Consumer lifestyle marketing expert, Cindy Riccio opened the doors to Cindy Riccio Communications (CRC) ten years ago after years developing and executing award-winning public relations programs for leading Fortune 500 companies and agencies.
The C3 Formula: Create. Connect. Communicate has caught the attention of clients like Hanes, Kenneth Cole and Wonderbra.
An avid news connoisseur with a passion for storytelling, we were lucky enough to learn more about Cindy’s background, vision and agency focus.
How did you get started in PR? How did you get the job you have now?
After a longstanding career of working at mid-size to global agencies and at two corporate consumer packaged goods companies, I decided it was time to take my breadth of brand experience and open the doors to CRC.
What are your primary responsibilities?
Overseeing brand strategy for clients and business development programs, implementing innovative new media and digital marketing platforms and most importantly, mentoring the CRC team and personal development programs.
How is your department/agency structured?
We are structured efficiently with President & Founder, Vice President, Account Supervisor/Director of Influencer & Celebrity Relations, Senior Account Executive/ Manager of Social/ Influencer Marketing, Account Executive, PR Assistant and an Intern.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?
Upbeat with a strong focus on our clients – and what we’re getting for lunch from the ‘hood. We’re big believers in the old saying, “work hard, play hard” – and we always have a bottle of bubbly on hand when we have reason to celebrate.
Our work is our passion. One of the companies we work with is CARE®, In its fight to end global poverty, CARE® places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty.
A current campaign we’re excited about is launching Hanes Hosiery’s two latest collections, Hanes Perfect Nudes™ and Hanes Perfect Tights™. We launched the collections to long-lead fashion and beauty editors at the Hanesbrands Showroom with a performance and integration with COMPLEXIONS Contemporary Ballet – “America’s original multicultural dance company.” The partnership between Hanes Hosiery and the International Contemporary Ballet served as a perfect fit, seeing how the COMPLEXIONS’ mandate has always been to spotlight diversity, taking on timely social issues with music and movement. The key attributes were communicated to our editor attendees, not only verbally and visually, but through an artistic and memorable demonstration that caught the breath of editors and helped to solidify the message we set out to communicate.
We’re big believers in the old saying, “work hard, play hard” – and we always have a bottle of bubbly on hand when we have reason to celebrate.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
Beating Apple to market for the launch of Kenneth Cole’s Smartwatch and generating over 4 billion media impressions globally to win a Silver Stevie Business Award.
Most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Playing a key role in the U.S. launch of The One and Only Wonderbra from the UK. The PR campaign drove tons of women in-store to buy uplifting garments. The supply/demand ratio set an industry benchmark with lines of women around the block waiting to get inside stores. The campaign won multiple awards.
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Out of all of the major industry award events that I’ve been to, some of my favorites surrounding Fashion Week and the CFDA Awards, the most glamourous part of my carreer was, hands down, greeting John F Kennedy Junior when he was the publisher of George Magazine.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Telling a team of four that the company is moving in a different direction.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?
I try to keep it all in perspective. There are some things you just can’t control and as long as I’m giving 100% and surrounding myself with smart people, I’m confident that “you get what you give.”
What are three essentials that help you run your business?
Our new fave at the office for influencer marketing is Feedly, Texture and YouCam Perfect for improving selfies. The chargers, of course! Also, my laptop. I always have it nearby. DelRio by MAC, the lip shade I’ve been wearing for two decades now.
What do you wish more people understood about your job (or PR/Marketing in general?)
That it is an art and a science. The landscape changes so quickly that you have to be ready to shift gears at any moment. Solutions and results are the two most important deliverables for clients. If you aren’t seeing success from a particular pitch, change it up and figure out how to make it work within reason.
What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?
That the lines are blurring between paid and earned media.
What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?
Our industry is changing rapidly, much of it having to do with the influencer space. The trouble with that is lifting the veil of authenticity and ensuring that the influencers that we engage with aren’t buying likes or followers. We are so happy to see that Fohr Card recently launched a tool to help us with this.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Smile. Positive energy attracts positive energy.
Anything else we should know?
CRC is always looking for new talent and new clients. We were recently included in the shortlist for the SABRE Awards among many global firms for taking “a New Company to Market” and featured as one of “New York’s top specialty agencies with a digital focus that keeps growing” in The Observer.