Food as Aesthetic, Feminist Marketing & British Vogue Hires Kate Moss

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of June 26, 2017

    • Pierre Rougier went from being a political science student in Bordeaux, France, to the founder of PR Consulting (via Business of Fashion)
   
    • Fashion retailers Sloggi, H&M, and Marks & Spencer are launching campaigns motivating women to workout more, say no to dead-end jobs and staying silent. How do you feel about it? (via Drapers)
     

10 Holiday Gift Guide Pitch Tips + Sample Outreach Email

Magazines like Real Simple, InStyle, Shape and others are closing their holiday gift guides soon. This means if you haven't gotten those holiday pitches out you are missing one of the biggest PR opportunities - one that comes around only ONCE each year.

Below you'll find a 10-step checklist/tips sheet to make the most of of the remaining days in July:

 

  • Choose your most "giftable" items and focus on those 2-3 for holiday pitching. This is not the time to send over everything you've got.
  • Take a look at previous gift guides to get ideas about what type of products, price points and themes are likely to be planned for this year.
  • Many of the major magazines wrap up gift guides in July and August. If you miss a print deadline, pitch the online website instead.
  • Unless you can absolutely be sure you have the one-and-only, patent-pending item, avoid using terms like unique, one-of-a-kind. Instead, create a story around products that connect your product to the gifting theme of the holiday season.
  • Do something special/noteworthy! Make a popular or price-friendly item special for the holiday by offering it in a limited-edition color, offering a gift with purchase, complimentary gift-wrapping or a charitable/cause integration.
  • Assembling Holiday Gift Guides requires more effort than you'd think; if you don't hear back, keep the faith - editors will often come back months later with a sample request.
  • It's not just about the product - make sure your website and social presence are updated and align with the aesthetic of the outlets you are pitching.
  • Don’t choose to pitch items that take a long time to make or ship, or that are obviously out of season (you're pitching for winter, despite the current season!)
  • Think outside the box - HGG's are not always simply "Gifts for Her," think about other gift themes that will capture an editor's eye like "Gifts for your crazy roommate," "What to get the boss babe who has everything."
  • Do plan on doing a round of follow-up emails - when you do, try and send over something new - an image, alternate angle, or reorganize your pitch information.

Sample Pitch

Dear Liz,

It was so great to see you last week and catch up briefly - I hope that cold has firmly left the building!

As you're working on another round of always-amazing  2017 Holiday Gift Guides, I'd love for you to consider the idea of custom perfumes for a signature, one-of-a-kind gift.

Coco + Custard has developed a powerful process on their website technique that results in a beautifully composed fragrance that matches one’s personality.

For the holidays, we have gift cards available and special red velvet and gold packaging. Pricing ranges from $45 to $545.

[insert product photo]

The process of formulating all-natural, personalized perfumes is a fascinating and sophisticated craft your savvy readers will enjoy gifting to their list this year!

Please let me know if I can send over a complimentary code so you can experience the process yourself, hi-res product images or additional information.

I look forward to working together!

Rebecca

PS: For more help pitching magazine editors, check out this free training from our friends at MEDIA LEADS - their subscription service connects editors directly with product-based business which we LOVE (and why we are a proud affiliate partner!).

PR Industry News: Luxury Brand Group, Beach House PR & Jonesworks

PR AGENCY AND INDUSTRY NEWS

Jonesworks is excited to announce their representation of five new clients: Venus Williams, EleVen by Venus Williams, MESTIZA New York, Pure Growth Organic, and XO Group Inc.

Luxury Brand Group announces its representation of Picchiotti and Assael for PR Services.

Bollare promotes Tera Leuthauser to Vice President at the West Hollywood office. This promotion is an integral part of the bicoastal communications agency's strategy to grow its client portfolio as Bollare continues to expand throughout Asia and Europe.

Boston-based Hollywood Public Relations has officially revealed its new brand under the name Hollywood Agency. The agency has launched a new website and brand identity, relocated its headquarters to Hingham, Mass. and opened a west coast office in San Francisco.

Man Made Music has named Pam Workman as its first-ever Senior Vice President, Head of Brand. This newly developed title within the agency reflects its ongoing commitment to creating new ways for brands to communicate with consumers through sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Do you have agency or industry news to share?
We would love to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!

