BUT WE'RE QUITE HAPPY TO WIN AGAINST LEGO AND THE NHS! - MADE UP LEEDS WINS CIPR EXCELLENCE AWARDS

We Won! Best Integrated Campaign at the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations Awards) for Made Up Leeds, with our partners in crime, Umpf PR and LeedsBID.

Made Up Leeds is a free, two-day, inclusive event going beyond beauty, covering make-up in all its forms for all people. The inaugural festival from LeedsBID last September included demos, makeovers, speakers and 100+ offers from the city’s biggest cosmetic brands. It aimed to increase cosmetics sales and footfall by tapping into a large demographic. And it worked!!

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WHY LOSING TO IKEA HAS MADE US MORE EAGER TO WIN ... BUT ON OUR TERMS!

So far this year we have been shortlisted for three awards for our work, with Umpf PR, for LeedsBID’s Made Up Leeds event - a free two-day, all inclusive event going beyond beauty, covering make-up in all its forms for all people. We booked and looked after the talent, organised and managed the activation in seven city spaces including a Harvey Nicholls pop-up at Leeds Station and a John Lewis hair and beauty salon in The Beauty Space, a converted shipping container on Briggate, the city’s main shipping street.

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LONDON FASHION WEEK AW19 – A ROUND-UP

As to be expected, Team SLB PR have been blitzing backstage at the shows for London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter ‘19. This season, we organised the sponsorship for our client BaByliss Pro for four brilliant designers; Matty Bovan, Katie Ann McGuigan, House of Holland and Richard Malone.

Backstage at House of Holland’s AW19 runway show.

Backstage at House of Holland’s AW19 runway show.

We had the incredibly talented Syd Hayes and his team creating the looks for Matty Bovan and House of Holland, with the fabulous Richard Phillipart, lead hair for Katie Ann McGuigan and Richard Malone.

Richard Phillipart making adjustments backstage at Richard Malone’s AW19 runway show.

Richard Phillipart making adjustments backstage at Richard Malone’s AW19 runway show.

Although backstage is a hectic hustle and bustle of busy stylists, tired models and and stressed designers, we love it. Being involved in the production of a runway show or fashion presentation is one of the places where we are happiest. We love the rush and getting to work with and see a team of creatives put together a spectacle of a fashion show.

Syd Hayes styling the model’s hair for House of Holland’s AW19 show.

Syd Hayes styling the model’s hair for House of Holland’s AW19 show.

All of our beautiful photographs were taken by the talented Jason Lloyd-Evans team.

Here are some of the Behind The Scenes photos from the four shows we worked on this season:

Backstage at Matty Bovan AW19

Backstage at Matty Bovan AW19

Backstage at House of Holland AW19

Backstage at House of Holland AW19

Backstage at Matty Bovan’s AW19 show.

Backstage at Matty Bovan’s AW19 show.

Katie Ann McGuigan’s AW19 presentation.

Katie Ann McGuigan’s AW19 presentation.

Backstage at Richard Malone’s AW19 show.

Backstage at Richard Malone’s AW19 show.

SLBPR SHORTLISTED IN TWO CATEGORIES AT THE 'PR MOMENT AWARDS 2019

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve been nominated for not one, but two categories at the PRmoment Awards 2019. We were nominated for EVENT OF THE YEAR and HEALTH, BEAUTY, RETAIL & FASHION MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR for our work with Umpf on ‘Made Up Leeds’ for LeedsBID.

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We’ve worked with LeedsBID for the past two years on a multitude of projects that showcases the cultural spectrum of Leeds. Everything from fashion to art to hair and beauty, Leeds has got it and we’ve done it!

SLBPR has always been synonymous with hair, beauty and fashion. Since our conception nearly 20 years ago we have worked with the some of the biggest brands in the UK, cementing a reputation as one of the key communications agencies brokering sponsorship deals and working with the backstage teams at the international fashion weeks. Working with forward thinking clients such as BaByliss PRO allows us to partner with the UK’s most innovative and talented designers, hair teams, make-up artists, stylists, photographers and videographers and fashion production companies. The fashion industry is worth more to the UK economy than the car industry – not that you would ever know from media coverage.

