How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

How to Market Halloween – Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

Double, double toil and trouble;. Fire burn and cash tills bubble. When did Halloween become such a marketing winner? All Hallows’ Eve has transformed from a celebration of a Western Christian feast into a month long, supermarket filled, if-you-like-it-then-you-shoulda-put-a-pumpkin-on-it, plastic fantastic, gore inducing, celebrity-backed, social-media-screaming, business jugganaut which looks like it will start to rival Christmas for seasonal activity (It is the biggest retail event after Christmas and Easter).

How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

Consumer spending on Halloween continues to rise annually, no doubt thanks to our own Instagram one-upmanship with an increasing need to top last year’s haunted house Halloween decorations with a whole new set from Amazon, and reached £320 million in the UK alone, says Mintel – see the article here. Celebrities are leading the way with their Hallo-stagram, just look at Heidi Klum’s break the internet style ensembles including Michael Jackson in Thriller, Jessica Rabbit and Cleopatra, plus don’t forget Jason Derula’s Knight King from last year which has created a 4,350% surge in searches for his Game of Thrones themed costume this year – read more on the Tab.

 

In marketing, we look to ride trends and newsjack our way into the headlines, so as Pinterest searches for Halloween exceed more than 300 million pins, let’s look at the ways in which Halloween can be added seamlessly to your marketing calendar.

Know the Tradition
Traditionally (I mean, really, who has time for this bit – lols) Halloween is the start of a three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead – Wikipedia knows it all if you want to delve in here

How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

Why bother – PR reasons
Brands should be careful underestimating the power of Halloween. When I worked at nursery retailer Mamas & Papas, we routinely struggled to get our babywear into consumer press. The one year we dressed three cute babies sat side by side dressed as a witch, a pumpkin and a skeleton, we received the biggest hike in coverage with features in national newspapers including The Times and Daily Express. By creating products or stories which are based on seasonal trends, you are increasing chances of being featured in the press, or having your brand seen online and social media. For example – if you’re a bar and you can create and photograph a Halloween themed cocktail – and you do it 6 months before Halloween, it will probably be the most lucrative PR things you do all year!

Why bother – retail reasons
With Halloween falling on a Wednesday this year, retailers were expecting to see a double spike in footfall, with a smaller increase in shopper traffic hitting the weekend before Halloween – see article here. Adults are getting in on the action too (in 2016 saw Sainsbury’s reporting a 150% increase in adult costumes) and people love a one-stop-shop so big Supermarkets are really cashing in – take a look at Asda’s Saatchi & Saatchi produced effort on YouTube if you don’t believe me!

Also very like Christmas, you may look to create a ‘Halloween’ section in store or with a separate landing page. Retailers can also look at creating products which they already sell but can be repackaged to hit that spooky market.

So how do I get involved? Planning!
It goes without saying that the more lead time the better with season activities so think of your yearly plan all year round. Bespoke products often take a long time to make or maybe you need to purchase licenses to use names or images, so give yourself as long as possible.
You will need:
A product/experience or service for Halloween
A Halloween press release ready to roll in May time
Cut out images and lifestyle images to sell your products (all high res and professional)
A press list of consumer media
Influencers you want to target with your Halloween ideas
A digital marketing calendar which kicks off in October

How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

Make it Topical
Ah yes, the million dollar question – what will be the ‘thing’ this year. For example, remember that year when it was all about Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad? This year we’re looking at a wonderful mixing pot of costumes and if you are lucky, you can make headlines by being creative. Top spot goes to Urban Outfitters for their Kim Kardashian inspired ‘Influencer Outfit’ which has gathered headlines on the Independent. Teen Vogue and Huffington Post.

Pick a theme
Trends will vary from year to year so it is important to keep up with the kids. Sure you can bust out your old skeleton outfit, but jumping onto the coolest film or iconic star will be even better! Top costumes or themes this year according to Pinterest include Tonya Harding (who has seen +720%), Netflix series Riverdale where you could be a Southside Serpent or a Riverdale High Cheerleader (+316%) and 90s icons (+110%). Couples can jump on board with Harry and Meghan trends by utilising the Royal Wedding or even recent baby news (+733%), see article here. My top pick would probs be Game of Thrones (topical with the final series airing early next year) or Love Island…but perhaps only if you have a body to die for!

