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This is the biggest reason we leave our jobs (and one way to fix it)

communication awards, bias

Like many of you, I have had some great PR jobs, and some really terrible ones. Looking back, the career opportunities that drove me to perform at my best, demonstrate incredible loyalty to a company (like, willing to work for less even, just because I loved it so much) and become an advocate for that company (name-dropping on panels, helping to recruit new talent) all come down to two things: the quality of the leadership and opportunities for recognition.

My experience is consistent with the research. The Aon Hewitt, 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement study found that career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are consistently top engagement drivers. A Gallup poll conducted in 2016 found that it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored. And that experience increases turnover. Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.

Just like the marketing adage that its easier to keep a customer than go out and get a new one, it’s is often much better for business to keep a great employee than to have to scramble to fill an unexpected opening. Constantly hiring replacements is costly and keeps us all from being able to focus and complete the work in front of us. And yet the Aberdeen Group found that only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition.

So let me make it easy on you.

Recognition can happen through small, yet meaningful acts – giving credit where credit is due in a meeting, a Zappos gift card as thanks for a particularly harrowing networking event (I still smile when I think of that one), a hand-written thank you note. But those small acts are also a bit small time;  a bigger means to truly celebrate your team, one with lifetime career value, is through industry awards.

As BCA Judge Dara Elliott put it so eloquently, “We work so hard dreaming up incredible campaigns and bringing them to life. Oftentimes we’re moving so fast, we forget to step back and appreciate not only what we’ve built, but how far we’ve come as an industry!”

46% of senior managers view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense, and we agree. But we also know a good deal when we see one.

I’d love for PR Couture to be a part of how you differentiate yourself from the rest, attract bigger and better opportunities and ensure long-term loyalty from employees and partners.

To celebrate the incredible minds that are part of your organization, consider applying for one of the following awards:

  • Agency of the Year or Startup Agency of the Year
  • Best Digital/Social Team
  • Work/Life/Balance/Culture
  • The Bloom Award – Top Communicator of the Year
  • The Blush Award – Emerging Communicator of the Year

Come check out the BCAs now!

Celebrate PR Couture’s 10-year anniversary (all Year Long)

Hello my lovely PR Couture reader,

I'm not sure if you noticed, but this week we went dark on the blog for the first time in TEN YEARS. As in, no posts published, at all.

While the decision was necessary for the team to gear up for some BIG announcements coming your way in the next few weeks, it gave me one of those "holy shit" moments.

As in, holy shit: I have been publishing articles on PR Couture, often five days a week, for TEN YEARS.

In December 2006 I spent a weekend teaching myself the basics of WordPress, enlisted a friend to help with a logo and published my first blog post.

It used to be that most of you knew our origin story. It used to be that my own name was synonymous with PR Couture.

That's changed.

So, please indulge me a bit as I take this opportunity to quickly share a bit about where we've been, where we are, and where we are headed.

 

PR Couture 2006-2016

I discovered public relations in graduate school and was immediately drawn to the intersection of business strategy, writing and creativity required. After combining this newfound discovery with a copywriting job that had quickly turned into running a PR and marketing department (along with a lifelong love of clothing and fashion), I wrote the very first academic thesis on the subject of fashion public relations.

After graduating, I started PR Couture as a means to both share what I had learned and as a platform to learn more.

Back then, fashion blogging was just getting started, most PR agencies had nothing more than a phone number on a splash page (if you were lucky). There was no Instagram (gasp!), there wasn't even Twitter. The whole Girl Boss/Boss Babe/Digital Entrepreneur "build your brand online" thing was years away.

As that all changed, my own career grew alongside PR Couture for years in a sort of symbiosis. PR Couture became the oh so necessary creative outlet for a girl who hadn't quite figured out that she was a Boss at heart.

 

PR Couture became the oh so necessary creative outlet for a girl who hadn't quite figured out that she was a Boss at heart.

Celebrating 10 years PR Couture

In 2013, PR Couture + consulting became my full-time gig. In 2016 I launched our most comprehensive redesign to-date, added two amazing women to help me out, taught two sections of JMS-0496 Fashion Public Relations at San Diego State University, one Fashion PR Confidential workshop in NYC and two live PRISM courses online (surrounded by palm trees in my San Diego backyard - heaven!). Oh, and had a baby. It was kind of a big year.

My goal has always been for PR Couture to be a shared platform and brand that facilitates community and a sense belonging that can be sorely lacking in our industry. I am proud that we focus on subjects relevant to those of us just starting out in the industry, like our Getting IN series, as well as those of us with several years of experience, like our PR Girls We Love series.

Today, PR Couture has evolved from a blog into your go-to industry sourcebook, and we are just getting started.

Before we head into a year's worth of anniversary celebrations, however, I invite you to join me in not simply reflecting on the evolution above, but on your own growth in the last decade. It's been amazing to participate alongside you as digital communications has altered our industry so significantly. How lucky we are to live in a time where incredible connections can be facilitated with the swipe of a finger, where an idea and an online presence can be the start of something huge.

I've been re-watching a lot of Parks & Rec lately. In addition to wishing Leslie Knope was my best friend (or business partner!), one quote from the show sticks out:

None of us achieves anything alone.

So thank you.

You keep me inspired, motivated and you help me to support my family. That is some serious stuff, kitten. More than myself however, you have indirectly helped your fellow readers find dream jobs, connected agencies with clients who are perfect for one another, helped women launch freelance careers, and so many others experience life-changing moments, friendships and opportunities.