Contact us at hello@prcouture.com

Pitching Who What Wear, What it means when you’re “not a fit,” & Rainbow Fashion Week in NYC

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of June 26, 2017

Who What Wear fashion editor, Aemilia Madden receives countless article ideas and pitches. Here's what she's looking for. (via Laptops and Small Talk)

How powerful women made history in the 1960s while wearing the famous Marimekko dress (via The New Yorker)

4 things to consider during your job hunt if you keep getting the response "you're not the right fit for the job" (via The Muse)

Gen Z NYC girls talk about their street style this summer, Spoiler: it's all about comfort and versatility (via Refinery 29)

The annoying email habit that is the working girl's dine and dash (via Career Contessa)

While decision making can be affected by multiple factors,  the tendency for an individual to agree with the majority’s position is considered by social scientists to be a universal group phenomenon (via Entrepreneur)

Rainbow Fashion week  is an eight-day series to bring awareness to social issues through fashion, film, art and technology (via Cision PR Newswire)

Founder and CEO of The Conversation and #girlgaze is focusing on empowering women and giving them a voice (via Create & Cultivate)

Esquire launches Esquire Wisdom on Google home bringing the brands voice to life and providing users with fashion, food and relationship advice (via Glossy)

Designers are fighting copyright infringement with legal action and now the help of social media (via Business of Fashion) 

 

3 Steps to Discuss Editorial Rejection with your PR Client

Public Relations Editor Rejection Client Management

Rejection is a part of the game. PR professionals are used to being told “no” – or worse, nothing at all –  by editors, stylists, producers, and bloggers regularly. And while it can sting, we learn not to take it personally.

For clients however, the back-and-forth between publicists and journalists, not to mention the regular practice of stories being cut at the last minute, can be frustrating and even scary. And as our clients’ direct line to the media, we need to plan and be prepared for tough conversations when pitches are not leading to press, no matter how perfectly crafted the pitch!

In order to both manage client expectations overall with regard to securing media coverage and take rejection as an opportunity to better refine strategy and messaging, keep the following in mind.

Educate your client about current media challenges

Before rejection can happen, be upfront and open with clients about the likelihood that not all outreach will lead to an immediate yes. Remind them that media are inundated with packages, calls, and emails on a daily basis – on top of the work that they need to get done. With shrinking pages, staff and titles consolidating, and magazines folding, placements are a bit harder to come by than in days past. Alert clients ahead of time that there is always the chance that their product or quote can be eliminated completely from the final edit or that you might not get a response to a pitch or product mailing.

Provide Constructive Feedback

If you’re lucky, an editor will let you know why they can’t use your client for a particular feature, but this tends to be the exception and not the rule. If you do get this helpful feedback, pass it along to your client so that they can gain a better understanding of why their products/services did not make the cut this time. More than likely, you won’t get much insight from the editor, but break down common reasons – poor photography (if the publication isn’t shooting in-house), a price point that’s too high (many outlets have pages dedicated to under $50, under $100 – if your necklace is $105, it won’t make the cut), that space was limited and an advertiser got the placement (not exactly above board yet realistic), or the managing editor preferred a brand with a stronger celebrity connection.

With shrinking pages, staff and titles consolidating, and magazines folding, placements are a bit harder to come by than in days past

While no client likes to deal with rejection, it’s helpful to know if it was due to something they can change (getting better photographs or offering promo codes for certain outlets to lower the price) or whether the decision had nothing to do with the company’s products at all.

Emphasize that Publicity is Impossible to Control

Speaking of – more often than not, being cut from a story or not getting a green light on a pitch from an editor has nothing to do with the brand at all, but simply things out of anyone’s hands. While you might think your client’s new digital marketing campaign is a perfect fit for a hot trade outlet, they might already have their editorial calendar planned far in advance, covered something similar two weeks ago –  or just cannot find a way to make it fit in their current cycle of stories. Perhaps the story direction changed and now instead of products with a green color scheme, they’re now working with only purple products.

As a savvy media expert, you were hired for your ability to keep your clients in the press. By involving your clients in the process you help to ensure they understand the landscape properly and feel included and clear on what is happening with their account. And, so that when those media hits DO happen, they understand how all the elements came together and how they can start thinking like an editor to help you to be more successful in the future.