Backstage at House of Holland’s AW19 runway show

Backstage at House of Holland’s AW19 runway show

And now we are proud that our MD, Sharon, is on the newly formed British Beauty Council (BBC). Set up as a sister organisation to the British Fashion Council the BBC is seeking to highlight the importance and size of the British beauty industry – in terms of its worldwide influence, the number of people it employs and the revenue it contributes to the UK economy. The aim is to lean on government to improve training and recognise the impact the beauty profession has on all of us. 

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Being shortlisted for these awards is fantastic for our personal and professional profile and also demonstrates a recognition of the important work around beauty, fashion and retail.

KARL LAGERFELD'S MOST ICONIC FASHION MOMENTS

We can’t believe the sad news regarding Karl Lagerfeld’s passing today at the age of 85. The ponytailed powerhouse was a man we thought would live forever as he’s been a huge staple to the fashion world for decades. He’s been working for major fashion brands before anybody in our office was born.

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Karl Lagerfeld is undeniably one of the most incomparable talents of the fashion industry and he has garnered adulation from fashion lovers all around. So let’s take a look back at some of the great moments of Karl’s career.

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Karl has has been the creative director at Chanel since 1983 and from there, he became a global sensation. But he hasn't just worked at Chanel, he was also the creative director at Fendi and he started working as Pierre Balmain’s assistant after winning a design competition in the coats category at the International Wool Secretariat in 1955.

I’m sure most of you will recognise the brilliant runway show Karl designed for Fendi where the models walked on an invisible catwalk over the Trevi Fountain. Karl and Fendi worked on the restoration of the Trevi Fountain and they held the Couture AW16/17 show there to commemorate Fendi’s 90th anniversary.

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But for most people, he will be fondly remembered for his incredible work at Chanel. Over the decades, Karl put on some truly mesmerising shows where the sky was the limit and budget was never a worry.

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Our 5 Favourite Chanel Shows

Karl’s monumental success at Chanel became a constant world of pure whimsey and fairytale like storytelling. Every show had a beautiful theme, props, set builds and a point of view like no other. Karl didn’t just show the clothes, he gave them a narrative and a life.

Chanel Airways – Ready-To-Wear Spring 2016

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Karl transformed the Grand Palais in Paris into the classiest airport terminal in existence. The models looked incredibly chic with their Channel suitcases and some lucky guests even got to be a part of the show by sitting on airport benches right at the heart of the action.

The Street Protest – Spring/Summer 2015

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Fashion isn’t just about clothing, it can be a statement of the times. Lagerfeld, being as clued up on government as he is on gowns, threw a female liberation protest during the finale of Chanel’s SS15 show and it certainly grabbed the attention of all.

The Green House – Couture Spring 2016

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Serenity isn’t usually a word we use to describe one of Karl’s shows. But guests wandered into a zen-like paradise for the Couture Spring 2016 show. The Grand Palais was filled with blue skies, green grass and a beautiful modernist wooden eco-house.

“I think it’s the first couture collection done in the ecological approach. It’s fun to do this after being high-tech,” 

The Post-Apocalyptic Theatre – Couture Autumn/Winter 2013

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Once again, the Grand Palais was transformed beyond all recognition thanks to this gargantuan abandoned theatre set up with crumbling ceilings, loose brickwork and a dusty atmosphere. This was the future – and it didn’t look bright, but boy did it looks fascinating!

Chanel Shopping Centre – Autumn / Winter 2014

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You don’t often see women wearing designer garments to the supermarket, but in Lagerfeld’s world – that’s all they wear. Karl created a giant fake supermarket where the models would walk around with shopping carts picking up Chanel branded groceries. Everything from cheeses, bottles of wine, onions and canned goods were all given a Chanel makeover. The show was so iconic and well received that after the show, the entire audience wandered around the supermarket picking up Chanel-emblazoned goods for themselves only to be told that every item in the ‘store’ was not for grabs as they were being used for the window displays around the world.

Other incredible moments

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In later years, Karl’s famous cat, Choupette, became the star with him using the fashionable feline in campaigns and as the inspiration for accessories. Choupette is so well-known in the fashion world now that her Instagram account boats over 100,000 followers!

Karl is also a budding photographer, though most people see him in front of the camera, he finds joy being behind it, capturing some of the most gorgeous photographs.

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The world has truly lost one of the greatest gifts to fashion that the world has ever seen. Bravo for all your work and as an avid fan, we’d like to say thank you. To have existed at the same time as this legend was a true honour and a privilege.

