Mitch Kaye, co-founder and CEO of The Academy, on the PRmoment podcast

This week on the PRmoment Podcast I’m interviewing Mitch Kaye, co-founder and CEO of The Academy.

The Academy has a fee income of approximately £4.3m, it’s an independent PR firm in London. It has 50 employees and was co-founded by Mitch Kaye and Dan Glover in 2014.

Mitch previously founded Mischief which he sold to Engine within five years of its launch in 2006.

The Academy describes itself as an agency that is both creative and strategic. Clients include: Amazon, Morrisons and Xero.

Here’s a few of the highlights of what Mitch and I discussed:

[00:02:02] Why Mitch describes himself as a hustler.

[00:02:34] Why Mitch even now feels he “needs to prove a point”.

[00:03:17] Mitch's parents, both in their 70s, still run a flooring business in Bournemouth and why they are Mitch's inspiration. 

[00:04:06] Why Mitch fell out of love with journalism, his first career choice.

[00:05:24] Why working at Sky was an "epiphany moment" for Mitch.

[00:07:41] Mitch defines his core skills as being good at "making things happen".

[00:08:28] I ask Mitch whether his job is essentially to monetise Dan Glover's ideas? 

[00:08:51] Mitch describes Dan Glover as "the most talented person I've met".

[00:10:36] Mitch talks us through his 20-year business relationship with Rachel Bell 

[00:10:40] Why Rachel was two and a half hours late to Mitch’s job interview with Shine! 

[00:14:44] Why Mitch moving to Geronimo (now Kindred) and meeting Karen Harris was an important part of his career, bearing in mind what was about to happen next.

[00:17:54] Why Mitch describes the time he went back to Shine in 2004 as "the most difficult time of my career".

[00:19:45] Mitch talks about when he "really changed direction and took a look at my style of working – because it wasn't going to be enough to get me through the rest of my career." 

[00:22:28] Mitch talks about how Mischief came about.

[00:26:08] How Mitch had a series of profit and revenue targets at Mischief – and each time he hit one, he got 10% of the business.

[00:27:01] How Mitch almost missed the opportunity to interview Dan Glover – a relationship that would come to define both of their careers. 

[00:28:21] How Mitch didn't have the budget to afford Dan's salary when he first hired him, so he paid him from his own salary.  

[00:30:19] How did Mitch build, sell and ultimately leave Mischief? 

[00:33:22] Why Mitch believes if you want to sell a business you cannot approach anyone, they have to approach you. All you can do is build a great business.

[00:38:47] Why Dan and Mitch set up their second PR start up – The Academy. 

[00:41:42] Why did Shine and The Academy merge in 2016?

[00:45:38] Mitch tells us what it's like "running a business with your best friend". 

[00:47:08] Having built two PR firms and sold one Mitch gives some advice for people who are looking to set up on their own.

[00:48:57] Is it harder to sell a PR consultancy in the UK than ever?