PR Mavens We Love: Stephanie Scott, Founder & CEO, First and Last PR

beauty PR, stephanie scott

After working for fashion giants Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole and as beauty editor at Life & Style and Seventeen, Stephanie Scott was inspired to create her own public relations and strategic marketing firm, First and Last PR. Her client roster has ranged from seven-time Grammy Award Winning artist Usher to a ten city Gospel Tour with artists such as Fred Hammond and Yolanda Adams.

She is a Board Member of New York Women in Communications Inc. an active member of Cosmetic Executive Women and recently launched her own philanthropic initiative, the First and Last PR Foundation.

 

First and Last PR CEO, Stephanie Scott

Name: Stephanie Scott
Title: Founder, CEO, and Communicator-in-Chief
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Education: Spelman College, Atlanta 
Company: First and Last PR
Instagram: 
@firstandlastpr
Facebook: @firstandlastpr
LinkedIn: 
@FirstandLastPR

How did you get get started in the industry?

I started my career as a beauty editor before working as Director of Public Relations for a luxury skincare company. After a lot of hard work, I was promoted to Global Director of Marketing and Communications, responsible for worldwide communications.

I left after receiving an offer to work with Usher on his OMG tour - which I loved! After the tour ended, I decided to leave entertainment and go back to beauty. I learned so much from that experience and finally had the courage to start my own company. The idea was in my mind for awhile, but I finally decided to just go for it.

What are your primary responsibilities?

I'm responsible for coming up with new and innovative ways to communicate our client's needs to a broader audience.  I help clients explore new business opportunities and strategies to maintain the vision and integrity of the brand. 

How is your agency structured?

We work as a true team in an open space for team collaboration and idea building.

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

We're upbeat and happy, but focused on the work. It's summertime so we have a lot of client launches and events. In addition to public relations and social media, we also work on event planning and production, so it's usually super busy. We all work closely together for flawless execution and communicate really well for great brainstorm sessions.

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

We launched our First and Last PR Foundation to help educate and empower women in the cosmetics and communications industries. I've been fortunate to have a lot of mentors guide me throughout my career and I am honored that we are able to give back as well.

Our first fundraiser will be on September 26th at Ripley Studios in NYC: bit.ly/dancefirst and we also opened an Amazon Smile account to raise funds through everyday purchases.

Most meaningful/memorable moment in your career thus far?

Winning PR awards feels really coo (ed. note: First and Last PR won the Community Involvement Petit Award at the BCAs). I don't believe in doing things to be seen but when you look back and someone says, "great job", it feels really good.

We launched our First and Last PR Foundation to help educate and empower women in the cosmetics and communications industries.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

That's a tough question... unloading boxes in a hotel laundry center before an event? I'd have to say having my headshot done by famed photographer Keith Major, who I've known since I was a beauty editor. Merrell Hollis did my makeup, Derrick Scurry styled my hair and Leonard Bridges styled my wardrobe. It was magical!

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Unloading those boxes... I had to meet the delivery truck in the loading dock next to the garbage bins. #notsexy

 

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

It can be but that's life. I try to do the right thing all of the time so if something doesn't go as planned, I can look at the situation and say I tried my best. At the end of the day, that's all you can do.

What are three current favorite tools that help you to do what you do?

  • Canva makes really cool layouts.
  • Caato Time Tracker helps keep track of all hours spent on our accounts.
  • The iHeart Radio App  - I can work without music but prefer to jam when I can. I also use iMovie on my phone to make fun social videos.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

I wish people understood that I do my job because I love it and I believe in the brands/people we work with. That's what motivates me. Good people. Being fair to one another and doing the right thing. It has to be good.

Also, great PR takes time. I've worked in-house so I understand the need to see immediate ROI.  We take a layered approach, but it's really important to work with your PR team and have realistic expectations. We try to under promise and over deliver, as one of my mentors taught me.

For newbies in the industry, it takes work but that's how you learn to be great. Everything looks so cool on Instagram and Insta-storiess, but we don't (usually) post the un-glam stuff.

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

I love all of the authenticity that we're seeing lately. It used to be so hard for niche brands to get any shine, but we're seeing so many innovative brands have a voice. It's really cool to meet the brains behind the brands and see all of the cool ways that consumers are reacting to them.

