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How to Inspire a Cooperative – Not Competitive – Agency Enviornment

These days, a cohesive, cooperative and fun work environment is one of the most important factors for job seekers. In the PR industry alone, the landscape (for many firms) has evolved to prioritize team work and cooperation over competition, as “getting ahead” solo may actually become a setback.

While friendly competition can drive employees to constantly “one-up” themselves (and others), collaboration and team work can foster a workplace where employees are fiercely driven to succeed – as a cohesive, team-first unit. If competition works in your agency, that’s great! Every workplace is different. But, if you’re looking to switch things up and inspire more unity and cohesiveness across your firm, follow these simple steps to get started.

Inspire collaborative thinking – and reward it!

Oftentimes the best ideas come from a “seed” of an idea that snowballs into a central campaign concept through collaborative brainstorming – that’s when concerted, creative thinking works best. When your employees share their ideas – whether big or small, silly or strategic – acknowledge each person involved in the process and reward them for sharing their brainpower. Make sure that everyone involved sees their contribution as valuable, whether it’s the person who started the “seed” or the employee who turned that seed into a concept.  The more teams brainstorm together, the more impressive the work will be.

Set goals for your team

Sure, everyone has their individual goals – and they should! – but nothing beats working together toward a common goal as a unit. Whether it’s the beginning of the year or a refresh after the summer, work with your agency leaders to come up with a team goal that all agency members can be part of. Striving to reach the same goal will help to put all kinds of team members – whether they’re just starting out or seasoned pros – on the same level.

Reinforce positive vs. negative attitudes

As cliché as it sounds, positive workplace settings make for positive employees (and positive employees produce groundbreaking work!) If you’ve instilled an attitude of positivity within your workplace, employees are more willing to contribute ideas and creative thoughts because they know they have an inter-office safety net. Reward employee work, set a can-do workplace attitude, and find ways to reinforce that you’re all in it together. That’s a major mantra for us at LPR, and one that ensures employees never feel alone – and always feel rewarded. Conversely, if you opt for the negative attitude, employees might go the competitive route, choosing to make small personal successes as opposed to achieving goals for the company.

Set an example

Sometimes the best way to show others how you want the agency to run is by setting the example yourself – think talking the talk and walking the walk. New and younger employees will likely mirror the sentiment and work styles of upper management, so the more you can lead by example (and ask your agency leaders to follow), the more likely you are the have the positive, cooperative and incredibly successful workplace you desire!

The Editor Exodus, Fashion Week Drama & Nordstrom without Clothes

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of September 11, 2017

 

It wouldn't be fashion week without drama (via Guest of a Guest)

The FTCs crackdown on celebrity social content continues (via Consumerist)

Causing difficulty when marketing to men, a study shows recycling and other green initiatives are considered to be "feminine"  - and yes, apparently that is a bad thing (via Broadly)

Top agency Bollare breaks down what it takes to navigate the fashion PR industry with ease and confidence (via Swaay)

Melissa Duren Connor, partner at JBC, spills about the changing landscape of PR (via The Loose Threads)

Cindi Leive, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour,  is quitting (via The New York Times)

Amidst news like the above, is the era of the celebrity editor, over? (via NY Post)

Yuli Ziv, Author, CEO at Style Coalition and one of top women in tech in NYC gets real about what it takes to succeed (via Alley Watch)

Read these tips before popping in front of the video camera next time (via Ed 2010)

Have you watched the trailer for PRGirl yet? (via PRGirl)

PR Mavens We Love: Sarah Hamon, CEO, S2H Communication

PR Mavens Sarah Hamon S2H Communication

After receiving her university degrees, Sarah had the opportunity to organize a prestigious luxury industry symposium and award gala. As a life-long lover of fine design, she jumped at the chance to interact personally with designers and gain an intimate, behind the scenes look at the world of interior design and architecture.

Her drive and hands-on experience gained during her years in the industry gave her the knowledge and confidence to establish her own successful firm in 2009.

Today she is surrounded by a team of passionate, dynamic people who speak the language of creativity and share a healthy appetite for fashion, food, design or anything related to the creative world.

