Spilling secrets is fast becoming something that LornaLuxe and I excel at. Especially if it is combined with an audience, an agenda about digital and each other (and possibly a bottle of Champagne if it is after
5pm soz 7pm – tee hee). Anyway, Cision invited us to appear in their series of Webinar’s where we would share some serious #realness on the topic of How to influence an influencer – with LornaLuxe being the influencer and me being the PR acting on behalf of the brand. In real life, the digital influencer is a modern phenomenon, so not massively surprising that it is pretty easy to make a mess of it. And it ain’t just a case of ‘Dear Blogger’ style impersonal emails causing the problems, it is a minefield of money, statistics, marketing, PR, brand, spotting bought followers, understanding Google anaalytics and calculating ROI…which is so confusing that you may well want to avoid it altogether.
But DO NOT WORRY because HELP IS AT HAND! Lorna and I have been doing this long enough that in this hour long webinar we give you the ONE thing Lorna always wants to be asked by brands (but they never do). The TWO special sentences that make her hit auto-delete on an email. We will give you a THREE MONTH plan to boost your followers and interaction. Wow I sound like one of those QVC style salesmen! Soz. here is the full and unedited Webinar – featuring our first disagreement (hey, no one said we had to AGREE on shiz).
If you are a bit short on time, I can tell you a few handy hints:
- POINT BREAK – Lorna & I have worked together on many different projects – including THIS interview and for denim designer DONNA IDA. BUT we didn’t meet by chance. Instead Lorna got on my radar, we had a social media relationship so by the time I got in touch, my first email said ‘I feel like we’re already friends.’ The rest is history and there are more details on understanding the Point Break theory, how to develop your relationships on social media and in (controversially) in real life in the Webinar.
- LET’S GET DIGITAL – Try not to utter the words; ‘I just don’t understaaaannnndddddd digital’ because who wants to be that person? Skill up! How can you possibly talk to influencers/negotiate with brands/expect to grow online if you don’t understand it. My tips? Get a book first – try The New Rules of PR & Marketing by David Meerman Scott and if not, get a crash course from an expert in the digital field. I was lucky enough to learn an awful lot from digital marketing agency Netleadz and their founder Xaver Matt – they’re small, personal and speak using real language – AMAZE. You’ll soon be talking about your numbers/conversion like a pro.
- ME, ME, ME! It is easy to become selfish in the digital world and Lorna and I believe in researching your audience to know how you can work together. In the Webinar, you’ll also see the TWO magic phrases that will scoop you into Lorna’s rubbish bin – trust me, no one wants to be in there. So – no cut and paste emails, no sloppy language or casual ‘Hi babes’ing. Let’s think strategically folks.
- SOCIAL AS THE LONG GAME – Lorna shares the apps she uses to track her growth and competitors, how to spot people who are buying followers and how she grew to over 400k followers on Instagram! You’ll end with a three month plan – trust me, it is worth it!
I also contrib
Nicola de Burlet is chic, classy and stylish.
NakedPRGirl – What is your background? Where are you from?
Nicola de Burlet – Kind of everywhere – born in the US, grew up around the world, lived in Germany, Carribean, Canada, Switzerland, Paris and now back home in the UK
NakedPRGirl – How did you get into PR?
Nicola de Burlet – It was a question of right place right time, I had been working in events and party planning for a long time, I got a job in the dot com boom working for an online health and beauty website called Click mango and started in PR there, after that I moved to Paris, got a job at Chanel and the rest is history ….
NakedPRGirl – Tell me about PR Studio – what inspired you to start it?
Nicola de Burlet – I have worked in luxury fashion and beauty PR for a long time and have been lucky enough to work with some of the most famous luxury brands in the world – Hermes, Givenchy, La Prairie, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Cartier to name but a few and I wanted to keep challenging myself and learning – I have always wanted to set up on my own but the timing was never right but at the beginning of 2016 the time was right – I went for it!
NakedPRGirl – How hard was it to get up and running? What were the biggest hurdles?
Nicola de Burlet – I am only 6 months in so there are hurdles every day. For me, the most important thing was getting my first client. I couldn’t even think about leaving my job without having something lined up to go to, getting that first client, and having them agree that they would wait for me through my notice period was the biggest hurdle, once that was in place, I could start planning the next stage … getting more clients!!
NakedPRGirl – What are your favourite PR moments since you opened?
Nicola de Burlet – For me the best thing about what I do now is having the freedom to do things my way – have the conversations I want to have with all kinds of different people – you never know where a conversation will lead.
NakedPRGirl – What is your USP?