 

First and Last PR CEO, Stephanie Scott

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

Helping clients decide on the best launch strategies when everyone's looking for immediate ROI. E-Commerce is more popular than ever right now. I love social media but with the immediacy of Snapchat and Insta-stories, it's really hard to keep good news quiet. This can be a good thing, but I also love working with editors on larger pieces; I never want anyone to feel scooped.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

I'd tell my earlier self to keep pushing and kicking butt. You're having fun now but the best is yet to come.

Anything else we should know?

I'm extremely grateful to be able to do what I love. Growing up, I did not know about careers in cosmetics or communications. There's a whole world available to us. Be creative and limitless in your pursuit of happiness. We recently launched the First and Last PR Foundation and I'm excited to see where this new chapter will lead us and who we will meet.

Thanks, Stephanie!

 

What makes a great interview, Coca Cola’s Influencer Marketing Secrets & Making the Most of First Days at a New Job

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of June 19, 2017

The first day of any new job is sure to come with a bundle of nerves. Here are tips on how to make a lasting impression on your new team (via Career Contessa)

Small fashion brands are beating out bigger brands by keeping up with market changes, faster than before (via Business of Fashion)

Jesse Thorn, founder of MaximumFun.org and podcast The Turnaround, explains what makes a great interview (via Poynter)

3 essential tips for prepping for your new PR job (via Allyson Conklin PR)

Nicole Giordano, founder of StartUp Fashion is "a big proponent of the concept of building a business around the life you want" (via Filippa K Circle)

Prabal Gurung's collaboration with Lane Bryant revealed fashion still has a ways to go with embracing plus-size clothing (via The Muse) 

Amazon Prime Wardrobe will let you buy and return with ease (via TechCrunch)

J Crew's own Millard "Mickey" Drexler admits he misdiagnosed the impact of digital  (via The Wall Street Journal)

The boom in young people turning to cosmetic surgery is linked to social media pressure (via BBC News)

Always good to take notes from the big kids; Coca-Cola, Dell and PayPal share influencer marketing tips (via Entrepreneur)

Junior Publicist

Position: Junior Publicist
Company: Style House PR
Location: NYC
Learn more

How to Develop a Voice & Style Guide for Your Social Media Team

Kaylee Griffin photo of women at event

Social media has evolved to become an integral part of our daily lives. Commercially, social media has also become one of the main tools companies use to directly target and reach consumers with measurable return. For PR firms, it is important to develop and maintain a consistent style for all client social media accounts in order to ensure effective and consistent social media outreach, and it’s smart to develop a template you can use with all clients – a style and resource guide that will make it easy for anyone on the team to hop in and build out ideation and content that is aligned with social goals.

1. Social Media Access

There’s nothing worse than to find that a password has been changed. Start your guide with all email addresses, passwords and password hints that may be necessary.

2. Clarify the brand requirements

In this section, identify the profile photos, taglines, bio copy and any social-media specific logo usage. Provide an overview of voice and tone and target audience; who are you speaking to primarily through your social outreach?

Identify key hashtags, general hashtag usage, emojis and how each should and shouldn’t be used across different platforms. If there are certain products that need to be referred to in a specific way, hashtags or words to never use, this is the area to list out brand requirements. When sourcing found content, what was the source/crediting requirements?

3. Plan for measurement

When it comes to links, is there a preferred link shortener used to track clicks? Do links need to be appended with a Google tracking code? Identify how you will track and report on results (and where prior KPI reports are located to anyone new to the account can easily see past performance).

4. Develop daily/weekly themes

How will you identify, develop, produce and publish content? What types of content will you use most often – images, videos, infographics etc. What are approved places to source unoriginal content and how often can those be used in lieu of brand images? 

An easy way to ensure consistent content creation is to develop daily, weekly, or even monthly themes that drive content decisions. A section for key quarterly themes, products to promote, events to align with or impending press can be easily swapped out as needed. Don’t forget official (and less official) holidays too!

5. Identify top publishing times

Once you have content guidelines set, it is important to decide when to schedule posts on various platforms. Check this infographic for a guide to the best and worst times to post on professional platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

In your style guide, note how often the brand intends to publish across each platform, keeping in mind the geographical locations of key audiences and making sure there is new content going out at ideal times for all followers.

Ultimately, social media marketing should be a very fun and creative process. By creating a strong social media voice and style guide, your social media posts will be sure to follow as well as strengthen your team’s ability to drive results through a robust social presence for your clients.

