Hair Awards – It’s finally here!

There’s such a common misconception about PR consultants; especially in the Hair and Beauty industry. People think its party, party, party; but don’t be fooled – it certainly isn’t. We work as hard as the rest of them making sure our clients get the coverage they deserve and that each and every piece of PR we do; whether that’s a quote in a trade magazine or a double page spread in Look, is earned and worthwhile.

There is however a ‘but’ in here… and quite a big one at that. When we do land a client that means organising and PR-ing a big event it really is a different level of excitement and that’s exactly what we’ve had with The Hair Awards. We’ve worked alongside the fantastic team at Hair Magazine to ensure the awards are a huge success and after months of hard work it’s finally here. Today, it all pays off…The Hair Awards are finally here!

We have done so much for the awards; it really has been an all-encompassing journey for Catalyst from organising the venue to designing the invites and from sending out press releases to inviting all the nominees and contacting the celebrities and pretty much everything in between. As a lover of pretty much all things organisational, I’ve loved every minute of it.

The level of communication involved in all aspects of the event is extraordinary. It really has given me the chance to improve journalist relations, to get to know names and faces in the hair industry as well as the innumerable Hair and Beauty PR teams. We’ve also had the pleasure of working closely with The Hair Magazine team over the past few months so our relationship with them has grown even stronger.

I hadn’t expected to be getting so involved with The Hair Awards during my PR placement but that’s what’s happened and I’ve loved every moment of it – seeing things slowly come together and watching the guest list grow has been phenomenal. There’s a great buzz in the office all knowing it’s going to be such a fantastic event and wishing all our clients the best of luck with their nominations.

Now I must be off, my hair appointment beckons….

The rise of the groomed Alpha male

I admit, I was very dubious when five years ago or so, I heard that the Alpha male was going to take their personal appearance seriously. Very seriously.

I laughed out loud at this impossible notion – a male grooming ritual that consists of concealer, bronzer and fake tan? Not long ago, grooming for men consisted of a hair cut and a change of underpants perhaps once a week!

TV show The Only Way is Essex is partly to blame for the rise of the groomed Alpha male. Men on the show talk unabashedly about waxing their pubic hair, threading their eyebrows and using moisturiser at night. With more and more men keen to share their grooming rituals, men  who take an avid interest in their appearance are no longer stigmatised as vain or superficial; after all, in today’s narcissism, looks are everything. The once nonchalant approach that’s so typical to the British man’s character is now threatened by the American’s penchant for TV perfect skin, teeth and hair.

With this in mind, I have decided to outline a grooming ritual that the average UK man should adhere to:

1. Do not wear overpowering cologne to mask day old armpits, instead, wash them.

2. Regarding hair trends for men, suave is in, dishevelled is out. Refer to “Mad Men” for the slick gentleman look: short clipped hair with a gradual undercut and a side parting with a hint of shine.

3.  Keep eyebrows tidy by threading or waxing unscrupulous hairs.  The mono-brow is so 90’s.

4. Get a manicure at least once a month to keep nails strong and healthy. Nails bitten to the flesh portrays a man with a nervous disposition.

Our Initial Client Meetings and How we Communicate Goals

Hi all,

I hope you are well and starting to enjoy the somewhat warmer weather? I am on way to Dublin – a city I absolutely love going to. The people are fantastic and the Guinness is great too!

I am going to visit a client who Catalyst have handled for 6 years. That’s an incredible length of time in the P.R. world! They found us by looking for a leading hair and beauty pr agency. We had recently finished a 14 year contract with another top hair and beauty brand, so we were on the look out for a client just like them.

In the initial meeting we asked the potential client what they were looking for and what they wanted to achieve. We responded to those goals and put them in a one, two, three, four and five year plan. We also told the client about our goals and where we wanted to be. Sounds like I am going on? Well that might be the case! However, we were communicating, and by communicating we were being clear on each others aspirations and by doing this simple yet effective task, we were setting the foundations of a long and healthy business relationship.

