Beauty PR | Anna Stark & Tahira Matthews - Founders, Stark Matthews

Find out why you don't need to be obsessed with makeup to love working within Beauty PR

Beauty PR. It sounds SO glamorous.... And, at times, I'm sure it is. But, if you think to succeed in this sector you need to arrive at work with a fabulous blow-dry (blowout to our US friends) every morning then you are mistaken. To share why that's really not the case, I'm joined by Anna Stark and Tahira Matthews, co-founders of specialist beauty PR agency Stark Matthews.


“If you're applying for your first PR role and feel beauty could be the sector for you, take the time to inform yourself about that company, about the brands they represent and the work they have done. Know some of the beauty publications, writers and influencers, have opinions about products and demonstrate your connection to the industry”

WHAT'S TO LOVE ABOUT BEAUTY PR?

  • It's a very creative, dynamic sector. There's a lot of competition between beauty brands so to get cut-through, you need to be highly creative

  • You work with a variety of clients. Beauty PR can cover the likes of skincare, haircare, hair tools, nail polish, wellness supplements plus cosmetic and beauty treatments and services - essentially anything to do with grooming or enhancements

  • There are product perks. There's no beating around the bush, you do often have a tonne of products at your disposal so for most of us, that's a MAJOR perk

  • Your campaigns are never the same. You may be focused on social media and influencer engagement for one client, media relations and events for another, or a bit of everything for someone else


Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more about working in Beauty PR. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".

HOW DO I GET INTO BEAUTY PR?

  • If you're currently studying PR, seek out internships at specialist beauty PR agencies or in-house at beauty brands you have a connection to. Try and complete internships in both agency and in-house. They're both very different and you might find you prefer one over the other. Don't be afraid to contact them direct. Explain why beauty PR interests you so much and what appeals to you about that agency/company. When it comes to getting a paid job, you'll be far more desirable as a candidate with a few internships under your belt

  • Are you in PR already but want to move over to beauty PR? Whatever skills you already have are completely transferable to a different sector. It's just about showing why you're now passionate about working within beauty and for that company. Follow the same approach and identify agencies or companies you'd like to work with. Demonstrate why beauty PR is the sector for you. And don't shy away from approaching companies that don't have jobs currently available. Especially within PR agencies, clients come and go so one week an agency may have no positions available and the following week they have three new clients and need to hire two new people. Be on their radar so you're top of the pile


WHAT DOES A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A JUNIOR PR EXECUTIVE LOOK LIKE?

The size of the company or agency you work in will depend on the variety of tasks you'll get to do. You'll often find in smaller PR agencies you have the opportunity to do more diverse tasks than you would in a larger agency. Here's some you're likely to do:

  • Write press releases

  • Research influencers for a campaign

  • Compile a media list for an upcoming pitch

  • Liaise with media - either pitching them stories or responding to call-outs (that's when a journalist reaches out to say they're working on a story on new moisturisers and asks for suggestions)

  • Product send-outs: packaging up bags of products perfectly for the likes of media and influencers

  • Social media tasks: community management, creating content strategies, writing captions

  • Reports: daily/weekly press coverage reports, social media reports, influencer campaign reports, monthly/end of campaign reports

  • Assist with events


HOW CAN I STAND OUT IN MY PR ROLE?

  • Be aware. Know what the latest trends are, keep track of movements in the industry, take note of new media coverage opportunities

  • Be respectful of deadlines. Your manager will really appreciate you delivering work to the agreed deadline. And if you're unlikely to meet it, communicate that as soon as you can so a plan can be made

  • Show interest in broadening your skillset. Don't be afraid to show interest in doing a task that doesn't fall into your job description. It shows eagerness and initiative. However, make sure you're not neglecting your normal responsibilities

  • Become excellent at managing your time. When you are in the first few years of working in PR, you'll find that everyone wants you to help them out with a task or project so you'll constantly be juggling things that a variety of people have given you. Develop your own method for tracking tasks and deadlines so you can manage your time efficiently. If you need some more tips, read/listen to the Managing Your Time episode up on the podcast

  • Say yes to everything. If a new opportunity comes your way to help a team member out or work on something different, say yes. It shows you're a team player plus exposes you to learning new things

  • Be agile. Things move at a fast pace in PR and you'll need to drop one thing and pick up another, do a last-minute task for a manager, move around your priorities, help out your team with an issue... you name it. If you can't quickly adapt and jump between tasks quite easily, you better learn how. Being agile is something you'll need at all stages of your PR career

If you'd like to learn more about working in other sectors of PR, such as hospitality or lifestyle, you'll find those episodes here.

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