How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

Marketing to Millennials
These days, Halloween is less about the dead and more about OMG DEAD, where the Love Island generation seek to create content for their digital lives with costumes, filters, makeup and decorations all perfected to be snapped, shared, with the Instagram grid literally becoming a digital tombstone. How scary non? Millennials are looking for costumes, props and makeup which are extra AF so consider the quality of photography you use to relay your Halloween products or experiences. Social media marketing is a MUST so max out your digital channels and make sure you’re telling a story.

How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

Top Halloween Products
Millennials are the biggest at Halloween spenders – on costumes and last minute impulse buys like candles, sweets, chocolates and decorations. Meaning if you are a brand aimed at the young folk, they have cash to spend at this time so you’d better think of a way of working it into your calendar. For the food and drinks industry, this is a key time to look at themed products, collaborations or special Halloween packaging to target this generation.

Insta-fabulous Halloween
Makeup has also gone from being run of the mill ‘Vampire-esque white face and pair of fangs from Claire’s Accessories, to being big business. A top class Halloween hair and makeup effort can turn an influencer into a star. Just think of Holly Willoughby’s insane unicorn horn and outfit last year.

 

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A post shared by Holly Willoughby (@hollywilloughby) on

Halloween Decorations
If you have a retail space or bar/cafe, you might want to look at decorating your external shopfront to entice Instagram friendly customers. Take Peggy Porschen for example with their candy coloured pumpkins on their pink parlour for Halloween.

How to Market Halloween - Retail, Digital and Social Media Tips

OK so in summary – accept the opportunity of seasonality and see where it can fit for your brand. Plan ahead and be creative with products. Use trends to create amazing stories. Use creative resources to put together supreme Halloween content.

And finallly…anyone know where i can get an invite to Heidi Klum or Jonathan Ross’ epic Halloween bashes? Speaking of parties – you can read my guide to throwing a Halloween Party here.

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Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships

AUTHOR/S: Eric Berne

PUBLISHED: December 1964 by Penguin Books and reissued in 2010

Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships - Book Review by NakedPR Girl, Claire Etchell

REVIEW: How can we gain a greater understanding of our fellow humans? Why do people do what they do, say what they say, think what they think?

This book is a blast from the past – the original version being a best seller in the mid 60s. The Games People Play was hot on the heels of Dr Berne’s initial theory re Transactional Analysis and this is fully explained in the book. The book also contains descriptions of the individual games people play and how it’s possible to be game free.

Berne maintains that we all play games all the time : marital games, sexual games, power games and competitive games with partners, colleagues and friends. Recognise any of these popular pastimes – ‘If it weren’t for you!’, ‘Look How Hard I’ve Tried’, ‘See What You’ve Made Me Do’, ‘Let’s You and Him Fight’ and ‘Now I’ve Got You, You Son of a Bitch!’

The secret ploys and unconscious manipulations that rule our lives are exposed and attention is also given to how seriously and hard we play. The theory seems a little dated in parts and has some gender stereotyping but it is a great read particularly re Transactional analysis.

This book will alert you to at least a couple of games you will be playing and will make you think about the effect that is having upon yourself and the person you are playing against. Anyone for a quick game of ‘Why Don’t You – Yes But…….’

Highly recommended.
Buy on Amazon.

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Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships - Book Review by NakedPR Girl, Claire Etchell

Time Out Tastemaker Interviews by NakedPR Girl

Time Out Tastemaker Interviews by NakedPR Girl

In 2015 Time Out London launched their Tastemaker community which aimed to add 200 London reviewers to their books and luckily I was one of them – you can read my original blog post from when I joined here. It has been such a success that it is now rolling out globally (erm hello New York and Miami) headed up by Time Out’s Rosie Akenhead. The Tastemaker community is full of super connected, cool people, who have interesting day jobs and attack their London-loving-hobby with panache! I’ve met many friends along the way and in fact it was Michael Radcliffe aka @rattyboom who helped me secure a venue for my interview with Jim Kwik. I wanted to introduce you to the Time Out London Tastemaker community so here are short interviews starting with head Tastemaker Rosie Akenhead who also has a start up business called Kvall Candles AND has a blog devoted to healthy eating called Rosie & The Recipes which has over 200k followers on Instagram! Full disclosure, we are not paid in any way by Time Out so our views are all independent, we do this for love of the city in exchange for the occasional perk like a free drink or tickets to the theatre. So here we go!

