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PR Mavens We Love: Karine Delage, Founder, Karyzma Agency

Some kids from a young age simply have a calling. For Karine, it was a passion to communicate.

It first became evident in Montreal when Karine was only 8 years old. She started writing and reporting for the school paper and gained notoriety as the youngest journalist in Quebec. Karine was hooked. From that day on, she immersed herself in everything entertainment. She wrote for 7 Jours magazine, developed a devoted following and by the time she was 13 years old, Karine was actively being sent out to cover important events such as the Grammys, the MTV Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards - even Woodstock!

These days, armed with a degree in both in Public Affairs and History and experience working at Canada's top PR agency, Karine opened her own shop.

This year, she named a 2017 Top 40 Under 40 award, and is celebrating her firm's 5th anniversary with Karyzma, a new digital series coming out this spring that takes viewers behind the scenes into her PR world.

Name: Karine Delage
Title: Founder
Location: Toronto, Canada
Education: Concordia University, double major in Public Affairs & History
Company: Karyzma Agency
Instagram:
 @karyzmaagency
Twitter: @KaryzmaAgency
Facebook: @karyzmaagency

Tell us a little bit about Karyzma

Karyzma Agency is a full service, multilingual public relations agency. Everyday I have the privilege of working with A-list talents, artists and renowned brands across many categories including fashion, lifestyle, media and technology. 

Whether I am working as a PR specialist, a publicist, a project manager, or an event planner, my priority is to always help my clients accomplish great things and build their brands. 

Share a quick peek into a day in your life

I get up, check email, social media accounts and press reader. The day includes a mix of going to meetings, sending press releases. I go to the gym each and every day, working out is a must to keep myself motivated and focused daily.

What are you currently working on?

Right now we are working on Karl Wolf's new EP (coming out on November 10th), Neon Dreams' new album (just released on September 22nd), Grey Cup (Canadian Super Bowl) Gifting Suite, and the pilot for a show about Karyzma Agency.

 

I wish that people understood how hard we work to get the coverage and plan things for our clients. We don't just hide behind a computer during the day and then party all night.

 

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

During Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, we hosted seven events in eight days, the most events we've ever had in such a short amount of time. On top of that, we had to plan for the release of an album and a client that was on tour. Plus five of our talents were in town, including one attending the festival for the first time in support of her first major lead role in a blockbuster movie.

Handling all the moving pieces and ensuring everything was managed successfully was a huge win for me.

 

What is the most memorable moment in your career thus far?

I think working with Will Smith 5 years ago was really memorable because it was the first time ever that I'd worked with a talent on that level. It really helped push me further on my path to success.

What is the most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I have several because of what I do. Each and every glamorous moment would be different, I would either receive tons of media coverage or I would walk down the red carpet with a talent. It doesn't have to be an A-lister, but getting a brand or artist coverage on a major platform would do it for me.

 

What can you tell us about your new series

The show came about because there is a lack of knowledge of the PR world in Canada and I wanted to change that.

You'll see me help keep our talent on schedule and on message, as well as work with my mentor and client, Laura Miller of Inspired Soap Works - who helps keep me grounded! My best friend Dru Grange will also make an appearance and we support one another through her musical comeback and my crazy schedule and personal challenges.

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

Honestly I used to train at the gym, but two years ago I decided to get back into it and it's been helping me focus better and reduce my stress. I lost 40 pounds by eating better and training.

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

Instagram, Press Reader, and Google apps (on the business end). I do also need to mention Starbucks, because I couldn't survive a day without a Grande Americano with sugar-free Dolce aka my little pick me up!

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

I wish that people understood how hard we work to get the coverage and plan things for our clients. We don't just hide behind a computer during the day and then party all night. There is so much more to our work and that's why we are working on a behind the scenes of the agency to show the Canadian public.

Whether I am working as a PR specialist, a publicist, a project manager, or an event planner, my priority is to always help my clients accomplish great things and build their brands. 

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

I'm excited to see how the PR world is evolving and it's getting so diverse with social media. There is so much more that can be done and new levels to be reached.

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

It's getting harder to get coverage with all of the cuts in the media world. We just need to be more creative.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Follow you dreams and your passions. Yes, you will make tons of mistakes but they will help you grow stronger and understand yourself better. To be honest, I would never change anything about my past, because you need to learn from your mistakes and I strongly believe that it's the best way to learn.

Anything else we should know?

We are always looking for interns and I will be doing more speaking gigs in 2018.

Thanks Karine!

5-Step Checklist to Choose the Right Celebrity for Brand Endorsement

The Celebrity Endorsement Series is written by Billy Bones, founder of Booking Agent Info and Moda Database. This is Part 1. Read Part 2 and 3.

Working with a celebrity on an endorsement campaign is a huge step towards increasing brand recognition, allowing a brand to reach new consumers through an influential connection to someone who already captivates their attention. With the right celebrity, you’ll able to target those specific audiences most likely to listen to the celebrity’s recommendation and act on it.

If you’re ready to set up a celebrity endorsement deal but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading – you’ll find everything you need.

Firstly, having a celebrity endorse your product is valuable, but it’s not nearly as valuable as picking the right celebrity. Your ideal celebrity endorser might be the biggest name you can think of, but that isn’t always the case. Depending on your brand and your product, the right celebrity with a smaller audience can yield better returns than an A-lister who isn’t a good fit.

The questions is, how do you know if a certain celebrity is a good fit for your brand?

1. Look At Their Endorsement History

By researching a celebrity’s endorsement history, you’ll get a better idea of how they’ll be by your audience as a spokesperson. On top of that, it’ll help you figure out whether or not your brand will be well-received by their audience.