 

Name: Sarah Hamon
Title: Founder & CEO
Location: Paris, France & Miami, FL
Education: Master's Degree in Modern Literature (Sorbonne Paris-IV) and a Master's Degree in Communication
Company: S2H Communication
Instagram: 
@s2hcommunication
Facebook: @S2HCommunication
LinkedIn: 
S2H Communication

Tell us a bit about your career journey to date:

Recession 2009: I was working at a lobbying firm in Paris, overseeing a design festival called Designer's Days which went very successfully. I went on to make great connections and was solicited to represent different designers and furniture companies but when I presented it to my supervisor, I was denied. The supervisor did not believe in design as being a strong enough sector to open a whole branch so I was encouraged to go and open my own firm specifically in this field.

What are your primary responsibilities?

Everything. I am responsible for everything: coordinating between two international offices, managing a team of 16, overseeing about 40 active clients, raising a family with two kids, and fielding thousands of editorial requests.

How is S2H Communication is structured?

There are two offices: one in Paris and the other in Miami. The Paris office consists of 12 employees with a Managing Director, Account Executives and Assistants, while the Miami office is comprised of 4 employees with an Account Manager, Executives, and an assistant.

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

I HIGHLY value employees with good moods who bring good vibes. I do my best to be an upbeat and good boss, and I expect the same level of professionalism and happiness from my employees.

Right now I am working on a strategy for one of our Mexico City-based clients for Mexico City Design Week, as well as coordinating schedules with the Paris team for MaisonObjet. I have about 32 tabs open in my brain.

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

We've had an amazing opportunity to work with WantedDesign (a niche-specific design festival lasting one week every May during NYC Design Week). We secured more than 250 media clippings for them in all kinds of outlets and publications.

Another great win was securing the FRONT COVER (!) of the Miami Herald on December 31st, 2016 with a beautiful image of one of our clients' projects on South Beach.

Most memorable moment in your career thus far?

Being able to open and (successfully) run a second office in a different country.

Nobody understands what we do.  I'm 37 and have been in PR for a very long time and my mom still doesn't fully understand my work.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

The Halloween Party that we threw last year in Paris. I wanted to bring a little American tradition to the French team. I prefer smaller, intimate fêtes like this rather than huge parties where you just get lost in the crowd.

I'm not moved at all by any celebrities or famous people, but Terry Cruz (actor from Brooklyn 99) came to one of our events this year.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Ugh. There are tons. I literally can't pick just one. It's just something that comes with the territory of being a publicist... so many embarrassing moments.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?

I am very aware of what we do. I know that we're not going to change the world. I do my best to set expectations from the very beginning with my clients so everyone is fully aware of what can and cannot be expected of myself and my team. We know we are not resolving medical life-or-death emergencies, so I value keeping stress levels very low.

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

  • All of our press releases are now blasted right from MailChimp.
  • Dropbox is a great tool for storage and time-saving.
  • Blinkist has summaries of nonfiction books for very busy people.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

Nobody understands what we do. Either people think I'm an editor or an advertising salesperson. I'm 37 and have been in PR for a very long time and my mom still doesn't fully understand my work. I always need to be very specific when trying to convince a potential client that PR is the best track to take when looking to expand their business because even though there are no guarantees, it's the better alternative to advertising both financially and to bring a brand or business to life.

I highly value employees with good moods and bringing good vibes.

What are you excited about right now?

The design and architecture industry is our niche.

Terrazzo, such a simple material is now being seen everywhere! It was originally introduced post-war but is now making big waves in architecture and design.

Also, I'm excited that navy blue and neon colors (usually not together) have become so popular in the home decor industry.

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

Figuring out what's the best tool to use for business tasks (calls, texts, emails, ravens) and changing tools that we are using every day to be more effective and efficient when completing tasks. We switched from emailing whole documents as attachments to simply dumping everything into a clean folder in Dropbox and sending a link.

On a less daily/basic level, one of the biggest challenges we're facing is ensuring that imagery remains on-brand and consistent with each client.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Embrace all surprises. You never know what's coming!


Thanks, Sarah!

The Unspoken Etiquette of Meeting a New Contact for the First Time

Whether you’ve set up a coffee date with a potential client, reconnecting with a former colleague over happy hour or headed for a blowout with the new digital editor of a key lifestyle publication, there are a few simple tricks you can employ to ensure a positive, fruitful and, importantly, classy experience is had by all.

From location to picking up the tab, here’s how the pros do it.

