Date Posted: Thursday 11th April 2019
DIARY directory recently caught up with Emma Dawson, Holly Holman and Emily Shanks, Directors of communications and partnerships agency, BLANKET.
Launched in 2017 by former L'Oréal Communications Director, Emma Dawson, BLANKET specialises in integrated communications for beauty and lifestyle brands and facilitates digital talent partnerships for influential industry voices.
Emma was joined by Holly Holman, former UK Communications & Digital Engagement Director at YSL Beauty and Emily Shanks, former Head of Storm’s digital talent division in 2018. Over the past year they have built a committed and talented team based in their Covent Garden office.
You all have vast industry experience, what made you the three of you join together to form BLANKET?
We recognised that we had something unique to offer with our combined skill set and we’d like to think our knowledge of brands, how to help build them and ability to create strategic, sustainable talent partnerships has earned us the trust and respect from which to grow BLANKET.
Across the board, brand communication is now heavily driven by people of influence both on and offline. Having worked in beauty which was, and arguably continues to be, at the forefront of the shift towards an integrated communications approach, we feel particularly well-placed to work with brands and talent from all sectors and across all media.
Between the three of us, we are perfectly placed to look at both sides of a project to the benefit of the brand and the talent to ensure it works well for both and utilise our extensive network to achieve authentic and as genuine collaborations with talent beyond the conventional ‘influencer.'
What key factors do you look for when seeking brands and influencers/talent to work with?
From a communications perspective, we want to be a strategic partner to brands whether that’s in beauty, fashion, travel or ‘lifestyle’ brands with resonance with consumers. Our aim is to work in partnership to grow the profile and tell the story of each one of our clients. From established global brands through to start-ups, we love being able to get under the skin of a brand, listening to their needs and working with the brand team to understand their customer in order to build a tailor-made communications approach.
The word influencer is becoming over-used with too broad a meaning. We look for people of influence or with influence, with notable credentials both on and offline and with an ability to connect directly with an audience a brand wants to talk to. The content produced by people with experience and gravitas is often a by-product of a successful creative career in, for example, fashion, beauty or journalism. People with authoritative voices have an innate ability to confidently share brand messages. When matching a talent with a brand - how genuinely a brand can organically sit within the digital story being told by a talent is critical.
What do you believe is essential to a good relationship between brands and influencers?
Each needs to understand what the other is trying to get out of a partnership – what the aim, objective and end goal is. Manage expectations on both sides. We’d like to think we are perfectly positioned to advise brands about the best way to work with talent and vice versa so that they both get the most out of the relationship. Putting in place a framework with a view to establishing a positive long-term relationship between the brand and talent and thereby increasing the authenticity of the partnership.
What can brands learn from you, in regards to working with influencers/talent?
Not to look at things in isolation. The whole point of an integrated approach is to consider the impact of a campaign, event, launch etc. in its entirety and across all channels – both on and offline. Social media in all its forms is a peer-to-peer environment which is why it can be so effective in terms of brand awareness and sales. However, many brands still don’t value the power of social media in the same way they do ‘traditional’ advertising, which we believe they should.
How does having a DIARY directory membership benefit you as an agency? What do you most use it for day to day?
We use DIARY Directory day-in, day-out! In particular, it is our go-to font of information to check contact details and we love the daily emails which keep us up to date with all that is going on in the industry.
What have been the biggest lessons you’ve learnt from your previous roles and experience?
Listen to what people/brands are aiming to achieve. Work as a team to get there. Enjoy what you do and the people you work with. Be flexible; constantly adapt and react.
What are your plans and goals for the next year?
To build the most talented team with a can-do approach to deliver the best results for our clients on both the brand and digital partnerships side of the business. Our aim isn’t to be the biggest but the best at what we do.
A full list of BLANKET's clients can be viewed on DIARY directory.
If you would like to find out how being a DIARY directory member could help your brand, get in touch now!
The DIARY directory platform provides fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry news, interviews, dates, vacancies and contacts. Our huge database of contacts includes thousands of digital influencers, media titles (UK and overseas) and their editorial teams, freelance journalists and creatives, PRs and brands and representative agencies. Live and sortable social media stats for entries allow comparative analysis and insight within filtered sections, plus additional engagement metrics for industryINFLUENCERS.
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