Look at the brands and products the celebrity has endorsed in the past. Ideally, it’s best to find someone who’s endorsed brands or products that are similar to yours – or even someone who has endorsed your competitors before.

2. Identify Their Interests

This is another crucial element of a successful endorsement deal: making sure your brand shares the interests of your celebrity endorser. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is this celebrity interested in or passionate about?
  2. Does my brand share their interests or passions?
  3. If not, does my brand address the celebrity’s interests or passions?

Asking these questions gives you two potential ways to approach the celebrity and the future campaign. Either you can leverage your brans’s shared interest with the celebrity or influencer to add authenticity to the campaign, or the celebrity can play on the fact that your product addresses their passions as a way of demonstrating its value to the average consumer.

Firstly, having a celebrity endorse your product is valuable, but it’s not nearly as valuable as picking the right celebrity.

3. Make Sure Their Audience is Right For You

It’s important to consider whether or not a celebrity’s existing audience overlaps with your target demographic. For example, if your brand specializes in cosmetics, someone like Vin Diesel isn’t likely to help you connect with the kinds of consumers you’re looking for. In addition, you also have to consider whether or not their audience is sufficient to make a big enough impact on your revenues to justify the cost of the endorsement.

4. Consider Their Audience Engagement

If you’re thinking of running a social media-based endorsement campaign, this one is crucial. No matter what network you use, a celebrity endorsement can be almost worthless if they don’t have a strong enough following.

That said, it’s not just a matter of finding the celebrity with the biggest audience. You should also make sure you pick a celebrity with a strong engagement rate (that is, comments or likes) on their posts.

For example, if a celebrity has 5 million followers but only receives 5,000 likes or comments per post or video, their engagement rate is 0.1% – not great. Ideally, you want to identity potential endorses who have an engagement rate of 0.5% or better. The more people engage on your endorser’s average posts, the more likely it is that they feel a connection to your endorser, and the more likely it is that they’ll listen to your endorser’s recommendations.

5. Look For Shared Causes or Charities

If your brand has a cause or philanthropy that it supports, see if there are any celebrities who support the same causes. A big part of ensuring a perfect fit for your campaign is looking at the celebrity’s overall public brand, not just their endorsement history. On top of that, a celebrity who supports the same causes as your brand means their endorsement will have an even greater impact – their audience will recognize their endorsement as authentic, and they’ll be more likely to try your brand for themselves.

Once you’ve identified the right celebrity for your campaign, the next thing to do is decide on the specific type of endorsement, which we will cover in part 2 of the series.

About Billy

Billy Bones is the founder of Booking Agent Info and Moda Database. Moda Database is a celebrity stylist contact list that provides businesses with the contact information for celebrity stylists, and their celebrity clients. Booking Agent Info provides you with the contact information for the official agents, managers, and publicists of celebrities.

Meet the 2017 BCA Petit Award Winners

Favorites Award Winner Slideshow

We are so excited to share a bit more about our 2017 BCA Petit Award winners! The Petit Category honors stand-alone campaigns, industry practices, vendors and brands that made a note-worthy impact at a specific point in time during 2016. We hope you are as inspired by their work as we are.

We’re in planning mode for the 2018 BCAs! Want to get in involved as a sponsor, judge or volunteer? Email info@thebespokeawards.com

 

Gucci’s Millennial Tribunal, Agency Stress & Instagram in 2018

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

...for the week of October 23, 2017

Who knew a team of millennials served as an "shadow" advisory board for Gucci?! (via Quartz)

Across the country, US fashion businesses are taking public stances on political issues (via BBC)

What augmented reality has to say about your skin (via Racked)

Check out what customers value most when it comes to personalized marketing (via McKinsey & Company)

6 ways to recover if your brand is stuck in a social media nightmare (via PR News)

How fashion icon Anna Wintour made a lasting impact on culture (via Adweek)

The truth about stress and why your agency should take it easy on junior staff (via Marketing Week)

Social media news can turn from fact to fiction in the blink of an eye (via The New York Times)

2018 is fast approaching! Read about the latest marketing predictions for Instagram in the new year (via Social Media Today)

Fashion brands look to Silicon Valley for fashion sustainability (via Fashionista)

5 Steps to Start Promoting Your Agency (You Know You Need to)

There’s an old adage about pediatricians whose kids have sore throats and cobblers whose kids go barefoot. These are extreme examples of lack of attention – but in the PR industry, many of us follow suit when it comes to treating our own agency as a client. We publicize and land big stories for our clients, but when it comes to our own work – not so much.

Is your agency guilty when it comes to self-promotion (or lack thereof)? We were, too – but then, we got into gear.

This year, we began to ramp up Litzky PR’s own publicity efforts as a way to give team members a chance to learn new skills and shine among peers. The “LPR PR” team of volunteers took us from zero to 100 in nine short months, giving us the chance to “strut our stuff” in front of potential clients and prospective employees.

Here are a few steps to help you get started on your agency’s publicity efforts, too.

1. Define How Your Outreach Efforts Will Support Business Goals

Just like client work, you can’t “hit go” on planning until you know what moves the needle for the larger team. For us, we didn’t expect new clients to come knocking at our door but we did want to make it easier for prospects to learn more about our expertise. As a result, we prioritized efforts to seed information about who we are as an agency, illustrating our unique “team-first” culture and our smart strategies that drive results.

2. Submit for Industry Awards

Award submissions are a lot of work. They require retroactive thinking, research, material collection and clever writing – not to mention hours of editing to fit within word counts. Each award submission is different, which again, makes it time consuming, but believe me when I say nothing is more rewarding than watching industry peers recognize your employees as the rock stars they are!

