PR Sector Focus: Beauty

PR Sector Focus Beauty

I asked four beauty PR specialists about what it’s like to work in the industry, how to be noticed in a competitive sector and for their tips on working with influencers.

What do you like most about working in the beauty sector?

“I love the energy and pace of the beauty industry. I am forever in awe of the new ranges, concepts and devices that are continually evolving and launching. It amazes me how far we have come within this industry. I remember how ‘simple’ skincare used to be and now we are blessed with the very best, most innovative cosmeceutical ranges where science meets skincare alongside the most advanced facials and treatments- nothing in beauty is now off limits. Beauty is now an all-encompassing world made available to anyone and everyone. Whatever your concern, requirement, desire…there is something out there.

Working in beauty PR is so exciting as you are at the forefront of the trends and getting to work with the most innovative concepts. As PR’s we can set trends and share our knowledge with the masses plus get to see the exclusive new launches and ranges before anyone else.”

Lucy Dartford, LDPR

“I love the fact that the sector challenges the perceived reality of beauty PR. Yes, there are glamorous events and fancy press releases, but there isn’t a day goes by in this sector that I’m not challenged or I am not learning something new. I love that the sector is changing with a huge focus to online activity, and the team at Nobull can be found liaising with journalists, influencers, online experts and planning events that need to stand out amongst competitors daily.”

Daniela Boyd-Waters, Nobull

“I love meeting the experts, especially those who work in skincare as I have a real passion for it myself and you can pick up some expert tips first hand as well as trying lots of interesting skincare treatments first hand! Innovation and why they have set up their brand is also important to me, the majority of my clients are small businesses and start-ups so it’s important for me to get to the root cause of why they started their business in the first place. It’s interesting for me to be on the journey with them from the start to see where they started and how the right PR and marketing has got them to where they are now.”

Laura Scott, Toast PR

 

How do you differentiate your campaigns in a highly-competitive sector?

“Mantelpiece PR recognises that its aesthetic and clinical clients will require a different press office function to its beauty, health and lifestyle product clients, therefore have package options for both with an opportunity to really tailor the campaign as well as being able to pick and choose activity from a PR ‘shopping list.'”

Abbie Carter, Mantelpiece PR

“I don’t believe in starting any campaign until I have done some serious homework. Homework on the brand, the products, its competitors, influencers in the industry, content. Until that crucial first step has happened, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. We are lucky to work on fabulous accounts, ranging from iconic beauty products to cosmeceutical products with the ‘scientific edge’.  But to differentiate, we start by listening to the consumer and working out what they really want to hear about. As a team, we also make sure we are CONSTANTLY up to date with the latest trends and industry knowledge.”

Daniela Boyd-Waters, Nobull

“Being interactive is key – I think if something is engaging you are more likely to get people to look up and listen. It’s also about educating people too. With my skincare client, her product range is quite complex so we have to find ways to make it simple but to also get across what her brand is about in the right way.”

Laura Scott, Toast PR

“We like to remain a little different. We live in a world where everything is governed by social media/ instant messaging but at LDPR we like to take a far more personal touch. We like to bring things back to basics. We get to know our clients and hold close relationships with our contacts (e.g. press, bloggers, celebrities etc) We like to let that personal touch shine through via one to one interactions, intimate events etc. For example, we recently took 4 influencers on a yacht where they toured the South Of France for 3 days learning all about a gorgeous tanning range we work with- we like to stand out from the crowd

We see that the ‘one size fits all PR approach’ is outdated and it’s about working with our brands to explore new territory and ground when presenting to the public sphere.”

Lucy Dartford, LDPR

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How important is it to communicate the ethical and sustainable qualities of beauty brands, and how do you do this?

“So important. Funnily enough, I recently sent around to my team a news story about L’Oréal launching ‘Seed Phytonutrients’, a sustainable beauty brand with paper packaging. Sustainable skin-care is no longer niche – more and more brands are taking an ‘earth friendly’ approach.

Consumers are becoming more conscious of what goes into their products, so transparency on ingredients and messaging is key.”

Daniela Boyd-Waters, Nobull

“I think these days we are all far more aware of what we actually put in our bodies/ what we use on our skin and so on. From Veganism to buzzwords like paraben-free, organic etc beauty is evolving and people want to know what’s in their products and the provenance of their beauty products. We work with many sustainable brands and through specific targeting of key media and outlets we are able to convey this message. I feel there is a lot of confusion over what exactly makes a brand ‘organic’ or ‘vegan’ or ‘paraben free’ so we spend time explaining this and how this translates to some of our clients products.”

