Flaunter x Alexandra Kentmann

10 minutes with Alexandra 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.

 

If are a blogger or stylist looking for free brand content or samples - click here to create an account or click here to login.

 


Flaunter Media

How to make your brand images 1000x more powerful

It’s not enough to create amazing pictures... You have to set them free.

It’s like wearing a sack dress to a school reunion after 6 months of slavish devotion to Kayla Itsines. Like Kimmy K in a sheer feathered mini dress and shaved head, with no iPhone to capture the moment. Like the plastic wrap your grandmother kept over her prized settee.

Flaunter - Kim Kardashian

 

What’s the point of having something amazing if it can’t be found or shared?

Product photos and visual storytelling are driving the way brands communicate and sell, both online and off. Social media has changed the landscape, traditional print media outlets are merging with their online counterparts and visual content is being produced at a frenetic pace. Last year, trend forecaster Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins estimated that we upload 1.8 billion photos to the internet a day.

Brands today understand the impact that pictures can have on growth and reach, but frustratingly, the existing systems available for surfacing and distributing brand pictures don't work. Time, money and opportunities are wasted on expired file transfer links, clogged inboxes, and ad hoc spreadsheets.

Do you own your own brand? Are you a publicist or marketer working in-house? Or do manage multiple brands at a PR agency?

In order to increase your brand’s visibility and compete in today’s fiercely competitive market you need to do two things well:

  1. Create high-quality visual content; and
  2. Seamlessly get that content into the right hands – as fast as possible!

Who are the right hands you ask? Anyone who can help you reach a bigger audience. Bloggers, editors, retailers, brand ambassadors, social influencers...

 

Create great visual content that’s ripe for the picking

Flaunter - Pick your best

We already know that with high-quality content comes great exposure. Having great product and brand pictures to share is no longer just nice to have; it’s an absolute necessity.

And in 2017 it’s very likely that the first encounter someone has with your brand will be online [not in store]. This means that how you present your brand – the way you choose to shoot it, the models you display it on – is as important as the quality of your products.

Not everyone has their own studio space or the budget to have every image shot by a professional, but producing content doesn’t have to be expensive. With affordable DSLR’s and sophisticated mobile cameras at your fingertips, high-quality content can be created in minutes.

Take the time to do your research before shooting. Look through the magazines and blogs that you want your product featured in and take note of how the photos are presented. Then you’ll be able to replicate that look yourself when creating your own images.

 

Get those pictures OUT THERE, stat

Flaunter

With all the opportunities to get your brand noticed – websites, blogs, social media, retailer channels, custom publishing as well as traditional media outlets - making sure that your pictures are accessible on-demand to those who can grow your audience is super important.

Media exist in a 24/7 news cycle. Their digital storage space is limited and working on tight deadlines means that when they need something, they need it now [or 5 minutes ago] in the correct resolution and with essential credit details: price, product name, stockist details, in-store dates.

The easiest way to become a media favourite is to have everything a journalist needs ready to go - before they even have to ask.

Here are six simple steps can you take to get maximum exposure for your visual content:

1. Do a stocktake

What visual assets do you already have? Are they useful? What imagery are you missing – what will you create?

2. Organise your pictures so they are easy [for you] to find

Whether it’s by category, date or campaign. Pick a system that works with your daily operations and stick to it. Nothing worse than knowing you have an image that would be PERFECT for a media request – only to realise you can’t remember where you filed it…!

Flaunter - Organise yourself

3. Set your photos free

With so much time and money spent creating your beautiful visual assets, don’t hide them away in the murky depths of your computer! Give them a life of their own and store them on a digital platform like Flaunter, while still controlling exactly who sees them.

Our photo library is a journalist’s heaven, providing a centralised library for them to access relevant, free content on demand. Yep, having your pictures available online 24/7 automatically means that your brand can work twice as hard at being noticed – even while you sleep ;)

4. Share in a no-brainer way

Don’t clog media inboxes with large image files, send links that expire or transfer files that require huge syncing time. These are frustrations we hear from journalists every day. Make your simple sharing easily receivable. The best way to do this? Secure HTML links that won’t expire [unless you want them to] and require zero syncing time.