Nicola de Burlet – I work with brands in an in-house way, as an extension of their team. I have always been in-house in my PR career and I like the involvement and the relationships of working with brands to achieve the best possible result without the anonymity and remoteness of an agency.
NakedPRGirl -Do you have a motto or a mantra that you live by?
Nicola de Burlet – NakedPRGirl – I have been known to say “it’s PR not ER’ but I recently saw a friend who had been given a great piece of advice that I have adopted “don’t be afraid of the hustle” when you are a freelancer this is all too true.
NakedPRGirl – If money was no object – what would be your dream PR campaign?
Nicola de Burlet – Ah, this is something that I have come up against time and time again, where you brainstorm the hell out of a campaign, come up with something amazing and then get told you have no budget to make it a reality so now I start with reality and try and make it the dream ….
NakedPRGirl – Who are your favourite journalists/stylists or publications to work with?
Nicola de Burlet – When you are out on your own, you very quickly become aware of the journalists and titles who are you true contacts, the real industry buddies who will work with you and answer your email despite you not having a multinational brand behind you anymore with all the benefits that that affords ….
NakedPRGirl – What advice would you give to someone looking to get a job in PR?
Nicola de Burlet – The same advice I have given all my teams over the years – be nice, be respectful and honest, you never know who you will come across in the future – PR is a very small world and manners cost nothing.
NakedPRGirl – What is your style when you pitch to potential clients? How do you prepare for a pitch?
Nicola de Burlet – Know your client and know exactly what their PR aim is so that you can get the pitch absolutely right. Be very clear about what you can and can’t do for them and manage expectations. My style is always professional and never over the top
NakedPRGirl – How important is the digital world in our PR future?
Nicola de Burlet – Very. PR is constantly evolving discipline and you need a mix of old media and new to make it work.
NakedPRGirl – What’s your favourite channel of social media?
Nicola de Burlet – Instagram.
NakedPRGirl – What’s in your PR Tool Kit?
Nicola de Burlet – Notebook – a good pen – business cards – my phone.
NakedPRGirl – What’s your failsafe PR outfit?
Nicola de Burlet – Tailored cropped trousers, a cashmere jumper or silk shirt depending on the season and a killer heel, minimal jewellery maybe one statement piece, a tailored coat and a chic handbag.
NakedPRGirl – Do you have any favourite products beauty/perfume?
Nicola de Burlet – Skincare is always Dr Sebagh, my current perfume favourite is Juliette has a Gun Not a Perfume, it is the dream, make up is mainly BY TERRY and mascara is Guerlain. I have recently converted to a red lip – Nars all the way
NakedPRGirl -What’s your favourite PR campaign – ever?
Nicola de Burlet – I remember launching the first Baz Luhrman film with Nicole Kidman for number 5 I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
NakedPRGirl – What are your PR highs and PR lows?
Nicola de Burlet – PR highs were many – being backstage at the Chanel shows always got my pulse racing, meeting all the fashion designers I have ever worked with – Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaia, Elie Saab, Paul Smith brought my role as a PR to life. I love seeing the fruits of my labours in print, with an Alister on the cover of a magazine, or a beautiful fashion shoot or interview – there weren’t many lows and if there were, you move on and the next high will make you forget it!!
NakedPRGirl – Where will you be in ten years time?
Nicola de Burlet – Hopefully still running The PR Studio – though maybe with more staff!
The thing is…I’m not a film expert which, when you’re in a cinema full of movie fans at the BIFA Central Picturehouse watching Michael Sheen being interviewed for Time Out London can be a bit of a daunting realisation. BUT I have seen five Michael Sheen films, oh yes. Well, to be honest I’ve seen the excellent Far From The Madding Crowd and, well, all FOUR of the Twilight films which I could practically act in, but I definitely wouldn’t be winning an Oscar anytime soon. Here’s five not exactly movie or marketing related snippets I gleaned from the fabulous actor that is Michael Sheen.
1 – “For families who don’t have access, how are we going to get people from privileged background in?’
Exactly! Exactly! When talking about his own ‘pathway’ into acting, Michael points out that he had a supportive family BUT he was lucky enough to have a discretionary grant to get into drama school. These days, the grants no longer exist, the school is no longer there, making us realise that those without cash are at a distinct disadvantage. “We all lose out if we don’t have a diverse set of people and opinions in the mix,” Sheen notes. And no diversity makes the world pretty dull.
2 – “I take Aro in Twilight as seriously as I take Frost in Frost/Nixon.”