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FEAR NOT SINGLETONS, WE'VE FOUND THE PERFECT PLACE TO SPEND VALENTINE'S DAY

Sure, Valentine’s Day may be the day of living, laughing and loving but not everybody is invested in the gooey Hallmark holiday. Balloons deflate, roses wilt and love never lasts – okay, the last one may be a tad pessimistic.

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Valentine’s Day is the Marmite of holidays. Some people love it, some people hate it – and it’s not just the single people who hate it. There are many couples who hate the pressure of having to come up with the ‘perfect date’ or get a great gift and it can really strain a relationship.

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So if you want to let go of your inhibitions and just be your best self (alone), why not grab a chum or go stag to the hottest spot in town this Valentine’s Day – The Kitty Café. Why? Because the ‘crazy cat lady’ aesthetic has now been reclaimed by cool, young millennials. Not as many people want children, they want ‘fur babies’ and what better place to go than the Kitty Café for some grub surrounded by a flurry of feline friends.

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The Kitty Café allows you to spend time playing with cats that are either; rescue cats, strays and cats with medical issues that are all looking for a forever home. It doesn't get more adorable than that!

The cafe boasts variety with their Á La Carte menu, High Tea, mocktails and delicious desserts. Not only that, but you get to see the trained kitchen staff at work in their sealed glass kitchen (to prevent wandering paws from getting in). They’ve got a 5 Star hygiene rating and a scrumptious menu to match.

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So why not book a table and get your paws stuck into some gorgeous grub. It could be the start of your happily ever after!

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FIVE PR LESSONS WE LEARNT FROM THE 'FYRE FESTIVAL' FIASCO

I’m sure by now, you’ve all heard of the monumental shambles that was the Fyre Festival saga. With Netflix and Hulu both releasing their own documentary about the 2017 festival disaster, it’s brought the story back to our attention and now – it’s even bigger than ever.

From the documentaries we learnt just how far down the rabbit hole Fyre Co-Founder Billy McFarland went to try and create one of the biggest social media buzzes of all time. And to an extent, he did… just maybe not quite how he would have liked it to have gone down.

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But take away the cheese sandwiches, the hurricane tents and the fact that the festival never ended up happening despite people arriving on the island, it actually taught us a lot about the world of PR. No, we’re serious!

Sure, the whole event was a PR disaster which, at the heart, was created solely to promote a musician bookings app called Fyre. But they had some interesting ideas that just lacked the strategy and planning (oh, and budget).

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Influencer marketing does work

Just by watching the documentary, we learnt that it all started with a few orange tiles on Instagram, simple. And I’m sure most of you saw them yourselves. The likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner were sharing them and from there – the hype began. Sure, it cost $250,000 per Instagram post for Bella, Kylie and all the other top models and influencers which is incredibly unsustainable. But it certainly did put the message out there. A simple orange tile created a buzz, people wanted to know what was going on, who was going to be there and what ‘Fyre Festival’ was actually going to be.

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Communication is key

We cannot stress this one enough. If plans change, you have to let your consumers know about it. If something (like the actual music festival) is cancelled, you have to let people know! What turned this flop into a viral disaster was that nobody from the events or communications team put out any statements about what was going on. The only thing we (the rest of the world) heard was all the trouble going down from the Fyre Festival attendees who were now stranded on the island.

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Don’t lose sight of your end goal

It may sound simple, but you can easily get swept away in an idea that completely loses what your original goal was. Fyre Festival was used as a marketing tool to promote and launch the celebrity booking app. However, Billy McFarland wanted to make it the biggest event ever. They originally obtained an island previously owned by Pablo Escobar, they hired models, promised villas, ‘created’ their own form of digital currency wristbands and promised huge headliners in the efforts of making it the biggest festival ever. The damage created was permanent and the Fyre app became irrelevant. Even Co-Founder Ja Rule claims he was scammed by McFarland in his efforts to create a hype. But not all hype is good hype – remember that.

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Manage expectations

If you’re publishing a promotional video that looks like the most incredible time/place/event on earth, you need to make sure that you’re delivering the goods. McFarland lost the use of the island formerly owned by Pablo Escobar because he mentioned it in his promo video – something he was told he was not allowed to do. But rather than letting attendees know that the island was changing because of this, they pitched a new location as it’s own ‘private island’ to pretend it was a similar venture. Villas were promised and attendees were left with slumming it in hurricane relief tents. Make sure your message matches the delivery – that is the key to success. If you over hype, you will only ever leave people feeling disappointed as it’s near to impossible to match the fictional buzz created.