Communication is key. It’s a cliche but it’s the truth. If you aren’t looking after your clients needs at all times you are doomed to fail. I often hear beauty salons say that they really looked after the client. However, the client will say ‘they did, but they didn’t do what I wanted’. This is a communication break down! TOP TIP – next time a new client approaches you or better still you find a new client yourself through a marketing strategy, simply ask them – what is it that you would like to get out of my service or business? Obviously you need to apply this to your own product or service but it works every time. Example – if I meet a potential new client I always ask them for their wish list before the see me. Through this I can ascertain who I am talking too, what they like and most importantly, what they want!

Another TOP TIP with communication, I just briefly touched upon it, who are you talking too? As a top P.R. and a good ‘people person’, I can identify who I am talking to. By doing so I can empathise with them.
This is a major sales tool and relationship builder. By dealing with the person and NOT the product or service, I get on their ‘wavelength’ and again I build on a stronger relationship which inevitably means more money over a longer period. Now, how does that sound?

I am visiting Dublin today to see what my hair and beauty client wants to achieve over the next few years and I will be telling them Catalyst’s goals too. Communicating again! Here’s to the next six years and more great success.

Stay positive

Makeup’s Fast Track to Fashion in 2012

Our office has been buzzing with excitement and increasing anticipation over the last few weeks as the kick off to London Fashion Week fast approaches. Rumour has it there’s a lot to look forward to in the beauty world, particularly when it comes to makeup trends in 2012! From statement liners to hyper glow skin to pastel hues, this season is set leave every beauty junkie raiding their local beauty counters as we set out in force to recreate the latest trends.

The one thing that I have always treasured about this particular industry is how hair and beauty trends provide us with the perfect segue between seasons. Unlike the clothes which we won’t be able to get hold of for another six months, beauty trends are instantly transferable. No sooner has the curtain closed on the first catwalk show we are able to run down to the nearest beauty store to inundate ourselves with the lotions and potions we need to recreate the latest looks. It’s an instant fix! What’s more it’s much more affordable than the pricey designer clothes; everyone’s a winner.

Over the last few days I have seen an increasing influx of beauty predictions for 2012 sweeping across every magazine and beauty website alike. Hotly tipped for this season’s must-have look is hyper glow skin. After a winter battling the elements, it’s time for dull, dry skin to move over and let healthy, glowing skin take centre stage. 2012’s sporty obsession means the ‘au naturel’ and super healthy glow is this season’s must-have trend.

The best way to achieve this super healthy transparency is to apply a small amount of skin illuminator to cheek bones, brow bones and down the middle of the nose to create a stunning, highlighted luminosity. To finish lightly dust a small amount of bronzing powder over cheek bones, shoulders and Décolletage, this will give you a gorgeous glow. Just be careful not to overdo it, there’s nothing more unattractive than looking tangoed believe me I should know!

Best Mineral Foundation? No such thing!

Hi I’m Jess, and I’m a beauty-aholic.

As a self-confessed beauty addict, I accept the fact that when a new Hair or Beauty product comes out, it will, inevitably end up on my ever-growing shelf of styling products, makeup and pretty much every beauty-related item in-between.

My beauty must have? Foundation. Give me this and I can rule the world – or something of that calibre. In the last two weeks alone I have invested in two new foundations (no reason why, just because they were there, on the shelf, calling out to me); one was fantastic, the other one simply wasn’t for me.

I’m certainly not one of those ‘have a brand and stick to it’ types – I like to try anything new or different; so the first one was one of those air whipped foundations which I hastened to admit – actually works (well after the initial pump in the shop which left so much product on my hand that I had to shyly ask the shop assistant for a tissue…). It went on like a dream, stayed on longer than my usual foundation and you need surprisingly little to get a decent coverage plus I managed to find a perfect colour for my skin tone… and seeing as that’s pretty much everything I want in a foundation; I’m very happy.

The other one was a mineral foundation; there are so many of these in the beauty market right now so I have no doubt that some of them are fantastic but for me the one I went for just wasn’t for me. Most mineral makeup foundations promises to give you a healthy glow and cover imperfections; but I think with this type of foundation, it’s best to go for an investment; something from the higher-end of the market that truly delivers what it promises.