Time’s up: 3 Reasons You Need to Start Producing Brand Video Content NOW

Remember the good ol’ days when we gathered all of our daily news from printed newspapers? In the digital age we live in today, media is constantly reforming, improving, and innovating into more exciting and effective ways of reaching consumers. Specifically, video platforms have become the new hottest means of reaching consumers as new platforms are introduced and integrated into our daily lives. Videos come in all shapes and forms, from social media-based platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to video streaming websites like YouTube, YouNow, and Periscope. Videos provide much more than merely entertainment purposes; they are able to market products in a personalized and interactive way.

Cisco predicts that in 2017, online video will account for 74 percent of all internet traffic. Already 55 percent of people watch videos online every day (500 million of those on are Facebook, and 150 million people are watching Instagram Stories daily).

If the idea that nearly three-quarters of all internet traffic will be video-based, here are three more reasons you need to add a video creation strategy to your promotional efforts – stat!

Watching videos requires minimal effort (this is good news)

Let’s be honest, our media consumption habits have changed. Your average consumer is not going to read article after article, or view ad after sponsored post, instead she is scrolling and searching for content to capture her interest. Unlike a commercial, a visually appealing, creative and entertaining or educational video is easily consumable and requires very little effort. With the rise of fake news and sponsored testimonials, consumers are more likely to question integrity and honesty of reviews. Brands can get ahead of this issue by developing rapport and loyalty through a video host or spokesperson, or simply by demonstrating values like transparency and honesty through the content itself.

Now, you’ve got about 3-seconds to capture interest and keep your viewer watching, so the faster you can communicate the value the better – from eye-catching visuals to an enticing headline. When developing videos for social media platforms, keep in mind how and when your target might be viewing your content. Including closed captions and subtitles on video improves engagement and SEO so consider the value on ensuring your video’s message is communicated during silent auto-play.

You can put customized videos into your emails

A company newsletter risks being mis-categorized as spam, or simply glossed over after the first few land in a consumer’s inbox. However, you can increase those open rates (which will help with deliverability) by inserting a lively video in anything from a product confirmation email to a shopping cart abandonment notice. Now, video embedding is not supported across major email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo, but you can insert a screenshot image of your video and link to a landing page or YouTube page. 

Video is a creative playground

One of the best features of social media is its immediacy. Especially with the introduction of live streaming through Facebook Live for example, businesses, media and influencers are able to directly interact with their audiences, forming more intimate relationships that ultimately translate into trust. The good news is that once you get started, you can take advantage of a single video shoot and utilize it for a multitude of platforms, resulting in a highly efficient content batching strategy.

Videos can be in a variety of different forms including the following:

  • Instructional: Whiteboard and illustrated videos are a great way to break down a complicated product or concept
  • About us: create an emotional connection with a brand welcome video
  • Q&A Sessions: Q&As can either come from preselected questions or live interactions
  • Product use: Invite employees or influencers to demonstrate how the brand fits into their day
  • Timelapses and montages: Show process (great for beauty and wellness) or behind-the-scenes footage
  • Live streaming: Connect with audience in real time and showcase personality

Videos are much more effective than traditional media because of the interactivity of the medium fosters a high level of engagement that can make brands more relatable and products in high demand while giving overall credibility a boost. Start investigating the role of video content in your overall marketing mix now to reap the rewards.

Micro-Influencers are #Trending – Here’s What You Need to Know

Written by Rebekah Carter

The chances are that, by now, you’ve heard of the benefits of influencer marketing when it comes to growing businesses as a PR professional or marketing expert. A great thing about influencers is that they allow you to borrow authority and market impact of other people within an industry and use it to show the value of the brand you’re working with. For experts working with smaller businesses, this can be a great way to develop the trust that those startups have yet to create.

The statistics speak for themselves:

The problem is that growing businesses usually don’t have the budget to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars for an influencer mention. Even if you could afford the price of a macro influencer, you might find it hard to get their attention in a crowded marketplace. So, what’s the alternative? Micro-influencers.

What defines a Micro-Influencer?

The simplest answer is that there is more than one type of influencer out there. Some work specifically in certain niches, whereas others are high-authority celebrities that are willing to support various products for the right price. While a “macro influencer” is someone like Kim Kardashian, micro-influencers are “everyday” people – usually those with fewer than 1 million followers on Instagram and Twitter.

