ROSIE DAVIES - transparent fashion pr, yes really!
For years PR, particularly fashion PR, has been more about who you know, what freebies (products, dinners, holidays) you can give and what advertising spend you have with their magazine, in return for a feature.
Rosie Davies started The London Fashion Agency (LFA) in 2013 to make it easier for independent brands to access PR contact and gain coverage.
The way LFA work is completely transparent and answers the questions most independent designers & brands want to know, which is what am I getting and how much does it cost.
We caught up with Rosie so she could tell us how it really works, and how it wouldn't be possible without her forward thinking online based business structure.
JMH When you started out it wasn't necessarily to be a transparent ethical business, but as time has gone on that’s exactly what you’ve become known for. Your honest approach to business. Could you tell us what the different services you offer clients and what do you get for your money?
RD With PR Dispatch a rate of £39 per month you get contacts and advice relevant to your market. It’s one thing having the contacts but the knowing the best way to maximise your chances of press coverage is where our experience can advise you. For example, we know what editors are working on, what they would and wouldn't be interested in, and how best to approach them so your product stands out and ultimately get featured.
If you need some support we can give you ad hoc pr direction for say a specific project or business goal, this is a one-off spend: £99 - £349.
Then the next level is what is most common in PR circles is a retainer - a monthly budget - from £790+. is where we work relentlessly to get your products featured by magazines or influencers. We also do social media on a retainer basis, which we know can be extremely time consuming.
RD Without a doubt yes, it’s goes without saying if you’re a transparent/ethical company then you’ll want to work with others who are like minded. How I got into PR was by doing Lowie’s PR. I worked for Bronywn (Bronwyn Lowenthal founder of Lowie) and having never done PR before just started calling press contacts. As you can imagine this was a great learning curve, and with the support of Bronwyn and other brands I slowly built up my own list of clients and contacts.
JMH Your business is solely online, with no physical showroom, and holds no press days. How does this business structure give you an advantage?
RD Fairly simple really, we don’t have a large showroom, in central London, and don’t have to spend our energy managing samples. I think there of course is benefit to being able to use samples in shoots, but in that case we’d get the brand to send them directly. With lower overheads we can charge less for our services.
JMH How have changes in technology since your launch enabled you and your clients to progress to stand our from the crowd?
LFA have been invited for entrepreneurial breakfast at the House of Lords as part of top 30 entrepreneurs in the country, won Natwest’s Creative Entrepreneur of the year 2016 and were a finalist for Drapers Independent Agency of the Year.
RD Looking at our business we have stood out and been invited to things like the entrepreneurial breakfast at the House of Lords because we operate a different, refreshing, creative business model. Technology has ultimately enabled us to do this. Using analytics also means we can be very clear about the results of the PR, and see if this leads to sales, which ultimately any business needs. From a client’s perspective they can run the PR side of things with ease using our systems and track progress. Social media has naturally had a huge impact on our business, we can find people to work with, such as influencers, who would be a good fit for each brand. Without the tech side of things our business would be very different, in fact it would exist.
images courtesy of the london fashion agency