Things are about to get crazy for Sarah Lynch, Global Marketing Manager for UK-based fashion brand Missguided. The company just announced that it will branch out from its current e-commerce only strategy and open up a 20,000 square foot store in London this fall. Add to that the continued growth and development of the Missguided shopping app, which currently has over half a million users, and it’s clear that the brand is in an exciting period of major growth.
In between the chaos, Sarah managed to slip away from her desk at the company’s new headquarters in Manchester to chat with PR Couture about how she got started in the industry and the challenges ahead for marketing and communication professionals.
Title: Global Brand Marketing Manager
Current City: Liverpool
Missguided Instagram: @missguided
Missguided Twitter: @missguided
How did you get started in Marketing?
I worked at numerous marketing agencies before getting my advertising and social media experience at Shop Direct, a large online department store group based in the UK. I’ve been with Missguided for almost two years now and currently manage marketing, PR, advertising, and social media for all global territories.
What are your primary responsibilities?
My primary responsibilities in terms of PR are to oversee the management of our PR agencies in UK, US, and Australia. I also create and execute PR strategies that are designed to meet our business objectives and drive brand awareness and growth in each territory. This includes building relationships with media and influencers and creating or considering proposals for activations and events. I also work closely with other departments at Missguided to create integrated campaigns and marketing plans. I love to invest time in my team to make sure they’re happy, motivated and progressing in their careers.
Being thrown into the deep end meant that I learned the ropes quickly across numerous countries around the world.
How did your marketing career morph to include PR?
My background is in advertising and social media, and when an opportunity came up at Missguided which included managing the PR team, I jumped at it! I’d worked closely with PR managers and agencies in previous roles, and had good knowledge of the media and press industry, so I had a good understanding of what was involved and knew I could make the right decisions, even if I hadn’t had much experience in the day-to-day workings. I took a bit of a risk and just went for it! Being thrown into the deep end meant that I learned the ropes quickly across numerous countries around the world.
What are you working on right now?
We have a couple of really exciting launches coming up this fall which we’re all working towards at the moment, but I can’t give anything away. In addition to supporting the constant stream of new product drops and stories, Christmas is a key season for us, so we’re focusing on making it the best party season yet!
PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?
I have the outlook that you can only do what you can do, so as long as I know I’ve tried my best and tried every possible option, if something doesn’t come off how I’d hoped I don’t get too down about it. There’s a lesson in everything, so as long as we learn from rejection or challenging times, it will always be better next time.
What are you really good at?
I have good attention to detail, but especially as I’ve worked up to a more senior level I’ve found I’m good at seeing the bigger picture, knowing where something falls in the grand scheme of things and whether it’s going to make a difference or not. It helps that I’m from a brand background, but also have a good grasp on the commercial side of things, which helps me make the best decisions and work well with other departments of the business.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
Our Spring 2016 brand campaign with Pamela Anderson was a particular highlight thanks to the amount of global coverage we achieved and the positive response to Pam and our work with her. Pamela is an icon and a figure of empowerment, which is what we stand for as a brand, and so it was the perfect partnership to launch us into Spring/Summer ‘16 and make people look twice!
What is the most memorable/meaningful moment in your career thus far?
I think it would be early on in my career when I was just starting out working in social media, I was asked to live tweet for a brand from the red carpet of a big televised awards ceremony here in the UK. I was new and super nervous, but I was trusted to do it, and I was on an absolute high afterward. I loved every minute and thankfully it went well. I probably wouldn’t think twice about it now, but at the time it gave me a huge confidence boost and the motivation to push myself outside of my comfort zone, so it meant a lot.
What about the most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
I’ve been lucky enough in my work to attend fancy events and to be treated to lovely meals and hospitality. One of my favorite ‘special’ moments was being flown first class to Cape Town for work and given cocktails on arrival at our lovely hotel. It was a special experience and one I’ll never forget.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far:
There have been many – for every glamorous moment there have been at least 20 un-glamorous ones that aren’t shared on Instagram! Spending hours sorting through samples, doing paper work, sitting in a wet field for hours on end while we captured the perfect shot was how I spent many days early on. It wasn’t very glamorous.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
I wish more people understood that it’s not always fun and glamorous! Behind every piece of coverage or event there’s a lot of hard work, things to consider and decisions to be made, which might not seem obvious to people who only see the finished piece but without it, the outcome could be very different.
The biggest challenge for communicators right now is the speed in which people consume information.
What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion communicators right now?
The biggest challenge for communicators right now is the speed in which people consume information. We have to know how to tap into it and ensure that we’re relevant while also reaching the right audience- it takes strategy and planning. It’s also a huge opportunity for us because our audience is so digitally savvy which makes keeping up and standing out from the competition a constant challenge.