‘As an end-to-end marketing service, we know how to look strategically at your opportunities to ensure you work smarter, not harder.’
Meet Claire Deane and Lani Pauli, the driving forces behind integrated marketing agency, Deane & Co. As a marketing agency, their team handles everything from strategy development and websites to content creation and PR, for a variety of different brands and businesses across fashion, beauty and wellness, not-for-profit and hospitality.
We caught up with Claire and Lani to find out more about the innovative agency, what they love about their jobs and the elephant in the PR room…
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE AT DEANE + CO? CAN YOU TALK THROUGH YOUR LAST 24 HOURS?
Claire: It’s pretty cliched, but no two days are the same. Our clients are really varied, despite all being in the lifestyle category, so we might be packing bliss balls into tiny plastic bags, emailing potential stockists for a new beauty brand, creating content for social media, writing reports on client campaigns or one of an infinite number of meetings. I also manage the business development side of things, so I am constantly researching potential clients, pulling together proposals and writing strategies. I also spend a lot of time on social media and the internet, keeping up with trends and research.
Lani: It does depend on what we have on with clients but typically my day looks like waking up and walking my Groodle. That’s my time of the day to really figure out the tone of the day and set myself up in a good headspace. Then I’ll make coffee, have breakfast and get ready to head into the office. We’ve just moved into our first dedicated office space that we share with two graphic designers and while I love working from home (as an introvert I need that space), it is great knowing that we have a team to bounce ideas off throughout the week. Once in the office it’s the usual – checking emails, talking with the team, preparing any parcels for couriers to pick up for media sends, planning for any client events we have upcoming, meetings with clients, monitoring media coverage and proactively pitching to media. Once or twice a week I like to head to a boxing class during lunch which I find helps me stay focused and stress less.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Claire: I love being able to come up with new ideas for businesses that have great stories to tell. The clients we work with, we genuinely love, and we typically work with people who are super excited and passionate about what they are doing, so it makes idea generation, brainstorming and strategy development really fun. The fact that we’re doing a lot in the natural beauty space at the moment is also lots of fun, I am a beauty junkie and love hearing about the latest product developments.
Lani: Sure, it is super corny, but I love that I get to work with brands that I genuinely use in my day-to-day life and business people who I’m able to learn a great deal from. Like Claire, I love everything happening in the green and natural beauty space and enjoy researching trends and innovations in that space. And as much as it frustrates me sometimes, I kind of enjoy that I’m in an industry going through big changes – it is exciting to see how we’ll be doing this in 2,3 or 10 years time!
WHAT TASKS TAKE UP MOST OF YOUR TIME?
Claire: As CEO, there’s a lot of different hats to wear. I have to work both on and in the business so my time is split between business development for Deane & Co and actual client work. I spend a lot of time coming up with content strategies for clients, working with our designer to implement them.
Lani: I would say that majority of my time is spent working with our clients to uncover the stories we are able to tell for them, working on how we will tell those stories and then reading a lot of publications (online and in print) and then of course, pitching. The work we do with our clients extends to more than just publicity so time is also spent looking at, for example, creating video content for clients and writing scripts, briefing our graphic designer on creative and meeting with clients face to face.
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING CLIENT WINS YOU CAN REMEMBER?
Claire: One of our very first clients, YCL Jewels, is still with us and it’s really exciting to see her brand take such significant leaps and bounds. She is a client that truly ‘gets’ it – that marketing isn’t a tap you can turn on and off, it takes a consistent and long term effort to connect with your customers and build your business. She really sees us as a partner, and part of her business, and we’re working towards having that kind of relationship with all of our clients.
Lani: There’s been several truly rewards client wins in the past 12 months for me. Seeing one of our roadshow brands in Harper’s Bazaar after we introduced their beauty editor to the range, tripling one of our client’s media coverage compared to this time last year, and seeing some our natural beauty clients in Jetstar Magazine, MiNDFOOD and a few other hero publications for me. But more than the coverage I’m rewarded by the great relationships we’re building with media and our clients – it takes time but it is truly worth it.
WITHIN THE LAST SIX MONTHS/YEAR, WHAT STANDS OUT AS THE COMPANY’S MAJOR MILESTONES?
Claire: Every month is a new milestone when you’re a growing business! We’ve been able to work with some really big brands like Tourism & Events Qld and ClassPass, and we’ve also been able to make a real difference to lots of smaller ones as well.
Lani: Coming on board with Deane & Co as Claire rebranded to reflect the transition to an agency was a great milestone and being able to grow the business with her. Likewise, I was really proud of our efforts to create our Sydney Roadshow earlier this year were we took a handful of clients and brands we love to Sydney to meet with media and buyers.
WHAT IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM? THE THING THAT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT – BUT THEY SHOULD BE.
Claire: Budgets. You don’t necessarily have to have a massive budget to get great results, but know how much you have to spend and know that it’s going to be a long term thing. We typically don’t take on clients that want something flash in the pan, because that’s typically not going to get you the results you’re after. There’s no point in being coy about your budget either – be upfront and your relationship with your agency will be all the better for it.
Lani: Editorial vs. Advertorial and clearer lines between what is sponsored content and what is not.
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST STARTING THEIR CAREER IN PR – WHAT IS THE NUMBER 1 PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE THEM?
Lani: Get experience. Intern or take work experience opportunities. The wealth of information you’ll learn from being in an agency or in-house PR or communications environment will be invaluable. Likewise, be a voracious reader – newspapers, magazines, websites. You need to have a solid understanding of what is happening across the media landscape.
Claire: Lani took the words right out of my mouth. My advice would be the same for marketing, intern while at uni, get as much experience as you possibly can. As someone who hires juniors, I also look for people who are go-getters, who have proactively gone after opportunities, and who understand how to measure the results of their activities.
ARE YOU MORE OF A HUNTER OR A GATHERER?
Claire: I would never have thought a hunter prior to being a business owner, now I really love the thrill of the chase!
Lani: I’m naturally a gatherer but am learning to step into my ‘hunter’ shoes a little more regularly.
WHAT WOULD YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY BE CALLED?
Claire: “The Lady Who Died Smothered By Her Dogs”. I have two dogs (I had three but one passed away recently) and two cats, and would adopt a hundred more if my husband hadn’t put his foot down.
Lani: I always thought it might be “Life through a to-do list” as I love an old-school pen and paper list in my notebook, but now I think it would probably be “I was listening to a podcast recently…”
Find and follow Deane & Co at @deaneand.co // deaneand.co
Calling all media: discover and download hi-res publishable images from Deane & Co represented brands on Flaunter.
Images: Lani & Claire by Savannah vander Niet; YCL Jewels represented by Deane & Co; Coffee and collaboration at their favourite local coffee shop The Single Guys