Yup, you did that.

So thank you, thank you for being a part of my team.

Love,

 

 

 

PS: If you have a PR Couture-related memory I'd love to hear it! Email me using the envelope link in my bio below, or share on social media with the hashtag PRCx10

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How to Make Charitable Partners Part of Your PR Strategy

non profit PR, cause marketing brand partnerships charitable giving

Securing charity partnerships for brands opens up fosters goodwill and has the added benefit of providing a unique story angle that can lead media outreach. As you begin planning for next year, consider if a cause marketing approach should be part of your communication strategy and if yes, follow these steps to begin to explore opportunities.

Plan Charitable Partnerships Early

Developing a relationship with a non-profit takes time, so start by identifying the cause you’d like to align your brand with, how you would like to partner and when. Popular options for fashion and lifestyle brands include Breast Cancer Awareness month in April, and American Heart Month in February. Keep in mind that you not only need to have the specifics of your cause-based endeavor squared away to have time to effectively develop and promote the event or specific product but if you plan to secure any print media mentions, you’ll also need to factor in those deadlines. For a breast cancer tie-in, for example, editors generally begin sourcing products in June and July.

Don’t just partner with any charity

When evaluating different charitable opportunities, make sure there is an obvious connection between the brand and the non-profit.  For example, if you work with a beauty line that doesn’t use natural ingredients or sustainable production methods, an environmental charity might raise a few eyebrows and lead to more crisis management than cause marketing. On the other hand, if the founder of said beauty brand has an inspiring story as a woman in business, then an organization that offers grants to female-owned companies makes total sense.

The most successful partnerships are the ones where the brand truly believes in the cause of the charity, whether from personal experience or because it reflects brand values. Make sure you and your brand are well-versed in the concepts of pink-washing and greenwashing to avoid negative press.

Vet potential non-profit organizations

Make sure that the charity you are working with is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and actually gives back to where it says it does. Some great resources include Charity Navigator (which does in-depth analysis of charities and their allocation of money) as well as GuideStar or Charity Watch. Kayla Logan, Owner of Kayla Logan PR suggests that “when meeting with different organizations, ask to meet in their headquarters so that you get a feel for operations and always ask for examples of previous partnerships before agreeing to anything.”

Think beyond the “Percentage of Product” idea

Encourage your client to agree to something a bit more creative than the standard 10% of proceeds will be donated (this will go further toward media coverage as well).

When evaluating different charitable opportunities, make sure there is an obvious connection between the brand and the non-profit.

Maria Todaro, Territorial Corporate Relations Manager at The Salvation Army says, “when you are working to develop a meaningful campaign, think about how you can deepen relationships with customers, boost employee retention through engagement opportunities, and create a positive social impact story you can share and be proud of. These are some of the key components of a successful and sustainable cause marketing partnership.”

Discuss promotional language ahead of time

Draft a partnership agreement that outlines all of these specifics of the activation. This will help manage expectations and protect both parties. You’ll want to include some language around approvals for logo and name use. Pay special attention to language use; some give free reign while others are very specific on the terminology that can be used.  To avoid headaches down the line discuss language specifics, disclosure, and any confidentiality requirements, before reaching out to the media or speaking publically about the relationship.

Give generously

While it’s understandable that smaller brands cannot donate a large percentage of sales to charity, if the amount you’re giving is so small that it hardly benefits the charity it can appear to be self-serving. You don’t need to give away all of your profits, but make sure it’s enough to truly impact the nonprofit. Think beyond money as well and consider what expertise or services you might be able to provide.

Kayla often offers her own PR and social media expertise to smaller non-profits who struggle in this area. “Many charities don’t have a strong dedicated PR or marketing team to develop eye-catching creative or social media campaigns. As part of the partnership, I will develop social media templates and extend introductions to my own network to help them succeed beyond the specific client event.”

Charitable giving can boost brand perception and foster positive relationships among customers and media while having a measurable impact on a population in need.  There are many great ways to reach out to and work with charities when you choose the right organization that aligns with the values shared between a brand and its audiences.

 

Top 50 PR Firms, The End of Net Neutrality,& Marketing Podcast Recommendations

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of December 11, 2017

Observer's 2017 PR Power 50 is out now - proud to recognize many friends on this list!! (via Observer)

Here's how the end of net neutrality can affect you (via Refinery 29)

The PR agency landscape is changing as referrals decline and in-house services grow (via Agility PR)

Gone are the good ole days of SEO! Why PR pros need to learn to adapt to a new development (via PR Daily)

A list of marketing podcasts you NEED to pop earbuds for (via Social Media Today)

How fashion brands are keeping bookstores in business in the most creative way possible (via Quartzy)

Former L'Oreal PR pro turned social media agency owner shares her social media dont's (via Entrepreneur)

The best way to approach becoming an "authentic" leader in your industry (via Marketing Week)

Kelly Cutrone accuses Russell Simmons of rape (via Page Six)

Refinery29 has laid off 34 employees (via Hollywood Reporter)

PR Mavens We Love: Lexi Pathak, Partner, Faulhaber Communications

Equal parts strategic and creative, agency Vice President and Partner Lexi Pathak, tackles every project with inimitable savoir-faire.

