On this last day of Fashion Week, we present to you an interview with Pierce Mattie, CEO of Pierce Mattie PR. While not repping any designers this year, Mattie’s “lifestyle” agency focuses on B2C women’s products and counts Old Navy and GUESS as clients.
We recently grabbed a drink (she had water, we had whiskey) with Pierce Mattie’s lead blogger, Shannon Nelson, who was in town for Fashion Week, attended way more events than us and knew way more about the scene. And frankly we think that’s OK.
However, this interview is with Mrs. Nelson’s boss, Mr. Mattie, where he talks to PRNewser about his agency’s work for GUESS, how social media fits into a fashion PR plan, and how all of these new mediums can still come together.
You have GUESS Handbags on the roster, can you tell us about what kind of work you do for them?
At Pierce Mattie we direct and facilitate GUESS’ consumer media strategies for North America focusing on their license with their accessory division specific to evening, shoulder, hand held, hobo, mini bags and luggage. We create pitch concepts, present it to the press and obtain the maximum amount of consumer brand awareness possible for this category. Our GUESS team communicates with the long lead fashion print press such as Glamour, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, blogs like FashionTribes and SheFinds and the broadcast programs Good Morning America, The Today Show and so on.
You recently told Newsday, in regards to working in consumer goods PR, “It’s a demanding job because employees have to attend weekend parties and late-night events.” Tell us a cool party story.
Pierce Mattie PR facilitates hosts and executes parties of all scales and demographics from the uber luxurious in the Hamptons to the trendy night scene of Tribeca. In July our consumer media team hosted a mid-afternoon brunch in our Times Square Media Oasis inviting editors in for a sneak peak of client products for the holiday season. The staff was dressed in their New Year’s Eve cocktail dresses with our Media Oasis giving off a party-like atmosphere. The media walked away with stocking stuffers and gift sets for all 50+ of our brands…they loved it.
Pierce Mattie is very active in social media. Can you talk about some successful campaigns you executed using social media?
All of our brands are presented with an opportunity to use our social media features. This includes beauty, fashion, fitness, jewelry, home furnishings and lifestyle programs. We typically guide them through Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, YouTube, various blog networks as well as looking at other platforms such as Fame Game, Twitter and so on. Brands that we have done this for include Joico Hair Care, Desperate Housewives Video Games, Guess Clothing, Colorescience Cosmetics and many more. Our video upload to YouTube for the Desperate Housewives video game on the day it launched has generated over 65,000 views and still continues to be viewed well after its launch. While the game itself is no longer new, that’s the benefit and beauty of social media, your branding and product message can continue on past the intended time frame.
Social media is all the rage right now, but don’t many fashion clients still want “traditional” media like magazine covers and morning show interviews?
Clients today want what will generate a good ROI whether it is through traditional media or social media. They want their phone to ring and consumers to purchase their products. Each client has a formula of traditional media including broadcast and print as well as new media such as digital platforms and social networking. Once we agree on a specific percentage of where the emphasis will be placed, the team hits the goals weekly. We always love to secure the top fashion glossies and morning news programs, but when you have a client that is selling into the men’s market, youth market or even the plus size market for women you have to look at new media as the best way to drive sales and generate traffic.
Along those lines, do you think the two often go hand in hand, by promoting traditional media to social media outlets?
Yes, absolutely. Pierce Mattie PR often approaches traditional media first because of the lead time required. We then back end our efforts with social media later as the traditional is coming down the pipeline. They actually compliment one another very well. For example, we will have Allure Magazine do a feature on a client. We then will work with the team at Conde Naste to ensure that it’s going to be back ended with their online community of editorial as well as work with their PR department to get the editors on that story in with a popular morning or evening news program talking about the story. Then we’ll reach out to blogs to do a recap on the segment once it has aired, as well as posting to our own blog, social networking profiles and uploading the video to YouTube.
Kelly Cutrone of People’s Revolution recently told us that TV and media are “sexualizing kids so quick.” Do you agree?
There has definitely been an increase in sexualization in the media targeted to the youth in recent years. I’m thinking specifically of Gossip Girls, Juno and in reality television. Even young girls can’t escape it with cartoons like Bratz where “The Girls with a Passion for Fashion” are scantily dressed. Parents, now more than ever, need to be monitoring what their kids watch on television either through a parental control box on their television or educating themselves on what the shows their children watch are about. It’s not only on television though, but in all aspects of our society so I’m not sure that the blame can be squarely pin pointed on television and the media.