1. Limit effort on the part of your guest

No one in Brooklyn wants to come out to Manhattan (or vice-versa), so when you put out the offer, make it super easy for your contact to say yes by requiring as little effort from them as possible! This not only positions you as a considerate, helpful person, but demonstrates a level of thoughtfulness and care that is always well appreciated.  An easy meeting spot for them means a stress-free, productive and enjoyable time for both of you, from the get-go.

2. Offer multiple times/locations

No one wants to do 17 rounds of hashing out availability over email or text. Proactively offer several time slots (tools like Doodle or NeettoMeet are great for this) and locations. Even for straight-forward or same day appointments, at least send a Google Calendar invites – that phone pop-up reminder is super helpful on a busier than normal day.

If it’s been a few weeks since your initial conversation, it’s always a good idea to confirm plans a day or two before. email confirm your meeting the a day or two before.

3. RSVP + Arrive First

Along with the convenience idea, always get a reservation ahead of time if you can, even for places you don’t think will get busy. For events, get there early so that you are the one who gets in line, swoops a seat, puts your name on the list, etc. Even if you consider yourself a punctual person, all sorts of things can delay you that are out of your control. While everyone understands the occasional “running late – be there in 5” text – if you are en route to an informational interview or editor date, you definitely need to be early.

Give yourself an ample buffer so that you can be as relaxed as possible and so that the stress of getting seated is taken care of for your guest.

4. Come prepared

Do a quick skim of your contact’s social media accounts for quick conversation starters. Be sure to congratulate your guest on major life events such as getting married, getting promoted or having a baby, but also ask about more minor details like weekend plans, a birthday celebration or even how their dog is doing to build instant rapport and make it clear you are interested in building a relationship, not simply pushing your agenda. That said, be prepared with an idea of what you hope the next steps after this meeting will be – and make sure you steer the conversation organically toward mutually beneficial opportunities and ideas.

5. Take Notes

Depending on the scope and tone of your meeting, you might want to take a few notes. I always bring a Rifle Paper notebook and fancier pen to meetings. Don’t be afraid to take out your laptop as long as you’re still paying attention to the person and not just typing away. For a more traditional business meeting, like a prospective client meet & greet, choose a place with wifi. Don’t be shy! Just ask if you can take notes on key pieces of advice, suggested resources, and the brilliant ideas the two of you come up with. If you need to follow up on any items, you can simply say, “I’m going to send myself a note to remember to send you that file,” and then do!

6. Pick up the tab

Always offer to pay for the person who took the time to meet with you. Even better, ask ahead for their favorite coffee or order, and have it ready for them when they arrive. Imagine your favorite cocktail or appetizer ready for you after a long day!  After I get confirmation that our plans are on, I’ll ask for their cell phone number, text them when I arrive and see what I can pick up for them.

Everyone loves to be treated, so make meeting with you is a treat! Afterward, be sure to send a thank you note and then continue to stay in touch.

ENTRY-LEVEL TOOLKIT

NYFW Public Events, 2018 Social Media Trends & Marketing Jobs of the Future

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of September 4, 2017

You're not going to believe what NYFW events are open to the public this year (via Fashionista)

Another one bites the...Nylon goes digital only (via WWD)

Check out why luxury brands are remain hesitant about ecommerce - now more than ever (via Ad Week)

Looking for some easy September content ideas? Here you go! (via Facteur PR)

Chatbots and platform feature overlap are just some of the social media trends you should be preparing for in 2018 (via Inc.)

Detroit's mayor hires an official "chief storyteller" (via PSFK)

Fashion's diversity problem might be looking up (via The Washington Post)

Working in PR is nuts; here's how to stay organized under the pressure - get it? (via Allyson Conklin PR)

These future-forward job titles set your marketing team straight for years to come (via Wrike)

A must-read profile on how Small Girls PR made it big (via Curulate)

 

8 Top NYC Spots for Client Meetings & Professional Networking

Ah, the industry meet and greet. Once you've gone back and forth a few hundred times to find a time that works for both of you, inevitably the next question comes, "where should we meet?" Cue panic? Of course not!

A cool PR pro always has a place in mind, one that is easy to get to, delicious, relatively quiet (ever found yourself trying to yell over a lively crowd during happy hour at the new hot spot? Nightmare), and of course, highly Instagrammable.