Although reaching out to micro-influencers might seem counterintuitive to businesses desperate for growth and reach, studies indicate that micro-influencers may be more cost-effective and successful than their macro counterparts. According to Markerly, people with fewer than 1,000 followers get an 8% like ratio, while influencers with between 1-10 million followers have a ratio of only 1.7%.

Another study by Expertcity found that:

  • Micro-influencers are considered to be 10% more knowledgeable than the public.
  • 82% of customers are very likely to follow micro-influencer recommendations
  • Micro-influencers have 22.2 times more buying conversations.

What Are the Benefits of Micro-Influencers?

Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of micro-influencers is the fact that they’re easier to access than standard influencers. Micro-influencers are often far more affordable than their celebrity counterparts.

The more micro-influencers you can use for your marketing campaign, the more you’ll be able to access the interest of  a larger yet more targeted group of people. Unlike big-name celebrities that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per post, around 97% of micro-influencers charge less than $500.

The financial aspect of micro-influencers isn’t the only benefit they offer. Micro-influencers give your customers a chance to relate authentically to your brand. After all, it’s sometimes harder for celebrity influencers to be really convincing to their audience when sharing promotional posts. However, micro-influencers are just like their followers. Customers find them approachable and realistic, which means that their branded suggestions appear more like recommendations from friends then marketing stunts.

Engaging Micro Influencers

Micro-influencers are often easier for PR experts and marketing companies to reach out to than macro influencers. Many celebrity influencers are very selective about the companies they work with and the products they will endorse.

On the other hand, micro-influencers are often friendly and willing to work alongside any brand that fits with the online community they have already created. When reaching out to a micro-influencer, start with researching them and designing a persona for the campaign you want to create. Once you know your average consumer and where they are most likely to go for product advice, you’ll be able to start pinpointing influencers correct for your campaign.

Keep in mind the different types of incentives that appeal to different influencers. For instance, a food blogger might enjoy invitations to review specific restaurants, whereas beauty bloggers are more drawn to new releases and exclusives. Learn what you can about different micro-influencers in your industry before you reach out.

Always be authentic with your messages, and let your micro-influencers know not only what you’re willing to offer them for working with you, but also what their connection with you could do for their audience. Often, micro-influencers put their fans first, so make sure that you outline the value you can give their followers.

When you’re done, you’ll find that the right micro influencers boost your sales, enhance SEO, and develop much-needed trust for your budding brand!

About Rebecca

Rebecca Carter is a professional copywriter and blogger with an interest in all things finance, business development, and health. Writing for a number of organizations such as Baggetta & Co., she has a number of years of experience in the lifestyle, financial, and business markets, and a keen eye for the latest industry news.

Condé Nast Closes Style.com, Pink Houses Sell Rosé, & Instagram’s New Sponsored Tag

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of June 12, 2017

So you started your own PR business. Now what? Lindsey Walker explains 3 steps to follow to secure your first 3 clients (via PR Girls Do it Better)

Aziz Ansari, creator and main character of the Netflix original series "Master of None," captivates his audience in a display of great journalism and creative storytelling (via Poynter)

A new version of Apple's podcast app is going to let podcast creators see who listens to their episodes (via Recode)

Condé Nast closed its first major experiment in retail fashion, Style.com, after numerous problems with the sites launch, rumors of poor sales and other problems that plagued the site (via NY Times)

L'Argus de la Presse media monitoring outfit has just been acquired by Cision. The deal will help both parties as expand market reach (via Odwyer PR)

A series of pink houses in Los Angeles, created by artist Matty Mo and Nomadica Wine, are a attempt to sell rosé  (via Laist)

LVMH multi-brand e-commerce 24 Sèvres uses beautiful photography to make the sell, something Amazon lacks in its customer experience (via Glossy)

Instagram has just made it easier to disclose paid advertising content by letting bloggers and celebrities add a sponsored tag (via Mashable)

NYLON’s Global Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Korn talks about what it is really like to be a magazine editor (via Simply Stylist)

Sara ElShafie, a UC Berkley graduate student, understands the importance of storytelling in any field. She is pioneering different ways to tell stories about science in a meaningful and understandable way (via Berkeley News)

PR Mavens We Love: Alexandra Drobysheva, Founder & CEO, HINT

Alexandra Drobysheva from HINT PR

Alexandra Drobysheva is a multilingual communications professional with a proven track record in developing and delivering strategic communications for leading international and Russian corporations. Based in Moscow, Alexandra opened up HINT after finishing her education in the United Kingdom where she works with clients like Crate & Barrel.

