Thank you to all of the brands, editors and bloggers who came out!
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
First and Last PR Blog
Thank you to all of the brands, editors and bloggers who came out!
We look forward to seeing you again soon.
Join our CEO & Communicator in Chief, Stephanie Scott, at Blavity's Women Empowerment Conference Summit 21 as she hosts an exclusive Strategic Beauty Branding Masterclass. During this event, Stephanie will share her top tips for investing in your brand and what steps you need to take in order to see impressive results.
Let us know if you'll be in Atlanta, plan on attending Summit 21 or are interested in expanding your branding efforts for your business. Please see below for more information:
Atlanta Convention Center
"Investing in Strategic Beauty Branding Masterclass"
Saturday, June 9th
Written by: Isabella Silva
The Disneyland of all things beauty and skincare has touched down in the big apple over the weekend. Dazzled by all the different interactive booths, women would trick or treat their way, sneaking in between each booth to pose for pictures on floral swings, pink slides, ball pits and even a cute red vintage convertible! Few things were clear to be soon trending in the world of the beauty market.
Beauty and wellness
Twenty eighteen is the year to take control of your skin, it was evident more than ever beauty brands were invested in not masking imperfections but actually fixing skin problems while still providing full coverage. Beauty brands like Mamonde an Laneige are heavily invested in the skin health of makeup users. We also learned during BeautyCon that Bobbi Brown has also been investing her time in the website Justbobbi.com, where she currates all things that are meant to nourish the body and mind. She swears that beauty starts from the inside and makeup should be a complimentary addition to the already beautiful and healthy face.This year BeautyCon also launched Be Well an area designated for natural, wellness focused brands like Vitafusion and Hippeas.Mahdara said. “Health and well-being is going to be a much bigger part of beauty.” Soko glam CEO was also a speaker during one of the panels also made a remark that never within five years she would expect the explosion of Korean beauty and wellness products in the American market.
BeautyCon celebrated all kinds of people or “Unicorns” as they call it. During the various panels held, it was clear the message being sent was of women empowerment. In the panel She-Eo many questions were raised about women in the workforce and what it takes to make it in your business field. Over and over again panelist preached the need to have confidence in order to make in the world of male dominated businesses.Eva Gutowski or best known as MyLifeasEva tells that in order to make it in a male dominated world she worked with other women to break the glass ceiling that is the male dominated business world. She also warns future Youtubers to “Watch what you say and never slam people or brands, try to always find constructive words.” With BeautyCon you were able to sense the future of beauty market gearing towards a more inclusive holistic approach to things. Beauty has now more than ever moved from just a pretty face to complimenting with ones attitudes and beliefs. In a world that is often characterized as plastic I found it to be refreshingly accepting to differences.
More Than an Expo
BeautyCon aimed to give the public a festival experience, with multiple Dj’s playing the hottest songs and interactive areas where the public felt they were part of something exciting and fresh. An average BeautyCon goer has around 3,500 followers making them highly impactful customers to all the different brands in the festival. It has become important for beauty brands to invest on the experience of shoppers not just on the products being sold. Booths with the most interactive displays or instagrammable moments often experienced long wait lines. Having a booth in BeautyCon gives you instant brand recognition and allows you to see consumer immediate reaction to products. Many booths showcased new products allowing BeautyCon attendees to be the first to try, it was also a great place for brands to receive feedback about the products.
Post Credit: The Cut
Written By: Catalina Ramirez
At First and Last PR, we believe that learning and educating yourself should never stop. One of the ways that we continue growing is by attending seminars and events that are a learning experience within our field. This summer, So when SEMGeeks hosted the 2017 Digital Marketing Conference in Belmar, NJ at the Beach Haus Brewery this summer, we jumped at the opportunity to learn more. Come on, who wouldn’t want to learn the latest in digital marketing with the waves crashing around you? The conference was filled with amazing speakers and networking opportunities. All of the speakers shared excellent tips on how to increase your visibility and exposure in your market. We’d like to share with you some of the tips from the speakers that resonated with us.
Website Must be Attention Grabbing
Speaker: Carmin Haynes - Agency Account Strategist at Google Marketing Solutions
Carmin shared that it’s not enough just to be present in the internet. Websites must be appealing with great speed and frictions kill interest. Your website should be considered an investment and not a burden as it is the first thing your potential client sees.
Don’t Duplicate Content on All Social Media Platforms
Speaker: Patrick Stokes - Senior VP of Product Management at Salesforce
Patrick suggests not having the same information on all platforms. It’s a lot more intriguing when a company has different information on all their platforms, yet with the same deliverance method and style. This encourages their audience to connect with them on all platforms.