5. Track what you share

Who says PR can’t be measured? That was the old days. When sharing your pictures and media info make sure that you’re using a platform that allows you to track interactions with your content – views, downloads… That information is critical.

6. Keep your content new, fresh and up-to-date

Remember to continue creating and sharing new, interesting content as often as possible. Bloggers and editors never sleep! And an iPhone can make an excellent photo studio  ;)

Flaunter - Images

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how amazing your pictures are, or how much blood, sweat, tears and hard-earned money you’ve put into creating them. Making those pictures easily discoverable and available on-demand is how brands can truly stand out from the crowd.

 

Banner image: Urban Outfitters - Tumblr

 


Flaunter - Behati Prinsloo by Who What Wear

5 things to know about working with editors

At Flaunter, we are lucky enough to work with many editors from all over Australia and New Zealand, so we know first hand how busy they are and how fast the industry moves! One big question for brands and PR agencies is 'how to best approach an editor to get your brand or clients noticed'? To shed light on how to deal with these elusive creatures, we asked editor extraordinaire, Jacqui Kwong from BauerWorks to share her top tips... 

 

First things first here. Like all humans, no two editors are created equal so these are just my personal insights into what it’s like being a magazine editor and how to get my attention.

Being an editor is not unlike most other professions: continuous deadlines, an overflowing inbox, a to-do list longer than your arm – you get it. I’m always curious about what it would be like being in someone else’s work shoes for a day. What do they do? How do they handle busy? So if you’re nosy like me, hopefully you’ll find this info interesting.

When it comes to a day in the life of an editor, there are a bunch of things to do. Sadly it’s not all glamorous events and idea generation (although that’s the fun part). Along with actually editing articles and making sure the production is ticking along to meet print deadlines, there’s also keeping track of the budget, liaising with clients, going to meetings, going to shoots, supporting staff, strategising for future issues, reviewing past issues, working on advertising pitches, responding to reader letters, amplifying content to generate more sales; I could go on!

But back to the fun part: creating mag content. The number one person to keep in mind here is the reader. How does a story benefit them? How will it make their life easier, more fun, more fulfilling? Making editorial decisions, in my case when working for a specific client, was based around the audience first and the brand ethos a close second. For me, coming up with content is a constant team effort. Whether it’s more formal brainstorming meetings over muffins, lollies and chocolate, or a chance chat at someone’s desk, content comes from all sorts of discussions. I never believe in an editor dictating content but rather curating content from everyone’s ideas – diverse content is always going to make more of a mark with readers.

When it comes to fashion pages, just like the overall content direction, diversity is key. Again, it comes down to the reader so in my case when editing a mass market title, affordability and accessibility was the top priority. That meant featuring both well-known brands and up-and-comers – I didn’t mind, just as long as our readers would look and feel good!

So how does all this relate to being pitched to and getting your brand or clients noticed? Here are my five tips for dealing with editors. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes little reminders help.

5 things to know about dealing with editors

1. BE DIFFERENT

Not unique to any profession, editors get hundreds of emails a day. Prioritising these takes time in itself, so making your email stand out is one way to get noticed. Make it personal, make it funny, make it relevant.

2. TIME IT RIGHT

I’ll be honest: follow-up calls can be a bit annoying, especially if it’s deadline week. If your product/email piques my interest I’m likely to respond anyway, even if it’s not right away. If you haven’t heard back for ages, by all means, give us a buzz but perhaps call the editorial coordinator first to suss out deadline dates so you can make sure your call is coming at a convenient time.

3. KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO

Understand the publication and the types of stories it covers, the audience and the general tone of voice. A tailored approach will give you a better chance of success.

4. SET A COFFEE DATE

Sure, editors are busy, but so is everyone else! If you have a client or five you think the mag’s readers would be interested in, set a coffee catch-up with the editor to talk through opportunities. This is the real meaning of social media! Even if there are no immediate outcomes for you both, when the time does come the ed is more likely read your emails.

5. THINK NEW

Editors and mag teams are always on the hunt for new and different products and ideas, so even if your product or brand isn’t new, think about a fresh angle that’s interesting, will benefit the readers and help make the mag pages look pretty.