Alexandra Drobysheva from HINT PR

Name: Alexandra Drobysheva
Title: Founder & CEO
Location: Moscow, Russia
Education: BA International Studies with Political Science, Birmingham University, UK 
Company: HINT PR
Instagram:
@hintpr
Facebook: @hintpragency
LinkedIn: 
Hint Communication Agency

How did you get started in PR? 

I moved from the UK to Moscow in 2009 after graduating from university and immediately dived into the local public relations environment. I started my career at the state nuclear corporation but left after couple of years due to bureaucracy. Afterward, I worked at local PR agencies and absolutely fell in love with the agency atmosphere. At some point I knew I want to launch my own agency where I could focus on lifestyle communications and create a unique work culture. This is how HINT was born.

How is your HINT structured?

We fully immerse ourselves in our client’s business and act as an extension of their team. Each project is run by the Hinter (project manager) who manages clients’ accounts on a daily basis and pushes campaign boundaries. We also have digital analysts, copywriters, assistants who help with the projects depending on the scope and set goals.

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

Client service is my priority. I also oversee new business opportunities, manage our social media accounts and mentor the team. The mood is adventurous. Everyone takes an active part in forming our client list and nourishing corporate culture.

WHAT IS THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE LIKE RIGHT NOW IN RUSSIA – WHAT PUBLICATIONS, SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT?

My favorite publication at the moment is The Village. It not only covers local cultural news but also tells stories through people living in the city. 

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

We love to experiment with content. Just recently created a series of illustrations with a popular Russian artist for an international hotel chain about careers in hospitality. The reach and engagement on social media was absolutely fantastic! 

Most meaningful moment in your career thus far?

Signing our first contract with a client. It made the dream feel very real.

Each project is run by the Hinter (project manager) who manages clients’ accounts on a daily basis and pushes campaign boundaries.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Attending a charity ball organized by the wives of ambassadors based in Moscow and supported by our client - Crate and Barrel. It was 1920s theme and took place at Metropol - is a historical hotel in the center of Moscow built in 1899 in Art Nouveau style.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Back in 2014 I was working at Olympic Games in Sochi. As part of the project I was responsible for organizing interviews with celebrities, including a British violinist Vanessa Mae. On the day the camera broke so we had to record and stream a live interview via iPad, which was not very professional.

 

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

No one likes to fail. But failure is a normal part of a life and sometimes it is important to just let it go. At the end of a very stressful day I usually go to Sanduny Bath House in Moscow. It is a place of peace and relaxation where I can get my thoughts together and re-charge.

What are three current favorite tools that help you to do what you do?

Adobe Scan makes my account management easier - it captures phone images and transforms them into versatile PDFs.

Also love Bear App and Telegram, a Russian messenger for its chat groups about the latest industry gossip and news.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

Not everyone in our market really understands how important PR is for business growth; that it is much more than just media relations. I hope that this will change.

What are you excited about right now?

I'm excited by the increased speed of communications, new platforms and technologies.

 

Alexandra Drobysheva, Founder & CEO HINT posing in front of building

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

Customer behavior and needs are constantly changing, faster than ever before. The main challenge is to adapt to these changes, be ready to experiment with content and communications in general.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, life is about learning.

Anything else we should know?

If you are planning to visit Moscow give us us a shout, we will be happy to show you around and tell more about specifics of doing PR in Russia – hello@hintpr.com

Thanks, Alexandra!

 

6 Steps to Discover Your Managerial Style

Picture of desk with sketch of a girl

In the PR world, no two managers are the same. Some lead with an iron fist, others go the gentler route, and most fall somewhere in between. After 35 years leading PR teams, I can tell you with certainty the only right style of management is the style that works for you.

I never fully analyzed my managerial or leadership style until I was invited to speak at the Women Entrepreneurs Rock conference in Asbury Park, NJ, in 2015. After taking a multiple choice test, I learned that I’m an “emotional leader” who, over time, has become more of a leadership mentor than a day-to-day manager.

