‘I work in beauty PR.’
‘Oh cool…what does that mean?’
Or so the conversation generally goes. It can also come with responses including, but not limited to, the below:
Oh so do you just, like, get to play with beauty products all day?
Oh so do you just, like, go out for fancy breakfast meetings all the time?
Oh so do you just, like, scroll on Instagram all day?
Oh so do you just, like, spend your days reading magazines?
Oh so you must get like, loads of free beauty products…
Whilst yes I probably do benefit from receiving the odd free face mask to try here and there this isn’t all there is to the job.
I often make the mistake, as I’m sure a lot of people do with their own jobs, of assuming everyone knows what I do, what PR is, what Beauty PR is, but as I’ve overheard some of my loved ones try to explain it to others I’ve learnt that that some aren’t quite so sure. And I get it. It’s not necessarily a straightforward thing to explain.
Just as a someone who, say, works in web development shouldn’t expect me to know what ‘malicious code and DDos’ means (lol, inside blogger joke), I shouldn’t be surprised that someone might not know every aspect of mine. I wanted to use this blog post to share a general idea of what the average beauty PR job entails to help nosy people or, more importantly, those who might be considering going in to the industry themselves.
In layman’s terms the role of someone who works in beauty PR is to be the middle man between a beauty brand and the press in order to garner promotion of said brand, or a specific product, in magazines, newspapers, on websites and blogs, and most recently on social media. Just as marketing would specifically try and target a consumer, PR targets the press to help create a positive public image in the media.
It still comes as a surprise to some consumers to hear that almost every product you might read about in a magazine is the result of PR. Whether a beauty journalist received a press release, attended a launch event, or had a meeting with a PR, if a new lipstick is in the pages of glossy magazine, for example, it didn’t land there by chance.
These days a lot of products you see on some influencers’ Instagram or YouTube channels are the result of PR. But PR and product #gifting is not a new thing. Social channels are just a new media platform that PR has flooded in to.
What do you do every day?
It’s not so easy to describe what a typical day would be like.
Every day is different. Heck, every hour is different. One minute you can be searching the weekend’s papers for coverage, the next you could be heading off to a lunch meeting with a journalist. A normal day could be going to a client meetings, followed by checking out some event spaces and then heading back to the office to sort through product deliveries and responding to press call-ins.
Now I obviously can’t speak for all here. I’ve worked in mid to small sized agencies. But you can also work for much larger agencies who look after many different clients or work in-house where you’re one member of staff in the PR department of one brand or beauty company.
Job specifications also change as you get promoted up the ladder, but this will be different for every agency depending on size and number of clients. For a mid-sized PR agency the structure generally goes:
PR intern – PR Assistant- Junior Account Executive – Account Executive – Senior Account Executive – Junior Account Manager – Account Manager – Senior Account Manager – Junior Account Director…you get it.
In-house press departments will have their own structures.
Sidenote: Technically I don’t think there is such think as ‘a PR’ as a job title. You ‘work in PR’, (you’re a PR officer, a press assistant, an account executive, a PR Manager etc, etc) but for the ease writing this post I’m just going to ignore my stubborness and go with it
What are the main focuses?
i.e. what do you have to be good at to be a good ‘PR’?
Relationships with the press – this is obviously key. Your aim is to build good relationships with the press and get them interested in the client you represent. This can involve meeting with journalists to discuss your brands and products.
New launches and events – when a client is launching a new product it’s your job to help create a buzz in the media. This means planning events which could be anything from an intimate breakfast to a big party.
Blogger outreach – this means reaching out to bloggers who you want to help promote a product either through gifting or paid partnerships. And responding to bloggers and influencers who have got in contact to work with one of your clients.
Writing – writing press releases, bulletins, website copy, blog posts. Most people start working in PR because they have a good knowledge of how to write engaging copy or studied a subject at university which required good writing skills.
Social media – brands without a dedicated PR team may ask for your help building their social profile.
Research – it’s important to stay up to date with current media and beauty trends. I’ve always loved reading blogs, watching beauty YouTubers, etc., which is just as well because if you’re working in the field you’ve got to know what’s going on.
Reporting – proving to the client what media coverage you have helped generate so that they can see if this has led to an increase in sales.
PR, specifically beauty an industry I love and though it comes with both its perks and challenges it is never boring. The ever changing media landscape is constantly effecting our work, with changes in both traditional and new media keeping us on our toes, it’s an exciting time to be working in an field where anything can happen next.
I’d love to write a bit more about careers and working in PR, let me know if you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions I’d love to help try and answer in future posts.