Dina Broadhurst

7 unexpected ways our brands are using Flaunter

Whilst we may have built it, our users have become superstars at using our Flaunter in ways we hadn’t even considered.  The cool techniques they’ve developed help them step up and streamline their own processes - or build them from scratch if the case may be.

Here’s our seven favourites, and because we know you love efficiency, they all take less than an hour of your time to implement.

 

Flaunter Hack One: “My PR email address has an auto-responder that links to my Flaunter account"
Time to implement: 5 minutes

The first stellar idea we’ll share comes from an emerging design duo.  Because they’re not always at their computers, they have set up an auto-response to all emails arriving in their pr@brandname.com inbox.  

This canny pair realised that media looking for hi-res images and credit details are usually in the biggest hurry of all.  By spending 5 minutes creating this email, they ensure those opportunities are never missed...even when these designers are away from their desks.

Here's the template, in all its glory:

Hey there,

Thanks for reaching out to us. We monitor this email address daily, but we know media often have crazy-fast deadlines to meet, and we don’t want to hold you up!

If you’re looking for hi-res images and credit details to publish our work, everything (we mean everything) is available to download and publish here: [Link]

Otherwise, thank you for considering [brand], and we’ll be in touch before you know it.

 

Flaunter Hack Two: “I SMS my lookbook to industry professionals I meet at events with Flaunter links”
Time to implement: 3 minutes per collection

Another emerging talent on Flaunter wears many hats in his business (all of the hats, actually…) - which means he often finds himself meeting industry contacts backstage at runway events, markets and pop-up stores.

After a receiving an awkward follow-up call from a journalist he’d met and forgotten to email his images to, he started saving links to his Flaunter content on his phone. This meant that he can send them a lookbook on the spot.  No more (accidentally) missed opportunities!

 

Flaunter Hack Three: “I shared my media contacts with Flaunter so my favourite journalists are automatically alerted to my new collection launches.”
Time to implement: 20 minutes to collate & forward 1 list

Running a business in the lifestyle space is all about efficiencies. Why take two steps when you can achieve the same thing with one?  That’s the philosophy of the head of marketing at a multi-brand distribution company.  With each of the 5 brands under her management releasing new collections monthly, the extra step of crafting a media release to email to each brand’s media list was one she was keen to do without.

Knowing that Flaunter’s system alerts all registered media to new content from her brand automatically, this clever marketer collated her media lists for each brand & forwarded it to her account manager at Flaunter HQ, allowing our head office team to register + link her entire media list to her brands.  The Flaunter system now alerts her media contacts to new collections automatically after she uploads, leaving much more time each month for more important conversations with her key media contacts.

 

Flaunter Hack Four:I put links to my Flaunter account anywhere I think the media will see them on my site.”
Time to implement: 15 minutes for your web developer

This children’s fashion label grew weary of finding their adorable images lifted from their website and published.  Whilst they were extremely grateful for the coverage, their limited-run products meant that images selected were often sold out (or on the verge of...). They needed a way to focus this much-desired attention on their new & upcoming product.

After joining Flaunter, this label generated a media-only link to their Flaunter brand profile, then had their developer add a neat little Flaunter link to their media page & contact us page, encouraging journalists to visit Flaunter for their hi-res images and credit info of these images and not-yet-unreleased product. Six months later: they’ve confirmed that they haven’t had any further issues with images being lifted from their site, but the amount of coverage they’ve received for the upcoming product has never been better.

 

Flaunter Hack Five: “Whenever I upload content, I distribute a link to my team so they can share it too”
Time to implement: 10 minutes each season

A part-time Comms manager at a fashion distributor told us how she makes sure media requests are always promptly dealt with, even when she isn’t in the office.

“Keeping our images up to date on Flaunter means most of our regular media contacts self-serve when they just need an image or two from us, but we still sometimes receive image requests via email from other journalists. Because my team are always busy, they don’t have time to search for images on our servers and wait for them load up & send on top of all their other tasks when I’m off.

For the last few seasons, I’ve made sure that each time I upload a new collection to Flaunter, I pass on the share links to the entire team via email as well as saving it to our in-house passwords and login document.  Now when a request arrives, they can just copy and email the link, and I can follow up on those who have downloaded our images using reports from Flaunter once I’m back in the office. It’s so much easier than before, and now that all our images are always sent via Flaunter, I always know exactly who has shown interest in our brand - and who I should target with our next pitch. ”

 

Flaunter Hack Six: “I use my download alerts and analytics as a wholesale tool.”
Time to implement: 20 minutes

A canny distributor-slash-retailer has nailed how to leverage her coverage through all areas of her business.  Whenever she receives an image download via Flaunter, she gets in touch with the downloading journalist to offer any additional assistance and ask for an approximate publication date.

