An Evolution of Influence Following the Era of Print

 They say you always remember your first placement.  As a young public relations professional “ your first”  signified a major magazine placement you finally and painstakingly, after months (if not years) of pitching, secured for your client.  For me, that was  Vogue  which was the equivalent of winning gold for my client, Argyle Diamonds of Australia. The sheer influence and reach of  Vogue  set the standard for fashion, beauty and lifestyle media coverage– and it was (and remains) at the top of every client’s wish list. And while  Vogue ’s staying power continues, today we operate within an industry that is constantly evolving. With technology driving our lives, it is not out of the ordinary to hear that  Teen Vogue  gave up their imprint to go digital or that social influencers are securing front row seats at fashion shows and new product mega reveals. And for my staff, their firsts look quite different- their firsts exist in real time with social influencers who have millions of followers.  Super Influencer, Arielle Charnas of  Something Navy  has proven this paradigm with her recent Nordstrom deal for a standalone “Something Navy” collection set to launch this fall. The “Elevated basic” collection will feature a line of apparel, jewelry, and accessories priced between $49-$399. It doesn’t stop there, Co-founder of  Bag Snob , Tina Craig, started her career with a passion for handbags and became an influencer in her own right after creating a bag collection with DKNY and landing  WWD  articles.  While news of  Teen Vogue  print shuttering created a swirl of buzz and OMGs, this was a wickedly smart move for the publication to recalibrate its format, platform and voice to reach the digital dependent millennials.  For public relations professionals, technology challenges us each day to pivot our strategies to deliver a strong ROI and engagement for our clients as the evolution of influence has changed the core tenants of communication.  Another case in point is the inevitable demise of Time Inc. when America’s 95-year-old publishing empire was purchased by Meredith Corporation. The structural shift had a direct correlation with the rise in digital  marketing and advertising.  Where people had once received current events, beauty and style tips, and the latest news from emerging business brands, now they’re directing their attention to a superfluity of digital networks that induce content from profitable constituents.  This illustration, promoted by venture capitalists, depict the ineludible migration from print to digital networks and platforms.  As we counsel our clients on the influx and impact of emerging channels and platforms along with tutorials about the influencers and voices that are critical to a brand’s marketing success, we find an eagerness for them to examine their communications efforts in a bright new light that is all-inclusive and open minded to the reduction of print editorial.   For lifestyle product marketers, we are customizing and “characterizing” our messages to an audience of influencers that reaches far beyond editors, writers, producers and researchers.   WWD  has said that these influencers are the new sales associates and as we have seen, if they believe in your product, their endorsement (paid or otherwise) can be a powerful sales tool.  We now have exciting web personalities whose blogs, Vlogs, Instagram’s and Snaps deliver critical access to reach potential customers.  These influencers are self-proclaimed fans of fashion/beauty/food etc., stylists who have the ear of A-list celebrities, former journalists who have re-imagined their voice and are using new platforms and channels to share their opinions. While they continuously push out content; many are approached for magazine features, TV talk & reality shows and ad campaigns.  Hey, even my own team members are creating their own blogs as a channel to share their product passions and style imprints.  So, as we navigate the ever evolving digital deities, the greater challenge we face is #howtostandout with real time news, noise and queries to Alexa.  Amidst this shifting media landscape, I have found that two truths remain - you must have an interesting and authentic story to tell – and those influencers need content.  The best stories pique curiosity, take a stand, solve a problem, fulfill an unmet need, offer a new perspective, inspire awareness,   challenges conventional wisdom and most importantly, compel others to tell your story. Whether you are talking to a journalist, a producer, a blogger, a stylist, a celebrity or BFF to a star, you can #standout on the strength of a story that is customized to reach your customer of choice.  Stories can be told with smart copy, vibrant visuals, 140 characters, #great news, emotion, an invitation and good reason.     So as the evolution of influence evolves, we will continue to work with our clients to tell interesting stories to interesting people and along the way, continue to help our staff members celebrate their firsts.    

They say you always remember your first placement.  As a young public relations professional “your first” signified a major magazine placement you finally and painstakingly, after months (if not years) of pitching, secured for your client.  For me, that was Vogue which was the equivalent of winning gold for my client, Argyle Diamonds of Australia. The sheer influence and reach of Vogue set the standard for fashion, beauty and lifestyle media coverage– and it was (and remains) at the top of every client’s wish list. And while Vogue’s staying power continues, today we operate within an industry that is constantly evolving. With technology driving our lives, it is not out of the ordinary to hear that Teen Vogue gave up their imprint to go digital or that social influencers are securing front row seats at fashion shows and new product mega reveals. And for my staff, their firsts look quite different- their firsts exist in real time with social influencers who have millions of followers.