We’ve had much success this year with award submissions (including PR Couture’s own Bespoke Awards – make sure you’re on the list to be first to hear about 2018 award opportunities), and it’s something we’ll absolutely be continuing in the New Year.

If it’s your first time preparing awards, check out PRSA’s Silver Anvil Award case studies for thought starters and tips.

3. Contribute Your Expertise to Online PR Sites

One of the parts of LPR PR I’ve been most excited about is writing for this very site! We have “bylined articles” as an entire area of focus within LPR PR, giving employees the chance to pitch something new and different – us!

The “byline lead” secured us this regular column in PR Couture, as well as writing opportunities for myself as well as other employees across the industry on digital publications including PRSA Tactics and PRSay.

Quick tip: It doesn’t always have to be a high-level executive who does the writing. We like to give junior employees the chance to craft their own bylined articles based on their areas of interest.

4. Pitch your agency’s differentiators

For us, culture is everything. So when our LPR PR “media relations lead” told me we’d been featured as one of Entrepreneur’s “9 Companies that Offer Cool and Enticing Benefits,” I nearly fell off my chair! Of course, I know we offer these great benefits, but to know my employees feel so strongly they pitch these stories – well, that’s the best reward I could ask for!

Our LPR PR team pitches our culture regularly, highlighting unique benefits and our employee retention – not to mention fun perks like a dog-friendly office. While dozens of offices offer these perks, few take the time to publicize them, which is yet another reason agency publicity is smart!

5. Review and regroup regularly

Just like client plans, some things will work, some won’t. Make sure you regroup with your own internal PR team regularly to check in on where things stand, and where work should shift when tactics aren’t succeeding. It’s especially important to regroup at the end of the year to get a full snapshot of how tactics fared and how you can become more efficient – and more successful – in the New Year.

Pitching your agency may feel awkward at first – your time should be spent on clients, right? – but it’s actually incredibly gratifying and strategic. No one will know how great your team is unless you tell them, so empower your employees to go out there and spread the word!

Full Season of New Original Reality Web Series “PRGirl” Now Available | Press Release

Full Season of New Original Reality Web Series “PRGirl” Now Available

Second half of binge-worthy short-form series provides an inside look at star Alex Moresco running her successful PR business, despite Lyme disease

CHICAGO – OCT. 25, 2017 – Today, WhatRUWearing (WRUW), a digital forum delivering shareable content for style, beauty and lifestyle obsessed 20-somethings, in partnership with PR Couture, the leading sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators, released the final four episodes of season one of “PRGirl,” a new original web series starring Alexandra Moresco, a 24-year-old entertainment publicist, founder of A Moresco PR and Lyme disease advocate.

In part one of the entertaining series, viewers were introduced to Moresco, received a peek inside the glitz, glam and grit that the star deals with on a daily basis, personally and professionally, and were left questioning what is next for Moresco’s Movers and Shakers PR Panel, the Global Lyme Alliance event and the state of her wedding nuptials. Part two, now streaming at prgirlseries.com answers these questions and prepares viewers for a standalone reunion episode, due out later in November.

“I am grateful and thrilled with the reaction we have received thus far from our viewers and our community,” said Farissa Knox, Founder of WRUW and Creator of the PRGirl series concept. “In these brand new episodes, fans will gain an even deeper understanding of not only what it is like to work in PR, but Alex’s approach to managing her career, personal health and relationships.”

New episodes now available for viewing are as follows:

  • Episode six: You’re Invited – Moresco prepares for the highly-anticipated PR panel and wonders if she can pull it off.
  • Episode seven: The Bachelorette – From catching up with an old friend and colleague who works at Edelman to throwing axes, Moresco enjoys a weekend filled with partying and unconventional bachelorette activities.
  • Episode eight: The Day Of – While stress is running high and deadlines are closing in, Moresco is feeling ill on event day and leaves to get ready not knowing if she will feel well enough to attend and witness her hard work come to fruition.
  • Episode nine: Pantone’s Color of the Year: Lyme – With an emotional return to the event space, Moresco puts a smile on, signs off on the final touches for the night and watches the high-profile and star studded event successfully unfold.

“Watching Alex’s story unfold on camera demonstrates just how valuable storytelling through video is for quickly forging connections between a compelling narrative and a core audience of digital natives who prefer watching over reading articles,” said Crosby Noricks, Founder and Director of PR Couture. “We are excited about the dialogue this show has already fostered among the PR community as well as the potential power it offers us in regards to exploring creative ways to bring these types of career and lifestyle vignettes to the screen.”

To celebrate the successful completion of “PRGirl” season one and in consortium with PR Couture’s ongoing 10th Anniversary celebrations, Noricks, Knox and Moresco will host a wrap party and pioneer panel at FIDM’s San Diego campus on Tuesday, November 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PST. Attendees will enjoy an exclusive viewing of the “PRGirl” Reunion Episode followed by a short panel exploring personal branding and entrepreneurship. Complimentary refreshments and light appetizers will be available onsite. To RSVP for the wrap party, please visit www.prcouture.com/rsvp.

Viewers can watch the full season, produced by the Autumn Film Company, now on www.prgirlseries.com. Details about season two are to be announced in 2018. For more information on the “PRGirl” series, visit www.prgirlseries.com. To become a sponsor, advertiser or partner, email sponsors@prgirlseries.com.