With a background in journalism and a decade of experience in communications, Lexi brings a natural storytelling and 360 degree approach to building brands. In her vital role focused on leading client experience and delivery, Lexi leads the diverse and talented Faulhaber team and delivers polished perfection in the form of new business wins, strategy and branding. Lexi is passionate about mentoring new talent and delivering results for the agency's impressive roster of lifestyle clients. She has deep expertise driving and innovating North American and international programs that deliver for prestige beauty and fashion brands like Charlotte Tilbury & Ted Baker.

Prior to Faulhaber, Lexi worked in entertainment publicity, including CBC's award-winning The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, PeaceArch Entertainment in Toronto and Muse Entertainment in Montreal.

A true culture junkie, Lexi has appeared as an expert on Global, CBC News and Fashion Television and has been featured in the Toronto Star, LOULOU, Globe and Mail and The National Post.

Name: Lexi Pathak
Title: Vice President & Partner
Location: Toronto, Canada
Education: McGill University, B.A. English - Cultural Studies; Concordia University, Graduate Diploma, Journalism
Company: Faulhaber Communications
Instagram:
 @faulhabercomm
Twitter: @faulhabercomm
Facebook: @faulhabercomm

LinkedIn: @faulhabercomm

How did you get the job you have now?

I was running a TIFF celebrity gifting lounge and reached out to Faulhaber as I wanted to include one of the brands the agency represented in my Made in Canada theme. Through this I met Lindsay Singer, who recommended I meet with Christine Faulhaber, our president. We hit it off and it was a seamless organic start.

(Editor note: Read Christine's interview with us here)

Share a quick peek into a day in your life

In my role as VP I am heavily involved in overall agency strategy and growth plans, including new business development and HR. On the client side, I oversee our beauty and fashion division and work closely with our account teams to ensure we are delivering best in class service combined with creative, sales-driving campaigns. I also oversee our FSHOPPE showroom, where we host Canada's top editors, journalists, influencers and celebrities to highlight our clients' stunning products. We have an open door policy and always have stylists and editors popping by to do a pull.

How is Faulhaber structured?

Our agency is structured into account teams that are run by directors and account managers, with executives and coordinators supporting. We have two VP's who split the client roster in terms of high-level support and guidance.

Although we have some team members who specialize in sectors like beauty, we encourage everyone to work on a variety of industries. Working this way provides different perspectives and amazing organic opportunities for cross-pollination.

We also have a digital and creative services team, which helps us deliver amazing content to our clients. On a whole, we encourage integration and spend a lot of time collectively in brainstorms and learning new skills to create the most dynamic team.

What is the mood like in the office? 

It's the end of the year so we are heavy into planning 2018, as well as wrapping up 2017. The mood is pretty festive, as the holidays are approaching. But we always work super hard to keep the mood in a positive place. We know the PR world can be stressful at times, even though we aren't saving lives or doing rocket-science, so we have invested heavily in culture.

We have a culture club that runs fun social events, everything from bar carts, to yoga classes, to monthly pot-lucks. This holiday party we are doing an in-office pajama party - voted in by popular demand!

What is a recent job success story that makes you especially proud?

We recently wrapped up a project called EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation and Technology, a not-for-profit partnership between Canada's design museum Design Exchange and the United Nation's Development Programme. It was a 10-day fair showcasing how design and technology can be used to tackle and solve the world's greatest sustainability challenges in areas including shelter, food, education and healthcare. The fair has hosted in an abandoned factory of four floors, had over 30 exhibits, 40 workshops and 125 speakers. The scale was very large, programming ambitious, the subject matter not in our regular wheelhouse, and yet our team hit it out of the park. We are very proud of them. 

What are three current favorite tools, apps or products that you love and why?

  • Headspace APP for a quick mind refresh.
  • Texture app - to download a wide variety of magazines to read on the go.
  • Podcasts including Marketing Over Coffee.

Share a few of the most memorable moments for you thus far:

There are so many memorable moments in my career its hard to choose just one. That said, I think the most meaningful would be becoming partner this year.

When I started with Faulhaber over seven years ago, we were only five people and a handful of accounts. Today, we have 30 people spread in multiple offices across the country. It's been quite the evolution! I feel incredibly proud of the time I've spent working closely with our President and CEO Christine Faulhaber to help build the agency. We've had too many laughs to count, a lot of incredible celebrations, and a few tears along the way.

Becoming partner and being recognized for my efforts feels pretty wonderful. Not to mention that I have loved working at Faulhaber since day one, and now I get to officially call it my forever home.

What has been the most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

One of my favorite PR perks is definitely travel and experiencing top five star hotels and restaurants while entertaining media around the world. Some of the places I've been include Amsterdam, Paris, London, New York, and LA. Travel definitely shakes my soul.

I am not sure if this counts as glamorous to everyone, but it is a fond memory for me and showcases some of the great access to talented and creative minds we get in our job.  During IDS (Interior Design Show) one year, Tom Dixon was our International Guest of Honour. We spent some time chatting about the best places to buy vintage furs around the world. Tom is such an iconic designer and was so chill and fun. I have this amazing picture of him holding my then six-month-old daughter, India under his copper pendants in the IDS pop-up shop.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Inventory days in the storage unit. Period.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you handle the pressure?