There’s so much hype around finding the perfect foundation for your skin type, and while that is true in order to make skin appear great, I think there’s probably going to be more than one that works for you. After all, I have a separate foundation for different occasions: my every day one, my one for nights out, one for extra special events, and one for my trips to the gym (cause every girl needs to at least look good before they workout).

So natural mineral makeup? Give me an all-singing, all-dancing, chemical-laden foundation that does what it says on the tin any day.

Don’t judge my unhealthy obsession with all things makeup – I am in hair and beauty PR after all!

Perfectly Pitched PR

Since starting my PR Placement here at Catalyst, I’ve definitely learnt the importance of working with journalists; getting to know them, how they work and most importantly how to angle products and stories to suit the growing number of trade and consumer publications and the trends they follow.

The difference between working with Hair trade press and general consumer press is phenomenal. When working with journalists that deal primarily with Hair and Beauty PR’s you know, as long as you keep up-to-date on the trends and on their regular features, that you will find something suitable and exciting for your client.

However, consumer press is something entirely different and being an avid reader of weekly and monthly magazines definitely gave me an advantage when I started here as I already knew regular features they ran; but even with that base knowledge getting my hair clients in them was a struggle. If there’s one thing I can say has been drummed into me since starting here is to ‘angle’ my press releases – so angle I do – and as my angling becomes more focused I’ve seen consumer pieces popping up all over the show. Truly thinking about who will be reading the magazine and ensuring you’re appealing to their emotions and desires will mean you get the outcome you want and that you’re not just sending out random releases but actively thinking about your client and your audience.

So now, Black and White Wax has been featured in Look magazine (associating the product with creating the hugely popular and on-trend, slicked-back hair style) as well as in Nuts magazine (focusing on the popularity of vintage products in the media). Plus all thanks to our unhealthy obsession with magazines and getting to know their regular features, Seanhanna has been in Shout magazine, and we’ve got four weeks of Beever PR booked in Grazia – and that’s just from the first few magazines I took off our ever-growing scanning pile.

So there – as my bio says – you learn something new every day, and each day I learn what works and what doesn’t for us Hair and Beauty PR girls.

Leeds Beauty PR Retail Inspiration

Hi all,

I am sitting in my hotel room and it’s 9 o clock at night and I am still feeling genuinely inspired from today’s meetings. I am in Leeds and if you haven’t been here or been for a while you MUST return, it’s amazing city full of top restaurants, stunning buildings, lovely hotels and honest, good people.

Why I am still so inspired is because I met with one potential client and one current client who have great service businesses that really do 20% in retail. Let me explain, most hair and beauty salons will say that 20% of their business turnover is retail but realistically they aren’t even doing 5%!

I asked them both about the secret to their success and they explained, “first we just show the clients the products that we are using on their hair and on their skin” Sounds so simple but why aren’t most hair and beauty salons doing this? They followed on “We make it part of the stylists or the beauticians regime to ask if they need to buy any products?” Again, so simple.

Catalyst and I offer simple course information and tips on how to increase the retail in your hair and beauty service business – for more information please email me personally at

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It’s getting late and there’s a forecast for snow for tomorrow so my trip in Leeds might be prolonged. Hey ho, there’s always a silver lining.

Confessions of a Beauty Addict

As the market leaders in hair and beauty PR, the PR team here at Catalyst live and breathe everything hair and beauty. With constant exposure to all the latest glossy magazines and being within our line of duty to stay on top of the trends, it’s no wonder we are now all self-confessed beauty addicts!

Latest additions to my string of personal beauty addictions are….

Body butters! Covering just about every delicious scent imaginable these luxurious butters are just what my skin needs to quench its thirst during the harsh winter months. Not only do they keep my skin in great condition they are also a great way to preserve my ever fading tan from my trip to OZ. I have also found If you use body butters on a regular basis after showering when your skin is still a little damp  your skin looks and feels ultra soft!

My next new beauty must-have is exfoliating body scrubs. It may be too cold outside to start baring your skin, but it’s never too early to start prepping your body for the warmer months ahead. We all know body scrubs exist, but many of us don’t take the time to use them. Not only will a good quality body scrub leave skin feeling smooth and looking beautiful they will also remove dead skin cells and help to keep the skin healthy. Who doesn’t want that?!