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An integral strategy is key to any big campaign

If the documentary taught us anything, it’s that you can’t just ‘wing it’ when it comes to a big campaign. You need to have your costs, plans, schedules and resources (to name just a few things) all mapped out and detailed with military precision. Too many things changed in the Fyre Festival’s plan with pure chaos, no organisation and very little communication with the attendees. Whatever you do – please don’t be a Fyre Festival… learn from their mistakes.

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IT'S NOT ALL CHAMPAGNE AND PARTIES...OR IS IT?

Wondering what we’ve been up to for the last couple of months ? 

As always we’ve been manic here at SLBPR. From the excitement of Andrew Barton London Education’s website and Facebook going live, to the celebration of creative excellence at both the Fellowship for British Hairdressing Luncheon and British Hairdressing Awards, both in London, earlier this month, we’ve never been busier. Here’s a little snippet of what we’ve been up to this Autumn/Winter. 

PHOTO : BARNSLEY CHRONICLE

PHOTO : BARNSLEY CHRONICLE

Andrew Barton London Education 

We have been working closely with our client, acclaimed celebrity hairdresser, Andrew Barton, Creative Director, at the renowned Headmasters salon, on his latest project, Andrew Barton London Education (ABLE).  

Created to meet the needs of the full-time student or apprentice, ABLE gives students an extended qualification linked to industry. Through its contemporary training programme which offers colleges of further education, comprehensive add-on training to its existing portfolio of hairdressing education, ABLE aims to provide students with the finishing skills they need to work in a salon. The project launched at Barnsley College in September and this week we went live with the ABLE website and dedicated Facebook page.

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Variety Yorkshire Business Awards 

This is one of our favourite clients and last week we looked after the media for their high profile Variety Yorkshire Business Awards, which brings together 450 of the region’s leading business people. With The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH, as keynote speaker, who was joined by guests of honour and recipients of the Bobbie Caplin OBE Yorkshire Legend Award, The Rt Hon The Lord Blunkett and Gervase Phinn, we were kept busy!

The event raised a whopping £138,155.00 to help sick, disabled and underprivileged children across the region, and we are truly proud to be be part of it.

Winners of the event were:

Business Leader of the Year

Debbie Bestwick, Team.17 

Board of the Year

Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate 

SME of the Year

Sumo Digital

Standout Small Business of the Year

Twinkl

Crafthouse & Angelica

It’s a tough job but someone has to ensure that everyone knows about the exciting new events at Crafthouse and Angelica.  Heated and covered terraces with luxurious furry blankets will keep you warm while snow themed decorations and props provide the perfect backdrop to sip specially curated winter cocktails, drinks packages or afternoon tea, with magic touches from Moët & Chandon. We invited some friends down and they seem to love it! 

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A contemporary Japanese Restaurant and Rooftop Bar, this hidden gem in Victoria, Leeds, has just launched its Yuki (snow) Terrace in partnership with Roku gin. We hosted the launch party last week and are now ensuring key media and influencers have the venue firmly on their ‘must visit’ list.

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Well it’s been given a bit of a makeover! Also housed in Victoria Leeds we decided with owners D&D London that Leeds needs a fashion hub. So they’ve introduced the Winter glam pop-up, Studio 59. Taking inspiration from the legendary Studio 54, the new look Studio 59 has also introduced a new concept for Saturday nights. Disco Made Me Do It is the place to dance yourself  dizzy and experience the furs, glitter and neon lights. Make an effort as 11pm is the ball drop where the best dressed person is presented with the Studio 59 sharing punch in a disco ball to share with friends! See you on the dance floor!

Launching the loudest bar in the quietest town

Known for it’s great liquor and American dive bar vibe, MOJO launched it’s biggest bar yet in the quiet town of Harrogate in April 2018. Identifying the need in the small town for good times, good music and a venue that stays open until the early hours, SLB were on hand to make sure the launch delivered the high expectations of the club hungry Harrogate residents. 

