Body & Fragrance
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How to: Be a Beauty Public Relations Dynamo
Tue, 20 November 2012 10:43AM
Rubbing shoulders with celebrities and sharing your office with more perfumes than P.C’s are just some perks of the beauty PR world, Anita Providel – PR Manager at Coty Australia – tells me.
ECB: Do tell. What does your job involve?
Anita Providel: I manage the PR and publicity locally for the world’s leading fragrance, skincare and colour cosmetic brands that Coty own licenses for, including Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Rimmel London, Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Sally Hansen, Playboy and Philosophy Skin Care.
ECB: Where do you come into that divine mess?
AP: I work with Australian beauty and lifestyle journalists informing them of new launches, latest trends, pitching stories and assisting with any beauty related features they may be working on.
ECB: What’s the average day for a PR gal?
AP: After 15 years in the beauty industry I am trying to work that out, but it can start anywhere from 6.30 – 7.00AM when I answer emails that have come through from our Global PR teams overnight. I work closely with them to gain access to celebrities who have an association with any of our brands, from models, actors to designers and perfumers. There could be a breakfast meeting with a journalist to discuss what projects I am working on and hear what up coming stories they have planned. The rest of the day can involve advertising and consumer event planning, preparing new launches and brainstorming for Twitter and Instagram. Other days I could be inspecting venues for launches, meeting suppliers or snowed down in emails and general admin tasks.
ECB: How did you get where you are today?
AP: It’s hard to remember when I wasn’t interested in beauty and the beauty industry. I asked for a bottle of Chanel No.5 at the age of 12! When it came to working out what I wanted to do ‘when I grew up’ my mother reminded me how much I loved beauty and magazines and suggested I ‘do’ something with them.
ECB: What was the first step?
AP: I called two or three cosmetic companies and I remember speaking to the marketing manager at Shiseido who was so generous with her time. She advised that working on the cosmetic floor was a great place to start. I went on to work at David Jones, progressing to a Counter Manager where I heard that a cosmetic distributor was looking for an Admin Assistant in their Communications Department. I got the job and left the same company seven years later as a PR Manager.
ECB: What advice would you give girls keen on getting into the industry?
AP: I would HIGHLY recommend contacting PR agencies to do an internship or work experience to see if PR really is what they want to do. It is faster paced, less glamorous and more highly administrative then people usually think it is.
ECB: Is the passion still there?
AP: No new beauty product has ever landed on my desk that I have not stopped what ever I was doing to open it, smell it, try it. I get excited every single time. Then the fun begins with trying to tell the story behind the product and get journalists excited.
ECB: Best bits about the gig?
AP: ALL you get to try and play with. Having your desk full of magazines, Twitter open on your computer whilst painting your nails seen as the norm, dining and visiting some of the best restaurants in town and working with inspiring people and meeting celebrities.
ECB: Which country is the epicenter of your industry?
AP: Not having worked there but I would say New York for American labels or Paris if your passion is European brands.
ECB: Best celebrity moment?
AP: A few years ago I organised an in-store appearance with David Beckham. In the planning phase David’s management were so demanding, strict and very forthcoming in exactly what David would and would not do and then when David arrived he so casual, relaxed and willing to help out with any last minute set up. At the event, the crowd outside was heaving with anticipation and just as the commentator was just about to introduce David onto the stage, nature called. David rushed away apologizing that he ‘had to use the loo’. It’s moments like this when you remind yourself that celebrities are just like us. And yes, he was gorgeous, well-mannered but shorter then I thought he would be!
ECB: Like choosing a favourite child, can you name your most adored brand?
AP: I love Marc Jacobs. It makes me feel fun and frivolous when ever I wear his clothes or fragrances, Chloé for feminine luxury and Balenciaga when I want to project ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude.
Now over to you, Primpettes.
Could you see PR within your career options?
Posted by: ecb