I am a naturally calm person. People in the office always comment that I never get too stressed or that I seem relaxed. I guess it's because I know that there is always a solution to any problem if you just think hard and long enough. But I do love to unwind. My tricks include keeping very active with a balance of Crossfit to expel my energy and shut my mind off, and yoga to bring on the zen. I also love scented candles, bubble baths and reading a good fiction novel. Currently I'm obsessed with Byredo's loose lips, which smells like soft rose petals and was apparently inspired by the scent of the founder's mother's 80's lipstick.

One of my favorite PR perks is definitely travel and experiencing top five star hotels and restaurants while entertaining media around the world.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

That it is a lot of hard work and that it is important work. A lot of times we have to justify what we do or people think it is fluff work. Our teams work extremely hard, and are extremely intelligent, driven and talented young professionals.

What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?

I'm excited about the move towards more data and analytics. I love the trend away from vanity metrics to more concrete measurements that highlights the value of what we offer to our clients, and showcases that we deliver campaigns that link to sales. I also think there is a lot of interested brand partnerships happening right now. I love combining compelling like-minded brands to come up with super power partnerships.

I know that there is always a solution to any problem if you just think hard and long enough.

What's the biggest challenge facing lifestyle communicators right now?

In Canada especially we are witnessing a shrinking media landscape. With less options to place our clients' products, and more media brands looking for content partnerships and advertising dollars, we have to be super creative in our approach. I think influencer marketing is another challenge. It's definitely a trend that clients are excited about and there are some very talented content producers out there who definitely deserve to be paid for the work they do, but as marketers with a goal in mind, we really need to find a smart way to ensure that the programs are actually driving sales. We are currently exploring and investing in tools to help us determine ROI.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Do exactly what you did but don't beat yourself quite as hard when you make mistakes. Those are the best learning opportunities and everything will work out in the end.

Anything else we should know?

In my spare time I am a mama to my amazing daughter India Clare and am the co-founder of a jewellery brand called Haathi House. Check it out 🙂

Thanks Lexi!

PR Coordinator

Position: PR Coordinator
Company: Umbrella Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Learn more

4 Ways to Get More Brand Value From Influencer Generated Content

This article is part of the Influencer Marketing Series, written and sponsored by Shopping Links, an online marketplace designed to make it easier for Bloggers and Brands to connect and collaborate. For $100 off your first collaboration, use code PROFF100.


As influencer collaborations become an increasingly common part of the job for publicists, so too has finding ways to maximize the return for clients. Leveraging influencer content beyond a collaboration is one of the most impactful, yet under-utilized ways that PR pros can boost the value to a client’s bottom line. And comes with the added benefit of bolstering agency case studies and program extension services. Likewise, if you’re a marketing manager or creative director, influencer content can help ease the burden of original content creation with imagery that remains on-brand and can be an effective selling tool.

Here are four ways to get the most out of influencer content for clients or your own brand:

1. Secure Image Rights for Ongoing Marketing Use

In order to be able to use images or video from an influencer collaboration, you need to secure appropriate image rights.

Ideally this takes place at the beginning stages of the partnership. If you manage influencer contracts, being mindful of securing the right image rights can go a long way toward adding long-term value to future marketing projects. Our experiences have shown that utilizing influencer content rather than in-house imagery or stock can increase engagement, order values and even sales. Through A/B tests of two recent email campaigns, for example, our client MARKS & SPENCER found influencer content to increase click-through rates, click-to-order rates and revenues, suggesting that the value of influencer imagery doesn’t stop at the aesthetic; it has the power to convert. Securing the rights to use imagery in digital ads can also add more value to your Instagram and Facebook ads by adding a familiar face to this content, something psychology tells us makes imagery more persuasive.

2. Post influencer content multiple times across owned social media channels

A more immediate way to leverage influencer content, particularly if you manage social media for a client, is using collaboration imagery to increase followers.  It sounds simple, but posting campaign content and tagging the influencer in your post has many benefits. Basically, the tag attracts new followers searching for that influencer, which introduces new potential customers to the brand (or simply reinforces the brand’s ‘cool factor’), while creating increased interest and familiarity in the campaign itself. Keeping influencer content in your library for future “tbt” posts can help you get even more mileage – don’t be afraid to reuse previously published photos multiple times (or crop the hi-res at a different angle for a different visual emphasis).

If you manage influencer contracts, being mindful of securing the right image rights can go a long way toward adding long-term value to future marketing projects.

If you don’t manage the social media for clients, provide these recommendations in your post-campaign report.  A recent study by L2 found that 70% of brands are using influencers to promote their products, but only 10% are leveraging the content created. Creating a seamless visual experience from an influencer’s blog to a brand’s eCommerce site can help take viewers through to the shopping cart.

3. Build your own content library

Although in many cases you’ll be able to leverage existing content from traditional influencer collaborations, where your primary goal is reach, sometimes, it’s valuable to collaborate with the primary purpose of creating content that positions a brand as a helpful resource. Influencers are particularly valuable for creating content that might otherwise be expensive to produce in-house, like video, while establishing a real relationship between the influencer and brand.

A recent study by L2 found that 70% of brands are using influencers to promote their products, but only 10% are leveraging the content created.

A hotel, for example, might commission a series of influencer-led packing tips or destination guides. A beauty brand might commission a series of tutorials for their own YouTube channel featuring high-influence vloggers. A fashion brand might use an influencer to take viewers behind the scenes during Fashion Week, as MARKS & SPENCER did recently in London with influencers like Emily Johnston of Fashion Fois Gras. You can repackage this content across different channels by including snippets on your client’s Instagram channel, or pitching to editors as ready-to-use content.