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About PRGirl

PRGirl is a brand new original web series starring Chicago-based Alexandra Moresco, a 24-year-old entertainment publicist and founder of A Moresco PR + Digital Strategy. Created and directed by WhatRUWearing, a digital forum delivering shareable content for the style, beauty and lifestyle obsessed 20 somethings, in partnership with PR Couture, the leading sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators, the show documents Moresco’s world as an in-demand entertainment PR pro while she plans her  wedding, finishes up another semester towards her Master’s Degree at DePaul University and advocates for Lyme Disease (Moresco was diagnosed in 2016). Viewers can follow along on Instagram at @prgirlseries. For more information on the “PRGirl” series, visit www.prgirlseries.com. To become a sponsor, advertiser or partner, email sponsors@prgirlseries.com.

 

About WhatRUWearing

WhatRUWearing is a digital forum focused on delivering shareable content to individuals in their 20s and 30s that are style, beauty and lifestyle obsessed. By serving up engaging and entertaining editorial content, news, videos and podcasts, WhatRUWearing, founded in 2013 and headquartered in Chicago, IL, aims to provide its audience with relatable and interactive opportunities for learning and networking through events, TV programming, audio developments and accessibility with leaders in the space. For more information, visit www.whatruwearing.net.

 

About PR Couture

PR Couture is the leading sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators. Well-recognized as a top PR blog, program provider and brand among leading professionals and publications for more than a decade, PR Couture has cultivated a community that is eager to stay on top of industry trends, education and best practices. The PR Couture platform reports daily on news, results-driving strategies, career opportunities and expert profiles for its loyal readers. With a focus on education, mentorship and recognition, PR Couture’s programming arm boasts an annual award program, year-round enrichment courses, partnership development, workshops, coaching services and an original web series making its reach fully robust and functional for its growing audience. For more information on PR Couture, visit www.prcouture.com or email hello@prcouture.com.

PR Industry News: Faulhaber, Pace PR, Jeneration PR & More

 

Faulhaber Communications celebrates their ranking of No. 240 on the 29th Annual PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies.

Pace Public Relations has added Rose Levy as Senior Director, Media Relations to the team. Rose was formerly Director of Corporate Communications at Refinery29. The agency will also now represent Business Insider and National Review Institute for TV bookings.

Jeneration PR is now working with Gilchrist & Soames on their launch of their new Luxury Home collection of linens, towels and robes. The agency has also added Silver Cross, the oldest stroller company in the world, to its roster.

JMG Public Relations is thrilled to announce their representation of Dance Workshop in New York City.

UR Bath and Body, a company founded by Tracy Gunn, will be represented by Lynette Nicole PR.

GG Benitez PR is pleased to announce their newest client, TruSelf Organics, a line of healthy, organic and cruelty-free haircare and skincare products.

Billboard Media Group will be represented by JONESWORKS

The Eighth Floor Strategic Communications is excited to announce their representation of WorkEatPlay.

Issa PR launched The House of Finland in New York City last month celebrating art, design, technology and 100 years of independence.

The Future of Fashion PR, the Google Disconnect & Lessons from Lush

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

...for the week of October 16, 2017

Instagram is changing the fashion industry,  says Eva Chen (via Vogue UK)

Believe it or not, your LinkedIn profile says more about you than your website (via Social Media Today)

Lush is killing it in ecommerce! Here's what you can learn from their success (via Marketing Week)

Refine your pitches with these "ABC's" for success (via PR Daily)

Is Hollywood's problem solved through the addition of more female's in charge? (via Quartz)

Check out why brands are missing out on potential revenue in mobile retail (via Fashionista)

Some of the biggest PR specialists discuss how the fashion PR world is evolving (via Business of Fashion)

Keep your team motivated and focused during the holiday season (via Entrepreneur)

Why the masterminds behind Google and Facebook are now disconnecting themselves from the Internet (via The Guardian)

8 books you MUST read, from forward-thinkers who paved the way for modern times (via Elle)

PR Mavens We Love: Allyson Conklin, Founder, Allyson Conklin PR

Allyson has always been inspired by the people behind her favorite brands - the movers, the shakers, and the visionaries. She founded Allyson Conklin Public Relations in December 2010 to give brands a true partner, not only a publicist. 

Allyson started her career in publishing in New York City, holding roles at Footwear News and W Magazine prior to making the jump to PR in-house at Shiseido Cosmetics, and then at Talisker in Park City, Utah. Shortly after returning to Colorado, she founded ACPR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in beauty, home and lifestyle brands.

Since its launch, ACPR's clients have been featured in some of the most desirable media outlets including Vogue, well+GOOD, HGTV Magazine, MyDomaine, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Traditional Home and Forbes online.

When Allyson's not plotting to take ACPR to the next level and make her clients the next household brand names, you can find her decorating (and then redecorating) her home, testing out the latest facial oil, binge-watching Law and Order: SVU, or dreaming of baking (and then eating) her way through Pinterest.

Name: Allyson Conklin
Title: Founder & Principal
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Education: Colorado State University, B.S. in Apparel and Merchandising
Company: Allyson Conklin Public Relations
Instagram:
 @allysonconklinpr

Twitter: @allysonconklin

Facebook: @allysonconklinpr

 

How did you know it was time to start your own thing?

Starting a business was never my intention. But after resigning from an in-house PR role and deciding to relocate back to Fort Collins, Colorado, I was approached by an interior designer with a question that would forever change the course of my career: "Have you ever considered starting your own agency?" That question was followed by: "And if so, can I be your first client?" I'll be forever grateful for that question. The seed was planted, and within two months it blossomed into Allyson Conklin Public Relations. As they say, the rest is history.

What does your day-to-day look like?

I do all the things. On any given day, I'm a publicist, mentor, manager, IT department, HR department, interior decorator, cleaning lady, chief strategist, fixer, copywriter, accountant, cheerleader, business development director, mediator and the boss. Essentially, I do whatever is required to ensure the success of the business. And I don't mind it one bit.