What next?  She gets in touch with all the stockists who are carrying that product, lets them know it’s about to be featured in a popular publication and encourages them to stock up in time for their customers to come looking (spoiler alert: it works).

We always knew PR drives sales, but this is taking it to the next level.

 

Flaunter Hack Seven: “I use the data to understand what's popular and what's not...and what we should do next time.”
Time to implement: None at all!

PR is a little like a rollercoaster - one season it feels like you’re published everywhere and but the next you may feel like everything is more of a struggle despite your best efforts...but that doesn’t mean you can relax your targets for the quarter!

Flaunter’s detailed reporting of which images have been downloaded by media (and who those media are) has become key to developing future ranges and brand collateral for an industry-disrupting accessories brand on Flaunter.  By reviewing which media have downloaded and published their content one season to the next, he’s able to reach out to any journalists who didn’t download images from his brand this season and ask them what kind of images and products they’d have liked to see.

“I was initially on Flaunter to get our images out there to more journalists, which has worked, but it’s been invaluable for our design team too, which was unexpected.  We’ve been able to use the media’s feedback we’ve gathered to better understand the trends media like to pick up on, and the types of images we were really wasting our time creating.  We’ve seen the number and quality of media who engage with us grow every season thanks to backwards-engineering our download reports this way.”

 

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Have you got a Flaunter Hack that should be added to the list?! Email us at hello@flaunter.com because we can't wait to hear it.

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Banner image: Ladies in Waiting by Dina Broadhurst


Uplifting Scandi Style

Trend Watch: Uplifting Scandi Style

Discrete, yet opulent...Stockholm inspired home living has defiantly made its mark across interiors.

As we dive deeper into the colder months, brands have been releasing a new dimension of Scandi-style genius. An array of muted colour pops has added brightness to interior design that uplifts any mood on these grey chilly days...

 

SUBTLE SPLASH

Slight pastel features are reoccurring this month across home decor and furnishings, allowing for a less invasive and smart styling option. Feast your eyes on these beauty's by the truly modern wood craftsmen of 'Beeline Design'.

Handkrafted x Flaunter

Beeline Design Stools via Handkrafted  / $240 AUD

Find them on Flaunter here.

 

SIMPLE SWASHES

Let's face it, some jobs can be done on your own! An affordable 'DIY' style of decorating has become a popular choice new nesters or those simply wanting to customise their space without spending hundreds. Light swashes on wood textures adds a cosy simplicity to any home, especially when using global phenomenon 'Chalk Paint'. The best part? There's no need for any priming or sanding and dry time is rapid.

Flaunter x Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan / $18.95 AUD

Find them on Flaunter here.

 

CARE TO PAIR

Black and grey is a no here, so forget everything you knew about winter colour schemes! As we're seeing faded washes being a popular choice in home decor - simple two colour pairing has also appeared as a top styling trend, offering some warmth to the cool environment without overpowering the home. Also to note: Florals aren't strictly a spring/summer notion, especially with designs from Linen House's Winter range. Use a simple colour scheme and bend the 'rules' without sacrificing style.

Flaunter x Linen House

Linen House Naomi Quilt Cover Set / from $189.95 AUD

Find them on Flaunter here.

 

MINIMAL MAGIC

A splash of colour tied to minimal design offers opportunity within changing spaces. Perfect for those who appreciate the subtle way in which one or two key pieces can change the entire feel of a room. 'Millenial pink' is only growing stronger as this year's colour of choice.

Flaunter x Artistudio

Artistudio 'Crush' Limited Edition Photographic Series / from $395.00 AUD

Find them on Flaunter here.

 

SUSTAINABLY STYLED

'Functional living' is the core value of Scandinavian living spaces - it's the answer to small interior spaces that challenges many of us from time to time. 2017's obsession with Danish philosophy 'Hygee' (meaning creating a warm atmosphere), allows us to really enjoy the good things in life, with good people, in a sustainable manner. Take these creative and functional side tables by Sawdust Bureau as a perfect example!

Flaunter x Handkrafted

Sawdust Bureau via Handkrafted  // $895.00 AUD

Find them on Flaunter here.

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Banner image: Maarten Deckers via Unsplash

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Flaunter - This is why PR is so important

Does forking out freak you out? Why PR is so important

An abundance of businesses coupled with audiences who are switched on anywhere and everywhere means the role of PR is highly valuable.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics says there are more Australian businesses now than ever before. In 2016 there were more than 2.17 million businesses actively trading (with more than 600,000 of those headed up by lady bosses). What does this mean? PR is more important than ever to help your business stand out from the crowdAs your products or story gets featured, customers, buyers and even other editors will pick up on your brand's success. The more you're featured, the more potential your brand has to grow!

 

BE HEARD BY YOUR AUDIENCE

“In any successful business, PR (or more broadly, communications) sits at the centre of the organisation,” says Chris Gray, Managing Director ICON International Communications, a former journo turned PR guru who’s owned his agency for almost 20 years. “Communications is the heartbeat of a brand and helps become the ‘oxygen’ which feeds and engages all key stakeholders.”

