The jewellery and watch industries are being thrown head first into the digital age by a host of media, branding and PR experts. We speak to FACETS PR director Sarah Carpin, bright sparks united founder Satbir Tamber and a host of jewellery PR stars to find out more…
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an emerging brand, established player or a growing retailer — when it comes to communicating with the outside world a little PR help always comes in handy. But in the digital landscape, where email sign-offs are just as important as social media updates, it’s worth consulting those with jewellery know-how to get the best results.
One such company is FACETS PR, formerly CMJ Media, which specialises in bringing its jewellery and watch clients to the attentions of trade and consumer press. FACETS PR director Sarah Carpin explains: “The original aim of CMJ Media, when we launched the business four years ago, was to provide marketing and publishing support for CMJ retailers along with PR and marketing services for jewellery and watch brands. What we’ve discovered since then is that PR, marketing, event management and media buying services are the areas that are generating the most growth and the most profit. These are the areas that FACETS PR will now be concentrating on from our London office.”
Carpin continues: “Our specialist skills and position within the heart of the UK jewellery industry means we are ideally placed to help jewellery and watch brands break into the market. That is our USP and why this part of the business has developed so well. We provide much more than a typical PR agency. For example, our consultancy service helps brands to focus on what products and price points work in the UK (and what doesn’t) and is the kind of highly specialist advice that no one else can offer. We have the B2B experience in market research, product development and knowing the key jewellery buyers (and what they’re looking for) that no other agency can offer.”
But it’s not just PR agencies that retailers and brands are turning to for advice. Satbir Tamber, founder of fashion jewellery brand Esoteric Luxury, will officially launch his new company Bright Sparks United at International Jewellery London. He says: “Bright Sparks United was inspired by our own journey of building our brand. We decided to avoid the route of design ‘Guru’s’ and ‘Agencies’ as it was an expensive path and we felt we could design, brand and market ourselves in a better, distinctive way. Furthermore, we come from a retail background, we understand what retail clients need and this is a definite advantage for us and for our clients.” Tamber describes his new company as a ‘professional storyteller’ with the aim of telling each clients’ tale in the right way. Recently, he has completed projects for fashion chain Urban Outfitters and jewellery consultant Jo Henderson of JHJ Consultancy.
As well as offering services from designing logos and websites to writing copy to assisting with search engine optimisation (SEO), Bright Sparks United is also on-hand to help with any branding (or rebranding) issues.
Tamber says: “Branding should be clear and concise, especially considering our attention-deficient times. It is crucial to put in the effort to find out your customer’s profile. Having an idea of your customer as opposed to actually knowing your customer is crucial.”
OUR GOLDEN RULES
Jewellery PR stars give their top tips for taking your business to the next level.
Suzanna Hammond, Hammond PR “In my early years in PR, I remember two pieces of advice which I have never forgotten. One is the importance of really understanding the client’s business and market sector. Don’t just wing it, you need to be an expert. And the other is thoroughly researching individual journalists, in order to tailor information to ensure it is genuinely of interest and relevant. Blanket issuing of press releases just wastes time and money and irritates wrongly targeted journalists.”
Marie Grove-Walton, Grove Communications “The best advice I’ve been given is directly from journalists. They are your audience so get-to-knowthem, each and every one of them. Their style, how they shoot their pages, what they like and don’t like and how they prefer to receive information is so individual, you really have to have a personal approach to cut through the hundreds of emails and pitches they get every day. “PR is not about ‘story telling’ — it’s about creating a synergy between the brand you represent, your clients’ goals and what the press will actually want to cover. Stay abreast of current events, what’s trending in your category and what’s relevant to the press you’re targeting. I love to work backwards and see if a campaign is of interested to a core group of journalists before we finalise it. Very often the feedback I get sets a whole new tone for the campaign that makes it much more successful.”
Sunita Grant, Trace Publicity “The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to be well researched on not only the brands I work on, but the jewellery industry as a whole. Having great knowledge of gemstones, metals and trends are all key in PR, as well as being passionate about jewellery.”
Emily Goad, Goad Irwin “My golden rule is to keep things tailored to the client and the journalist — too many people blast out generic press releases and don’t tailor it to their audience. Fine jewellery is like art and should be handled in the same discerning, knowledgeable way.”
TOP TIPS FROM BRIGHT SPARKS UNITED
- Are you bombarding your customer with too many messages? The barriers to actually engage with customers are high, as many are on auto-pilot and unable to deal with a tidal wave of information. Therefore, customer knowledge will make the difference between your brand being another one bouncing off the barriers rather than making a connection with your potential customer.
- If you sell products, create your online shop immediately. This could be a huge untapped market you are missing out on and at the very least it will drive customers to your physical business, potentially improving revenue and profits. Google is your friend and wants to help, make that relationship strong, it will reap rewards.
- Make sure you have a clear website with clear navigation, your logo on each page, clear headers and an easy format to actually purchase from you. These points are essential, remember them.
- Update your customers regularly (every week/two weeks) with new products, highlights and studio news to keep them in the informed and also generate more traffic (unique customers) to your website.