We're a small but mighty team of three, with myself, a coordinator and an assistant. I consciously structured the company so that everyone works on every client we represent. This ensures an ultra collaborative approach, which I love (and our clients do, too)!

What is the mood like in the office? What are you currently working on?

We have an upbeat vibe in the office. While our heads are down and we're all working hard, the energy is light. From the get-go, I've placed a very high value on a happy workplace. We all know that PR is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful industries to work in, so I strive to keep our environment as positive as possible.

At the moment we're cranking out short lead holiday gift guide pitches ('tis the season!) and promoting new product launches.

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

I know that this is a little untraditional, but stick with me. I consider overcoming imposter's syndrome a big success this year. As a woman, and business owner, it's easy to let the "stories" I tell myself (I'm not worthy, I'm not good enough, I don't have enough experience, I don't have enough knowledge, I simply can't do it, etc.) dominate what's going on in my head. Having worked directly with female founders for almost seven years now, not to mention a ton of friends who are also business owners, I know that I'm not alone. It seems that almost everyone suffers from this. But why?! Why do successful, inspirational and powerful women doubt themselves? It was reassuring to know that I'm not alone, but that didn't really do anything to solve my problem. So this year I decided that enough was enough. I got real with myself about why I was experiencing imposter's syndrome and identified what I needed to do to shake it. It's a daily battle and I still encounter those "stories," but I now have the tools to pinpoint them, call them out and move past them.

 

I do whatever is required to ensure the success of the business. And I don't mind it one bit.

What is the most memorable moment in your career thus far?

There are too many to count! I feel like I encounter something meaningful every. single. day. Particularly in the little moments. It's opening the door to the office in the morning (though in full disclosure I'm usually the last in). It's watching my employees grow, thrive and soar. It's helping a client create exposure for their brand in a way they never thought was possible. It's being able to decide to go home early to spend time with my family because I can. It's catching up with a former intern that's killing it in their career. It's having brands reach out organically about partnering because of our reputation and results. It's recognizing that the relationships I've cultivated for over a decade are why I am still doing this today.

Ultimately though, it all started by choosing to forgo fear and go out on my own almost seven years ago, and never looking back.

 

 

What is the most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I don't know if there's a glamorous moment per se. There are too many "PR is glamorous" stereotypes out there that paint an unrealistic picture of the industry, so I'll give you a real life answer.

Reading cover letters from applicants who were interested in joining my team this fall was pretty amazing. ACPR experienced a growth spurt last summer and I was able to add a second full time employee to my team, which was a goal for the year. We had countless talented applicants apply and so many of them said such kind things about ACPR and me. It left me feeling proud of this business that I've built, and not gonna lie, a bit teary at times!

What is the least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I was leaving the Meredith Corporation building in New York City after an amazing deskside. As with most deskside trips, I was schlepping a large (and insanely heavy!) tote of products. I exited the building, flung the bag over my shoulder, then proceeded to hail a cab. As a taxi pulled up, I started noticing the stares. It was then that I realized that my dress had inadvertently gotten caught in my bag and I was currently exposing my backside to everyone on the sidewalk. Let's just say it was a moment to remember.

 

PR Mavens We Love ACPR

I got real with myself about why I was experiencing imposter's syndrome and identified what I needed to do to shake it.

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

I like to say that to work in PR you need to be completely resilient and slightly stubborn. Resilient in not taking everything personally or throwing in the towel when you receive more "no's" than "yes's." Stubborn in recognizing that a "no" won't always stay a "no" in the future (and then finding a way to turn it into a "yes"). And it always helps to remind myself (and my team) that while we're doing important work, we're not saving lives.

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

  1. At the risk of sounding totally old school, Microsoft Excel. I consider myself organized to a fault, and this keeps everything in check. I use it both for business and my personal life.

2. Gabrielle Bernstein's Spirit Junkie app. I'm a big believer in the power of rituals, and I love checking the daily mantra as part of my morning routine.

3. My Day Designer (while they're a client I can promise you that this is not a shameless plug!). I'm not sure how I survived before Day Designer. Not well; I can tell you that!

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

PR is not just tracking down contact information for media. There is SO MUCH strategy that's involved and at the end of the day, it's 100% relationship based. PR is a specialty and just like any other career, it takes time to gain knowledge and experience. Cultivating relationships doesn't happen overnight!

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

The shift towards indie brands! Historically, the term "indie" has often been associated with being second rate. But as a publicist that represents largely indie brands, I'm here to tell you that it's simply not true! I've found that indie brands are the movers and shakers. They're the one starting movements, disrupting industries and forcing us to shift how we think and make decisions. Needless to say, I'm thrilled to see indie brands making their way into the spotlight.

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

To stand out from the crowd. There are a million and one amazing brands out there, making the marketplace ultra competitive. And it's our job to help our clients make an impact in their respective spaces to both editors and consumers. It can be challenging, but with a solid brand, strong positioning and consistency, I believe it's totally possible.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Trust yourself more. In the past I've been guilty of letting the opinions of others carry more weight than my own. As I've gotten older (and wiser, I hope!), I've learned to trust myself more. I now recognize that the best answer is already inside of me, and while it's perfectly acceptable to gather second opinions, ultimately I need to allow my gut (along with my head and heart) to guide me.

Thanks Allyson!

Photo Credit: Cassie Rosch

BCA Profiles: Litzky PR, Traditional Campaign Award

Top PR Firm New York

Litzky Public Relations is a full-service boutique PR agency and winner our Best Traditional PR Campaign award, which hones in on the true art of storytelling and media relations.