With so many other businesses out there – including your competition – you have to stand out. You have to be heard by your audience in an environment that’s making so much noise. “PR plays a ‘mission critical’ role in helping organisations manage and engage their audiences,” says Gray.

Your audience is everywhere, all the time, and they have the potential to engage with your brand 24/7. That means the communication you have with your customers and stakeholders is no different to any other relationship – you’ve got to talk (in an authentic and open way), and then LISTEN.

COMMUNICATE WHAT YOU STAND FOR

When it comes to social media, the most recent Sensis report says 52% of users are more likely to trust a brand if it interacts with consumers positively on social platforms (I’m a bit surprised that number isn’t higher, but anyway). So all your communication needs to be consistent. And that’s where PR can help, too. Cohesive messaging across all your touchpoints is important if you want your customers to take you seriously and know what you stand for. Good PR people have strong writing skills, so they can help you craft these messages – which aren’t just good for your customers, they’re crucial if you want to build new prospects, secure financial investment and more.

SAVE YOURSELF TIME 

While you may think you’re the best PR person for your business because of your passion and innate knowledge of your offering, there can be limitations, like the big one: time. Spending hours marketing yourself could be better spent on developing your brand/business/product/skill. There are only so many hours in the day, right? Another one is that contact book: you probably don’t have the extensive network of media friends that a PR pro (should) possess, nor do you have the time to find out who they are. Remember: With PR there are no half-measures - it is an ongoing process and requires time and persistence in order to see results. 

DOES FORKING OUT FREAK YOU OUT? 

For any business, financials can be a barrier to using PR services but there are stacks of PR options out there. Whether they’re sole operators or part of a large agency, PR people can be used either regularly on a retainer (usually a monthly fee) or by project, depending on your business goals. The best thing to do is know where you need help, shop around, do your homework and talk to other people who have used PR.

 

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Words: Jacqui Kwong, editor & writer. Follow Jacqui on Instagram here.

Image: The Collections by Erik Madigan Heck for Harpers Bazaar UK

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Soak Society

Spotlight on: Natalie Thorogood from Soak Society

This week we shine the spotlight on Natalie Thorogood, founder of Soak Society. Natalie has created a range of luxe wellness bath soaks and accessories (with other products launching soon!), all made on the sparkling shores of the Sunshine Coast, QLD.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND & HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?

I have a varied background, I’ve never really stuck around in one job for too long. I have a PR degree but have never worked in the industry. My job before Soak Society was as a personal concierge for high-end clients in Brisbane. I’ve also worked in hospitality management in Perth and Sydney, been a labourer for a mining company, and a photographer in Canada. I feel like everything I have done has lead me to where I am right now!

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING SOAK SOCIETY?

Yes, it’s definitely changed, I have more freedom in my days, and have learnt to practice what I preach which is ‘me-time’. I moved home to the Sunshine Coast around 2 years ago, and that has done wonders for my stress levels. No day is really regular, as I sometimes work from our warehouse in Coolum Beach, or from home or a cafe! Some days I’ll be delivering local orders, or meeting with collaborators, and some days I might take a yoga class at 9am, and then work a bit later to make up for taking the morning for me.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE TRYING TO DO WHAT YOU DO?

Don’t let a lack of money or time stop you. Just go for it, and figure things out along the way. If you have the passion and drive, it will always be possible!

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?

Trying to do everything all at once, switching roles quickly - for example, production manager one minute to marketing manager the next. I do love it, but sometimes it can be very exhausting. I have just one part-time staff member to assist me (plus a few contractors) right now, so I’m always conscious of reminding myself of the amazing benefits of business owner life!

Soak Society

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT FROM YOUR RANGE?

Our newest wellness soak Yinyang. It has activated charcoal for ultimate detoxification, and the scent is a subtle pink grapefruit, neroli and vanilla.

WHAT 3 BEAUTY PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE TO A DESERT ISLAND?

Face mist (I love Clemence Organics Tone and Hydrate Rose Spritz), Edible Beauty Tinted Vanilla Silk Lotion (it has natural sun protection), and sunscreen of course! (Ecostore’s zinc).

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE BEAUTY BLOGGER OR WEBSITE?

Tomboy Beauty and Zoe Foster Blake (her book is hilarious)

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST 'WIN' SINCE LAUNCHING?

I don’t think I can choose just one! Our first trade fair in February in Sydney was a highlight, as was our feature in Vogue Australia online, and in Harper's Bazaar late last year.

WHAT ARE THE NEXT BIG THINGS COMING UP FOR SOAK SOCIETY?