Below are a few of my favorite places in NYC to meet potential clients, media friends and colleagues. Next time you’re looking for the perfect place to meet a new client, close a deal, or expand your professional network, choose a spot that will set you up for success.

PR Industry News: Announcing SourceCode, News from RMG, Sydney Reising, JMG & More

SourceCode Communications, a new tech agency catered towards high-growth technology businesses, launched in New York City this morning. Helmed by former member of Hotwire North America’s Executive team, Rebecca Honeyman and longtime communications agency practitioner and business development leader Greg Mondshein, the agency is focusing on 4 major sectors – consumer lifestyle, enterprise technology, mobile and telecommunications and financial technology.

JMG Public Relations is pleased to announce that Cristen Monty, former Account Coordinator has been promoted to Account Executive. JMG PR is also excited to announce that they will be representing Shop or Not.

Southern California native Lissa Zwahlen Thoeny, aka founder of Roxy, launches Aquarius Cocktail. The Cali-cool brand has timeless basics all cut from silk, now available in select stores and online.

Travel and Lifestyle PR company Fever Pitch Marketing Communications named Canadian Agency of Record by the Board of Tourism of La Paz.

Riot Media Group is thrilled to be working with DollFace Beauty.

The new Taryn Rose footwear brand will be represented by Style House

Sydney Reising Creative will be in charge of public relations for Sandy Liang and Boy Smells.

New York-based PR firm Lynette Nicole PR announces their representation of Alchemy Holistics, a natural skincare line created and developed by NYC esthetician Gina Pulisciano.

How to Contact a Top PR Agency about a Job Opening (+ a Ton More Tips for New Pros)

Written by Kate Labat, PR Director, Be Social. Job hunting is scary - we totally get it. Instead of looking at the job process as intimidating. It's important to look at it as a learning experience and an opportunity to reveal your talent and worth! An interview is the necessary key to unlock the door to your dream job. Nevertheless, interviews can be intimidating, especially if you go into them feeling unprepared.

Like anything in life, you have a greater chance of success if you are armed with knowledge and the right resources. Remember that getting the interview is usually the hardest part, so always come prepared and show the company why you're the best candidate for the job! Whether you are looking for a career in social media, public relations, or marketing, these 5 tips will help you become a top-notch candidate.

Here's 5 tips from Be Social to help you land your dream job:

1. Keep your resume short + sweet, but impactful

For example, instead of simply stating "built media lists" rephrase to show results achieved from your work. New and improved version: "Built media lists to assist PR team which resulted in client placements on Refinery29, InStyle and more." Your resume should sum up specific actions you performed that led to successful results. If you're completely new to the business and don't necessarily have those direct results to speak of yet, you can still develop a resume that demonstrates your capabilities! In this day, we all are proficient in Microsoft Word. Instead of wasting space with that, make note of more valuable skillsets such as relevant internship experience and responsibilities, your impeccable organizations, and notable writing skills.

2. Have a well-designed resume

Our agency receives nearly 30+ resumes a day, if yours looks the same as the rest... it's difficult to stand out and easy to get passed by. If you don't incorporate the same words in your resume that are stated in the company's applicant profile, your resume will not be put into the hands of a recruiter. Each resume you send out should be tailored to the specific position at the exact company to ensure you will be considered for an interview. For example, if you are applying for a publicist position, be sure to point out the necessary skill set required including writing pitches, building media lists, fostering media relationships, etc. If you are applying for a social media position, be sure to note any scheduling softwares you are skilled in, whether you know how to manage paid ads on social, writing blog posts, etc.

In terms of a template, you don't necessarily need to purchase a template. A free platform we love? Check out Canva. Do your best to keep your resume to one-page by tailoring to your most impressive and relevant work history and accomplishments. At Be Social, we love to see personality! You can easily add a little color to your resume with an eye-pleasing header and layout so it has a little more punch than just a plain white page with Times New Roman font.

3. Have relevant writing samples

Can't emphasize the importance of writing samples enough! Again, this falls back on keeping your resume and examples relevant to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a publicist position, attach a pitch or press release you wrote. For social media, attach a blog post, or examples of Instagram posts you crafted. If you're fresh in the industry and don't have previous work form internships or jobs, or you simply want to make a big impression, create you own writing sample with a client from the agency you're applying to! Talk about #initiative.