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Time Out Tastemaker Chief – Rosie Akenhead

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Rosie Akenhead: Originally from Kent, now living in Surrey Quays, London.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Rosie Akenhead: By day I lead Global Community at Time Out.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to start Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Rosie Akenhead: Time Out hired me in 2015 because they wanted to build a community of super engaged, amazing people from across our cities to help us ensure we’re always relevant. Time Out’s passion is to help people go out better, the Tastemakers are a really integral part of that now.

NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your Rosie & the Recipes blog?
Rosie Akenhead: I actually started it in January of this year. It was reactive to requests I’d had via my Instagram page. I was very reluctant to do it at first but it’s actually pretty quick and easy to maintain.

NakedPRGirl: You’ve got a huge 200k following on your Instagram account (@slimmingworldrecipes) – how did you grow this amazing community and what can followers expect?
Rosie Akenhead: I lost a lot of weight doing Slimming World some five years ago now. I’ve always loved to cook so I started recording my low fat recipes on Instagram and the follower count just went up and up! To be absolutely honest, I never expected it to be ‘a success’, it really just grew fairly organically. It’s actually now that I have to work hard on it with the new Instagram algorithm changes.

NakedPRGirl: Kvall Candles is your new project – how did you get into that? How did you come up with the name? What can we expect from your new business?
Rosie Akenhead: Kväll means ‘evening’ in Swedish and I named it that because I love the idea of a cosy night in at home with a candle burning. I got into candle making a few years ago when visiting a friend in Bristol. She was making candles and I was like whoa… I have to try this! My new business is very much a sideline to my day job but I love it, especially making the big orders for shops, wedding favours and corporate clients.

A post shared by Kväll Candles (@kvallcandles) on

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Rosie Akenhead: It depends on your interests but I always take newbies out to Greenwich to explore the market and then the park. I also take them to some of my locals in the Deptford area, there’s a great new craft beer place called Taproom that’s becoming a new favourite of mine. Thirdly, I like to show people a bit of adventure so Wake Up Docklands for wakeboarding or paddleboarding is a must.

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Rosie Akenhead: Firstly, you’ll be joining a pack of people who know London like no other. So when you need solid recommendations, you’ll never have to blindly ask strangers on Google again. Secondly, Tastemakers tend to have lots in common. I’ve seen so many people all start hanging out together due to mutual interests in food, drink, culture, theatre… and that’s what makes it a really special place to be.

Follow: Rosie on Instagram @rosieakenhead @slimmingworldrecipes @kvallcandles
Follow Rosie on Twitter
Timeout profile page
Read her blog

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Time Out Tastemaker – Michael Ratcliffe

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Michael Ratcliffe: Originally I hail from Warrington, a town in the North West of England not far from Manchester. That said, whilst I still consider that to be my family home, I moved down south to Oxford at the age of only 8 months old, then to Greece at 9, and only returned to the UK at the age of 18 to study Pharmacology at UCL in London. I never left and London has been my home now for the past 12 years.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Michael Ratcliffe: By day I am a Corporate Event Producer focused today in the fashion/apparel industry. When I tell people what I do, they either think I’m somehow involved with video/music production and/or am an events planner, but neither are accurate. I work alongside the fashion industry to understand and learn about the evolving and emerging technologies that are enabling global brands and manufacturers to enhance their internal supply chains and innovate their next product lines. I then translate this ongoing research into content-led conferences that the industry then attends, and am then charged with all elements of speaker acquisition, and some of marketing, sales and operations. To date, we hold annual events in LA, Hong Kong, NYC and Europe, with active plans to launch two new events next year, one of which will be in South America.