Lucy Dartford, LDPR

 

What have you learnt about the industry since working in the sector?

“Building relationships is really important. It’s all well and good sending out mass emails and hoping something will stick but in the end you do have to meet people face to face and network – you can go a long way if you are just a nice person, it’s that simple! Oh and lots of skincare tips from the experts of course.”

Laura Scott, Toast PR

“I have discovered that beauty varies from country to country – from the beauty ideals and the products, treatments and services. As we have a global client base and reach, we get this insight first hand. For example, we work closely with brands from Singapore who seem far advanced with their beauty concepts. I have also learnt that there is a fascinating divide between those who seek advanced beauty treatments and concepts versus the more holistic/ natural beauty approach but in general terms I feel I have learnt that either way people want  to  simply ‘boost’ their natural beauty focusing more on gentle ‘tweakments’ and being the best possible version of themselves.  I think thanks to such big beauty developments the need for surgery is very much on the decline – you can achieve what you desire via far less invasive routes.”

Lucy Dartford, LDPR

“Fortunately, I am able to attend many of the key industry events and expos which is a great opportunity to network with like-minded people in the beauty sector and keeps us up-to-date and in the know about the latest launches, technologies and experts to watch out for in the industry.

One thing that I have learnt about the industry since working in the sector is the power of the consumer! They have a wealth of information now available to them when deciding what products to purchase or which treatment to have. The rise in knowledge and expertise in the industry is empowering and there is so much variety, opportunity and options available to both men and women of all ages.”

Abbie Carter, Mantelpiece PR

 “I’ve learned that you need to be aware of how quickly the market can change. Instagram for example has quickly grown to be the MOST successful channel for beauty influencer collaborations, overtaking YouTube – so our approach to filmed content now fits an Instagram story format.  We now use Instagram as a hero channel for our brands and are constantly joining webinars and speaking with industry experts to use it effectively.”

Daniela Boyd-Waters, Nobull

 

What are your top tips for working with influencers?

We work with many of the world’s top influencers and I think the key is to be aware of each of their requirements.

  • Respect their requirements- blogging/ vlogging etc is many an influencers sole income so respect it if they charge to review products- request rate cards where appropriate
  • Research Research Research!! it’s a real faux pas if you contact a food blogger with a new beauty product – know what they focus on and their target market- does this fit your brand?

Lucy Dartford, LDPR

As a team, we believe that it really important to maintain our relationships with journalists, influencers, bloggers and people of note in the industry. My top tips are:

  • Make time to meet your contacts in person regularly even if just for a quick catch up coffee!
  • Always meet editorial and call-in deadlines so they are able to rely on you for help with their features or reviews

Abbie Carter, Mantelpiece PR

  • Amy, my colleague is known here at Nobull as the ‘influencer whisperer’. Why? She’s personable, she’s engaging, she’s friendly and she takes the time to get to know them. It’s so important to build relationships, and not just with those with a large following. The ones to watch are the influencers who are just getting started!
  • No quote is set in stone, and make sure your Clients are aware of this. Influencers are often meeting with new agents and working under new agencies constantly so by the time a Client approves a quote, the Influencer cost may have changed. I think it’s understandable too – they need to value themselves!

Daniela Boyd-Waters, Nobull

  • Gift products for them to try and test – you can’t expect them to review or post on their social channels if they haven’t got the product in their hand to try out first
  • Work with the right influencers. Target those who will actually get your brand and what you are about. You need authenticity otherwise it just doesn’t work

Laura Scott, Toast PR

 

What are your must-read publications?

“For the latest, highest quality and most innovative aesthetic treatments, clinic offerings and doctors of note, the annual Tatler Cosmetic Surgery Guide is a must-read. My favourite thing to do on a Sunday morning is read Red Magazine with a cup of tea in hand!”

Abbie Carter, Mantelpiece PR

“I’m a sucker for a pretty glossy coffee-table magazines- Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Tatler alongside the trendsetters like LOVE and online Refinery29

Also, must admit I love a sneaky bit of celebrity gossip too so a copy of Grazia or Heat won’t be too far from my reach!”

Lucy Dartford, LDPR

  • Porter Magazine – I just love their publication model. You see it in the magazine, hop straight onto Net a Porter and there it is!
  • Stylist

Laura Scott, Toast PR

 

Do you also work in the beauty sector? What do you like best about the industry?

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