The Media is your Partner
Speaker: Alex Cameron - Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at iHeartMedia
Alex believes that it’s important to see the media as a partner rather than a vendor. The media knows what information sells and resonates with their audience. They will tell your story in the way that will best work for their outlet.
Stay True to Your Brand
Speaker: Alex Faherty - Co-Founder of Faherty Brand, Premium Clothing
Alex Faherty shared from experience that you shouldn’t share all news around your brand because not all press can be good press. If a celebrity fan uses your product but you think they aren’t beneficial or a good example for your brand, don’t share this content with your viewers.
The tips above are just some of the points that stood out to us and that we agree with. It’s important to consider reevaluating your digital marketing strategy often as new technology arises to make sure you are maximizing your marketing efforts.
Read the following article for tips from Stephanie Scott featured in PR Couture!
We had so much fun planning this event. Glad to see we made BizBash's Top Ten Ideas of the week...
We’re proud to share that we have recently won 2 awards. We were awarded a Pyramid Award - the Oscars of PR!! - by the Public Relation Society of America in the Multicultural/Diversity Communications category and a honorable mention in the PR on a Shoestring Budget category for pulling off an amazing multi session event for under $1,000. We attended the PRSA Award Ceremony, which took place at the Basking Ridge Country Club in Basking Ridge, NJ on June 14th.
It’s such an honor for our work to be recognized by the public relations professional community. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community with a mission to “make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career.” Their membership collectively represents more than 30,000 members comprised of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
We were also awarded the Community Involvement award by PR Couture in their 2017 Bespoke Communications Awards earlier this month.
Here are some images from our night!
Good press takes time. Brands aren’t built overnight. Really happy to have secured this press hit for our client Urban Skin Rx and thankful to the journalist to do the research. It’s important that our clients be willing to tell their stories and if you have a story to tell, we’re the ones to call.
Click the image to see the full article!
Written by: Stephanie Bustamante
We stumbled across this inspirational video via Refiner29 and quickly became obsessed. #thepowerofbeauty
"The clip in question already made the rounds online back in 2015, but has been popping up as of late for its timeless message. It's all centered around one salon in Palma, Majorca, which offered a free makeover to a homeless man. Jose Antonio was widely known by locals as Josete, an unlicensed parking attendant who had lost his job and was suffering from depression for years. At the time, his life seemed to be on the decline — until one day three years ago. The salon owner of La Salvajería knew Antonio and offered to him a free haircut and shave. According to Mirror, while inside the salon, Antonio said, “Leave the doors over the mirror open for the moment so I can see myself for the last time like this. Then close them to see if when they open again... it’s as if something else really opened up in my life, like a symbol.'" - Refinery29 Online
Written by: Stephanie Bustamante
This past Thursday, October 13, 2016 CEW hosted yet another amazing event: “Turning Social Media into Sales”. The Beauty Insider Series addressed the warp-speed changes in digital and social media and the challenges facing every beauty brand, big and small. The event featured three savvy panelists - Trendalytics’ Co-founder and CEO, Karen Moon, Tribe Dynamics’ Co-founder and President Conor Begley and MAC Cosmetics’ SVP, Global, Laura Elkins. During their discussions and presentations one major point that resonated with us was how the relationship between brands and influencers impacts social media and sales. Like most things in life, this is a cycle, and this one in particular includes having great products, relationship building, the choice of balance and authenticity. We elaborate on this in the below points:
1. Great products win. The cycle begins with brands creating amazing products for their consumers. Bloggers, vloggers and makeup artists love to try new, innovative products. This leads to them creating an authentic voice for their fans by creating content on their social media platforms.
2. Relationship building. As a brand, it’s important to keep track of these influencers who already shared a voice for your products. Create a relationship with these influencers or hire a great PR firm as we help to establish and build relationships with them for future partnerships and content development for upcoming launches.
3. Authenticity Rules! A great example for this is the relationship between popular influencer Jaclyn Hill and Becca Cosmetics - which has recently been acquired by Estee Lauder. Jaclyn started as a true fan for Becca Cosmetics and now has a collaboration with them. This authenticity increases credibility in the influencer as well as for the brand because her fans know she truly believes in the brand.
4. The choice of balance. If you're launching a campaign where you will be sponsoring posts, don't forget to factor in organic posts as well. This will keep your brand on a more relatable scale. It is also important to work with influencers who not only have a great following, but have a positive engagement level with their fans - this brings us back to authenticity!
