It is an honour to introduce Creative Minds, a brand new section in Girl with a Banjo that is going to be dedicated to the most interesting and creative people I am meeting thanks to this blog.
Today we are interviewing Laura Perez, founder and creator of Chic Influence PR. I am sure you’ll be amazed by the thrilling concept behind this bilingual virtual fashion PR agency.
Girl with a Banjo: Explain Chic Influence PR’s concept: what’s the creative idea behind the business?
Laura Perez: Chic Influence PR is a bilingual virtual fashion PR agency. I was inspired by the concept of creating a bilingual virtual fashion PR agency because of Christine Kirk, founder of Social Muse Communications she provides the ultimate in PR and Online Communications which includes traditional media relations, online marketing, online advertising, and social media strategy. Christine becomes like another employee to her clients – she’s an integral part of their executive team, sometimes even working out of their offices. I love how dedicated and involved she is with her clients. What she does is exactly what I had in mind for quite some time. The difference is that my agency will become a virtual extension to my clients team. I wanted to create a virtual agency where I’d be available to my clients 24/7 via phone, text, email, Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc. My agency is an agency on the go. We’d be able to discuss strategy via phone or Skype, review lookbooks, press releases, media lists, etc. via Google Drive at no extra cost.
Girl with a Banjo: When did the idea of founding your own Virtual PR Agency come to your mind?
Laura Perez: I always knew I wanted to become entrepreneur doing something in fashion. I love business, writing, fashion and assisting people achieve their dreams. Naturally public relations seemed like the perfect fit!
Girl with a Banjo: What kind of services do you offer your clients?
Laura Perez: Chic Influence PR specializes in the growth of emerging fashion brands virtually with traditional print and online branding. Including; media relations, blogger relations, and social media marketing & management to maximize their ROI (Return on Influence & Return on Investment). In the future I’d love to also become involved in creating events for my clients including; presentations, fashion shows and trunk shows. My team and I would fly to their location to get it done.
Girl with a Banjo: What kind of brands would you like to work with in the future? How do you approach new clients?
Laura Perez: My agency is bilingual so I would love to work with national and international Latin brands trying to break into the U.S. market. I’d love to work with clients from Central America, South America and Spain, it would be a dream! Being a virtual agency will allow me to be able to work with international brands because once again we have all the tools we need to stay in touch at our fingertips!
My strategy when approaching potential clients is getting to know them first. I then discuss with them the assistance I can provide and how my agency works. Then I talk to them about potentially hiring me.
Girl with a Banjo: What are the advantages of managing a virtual agency?
Laura Perez: The advantages of having a bilingual virtual PR agency is that I do not have overhead costs like a traditional PR agency. My agency is bilingual so I’d be able to assist English speaking and Spanish speaking brands! All the tools my clients and I need to stay connected are the norm in today’s world. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Skype, Text, Email, etc. As long as you have an internet connection or wifi on the go for your smart phone, tablet or computer we can connect!
Girl with a Banjo: How do you handle the disadvantages of not having a physical agency?
Laura Perez: Of course the disadvantage of not having a physical agency is that most will not consider Chic Influence PR a traditional agency. But, it’s digital! I don’t have an office where I meet potential or current clients. Which in the long run is a win-win for both my clients and I because I’m not charging nor have any overhead costs! I’m not located in NYC or LA. But I could fly there if need be! Being virtual means being at my clients fingertips. With all the online tools available. It’s as if I’m right there!
Girl with a Banjo: Sharing a blog, a virtual PR Agency and a full-time job must be exhausting. Tell us how you manage your time to remain successful.
Laura Perez: I currently work fulltime Monday through Friday at a personal injury law firm. Besides handling about 70+ cases, I’m also the paralegal manager. I tweet, email pitches and reply to emails during my free time. After work I update my social media accounts and follow up on emails. During the weekend I work on the posts for the week and continue following up on emails concerning my blog and my PR agency.
Girl with a Banjo: Hypothesis: if you had 5 small clients that take your whole time and one big client knocked on your door, which of those would you go for?
Laura Perez: Of course if I already had 5 small clients that I was working with, I would never let them go! But, I wouldn’t let the opportunity of working with a big client go either. I’m ambitious, will minded, goal oriented, persistent and expert multi-tasker. I know I’d be able to handle all 6 clients. At my current job I’ve handled up to 80+ cases successfully, and this is my job! Imagine what I could do doing something I love?! Having 6 clients would be a piece of cake.
Girl with a Banjo: What are Chic Influence PR’s next steps?
Laura Perez: I just signed my first client! I’d love to begin advertising in various websites to get Chic Influence PR out there and let everyone know who Chic Influence PR is and what we are willing to do to help a brand succeed!
I wanted to personally thank Laura from giving me the chance to interview her about her amazing professional venture. Good luck!