INDUSTRY PROFILES

Ali Smyth & Adriana Glass - PR

Ali Smyth & Adriana Glass - PR
Q. Describe your journey in a nutshell:
Electric Collective was founded by Ali in 2015, with the aim of creating a platform for talent to strategically build, strengthen and grow their brands via innovative avenues and cultural moments. We met a few years ago when Ali was looking for someone to hold the fort whilst she was on a well deserved holiday, and found our approaches to PR, and our forces combined was a force to be reckoned with!

In 2018, after over a year of collaborating wherever we could, we decided to join our fashion businesses and create Electric Collective's Fashion division. We work with a truly covetable roster of designers, brands and venues across the business and pride ourselves in creating exceptional coverage and events for our clients.
Q. What do you think your business and your team excel at?
At Electric Collective we craft effective, tailored public relations strategies to support business growth. We’re straight talkers, transparent in how we work, and avoid fluffy “PR speak”. We prioritise tactics that support the bottom line. We both have a background working with leading luxury, emerging and high street brands both in Australia and abroad and are both extremely hands on in the business.

So you have two Directors sharing two decades experience between us, in addition to a quickly growing kick-ass team, to create truly comprehensive strategies that consider not just traditional media but the cultural context we are in, and how PR can support the wider marketing strategy, and business strategy overall. We have made a concerted effort to blur the lines between industries - fashion shouldn’t be just spoken about in traditional fashion titles, and our lifestyle venues need to work with platforms, titles and tastemakers that they wouldn’t traditionally align with.

We think outside the box and encourage these industries to cross over - for example hosting the Double Rainbouu show at The Lansdowne at last years MBFWA allowed us to present the venue with an audience that would generally sit outside the traditional ‘lifestyle’ demographic. We love thinking creatively and introducing new markets to our clients.
Q. What brands are you currently working with?
We work with incredible venues and designers who are game changers - and nothing less. Throughout the year we work ongoing and on projects with the likes of Mary’s, The Lansdowne, The Unicorn Hotel, Young Henry’s, Unyoked, Goldy Gin, KITX, OneTeaspoon, Reebok, Mara & Mine, Tigerlily, Women’s March Sydney, Running Bare, Big Fashion Sale, alice McCALL, Lack of Color, Ten Pieces, to name a few.
Q. What’s a recent campaign you are super proud of because you either came up with a big creative idea; worked with a minimal budget; or exceeded expectations?
Every project and every client we ensure we’re super proud of! It’s mandatory.
Q. What are the greatest challenges the industry is currently facing?
The greatest challenge the industry needs to face is the way we evaluate and communicate success. As an industry, PR agencies and brands alike need to focus on prioritising qualitative, effective editorial outcomes, that balance commercial needs with on-brand opportunities, and move away from the quantitative approach of seeing success as a certain number of clips each month. The right messages conveyed to the right audiences at the right time. After all, what good is hitting the KPI of 50 clips a month if half of them are negative or irrelevant, not aligned with the right brands, the product isn’t available or hitting the mark with the right audience? It’s really as simple as that.

The way we work is changing too. Australian media landscape has become increasingly competitive, and more than ever demands unique, culturally relevant stories tailored to their audiences. PR’s role has always been to understand the media’s needs and deliver high-quality stories without exception, however now the approach is even more collaborative, with a focus on developing moments throughout the calendar that can drive exclusive, engaging content.

As brands increasingly attempt to engage with their customers by participating in social, cultural and political dialogues - body positivity, #metoo, ethical production and sustainability - there is a healthy amount of scepticism and push back and this will only continue. At heart, these values must be embodied and authentic to the brand - there is no room for tokenism
Q. What do you love about the industry and your business?
We’re most excited by connection and creativity. Connecting likeminded visionaries across industries, new and interesting collaborations, and storytelling. Seeing everyone succeed - clients and media - and receive the recognition they deserve.
Q. What do you tear your hair out about?!
How do you get enough hours in the day! There’s always more that we’d love to do.
Q. What’s next for you & the business?
We’re always imagining and reinventing ways that we work - as the landscape continually changes, we evolve with it. In 2018 we added new products to our offering including modular PR campaigns and stand alone, and 2019 will bring even more innovative offerings for our partners and clients across fashion, lifestyle and beauty.
Q. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Ali with her love of animals and menagerie at home would be a Zoo Keeper, and Adriana loves adventures and talking - a lot - so she’d definitely be some kind of tour guide.