The winning campaign celebrated Play-Doh’s 60th anniversary on World Play-Doh Day (WPDD), a “holiday” launched in 2006.  Given the challenge to double media exposure with half the budget, the Litzky PR team employed a highly targeted approach that capitalized on media and consumer trends. The campaign included kid-generated YouTube videos and invited parents via social to submit what their kids imagined life would look like 60 years into the future. These imaginings were then brought to life by an in-house sculptor to turned these predictions (including houses in the sky, unicorn pets, flying shoes, and more) into intricate Play-Doh sculpts. The creative process was recorded via timelapse, providing powerful creative assets to pitch to parenting press, general media, video, and social media editors.

Play-Doh 60th birthday media mailers included confetti poppers, Play-Doh party hats, Play-Doh compound and mini “photo opp” inserts for media to sculpt and socially share their creations. Mailers went out to 50 national media contacts, social media editors, and family bloggers (bloggers even threw their own Play-Doh 60th birthday parties). While confetti poppers and timelapse videos work for general and parenting press, Litzky took an entirely different approach with business media, pulling together Play-Doh facts, stats, vintage images, and figures.

The results? LPR’s small-but-scrappy three-person team knocked the lofty objectives out of the park with 622M impressions and 320 positive, engaging media stories in one day, a 119% and 416% increase from 2015, respectively.

We caught up with agency founder Michele Litzky to learn more about what’s going on behind the scenes as LPR gets ready to celebrate 30 years in business next year.

How does it feel to win Traditional PR Campaign? How is your team going to celebrate?

It’s incredibly gratifying to see our team’s hard work (and successes!) resonate not just with media, influencers and clients, but with top-tier PR industry experts. We celebrated with widespread recognition for the Play-Doh team during our monthly agency meeting, and have a team lunch on the books for July to continue the excitement.

What is your team most excited about right now?

Lately, we’ve been diving deep into influencer relations strategy over the past couple of years, and this year more than ever we’re uncovering new and smart ways to turn niche influencers into brand advocates. This is an especially exciting trend for the PR industry because influencers drive incredible results. Whether it’s successful activations at VidCon or targeted LPR-run influencer campaigns, we’ve been blown away by how well our team stays ahead of influencer trends.

What does a “traditional PR campaign” really mean to you in a digital age?

While it’s easy to get sidetracked by the shiny new social media platforms, we never lose sight of those tried-and-true media relations strategies that drive top-notch coverage. Our award-winning World Play-Doh Day campaign was a great example; while we had digital components like YouTube speed sculpting challenges and celebrity social posts, we led with a strong, traditional media strategy (think creative physical mailers and custom Play-Doh sculpts) that led to the most successful World Play-Doh Day yet.

Whether it’s successful activations at VidCon or targeted LPR-run influencer campaigns, we’ve been blown away by how well our team stays ahead of influencer trends.

How does your team plan to tackle the rest of 2017? 

Since the agency specializes in lifestyle brands that engage kids and families, the second half of our year gets particularly busy with holiday pitching. The teams have already started their long-lead outreach for our toy, game, and fashion clients, with short-lead holiday pitching on the horizon. In terms of our agency’s internal focus, LPR has a major milestone coming up in 2018 – the big 3-0! – so we’re spending the rest of the year setting ourselves up for a full year of success and celebrations!

If we looked inside your purse/work bag right now, what would we find?

Well, I just returned from a client trip to VidCon, so my purse is in “event mode.” That means business cards, a look book, antibacterial, cough drops, vitamin C, tape, pens, receipts, receipt organizers, nail polish, mints, portable charger … you get the picture. I could survive on a desert island for at least one week when my purse gets in event mode.

How you anticipate the industry shifting in 2018?

As mentioned above, influencers are becoming more and more important in 2017, and in 2018, we anticipate niche, micro influencers – the ones who truly connect with (and ultimately persuade) their audiences – will be a major focus. We’ve already had great traction with micro influencers in spring 2017, and given those accomplishments, we’re brainstorming unique ways to include them further in plans for fall 2017 into 2018.


We’re in planning mode for the 2018 BCAs! Want to get in involved as a sponsor, judge or volunteer? Email info@thebespokeawards.com

Grow Agency Business with the Power of Referrals

Your agency has a roster of “rock stars.” You have shelves upon shelves lined with awards. Your website shows the agency’s experience – and success – knocking top-tier campaigns out of the park.

But, despite your amazing “wins,” the anticipated new business opportunities just aren’t clicking.

What gives?

After 30 years leading Litzky PR’s new business efforts, here’s what I’ve learned:

Referrals are without a doubt the number one way to land new clients. As PR professionals, we rely on word of mouth and ‘buzz’ to keep our clients in the mainstream.  Why not bring the same energy to your new biz effort?

Yes, awards, amazing employees and incredible work can help you sell in your services, but at the end of the day, companies would prefer to invest in partners they trust.

But how do you get those referrals?

Here are 6 of our tried-and-true ways.

Prioritize local community involvement

From purchasing produce at a local farmers market to investing in neighborhood business, people love to “go local” and you can capitalize on this trend for your agency! Establish yourself in the community by attending local business events, volunteering with a neighborhood group, etc. The more you network with local residents authentically – authentic being key here – the more likely you are to come to mind when a company needs PR. Your Chamber of Commerce or Rotary are a great place to start.

Attend Events Outside of Your Industry

Joining PR networks is always a great idea, but it’s smart to extend your reach to local marketing or creative groups because those members may actually have the power to move the needle. Most attendees at PR events work at PR agencies, and while they are absolutely worth networking with, they may not lead to new business since they offer similar services.

