Biz Extra

Published: October 1, 2020 | Updated: October 1, 2020

Best thing about living/working in Dorset? Its collaborative community and natural beauty

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

She gets angry with people not respecting the beach and leaving litter; chooses steamed sponge AND melon, loves the collaborative community and natural beauty in Dorset and would like to share a car with Elon Musk so she could see – in her own words – “if he’s the smartest man on the planet or a total crackpot.”

Jo O’Connell, Founder, JellyRock PR, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: I’m loving the first season of The Boys on Amazon Prime. It asks, what if Marvel-esque superheroes were actually awful people behind the façade; murdering psychopaths and sexual predators? As a PR consultant it’s entertaining to watch the frantic PR Manager trying to manage the reputation of the company when it’s all falling apart around her.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: Elon Musk – so I could quickly sum up if he’s the smartest man on the planet or a total crackpot (or both).

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Working with fantastic clients with the most brilliant brands. I find them so inspiring and I learn from them every day. Getting media coverage for them is just the best feeling ever.

Q: And the worst…?

A:The sheer amount of competition. You’re up against hundreds of other PRs and companies for inclusion in an article or story so that you have to know exactly what you’re doing.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: My Grandad. Even in his later years he travelled the world and I always wanted to go with him. He gave me my wanderlust.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: Issey Miyake on my husband.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: Stand-up paddle boarding along the rivers in Christchurch. Paddling under the bridges feels like you could be in Venice.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Get as much work experience as you can. It makes your CV stand out. If that’s difficult in our current times then help a charity or get published; write a blog, vlog, podcast – do whatever it takes to get your passion and skills noticed.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: F.L.M by Mel and Kim.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: People not respecting the beach and leaving litter.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy. When I go running along the beach it powers me up those zig zag paths.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: I’m lucky enough to work with two amazing people – Caitlin Smith and Catherine Bolado. We’re a rock-solid team and I trust them completely – so trust, tenacity and having a giggle.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: Thai Green Curry. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner – and when I worked as a diving instructor in Thailand, I sometimes did.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Both.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: Its collaborative community and that you can go north, south, east and west and have natural beauty on your doorstep.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Help the refugees in Lesbos. It’s awful that we’re ignoring their dire situation and it’s a stain on our national conscience.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: That journalists are valued so poorly. Journalists are vital in keeping our local and central government to account yet the abuse they suffer on social media is dire. A journalist on one of my press trips was paid just £40 to cover six days’ work – they have to have several jobs to survive – it’s crazy.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: Boracay – we used to wake up in the morning and if the weather was calm, we’d teach diving. If it was windy, we’d go to the other side of the island to kitesurf. It was heavenly.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Doing exactly this. I absolutely love my job and love Monday mornings. Alternatively….

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: That crazy woman who sold up and opened that amazing luxury dive centre in the Indian Ocean somewhere.

Photo credit: Shealan Faere.