20th May | Sjaan Askwith back

Covid Overwhelm + the ‘Accidental Slashie’

As a PR, you’re often quizzed on what
you *actually* do. And to be honest, it’s something I’ve asked myself far more
than I’d care to admit. But for such a simple question, it has quite a
multifaceted answer. 

Am I a Writer? Producer? Social Media
Manager? Financial Advisor?

‘Content Creator’? Strategist? Event
Planner? Talent Agent? Salesman?! The thing is, in one way or another I’m all
of the above, and the rest. 

I once heard someone say PRs could be
referred to as ‘slashies’, which I soon discovered is another way to describe
those with a multi-hyphenate. We’ve all seen the Instagram bios: Artist /
Photographer / Creative Director / Model / Content Creator, and after initially
recoiling at the term, I agreed that ‘slashie’, while not traditionally used to
describe someone with many roles within a single job (and more used to refer to
those chasin’ dreams and side hustlin’) isn’t a terrible way to sum PRs up.

But in the midst of a global pandemic,
as we’re forced to take on new roles within the comfort of our own homes, I’ve
noticed new ‘slashes’ creeping onto my *job description*.

See, now as well as being a PR (lest we
forget all of the aforementioned ‘slashes’ within that role), I’m a Chef /
Cleaner / Fitness Instructor / Handywoman / Beauty Therapist / Quiz Host / Barista
/ Hairdresser / Delivery Woman / French Teacher (don’t ask), and that’s just to
name a few. 

I know I’m far from alone in my
‘slashie’ status being upgraded as fast as Switzerland’s lockdown rules
dissipated, and I can’t help but think that even those in roles as simple to
define as Doctor will swiftly, accidently become ‘slashies’ too as we adjust to
this new normal.

For some, this may spark joy and ignite
otherwise undiscovered passions. For others, this will likely result in
overwhelm and increased anxiety.

As Covid-19 has brought with it no
extra hours in the day, but has rolled in loaded with a whole host of new
expectations, I don’t think I’m the only one immobilised by a never-ending
to-do list brought about by all of the extra ‘bits’ I’m having to do, now that
we’re confined to our bubbles. 

Couple this with the mind-bending
bewilderment that social media has become, with now not only ‘influencers’ but
friends (!) flouting Covid six-packs and a sourdough-a-day on Instagram
(‘smugsolation’ is the coined term for that, FYI), and it’s no surprise that our
already-full minds are overflowing.

I’d love to give some sound advice, and
then close by waxing lyrical on a six-step solution to manage this new-found
stress. But I’m afraid I can’t because there simply isn’t one, and I’m sure as
hell not planning on joining the other 864,759 people on the internet peddling
their ‘top WFH tips’. 

The way I see it, everyone’s fighting
their own battles, and these are times of stark contrasts. For all of those
who’s new ‘slashes’ read: GBBO Hopeful / Handstand Pro / Box Of Fluffies,
there’s someone who’s read: Wedding Postponer / Struggling Homeschool Teacher /
Anxiety Manager.

So, all I can offer, in this
all-too-terrifying modern of times, on day eleventy-nine of lockdown, is a
reminder that every day is a success. 

Whether you spent it writing, running,
practicing yoga, and baking the sh*t out of a banana loaf, or you slept in, ate
toast for every meal, binged an entire Netflix series, and parked up with a
pre-mixed cocktail at 5pm on the dot (ok, 4.30) – remember that both are
noble. 

To quote the infamous Kris Jenner
“You’re doing amazing, sweetie!”, keep it up. 

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news
17th July | Sjaan Askwith back

Beauty + Diversity

As the global perception of ‘beauty’ diversifies, how are brands evolving their marketing tactics?  Following the controversy
shrouding the roll out of Nike’s plus-sized mannequins (a move that the brand
has been both berated and hailed for), we’re discussing whether the idea of
‘beauty’ is in fact finally changing. 

It’s no secret that
there’s been a step change in the beauty and fashion industries when it comes
to diversity. The new narrative is one of inclusivity and empowerment, and
brands are finally taking notice, challenging archaic, regressive ideals about
the definition of ‘beauty’. 

We’re starting to see
brand campaigns which make room for people from a full spectrum of races,
sizes, ages, cultures and identities. It feels like the greatest and most
ceiling-shattering shift in the fashion and beauty industries, ever. 

