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Office A PR Couture Guest Article by Cassie Hughes and Gabrey Means, Co-Founders of Grow Marketing

How to Build the PR/Marketing Agency You Truly Want to Create

Manifesting, to many, is just another new age buzzword.  But as soft as it sounds, it’s actually quite a powerful business tool. There are a million ways to start and grow a business, but if you aren’t clear on what you want, it’s easy to get off track. We aren’t talking about business plans or spreadsheets, though these have a time and place. Manifesting is about getting at something far more intuitive and visionary.

To make it work for you, it’s important to:

Be clear on your purpose

When we started our agency, we may not have known what we were doing, but we were crystal clear on what we wanted. We thought about things that were important to us outside of work and what we valued most in our lives overall.  We also dug into what we had loved and hated about our former jobs and the culture of the organizations in which we had worked. Then we started envisioning a place where are personal selves and our work selves could spend the day together, where there was lots of laughter and creativity and no annoying politics and where we did not have to go against our guts to support a vision we didn’t believe in. Fourteen years later, these continue to be the principles by which our company operates now. Having a vision, knowing your guardrails and what you are marching towards is vital to it becoming a reality.

Let the right ones in

If two people with the same vision can help make a dream a reality, what about twenty, or thirty or fifty? Before we even had one employee we knew that our people would be our greatest asset and we set about, creating an environment that would attract a like-minded group of talented souls who eschewed politics in favor of doing great work, who challenged themselves personally but always had each other’s backs and we committed to letting each of them grow at their own pace. To manifest a vision for the future you need your whole team dreaming and believing in that future together and in order to do that they need to feel they are an essential and critical part of the mix.

To manifest a vision for the future you need your whole team dreaming and believing in that future together and in order to do that they need to feel they are an essential and critical part of the mix.

Create simple rituals

As such big believers in manifestation, we like to encourage our team to set intentions for their own lives, both professionally and personally, individually and as teams. At our agency this comes to life through an ongoing practice we developed called “The Sticky Religion” -  a vision board placed within the office where team members can contribute “intention” sticky notes, which can be added to and revisited frequently.

Define your work ideals

Many companies think about the clients they want to work with in basic terms – a car brand, a financial services company, a technology leader.  We like to go a level deeper and envision the kinds of people we want to work with, the types of assignments we’d find most interesting, areas of particular passion for our teams.  It is truly amazing how the simple act of articulating this vision and committing it to paper starts to bear fruit.  The phone rings from a contact you haven’t heard from in two years who has an exciting new opportunity.  A client thinks of you for a new project that challenges your team in a different way. You turn down an assignment that is not a good fit without guilt or remorse.  We are not suggesting this is the only new business tool you use but it's a damn powerful filter for deciding what to pursue and what to let go.

Manifestation is not aimless dreaming. It takes clarity, purpose and intention but when you really commit to it, you’ll find yourself spending your days building and enjoying the kind of business you really want.

About Cassie Hughes:

Cassie is the Strategy Director and Co-Founder of Grow Marketing, an experiential marketing and amplification agency headquartered in San Francisco. Founded in 2001, Hughes and her business partner, Gabrey Means, have built Grow from a two-person consultancy into an award-winning agency that creates live experiences for a range of Fortune 500 and emerging brands across the country and around the world, including Google, Pernod Ricard, GAP, Pepsico, Levi’s, Lincoln and Sephora.

About Gabrey Means:

Gabrey is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Grow Marketing, an experiential marketing and amplification agency headquartered in San Francisco. Founded in 2001, Means and her business partner, Cassie Hughes, have built Grow from a two-person consultancy into an award-winning agency that creates live experiences for a range of Fortune 500 and emerging brands across the country and around the world, including Google, Pernod Ricard, GAP, Pepsico, Levi’s, Lincoln and Sephora.

Image via: Office Lovin

JGO HEADSHOT Front Row Fashion PR Interview Series

Publicist Q&A: Getting to Know Jennifer Gomez, VP of Womens at Kenwerks

PR girl Jennifer Gomez has always had a deeply rooted passion for the fashion industry. Her love for celebrities and music drove her to move to LA in 2010. Her work experience as the Visual Standards Director for Bebe, Inc. and Fashion Accessories Merchandiser for Bloomingdales developed her obsession with the fashion industry and spurred her career in PR. She joined the Kenwerks team in 2010 and quickly excelled in developing relationships with key fashion editors, Hollywood stylists, celebrity trendsetters and style icons. She recently got promoted to VP of Women's division and is packing up and heading to the East Coast.

