The Grapevine!

THE INSIDER: Luxury PR guru tells us #uaepr secrets

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I think everyone from Dubai’s PR industry can take a page from Frankie’s Little Black Book of PR secrets that have been making her every journalist’s fav PR girl all over town! With her simple yet powerful tactics, our Guest Editor this week brings with her years of global experience and shows us the true meaning of ‘public relations’ in the right way!

Full Name
Francesca (Frankie!) Hales

Title & Company
PR by day, Founder of ShimmeringSands.me by night

Tell us a little about yourself
I have been living in Dubai for the last 3 years, and absolutely love it! An amazing city, with amazing opportunities! I have two rescue suluki dogs *fur babies, and I’m getting married in Sri Lanka in November this year. I’m bubbly and silly, unless I’m hungry, then I’m awful.

How long have you been in the PR industry and what kind of PR do you do?
I have been working in the PR industry for the last 10 years, mostly working in Fashion PR (al la Devil Wears Prada, how do you spell G-a- b-b- b-a- a-n-a). From launching my-wardrobe.com in the UK as a Press Assistant and living the ‘cold-calling’ dream, to working London & Paris Fashion Weeks as the clipboard Queen, then on to International Global brands such as Gap, Steve Madden, Banana Republic, and Harvey Nichols – Dubai

Can you tell us your five sure shot (secret but not so much) ways to build and foster relationships with the UAE press? 

  1. Do it like London! London creates the most competent PR’s! You are trained to not let it go, you are trained to be out every single night with press making memories as well as contacts, you are trained to not leave the office until it’s done – Dubai is a breeze in comparison!
  2. Be the real deal, you will get nowhere being fake; everyone can see through it. If a journalist has just had a baby, remember the baby’s name. It’s the small things. Be human. Relations being the key word, don’t fake it, you won’t make it! All emails should be personalized, and chitchat! Chitchat goes a long long way (a person behind the pitch)
  3. On the subject of pitching, keep it bespoke – blanket emails are basic – if you really want relations, and fantastic coverage support, you have to really sell a story / product (don’t be lazy!)
  4. Be passionate, be excited – if it doesn’t make you excited, how do you expect press to get excited?
  5. Respond to emails, you would be surprised how many press come to me and say I’m a fantastic PR simply because I REPLY. Who knew it could be that easy?

**These will all help you to be unique, be memorable, and to be YOU – the relationships will follow

Most memorable PR moment!
I’ve had many. Working with Sarah Jessica Parker was a real highlight (she’s lovely FYI; totally normal and real). Every single London Fashion Week Show. The adrenaline is like nothing else. You get to see all the press you love (and the ones you don’t but you smile anyway, because you are professional), you are based in the behind-the- scenes buzz before the Show starts, then the lights go down and the Show starts. Nothing creates goosebumps like it, and then on to the parties! I’ll tell you about them another time!

IG handle @shimmering.sands

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