I kind of fell into this field after university and have since worked on events across a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, manufacturing, cosmetics, and more…

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Michael Ratcliffe: Once I started to slow down and party less at 25ish, I started actively looking for more things to do out and about in London besides eating and drinking. Then when I met my boyfriend (who can’t sit still for 2 seconds), this only become more prevalent and we began cramming our free time with touristing in our own city, exploring all it has to offer culturally. If you make time for it, it’s really very difficult to get bored in a city like ours and no, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! Anyways, I digress…because of this unrelenting gumption to see everything, it was actually a very good friend of mine called James, who had joined the Tastemaker community first, that convinced me to sign up!

NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your blog? How did you come up with the name?
Michael Ratcliffe: I actually only started my blog in January of this year (2018) as a New year’s resolution. As I said above, I am always up to something and am very lucky to travel extensively with my job so friends of mine have been saying for ages that a blog is something I should really do. Why did I wait? Well to be honest I was nervous, and still am now, that it would come across more as bragging or arrogance, than anything more meaningful or useful. Whilst this is still an insecurity of mine, I have been surprised and encouraged by the positive feedback of my supportive readership and the growing number of people that have started coming to me for advice and recommendations off the back of it. That said, I have also been surprised at the amount of time and effort it actually takes to put something worthy onto paper! I am not one to write a blog about each and every event, show, restaurant etc that I visit, but tend to like to do more in-depth meaty pieces that cover a range of tips and tricks…these things aren’t easy and sadly my aim to get something live every other week has just not been doable with my schedule! Monthly is my revised aim but even that can be challenging!

When it comes to the name, there’s no great story there…I am as anti-formal as they come so wanted something that seemed relaxed and accessible. ‘My Out and About’ seemed to appropriately represent me and what I had to say!

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Michael Ratcliffe: Three?! That’s a hard one…but here goes!

(1) My very favourite thing to do in London is to ride the Thames Clipper, preferably on a nice day or evening, down the river from around Parliament to Greenwich, or vice versa. I would go as far as saying that the Thames Clipper is the most underrated ‘attraction’ for both tourists and residents across the city; drink in hand and a seat on the back, you pass a good chunk of London’s most awe-inspiring buildings and architecture and for just that £6, 30-minute ride, you forget about the chaos of this hive of a city and totally relax.

(2) I’m going to cheat a little now for number two but I’m going to say get yourself to a food market, and I realise that’s broad! Yes we’ve had our market staples for years but in the last 2-3 years there has been a boom in the volume, variety and quality of street food across the capital; food markets, in my opinion, have become one of the reasons London should be on your must-visit list. I can’t even begin to choose just one but am a huge fan of the Street Feast venues that, since Dinerama in Shoreditch, continue to bring top-notch food, drink, events and general appeal to areas that have perhaps struggled to attract non-local people in the past like Woolwich, Canada Water and Wood Green. I love that leveraging of food to bring people together!

(3) And finally, and I know I’m cheating again, anywhere with a skyline view of London. Sky Garden is for sure the best deal, but getting those free tickets is tough, so you may want to bite the bullet in the name of convenience and get yourself up the Shard or even up to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral. No matter where I travel to in the world, I ensure I find myself a cityscape view; down on the ground and in the warren of urban streets, you can of course better absorb what a city is really like, but get yourself a view and you suddenly also begin to better understand and appreciate it’s layout, design and magnitude!

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP or niche? Eg – what areas of London or specialism can we expect to see on social media from you (example – I’m all about sunsets, fashion and booze)?
Michael Ratcliffe: Travel and/or food. I appreciate the first is perhaps less relevant to my Tastemaker role, but just like in London, I love to immerse myself in the culture of any place I visit, and find all the greatest attractions, eateries and those things perhaps a little more off the beaten track! I find my travel pieces to be the easiest to write about in my blog because of the variety of things I make myself try and see and really do think that things like blogs and Instagram accounts have replaced in some ways the traditional travel guide as they are more up to date and diverse.