 

Jacqui has spent 15+ years in PR and publishing, penning copy for big brands including Coca-Cola, United Airlines and Radisson hotel group. She started her publishing career at Australian Good Taste (now Taste.com.au magazine) before becoming editor of Weight Watchers magazine at Bauer Media Group. She now works as a freelance writer and editor.

 

Banner Image: Behati Prinsloo for Who What Wear, photographer - Justin Coit, stylist - Zoe Costello


HALP! Part Three: How do I compete with the big brands?

Welcome to the final post in our three-part series with Adriana Glass from Talk Division on HALP! How emerging brands and small teams can compete with the bigs guns using six smart, and lean, PR tactics.

 

5. Expertise 

Big brands often have agencies and in house resources they have working on their strategy, marketing and PR year round. Knowing when to call on expertise and what exactly you need is key.

Flaunter - Unsplash Jens Kreuter

Know when to call in the experts

Questions to ask: 

  • What’s your objective? Do you need to make your name known and get your collection out there? Or have you been around for years and need hero developing the right strategy to get to the next level?
  • Are you simply too busy to fulfill media requests? Could it be something that an in-house resource could support?
  • Do you need credibility of an agency or consultant to help you build relationships with media and get your product in front of them through a showroom?
  • Tools like Flaunter can support your PR for a fraction of the cost. The time taken to set them up properly will save you hours down the road.
  • Consultants who set up and guide your PR and Marketing strategy can be an efficient complement to your in-house team
  • Don't be afraid to ask any professional to break down their quotes and explain their strategies or approach

 

6. And finally, your secret PR superpower…

Often multinational brands miss out on opportunities because they simply can't move fast enough. But emerging brands can be agile. Being small often means not getting tied down by internal procedures, timezones and red tape. Embrace this as your hidden, inherent strength - if you see an opportunity, breaking news, or even unseasonable weather, make your move.

Never underestimate how powerful it can be to be the underdog :)

Being agile allows you move faster

 

Adriana Glass is the Founder of Talk Division, a consultancy specialising in strategic PR, media and communications for lifestyle, fashion and wellbeing brands. Adriana has represented international and Australian fashion and lifestyle brands for over a decade, and worked in some of Australia’s biggest PR agencies managing their communications, strategy and influencer and media relations.

 

Read Part One: Influencers & strategy

Read Part Two: Brand assets & selling your story

 

Images: Coco Rocha for Diesel, photographed by Steven Meisel; Fashion and Sport: Running, French Elle, photographed by Jean-Paul Goude.


HALP! Part Two: How do I compete with the big brands?

Welcome to Part Two in our three-part series with Adriana Glass from Talk Division on HALP! How emerging brands and small teams can compete with the bigs guns using six smart and lean PR tactics. 

Last week, we looked at how big brands - and how you can - work with Influencers and set Strategies to kick goals with your PR. This week we look at two, equally critical topics that set you up for success - and how you can match the more established brands on both counts.

3. Assets

The biggest brands still sometimes struggle with this – but it is PR 101. What assets do you have for media to work with? Monthly magazines are planning their issues 4 months out, so aim to have your samples and a strong selection of campaign, lookbook, and product images by then if possible.

 

Flaunter+Blog+Strategy+Organised

Plan to have your assets available well in advance

Assets checklist:

  • All imagery should be 1-3MB max, and 300dpi as standard
  • If you can’t afford to get 3D cut outs of all your imagery, ensure you have a selection of your strongest pieces or products – these product images can boost your results by up to 50% every month. Or look to a service like PixC.
  • You’ve created these amazing assets so always make sure they are readily available on demand, and easily shareable. Of course, Flaunter is the go-to here.
  • Consider doubling up on sample sets to make some available for media to shoot, while you are still in sales. You can also then use these extra samples (if of production quality) to gift influencers as they drop into store

 

4. Story

Big brands with history set the benchmark for coverage, building cache and context with each collection. Instant recognition of a designer or name may help secure editorial, but emerging brands often have great stories to be told too.

