Lauren Platt-Hepworth is the Communications Manager at M.A.C Australia, and not surprisingly, she is as glamorous and intelligent as you can imagine. We recently had the pleasure of visiting Lauren in the M.A.C Pro store in Paddington to find out about her busy role, lessons learnt in the beauty PR industry, and why she loves using Flaunter…
WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LOOK LIKE AS COMMS MANAGER FOR M.A.C AUSTRALIA? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH YOUR LAST 24 HOURS?
It was a long one….but here you go
- 5.00 am Wake up.
- 5.30 am PT session.
- 7.00 am Quickly check my emails/social media to see what has come through overnight/ if anything interesting has happened in the world of digital.
- 7.30 am Get home, get ready for work and have breakfast. I have to say that since starting at M.A.C my morning beauty routine is slightly longer than it used to be! Sometimes it can take me longer depending on if I have tried to be experimental with my makeup or not.
- 8.30 am Leave for work.
- 9.00 am Breakfast meeting.
- 10.30 am Get into the office and check emails – I spend most of the morning talking to my colleagues in NYC as this is the one time of day we ‘cross paths’.
- 11.30 am Catch up with right-hand girl to discuss what we’ve got on and the priorities for the day/week. Go over my extensive ‘to do’ list and decide what to tackle first. We have a Foundation launch coming up so that’s occupying my time at the moment.
- 12.00 pm Check Instagram and do some research on any new influencers I have come across.
- 12.30 pm Lunch. We’re not meant to eat lunch at our desks so it’s a good opportunity to step away for a while and catch up with everyone in the team.
- 1.00 pm – 6.00 pm My afternoon is a mixture of meetings with our Senior Artists, work on strategies with influencers for various upcoming campaigns as well as working on the beast that is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Every day at M.A.C is different which is what makes it such a great place to work.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
So many things! M.A.C is not just a beauty brand, it also supports the fashion industry, the Professional Artist community and many charities so I am able to not only work with beauty editors but fashion editors and freelance makeup artists as well giving back to the community. Being a global company, I also get the opportunity to travel and work with so many amazing people who are experts in their field. It’s a very inspiring company to work for.
WHAT DO YOU SPEND THE MOST TIME ON IN TERMS OF TASKS?
At the moment I would have to say it’s a mixture of emails, strategy and a continual search through Instagram. As we all know, influencers have really become a force unto themselves and trying to keep abreast of what the established ones are doing as well as trying to find the ‘next big star’ is a job in itself. While we love working with people who are established we are also fond of nurturing new talent. Ensuring that we are working with the right people who resonate with our audience – which is so broad – is really important. Anyone can have 10K+ followers but if their audience isn’t engaged then there’s no point in starting a conversation with them.
HOW HAS THE ROLE OF PR CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
Where do I start? When I started in this industry Facebook, Instagram and Twitter didn’t exist. Magazines ‘ruled the world’ and online shopping wasn’t even around! Gosh, that makes me feel old! It’s so interesting to reflect and think just how much the industry has changed. Magazine and print were the only focus as someone who worked in PR.
Now, there are so many platforms that you need to consider and you can’t just develop one strategy anymore. You need multiple strategies for one campaign to sit across various platforms. What you sell into a magazine is going to differ so greatly to what you do on social media. Today, you may not even consider a print strategy for certain campaigns which was just unheard of when I started as this was considered the pinnacle when I began.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT BEAUTY PR?
It can be quite challenging to come up with new and innovative ways to talk about products that have essentially been around forever. It’s a constant game of reinvention. At M.A.C however, we are lucky that we collaborate with so many amazing designers, artists and musicians so always have something new to talk about. This makes coming up with new content a whole lot easier!
CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A STORY ABOUT ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST PR WINS – OR FAILS! & WHAT YOU LEARNT FROM THAT EXPERIENCE?
On reflection, there have been a few. Achieving front page coverage across every newspaper nationally following a launch was a pretty proud moment as well as launching Westfield’s first-ever digital campaign is another. Signing talent just before they are about to catapult into the stratosphere is also up there! In terms of fails, they are more mistakes that I have made along the way and learnt from. There haven’t been any major disasters but when you make mistakes in the detail you tend to remember them and the ramifications. All I can say is that if I hadn’t made these mistakes I wouldn’t have learnt from them and wouldn’t have the knowledge or foresight around things I do now. While no one likes making mistakes they are going to happen so as long as you don’t make the same mistake twice and you own it, you can only grow and develop.
OK – SO YOUR BEAUTY CABINET MUST BE MIND BLOWING. WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL TOP 3 FAVOURITE M.A.C PRODUCTS & TOP 3 ‘NOT M.A.C’ PRODUCTS?
I have to say that since starting at M.A.C my beauty cupboard and regime is slightly out of control. It’s so hard to only choose 3 but…they would be Strobe Cream as you can wear it with or without makeup and gives you a gorgeous glow, Prep+Prime Highlighter Pen – this is the refreshing wakeup call you never knew you needed. A bit of this under your eyes in the morning is seriously life changing. Trying to pick a third is so hard, so I’m going to choose four…I am obsessed with having long lashes and In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash is incredible…and because I’m all about the glow, Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle is the perfect way to complete your look.
Other products I absolutely swear by are all skin care products. Rationale serum is amazing and will change your skin forever. Invisible Zinc is something I wear every day. I don’t leave the house without putting this on and I never put my face in the sun. I drink 3 litres of water a day so would have to say that this is my other favourite ‘product’. I really believe that water is the key to clear skin…along with a healthy diet of course.
HOW DID YOU FIND FLAUNTER?
A very dear friend of mine (and a mutual friend of ours) told me about it. In the lead up to Fashion Week last year, I wanted a portal that I could direct all the media to, to get images from the shows so I didn’t have to send everyone images #nightmare. My friend introduced me to Gaby [aka Flaunter] and I was sold. It was exactly what I was looking for and I have been obsessed ever since. Not only did we use it for FW with great success, I was so happy with it I decided we needed it on a full-time basis and have used it ever since.
WHAT DID YOU USE BEFORE US?
Nothing! When I started I couldn’t believe that we didn’t’ have anything like this so being introduced to Flaunter was my Christmas miracle. It has been so helpful in so many ways and I would highly recommend it.
WHERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO IMPLEMENT FLAUNTER? WHAT WERE YOUR HESITATIONS?
I think the only challenge if you can call it that, was educating the media that this was the place to go to get images rather than coming to me to get them. Once we educated everyone on this it was fine. The media now go straight to Flaunter for what they need rather than coming to us which I think saves time for everyone.
WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FLAUNTER TO OTHERS – WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST?
Where do I begin?! I think the best thing about Flaunter is that it saves time for both people on the brand side or in an agency as well as journalists/the media. Once we have given a briefing on our upcoming collections we upload all press materials to Flaunter so that if anyone needs something for a story they can go straight there and not have to wait for me to come back to them. With deadlines being so tight in the digital world if I don’t get back to someone within the hour at times we’ve missed an opportunity. Flaunter allows journalists to access what they need when they need it and in turn frees up my time to work on other things.
Follow Lauren on Instagram here.
Photography by Hannah Roche // follow Hannah on Instagram here.
Find M.A.C Cosmetics hi-res downloadable images on Flaunter here.