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Michael Ratcliffe: No matter if you are a self-made doer or a layabout, rich or poor, new to London or an old-timer, the Tastemaker community will not only inspire you as to what to do/see/eat next, but will, if you let it and perhaps put a little more effort in, help you form new friendships with like-minded people that perhaps you would have otherwise never met. Let’s be honest, once you get comfortable and a certain age, most of us stop trying to meet new people and experience new things…you can fight it but it’s in our nature to become creatures of habit. This community disrupts that entirely and gives you a whole new look on London living that’ll have you up, out and feeling like a tourist in your own city!

Instagram handle: @rattyboom
Timeout profile page
Blog link

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Time Out Tastemaker – Katherine Glaubius

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Katherine Glaubius: I’m originally from Nebraska in the States, but now I live in Southeast London.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Katherine Glaubius: I’m a Digital Data and Technology civil service fast streamer. That means my job title and department change a lot, but right now I’m doing user research.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Katherine Glaubius: My mom was a Tastemaker first actually, and after bringing me along a few times, I got jealous!

NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your blog? How did you come up with the name?
Katherine Glaubius: I started my blog about 2 months into really taking my Instagram seriously. I just wanted to talk about the cool stuff I was up to in a bit extra detail to my Instagram posts really. The name – no idea! I wanted it to mention London. I’ve always eaten and done fun stuff like theatre and museums, so I didn’t want to make it too specific. Isthatlondon is just kind of what popped into my mind.

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Katherine Glaubius: Whenever someone from America comes to visit, I have a sort of London in a day tour. My first choice is always walking through Spittlefields Market and having a good nose around. Then down the street to Brick Lanebto look at street art and eat a bagel! My other choice would be the Sky Garden. You can go up for free (which I’m a big fan of) and get the most beautiful view. Plus it’s a little less mainstream than the Shard or the London eye.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP or niche? Eg – what areas of London or specialism can we expect to see on social media from you?
Katherine Glaubius: I definitely specialise in food! I just love eating my way through London too much to not focus on food! I also do theatre and London views.

Time Out Tastemaker - Katherine Glaubius, #IsThatLondon

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Katherine Glaubius:
The Tastemakers are a community of people who love to try out pretty much everything London has to offer. They’ve tried the place you’ve been wanting to eat at or seen the show you were contemplating seeing. They’re a fount of knowledge and so happy and willing to share. Basically, they’re fab, so why wouldn’t you want to experience London alongside them!?

Instagram handle: @isthatlondon
Blog

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Time Out Tastemaker – Paula Kanesanathan

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Paula Kanesanathan: London and London, but spent some time in Birmingham and Chicago.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Paula Kanesanathan: Indirect Tax Adviser for a large multinational media company.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Paula Kanesanathan: I didn’t really know what it was when I joined, but it looked interesting and I seemed to tick the boxes of what they were looking for.

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Paula Kanesanathan: Sky Garden, a sports event and a theatre show.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP or niche? Eg – what areas of London or specialism can we expect to see on social media from you (example – I’m all about sunsets, fashion and booze)?
Paula Kanesanathan: Sports events, theatre, booze and food.

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Paula Kanesanathan: It’s a fun group of people with similar interest so you’ll never find yourself at a loose end again! You also make some good friends, There’s also obviously the perks, but the best thing is that you discover new things too.

Instagram handle: @Paula_ToT_
Twitter handle: @Paula_ToT_
Timeout profile page

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Getting Naked With Paula Fry aka CityFashGal

Getting Naked With Paula Fry aka CityFashGal

I first met Paula Fry through her digital persona, @CityFashGal and thought she was hilariously funny. Fast forward six months and I was sat with her discussing a DONNA IDA shopping event in the veryyyyy plush offices of the financial company she works for. CityFashGirl does exactly what she says on the tin, she is a extremely hard working woman (which involves a 5am wake up call to travel into the city) but she also likes her business day job with a side of high fashion. Every single day she finds time for a bedroom snap of her daily outfit alongside a self effacing, humorous caption and voila – CityFashgal it is! There’s more to Paula than meets the eye though, she left the finance world to try her hand at retail by opening a vintage fashion boutique, plus in the last year she’s the co-founder of a website called Feeling Flush which is aimed at the significant gap in the market for women over 40 to share and collaborate. I wanted to know more, so here we go, let’s get the gossip…

Getting Naked With Paula Fry aka CityFashGal

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I was born in Liverpool (eh eh calm down calm down) but from the age of 4 was brought up in Wigan (upt North). I met my husband on holiday in Corfu aged 17 and moved to Kent to live with him aged 18 (look away now children) – we rented a little basement flat in Tunbridge Wells and we still live there (not in the flat obvs!)

