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

 

 


Establishing relationships with Editors - The Daily Edited

How to have a great relationship with an online editor

“The internet never sleeps” is a common, if not unfortunate, phrase thrown around by anyone who works in digital media - but it’s a good ethos to keep in mind when reaching out to content producers and writers or editors who work predominantly online. In my experience working as a digital editor, the PRs who I’ve come to rely on, and form meaningful working relationships with, have an understanding of the unique requirements of creating great online content. And many of them actually make my job easier.

Here's a list of easy things PRs can do (or not!) to help build lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with digital content producers, online editors and writers:

STALK THEM

This sounds a bit creepy, but doing your research on the individual, their role, the kind of content they create, and their publication - including both the website and its social channels can really help turn the first meeting into a real professional friendship. Take notice of any topics or issues they cover consistently and try to identify what they’re doing differently to their competitors. If the editor feels like you understand their professional MO, it will make any conversation you have more meaningful and aid cut-through for your brands. Look for hashtags, common themes in their content and imagery, the contributors they use, and their general tone online.

Flaunter - Anja Rubik

EVENT ETIQUETTE

Most online editors sadly don’t have time in their day to attend a launch if it entails an hour seaplane flight followed by a three-hour long lunch, followed by a scenic drive back to the office - no matter how delightful that sounds. Bloggers and influencers may have more control over their schedule and deadlines as they’re self-employed, whereas content producers from online publishers do not and are often beholden to early morning news meetings, content output targets and hard deadlines. Make events short, and in venues that are easy to get to. Provide transport if you can, as many publications now baulk at reimbursing editors for pricey cab fares. Schedule it either as the first or last thing in the day (middle-of-the-day events wreak havoc on productivity), and be sure to provide some useful reason for their attendance - either by way of breaking news, an interview and/or social media opportunities.

DON'T DIAL

Don’t call them on their mobile. Or text them. Ever. Unless it is a legitimate emergency and that is the only way you can get a hold of them. You’ll just end up pissing them off (no matter how charming you are) by further blurring the lines between their private and professional life. And online editors, more than most, have enough of that already.

lady gaga ft beyonce telephone 22

GET FACE TO FACE TIME

Digital content producers and editors are inundated by a plethora of email intros and online pitches from anonymous sources every day, so if you can get the recipient to connect your face to your email address you’ll be well ahead of the pack. Show them that you’re serious about establishing a mutually beneficial working relationship by suggesting a time and place convenient to them, don't take up more than 20 minutes of their day, and don’t be late.

PRESS PAUSE ON GENERIC GIFTING

I know, this is controversial, but sending the same cookie-cutter press pack of frosted cupcakes along with a press release and bunch of balloons does not guarantee you any cut-through. Online editors are far less likely to post pictures of these sorts of things to their title’s social media than ever before, simply because the concept isn’t that new and their followers aren’t surprised or delighted by these PR ploys. The exception to the rule is if the cupcakes/donuts/cronuts/cakepops/macarons/raw desserts/giant cookie/cheese board is SO beautiful, or SO large, or have been completely customised to that title, that it warrants documentation. But this is rare. Following up your delivery with a ‘we’d love to see a social post...’ email only lessens your chances to getting coverage, and it comes across as presumptuous. Remember the editor never asked for a delivery of those 12 identikit cupcakes; the majority of which will probably end up in the bin at the end of the day.

adam voohes - dont send gifts

GIVE THEM SOMETHING USEFUL

Find out what topics or kinds of content perform best for their title, and give them more of this. Go back to your brands and see what exclusive content they can offer different online publications, and tailor your pitches. It might be additional data or statistics, it might an exclusive piece of news, or perhaps content written by someone within the brand - like a first-person essay or listicle. If you can help them to create trafficking content that their audience really responds to, you’ll be their new bff.

DEADLINES MATTER

Always ask what the editor’s deadline is - and if you can’t realistically meet it, tell them. You’ll go a long way by being honest. It’s much easier for an editor to rejiggle a content publishing schedule with a day’s notice rather than having to scramble a replacement story together at the last minute because a PR didn’t send the quote/high-res image/RRP through when they promised they would. Not managing an editor's expectations is a one-way ticket to them never relying on you for content in the future.