The only right style of management is the style that works for you.

While I was in the day-to-day of managing teams, though, I can say with certainty my style changed regularly. It typically correlated with who my direct reports were and how much of my input they needed in their  day-to-day.  These days, the most rewarding part of leadership for me is coaching – and celebrating – our agency’s managers as they perfect their own personal styles.

Whether you’re a long-time manager looking to improve your leadership or a newly promoted team leader looking for direction, here’s a step-by-step guide to uncover your perfect managerial style.

Assess your boss’ effective management tactics

Remember when I said everyone manages differently? Well, the more you assess your senior team’s management styles, the more you’ll realize the vast variations. Take a look at the supervisors in your firm or company and evaluate how they manage their teams. Some may be stricter, but they yield great (and on-time) results. Others may be laid back, but the team has utmost respect for them because of this trust, and therefore turns in great work on or ahead of deadlines.

This assessment isn’t meant for judgment; it’s to help you see the different styles you could adopt, and the pros and cons of each. Instead of mentally taking notes, jot these observations down. Listing the pros and cons will make the analysis much clearer.

What’s great about being surrounded by different management styles is that you can appreciate how they get things done and the way in which they do it. I’ve learned that you have to manage the whole person and not just their work – and managing by example puts you in a leadership role.

Review your past leadership experiences

Sure, you may not have led teams at your firm or company yet, but that doesn’t mean you’ve never been a leader. Were you captain of your basketball team? Did you lead a group project? These are all leadership experiences, and they’re an incredibly valuable tool to see what personally works for you.

Let’s say you were captain of your high school basketball team. How did you motivate people? How did you get them to listen to you? What worked and didn’t work when ultimately leading that team? Once you’ve analyzed the “wins” and “losses,” you’ll have a good idea of your own successful leadership tactics.

Be true to your personality

You know what your bosses do. You know what you’ve done in the past. Now it’s time to mesh the two and see what type of leadership works best for you and your personality.

Pull out the leadership tactics that feel most comfortable to you from your boss and former life. Your boss’ “iron fist” ruling may be effective, but if you’re not comfortable laying down the law aggressively, don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead, look at other bosses or leaders outside the industry to see how they manage issues, then come up with a system that works for you.

The same goes for project oversight. If your boss is the “anti micro manger” – but you just can’t let go of the reigns – find a happy medium, whether it’s weekly team touch bases or requesting to be CC’d on every email. Above all, you need to feel comfortable in order to be a confident manager.

Write a “mission statement” for the type of leader you want to be

Now comes the fun part: You know the type of manager you want to be, let’s get it down on paper! Prepare a mini mission statement about your managerial goals so you can stay true to yourself through thick and thin. For example, if you want to be a strict – yet approachable – manager who stays in the loop on all client correspondence, your statement could read:

I will set clear deadlines and expectations; when those expectations aren’t met the team will be asked to redo work – even if it means staying late. While strict in expectations, I will also bond with my team in and outside of work to create a strong camaraderie that helps our team work in tandem. I will not micro manage, but to ensure my clients’ needs are met, I will request to be on all emails and will jump in as needed. When there’s a problem, I will pull my team member aside quickly to discuss it. At the end of the day, I will be a manager who drives her team to deliver the best work they can – and have fun while doing so.

Once you’ve perfected this statement, print or write it out and keep it at your desk as a constant reminder. This is a promise to yourself; the more you read it, the more natural it becomes.

Ask for help from your team and your boss

You didn’t get to this management point alone, so you can’t expect to excel at it by yourself. Share your mission statement with your boss or mentor so they can keep an eye out and help you stick to your strategy. While you may not want to share your statement with your team, take them aside and give them the ‘Cliff Notes’ version so they understand how you plan to manage. Empower them to speak up if you’re swaying from this strategy. While you want to feel like the top boss, your team is your best asset and ally.

Self-evaluate regularly

Whether it’s weekly or monthly, take 15 to 30 minutes to evaluate how your strategy is working. Do you need to get stricter on deadlines? Are you taking time to recognize your team for a job well done? Are you finding time to bond with your team beyond day-to-day work?

Perfecting your management style is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistent evaluation will help you fine-tune your strategy and will ultimately set you up for long-term management success.