Spotlight on Sally-Anne Stevens – Our CEO’s interview with Fashion Monitor
Today B Public Relations announced the launch of B.TALENT, a dedicated social and creative talent management division. Representing social influencers, bloggers and creative talent, the division marks three entities for the consultancy alongside its existing VIP services: B.VIP and B.PR, where the agency began. We caught up with CEO & Founder Sally-Anne Stevens to discuss the growth of the agency through the progression of the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries.
Can you explain the development of B Public Relations and how it got to where it is now?
I launched BPR in 2004 as a beauty and fashion PR agency, starting out as a team of two working from a bedroom. We now have a team of 40, an office and showroom space on Berners Street in central London and have evolved to become an integrated 360° brand communications consultancy. We have dedicated fashion, beauty and lifestyle divisions working across three key verticals: B.PR – strategic global PR services; B.DIGITAL – digital and social services, recently bolstered to offer full brand content generation, in-house photography, social platform management, SEO and content marketing; and B.VIP – celebrity and opinion leader product placement, partnerships and campaign casting and procurement.
As influencer marketing continues to grow and become an integral part of a communications strategy, how do you see the agency continuing to change to meet your clients’ needs in this aspect?
We’ve worked closely with fashion and beauty bloggers and influencers from the agency’s infancy, and as a result have built an incredible global network of contacts which we’re continually growing with dedicated expertise. We leverage our genuine relationships to make sure our clients are getting the best deals and access to top names. Our team is always on the lookout for new influencers and we try to spot talent early, working with influencers to connect them to brands and build their networks. Identifying this as a growing area within the agency it was a natural step for us to launch B.TALENT, our new dedicated social and creative talent management division. We work with leading global social influencers, bloggers and creative talent, offering a unique approach comprising of profile management, PR and brand collaborations, alongside tailored technical analysis and support.
Many PRs and brands want to be involved with influencer marketing but are unsure of how to start – what would you count as the biggest challenges PRs face and how do they overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges is making sure you’re leveraging the correct influencers for any particular project or strategy – it’s not always about the biggest numbers! Connecting relevant brands with relevant influencers is key to creating the best outcome for all parties and making sure goals are met. Being informed on a wider range of influencers is important too, having a network of bloggers and influencers that isn’t limited to just one field is your most powerful tool when it comes to influencer marketing.
Fashion, beauty and lifestyle are industries that continue to yearn for traditional print coverage – how do you work with your clients to best advise on a mix of media?
We’re lucky that we work with lots of brands and leading e-tailers who understand the importance of digital and social communications. There has definitely been a shift in the importance of digital vs print, especially with those e-tailers who want to see a direct conversion that’s not so easily trackable with print coverage. Having said that, traditional print is still highly valued across our clients and continues to be a priority.
What is the most important thing you have learned from running your own agency?
Empower, engage and nurture your team and listen to everything they have to say no matter whether they are a junior just starting out fresh from university or a Director who has been in the business 20 years. Some of the greatest ideas I’ve heard have been triggered by comments from juniors which have then gained our attention and been evolved. Never stop evolving your service offering and being one step ahead!