Nicola de Burlet is a chic, classy, stylish PR…and there’s no need to take my word for it, let’s listen to what Trish Halpin, editor of Marie Claire had to say. “Nicola has always been a figurehead of the fragrance PR industry. Her experience is second to none and she has an innate understanding of the opportunities and exclusives that make great content for media brands.” As endorsements go, that’s pretty top notch, but it is hardly surprising. Nicola’s an experienced PR with a golden book of luxury clients and a diamond press contact list. She’s a fragrance expert first and foremost and has worked in-house at Chanel as well as within agencies with brands including Jean Paul Gaultier, Elie Saab and Givenchy. However it was 2016 that was her defining year as she set up her agency The PR Studio (great name) which specialises in a boutique approach and acts like an in-house PR rather than an agency. I am lucky to have met Nicola through DONNA IDA and she’s loyal, trustworthy and really straight forward. Or as lovely Marianne Jones editor at STELLA magazine puts it; “Nicola is one of those rare creatures – a PR who cuts through the nonsense. She is creative, upfront and always ensures she can offer something relevant to your publication.” Here, here! Let’s get to the point and get to know Nicola de Burlet.
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!