We are launching a very exciting new product in August - BathDew, it’s an organic bubble bath style product with vegan collagen (Larch tree extract) and Magnesium. It’s pink and shimmery and smells like magnolia, rose and orange blossom. We are SO excited for its launch. Stay tuned!

AND ONE FOR US - WHY DID YOU NEED FLAUNTER? WHAT DID YOU USE BEFORE?

For an online image library mainly as Flaunter makes it easy to send out links to our galleries. But I like the idea of controlling our own PR (who accesses our images etc). Before this, we had a PR agency for 4 months.

Natalie ThorogoodFollow Soak Society on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook
Learn more about their all-natural products on the Soak Society Website.

 

 

Media can find and download all hi-res images from Soak Society on Flaunter here.

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10 minutes with Emma Vidgen from Real Living

Emma Vidgen is a journalist, interiors addict, music nerd and a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady ;)  After moving from Brisbane to work at Cosmo 15 years ago, she has been writing about everything from fashion and food to health, beauty, relationships and travel ever since. We were lucky enough to catch Emma in one of her rare spare moments to learn about life as the editor of Real Living, and bring you the answers to the top 5 burning questions from our brands.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR READERS MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Since I took over editing Real Living last year I've noticed our audience are most intrigued by seeing how other Australians live. They are highly engaged and interested in what's going on around the world but always like advice on how that relates to their own home and how they can translate trends to their own space. Oh, and they love to shop!

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET FEATURED IN REAL LIVING? WHAT DO BRANDS & PR AGENCIES NEED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE MAGAZINE WORLD TODAY?

The most exciting thing is coming across a brand doing something original. We love discovering new labels who are doing their own thing. It sounds cliché but authenticity rules. We shoot almost all our own content but strong brand imagery and anything with an interesting story angle always catch our eye too. The interiors category is hugely competitive so whenever there's an opportunity to feature something exclusively or be first to market with new images or product, that definitely gets our attention.

 

Emma Vidgen - Real Living

 

WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LOOK LIKE AS EDITOR OF REAL LIVING? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH YOUR LAST 24 HOURS?

I'm usually up by 6am, do 20 minutes of meditation then try and squeeze in a workout. I like listening to podcasts while I run (‘The High Low’ is my favourite right now) or I do yoga on my iPad at home (YogaGlo is my favourite app).

I get to work by 9am and eat breakfast at my desk while I clear as many emails as possible before heading into meetings for most of the day. I'll meet with the team to plan upcoming content as well as other departments to discuss commercial opportunities, events and new marketing initiatives. I'm often out for an event at lunchtime and then I head back to the office. I try and do another email clear out before I leave by 6.30pm, if we're not on deadline. Throughout the day I am constantly checking our social channels to see what's resonating. In the evening, I often have more functions, so I'll pop along before going home, checking emails again and flaking out by midnight.

WHAT MAKES FLAUNTER A USEFUL TOOL FOR YOU? HOW DOES IT MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER?

Flaunter is such a great way for me to stay up to date on our favourite brands.  The convenience of being able to browse and download high res images directly, without having to wait for an email response, is absolutely priceless.

QUICK ONE FOR FUN: HOW MANY IMAGES, ON AVERAGE, WOULD YOU NORMALLY FIND IN AN ISSUE OF REAL LIVING?

Roughly 300. We create a huge proportion of those ourselves so it’s an epic but incredibly satisfying undertaking every month.

Real Living - June

AND NOW, 5 QUESTIONS FROM OUR COMMUNITY :)

  1. How do I make sure my brand remains relevant to the media?
    Tailor your pitches so they are appropriate for each outlet. You're better off going after a handful of media who are a really good fit than casting the net super-wide and trying to appeal to everyone.
  2. How quickly should I follow up with media if I send them a press release?
    I would say at least a week, although they can be tricky to get right. If I'm interested in a generic pitch I'll respond pretty quickly. I think you're better off following up on a bespoke pitch relating to a specific, exclusive opportunity rather than chasing a response to mass mailouts. 
  3. Who should I send a press release or pitch to? Should I send them to magazine editors or photo editors? 
    The team structure is different on every mag, but if you can't find a section editor you can't go wrong sending to the editor and the deputy editor.
  4. How do I figure out which media is most likely to feature my brand?
    Look at where your competitors are being featured and start from there. Spend time really reading magazines and ask yourself "how would my brand fit into this line-up?".
  5. Where can I go/what can I do so that journalists find/notice me, rather than getting lost in their inbox?
    Forming relationships is important. These days everyone is so busy, I always recommend organising a showing at the offices. Most companies will have a meeting room you can book and then invite all the magazines in the building to pop in and say hi.

 

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Follow Emma on Instagram here.

Keep up to date with the latest from Real Living on Instagram here.

