up

fact is that in my career as a writer, editor and

South East Consultancy of the Year awards), and

the Brighton Business Awards, that was a

publisher, I have largely encountered Caraline

she defied the convention that a successful PR

totally new venture, which is now in its 11th

through the PR company’s events. The media

company has to be in the centre of London. But

year. We acquired the Sussex Awards, and

can be a spoilt, judgemental herd, and the

Caraline enjoys defying conventions. She worked

that’s all gone well. I’d like to set up a gay

perception of a client can hang on the success

in a women’s refuge and refuses to work with

wedding chapel. I’ve always wanted to set up a

of a launch event. On New Year’s Eve 1999,

unethical businesses; she is a musician, an

taxidermy shop.”

journalists were left queuing outside in the

active Labour Party member and recounts her

rain at the Millennium Dome, and they got their

proudest moment as being the time John Peel


All a bit outlandish? Her back story suggests otherwise…