INTRODUCING… KATIE ALLEN!
Katie Allen works in the PR and Digital Media Dept of Aurora Fashions. You may recognise some of their brands – Warehouse, Oasis, Karen Millen, Bastyan and Coast.
1) Why did you choose a career in Advertising/Marketing/PR/Media?
I chose a career in PR because I wanted a career in a high paced environment where I wouldn’t be chained to a desk. I think that’s one of the things I love the most about my job… no day is ever the same! I am constantly out and about in town. I love it! I also love events and a lot of PR focuses around events.
2) How did you get into your chosen career?
I started out with a 3 year degree course in Marketing and Event Management in DBS before I went onto study for a Masters in PR in DIT. The MA in PR opened up so many doors for me. I would highly recommend the course to any graduate looking for a career in PR.
After my Masters I landed the perfect internship in Mary Crotty Public Relations. After 6 months in the agency, It was out into the real world to find a job! I saw that Aurora Fashions were looking for a junior PR assistant and I applied immediately. The rest is history..
3) What has been the most creative advertising/marketing/ PR campaign you have seen/been involved with to date?
I have worked on various campaigns across my brands but I think the most recent Oasis campaign stands out. The campaign was called ‘Oasis Design Your Future’. It was a 6 week mini reality show on TV3’s Ireland AM in search of a young designer to join the Oasis Design team in London. We whittled hundreds of entries down to 10 finalists and the 10 designers battled it out over the 6 weeks for the coveted prize. I was involved from the conception right through to the winners launch parties. It was a crazy 6 weeks but we got amazing coverage for Oasis.
The ‘Coast Best Dressed Lady’ at Punchestown was also a great campaign to work on. I was on site for the entire festival looking after press, our celebrity judges and of course our best dressed ladies. Throughout the campaign, we generated over €2million worth of coverage for Coast.
4) Tell LovePR? About your average day?
Well, as I said no day is ever the same! But.. on an average day I am the press contact for 5 brands – Oasis, Warehouse, Coast, Karen Millen and Bastyan. I liaise with press to organise photoshoots, send them new imagery and ensure all press receive up to date information on each of the brands. I work very closely with stylists and we feature regularly on fashion slots on Xpose and Ireland AM.
If we have events coming up, I am constantly out and about in town meeting suppliers, seeing new venues, working budgets or on the phone to our UK teams.
Twice a year, we host Spring Summer (SS) and Autumn Winter (AW) press shows for each of the brands. We hire out a venue and showcase our new product for that season to the Irish press. So these events take up most of the Spring and then the Autumn. We just finished our AW13 press shows and are back to the drawing board to prepare for SS14.
I am also PA to Ian Galvin, Chairman of Aurora Fashions.
5) What has been the high point of your career to date?
I definitely think that the high point of my career so far has been the fact that my hard work was recognised and I was promoted after one year into my role. I also feel so blessed to work with such amazing fashion brands! (However working with clothes on a daily basis does have a devastating effect on your bank account..)
6) Any advice for new graduates in your field?
Take any opportunity that comes your way… it will stand to you on your CV.
Also, internships are tough and working for nothing is hard but it will be worth it in the end, so stick with it!