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Alexander Neumann - Amazon is coming from across the seas

Amazon is coming // Why your customer is excited

Amazon is coming.  Despite the American retail behemoth delivering product to Australian consumers for some time, the company’s search for an Australian-based fulfilment centre signals a clear intent to ramp up their Australian offering, including the industry-shattering Prime service. Understandably, many members of the local retail industry are shaking like a leaf.

Many experts say Australian businesses aren’t prepared to compete, and Australian retail king Gerry Harvey is preparing for battle but what does the regular consumer think? Do they really care about the 'machine learning' revolution? When only 7% of the dollar value of retail sales comes from online spending, is this really enough to encourage the vast majority of consumers to fill their virtual baskets rather than head straight to Westfield? 

Rather than postulate on potential consumer reactions here at home, we went out and found ourselves a 100% genuine American consumer: Scott Weber (he’s also a graphic designer and online contributor.)  Scott has given us his thoughts on why every second American (him included) spends their hard-earned on Amazon.com on a regular basis.

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In the US online retail space, Amazon has felt something like Big Friendly Giant that has trotted along calmly, gradually winning over even its most ardent detractors through two blindingly simple (yet spectacularly effective) sales & support philosophies:

AmazonAs is the case with most mainstream-dominant corporations, speak to enough Americans and you’ll find one or two who have had a bad experience on Amazon and swear it off. But almost overwhelmingly, it has become to online retail what Kleenex is to tissues or Google is to search engines: it just is online retail in the minds of most Americans. People here trust Amazon, and even trust their open user marketplaces in ways that the likes of eBay don’t come close to rivalling.

Whilst I know a lot of the talk surrounding the Amazon expansion into the Australian market is centred on their incredible machine learning, recommendations & community reviews, what strikes me more as a consumer is this simple fact: I have never once encountered an issue with buying or selling anything on Amazon.

For example, just the other day I purchased a video from Amazon’s streaming service that wouldn’t play in the highest quality streaming on my device. Amazon support refunded me on the spot. They always give customers the benefit of the doubt, which probably costs them a bit in any given quarter, but it means I’m always happy to come back. If they continue this ethos in Australia, there is no doubt that it will have the same effect on anyone who sells their products through them: a confident and trusting selection of dedicated customers.

Consumer confidence aside, perhaps most notable of Amazon’s services is Amazon Prime.

Prime functions like a buy-in VIP programme of sorts, allowing users to get free two-day shipping on anything Amazon directly sells. Prime also comes with a multimedia streaming service, not unlike Netflix or Spotify Plus, but the beginning and end of Amazon in the minds of most customers I know is definitely that free shipping.

The price of Prime has climbed steadily over the years, but it remains a very popular option for those regular customers considering long term savings.  As a result of those price increases relative to my own shopping habits, the value is no longer there for me, which means I'm once again dabbling in other online retail outlets like eBay and more niche shopping sites...but I still often find myself coming back to Amazon regularly, and think I always will.

That being said, I think Prime is an incredibly useful option for anyone looking to consolidate their shopping habits, especially around the holidays. A large percentage of my friends and family have used or currently use Prime, and cannot for the life of me recall once hearing anyone complain about it. My mother, for example, used to shop at dozens of stores for Christmas each year, but now that shopping begins and ends with Amazon. For her, the win is simply that the process is more easy and efficient.

My final thoughts? If Amazon AU continues the company policy of simplified one-stop shopping with the backbone of stellar customer support and programs like Prime that encourage customer devotion, don’t be surprised to see a seismic shift in even the most basic way Australians comprehend the notion of shopping online.

 

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Scott Weber is a freelance graphic designer and online contributor based in Pittsburgh, PA.  His work is mostly centred within the film & gaming industries.

Image: Alexander Neumann via Pinterest

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Flaunter - Alice McCall Backstage

How to make sure your pitch email gets read, every time

Confession time: I don't always respond to every email that lands in my inbox. I used to try to, but that was when I only had one website to look after - instead of three. Now I simply delete the emails that I know aren't relevant to my titles. I used to feel really bad about this - as I thought it was the height of rudeness - but I've come to the realisation that if a brand or PR can't be bothered to tailor their pitch, or include the relevant info or assets, then I shouldn't feel bad about hitting delete. I could spend my entire day responding to email pitches, explaining why it isn't relevant for our channels, but then I wouldn't be doing my job. My job is to find and help craft great stories that our audiences will love. If a pitch from a PR can help me with that, then I'm all ears.

Here's a few tips on how to get your email noticed amid an editor's already overflowing inbox:

OFFER SOMETHING DIFFERENT

The key to getting cut-through when it comes to digital content is either being fast and first, or being unique. If you can’t offer either of those, you’re unlikely to get your brands featured by online publications. Take the time to carve out exclusive content with your brands just for them, and be transparent with what you’re offering other outlets. You don’t have to name names, but letting them know that they have XX images, and someone else has YY, may help in creating a sense of competition that may actually motivate them to post their story sooner, or cover it more comprehensively than their competitors.