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First SLB hosted a press preview targeting the local media outlets, they had the first look at the 2,400 sq.ft space and first taste of the mouth watering, US inspired food menu. Then came the launch night. Ticketed only until 12am, it was a sell out. Tickets were free, but you needed one to get in before midnight, over 1,000 tickets were claimed. SLB manned the doors and completed ticket checks whilst the sorry people who didn’t get the memo had to come back at 12am to get a look at the new bar. 

MOJO ran a ‘Pay as you feel’ bar and all proceeds went to the Physcap charity, in total they raised over £20,000 on launch night! With a strategy that encompasses the simple action of having a good time, the Harrogate branch is well on it’s way to be a huge success along with the other four MOJO bars in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Manchester! MOJO Harrogate is the first of the group to have a roof terrace and a level dedicated to Beer Pong. Ever in Harrogate and looking to have a good time, you know where to go! 

AMSTERDAM PRESS TRIP

There are two words that inspire excitement in the sometimes dull desk life of a PR, and those words are “press trip.” 

We’re no strangers to this, but when it came to deciding where to take our press friends to celebrate the launch of RUSK’s brand new styling range - we were at a loss. We then thought about places that echo the brand, combining innovation with vitality and free spirited thinkers, and  this left us with only one option. It had to be Amsterdam.

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By a stroke of luck (or pure PR genius - you decide), our trip coincided with the opening of Amsterdam’s Soho House. 

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but we try to do things a little differently. Instead of ferrying our guests over to Holland to sit in a conference room and watch a presentation about which chemicals you should be using to make a cracking hair mousse, we took them to the top of a twenty storey building and dangled them off the side on Europe’s highest swing instead. And we didn’t even make anyone throw up.

Now, before you judge, there was some real work involved. Our trip hostess, UK Colour Ambassador for RUSK and genuine all round colour extroadinaire Katie Mulcahy was on hand to transform our guests ready for dinner, whilst prescribing which styling products would work for them, based on their hair type and how they like it to look and feel.

The new RUSK collection is made up of five categories - Wash, Prep, Finish, Colour and Men’s. Each product has been completely overhauled and re-formulated to create something brand new, based on feedback over the last couple of years. 

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The new RUSK collection is made up of five categories - Wash, Prep, Finish, Colour and Men’s. Each product has been completely overhauled and re-formulated to create something brand new, based on feedback over the last couple of years. 

We love a rooftop, and our stop for dinner was atop the W Hotel’s Exchange Building at Mr Porter. After that, there were a series of bars which become less and less memorable. But safe to say, we definitely had a lot of fun.

We decided that whilst in Amsterdam, there was more to talk about than just hair. Our Sam, the self confessed travel freak and history geek, led a guided tour through the city’s regions - hitting all the main sights on the way. It’s kind of considered rude if you visit Amsterdam without getting a boat to somewhere. Our piéce de resistance was a private boat tour, cruising through the city’s historic canals. 

You might be thinking, well what’s the point of all this? For us, our relationships are what make us successful, and spending time with press away from the stress of their desk is invaluable. 

 

HAZEL & HAYDN'S COVER SMASH!

Our clients come to us to ensure their brand is kept in the media spotlight. We of course use all the traditional channels to make this happen, but we also decipher a strategy and work out the vision that our clients want to take forward. Entering, and sometimes more importantly, winning (!) awards is a major part of the strategy for all our clients. It’s important to be recognised, it not only gives us a buzz and our clients but it let’s everyone else know that you’re pretty special too. 

Hazel & Haydn, a hairdressing salon based in Birmingham came to us with this vision. They created a beautiful and creative collection one that we knew could go the extra mile. A team of stylists was led by salon owner Dale Hollinshead and the outcome was an impressive collection of images that we wanted to make sure were used to their full potential. 

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By creating a stand out award entry, and pairing this with the beautiful image they had created, Hazel & Haydn won in the category ‘I want her hair’ in the 2018 Hair Awards. Being the UK’s leading consumer hairdressing magazine, this was a huge achievement and has really put the salon on the map. The awards are judged by a leading panel of hairdressing experts including Mark Hill, Errol Douglas, Karine Jackson and Andrew Barton who commented on the winning image “I love this kind of hair that makes a woman feel amazing and strong”. 

It shouldn’t have then been a surprise that we also bagged the front cover position for our client. The winning image graced the cover of the July issue. Dedicated to the Hair Awards 2018, Hazel & Haydn and their winning image took over the issue from front cover to multiple placements within. We never get tired of seeing our clients on the newsstands!