Promote your wins on social

If you hate networking – or feel you don’t have the time – here’s an extra easy opportunity: Leverage your social networks! Now, I’m not saying go spam your Facebook friends with new business pitches. (No one wants that.) But, if your team worked on a really exciting project or recently won an award, share that with the masses! This is an authentic, non-spammy way to remind your friends what you do, that your agency is impressive, and you may just be open for business! 

Schedule “getting to know you” meetings

Whether it’s coffee, lunch or just a walking meeting, find a time that is mutually convenient for you and your prospect to meet up. Treat this opportunity as you would if invited by a friend or someone you want to know.  New business, just like media relations, is all about relationships, so start with a soft sell.  Spend time getting to know them and, equally important, they need to get to know you. Trust needs to be built and it makes for a strong foundation moving forward.

Be a Strategic Joiner

We are all pressed for time. How often have you felt there are not enough hours in a day to do what you need to do and still maintain your work/life balance?  When you opt to get more involved in volunteer work or are looking for ways to expand your circle of business contacts, don’t just jump at any opportunity. Be thoughtful. If you’re taking time out of an already full schedule, make sure you’re passionate about what extra-curricular activities you undertake.

Be Persistent but Not a Pest

You’ve made the connection and you’re finally in front of a potential new client through a referral. Now what? Honestly, it may take some time to land the business. Your job now is to be persistent and deliver on any promises you have made.

But how persistent should you be? These negotiations take time and there may be a lot going on behind the scenes with your decision maker. So tread lightly, but keep treading. I’ve found you need approximately five touchpoints – opportunities that you make to reengage – with options including a phone call, an email, sending an appropriate article that addresses an issue you’ve discussed.

New business strategy is an ongoing process that relies on consistent outreach, relationship-building and staying top of mind.

PRGirl is Ready to Binge, Generation Z for Marketers, & Overcoming PR Obstacles

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

...for the week of October 9, 2017

 

The Hills heads to Chicago...sort of. The first 5 episodes of PRGirl are here! Watch episode 1 below!

Generation Z thinks far differently than any other generation so far. Here's what progressive marketers should expect! (via Retail DIVE)

Online fashion startup develops groundbreaking technology (via Quartz)

4 PR obstacles and how to overcome them like a pro (via PR Daily)

What Apple's CEO has to say about augmented reality in the fashion industry (via Vogue UK)

How "the glitch" is paving the future for designers (via Ad Week)

5 ways you can support gender equality & women around the globe (via Elle)

Instagram's new feature can benefit your brand more than you may think (via Social Media Today)

Kate Spade said to launch a book featuring the lives of women throughout history (via Fashion Network)

Influencers continue to disclose what brands pay them for featured content (via WWD)

You might want to think twice before posting on the internet (via Mashable)

Exclusive Behind the Scenes with PRGirl Star Alex Moresco

first 5 episodes ready to binge at prgirlseries.com

Today is a big day - after a summer of filming and editing, the brand new, original reality web series PRGirl has debuted its first five episodes!

While you are sure get to know show star Alex Moresco across the season as she wraps up a semester at graduate school, plans a huge fundraising gala for the Global Lyme Alliance, parties with her squad Bachelor/Bachelorette style and plenty more, we wanted to dig in a bit further to Alex's background and experience shooting the show.

Let's start with the basics. Alexandra (Alex) Moresco is a 24-year old entertainment publicist based in Chicago. She runs her own firm, A Moresco PR, helping to drive attention to and build the influence of her clients across digital and traditional media channels. In addition to her PR clients, Alex is pursing her Master's Degree in Communication and an active supporter of the Global Lyme Alliance (Alex was diagnosed in 2016).

While firmly part of the millennial generation, Alex displays a Hepburn-esque charm and grace, combined with a savvy business mind and off-the-charts ability to execute and advocate for the individuals and causes that are important to her.

Signing on for a reality show - was it an instant YES or did it take some convincing?

If we are going to be completely honest here, I always said that I would never do reality TV. I’d been approached for other shows before- House of DVF, dating shows…you name it! I'm not sure why - I don't consider myself a dramatic person. In fact, I actively stay away from drama so I never felt I was the right fit for what Reality TV is typically all about. 

When I was first approached by show creator Farissa Knox, I had a lot of internal debate as to whether I should do it or not- putting your life out there is a big decision!

I liked the concept of PRGirl but I didn't think that it was the right time because I had just been diagnosed with Lyme disease. But Farissa explained that the vision for PRGirl was all about women empowering other women and showcasing the true ups and downs in life.  That perspective helped me to decide that actually, I HAD to be a part of it!

Have you always been comfortable being on camera?

Oh my gosh- no! I am a publicist by trade and work with TV stars and am so used to being behind the scenes. Having a camera in my face was a foreign concept. Luckily for me everyone was so easy going - I forgot cameras were there most of the time.

there anything that was completely off limits for you during filming?

Not much was completely off-limits-really just my family. Viewers get a glimpse of my husband and wedding but other than that I mostly kept my family out of PR Girl; I signed up to have my life broadcast but they did not.

 

the vision for PRGirl was all about women empowering other women and showcasing the true ups and downs in life...I HAD to be a part of it!

How did you prepare for the show?

I have been behind the scenes on so many sets and projects - and I think that experience really helped me to prepare. That prior knowledge of the aspects of filming that many don’t know about- like production and editing - gave me a good understanding of the whole process and what to expect. In prepping clients for TV interviews I'd learned know to explain things so they make sense to the viewer, so I was clear about the purpose of the talking head parts of the show.

I wound up having a lot of fun, Watching each episode is such a cool experience - I get to relive my summer and see everything I did with my best friends!