NakedPRGirl: What did you study? What was your first job?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I passed 9 O-levels and probably should have gone to university but I was dying to work so left school at 16 and started work in travel (I already had a Saturday job at Thomas Cook from the age of 14) – I moved around with Thomas Cook in various roles until I was 22.

NakedPRGirl: What was your big break?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I was working within a business travel implant for Thomas Cook just after getting married and decided I wanted to work for the investment bank where we where based. I was organising all the group travel for the firm and spent a lot of my time on and off the trading floors talking to people. I somehow managed to get myself an assistants job on the currency trading desk and a year later became a junior trader! It would be near impossible to do that sort of thing now but this was 1994…

NakedPRGirl: You work in finance – tell us about your day job?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I stopped trading in 2008 – after a long career at Goldman Sachs and had a year of a wobble whilst deciding what to do next with my life aged 38. I now work in financial technology (fin-tech) for one of the worlds largest data firms. I speak to investment banks all over the city – I am a relationship manager for foreign exchange and fixed income (bonds) trading…

NakedPRGirl: Fashion has always been important to you, why did you decide to open a vintage boutique?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: After going back to a brokerage firm after the financial crash for 6 months, I was a bit deflated with the whole city and as fashion was my passion, I decided to put my money where my mouth was, and take a leap to open my own boutique in Tunbridge Wells – there wasn’t a decent dress agency for miles so I combined that with selling vintage too. As austerity was en vogue after the crisis and women where being cautious with their fashion spend, it really suited both my vision for shopping and recycling plus the mood at the time.

NakedPRGirl: Why did you decide to close it? And what did you do to continue your passion for fashion?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: After 5 years it was apparent that owning a boutique was never going to make me a fortune or even a decent living life wage (lordy retail is hard!!!), After 2 years full time running my business, I had already gone back to the city – first part time – and then was hired by another bank, so running a business (even with a manager etc) and working in London was exhausting in the end and I just couldn’t sustain it. It meant I worked 24/7. The money I earned in the city always fuelled my passion for fashion so whilst running my business I had got used to doing social media and posting my outfits before that was an actual ‘thing’! I still do it now, albeit just for fun and not for followers!

NakedPRGirl: Your latest venture is Feeling Flush – where did the idea come from for it? How did you come up with the business plan and name? Who did your branding for you?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Towards the end of last year, I was chatting to a girlfriend (we had met thru social media as she also owned a Vintage business at the same time and had become friends in RL) and being similar ages we were talking about symptoms of peri-menopause and how many women didn’t understand what was happening to them. That conversation started a private group called Feeling Flush ( Lynnette’s idea for the name) and we invited all our girl friends of a certain age (40-65 is probably our demographic) to join in. The group was invite only and soon started to grow as more and more people invited their friends. Lynnette and I have to approve everyone and it’s now 600 strong! I did all the branding, including building the website – amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!

NakedPRGirl: Tell me about your business partner – do you have a special bond?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Lynnette and I are very different but on the same wave length. It’s been easy to start the website with her. We are both super driven too which is what you need!

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP of Feeling Flush? What does the future hold?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: So at this stage, FF is just for fun but also a great comfort and source of reference for women. I’m not sure what will happen – we have no immediate plans to monetise it as such but who knows! And if I’m honest, I’m not sure how you can monetise at the minute. I’m just enjoying the ride.

NakedPRGirl: Do your colleagues in the financial world know and understand what you do outside of work?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I write for the website at weekends so it doesn’t clash with my day to day commitments – I really don’t have a lot of spare time but the good thing is, when I’m in the mood to write, I have the creative outlet. At first, Lynnette and I put pressure on ourselves to blog all the time, but to be honest, we update as and when. Our readers are happy with it having decent content already and anything that needs addressing immediately, we update in the private Facebook page.