The benefits of this need
not be explained, but the real beauty (pun intended) of this shift is the
impact it’s having on the lives of the individuals it most directly affects.
Where previously, thin, sexualised, white women walked runways and filled
magazine pages, we’re now seeing them replaced with people of all walks of life
– each beautiful in their diversity – and that’s what this is about. 

Brands have a new
opportunity to not only enrich people’s lives with their products and/or
services, but also to give a place to those that have historically been
repressed. There’s now an opportunity to set the tone for young women and men
when it comes to beauty ideals – and by celebrating individuality – encourage
people to fully and proudly embrace their own identity.

Asos recently launched a
wheelchair-friendly jumpsuit, the first in the world, and other major clothing
retailers such as M&S and Tommy Hilfiger are also moving in a more
inclusive direction – through adaptive clothing lines and advertising
campaigns. Our client Deichmann has long embraced inclusivity, most recently
partnering with model, entrepreneur, and activist, Leomie Anderson – a strong
role model for young black women globally. 

There is not a single
brand that shouldn’t be considering this shift when planning campaigns. Diverse
models are representative of the world as a whole, a rhetoric which fashion and
beauty brands alike should be working hard to convey. With that said, if the
‘why’ is to stay in pace with competitors, unlock a new consumer base, or for
tokenistic reasons, it’s inauthentic and lacks integrity. Reconsider. 

The clincher? This is the
beginning of a movement, not a trend, and inclusive brand campaigns are soon to
be the new norm. By championing diversity and creating products and/or services
which appeal to the collective, you’ll be contributing to the positive change
we need to see in the world, and who doesn’t want to do that? 

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news
7th November | Sjaan Askwith back

The Glass Box Brand – Sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As consumer demand for transparency from brands increases, with more and more people wanting to know every detail about the brands they’re supporting, a new model has emerged – The Glass Box Brand. Fast fading are the days of inequality in pay scales (at a record low of 8.6%), unethical product production, and unsustainable practices, as consumers demand to know more, leaving brands with nowhere to hide. A challenge? Yes. An opportunity? Absolutely. And one that no brand can afford to ignore. In the past, brands have been able to hide behind four solid walls, only letting consumers look inside when they had something to show off. But times are changing. In 2018, modern, future-thinking brands position themselves as a ‘glass box’. Consumers can see in, and if you’re smart – you want them to. You want to share your company values, staff wellness initiatives, production methods, and sourcing practices. The good, the bad and the ugly. Why? Not only because it builds trust, but also because consumers are going to ask for it regardless, and if you’re seen to be hiding something, the modern consumer will turn on you faster than Brad turned on Jen. This change in consumerism, and in turn the attitude of brands, comes from a myriad of places. The first being the ideals of Gen Z (which you can read all about here), and their innate desire to ‘do good’. Gen Z doesn’t just ask for radical transparency, they demand it. But it doesn’t stop with them. As more information emerges about the fragile state of the planet, millions (or billions!) around the world are searching for a more ethical, sustainable, and meaningful type of consumerism. Brands such as outdoor clothing and gear brand Patagonia are leading the change in this arena. One glance at their website, and every detail of their company’s social and environmental impact, good or bad, is at your fingertips. This is what modern consumers are looking for, and the way things are going, they soon won’t support brands offering less. There are a few simple things brands can do to move towards a ‘Glass Box Brand’ model: Don’t claim to be ‘doing it all’. Own your faults and share how you plan to improve these. Take a leaf out of Patagonia’s book and show ultra-transparency about sourcing and production, and the environmental impact your brand is having – act as voice for better practices globally. Company culture is king and needs to be prioritised. The culture of your company is key, and is now consumer-facing thanks to our hyper-connected world and our innate desire to post every aspect of our lives (including our working lives) online. Value your employees, educate yourselves on best practices and focus on workplace wellness. Make information about your brand’s practices readily available, and present it in an easy-to-digest way. Consumers expect to be able to find out anything about any brand, if they desire. In a survey of over 10,000 consumers from around the world, 78% said it is ‘somewhat or very important for a company to be transparent.’ (Havas, February 2016). More so than ever before, the brands we support mean something about us. Choosing to buy locally and ethically-sourced products, or organic fruit and veg, means you care about the environment. 70% of millennials are willing to spend more with brands that support causes they care about (Cone Communications, 2017), so now, more than ever, brands need to consider their social responsibility, and share with consumers what makes them unique – the good, the bad and the ugly. We at Richmond & Towers support the ‘Glass Box Brand’ model wholeheartedly and encourage our clients to consider the impact adopting this approach will have on the future success of their brands.

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news