5. Measure your success. How? Simple. It’s all about the conversation and engagements. The louder the conversation the more visibility your brand will receive. This will allow an increase of consumers education, brand recognition and eventually sales.
Have more questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Written by: First and Last PR
I met the owner of a skincare brand at a recent beauty event and when she asked me what I did, I replied that I am the owner of First and Last PR, a beauty-focused traditional public relations and digital marketing firm. Then, she made the face. The face that I don’t see often but know all too well (I’ve had to make the face in the past when I was the one who was hiring agencies so understand it). It’s the face of someone who felt let down by the agency or consultant that they’ve hired to entrust with the voice of their brand. Then she confirmed it, “Unfortunately I had such a poor experience with my PR person when I launched (my line) that I am leery of repeating the same experience.” I told her that I totally understood, which I did, and to feel free to consider us down the road or just to stay in touch as a beauty friend. This interaction inspired the First and Last PR team to ask a few PR friends and one amazing blogger to write out our top 10 tips for having a successful PR and Social Media program. Here they are:
Top Ten Tips for Having a Successful PR and Social Media Program
Have a plan. Create a monthly/yearly plan and look for updates to measure the success. It’s important to have a vision for your brand and a specific guide that leads you to your PR and Social Media objectives. -Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in-Chief
Start with a Budget. “I always advise clients to determine a budget before they begin the event planning process,” says Shakira Johnson, Founder of Johnson PR & Events. “Once the budget is set all the other creative elements can fall into place. For example, knowing your budget will help narrow down what venue, food and beverage package, talent, printing, premiums, etc. you can afford. This equates to saving valuable time and money not pursuing venues, vendors or ideas that are not in budget.”
Communicate and be realistic about your goals. Trust that your PR team will help you reach your goals and communicate with them. Measure your current needs and be realistic with what you’re envisioning for your company. - Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in-Chief
Have new materials available for pitching and planning purposes. If your brand has news share (for example: new product in the works, expanding to a new store, holiday gift guides etc.) make sure to share the news with your PR team in advance to secure timely stories with long lead and short lead publications. -Stephanie Bustamante, Account Manager
Have all PR assets ready including past press releases, publishable images, company fact sheets and available bios. If you don’t have this already, ask your PR team for help writing or securing editorial worthy photographs. Having approved professional language and images will help your PR team create successful and shareable press kits for pitching purposes. -Stephanie Bustamante, Account Manager
Know your budget. When starting to work with a PR company, it’s essential to know what your expenses and budget will entail going forward. In addition to a monthly retainer, a PR budget may include: postage for editor product requests, package supplies for product mailings to influencers, blogger fees and expenses for editor and client meetings. Communicate with your team and take this into consideration when preparing your PR program budget. -Stephanie Scott, Ceo and Communicator-in-Chief
Be very clear and specific with your requests. According to Mel Burgos, Founder of popular hair blog “Rock Yo Rizos,” bloggers are sent tons of emails and it makes it easier to not only respond but, brands will get a faster turn around regarding their response if they are very clear and specific with their requests.
Time equals money. Not all blog posts require a fee but when commissioning a blogger or vlogger for a specific sponsored post, event or series, communicate your goals and budget upfront for best results. “It’s important to include the compensation package with your request when working with a blogger,” continues Burgos of Rock Yo Rizos. This will help save time and secure a plan efficiently.
Check In, Don’t Check Out. Make time for monthly or bi-weekly PR calls to update your PR Team on company and product news while receiving feedback from them. Scheduling time to have a phone call for client updates are helpful and a great way to allow the PR Team to manage best their time for media outreach, follow-up and securing stories. -Catalina Ramirez, Account Coordinator
Provide feedback early. Lastly, working with a PR company is equivalent to adding new team members to your brand. Work as a team to provide any feedback from the beggining and consistently do so to achieve better results for your PR and Social Media program. -Catalina Ramirez, Account Coordinator
Written By: Stephanie Scott
I went to bed with the shocking news that my friend Antwon Jackson passed away a couple weeks ago. For the world, he was an Emmy-Award winning hairstylist known for his amazing work as Wendy Williams’, of The Wendy Williams Show, wigologist. To me, he was kindness, positivity, wisdom, laughter at a BBQ and the holder of the brightest glow. As I searched for comfort, a mutual friend post this video of him speaking about how he found the courage to follow his dream and break into the beauty industry. I wanted to share it with you to let his light shine and live on with all of us and to share some of his strength, courage and wisdom. We work in a BEAUTY-full industry and I’m constantly asked how to be a part of it. Here is Antwon’s advice for breaking in and staying in.