GET SOCIAL

Before you start writing your email, take pause to consider how this particular title might ‘sell’ the story you’re suggesting on their Facebook page. What would the headline be? And then: is it interesting? Would you really click on it if you saw it on your feed? Framing your pitch with this in mind is vital for viewing your pitch as an editor or writer would view it. Think about the most interesting angle, the questions it raises, or the value it presents to their audience - then use that in your email subject heading. They won’t be able to resist opening.

GET YOUR ASSETS IN ORDER

Images are vital to selling a story online, so if an editor can’t get a visual immediately on your story pitch, it will be relegated to the list of ‘things to download and look at more when I have the time’ - which, sadly, often means your story loses its timeliness and subsequently, editorial value. Make it easy for content producers to evaluate the relevancy of your story by including at least one or two web res (that’s 72 dpi, or approx 400KB) JPEG images to your initial story pitch email. I can’t tell you how many times a PR has sent me an email which sounds promising but there are no images. Instead, they’ll include a link to a Dropbox - which I then have to download the 50MB file that crashed my computer just to see it full size. This is why Flaunter is such a great resource (and no, I’m not just saying that!) as it allows editors to see all the available images at a glance, then choose the resolution they want to download at.

SHORT AND SWEET

Be chatty, for sure, but please, please, don’t waffle. I don’t have time to read a paragraph about your most recent weekend away, then a full brand and designer bio, before getting to the piece of news that is actually relevant to my title. Dot points are great. You could even bold key info. But don’t use CAPS LOCK BECAUSE IT READS AS SHOUTY. Be crystal clear about what assets you have available, (or what you'll be able to get your hands on), and when you can (realistically) deliver them. Brevity is always appreciated.

DO IT IN ONE HIT

Don’t send an email pitch that is lacking key information. Sounds simple, I know, but so many times core details are left off an initial pitch - I think because the PR want to ‘gauge’ interest. But this then requires another round of emails, further delaying the process, sometimes by days - which an eon in online-content-time. The non-negotiables?

  • Links to the brand’s website and social channels
  • One or two web res images (see above)
  • RRPs in AUD
  • An online stockist or, at the very least, an Australian stockists phone number
  • An in-store/online drop date, if relevant.

Again, dot points are fine/actually quite great ;)

FILTER, FILTER, FILTER

I usually receive a few hundred emails in a day. Sounds like a lot, because it is! My job, however, is much more than clearing my inbox each day, so when PRs repeatedly send me generic press releases about products or events that are clearly irrelevant to my titles, I start to think that they’re lazy and - if I’m being totally honest here - I start to resent them. Just a little. Instead, be a friend and filter your distribution list before hitting send.

 

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Words: Alison Izzo, digital managing editor for Cosmopolitan, ELLE and Harper’s BAZAAR Australia. Follow Alison on Instagram here.

Image: Tim da-Rin for Flaunter / Backstage at MBFWA 17

 


Flaunter x Alexandra Kentmann

10 minutes with Lexi Kentmann from Williams Sonoma

Alexandra (Lexi) Kentmann is an absolute delight; warm, witty and overall very passionate about her role in the PR industry. Recently, we sat down with Lexi at the beautiful West Elm store in Bondi Junction, to find out about her role and why she uses Flaunter at Williams Sonoma Australia.

Flaunter x Alexandra from West Elm

 

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND & EXPERIENCE IN PR? 

I’ve found my feet at Williams-Sonoma Australia working on four of the most iconic brands in the globe – west elm, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Williams Sonoma. I love lifestyle and being part of Australian homes, as well as working for a business that is invested in social impact – fair trade, being part of the community, sustainability and creating healthy homes.

I started a university degree in Newcastle – and three months in decided it wasn’t for me – so I quite literally ran away. I had a strong yearning to study and work in the industry – and that just wasn’t available at that time.

I moved back home, did some work experience and was offered a job within a few weeks at fashion/lifestyle agency – Mark Patrick Agency. We had a mutual agreement that I’d return to university – so I studied full time at UTS and worked full time during the day. This is where I really cut my teeth in PR – focusing on a range of clients such as Marcs, Safilo, Sheridan, Charlie Brown, Elizabeth Arden to name a few.

Because I didn’t have enough on my plate (studying full time and working full time!) a year later I started moonlighting - working with some young designers in my own time – I did contra PR for clothes for the likes of tsubi and Marnie Skillings, purely to gain more experience and support young designers.

I then shifted into the arts, working as Marketing Coordinator at Bangarra Dance Theatre, then part time with Emma Collison PR, before shifting back into consumer/retail focused roles with David Jones, Hausmann Communications (working again on Elizabeth Arden, Schick, Kinder Bueno...), I then went on maternity leave and freelanced on some beauty clients which I really loved.