Can we talk about Aro since it is my main point of reference? LOLS. “People tend to look down on it as a genre,” he explains. “But taking your place in the pantheon of vampires on film is an honour.” I mean, totally right! Stephanie Meyer said that Aro, aka head vamp, ‘had a voice like feathers’ despite being EVIL so Sheen decided that this dude had been alive for centuries and was probs completely off his vampire rocker. “He’s like a sentimental grandmother who likes the children and then might eat them,” he reveals drawing inspiration from Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine, Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Big Bad Wolf. Proving that no matter what the part is, or what the job is in life, you should always give it your all.
3 – “You don’t know what’s going to be the hook for your imagination”
High/low culture features prominently in Sheen’s world but he embraces it citing The Lobster as a favourite recent film which features a society where single people much find a mate within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of their choice (imagine – I’d be a bloody colourful bird by now). “Is that high brow or low brow? It’s unsettling? Your brain is trying to work out if it’s funny or is it poncy? It’s things your brain can’t pin down,” Sheen explains. So find a hook or a USP, work with it and don’t be snobby about it because you could be shutting off from great things.
4 – “For me really good acting is a balance between control and loss of control.”
And also life right? “Some actors just turn up and fly by seat of their pants and others do all the homework and don’t lose control,” Sheen says, careful to point out that his acting work which has been defined by roles including playing Tony Blair go beyond impersonation. “You want to take the audience with you, to go on the journey,” he explains and I agree. In life you don’t want to be ‘all the gear and no idea’ or like a bull in a China shop without thought for what you are doing…but you have to lose control sometimes.
5 – “It’s great to disappear into character, but its not great if you’re trying to build a career.“
In a business sense being memorable and recognisable are key to growing your career and marketing your latest venture. So it is in roles which are more recognisable that Sheen has enjoyed a flourishing career and he always focuses on what real person come alive. “We have the person that we want people to see on the outside, then the person that we’re scared we are,” he explains. “Then there’s the real person and I’m always looking for where they’re vulnerable.” And being vulnerable is a good thing sometimes because it makes us who we are, and can also make our best work.
Sometimes in London, it feels like you know ALL KINDS of things you really don’t need to. Like when a new hotdog joint is opening, how Pret Sandwiches are ranked from 1 to 50, or how big the waiting list is at a swanky restaurant you’re never likely …
St Paul’s Cathedral, where I’m sitting right now, is literally blowing my mind. The very famous London landmark was built by Christopher Wren and accessoried (shall we say) with intricate mosaics after Queen Victoria called it ‘dull, cold, dingy and dreary,’ crikey! Inside it is utterly astonishing in size and scale with the dome the epitome of beauty creating the centre of the cathedral and of course being one of the most recognisable features of the London skyline. The gilded architecture and beautiful artwork make this building rich in colour and in history.
The nave is sweeping with arches and chandeliers adding to the grandeur. The choir and organs must be absolutely fantastic when it is in session which look onto a gilded alter and a intricate window. After you’ve marvelled about the inside – go up 259 steps to the Whispering Gallery, above the ground floor within the dome and have a go at whispering to a friend on the opposite side, you’ll be amazed that you can hear them. These steps are easy peasy, and then the second set of 376 stairs up (in total) to the Stone Gallery as a little bit trickier, a little steeper, but just take your time. This is on the outside and you can take photos from here and see a little of London’s skyline through the wall.
If you are not afraid of heights or tight spaces (I only say this as I nearly had a nervous breakdown on the way up) please please pop up the full 528 steps (all the way from the bottom) to the Golden Gallery and hang on to your hat. In fact hold onto everything as there’s only a railing in between you and the outside world. You can SEE everything from here, London Eye, Shard, Tate Modern, Gherkin, BT Tower, Oxo Tower, London buses, people, bars, gardens the works!!! It’s tight though, very tight so be patient. The crypt is dark and peaceful, which leads to the gift shop and cafe. There’s also a small garden surrounding it which is the perfect place for a picnic in nice weather. At £18 to get in, it’s total value for money and j can only (honestly) say that there is only the Tower of London which I enjoyed in equal measure. They would both be at the top of my must-see London list.
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“Claire was my PR and Marketing Manager for four years at Donna Ida so we worked closely together to build a marketing strategy for the Ultimate Denim Destination. Claire’s PR experience led to an increase in press coverage 30% year-on-year with a focus on luxury titles and targeting key editors"Read The Full Testimonial
Claire was very well liked by the press and they felt very happy and comfortable with her, so much so that they were just as happy going to Claire as they were coming to me. We developed a press strategy of one-to-one appointments and special evening press dinners to encourage exclusivity with exceptional results.
She worked closely with our in-house creative team to build the brand and my personal profile within the fashion and business sectors, managing photo shoots and Look Books. Claire is loyal, entrepreneurial and strategic so when presented with a challenge she sees it as an opportunity.
DONNA IDA THORNTON, www.donnaida.com