 

//

 

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

Images: Anja Rubik photographed by Ellen von Unwerth for Vogue Italia; Beyoncé 'Telephone'; Donuts by Adam Voorhes and Robin Findlay


Flaunter's MBFWA 17 Wrap Up Trend Report

Dion Lee - Photography Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

The iconic arches frame a dramatic runway as a sea of spectators sit awaiting the official opening of MBFWA 17's premiering designer, Dion Lee

 

ECLECTIC GEOMETRIC // CUTOUTS & IRREGULAR SHAPES

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

Dion Lee's RESORT 2018 has undoubtedly changed this year's game in the way we bear skin. Silky satin silhouettes flaunting purposeful cut outs, remark a genius design as one formed piece - a trend that was perfectly complemented by the irregular geometry of the Opera House sails.  The result: Boundary breaking, fully functional fashion.

Dion Lee - Image by Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

MBFWA 17 Opening Runway - Dion Lee at the Sydney Opera House

 

FEMME FATALE // DRAPING & EMBELLISHMENTS

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

As if we'd fallen amongst a field of daisy's, 2017 is all about the fairytale fantasy. A romantic take on modern fashion boasts unique layerings of ruffage, florals and pastel notes - Alice McCall is defiantly no stranger to all things 'pretty'. This years colour scheme? A victorian array of creams, baby blue and pale pink with fur like embellishments. Albus Lumen also delivered his take on traditional concepts fit for the modern women, applying gold button embellishments to rural style silhouettes and accessories.

Alice McCall - Image by Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

Behind the scenes for Alice McCall // Bon Bon

 

AS CUTE AS A BUTTON  // VELVET, FRILLS & POP PRINTS

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

 Macgraw stole the show on Day 3 with their refreshingly elegant collection. An ensemble of prim and proper shapes with a nod to retro prints, showing true genius in successfully bringing together opposites in design and concept. Funky flats were also a feature, flaunting big bows in primary colours. With frills, ribbons and bell sleeves to die for, British 'boarding school chic' has been corrupted by cuteness.

Macgraw - Image by Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

Model line up backstage at Macgraw // Resort 18

 

RED HOT // DESIGNER FAVOURITE  

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

If we take one thing away from this year's fashion week, it's that red is hot and it's here to stay. Nearly every designer sent the fiery colour down the runway - most commonly in head-to-toe looks that were entirely unapologetic for their attention-grabbing pigment. Michael Lo Sordo stole our hearts with his shimmering floor-length gowns and opaque red stockings.

Michael Lo Sordo - Image by Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

Backstage at Michael Lo Sordo // Acceidential Secrétaire

 

COLOUR COOL // PERFECT PIGMENTS 

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

Blocks of primary colours were the big reoccurring theme in runway beauty. Bold sweeps of colour were a favourite amongst designers such as Bec & Bridge, inviting a welcoming play of colour without taking away our attention to clothing. Key elements from the MAC Cosmetics team included cobalt lined eyes, cherry lips and Bianca Spender's noteworthy golden lid - a definite take home trend.

Bec & Bridge - MAC Cosmetics - Image by Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

Backstage with MAC Cosmetics for Bec & Bridge // Meow Meow

 

FASHIONABLY ARMED // STATEMENT STEEVES 

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

The statement sleeve trend ups the ante this year with designers sending ruffage, bows, glitter and oversized madness down the runway. Christopher Esber caught our eye with a striped oversized cuff number, embodying the ultimate mix of power and elegance, while Bec & Bridge took us to single sleeve heaven and extreme lengths. This year's underlying theme is undoubtedly about making functional statements with purpose and style.

Christopher Esber- Image Tim-Da-Rin for Flaunter

Striped details backstage at Christopher Esber // Resort 18

 

TECHNICOLOUR DREAMS // WILD COLOUR & FAIRYTALE VIBES

CLICK TO VIEW MOOD BOARD

Expectations were high for the final show of MBFWA 17 - but as usual Romance Was Born did not disappoint. The stage was set with oversized floral arrangements, a blanket of fog and red mood lighting which only heightened the sense of anticipation. When the models appeared, the picture was complete and a seemingly never-ending rainbow twirled down the runway. The statement was clear - bold brights and dreamy fabrics such as fringe, netting and patchwork are unequivocally 'IN'.

