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PR Interview with Jo Welch, MD, Deco Living Media

Every fortnight, our PR interviews profile an agency head to find out more about their work, their clients and working with the press. Deco Living Media officially launched at the start of 2011 and is headed up by Jo Welch, MD. Here, she talks about the agency’s plans for The Deco Affair, an event for the interiors industry, and the company’s growing client base.

About the agency

What was your inspiration for launching Deco Living Media and what areas of PR does it specialise in? Around a year ago I had a vision. I decided it was time to fundamentally re-shape our industry, redefining how brands interact with the media for commercial benefit. I saw it was about time we combine integrity and honesty with bespoke brand communication programs that actually deliver real, quantifiable, relevant results. Really Deco Living Media is just the beginning. The company also has a separate arm, in the form The Deco Affair, London. How does this event fit into your PR objectives? The Deco Affair will enter its second year this year after exploding onto the lifestyle media scene last year. It is already being coined 'The catwalk show of the interiors industry' amongst the top people in the interiors fashion industry. The Deco Affair is an exclusive invitation-only event for celebrities, media and senior industry buyers to network and enjoy a cutting-edge glitzy showcase of the latest trends and new launches, with champagne, magic, luxury goodie bags, and much more. It provides a platform to show what’s new and best from our clients and the cream of the industry as well as giving a venue for a few special designers to showcase to otherwise unreachable industry leaders. For example, last year Patrizia Gucci, heiress to the Gucci empire, used The Deco Affair as a European platform to launch her brand new range of interiors products. She opened the event herself, and whilst she was there she met a new designer from the UK who is now making clothes for her! This year we are partnering Quintessentially and running the event in their stunning brand new HQ in London. We are aiming for a Deco Affair New York in 2013. What is unique about your approach to PR? The thing that makes Deco Living Media unique is the combination of services that it uses to deliver outstanding branding for its clients. These include exceptional media relations, binding synergistic brands together and pioneering the hottest industry event – The Deco Affair. Deco Living Media is not about press relations, but real, honest, effective public relations in its truest and broadest form. PR for Deco living Media is not just about putting a product on view so the public can see it as other agencies do, it’s about a full brand communication strategy from the factory right into the homes of the client and afterwards honing the full process to maximum performance and success for our clients. How do you ensure your clients get the right coverage in the press? By understanding their business goals and combining them with excellent media knowledge and contacts. ‘Quality over quantity’… What do you look for in new recruits? Passion combined with honesty and integrity – I always say “you don’t know what you don’t know” – constant growth and respect comes from honesty, integrity and passion.

About clients

Tell us about the clients you are working with at the moment. What sectors are they in, and what campaigns do you have planned? We are experiencing good consistent growth bringing on around one new client a month. They are in homes and interiors lifestyle, celebrity and equestrianism. Is there a potential client you’d love to work for? The Alzheimer’s Society – My father has this terrible disease and there is not sufficient fundraising. Which campaign are you most proud of? The Broadleaf brand profiling campaign. We have only been working with Broadleaf since December of last year. As part of our strategic campaign we have already negotiated and secured two of our proposed major initiatives, one being a yet to be launched exclusive licence to produce The National Trust collection, and the other being a significant international book publishing deal.

About you

Do you use social media? If so, how useful do you find it? Yes, it’s daily becoming a bigger part of our business. The Deco Affair 2010 was entirely run using Facebook and Twitter and online media. Do you attend networking events? If so, which are you attending soon? No – I simply don’t have the time. I network at work and over dinner. Our PR Interviews give you a chance to talk about your agency, its campaigns and clients, and share your insight into the industry with fellow PR professionals. If you'd like to take part, please email [img|jpg|Jo Welch]