For our most recent industry profile we caught up with publicist – slash ex muso/former model – Ashley Scott to find out more about his role as Showroom Manager at ARC Factory, and get his top tips on building successful media relationships.
Can you tell us about your role at ARC Factory and how you got there?
ARC Factory is a brand strategy, content management and creative agency located in Surry Hills, Sydney. I’ve been there for nearly 7 years now. I come from a background in music and was in a fairly well-known band for over 7 years. During this time I styled a lot of our red-carpets looks for things like the ARIAs and some stage and music video looks. This allowed me to start building a contact base in the fashion crowd. It helped that my circle of friends was part of this crowd as well.
At the same time, I was signed to Chadwick models which really helped me understand more of the industry on shoots, shows and how PR fits into that. Later, after a few other odds and ends in fashion, I landed at ARC as the Showroom Manager. Since then, we’ve seen our client base shift a bit with the addition of new categories. As a result, my role has shifted too and I now cover a lot of aspects within the company, especially focusing on our hospitality and lifestyle clients.
As a publicist, what would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
The first thing that comes to mind as the most rewarding is seeing something through from start to finish. As a recent example, working on CicciaBella’s opening – from initial ideas and shoot plans, to the rollout, being able to go and dine, bring people in and read the great reviews. It makes it all so fulfilling to see.
And for the challenges?
Making sure you keep up with a shifting media landscape – it’s really the one thing that all challenges come down to. Lower staffing, lower budgets, and competing with social media all takes its toll on the traditional methods, so you have to adapt to new ways of doing things better.
What are some of the major events or milestones on the ARC Factory calendar this year?
We just launched our latest campaign for Bonds with the GOTS Certified Organic underwear collection starring Cody Simpson and Paloma Elsesser. That has been lots of work here and we’re thrilled with the outcome.
In the restaurant space, we just launched D.O.C Pizza & Mozzarella Bar in Sydney, which is the first of that group outside of Melbourne and has been received so well by the local Sydney crowd. We have some more great restaurant openings and changes to look forward to this year, plus an exciting collaboration, but all of that is in the vault for now!
Can you share your top three tips for building a relationship with media and stylists?
Timeliness. For me, it’s all about time and how quick you can be. Responsiveness is so important for building a great reputation for both yourself and your brand. It also just makes it easier for everyone involved. No email is left unanswered, even if it’s a no!
Understanding who you’re talking to. Know what you’re pitching and if it will work for that person or publication. There is no point sending the same pitch or product to everyone; think about what they would run before you do. Sometimes you might not be sure, and I think it’s best to just be upfront with that. In my experience, people appreciate that you acknowledge this rather than just assuming it’s the right fit. Often it opens the door for a conversation on the topic.
Do your research. I can’t underestimate knowing the pages that journalists compile. Read everything, do some manual media monitoring and find out who is doing what, so the next time you chat to them, you can safely say you did love their page as you really read it.