I then moved into the home category working with a competitor brand for almost five years before landing my dream job at Williams Sonoma Australia.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE THREE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES YOU'VE SEEN IN THE LAST 5 YEARS? 

  • Leaner editorial teams
  • Diversification of PR – influencer relationships play such a big part in campaigns – and the monetisation evolution, the shift is immense!
  • Content – with integration in social media – there’s a huge need to generate our own content as part of any project we touch

Flaunter x West Elm

 

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF PR LOOK LIKE?

I’d love to know!

As teams get leaner, pressure for increased output continues – authentic relationships and understanding of media outlets are key to any PR – now and in the future. Plus I think there’s an increased need for tailoring to suit each media outlet/publication. Blanket emails just don’t cut it.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?

The evolution! I love learning and adapting, it’s never dull! I think it’s a really exciting time to be in PR because no day is ever the same and there’s less restrictions around what PR is – I get to work and might be meeting with a journalist, working on an event, creating social media content, shooting in someone’s home or dreaming up blue-sky ideas. I love the diversity of my role – and I don’t see that dulling anytime soon.

CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A STORY ABOUT ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST PR WINS? WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM THAT EXPERIENCE? 

At the peril of sounding totally cheesy, my biggest PR wins are having close relationships with journalists, editors, stylists – because we work so closely together and need to lean on each other.

My friendships tend to be with those in the media, or the PR industry – there’s so much to learn, and opportunity to support one another – that really does bring me a huge sense of satisfaction and pride. But if I had to tell you one big PR win – it’s breathing life into a campaign, putting a unique spin on a story – and really knowing my target.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS IN YOUR CAMPAIGNS? 

Reach. Engagement. Quality.

There’s no point reaching lots of people if the audience is not in line with your brand – or engaged.

West Elm

WHAT TOOLS DID YOU USE BEFORE FLAUNTER?

A USB stick! I used to save all our images and press materials to USBs and send out to media – it was hugely time-consuming, plus they can be expensive – AND they tend to get lost easily! I wasn’t sad to make the switch to Flaunter!

WERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO IMPLEMENT FLAUNTER? WHAT WERE YOUR HESITATIONS? 

Training media to utilise this new resource, rather than having a USB in hand. It’s more time efficient for me – and for my journalist friends – they can download anytime, and particularly when they’re meeting deadline – they can access that image even if I’m not in the office. It’s a godsend.

DO YOUR MEDIA CONTACTS ENJOY THE EASY OF FLAUNTER? OR DID THEY STRUGGLE WITH A CHANGE IN SYSTEMS? 

Yes, we see a high-level engagement of media on Flaunter – from a range of media. My media contacts think it’s easy to use, and it was pretty simple to educate them on how to make the most of this tool. Even if you don’t have an account you can access our images – which makes life very easy.

HOW ARE TOOLS LIKE FLAUNTER HELPING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM FOR BRANDS? 

It’s a no-brainer for us, it’s a great self-service platform, plus we can customise to suit specific pitches or media partners to create mood boards. And if we’re not in the office any of our contacts can easily and readily access the images and information – deadline, middle of the night, or if we’re travelling. I find that really attractive.

 

//

 

Follow Alexandra on Instagram here and LinkedIn here.

Photography by Hannah Roche // follow Hannah on Instagram here.

To  view & download hi-res images from West Elm, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids & Williams Sonoma, click on the icons below.

Flaunter x Williams Sonoma

 

 


Lauren Platt-Hepworth from M.A.C

10 minutes with Lauren from M.A.C Cosmetics

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

Lauren Platt-Hepworth from M.A.C

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.

M.A.C Cosmetics Pro Store Paddington

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? M.A.C Pro Store Paddington

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.

Flaunter - Lauren Platt-Hepworth from MAC

 


Flaunter Influencer Challenge

Spotlight on: Vanessa Valois // micro-influencer

The social media landscape of today is awash with individuals who influence and engage with their audience on a level never seen before. The pace of content creation is frantic and we know that everyone wants a piece of the action - but this hasn't always been accessible to smaller brands with tiny marketing budgets. Today, the rise of micro-influencers is allowing brands of all sizes to tap into highly engaged audiences - according to Gnack’s CEO, Chris Gonzalez, micro-influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers". Apparently, there’s such a thing as being too popular.

|| Micro-influencers are authentic, affordable, highly targeted & achieve more engagement ||

At Flaunter, we have access to a network of influencers who are always keen to discover new brands, download beautiful images and request samples to include in their own photo shoots. Which is why during April, we launched the first Flaunter Influencer Challenge to give bloggers and stylists the opportunity to explore the Flaunter image library and create a mood board that showcased their personal style and creativity. Today, we introduce the winner of our comp and chat to her about her unique audience. 