Meanwhile, imagery can prove just as valuable. Brands can boost their own blog and eCommerce content, from product pages to living and stye sections, by commissioning influencer imagery for that exact purpose.

4. Complement your press outreach

Whether you’re promoting a new fashion line or a creative travel package for a hotel, incorporating influencer content into your press outreach can help capture editor interest to land top-tier coverage. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Air Canada demonstrated the value of influencer content last year with a video featuring Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Promoting a package called Après in the Air, the brands shared a 30-second video starring Bristowe within their press release, helping them land mentions in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Maxim.

Influencer content can be a powerful tool for publicists looking to create more engaging pitches, bolster a client’s social media presence, or increase customer engagement. Becoming mindful of this value can help you negotiate more effective influencer collaboration contracts and make recommendations that directly impact a brand’s bottom line, adding even more to your value as an agency or manager.

Account Manager

Position: Account Manager
Company: Tribe Dynamics
Location: San Francisco, CA
Learn more

The 2017 Publicist Holiday Gift Guide from PR Couture

Now that your own gift guide pitches are starting to pop up all over the web (congratulations!), behold 18 different gift ideas, organized by those most important of categories - your team, your partners and duh, yourself. We kept pretty much everything under $100 so ho ahead and gift those loverly people who keep the crazy PR carousel turning in your world. 

Gifts ideas for your team

Diffuser_kit_Misti_RoseGold_grande

Life's a Spritz

What's not to love? The Misti portable diffuser from Gurunanda comes in rose gold, smells delicious and is the perfect desk accessory. The Misti uses silent, ultrasonic waves to surround your stressed out co-workers with aromatherapy.

tervis mug PR agency gift

Custom Buzz

Our favorite thing about Tervis is that you can customize anything. Stainless steel coffee mugs are a PR essential, so why not customize with your agency logo, individual social handles, or that hilarious inside joke you're still laughing about. Instant solidarity. If you're too exhausted to be creative, we love this studded travel mug.

stylestick

Stick Together

From smoothing down that gosh darn lapel to saving the day during those inevitable on-set wardrobe mishaps, the Style Stick is on call to answer all outfit woes (and then some). They'll wonder how they got along without it, and have only you to thank.

IMG_3211_meitu_3_720x (1)

Get Lit

These days, teeth whitening just comes with the territory, so why not make it easy (and a little hilarious) with Novashine, which allows whitening via smartphone. This is a PR Girl must - how else to make use of the never-ending conference call hold music?

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 4.13.18 PM

Blend Well

It's way too easy to subsist on coffee and pretzels during the week, instead of nutritious you know, actual meals. Your coworker will be overjoyed with a gift subscription to Green Blender, a premium smoothie delivery service she can blend up at the office.

Elfie Sweater

Cheesy Fun

How cute would it be to gift these on-trend #Elfie sweaters to your social team? Hello holiday party photo booth WIN!

client, editor & vendor gift ideas

Codigo 1530 Rosa_hi res_photo credit Chalkboard magazine

Salud!

Código 1530 Rosa Tequila's infusion of award-winning red wine interacts with the agave in the tequila, resulting in a natural pink hue, soft finish and floral notes. Bring a bottle by to toast your favorite client.

(Photo Credit: Chalkboard Mag)

greetabl_holiday_lifestyle_shoot_10.10.17-30

A card for keeps

Turn the agency holiday card on its head and send a Greetabl - we love the idea of including client Instagram posts, key wins from the year, and of course, a heartfelt thank you. If you need to add in a little something, it's easy to add some candy or a candle to the package.

surprisify gift box

Surprise Me

For a one-of-a-kind gift they'll be talking about for years, enlist the support of Surprisily to put together a custom gift box filled with social good brands. All you have to do is take a quiz about your giftee and choose your budget then Surprisily takes it from there by picking out the perfect gift, wrapping it up, and sending it out. Starts at just $25.

The Boss Box - Holiday Gift Guide 2017

from one boss to another

There are a ton of subscription boxes out there, and we love the idea of keeping the gift going with recurring reminders throughout the year. Designed to :give you the tools to thrive", the brand new Boss Box is a great option for the stylish business owner in your life.

scentbird

new year new scent

Sure there's that whole signature scent thing, but isn't it far more fun to have multiple options for your mood. Gift scents by Scentbird are great for men (we like the Secret Agent one as a dapper gift) and women, and the packaging is aces.

COCWHT-1W 1

Stay Chill

Pop a bottle of champagne into one of these insulated Brino wine sleeves and you've got an instant gift for "what do I get the person with everything" quandary. We're partial to the snow white crox, but the silver glitter is a close second.

Treat YOurself!

GDNT-StarterSet

Time to Unwind

Calm your mind, soothe your soul and get ready for the best sleep of your life (in prep to do it all again tomorrow!). This set from Goodnight Darling Co includes a Deep Detox Bath Soak, Fade to Black Herbal Tea, Black Lavender Wooden Wick Candle, and Black Lavender Body & Room Spray with infusions of soothing eucalyptus and lavender essential oils and melodic pink rose petals. Don't you already feel more relaxed?

dusksspic

Grown up cozy

While there is nothing technically wrong with sleeping in yoga pants from 2 years ago (or let's face it, what you wore today), there's something empowering about getting yourself a nice set of sleepwear. Everything at Raven & Crow is Raven and Crow is made with eco-friendly bamboo fabric that helps to regulate your temperature. We love this soft gray pair, but there's also a bright yellow option I'd snatch up in a moment, if I was the kind of lady who would wear yellow. Sigh.

posh_plate

fancy words deserve a splurge

You're a wordsmith. Don't your words deserve to be plunked out, letter by letter, on the most glamorous keyboard out there? The AZIO Retro Classic is the first retro luxury typewriter that's actually a keyboard, with mechanical keys are are tuned to be tactile and "clicky", reminiscent of the vintage typewriter.We're officially obsessed.

