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#34 Emma Fallman – What PR Consulting is Really Like: Brand Building, and Stories of Ad Agencies

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In this podcast, Deividas talks with Emma – Sugatan’s new PR consultant on her background, how she gets things done, behind the scenes of working in PR, and more.

Emma will be advising Sugatan with PR, and will also be helping with one of their clients.

Deividas starts off with the big question on everyone’s mind – how DO you get magazines to write about you, instead of you asking them to write about you.

To that, Emma explains that the way she started was by building organic relationships with influencers and editors in the local market in Sweden. 

She would reach out to editors and stylists in a very relaxed and friendly way, which made them want to return the favor.

Once she understood how to angle the business, she realized one other thing…

We’re all peacocks. Everyone wants to dress up and look good.

So, she shifted the angle on telling a story. She realized people wanted to be part of a brand that looked cool, was inspiring, and had a nice tone of voice that resonated with them.

Once people want to take part in and engage with your brand, they’ll naturally start writing about you too, Emma explains. 

Then, Emma talks briefly about her background. Until the age of 25, she was in the music industry.

After evaluating her strengths and skills, she decided she wanted to do something else. So, she reached out to an advertising agency, and offered to work for free as an account manager to get her foot in the door.

This proved to be a smart, and successful move…

Until she decided she wanted to do move on to do better and more impactful work instead.

For a while, she freelanced within project management for festivals and briefly, fashion.

Eventually, she realized she wanted to work in an industry where she got to meet a lot of interesting people and did more important things.

For the next 5 years, Emma continued working within the same industry, first at a photographer’s agency, which eventually became a production company – only for it to later go bankrupt.

One day, the founder of AVAVAV reached out to her regarding a PR position during their early months (only ~9 months in), when her name came up among his contacts. 

Despite having no prior PR skills or experience and being unsure about the whole thing, she accepted the position – agreeing to work only 4 days a week at first. And now, 2 years later, she’s still working there, focusing on global PR.

After a long career full of changes – Emma explains that she believes everything happens for a reason now.

Deividas agrees, saying that he had 15 different jobs before getting into digital marketing. He met a lot of different people and learned completely different things. 

On that note, they both agree that building relationships fast and knowing how to connect with people is essential in the industry

Then, they circle back to PR. Deividas asks another question on everyone’s minds – how do you get on Refinery29 and other big magazines?

The answer? Brand-building.

One specific way Emma would talk to the press is by releasing monthly capsule collections and then email them an update with pictures of the collections.

She explains that when talking about your brand, you need to have a great story (a “Why”) and you simply need to look good.

You need to be able to sell your style, before anything else. Once you do that, people interested in your brand will start following you.

PR is an equal mix of 50% contact-game and 50% story, explains Emma.

Even though she started off with no contacts within the field, now, she now knows the local Swedish market well enough.

Though, for those just starting out, she suggests focusing on brand-building first and focusing on how you present it.

If you don’t have a story – just make one.

Once you have a story, you can focus on building contacts and outreach.

Emma explains that the story is one of the most important things, and you should approach it with a sense of being natural and freedom.

Then, they discuss one of Emma’s previous projects, inspired by a Netflix documentary about Michael Jordan…

Emma explains that when they wanted to release a new collection of clothes (bestsellers), the angle they went with was basketball. And the name she came up with was: The AV Allstars. 

With that angle in place, she worked on the copy in a similar way. Introducing the Allstar collection clothes as players of the team.

She explains the importance of communicating your brand via non-traditional ways.

If you want to stand out, you can pick a different angle, and use copywriting to present it in a way that no one else is doing on the market.

They both agree that if you see a ton of engagement in the comments (confusion, some kind of a reaction), then that probably means you got something right.

When asked about her workflow, Emma breaks down her general day-to-day which consists of writing press releases, management, meetings, and more. And whenever they have a new product to release (or new collection), every month, she contacts her list of journalists with a highly personalized email.

Finally, Deividas and Emma finish up the podcast by exploring non-work-related obsessions and hobbies. 

For Emma, it’s everything to do with scents. Making soaps that smell good, perfumes, and so on. Another obsession of hers is boxing in the morning.

And for Deividas – it’s yoga, which has had a direct effect on his productivity throughout the day.

     Here’s what we cover during episode #34:

  • Emma: Sugatan’s new PR consultant and all-around badass
  • How Emma got one of her previous clients into one of the biggest business magazines in Sweden
  • We’re all peacocks? Wait, what?
  • How Emma outsmarted the fashion industry with her sneaky process
  • Emma’s unexpected background  
  • How (and why) Emma made the switch from the music industry(!) to advertising only to get out again
  • What led to Emma taking 3 months off to break away from the advertising industry
  • How she ended up in PR position – despite being unsure, and having no previous PR skills or experience
  • Why Emma believes everything happens for a reason
  • Working in restaurants and connecting with people
  • Emma’s experience with one specific global advertising agency
  • Deividas and Emma exchange thoughts on hierarchies, having too many levels of managers, and making mistakes
  • Next topic – how do you get on Refinery29 and other super high-authority magazines?
  • How Emma would contact the press every month after releasing capsule collections
  • 2 Essential things Emma explains you need when talking about your brand
  • How contacts and storytelling come into PR – what’s the right amount of mix, according to Emma
  • What Emma recommends to those just getting into PR
  • How to start brand-building and be ready to present a story
  • Always have guidelines: never micro-manage
  • Non-traditional ways of communicating your brand 
  • How the promotion for these set of clothes was inspired by the Netflix documentary about Michael Jordan
  • Emma breaks down her day-to-day workflow and process for monthly press releases
  • How Emma writes her email press releases
  • Emma’s hobbies, non-work related obsessions, and quick productivity tips

Follow Emma:

Find Deividas:

Links mentioned in the episode:

AVAVAV.com

Refinery29

Saatchi & Saatchi

AVAVAV Allstars

Last 3 Episodes:

#33 Deividas & Kris – 2+ Years’ Worth of Knowledge in Creative Ads and Running Sugatan

#32 Holly Rae Lattire – Creating the Winning Video Ad

#31 Deividas & Kris – Building an eCommerce Brand From Scratch, Importance of Proper Workflow, and the Structure for Success

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