My heart goes out to Antwon’s family. May he rest in peace and continue to be an inspiration for us all.
A few of the designs created by the Emmy-Award Winning Artist. (Image courtesy of Instagram/Memsor Kamarake)
Written By: Catalina Ramirez
This past Wednesday, First and Last PR’s CEO and Communicator-in-Chief Stephanie Scott was part of ColorComm’s “Breaking Into The Beauty Industry” Spring Spree. Stephanie was invited as a special guest speaker on a panel, where she would share her knowledge on beauty public relations to a diverse group of women and her road to becoming the expert she is now. The panel included Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of CRWN Magazine Lindsey Day, Estee Lauder's Marketing Strategist Antonia Dean and writer/editor Jacqueline Laurean Yates.
ColorComm is a networking organization for women of color interested in all areas of communication. They started off their amazing journey by gathering for luncheons in Washington, D.C. and have grown to invite-only events with prestigious guest speakers.
The “Breaking Into The Beauty Industry” event took place at the Inglot Cosmetics studio (a beauty girl’s heaven) located in Chelsea Market from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Stephanie invited me to come along with her and what an honor it was to attend such an educational event. As you pushed through the oversized glass doors, you walked into a studio filled with makeup and in the middle of the room there were rows of chairs for all the women to sit. There was a bar set up next to the chairs where drinks were served by Made Real, a vodka brand started by women. The guest also had the opportunity to get Swivel’s (a new hair care review app for women of color) signature hairstyle done.
The night started off with an introduction made by Zoe Zeigler, ColorComm’s Executive Director for their NYC chapter and Senior Manger at Teen Vogue. Zoe introduced all the amazing panelists and then got right into asking the women questions all their ventures in their area of beauty industry and what advice they would like to share with the guests. The three key points that resonated the most from listening to all the amazing yet unique experiences were:
Put Yourself Out There!
Your dream job is not going to come looking for you so always make sure you put yourself out there and gain some exposure. If you are looking to be part of the beauty world, then you need to understand it. Be that person that says yes and take those meetings that no one wants to go to. These are occasions where you will be able to network and gain the most experience.
Be A Resource For Others.
If you are reaching out to someone for some help, make sure that there is something that they will gain as well. People will be more eager to help you out if they are receiving something in return. One of the ways that you can become a resource is by doing some friendly stalking and learn about some their interests, then update them on when the next sale for their favorite beauty products is going to be. This will help you add some value back to the relationship. Most importantly, constantly thank them for the help that they are providing you with.
Nothing will get you further than hustling your way there. Work really hard for what you want and make sure that someone is noticing.
Overall, the event was a great experience. It was a pleasure listening to and being surrounded by such dynamic women who are also excelling in our industry. For more information on the beauty industry and public relations, check out our website and follow us on Instagram!
Here are some pictures of the event courtesy of the ColorComm team!
Written By: Stephanie Scott
Where did April go? With new product launches, movie collaboration, speaking engagements and more, it seems like this month has truly flown by. This post is a quick note on the run from the ABC news van about remembering to seize every moment in life. Don’t wait for perfection – especially if you are running a beauty company or thinking about working in this amazing industry. Three points to live by:
1. Look for new opportunities. Opportunities are everywhere. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be inspired and continue to learn new things.
2. Ask for it. If you want it, you have to ask for it. Gifts don’t come from the sky on silver platters but can be served up nicely when you position yourself to receive them. People may know who you are but may not recognize all of your talents. New clients are often amazed that in addition to traditional PR, we also handle social media, events, write campaigns, conceptualize and execute editor mailings and more. Always be willing to share your gifts and if you feel that you have something to offer, don’t be shy. Speak up and say what you want, why and what you would do if given the opportunity.
3. Have a plan. Know what you’re going to do but also have the insight and flexibility to change if and when you have to. I’m a huge planner, the Queen of Lists, but always have a plan B, C and Z if needed! After working in this industry for so long, I rely on my smarts and resources to help move things faster when needed. Keep the end goal in mind but always be open to another, more BEAUTY-full route.
Written By: Stephanie Scott
For parents, it’s the extra hour of sleep but for entrepreneurs, it’s the extra hour of early. Arriving early is priceless and can feel like gold for anyone who is constantly on the grind.