4. Double Check Your Email Etiquette

Likely, your first interaction in applying for a job is through email. Especially for a position at an agency, email is everything. Considering the high number of applicants job offers typically receive, your intro email needs to be concise, eye-catching and professional. Avoid a lengthy email listing your whole work history - those are easy to just skim through and miss all your amazing point. Instead, do your best to highlight a few key reasons why you're the perfect fit for the job based on the job description listed. And, of course, double check for grammar, spelling errors and typos. Need some inspo to get started? See below:

Hi [name of hiring manager, or director of position you are applying to. If you can find a direct name and contact - the better!]

I am writing to apply for the xx [name of position - clarify what you are applying for especially if multiple job listings are available]. Given my previous experience at xx [current position or past experience that is relevant] I know I would be a great asset to the Be Social team.

Please find attached my resume, cover letter and a writing sample. I look forward to your consideration!

Best,

xx

5. Tell them you want the job

After the scary interview is finally over, you will most likely want to exit the building ASAP. However, taking the time to conclude your interview in a professional, enthusiastic way can go so far. During the closing of your interview, you should always reiterate that you genuinely want the job. It may seem forward, but it solidifies to the interviewer that you are still interested in the position even after that terrifying interview. This small reassurance could be what sets you apart from the other candidates and may ultimately land you the job! Don't let the job hunt intimidate you. Be forthcoming in what you're looking for in a position, and why you think you're the perfect fit. After the interview, give a few days before you follow-up via email if you haven't heard back already to keep your name top of mind.

Best of luck and happy resume writing!

 

5 Fun Back to School Inspired Ideas to Boost Agency Culture

While June feels like yesterday, summer 2017 is coming to a close and that means agencies across the country are gearing up for what inevitably will be a busy – and we’re confident successful – fall!

Summer’s ending is bittersweet in terms of fun, but as we’ve found, sometimes a little fall refresh can help everyone get back on the same page and ready to tackle agency, client and career goals head on. At LPR, we like to adopt a little back-to-school mindset to motivate employees and inspire a sense of comradery for the busy road ahead.

Looking for a fun way to reinvigorate your agency this fall? Here are five ways to cure post-summer blues with some back-to-“school” fun!

1. Host an office event to mark the end of summer

Remember the anticipation of finding out your homeroom, class schedules and teachers back in grade school? Well, you can elicit that nostalgia – and bring fun to the office – by throwing a back-to-“school” ice cream social following Labor Day! It can be as simple as an ice cream break – or thorough enough to include a faux class schedule, locker buddy activity and a fall ‘17 school supply list. Whatever it is, nothing beats a little “fun before the storm!”

2. Surprise your team with new school supplies

Perhaps the best part of a new year is a brand new planner and with it, a refreshed mindset and plans for a great next 12 months. September has a similar feel to it – so capitalize on this “back to work” energy with new office supplies. Instead of picking out binders and folders, order for a delivery of fresh new notepads, pens, post-it notes, desk decor and coffee mugs. Agency branded is always nice (we love our LPR-branded gear!), but picking out a few things in everyone’s favorite color is also great. Places like Poppin and MochiThings are great for this. You could even incorporate this into your aforementioned ice cream social to add in another layer of fun. Looking for some more fun swag? The PR Couture shop has some really fun PR-branded gear.

3. Switch up your office seating chart

While it’s nice when employees feel comfortable, sometimes staying in the same place for a long time can lead to complacency and boredom. Enter the seating chart switch-up. Just like the thrill of learning who your seat buddies were in grade school, this fun exercise will give employees a new perspective and will ultimately allow them to converse and build relationships with employees they may hardly know.

4. Host a desk-cleaning happy hour

Cleaning by itself is far from thrilling, but add a fun twist like a happy hour and you can get your office in “go-mode” before the fall craziness begins. To me, a clean office indicates a fresh start, so we like to host pre-Labor Day cleaning parties to ensure we come back ready for business.

While it’s nice when employees feel comfortable, sometimes staying in the same place for a long time can lead to complacency. Enter the seating chart switch-up.

5. Remind employees of personal goals

It’s easy to get wrapped up in client or agency goals, but there’s no better time to focus on employee goals than Q3 and Q4 when the major projects begin! Identify your employees’ goals, flip through your plans, and see where upcoming projects and employee goals align. This is a great way to challenge and keep team members fresh, motivated and – most importantly – feeling valued as you hit some exciting (and sometimes stressful) milestones this fall.