Go To - Zoe Foster Blake

Brand story: Zoe Foster Blake, founder of Go-To

Have you considered:

  • Investing in a well-designed and written brand bio, designer or spokesperson bio and head shot. Having these available for introductions to new media contacts and opportunities can be invaluable
  • Your staff and customers as potential stories, from sell out styles setting records to personal interest stories – sometimes the best new angles for media to cover your brand and products are right in front of you

 

Adriana Glass is the Founder of Talk Division, a consultancy specialising in strategic PR, media and communications for lifestyle, fashion and wellbeing brands. Adriana has represented international and Australian fashion and lifestyle brands for over a decade, and worked in some of Australia’s biggest PR agencies managing their communications, strategy and influencer and media relations.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s final post in our three-part series; where Adriana will explain how and when to call in the “Experts” and every emerging brand’s best asset when it comes to PR - think of it as your David and Goliath style secret weapon!

 

Read Part One: Influencers & strategy

Read Part Three: Experts & PR superpower

 

Banner image: Coco Rocha photographed by Gred Kadel

 


HALP! Part One: How do I compete with the big brands?

A question we get asked regularly by emerging brands, or mid-sized brands with small teams and budgets is “how on earth can I possibly compete with the big brands for the attention of media and influencers…?!” HALP!

If you are one of the voices echoing the HALP! from above, rest assured that there are many [very practical] ways that you can take advantage of the inherent advantage that any startup has over an established enterprise: agility.

But don’t just take it from us. In this three-part series we’ve asked Adriana Glass from Talk Division to give us a run-down of her key insights after a decade of sharpening her skills in the PR world.

This week, we’ll tackle two of our most frequently asked after topics: how can we compete with more established brands working with influencers and what can we learn from them about strategy?

 

Ok yes let’s face it, big brands generally have big budgets, huge established social media platforms and international celebrity faces. But emerging labels can very easily follow any one of the six expert moves below to give the bigger brands a run for their money.

1. Influencers

We've all witnessed the power of social media in propelling a brand forward. Hi-Smile, Frank Body, NLP are great examples of companies that worked with Influencers with low or no budgets and built momentum that created global interest in their brands  - and very successful companies. Evidence shows that by engaging highly localised, niche influencers with smaller followings can actually return higher engagement (and arguably, sales) than influencers with larger but less focussed followings. The new approach to influencer marketing is leaning towards quality (appropriateness) over quantity (huge followings).

Insta_Frank_Bod_Flaunter_Blog

Frank Body know how to Influence

Keep in mind for influencer marketing:

  • Don’t just target bloggers or social media stars, think about influencers as “people of influence.” This can include on-brand cultural figures, artists and creators, musicians, entrepreneurs and political figures can also be powerful brand advocates with more targeted followings and IRL followings… and potentially PR outcomes too
  • Get into free tools like The Right.Fit and Ampii.co to research social media Influencers in your area, and look out for accounts that regularly post content that resonates with your brand. Some will require payment or contra with part payment, but others will be comfortable with contra only
  • Consider trialling partnerships over a period of time rather than judging after one post, ongoing relationships that are genuine are far superior to one off, obviously “paid” posts
  • Approach Influencers in the spirit of collaboration. Calvin Klein's campaign #mycalvins was successful because it gave people the opportunity to create their own version of the iconic campaigns, to great effect. Give a clear brief but try not to dictate too much – if you like their style let them come up with something that will resonate with their audience and fit into their feed seamlessly. This integrity will translate into engagement. 

2. Strategy

What all those communications personnel and PR marketing executives are paid to do is essentially plan ahead, to find ways to support the business in good times and bad. Look at the next twelve months and think about what messages you need to get out, to whom and by when. If an opportunity comes up that doesn’t fit in your strategy, it could be a good sign that it’s not quite right for you (right now) and your precious time and energy can be spent better elsewhere.

What would beyonce do

‘What would Beyonce do’?

Strategy checklist:

  • Answer your what, to whom and by when – then tailor your media releases to specific sets of media so you are not bombarding them with constant irrelevant pitches about absolutely everything.
  • Target different media throughout the year for different parts of your collection, e.g. Styles for Spring Racing. Resort wear. Mother’s Day gifts. Really different styles and sets of media.
  • Is this something you can PR? Not everything is suited to PR - consider channels like advertising, social media, and eDMs and how they can support your communications strategy.

