Industry veteran Alexandra Lasky is President and Co-Founder of the influencer marketing agency, The Influence. Formerly VP at her previous firm for 5 years prior to starting her own agency, Alexandra is a West Coast transplant from New York, where she spent years agency-side across fashion, lifestyle and hospitality sectors.
Read on to learn how she knew it was time to move on from traditional PR and exciting recent partnerships with Audrina Patridge and Hillary Duff, just to (name) drop a few!
How did you come to start your own agency?
I had spent five years as Vice President of my former agency when I was approached by an investor who wanted me to start my own agency. He came to the table with the offer to back me and partner with me, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.
I wanted to shift my focus into the influencer marketing category, moving away from traditional PR, and so The Influence was created.We provide our clients with unmatched access to an expansive network of tastemakers that includes everyone from high-profile actors to niche bloggers.
It has been an incredible journey thus far.
What are your daily responsibilities?
I oversee client acquisition and communications, event coordination, ideation, media outreach, strategy, influencer activations, social media consulting, talent wrangling, talent branding, content creation, employee supervision...its endless.
How is your agency structured?
We are a multifaceted agency with three key areas of focus, with influencer marketing/talent brand partnerships our main entity, along with event services and public relations services. We cater to our clients on a case by case basis.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?While we have a job to do, we also encourage our employees to have fun - we want them to enjoy the task at hand. The mood is always exciting, encouraging and creative, We are working on a variety of fashion, beauty and lifestyle projects which keep our days very busy.
Right now, we have several projects at the upcoming Coachella festival we are working on in particular.
it is not all fabulous parties and open bars. Feature stories do not just appear overnight.
What are a few recent success stories?
I'm very proud of the privilege it was to launch my dear friend Audrina Patridge's Prey Swim line. We launched the new luxury swimwear collection in late November for Resort 2017, with coverage spanning WWD to The Daily to Vogue.com to Refinery29, Dujour and many more.
It has been so exciting to be a part of this journey with her. We just launched a partnership with Revolve, and we are working on activations at Miami Swim Week, Coachella and beyond for the brand.
I'm also thrilled to have just been a part of Joico haircare's Blonde Life product launch with Hilary Duff, #LiveTheBlondeLife. There is no one that embodies that of the perfect blonde more than Hilary, with her bubbly and kind, contagious spirit. This sensibility also extends to hair stylist Riawna Capri, owner of NineZeroOne salon, who was the perfect addition to this partnership. It was such a fun project to be involved with (and Hilary's new brighter and lighter locks look gorgeous!).
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
This is also a hard one, as I am fortunate to have been involved in so many incredible events and client activations, as well as an invited guests at a variety of top tier, A list events.
Two things that come to mind are working as a talent publicist on the Golden Globes red carpet this past awards season and attending Paris Fashion Week last season on behalf of clients. Both of these were glamorous and amazing experiences.
Least glamorous moment in your career?
I would just say all the nitty gritty that goes into the marketing, events and PR world. Even as a company president, you need to prepared to get your hands dirty.
Outside of work, I often volunteer as part of the West Hollywood Food Coalition, serving dinner to the homeless as part of an assembly line. This is not glamorous by any means, but it is an important organization in our community.
PR can be stressful & full of rejection - how do you deal?
You just have to remember that at the end of the day, things happen. It is a pressure filled industry, and although every decision should be carefully thought out, we are not performing heart surgery. You need to find a way to fix the issue, resolve the problem at hand, and move on without overreacting. Stress will only lead to rash decisions. I believe there is always a way to work something out and keep everyone happy.
What are three current favorite tools, apps, or products that you love and why?
The Glam App - an on demand beauty app, where you can order hair, nails or makeup to your home, hotel or office on the fly. Available in 22 cities, the service always comes in handy for last minute needs.
I could not live without IMBD Pro, a must have tool in the entertainment industry.
And then Post Mates, for any type of delivery need you have - from food to office supplies - it is a virtual assistant app essentially.
A few more - Uber of course, and the app Hotels Tonite - which allows you to book rooms at 5 star hotels at the last minute. All the hotels you want to stay at in any city offer rooms at very discounted rates, so you never have to worry when booking last minute client travel.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
Working in the fashion/entertainment space is not all fabulous parties and open bars. Feature stories do not appear overnight. There are so many elements that go into everything we do. So much time spent organizing, pitching, budgeting, coordinating, building relationships, understanding clients and achieving goals.
Succeeding in this industry requires patience, excellent multi-tasking abilities and a mind that thrives under pressure.
What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?
There is a very exciting shift right now in the industry due to the continued growth in the importance of social media in all elements of the industry. It has been exciting to launch a new agency at the time in which we did, and has allowed us to offer services to so many clients spanning the fashion, beauty and hospitality space.
I look forward to the continued growth of influencer marketing, and how we will push forward with new innovative techniques.
What's the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?
One challenge has been the constant folding of well respected, established traditional media outlets. The industry needs to grasp the changing landscape, and overall there are many traditionalists that are not moving as quickly as they should - both on the PR and the media side. The news outlets feeling the affects, need to adopt to the transition as well. They need to be able to support their print books with their online platforms, utilizing the influencer space at hand, in order to keep their brands relevant and trending.
The industry needs to grasp the changing landscape, and overall there are many traditionalists that are not moving as quickly as they should - both on the PR and the media side
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Wow. So many things, not sure where to start! One thing I would have told my younger self would be to worry less about what industry peers think, as everyone will have their own opinion, their own thought process, their own ideas. Trust your instincts and set your sites high. Your gut is usually right in this field and if you can envision something, you can create that result.
Anything else we should know?
We are definitely looking for intern candidates to join our LA team. Applications can be sent to email@example.com..In addition to the services discussed, we also offer eCommerce and digital marketing consulting.