By taking advantage of the back to school energy and making for some fun team building (and dessert) your on your way to a morale boost and a productive rest of the year.

50 PR Gamechangers, That Flotus Hat & Inside Free People’s Digital Strategy

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of August 28, 2017

Simplify your business finances with these helpful tips (via Think Creative Collective)

Calling all GOT fans! Check out how the Game of Thrones uses wardrobe colors to convey the story line from the very first episode (via Ceros)

Are you a fan of Free People's Instagram aesthetic? How about Anthropolgie? Take a sneak peak into Urban Outfitters brands digital content strategy (via Dash Hudson)

When style signals political anonymity (via The Cut)

Here's how beauty brands are supporting victims of Hurricane Harvey (via Refinery 29)

An Instagram takeover may just be the key to growing awareness and engagement (ps - you can do one with PR Couture) (via Social Media Today)

Is influencer marketing actually driving sales? (via Marketing Week)

A handy roundup of PR organizations catering to niche groups for networking (via PR Daily)

Here's a list of 50 Game-Changers of PR - no surprise PR Couture Founder Crosby Noricks made the cut (via PR News)

The business industry is changing. Check out what female entrepreneurs have to say about hiring future employees (via WWD)

PR Mavens We Love: Courtney Worthman, Partner, Cogent Entertainment Marketing

With more than thirteen years of experience in prestige talent, PR, and influencer marketing, Courtney provides clients like Best Buy, Bare Escentuals, Hasbro and others with a unique holistic view of entertainment marketing, implementing ROI driven strategy and execution.

Courtney began her career in consumer marketing at Cohn & Wolfe Public Relations, and went on to accept a Vice President position at Alison Brod Relations two years later. She has been at Cogent since 2012. 

Name: Courtney Worthman
Title: Partner, Celebrity & Influencer Marketing
Location: New York, New York
Education: B.S. in Management, A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University
Company: Cogent Entertainment Marketing
Instagram: 
@cogentworld
Twitter: @CogentWorld
LinkedIn: 
@cogentworld

Tell us a bit about your career journey to date

I started my career in PR and shifted into influencer and talent relations when I saw how it could benefit clients and there wasn't anyone staffed to fill the void. I took a chance and started on a career path knowing I'd make a lot of mistakes along the way and learn through trial by fire - but I loved it! I was perfectly happy at the job I had, but then Mark Zablow (CEO of Cogent) came to me with an opportunity to build something from scratch with him. Something told me to take another risk and go for it - I'm so happy I did! We started as a company of 4 people and now have over 40 employees and a roster of global brands as clients. Cogent even won a spot on Ad Week's "Best Places to Work" last year!

What are your primary responsibilities?

I lead over the talent team and work closely with Mark on strategy and overall marketing for our company. And I am always keeping an eye out for new fresh talent to pair with our brands. The influencer pool is so big so it's important to do a lot of digging and find the perfect person who can relay your message authentically.

Tell us a little bit about how Cogent is structured?

We have a talent team made up of experienced talent buyers, former talent publicists, talent managers, and a mix of experts in the influencer space.

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

We like to keep it light and make each other laugh. One of my favorite things about my job is my coworkers. We have an in-house (self-proclaimed) DJ that pumps '90's hip hop most days and Rise Nitro coffee on tap. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, but since we are dealing with massive amounts of deal flow and many little details, we go from fun to focused in seconds to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

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

Fossil's latest ad campaign was one of my favorite projects to date. We identified talent who had an emotional affinity to the Fossil brand and helped tell their stories through compelling content and consumer experiences. Partnering with Austin Mahone's tour and having Yara Shahidi hosting a breakfast panel at The Wing on empowering young women are a few examples of how Fossil authentically approached working with talent versus the many "me too" influencer campaigns we see today.

Most memorable moment in your career thus far?

As someone who has had many mentors, I would say the most meaningful moment in my career thus far has been getting to the point where I can recruit and hire amazing team members. Having an opportunity to show them the ropes and support their careers is incredibly meaningful to me.