How did you get started in PR?

I've always loved fashion and knew I would end up working in the fashion industry. My best friend, Dana introduced me to my now boss, Ken Loo. They had worked together at Ben Sherman, and I was new to Los Angeles so Dana made the intro. Ken had just started Kenwerks and would hire me part-time for events and different activations he was doing for clients. When he was ready to bring on a Jr. Publicist full time he offered me the job!

You just got promoted to VP of Women's at Kenwerks. Congrats! What's new for you in this role? What are your responsibilities?

Thank you! It's so rewarding to be a part of the growth and success that Kenwerks has accomplished in 6 short years. Firstly, my new role will move me to NYC to grow and identify opportunities in our women's division as well as oversee all PR and marketing efforts for our women's clients. We currently represent some great women's brands and I am looking to grow our roster of our clients by finding those up and coming women's brands who need PR and marketing services to elevate their success.

What is the mood like in the office right now?

Our office is really fun and unique, especially because our LA showroom is a house, so our decor and aesthetic is really cool. We have stylists walking in all day, music playing, samples being pulled and sometimes I bring my little Chihuahua Divitt to work with me so she will run around and bark at everyone which keeps things light hearted and interesting around here.

I am currently planning our Kenwerks FW15 press days in NYC, and also packing up my West Hollywood apartment because I am making the move across country to the big apple!"

What are three must-haves that are essential to your job?

COFFEE, I can't put together a sentence without it in the morning! Google Drive is a must-have app because I can access all my clients files from my phone on the go. My wireless hotspot is a life saver when I'm on remote client shoots and wifi is not accessible.

coffe

What makes an ideal client?

We specialize in brands that are either looking to launch here in the US or are already established but looking to re-brand and re-create themselves. We love to work with up and coming designers and brands and be a part of their success from the start.

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

Getting promoted to VP of our Women's Division has definitely been a proud moment this year. I have worked my way up from assistant level, fast forward 6 years later being promoted to VP and overseeing our entire women's business. It's still pretty surreal to me but hard works does pay off and I'm excited for the future and whats to come.

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

My favorite quote is "There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs." Everyone has to start somewhere and in my experience, you are most valuable when you can be the jack-of-all-trades in this industry. PR has evolved so much in the past couple of years that you really need to be evolving with the times and learn quickly how to think outside of the box.

PR has evolved so much in the past couple of years that you really need to be evolving with the times and learn quickly how to think outside of the box.

How do you help get the word out about Kenwerks?

Most of our clients come from word of mouth and other clients telling their friends about the work we do and so fourth. Our agency provides so many different services that each client is so unique to the other and we are able to adapt and provide new clients with what they need or haven't found at other agencies.

What excites you about PR these days?

This industry is ever changing, not having to live the same day twice is my favorite thing about working in PR. Fashion is a universal language and being able to work with not only US brands but other brands globally is the next step for us and that in itself is exciting!

What's top of mind for you right now?

Now that I will be living in NYC, which is where all of the major fashion editors are based, I am quickly learning that the turn-over rate in media is at an all time high and knowing how to adapt and pitch a new editor instead of relying on the past editor to push your client placement thru for you, is key. Yes, relationships matter but changing strategies and memorizing editorial calendars so you know what stories work for your clients will help you whether you have that strong relationship with the editor or not.

What tips do you have for other PR Girls who are trying to reach that next level in their career?

My advice to PR girls is to remember my favorite quote from above: "There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs." Hard work and a positive attitude will always get you noticed. You can't be a wall flower in this industry and expect to get recognized and move up to the next level. Speak up, voice your opinion and ideas, but always make sure to have a positive attitude while doing so. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!! Remember that when you leave a job or a company, you take your contacts and relationships with you and in this industry they are worth gold!

Hard work and a positive attitude will always get you noticed. You can't be a wall flower in this industry and expect to get recognized and move up to the next level.

Keep in touch with Jennifer and Kenwerks by following them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Congrats, Jennifer and thank you!

Coffee pic via PR Couture's Instagram

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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.