 

 

Adriana Glass is the Founder of Talk Division, a consultancy specialising in strategic PR, media and communications for lifestyle, fashion and wellbeing brands. Adriana has represented international and Australian fashion and lifestyle brands for over a decade, and worked in some of Australia’s biggest PR agencies managing their communications, strategy and influencer and media relations.

 

Next week in Part Two of a 3-part series, Adriana will share insights into what we can learn from how big brands manage their Assets, and how they work with narratives or ‘Story’ to maximise PR outcomes.

 

Banner image: Coco Rocha for Dress to Kill Magazine, photographed by Moo King


Flaunter - An Organised Life

An Organised Life... Gaby Howard from Flaunter

Beck Wadworth from An Organised Life interviewed Flaunter CEO and Founder, Gaby Howard, to find out how it all began, what her biggest piece of advice would be and, of course, how she stays so organised.

The images are so beautiful we couldn't resist sharing them too!

 

Gaby Howard - Flaunter

Name: Gaby Howard

Occupation: Founder & CEO, Flaunter

OVERVIEW:

I'm super excited to introduce Gaby Howard is the latest inspiring individual to be featured on An Organised Life with...
I chatted to Gaby, founder of tech brand Flaunter, to find out how it all began, what her biggest piece of advice would be and, of course, how she stays so organised...

Flaunter Workspace

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

The Flaunter story began in October 2015.  After working in PR for over 15 years, I was frustrated by the difficulty of sharing brand imagery with media, retailer and influencer networks. Traditionally these assets live in the emails and hard drives of publicists and marketers and were hard for the media to access efficiently enough to satisfy their shrinking lead times. On the flip side, brands and PR’s had no visibility and analytics on who downloaded their content and where/how it was used.

Flaunter Workspace

Flaunter gives media instant access to brands & their content for easy distribution and publishing.

Our mission is to make it easier for brands to reach new audiences by connecting their content with the best storytellers around the world. By bringing media & brands closer than ever before, a brand’s visual content can be tomorrow’s media story.

It’s also very important for us that Flaunter is accessible to brands of any size. Our users range from some of the smallest emerging brands to large international companies and top PR agencies. Similar to platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat - it’s the content that counts [not the size of the budgets].

Flaunter Workspace

BIGGEST PINCH ME MOMENT…

I find it hard to define just one moment; the whole journey has been a pinch me moment…

I was at a very big fashion launch event early in 2016 - running around like a crazy person producing content. It was by total chance that I overheard two of our clients talking about what an amazing platform Flaunter is, how they loved using it and why we needed to get it to the US asap. All this in front of one of the world’s most respected tech founders. Just a tiny little PINCH ME MOMENT.

Flaunter Workspace

BIGGEST LESSON I’VE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY…

It’s a little cliched maybe - but definitely that with grit, tenacity, determination and focus, anything can be achieved. Nothing, and no-one, is an overnight success.

I’M INSPIRED BY…

My mother, my grandmother and people who make it their life’s work to change the world for the good of the wider community - education/politics/health.

Flaunter Workspace

ORGANISED TO ME MEANS….

Using tools to help me structure my time and responsibilities so that I don’t ever feel stressed about forgetting something! I always take notes, I write myself emails to remember tasks that pop up during the day, I have a work, team and personal calendar where everything gets entered so that nothing gets missed :)

THE TOP 3 WAYS I ORGANISE MY LIFE ARE…

Google calendars, iphone Notes and, new to the family, Trello boards. My life is a pretty structured! I’ve never been the type of person who ‘floats along’ with their day; I like being organised ahead of time.

Gaby at Flaunter Workspace

I CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT…

Glasses, laptop, phone, notepad - in that order. I used to carry SO MUCH STUFF with me, but I’ve gotten better at simplifying my inner bag chaos. I’ll usually throw in a lip stain that can also work as a blush when I’m feeling tired :)

MY WORKSPACE STYLE IS…

My nirvana version of this would read: minimal, clean and free from clutter. I love being surrounded by white space - it feels less distracting. I also like everything on my desk to be purely functional, you won’t find me surrounded by much frou frou ;)

Flaunter Workspace

AT THE MOMENT YOU’LL FIND THE BELOW ON MY DESK…

My laptop, 2 notepads - one lined, one unlined, noise cancelling headphones, 3 random pens [who knows where they came from!], handcream, always a coffee, my phone, a 1L water bottle, a stack of documents the need my attention and signature and 2 Flaunter tees that are waiting to be couriered out. I won’t lie - there’s also a huge Net-A-Porter box waiting to be returned….