So you've watched the show? What was that like?

It is very odd seeing yourself on TV- I can admit that! I have watched the series- and I love it. I hope that others in creative industries or students in college take away at least one lesson from PRGirl and enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed filming it!

In the first episode you interview  a woman about diversity in the workplace as part of a final project in grad school, can you share a bit more about that?

For one of my class finals (I am getting my Masters in PR/AD at DePaul University in Chicago) we we were paired with a Chicago CEO and had to produce a video interview. It was one of my favorite class projects I have ever had to do.

I was lucky enough to be paired with Anne Pramaggiore, the CEO of ComEd. She is a fascinating woman and you can read my full interview with her HERE. She is a true advocate for having diverse voices in her workplace and really having them be heard. She is the true definition of women empowering other women and getting to speak to and personally learn from someone like that was an amazing opportunity.

I mostly kept my family out of PR Girl; I signed up to have my life broadcast but they did not.

PR is regularly listed as one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. With Lyme you run the very real risk of simply running out of energy, how do you mitigate this?

PR is incredibly stressful- I agree with you on that! I love my career and eventually had to come to the decision that I could not work the way I used to with 10 clients at any given time. I would up evaluating what was most important to me and stuck with a few clients that I absolutely adore and now work with Global Lyme Alliance to raise money and create awareness for an invisible illness that more than 300,000 people suffer from in the US alone.

Lyme disease is a tricky illness that many are not aware of- it essentially invades every aspect of your body. Personally, I suffer from severe memory loss, chronic pain and chronic fatigue amongst many other things on a daily basis. It took me two years to get diagnosed so I have been sick for a lot longer than many people know.

Chronic illness or not, it is important to have a balance in your life so you do not burn out. Personally, my phone goes off at 7:00pm every night and I do not have email on my phone. If someone is in dire need of me, they can call my cellphone.  

Speaking of balance, what does that look like for you?

This sounds so simple, but: listen to your body! If you are tired, go to bed early. We often ignore what our bodies are trying to tell us and that runs us down.

Set boundaries: stop checking email after a certain time once you leave work and try to do one thing for YOURSELF a day even if it’s as simple as taking a bath or going for a walk at night. If you set boundaries for yourself I can guarantee that you will be a lot less stressed out!

Learn when to say no: I’m not sure if this is considered a self-care tip but learning how to say no to things has been crucial to me saving my personal sanity. It’s okay to say no and not try to do 100 things at once. Try to focus on what matters most to you and really take some time to think about opportunities before committing to them.

I guess this is a bonus self-care tip? Ha! I truly believe that a good blowout fixes everything and makes you feel like a million bucks. I work with Jordan Pouponneau in Chicago but also love DryBar for an easy, stress free blowout for only $35.00.

 

Ok back to PR! What do want viewers to understand about running your own PR business?

PRGirl is not only meant to be fun but also educational. I think that young women's perception of PR or any communication industry job is that you are living this glamorous life and whooping it up all the time- and yes, that is about 10% of the job. But the other 90% is schlepping stuff around and taking client calls at 10pm. You work just as hard in PR as any other job. Particularly, working in PR means you are never done learning - you are constantly working to understand and harness new technologies and methods of communication, and keeping up and ahead to maintain your value for clients.  

I'm also hopefully that viewers will better understand Lyme through my constant battle with the disease. Even if someone looks good on the outside- it doesn’t mean they are well internally.

I hope that the reminds viewers that everyone is dealing with something and to be a little kinder to people in your everyday life!

What's changed for you as a result of being a part of the show?

I don’t know if I have necessarily changed from filming but I absolutely learned a lot, in particular about how to stay clear and "on message" when filming. This has given me a new appreciation for how hard my clients work!

I also think the process of filming made me less afraid to share the negative parts of my life as well as the positive. Life isn’t perfect and it’s okay to let people see that!

The process of filming made me less afraid to share the negative parts of my life as well as the positive. Life isn’t perfect and it’s okay to let people see that!

What's next?

That is a great question! I am currently working with Chris Jones on a sizeable project that I can’t talk about yet- but PR Couture will be the first site I fill in when I can!

I am continuing to work with Global Lyme Alliance to raise awareness and funds for Lyme disease research and just started hosting a podcast for them with my best friend Sarah Aiken (pictured left) called “In The Lymelight.” We are talking with everyone from doctors to celebrities and hope to bring a little bit of comedic relief to an otherwise somber topic.

You can keep up to date with all of the things I am working on, here!

 

For more information on the “PRGirl” series, visit www.prgirlseries.com. To become a sponsor, advertiser or partner, email sponsors@prgirlseries.com

Snapchat’s Virtual 3D Art, Tips to Boost Your Blog & Jo Malone’s Secrets to Success

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

...for the week of October 2, 2017

Condé Nast is thrilled to announce the launch of Them, an LGBTQ-focused media platform (via Fashionista)

Who's the brains behind the blows of the relentless IG account known for calling out designers? (via WWD)

Boost your blog and rebound from writer's block! (via PR Daily)

Struggling with anxiety? Check out what people have to say about the latest "cure" (via The New Yorker)

Jo Malone shares her secrets to a successful business (via Marketing Week)

Captivate your audience & embrace your niche with these tips from Allure and Teen Vogue (via Adweek)

Snapchat's virtual 3D art feature may just be the next big thing (via Social Media Today)

The 7 ugly truths about iPhones that no one ever tells you (via Huffington Post)

The holiday season is just around the corner! These fun advent calendars will have beauty lovers jumping for joy (via Elle)

The 2013 breach of 3 billion accounts on Yahoo! continues to effect the web provider to this day (via The New York Times)