Date Posted: Tuesday 22nd January 2019
DIARY directory recently caught up with Mary Kate Trevaskis and Camilla Trindle, Co-founders of PR and talent management company, The Tape Agency. With decades of experience within the industry, Mary Kate and Camilla share how their light-hearted personalities are reflected within the agency, the biggest changes to their work with the rise of social media and their top tips for setting out on your own!
The Tape Agency handle a mix of brands and talent, are there any main differences between the two?
There really isn’t a difference in managing talent or doing a brand’s PR or event execution from Tape’s perspective. We built the agency wanting to work with people and projects we felt passionate about and that would allow us to be an extension of them/their brand so we find that everything we do is very personal and we really get to know those we are working with, whether they are an individual person or a brand.
We have definitely noticed, from the brands, people and projects we work on, that it isn’t so much about the talent, but more about the storytelling. If a talent collaboration is the right direction to amplify the brand’s story, then that is great, but sometimes it is about showcasing the product, the founder or the origin story and that can be equally as effective.
From the talent management side of the business, we love working collaboratively on briefs with brands and agencies and fine the variety of brief and deliverables as well as the goal for the campaign really fascinating. Social media and podcasting are such new and still relatively untapped outlets for brand collaboration when you compare to how exhausted print and TV became in terms of partnership opportunities, it is a fantastically exciting and collaborative time.
Talk us through the pro-bono work you do...
We take on pro-bono work probably more than we should as a small business, but it is part of the beating heart of Tape and we just can’t help ourselves when we hear someone’s awesome idea. We want in! We have done event executions, protest logistics and supporting media outreach to raise awareness, talk and panel set up and delivery of an event, brand PR and specific goal setting, such as the 8th amendment repeal, which we worked to support Ana Cosgrave on earlier this year. We're also partners to The Pink Protest and basically any idea they have, we will jump on board in whatever way we can. We are so lucky to know and be in contact with the next generation of people who we genuinely believe will change the world. That, as individuals and a business, is the proudest part of what we get to be a part of.
What are the biggest changes to your work with the rise of online/social media and decline of print?
To be honest we still really see the value of print, especially for brand positioning for the small brands we work with. Print media is still so important for giving a brand kudos and credibility and placing them in the market place. What we love about social media and digital is the speed at which you can see a sales increase and where an individual or website has had a direct impact on sales. Then taking that information and going back to find ways of deepening the relationship and finding other ways of working together whether that is in-store, more digital partnerships or helping to inform the brand on NPD or future strategy. The opportunities are really endless.
Biggest work achievement?
I think from both of our perspectives the biggest achievement has been Tape as a whole, growing the company and building a team, we are so proud every time we walk into the office and see the gang we have accumulated and who have come on this journey with us. The biggest thing we are grateful for is those who have taken a risk and supported us whether that is putting us forward for new business or trusting us with their profile/brand as a client. Our relationships have to be included as one of our biggest work achievements collectively.
Biggest lesson learnt? Top tips for setting out on your own?
Oh wow! SO many! First of all, get external help from those who have the skill set you know you don’t and be honest about it. We got some great legal counsel up front so we are constantly protecting ourselves with contracts so that even when a brand/client doesn’t have one for us to sign, we can offer ours. We learnt a big lesson with our accountant and would definitely suggest doing some education yourself on things you don’t know, such as finance, rather than just trusting an “expert” to take care/feel as passionate or protective of your business the way you would. That was an oversight on our part and we paid the price in year one, but we learnt a lot and are now pretty savvy and learning more all the time, as well as having an expert on our side for support.
Where are you headed - is talent management a growing area for you?
More and more and more of the same. We definitely want to grow talent management but we also have a constant wish list of brands we want to work with and are growing all divisions of the company. We recently made our Events Director permanent and she is now driving event ideas and pitching them to brands of all kinds. We love the way our team's brains work and are basically closing ourselves off to nothing! The world is our oyster and we are ready to stick our collaborative Tape around anyone who will have us. The connections are key for us, so if an opportunity allows us to meet more people, make new connections and use them to stick together with our existing contacts and clients to make a successful partnership or collaboration, then it is a YES from us!
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