Super Influencer, Arielle Charnas of Something Navy has proven this paradigm with her recent Nordstrom deal for a standalone “Something Navy” collection set to launch this fall. The “Elevated basic” collection will feature a line of apparel, jewelry, and accessories priced between $49-$399. It doesn’t stop there, Co-founder of Bag Snob, Tina Craig, started her career with a passion for handbags and became an influencer in her own right after creating a bag collection with DKNY and landing WWD articles.

While news of Teen Vogue print shuttering created a swirl of buzz and OMGs, this was a wickedly smart move for the publication to recalibrate its format, platform and voice to reach the digital dependent millennials.  For public relations professionals, technology challenges us each day to pivot our strategies to deliver a strong ROI and engagement for our clients as the evolution of influence has changed the core tenants of communication.

Another case in point is the inevitable demise of Time Inc. when America’s 95-year-old publishing empire was purchased by Meredith Corporation. The structural shift had a direct correlation with the rise in digital

marketing and advertising.  Where people had once received current events, beauty and style tips, and the latest news from emerging business brands, now they’re directing their attention to a superfluity of digital networks that induce content from profitable constituents.  This illustration, promoted by venture capitalists, depict the ineludible migration from print to digital networks and platforms.

As we counsel our clients on the influx and impact of emerging channels and platforms along with tutorials about the influencers and voices that are critical to a brand’s marketing success, we find an eagerness for them to examine their communications efforts in a bright new light that is all-inclusive and open minded to the reduction of print editorial. 

For lifestyle product marketers, we are customizing and “characterizing” our messages to an audience of influencers that reaches far beyond editors, writers, producers and researchers.  WWD has said that these influencers are the new sales associates and as we have seen, if they believe in your product, their endorsement (paid or otherwise) can be a powerful sales tool.  We now have exciting web personalities whose blogs, Vlogs, Instagram’s and Snaps deliver critical access to reach potential customers.  These influencers are self-proclaimed fans of fashion/beauty/food etc., stylists who have the ear of A-list celebrities, former journalists who have re-imagined their voice and are using new platforms and channels to share their opinions. While they continuously push out content; many are approached for magazine features, TV talk & reality shows and ad campaigns.  Hey, even my own team members are creating their own blogs as a channel to share their product passions and style imprints.  So, as we navigate the ever evolving digital deities, the greater challenge we face is #howtostandout with real time news, noise and queries to Alexa.

Amidst this shifting media landscape, I have found that two truths remain - you must have an interesting and authentic story to tell – and those influencers need content.  The best stories pique curiosity, take a stand, solve a problem, fulfill an unmet need, offer a new perspective, inspire awareness, 

challenges conventional wisdom and most importantly, compel others to tell your story. Whether you are talking to a journalist, a producer, a blogger, a stylist, a celebrity or BFF to a star, you can #standout on the strength of a story that is customized to reach your customer of choice.  Stories can be told with smart copy, vibrant visuals, 140 characters, #great news, emotion, an invitation and good reason.   

So as the evolution of influence evolves, we will continue to work with our clients to tell interesting stories to interesting people and along the way, continue to help our staff members celebrate their firsts. 

 

By Cindy Riccio, President, CRC

Meet Kevin Tu

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Hi! I’m CRC’s Spring 2018 Intern, and my name is Kevin Tu. I’m currently an undergraduate student at New York University’s Stern School of Business and am majoring in marketing.

CRC has proven to be an amazing place to get hands-on experience. Day one, in the office, you’re tasked with duties that contribute to or directly affect a client. PR is a special branch of marketing. It necessitates a working knowledge of what your clients are doing compared to which publications want to hear from them in order to increase exposure and drive traffic towards available retailers as well as their e-commerce businesses. In this way, more and more people can hear and buy their product. We’re the ones who personally reach out on our client’s behalf.

As my first undergraduate internship, I’ve learned a lot here. Our clients range from fashion to health-conscious food products. I’ve learned how to talk to clients and address their needs directly, as well as assisting in implementing various business development strategies to develop a brand.

The team is always there to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it! I came in with a general knowledge of marketing and PR, but the core team, Cindy, Amira, Hayley, and Zorina, really helped me contextualize it to make a tangible effect in the real world. In the weeks I’ve been here, I learned so much about what digital marketing and PR is all about.

Finally, CRC is an agency that hasn’t shied away from moving with the times. We are as much a PR firm as a digital marketing one. I’ve learned how to develop social media strategies, content curation and calendars to maintain a productive, contributable online presence for our clients. It’s very much a place that gives its interns real opportunities to interact with clients and support their storytelling optimization.

I’ve sat in on and even talked to clients during conference calls, and have drafted pitches for media publications, TV shows such as The Doctors and The Today Show, as well as trade announcements to key industry gatekeepers. CRC even gives interns valuable teambuilding experiences.