Mug1_1024x1024@2x

Hello Side Hustle

Whether this is the year to take your side-hustle full-time, or simply need to separate both ventures so fully you need a new side-hustle-only mug, this one will keep you fired up all year long.

image008

Indulge your inner woo

The Ultimate Guide to Crystal Grids covers everything you need to know about the process from the basics of sacred geometry to construct crystal grids to create, heal, and manifest goals and intentions. Pre-order it now, and start your first grid on New Year's Day.

tweezers

staying in is cool

Looking good gets expensive. One of the best ways to stick to your budget next year (and actually take that damn vacation) is this: pluck your own eyebrows and do your own nails. Achi tweezers are fit for royalty and their strawberry-scented gel nail polish will keep your hands model-ready, no matter what you need to awkwardly Instagram yourself doing that day.

4 Trending Story Angles for beauty, makeup, and skincare brands

Working on a daily basis with beauty brands, beauty media, and beauty influencers gives my agency ongoing insight into the latest developments and trends within the beauty and skincare industries. As a special holiday gift to you, we’ve rounded up a few story themes we know editors are currently exploring.  We think these angles will be even more prevalent in 2018. If you’re in need of fresh idea for pitches for your beauty or skincare brands (or just curious as to what’s hot in the beauty industry!) read below some of the story trends that are truly piquing editors’ interest!

Giving Back Year-Round

Partnering with a charity can be a great way to boost brand awareness and create good will amongst consumers (as long as the partnership is authentic and makes sense for the brand), but one trend my agency has both been seeing from brands and editors is partnering with a charity year-round, as opposed to select times during the year. While breast cancer awareness charitable contributions and holiday gifts that give back are always great, editors are looking more and more for brands that have incorporated giving back on an ongoing basis as opposed to a one-off. Understandably not all brands have the bandwidth to donate throughout the year, but if you have a way to partner with a charity/non-profit in a way that makes sense for your brand, stress that when reaching out to editors.

Superfoods in Beauty Products

If it goes in your green smoothie, there’s a chance it might have great benefits for your skin (in addition to being healthy for you!) – and editors will want to hear about it! Spinach, kale, quinoa, turmeric, ginger…all buzzy superfood items that we constantly read about in health and wellness publications as being good for you also might have surprising skincare benefits. If you have a product that contains any of these trendy food ingredients, and can speak to the exact results it can help deliver (no exaggerating please…editors can see through that!) then send over a concise pitch. Even better if you have multiple products/clients that have these foodie ingredients!

While breast cancer awareness charitable contributions and holiday gifts that give back are always great, editors are looking more and more for brands that have incorporated giving back on an ongoing basis as opposed to a one-off.

Amazon availability

We’ve all become pretty dependent on Amazon (where else can you get coffee filters, PR Couture’s fabulous Ready to Launch book, and travel packing cubes all in the same place?) and that includes the audiences reading top websites, magazines, and blogs! Editors (particularly in the digital space) frequently have round-ups of products with Amazon availability – whether the story is for a one-stop shop where you can get all your last minute holiday gifts or travel friendly beauty sets you can shop on your Amazon Prime account, the ease and convenience of Amazon is often highlighted by writers. If you are carried on Amazon, make sure to let writers know that to increase your chances of placement!

Inclusive Beauty Products

From the Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line to Mented Cosmetics range of nude polishes, beauty companies are creating products to cater to a much wider audience than ever before. Editors are looking for much more than the traditional five shades of foundation that only work for a limited group of people or the one shade of nude nail polish – truly diverse color selections that can work for a variety of both skin shades and tones are something beauty media is very interested in hearing about. Additionally, any marketing or advertising campaigns that showcase diversity and inclusivity, from CoverGirl’s first “CoverBoy” James Charles to Sephora’s “Reach Out and Gift” commercial featuring their own employees that celebrate a broad range of beauty are of interest to editors. As with charitable gifting, make sure any such campaigns are authentic and organic to the brand, and not just jumping on a bandwagon for the sake of exposure. Editors and media are very smart – make sure the branding is meaningful and sensitive so as not to be labeled as tone deaf.

And there you have it. Keep these story angles and trending topics in mind as you draft up client story opportunities in the New Year.

Is Storytelling Over, When Editors Become Influencers & The First Teen Vogue Summit

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of December 4, 2017

Why retailers are moving their holiday ad strategies away from storytelling (via Adweek)

10 influencer marketing trends to look out for in the new year (via PR Daily)

Here's what missed from the first ever Teen Vogue Summit (via The New York Times)

Just how much are retailers willing to spend on social media influencers? (via Retail Dive)

Get some inspo for marketing strategies in 2018 with these social media campaigns (via Social Media Today)

Grow your brand with Facebook and Instagram live streaming (via Social Media Week)

Why Glossier's Emily Weiss recommends building the customer into the brand (via Business of Fashion)

Editors enter tricky ethical territory when it comes to influencer work (via Fashionista)

Beautycon Media CEO spills about what political strategists can teach us (via Teen Vogue)

Let's face it - it's tough being a female business owner in America (via Quartz)

Your 15-Step Influencer Collaboration Checklist (Free Download)

This article is part of the Influencer Marketing Series, written and sponsored by Shopping Links, an online marketplace designed to make it easier for Bloggers and Brands to connect and collaborate. For $100 off your first collaboration, use code PROFF100.

