Nikki Andrews is Australian PR royalty. Founding NAC Media Group in 1999, she’s gone on to helm the publicity for events like Australian Fashion Week, and working with clients as illustrious as Bondi Born, Calvin Klein, Saint Laurent, Sandro Paris, Sportsgirl and Tiffany & Co. Nikki sat down with us to share the strategies NAC are using right now to gain coverage for their clients and what she thinks makes a really great PR pro.
What’s one successful PR strategy you are using at the moment at NAC?
We’re doing a lot of work with influencers, both paid and gifting. Many agencies have pivoted to influencer marketing, particularly since much of Australia is in lockdown. All of our brands, luxury, premium or more commercial seem to want to work more extensively with influencers.
What makes a good influencer collaboration?
We always start with a thorough understanding of the brand’s objective – it’s like looking at a campaign backwards. If this is the result you’re looking for, this is what you need to achieve that, whether it be through influencers (who aren’t always content creators) or content creators. Brands need to be really clear on what their objectives are.
We like working with content creators specifically because they do literally that – create content. They can put their voice into visuals, giving brands assets that are not campaign content. A really great content creator will give their perspective, providing another POV for a brand, which naturally feels more organic and engaging. We’ve seen a lot of success with that.
We also work with influencers who aren’t about driving sales. Their posts are aspirational and about building a brand. We carefully select the influencers we work with based on the end result the client is looking for.
Should brands try to work with as many influencers as possible?
There’s been a big shift away from the spray and pray approach. Brands that go for a “fewer, deeper” approach in everything they do tend to be more successful. We look for influencers who can tell a story, who bring more value and more authenticity.
How does the “fewer, deeper” approach apply to agencies?
It means not being all things to everyone. In our early days at NAC, I would take on things that weren’t in my remit, and it rarely worked out. These days, it’s important to know what you’re good at and what your key strengths are as a professional but also as an agency. For NAC, we see ourselves as an extension of their existing team, meaning we have a very collaborative approach that we find generates the best results.
How does your team keep up with the latest channels?
Our secret is to have a team with a variety of interests. We ensure our team are engaging with the different platforms, and that it’s part of their DNA. For example, our showroom is managed by ex-retail staff because they are able to understand what consumers want to purchase, how to style pieces and what makes consumers (and therefore stylists and media) tick.
What trends are you seeing in PR that you’re excited about?
PR companies have become more integrated with advertising and marketing, and we’re seeing that our brands are looking for a 360 approach with inclusivity and transparency across all areas of the business. This helps to support PR outcomes and deliverables, when everyone is working together. It also means that team members are learning about different areas that are part of the overall marketing mix, which results in a more well rounded team. It helps individuals working within an agency remain interested in the bigger picture.
What skills / attributes do you think PRs need to be successful long-term?
I really believe that PRs need to have an interest in things other than just what they are doing at work. It’s useful for PRs to know about food, wine, art, the theatre, ballet opera – bring your interests into your role. Brands are employing an agency for their breadth of experience and knowledge beyond just that of the brands they represent.
PRs need to be adaptable, flexible, collaborative, interested and dedicated.
What brand do you think is acing PR right now, and why?
Camilla and Marc have just launched the Future Now Zine, a digital art series that celebrates a renewable, sustainable vision for the future. It’s beautifully put together and taps into what’s topical at the moment. They’ve tapped into that in a true way, as part of the DNA of their brand.