Flaunter Influencer Challenge Winner

Vanessa Valois || @Miss.GoodyTwoShoes

 

WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DO YOU DO?

My name is Vanessa. I am a primary school teacher who loves musical theatre and am head over heels for fashion.

Vanessa Valois

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO  START MISS.GOODYTWOSHOES?

At my previous school, I worked with teachers who were fellow fashion lovers and constantly inspired me to take pride in the way I dressed and have fun with my clothing choices. We all challenged ourselves to dress professionally but also experiment with trends. Then I started at a new school and didn’t have my little network of fashionistas... It took me about six months to stop putting effort into my outfits which coincided with Canberra winter so I spent the winter wearing black jeans, boots and knits. I started to notice that I didn’t have the same excitement to come to school every day -  I was in a fashion rut! Luckily, I discovered teacher-fashion-bloggers on Instagram and decided that was how I was going to reignite my fashion love affair. The teacher bloggers are really the most amazing community; we share handy hints, resources and most of all support each other. That one little compliment or smiley face can make all the difference on a rough day and they constantly inspire me to push myself further as a teacher and with my fashion choices.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO KEEP SHARING CONTENT?

Sometimes I do find it difficult to find the time in my crazy teacher day to take photos of what I’m wearing. And honestly, sometimes it has to give way while I prioritise other aspects of my life. However, ultimately it is something that I really enjoy doing. Sharing with my followers is a way to pay homage to the time and effort and love I have put into an outfit. I really love being a part of the Instagram teacher and fashion community and enjoy contributing and sharing what I am wearing and doing in my classroom.

WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE PIECE OF FASHION ADVICE?

Wear things that suit you and your body type. This doesn't mean wear the same thing every day, or stick to one shape of jeans or dress or one colour. I am all about trends and having fun with them and I think your outfit should be a reflection of who you want to be portrayed as at that particular point in time. It tells people who you are and what you’re about before you even talk. Don’t always listen to people if they don't like that particular bag/jacket/hat/skirt that is a bit out there but you adore. If you adore it, wear it, love it, rock it. Experiment with different looks, but also know when something isn't right. For me, something isn’t right when I start squinting in the mirror, or looking at a dress from a particular angle, or saying “if I just take it in here and only wear heels” ;)

WHO ARE YOUR STYLE ICONS?

  • Brittany Xavier || @ThriftandThreads for her effortlessly cool street style
  • Kirsten Anderton || @KirstenAnderton she takes layering and monochrome chic to a whole new level.
  • Olivia Palermo || @OliviaPalermo she is the ultimate embodiment of elegant and trendy at the same time. Which are two adjectives that don’t hang out together that often!

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE BLOGGER?

Britney Briggs || Miss 5th || @miss5th

She is a not a fashion blogger, she is a teacher blogger and she is incredible. The love she has for teaching and her students just pours into every article. I’m much more of a visual person when it comes to fashion so I spend more time on Instagram and Pinterest looking at fashion than reading blogs. But as with any profession, it is fascinating and great for professional development to read about other people’s processes and strategies.

WHAT IS YOUR GO TO ONLINE STORE?

Oooh! This is a hard one. It depends often on what I’m shopping for. But, generally, I can’t go past Petal & Pup. They are a fashion boutique with beautiful on trend items. Plus they are Australian so you get your items quickly (great for me, I am a chronic last minute panic shopper!).

WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF CREATING YOUR PAGE?

Getting past the fear of judgment. It was like being in a high school time warp again. The self-doubt of is this good enough? Will people like it? Once you get past that and just post things that you like then it’s smooth sailing.

WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR IMAGES?

The majority of the images that I currently use are my own. However after finding Flaunter get ready for Miss Goody Two Shoes to be flooded with mood boards! I also can’t wait to start requesting samples from newly discovered brands so that I can snap images of items myself!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?

Overall, I would say preppy. But also adventurous. I love playing around with trends and am not afraid to wear something that I think is fabulous even if my friends aren't on board with it!

Flaunter - Vanessa Valois

Featured brands || Lovisa, Kmart, Target, Witchery, Collette Hayman, Forever New

AND ONE FOR US ;) WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE USING FLAUNTER?

I had so much fun using Flaunter. I really enjoy the easy search options, being able to sort photos according to the photo type or colour scheme made it super easy to put together mood boards. The website was very self-explanatory and easy to use and navigate through. I was also really happy to see very affordable brands being represented. As a self-confessed “bargain hunter” seeing brands that I love like Sportsgirl, Missguided and Lipstick is fantastic. Flaunter makes it a breeze to source product images and takes all the hard work out of it. Forget scrolling through every brand's website to find products and getting frustrated when you can’t just right-click and save their images. Flaunter puts it all in one place. You can save the images to your various mood boards and then you are happy with the images collected, save and download as a zipped folder all of the images in high resolution, on your computer ready to go. Boom! Fantastic.

 

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