Short on time? Download the Influencer Collaboration Checklist.


Some publicists (even Millennials) might remember a time when bloggers were simply a new kind of writer to pitch -- an afterthought on press lists headlined by editors at Vogue and Travel + Leisure. For those of us who have seen the rise and flourish of bloggers over the last decade, the idea that brands now pay to collaborate with them perhaps isn’t surprising, but it still presents challenges in the PR world — the old publicist’s guide book doesn’t exactly cover sponsored media! And as a recent Fashionista article highlighted, many in the industry are still drawing the line between editor and influencer. At Shopping Links, we have found that the most successful brands draw a clear distinction between media exposure and influencer collaborations. The leaders of these brands have embraced the greater directional control that comes with sponsoring a campaign, while focusing on long-term relationships with bloggers whose audiences closely align with their own -- thus allowing them to leverage the value of creating a strong mental connection between the brand and the blogger for their followers. Having managed hundreds of influencer collaborations for brands, ranging from emerging designers to Fortune 500 retailers, we have had a front-row seat to what has provided the greatest ROI on a collaboration, and how agencies can help their clients get the most out of each influencer relationship. Some improvements, such as moving from a campaign-by-campaign approach to a more relationship-focused one, take time, but we have also seen brands make big leaps with small steps. More often than not, disappointment is simply a result of mismatched expectations. Many influencers began as regular consumers with a passion project, and even business-savvy bloggers can forget a detail. Setting clear expectations, from whether or not your client will allow affiliate links in their sponsored content, to what image rights they would like to secure after the campaign, can mean the difference between real frustration and a real return. We have created an Influencer Collaboration Checklist with strategy questions, requirements to convey to influencers, and a list of clickable resources from our library to help you cover every base and set the right expectations. Download and bookmark for your next campaign!

How to Find & Leverage Creative Experts to Help Expand Agency Capabilities

Agencies, Public Relations, Illustrators, Photographer, Creative Professional

Written by Alex Perry, Perry Rose Media. 

At some point or another, agencies will likely run have an idea for a client campaign or project that requires outside help to ensure a flawless execution. Hiring creative experts from a related industry, whether they be commissioned or collaborative, open up the breadth of what an agency can provide. I’ve found success partnering with illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, bloggers and stationers.

In working with creative professionals outside of your own company, you give yourself, and importantly, your client, the opportunity to upgrade what’s possible in terms of campaign development, experiential marketing, visual design and so much more. With key partnerships in place, much like in an influencer partnerships, brands can boost the value of these collaborations by extending promotion by said partners, many of whom have their own substantial online presence.

As you think about how to refine or expand agency offerings in the New Year, consider the role of freelance or boutique creative agencies with complementary skill-sets.

1. Build a Local Network

We’re quite spoiled in this modern age of being able to foster global relationships office but don’t ignore the opportunity right in your backyard.

Like many, I have passion for supporting homegrown, small businesses. Fostering strategic partnerships with creative professionals in my area has allowed me to take advantage of immense talent from individuals and groups with home I already share a personal connection through our shared location.

For me, a relationship with creative professionals comes from my participation in a local chapter of a much larger, international network of photographers, event planners, videographers and more. This has lead to my involvement in styled shoots – which is notably a great way to obtain vast, cost-effective content for social media for my clients and myself. It has also allowed me to share my experiences, and in return hear about others’ experiences in business. For you, it could be these things, something different, or even something more.

 

2. Expand Your Search

Now, while working with local talent is wonderful, it’s also not the only way to find ideal partners. For agencies with multiple locations, or clients based in different places, it’s a smart strategy to network in key areas. Build a little black book of thoughtful, fruitful relationships with creative professionals, and then use this curated directory of ideal partnerships to elevate your work for your client’s benefit when the opportunity arises.

Ask your editor friends who they enjoy working with, check those credit tags on Instagram posts, take advantage of suggested account to follow, and check credits of your favorite magazines. One trick is to save images on Instagram into collections for each client. Then, when you’re ready, you know exactly who you have identified as a potential partner.

3. Bring creatives in early

A creative mind is a terrible thing to waste! The earlier you can invite your outsourced creative team members to review project goals, timelines and key messaging the better. You may find their input to be invaluable in terms of opening up new creative solutions or trade secrets to keep that budget down.

Even if you don’t have a specific project on the horizon, it’s never too early to set up a few meetings to find those business owners who align with your mission and vibe. You may want to partner on an agency-only initiative in order to test the working relationship, or give a small project (for a new business pitch, for example) to begin to build a portfolio to use for future client buy-in.

About Alex

Alex Perry is a bridal and beauty brand manager whose work has been published online and in print. She launched Perry Rose Media in 2015 and the agency has grown into a creatively driven communications agency that offers everything from from strategy, to copywriting, to wardrobe styling, as well as creative direction and social media marketing. In 2017, Alex was recognized as the Emerging Communicator of the Year at PR Couture’s Bespoke Communication Awards. Connect with Alex on Instagram, @perryrosemedia and visit Perry Rose Media online at perryrosemedia.com.