The ability to accomplish in the quiet what equates to ten times what you are able to do in the noise of emails and telephones and texts and Periscope notifications (don't get me started on SnapChat) feels like a dream that you never want to wake from. In fact, it’s the quiet nap that you don’t even want people to know that you are taking for fear that the daily distractions may takeover again. There is beauty in being able to walk down the street, have your pick of parking (like a Queen!), be treated to a Venti Oprah Chai with Coconut Milk – no water – and pause to see the snow melt. That’s how my delicious day started…
I arrived an hour early to my office one morning prepared for an 8:30am conference call with the New York Women in Communcations Foundation Board, where I serve as the VP of Membership Empowerment Grants, only to find that the time changed from our standard 8:30am to 9:30am. I learned of this just after I parked my car and double-checked my calendar so that I could prepare to dial-in to our call. Rather than be upset about the time confusion, I paused, noticed how BEAUTY-full the still of the morning was, how many other people were in the midst of their busy early morning and wondered what else was happening in the world that I usually miss in my morning rush? Instead of being the overzealous entrepreneur and heading straight in, I grabbed a chai (courtesy of a well received gift card), noticed all of the people chatting in the coffee shop and then sauntered up the block to my office. My morning felt like an ease – no one knew that I was there and I wasn’t expected for an hour so I got so much done. So much!
I have come to learn that in life, you don’t always know what’s in front of you or why. It took me a while to learn to relax and have faith that everything in life will be fine and work out the way that it was planned to be. Find time or time will find you. Enjoy your day J
BEAUTY-full Disclosure: I started writing this blog post about a month ago but once the clock hit and my call started, it was back to the grind and I’m just now finishing. The hustle is real! Gotta love it!!
Written by: Stephanie Scott
In-store visits are a great way to connect to your consumer, create some buzz, hear feedback from your consumers and get to know your retailer at the store level. Here are our five simple steps to planning a successful personal appearance:
1. Contact the Store Manager before and upon arrival. Your product may be on the shelf, but you are a guest while at the store. As soon as you have dates for your in-store event selected, contact the buyer to request the day and time. Once approved, you can proceed. On the day of the event, be sure to arrive an hour early, go directly to the counter, introduce yourself and the company that you represent and ask to speak with the manager to let him or her know that you are there. Ask where you can store your coat and bag so that they are off of the selling floor. Use this time to learn from your retail partner. I like to bring any new press hits so that they can see how hard you are working to make the partnership successful and so that you can hear any feedback on their end. Store managers can share which SKU’s are selling the best and how their customers feel about the line. They may share how the customers hear about your brand. This information is valuable and helps to foster the relationship between you and the salespeople who are working so hard to promote your brand.
2. Promote in local papers and online. National placements are great but when it comes to store events, nothing beats local buzz. Ask your PR pro (or if you’re looking for one, contact First and Last PR) to contact the local newspapers, radio stations, bloggers and television outlets to announce this event in the events section. Offer interviews before the store visit and set up dial-in interviews the days before and leading up to the event.
3. Offer industry advice – Guests will show up that day to meet the founder or a brand representative for a variety of reasons. Some will want to learn more about the brand, some will want to learn from product demonstrations and others will want a selfie opportunity. This is a great opportunity to really show what the brand is about so show up and show out (as Bruno Mars says). If you’re a skincare specialist, offer mini facials. If you’re debuting a cosmetics line, offer makeovers. Give the visitors something to look forward to that they would not otherwise receive on other days while visiting the store.
4. Have something special for those who show up. – As a way to thank consumers for taking the time out of their day to attend the event and to encourage sales, offer a gift with purchase (GWP) and promotional materials that they can take home to enjoy the brand more. Make sure that you have adequate stock and request that your buyer order additional products to plan for the crowd. If allowed, consider having a DJ or lite bites that are aligned with the brand to set the fun mood.
5. Take plenty of photos – We’re living in the social age so a picture really does go a long way. Create a special hashtag for the event and ask your social media manager to follow the conversation online. Ask consumers to tag you or tag them in the photos. It’s a great way to engage and extend your presence while memorializing the awesome occasion.
Written By: Catalina Ramirez
First and Last PR’s CEO & Communicator-in-Chief Stephanie Scott was invited to speak to the Indie Beauty Network and what it an honor it was! Stephanie was given the amazing opportunity to share her immense amount of knowledge about Beauty Public Relations to the Indie Beauty Network members. We love talking about Beauty PR! Here are some of her top 3 tips on how to get started with PR:
Consider your message - what do you want people to know about your brand?
Be prepared with press releases, images and products.
Respond quickly to all editor requests for interviews or products.
To learn more about the Indie Beauty Network and Stephanie Scott's Success Call, please click on the link below.