Romance Was Born - Image by Tim da-Rin for Flaunter

Backstage at Romance Was Born // Electro Orchid

 

Photography: Tim da-Rin for Flaunter // Instagram // Website


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


Flaunter - Bec & Bridge MBFWA

Cooler days are calling // Winter skin & beauty prep

Those long, carefree Summer days are well and truly behind us!

As Autumn brings about cooler temperatures, our skin is exposed to a whole new variety of harsh conditions that can play havoc with our beauty routines, so it's best to be prepared and use the transition as a head start into the chilly season.

With last year's emphasis on natural methods, 2017 is all about going back to the basics. Say bye bye 'micro derma/skin tightening whatever' and embrace the simple rule of three - "Exfoliate, Hydrate & Nourish".  On Flaunter, we have been noticing this trend take off and today we share our top picks for Winter skin.

Step 1. Exfoliate

Abolish the scales!

FACT: Dry climates draw moisture from the skin often leaving you with those annoying and hard to get rid of dry patches.

THE RESULT: Your body overcompensates for the lack of hydration resulting in excess oil, clogged pores and pimples.

WHY? During cooler periods, the body is often slower in regenerating new cells. Although some form of exfoliation routine is recommended all year round, Winter calls for an emphasis on buffing away those stubborn cells around once a week according to beauty bible Gritty Pretty.

SOLUTION: Scrubs have never been a more popular preventative measure in Winter skin health. Following an inundation of brand uploads in beauty this month and backed by years of research and use within the industry - it's pretty clear that manual exfoliation techniques (in particular natural, chemical free/cruelty-free products) are being favoured by consumers for their tactile experience. Flaunter's beauty brand profile is currently sitting at 65% naturally based or ethical brands including top consumer buys as Dr Roebuck's & The Skincare Company. The most popular ingredients? Coffee, coconut oil, jojoba oil and walnut rinds!Flaunter - TheSeeke Skin

THESEEKE Coffee Scrub // $39.95 AUD 

 

Step 2. Hydrate

It's no doubt that Winter affects our skin health but what about our hair?

FACT: Frequent washing, styling and cooler air temperatures can take lustre out of our gorgeous locks.

THE RESULT:  As temperature drops, moisture decreases and dry hair can quickly become prone to breakage.

WHY? Dale Chong at Bustle blames cool dry air and poor preventive measures for all our split end dilemmas.

SOLUTION: To avoid seasonal hair loss and maintain supple and strong strands there are two things that are a must... Pairing a healthy diet rich in protein and good fats (yes #avosmash has therapeutic qualities) with the use of conditioning products can assist hair integrity and structure. When conditioners aren't enough alone, a weekly mask can work wonders. 2017 undoubtedly brings about a common realisation - beauty and health really do go hand in hand and it's being reflected in the types of products we're choosing to buy. The most popular choices this season all contain fewer nasties and more naturally derived oils such as Evo's Great Hydrator mask infused with a base of argania spinosa kernel to both hydrate and seal for increased manageability.

Flaunter - Evo Hair

EVO The Great Hydrator Mask // $39.95 AUD 

 

Step 3. Nourish

There's nothing more luxurious than plunging into a hot, steamy bath on a cold winter's night. Little did we know 'me' time could actually be doing us more harm than good!

FACT: Hot showers and baths are harsh and can actually further dry out your skin during cool periods.

THE RESULT = The relationship between higher water temperatures and evaporation off the skin once you've left your shower or bath create the perfect environment for moisture loss.

WHY? Top professor of dermatology Rajani Katter explains that too much steam time can result in skin inflammation, resulting in a bunch of unwanted redness, itching, scaling or cracking. The good news is you don't have to give up your bath for good with these two simple preventative measures.

SOLUTION: First, when taking a bath, turn down the heat and reduce your soaking time. Look for that sweet spot temperature, closer to warm but nowhere near scalding! Secondly, employ oil and lots of it... essential bath oils/clays have been a popular consumer item in the last year and have been developed across many beauty brands for this coming season - so much so that Flaunter saw an upload of 40 bath salt images by combined brands over a one week period.

As Katter suggests, patting moisturiser into partially dry skin post bath and adding infused salts to your soak can assist moisture retention both pre and post bath.

 

Flaunter - Soak Society Skin

Soak Society Rose Wellness Soak // $11.95 AUD

 

 

Banner image - Tim Da Rin / Bec & Bridge @ MBFWA 16 via Flaunter media.

 


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