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Pinterest AutoPlay, PR Conferences to Know & L’Oreal on Innovation

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the weeks of November 20 & 27, 2017

Time Inc will now be owned by Meredith Corp (via New York Times)

Is Public Relations headed back to the days of simple propaganda? (via Forbes Communication Council)

Why retailers like Modcloth shut down on Black Friday and gave back instead (via Modcloth Blog)

L'Oréal shares tips on innovation for businesses (via Marketing Week) 

A new financial product redefines the future for consumers (via Racked)

Why the key to success is collaboration (via Complex)

These are the PR and Marketing Conferences to add to your calendar for 2018 (via Air PR)

In need of a laugh? Check out the most hilarious holiday ads of 2017 (via DesignRush)

Attention die-hard Amazon Prime users, Costco might actually be cheaper (via LendEdU)

Check out Pinterest Autoplay and what it means for the future of video marketing (via Social Media Today)

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Company Holiday Party

Written by Sara McGovern,  Junior Account Executive, Litzky Public Relations

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” may be true, but it’s also one of the busiest seasons for work! Q4 in the PR industry is notorious for last minute projects and reports, particularly when it comes to consumer products. While yes, everyone’s in a rush to finish the year and head out for the holidays, it’s important for agency leaders to take a beat and recognize their employees with some sort of end of the year holiday party.

At LPR, our Party Planning Committee (otherwise known as the “PPC”) is an agency staple. The PPC plans exciting events year round, ranging from office happy hours and scavenger hunts to field days and holiday parties. I’ve served on LPR’s PPC for two years (which means two holiday parties!), so today I’ll share my tried-and-true tips for throwing your own fun, engaging and unique holiday party, too!

1. Plan your party for the last day of work

Whether you choose a traditional agency holiday party or opt to close out the year with your own NYE-inspired bash, don’t make the mistake of scheduling your event during the work week (even though weeknight venue costs may be less expensive). We like the idea of scheduling your party for the very last day of work before the office closes down. Much like the last day of school, employees will be truly excited to celebrate and able to enjoy the the moment without worrying about last-minute client work (or too-much-Champagne-head for that 9 am conference call). With no work scheduled for the next day, you’ll have the night open for a post-party after party too!

2. Make it easy to show up

Pick a location close to the office, such as a local restaurant or bar to make it easy and convenient for employees. Depending on the size of your company, you may want to rent out a banquet hall or party room in a restaurant to comfortably fit everyone – which, if you’re in a smaller city like Hoboken, may mean a car ride away. Our LPR group of 25 employees has outgrown our local restaurants, so we venture to nearby towns with larger venues like Jersey City and Edgewater. With that, we always make sure to provide transportation so our employees get safely to and from the venue. Uber’s always worked for us, but you can take it one step further – and fancier! – by renting a party bus or limo if that fits your agency vibe.

3. Feed everyone

Food is half the fun, so be sure to think about menu options that fit everyone’s needs and preferences. One trick is to add a line to the bottom of the party invite RSVP should anyone need further accommodations (noting an allergy, for example) for the menu. Typically, it’s good to have a few vegetarian and vegan options (including fish and strictly vegetarian) along with non-alcoholic beverages for people to choose from.

We always make sure to provide transportation so our employees get safely to and from the venue.

4. Hold a gift exchange

Nothing beats getting – and giving – gifts! To get everyone in the gift-giving spirit, host Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange. Set a reasonable price point so you’re not putting people out. For our Secret Santa, we use Elfster.com, a website that virtually organizes a gift exchange! The best part is that each participant can post their own personal wish list to make it easy to find things that stay well out of the regifting pile.

5. Make it meaningful

Add some fun twists to your party to get everyone involved. This could be going around the table saying what your best moment of the year was, or giving away prizes for the “employee most likely to…” or awards for stellar employees who rocked in 2017. At the close of a year it’s valuable to take some time reflecting on the past and setting the tone for an even better future together.

While cramming in last-minute requests and already “working” on 2018 may have you dreaming of a holiday break away from the office, there’s no better way to start the New Year than one last hoorah celebrating your roster of rock star employees.

PR Industry News: Beach House PR, CLD PR, Faulhaber Communications & More

The Eighth Floor Strategic Communications announces its representation of Wingman.

Beach House PR is excited to be working with Supersmile and Eyeko. Beach House will handle Supersmile’s public relations and influencer marketing as well as Eyeko’s influencer marketing efforts.

Little Bird Kitchen will be represented by Lynette Nicole PR.

CLD PR is honored to announce their partnership with Israeli Haute Couture Designer, Berta.

RIOT Media Group is now representing The Chakra Girl Collective, a society of modern, spiritual women who also happen to drink wine, keep up with the Kardashians and enjoy a good shopping binge.

Sydney Reising Creative will now handle all public relations efforts for WANT Les Essentiels.

Faulhaber Communications is excited to be working with Donnelly Group, Barber & Co. and Native Shoes, as it expands its west coast presence.

Krupp Kommunications appointed Lara Cohn as the new Vice President at their New York City office.

Issa PR is thrilled to announce the launch of an exclusive film project with BMW that will showcase a tour of world leading private art collections throughout Europe.

AMP3 PR will now represent TALIA, Silk NY, and Suggesty.