NakedPRGirl: Do you think you are a serial entrepreneur?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Mmmmmm…. Maybe. I not sure I’d start another business to be honest. Certainly not until retirement.

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a particular career highlight that stands out?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Oh so many to be honest. But filming with Grayson Perry was up there with the best things ever!

NakedPRGirl: What’s your personal style? Have you had to look at marketing yourself as a brand?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Let’s just say I’m never knowingly under dressed! No I haven’t – is that a thing? *googles*

NakedPRGirl: How do you use social media for your business?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Lynnette uses Twitter for FF and I use Instagram. And we update daily/weekly depending on what’s going on. For personal stuff, I use Instagram and Twitter.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your favourite social media channel? Do you have any social media tips?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Probably Instagram. I used to love Twitter back in the day when people chatted more – it’s where I’ve met so many people and become friends in RL or we have moved to following each other on other channels. It’s such a great community spirit if you are following the right people. My biggest tip is to have breaks from it now and then – it can be all consuming which is not good for anyone. Also, don’t believe all you see and read – it’s so edited….

NakedPRGirl: How do you split your time between working in financial business vs your new blog vs real life?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Work comes first of course – most of my day – I have maybe two or three hours free per night max before I go to bed and I work out for one of them once or twice a week. The blog is for weekends and a stolen hour in the evening sometimes.

NakedPRGirl: How do you manage your blog/social media workload – are you a planner and a scheduler? And do you get techy in the back end?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I don’t schedule – we don’t need to as the website isn’t money generating so engagement isn’t the most important thing to us on that channel as yet. Facebook we update most days – either one of us or one of our members will post. We have some hilarious discussions and I love all our members – we have some super strong ladies as part of the group. I’m not a planner either – I’m more ‘this is how I feel’…

NakedPRGirl: How have you seen your industry changing over the last few years?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: So in finance, yes – we have become more tech based, certainly in the trading space where I work and also in the blogging space for sure – the world got a whole lot smaller…. Influencers are taking over.

NakedPRGirl: Where do you see it evolving in the future?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Technology ain’t going away…. I suppose people need to think of better ways to engage. I worry about this generation and their social skills if I’m honest.

NakedPRGirl: How important are London events in your work? What do you look forward to attending?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Not so much at the moment. If I was doing the whole fashion rounds then that would be different but I just don’t have the time to attend these things (nor the energy!!)

NakedPRGirl: Are there any London events or venues on your wishlist to attend or visit?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: I love an art gallery and an exhibition – anything at the Serpentine.

NakedPRGirl: What are your favourite places to shoot? And who is behind the camera? Do you have a certain ‘look’ you’re aiming for?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: My bedroom with my phone. I’m looking for ‘not minging’….

NakedPRGirl: Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion start ups or bloggers?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Research, research, research…. But make sure you are you.. Following the crowds and copying people is just boring. Make sure you have a USP.

NakedPRGirl: Who in the industry inspires you?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Iris Apfel – I want to be her in 40 years time…

NakedPRGirl: Do you have a motto or mantra that you live by?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: Don’t sweat the small stuff – I have it tattooed on the back of my neck in latin (Aguila Non Captat Muscas)

NakedPRGirl: Where would you like to be in ten years time?
Paula Fry aka CityFashGal: A famous author…

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Getting Naked With Paula Fry aka CityFashGal

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success

AUTHOR: Matthew Syed

PUBLISHED: Great Britain 2015 by John Murray Publishers

Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success AUTHOR: Matthew Syed

REVIEW: How can we learn from our mistakes? Why do some people do this and others don’t? Matthew looks at the power of a positive attitude towards failure and it’s profound impact on success in any field.

The book grabs you right from the offset and comparisons between the NHS and the Aviation Industry come thick and fast. Many engaging stories and anecdotes are used which show how the human psyche has the potential to deal with failure but this is often disregarded especially in high pressure, high stress situations. The book reveals a framework for how to use mistakes as learning tools and turn short-term failures into long-term success.

This book will teach you how to deal with failure and become an effective ‘Black Box Thinker’ – unpicking, unpacking, analysis and moving on.

Highly recommended.

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Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success by Matthew Syed

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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"

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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