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Publicist Q&A: Getting to Know Caroline Andrew, SVP of Mfa Ltd. Front Row Fashion Interview Series

Publicist Q&A: Getting to Know Caroline Andrew, SVP of Mfa Ltd.

Also known as Client Director of Happiness, Senior Vice President Caroline Andrew has been with New York-based MFA Ltd. (Missy Farren) for more than a decade.  In addition to providing strategic council, she deftly navigates media opportunities and Millennial outreach, much to the delight of clients like lululemon, Roxy apparel, Stance Socks and Schwinn Bikes.

How did you get started in PR?

I got my start in PR interning for Paul Kaza & Associates while studying at the University of Vermont. I worked for clients including Bag Balm, Woodstock Inn & Stowe Mountain. It was there that I got a feel for the entire world of marketing, but especially loved the creative aspect of storytelling through PR. My first job was lifeguarding…but my first PR job was working in house for Schieffelin & Somerset as a PR Assistant, working on luxury spirit brands like Tanqueray and Johnnie Walker accounts.

What is the mood like in the office?

Mfa Ltd. is a fun, energetic environment. There is always a ton of collaboration happening, music playing, random skateboard and yoga sessions going on. And, we love having media, clients and new business potentials coming by or working from our beautiful new space.

It has been a busy, but fun start to the summer. I’m working on a lot of great projects right now, but especially excited to be starting up with Olukai, a luxury footwear and lifestyle brand, and LifeProof, which is the best protector you can have for your Smartphone. They are two great brands, perfect for our lifestyle and consumer products team, and we’ve been having a blast thinking of unique ways to tell their stories.

Schwinn Bikes VOGUE July 2015

Schwinn featured in Vogue Magazine, July 2015 

Tell us about the term Athleisure...

Athleisure has become more than just a trend. With the increase of incredible fitness studios across the country (everything from FlyWheel and Barry’s Bootcamp, to Pure Barre and ShadowBox) consumers want clothes that they feel good in and can take them from a workout to a coffee run…and then maybe spend the entire day in it. The design in this category has come so far, with some really beautiful pieces being produced that are appropriate for so much more than a yoga session. Juja Active (one of our clients) is a new curated activewear retailer, and it’s refreshing to see the innovation that independent brands are pushing through.

The design in [athleisure] has come so far, with some really beautiful pieces being produced that are appropriate for so much more than a yoga session.

More than ever, fitness and wellness has become woven into consumers’ everyday lives. If it’s checking out the latest boutique fitness studio or trying the new juice bar in the neighborhood, consumers want to wear clothes that support their healthy lifestyle and in styles they feel confident in.

What are three must-haves essential to your job?

Being accessible at all times and traveling are big parts of my job. I could not survive without:

1. The Delta App: Helps me book flights in just a few minutes.

2. Seamless App: Cause a girl’s gotta eat.

3. Uber: Always willing to pick me up.

#RunSupYoga Event, Roxy

What makes an ideal client for your agency?

Great question. Ultimately, at Mfa Ltd., we work with brands and organizations that we believe in and admire, which can come in many forms! Working with start-ups, personalities, Fortune 500 corporations all in the same day is what keeps the job interesting and our team motivated to deliver exceptional results. Our best clients are those that are willing to try new things and really let our team’s creativity go to work – it always results in some unexpected wins!

Our best clients are those that are willing to try new things and really let our team’s creativity go to work – it always results in some unexpected wins!

What is a recent success story you’re proud of?

I always get more excited about other people's’ success and I am especially proud of one of our Senior Account Executives who recently helped execute Roxy’s incredible #RunSUPYoga event in Hawaii, bringing global media to the islands for a unique weekend of wellness.

Also, a year and a half ago, lululemon’s yet to be announced CEO asked us to coordinate his announcement, analyze their communications program, change the media narrative and get the brand back on a positive track.  At one point last summer stock price and overall image was pretty low; stock price has nearly doubled at the start of this summer. We are pretty proud of those statistics, as well.

Lululemon Racked Missy Farron PR

"What the team at Lululemon's Vancouver Headquarters wears to work,"  April 2015, Racked

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since you started working in PR?

The utmost importance of being prepared and anticipating clients’ needs. Happy Clients = Success.

Also, that every problem has a solution.

How do you get the word out about MFA Ltd.?

We’ve been very fortunate to have the majority of our new business opportunities come from referrals and recommendations.  While we prefer to keep the focus on our partners, rather than ourselves, we do distribute a quarterly agency newsletter and a monthly wellness newsletter, which highlights our favorite picks, news and more within the fitness/health worlds.

What excites you about PR these days?

The constant evolution of our industry. PR has always been ‘relations with the public’ and with the onset of so many more storytelling platforms, this has never been more true. I am excited about the potential of what will come next.

PR has always been ‘relations with the public’ and with the onset of so many more storytelling platforms, this has never been more true.

What are a few tips you have for working with Millenials?

It’s interesting – working with media is quite similar to working to connect with the Millennial consumer, in that you have to deliver the information when, where and how they want it in order for it to resonate. The best product or message in the world will remain silent if you can’t find the appropriate channel for the story to be heard.

Don’t forget to follow Caroline and the rest of the Mfa Ltd. team on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Thanks, Caroline!

prjobs7

Hemsworth Communications Seeks Multiple PR Positions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hemsworth Communications, a South Florida-based travel, tourism and lifestyle PR agency, is adding to its rapidly growing team and is looking for a variety of positions to join their new office in Fort Lauderdale, including an Executive Assistant, Account Coordinator, Account Executive, and Account Supervisor. This is a great opportunity to be part of a team with fresh ideas, a unique culture and an expanding client roster of fun, innovative global brands.

Candidates must be local and interested in a full-time position.

Learn More and Apply


Desperately seeking to hire your next fashion PR pro? Just $49 per listing gets you 30 days in front of a highly targeted applicant pool, plus tons of social promotion!

Marketing with Periscope, Leveraging LinkedIn & Birchbox's Big Plans Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of July 13, 2015

Marketing with Periscope, LinkedIn for PR & Birchbox goes Big

  • Clueless Costume Designer Mona May on how she created a wardrobe phenom that made us all envious (you know you went out and got a plaid skirt after you saw this movie). (via Harpers Bazaar)
  • There's really no way around it, networking is just a necessary thing in PR. But, how do you network? (via Nuts PR)
  • Leverage LinkedIn and use it to amplify your next PR strategy. (via AirPR)
  • The revolution is here! And its name is content marketing. Which you, smartypants, probably already knew. (via Harvard Business Review)
  • Right on the heels of opening a NYC store, Birchbox is planning some big offline things. (via Digiday)
  • Entertainment agency WME bought Wall Group to tap into the world of stylists. (via New York Times)
  • Adam Levine and the other Voice coaches can inspire the best sales pitch of our lives. (via Forbes)
  • New social media tool on deck: Live streaming app Periscope and five tips to use it with your social strategy. (via Style Your Success)
  • Brands might think they know who the Millennial consumer is, but they're just scratching the surface. (via ReCode)
  • American Eagle got real, got rid of Photoshop, and got a lot of sales. (via Good)

Favorite Fashion Videos


 

Photo Credit: loli jackson

Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, Founder of PR Couture, Fashion Brand Strategist and PR Girl Mentor. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixir sessions or shoot me a note at crosby@prcouture.com.