FIRST THING I DO WHEN I GET TO THE OFFICE IS…

Before I get to the office I triple check my calendar to make sure I’m across all my meetings for the day. I don’t seem to spend much time at my desk these days between the hours of 9am - 5pm… it’s pretty crazy. I catch up on emails and planning at early morning or at night. Once I’ve actually found my way to my desk [this is highly original]… I grab a coffee, have a chat with the team, choose a playlist and attack my inbox!

FOLLOW FLAUNTER:

Instagram Here / Website Here

PHOTOGRAPHY BY:

Hannah Roche

 


Many thanks to Beck for the beautiful profile of Gaby & the Flaunter HQ on An Organised Life. To see more from An Organised Life follow:  Instagram Here / Website Here


Spotlight on: Tabatha Brixton from Allora capes

We catch-up with Tabatha Brixton, founder of Allora capes to chat about the new collection, her important relationship with local manufacturers and receiving an Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation.

What makes you passionate about your label?  

I am very passionate about the quality of my capes and that they made in Melbourne. I am proud that the label is contributing to the Australian fashion industry and utilising the skills and talents of garment manufacturers here in Australia.
I love having a direct relationship with my maker where I can go to the factory anytime and check on production, see the fabric being cut and have a face to face discussion about my product or new design ideas. I am very lucky to have a maker who has been making for some of Australia’s best fashion labels for over 35 years. They are a wealth of knowledge on how to produce high-quality garments to ensure they not only look amazing but stand the test of time which is incredibly important to me. Many of my customers are also passionate about buying Australian made and ethically produced fashion and I receive a lot of emails saying not only how thrilled they are with their cape, but how much they love the fact that it’s made in Melbourne.

What’s on your desk right now?  

A baby monitor! I have recently had my second baby and learning to juggle everything on a whole new level! On the work front, I’m looking at gorgeous silk swatches for Summer 2017. I am currently working on extending the range beyond winter capes and creating something new for Summer 17 so stay tuned.

What has changed for you this year and what are you looking forward to? 

This is the first year Allora capes will be stocked in designer boutiques in Australia and New Zealand.  I’m really excited to see how the capes go in boutiques and the response to the label in store. 

Tell us about achieving Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation and what this means to you.  

We received our formal accreditation in February 2017 and are very proud to be a part of this body.  Ethical Clothing Australia work very hard to ensure Australian workers in the textile industry receive fair wages and decent working conditions. There is no way I could sleep at night not knowing if the people making my capes were getting what they are entitled to. There is great skill involved in making garments especially to a high standard and it's only fair everyone is paid appropriately. It’s important the ECA exists to regulate and assist labels and garment makers, to ensure that the whole process is fair and transparent.  I like giving my customers the assurance that we are ethically produced.

If someone could only buy one new accessory next season, what should it be and why? 

Every winter I buy myself a new silk scarf. I just love how a scarf can update and make an outfit. I have recently come across the gorgeous oversized scarves of Dog&Boy so I would recommend having a look. I am having lots of fun layering scarves with my capes at the moment. I have three new colours about to launch this month so I’m having a lot of fun styling and creating new looks.

What was the first piece of fashion you ever loved? 

I can remember being about 6 or 7 and loving all the amazing vintage pieces in my Nanna’s dress up box. I just loved it.   It was a mix of her old clothes, some she had made and also scraps of material left over which we made into headscarves. I used to love dressing up and then posing for photos of course!

My perfect pair of ____ is? 

My perfect pair of earrings are my beautiful silver mesh hoops given to me by my lovely husband. I always get comments on them.

 

Allora - Red Cape214031a999-Bisque-Cape-214032ad44-Ink-Cape-

 

To find the full collection of hi-res Allora images on Flaunter, click here

View our edit of current pieces inspired by Nanna's dress up box here