For example, I went with the team for a guerilla marketing campaign where we took the New York City streets by storm inn recognition of American Heart Month.  On Valentine’s Day, we spread the #cocolove with free samples of chocolate ganache pots courtesy of our client, the Coconut Collaborative, the dairy-free, vegan-friendly coconut-based yogurt company! It was exciting to stand behind the Good Morning America show to spread Coconut Collaborative’s story far and wide as they launched their plant-based yogurt and dessert pots in the US from the UK.  By that event alone, we handed out over 5,000 samples all across NYC during the busy commuter hours and throughout the day during New York Fashion Week. It was an innovative marketing execution that highlighted just how much a difference we make at this agency while also managing to have lots of fun!

So far, it’s been a valuable experience. I highly recommend coming here to meet and work with the team! CRC is definitely a very encouraging environment to anyone who’s ready to learn and I look forward to working more with CRC as this semester continues!

CRC In The Huffington Post: Women in Business

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For more than ten years, CRC has used the magic of storytelling to spread the word and spark conversations. Leveraging the latest communications technology and digital tools to help broadcast brand stories to the consumer. With clients including a host of home goods, apparel/accessories, beauty and food/beverage companies CRC offers marketers a collaborative culture and viable alternative to an in-house communications department.

In a Women in Business Q&A, CRC President and founder Cindy Riccio sits down with The Huffington Post to discuss the changing climate of the digital age, her advice for women in the industry, life experience, role models, and what she hopes to accomplish in the next year with CRC.

Read more here

 

CRC on The Daily Front Row

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After a fruitful career of leading public relations for global to mid-size public relations agencies and Fortune 500 agencies, Cindy Riccio broke out on her own to found CRC a decade ago. Since then she has built her agency into a digitally savvy, award-winning boutique communications agency representing clients across categories like food, beauty, fragrance, travel, fitness, tech, and fashion. In this feature story, Cindy chats with The Daily Front Row on how she founded CRC, her biggest PR coups, and discusses how brands will be communicating beyond social media and common digital tactics, in the future.

Read the full article here. 

CRC Featured on PR Couture

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Consumer lifestyle marketing expert, Cindy Riccio opened the doors to Cindy Riccio Communications (CRC) ten years ago after years developing and executing award-winning public relations programs for leading Fortune 500 companies and agencies.

The C3 Formula: Create. Connect. Communicate has caught the attention of clients like Hanes, Kenneth Cole and Wonderbra.

An avid news connoisseur with a passion for storytelling, we were lucky enough to learn more about Cindy’s background, vision and agency focus.

Read the full article here.

Celebrating the TENacity of Owning a Small PR Agency

Celebrating the TENacity of Owning a Small PR Agency

Cindy, our President and Founder, shares her ten top observations about growing and thriving in a competitive and ever-evolving marketplace, competing with the big agencies and how a boutique lifestyle shop continues to keep and attract smart talent and great clients. As featured in Agility PR Solutions.

“I and love and you” Appoints CRC to Manage PR, Social and Influencer Program

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Since this is our news, we want to write it like that. So.. CRC is happy to announce its newest client, natural pet food brand “I and love and you,” to spread the word about the brand’s premium line of pet products.

“I and love and you” is all about that special bond between pet parent and their pet, providing food that is crafted to include the optimal combination of complete whole-food nutrition and the premium ingredients pets love. CRC is excited to add the pet industry to their portfolio, expanding on their expertise and wide range of clients.

You can read more here.

CRC Team Goes on Idea Trip in Brooklyn

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CRC is staying ahead of the curve by inspiring creativity and innovation with Idea Trip, created by CUSP NYC. The concept is part art, photography and food tour that uses the city as a muse.

The purpose is to embrace the inspiration in the surrounding community for a nudge, or jolt, out of the current groove, opening the eyes to a wider creative world, encouraging new and breakthrough ideas. The trip took the team through Gowanus, exploring galleries, event spaces, street art, innovative and creative local companies, museums and restaurants.

Read more on O'Dwyer's here.

CRC Announces Three New Hires Expands Office Showroom for Celebrity Influencer Management

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 New CRC team member, Brianne, Erika and Jillian

New CRC team member, Brianne, Erika and Jillian

CRC is happy to announce the hiring of Brianne Dezzutti to Account Supervisor and Director of Celebrity Influencer Management, Erika Kuzmicz to Senior Account Executive and Manger of Celebrity Influencer Management as well as Jillian Fredi as Public Relations Assistant. As CRC continues to enhance its digital marketing and communications services with paid content, influencer programs and social media strategy, the indie firm has also expanded its Flatiron office in NYC with a showroom space to facilitate celebrity stylist meetings, mixologist and food service demos, as well as editor deskside appointments on a daily basis.

O'Dwyers has the full scoop about it here.

