Date Posted: Friday 13th March 2020
DIARY directory recently caught up with Co-Founders and Managing Director of BRANDstand Communications, Andrew Perera (MD), Anna-Marie Solowij and Millie Kendall (pictured from left to right). With a combined experience of over 50 years in all areas of retail, buying, PR and marketing, BRANDstand Communications supports individuals and companies within the health and beauty industry.
What are the biggest changes you've noticed with regard to PR and communications in the last couple of years?
Millie Kendall: I love supporting start-ups and this is really my passion but they often admit they want to spend their money on paid-for social media instead of PR. We understand being seen at all touchpoints, but I don’t feel you can have one without the other.
We were all in the game before emails, so we know what it was like to call or meet a journalist and pitch a story face to face, I think we miss those personal interactions. Our growing team is encouraged to go out and meet press face to face. We prefer them out and about than in an office behind faceless emails.
What sets you apart from other communications agencies out there?
We all have different strengths and experience: Anna-Marie is a superior communicator with thought-provoking views on the beauty industry. As a former Beauty Director, she can guide our team well and ensure they give press what they want. Andrew is engaging and strategic with big picture thinking, and Millie has a pretty enviable address book, as well as previously being a brand founder, which brings a further perspective especially in terms of marketing and communications to ensure conversion.
What’s your advice to brands with regard to measuring ROI?
Driving awareness and sales is critical to building a brand, the sales must or should be in excess of spend. However, this can take time as sales may not be immediately off the back of PR or promotional activity. They can drip feed through and come months later. Don’t have unrealistic expectations; the job we do is to build brand recognition to ensure and support a consistent and long term business plan.
What key factors do you look for when seeking influencers to work with? How do you see this changing over the next few years?
It’s less about the number of followers and more about genuine knowledge, opinion and believability. We have a digital team, who focus purely on researching and building relationships with the right influencer, who has an engaged audience that compliments the particular brand in our portfolio.
How does having a DIARY directory membership benefit you as an agency?
DIARY directory is an invaluable tool as it allows us to access contacts for all members of the team. Senior staff tend to know who’s doing what and where. However, DIARY directory is the go-to destination for less experienced staff who need that information. Plus, it keeps everyone up to date on what is going on in the industry!
What other services do you use that you can't live without on a daily basis?
Apart from the coffee shop on the corner! We use a host of digital tools from Reddit to Canva, Google, and Xero. The list is endless.
What key factors do you look for when seeking clients to work with?
It’s not just about what we’re looking for, it’s a 2-way thing! Both parties need to understand how the other works and how to use each other to maximize impact.
However, we must believe in the brands' ethos and point of difference to do our job effectively.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
That it is still and always will be about relationships.
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BRANDstand Communications in 'PR Companies'
Andrew Perera in 'PR Contacts'
Millie Kendall in 'PR Contacts'
Anna-Marie Solowij in 'PR Contacts'
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