The influencer pool is so big so it's important to do a lot of digging and find the perfect person who can relay your message authentically.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

This question feels a bit ironic, because as anyone in the industry knows, our jobs aren't actually that glamorous. But the stress up midnight emails and weekend conference calls that go into pulling together successful brand partnerships and events are worth it when you see a stacked red carpet, a campaign go viral, or when you can exhale and congratulate your team once the job is done.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I was traveling internationally for an appearance with a celebrity I won't mention. On the way to the event she decided she did not like her shoes, but she liked mine. She squeezed her larger sized feet into my shoes, and I walked around the event shoeless for the evening. 

PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?

At Cogent we use a phrase "batting average versus free throws" - basedon how you measure success you can go 5 for 10 and be the best baseball player or the worst free throw shooter ever... all how you measure success and manage expectations!

When I encounter circumstances beyond my control, I just pause and remember that I know my stuff. People get stressed or make a mistake, but in the end there is always a way to fix it. There is no situation in which a compromise or Plan B can't be established to still achieve our goal.

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

Instagram will always be a favorite, because it helps me stay current on up and coming talent that I should watch out for. Also, getting a visual on someone's style and personality helps me to match them with the right client.

The WWD and THR app - check them every morning before I get out of bed.

Postmates and Amazon Prime, because between work and my one and a half year old son, I don't have time to shop.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

There are no guarantees when it comes to talent. You could brainstorm the perfect partner for a launch or event, but they may not be interested in engaging with the brand. Or, you craft a campaign around a high-level name and it ultimately doesn't move the needle for sales. Not every swing is a home run; it's about being flexible and learning for the next round.

What are you excited about right now?

The surge of female empowerment that is happening with brands. The mix of fashion and entertainment and politics and advocacy for women is amazing and I'm here for it!

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

In the marketing industry, it is this bubble that's occurred with talent commanding high fees for engagement. It's why I find it most important to partner with talent that have a genuine connection to the brand or campaign message, rather than paying top dollar for an A-List name. They will work with you to give you what you need and get what they need within reason without high demands.

People get stressed or make a mistake, but in the end there is always a way to fix it.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Don't let anyone intimidate you!


Thanks, Courtney!

5 Tools to Track Social Media Sales

Social media is always growing and changing. There are now a variety of ways to utilize Instagram, Facebook and other platforms. One of these ways is an e-commerce business. It’s becoming common to see individuals utilizing these platforms to connect their brands with sales. With this, social media accounts have become useful and multifaceted, as they let users turn their posts into sales.

Here are 5 tools we recommend taking advantage of to get a better handle on how social is driving brand sales.

1. LiketoKnow.it

With LiketoKnow.it, shopping images for Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and other mobile platforms is made simple. Influencers tag products in their images and when screenshotted or liked, LiketoKnow.it will deliver ready-to-shop product details vie the app and email. This pits the product at the buyer’s fingertips.

2. Olapic

Olapic transforms Instagram into your e-commerce storefront by linking each photo tag to product pages. Olapic’s simple 3-step process – curate, activate, analyze – has been used by social savvy brand like Free People and Lululemon. These steps allow you to increase engagement and performance on your channel then track your performance.

3. Shopseen

This tool is a multi-channel product listing and inventory management tool. Shopseen allows you to sell on different platforms and manage products all in one place through integration with Square – products can be easily added, inventory is automatically updated and shipping labels are created quickly. Through a Shopseen link on your profile, buyers can shop your feed.

4. Soldsie

Soldsie makes it easy for users to purchase directly from a seller’s Instagram and Facebook through a unique URL. On Instagram, sellers can place their custom link in their bio for easy access to the products featured on their Instagram feed. As for Facebook, buyers can purchase products by commenting on a photo, and Soldsie will automatically forward an invoice for checkout. This tool eliminates the back and forth process, making it simpler for both procedures and consumers.

5. Shopial

Already have an online store? Shopial acts as a gateway between your Facebook or Pinterest page and your website where you sell products. Through Shopial, your Facebook or Pinterest will be turned into a customizable shop or catalog. You are given the tools to promote your product and page and detailed analytics are available to track your success.

Merging your products and social media platforms will save you time and regular cross promotion of products will help to encourage engagement and sales, meeting customers where they are already spending so much of their time. We look for tools that make the buying and selling experience easy to use for both the brand and the customer, simplicity of design, ease of checkout and valuable reporting and insights are key when choosing a third-party sales tracking system for social media.