The Evolution of Digital Marketing and Influencers for Growing Brands

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Cindy Riccio, President and Founder of CRC, Inc. has taken a deeper look at the changing landscape of influencer marketing and the consequences it has on today’s PR and digital marketing professionals. Influencer marketing is currently in a grey area for both marketers and consumers, leaving brands to define the rules for themselves in hopes that they are obeying the law. As we continue to work with influencers and bloggers across fashion, beauty, food, and lifestyle industry, we’re ensuring we steer our clients in the right direction.

You can read the white paper on BulldogReporter.com

CRC Hires Digital Media Strategist and Announces Launch of New Website

CRC Hires Digital Media Strategist and  Announces Launch of New Website

New York, NY, July 19, 2016 -- CRC, a fast growing privately held PR and marketing communications agency announced today the hiring of a new Digital Marketing Manager to expand the firm’s offerings as a full service PR and digital marketing agency. Vanessa Jeswani joins CRC with over a decade of experience in digital strategy and analytics from both agency and in-house involvement under her belt.

PACT | ORGANIC Appoints CRC to Manage PR and Thought Leadership Program

PACT | ORGANIC Appoints CRC to Manage  PR and Thought Leadership Program

New York, N.Y., June 20, 2016 – CRC Inc., a New York-based public relations agency, has been named the agency of record for PACT | ORGANIC, an apparel company that is sweatshop free, ethically produced, and part of a movement transforming the way apparel is made. PACT |ORGANIC addresses all the ethical concerns when purchasing apparel by partnering with the OCS (Organic Content Standard), GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), and Fair Trade USA to certify organic content in all products.

CRC Team Building at Woodloch Spa and Resort

CRC Team Building at Woodloch Spa and Resort

CRC recently road-tripped through the Pennsylvania wilderness to the beautiful Woodloch Resort and Spa in the scenic Poconos Mountains for the ultimate agency outing. We were eager to re-focus, disconnect from the busy day-to-day life and reconnect with our inner selves while taking advantage of all the outdoor adventures, creative workshops and wellness classes.

CRC Welcomes Worthy As A Client

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Worthy is quickly becoming the most trusted source for Upcycling™ diamonds, offering honest appraisals from industry experts certified by the Gemological Institute of America. “CRC’s expertise with luxury goods, as well as relationships with consumer media and influencers, is key to position Worthy as the #1 source for diamond resell,” says Judy Herbst, Director of Marketing & PR of Worthy. Focusing initially on helping women know the true value of their diamonds, Worthy is the online destination for selling sentimental valuables during life changing events, while servicing with compassion, empathy, trust and worth. “We have learned that so many of our customers are using their new funds to renew themselves, like restarting their careers or remodeling a room or going on a girls escape weekend” says Judy Herbst, Director Marketing & PR at Worthy. This path of the Worthy Movement represents the empowerment of women and encourages them to resell the valuables that were once sentimental and can now signify a time of change.

For additional information on Worthy, please visit: http://www.worthy.com/

CRC Wins 2016 Silver Stevie Award

2016 Silver Steve AwardMay 2, 2016  -- CRC has been recognized with the Silver Stevie® Award for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year - New Product Launch for the launch of the Kenneth Cole Connect smart watch in 2015: “CRC Spoils the Apple with Kenneth Cole Connect -- Sneak Launch Boosts Kenneth Cole Connect Coverage in Smart Watch Wars A Week Prior To Apple.” The campaign resulted in over 40 press appointments, 13,000+ social media impressions and over 3.1 billion media impressions in 9 months.

Generating buzz with the media to activate consumer engagement for the release of Kenneth Cole Connect, the target honed in on the millennial demographic by activating a variety of strategies to drive success, including launching a multimedia video news release in advance at Baselworld to international press, constructing a custom social media-driven photo booth and capitalizing on consumer excitement to place the smart watch in the media landscape.

The Stevie® Awards recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide and receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations.

From Runway to Realway

From Runway to Realway

Hanes Hosiery Teams Up With Bibhu Mohapatra for New York Fashion Week

After seasons of bare legs dominating runways and the red carpet, Hanes Hosiery proudly made its official debut back on the runway this past September. To capitalize on the momentum of legwear making a comeback as a result of the “Kate Effect” and rising popularity of Kate Middleton, the classic legwear brand teamed up with luxury designer Bibhu Mohapatra at New York Fashion Week.

CRC's Cindy Riccio Featured on The Shelf

CRC's Cindy Riccio Featured on The Shelf

Our President & Founder, Cindy Riccio, was recently featured on The Shelf in an all-encompassing piece on PR in the influencer age: "How To Do Influencer Marketing: Insider Tips From 40 Top PR Pros." We are excited to share this article that flexes our blogger media muscle of which we have a honed expertise. With the importance of implementing digital marketing and PR strategies, it's imperative to stay ahead of the curve, and we at CRC pride ourselves on our ability to actively collaborate with influencers and bloggers in addition to more traditional media. Check out the piece here!