Adele Chan of Blank Communications
Rebecca Tay | Date posted: December 6th, 2011
Adele Chan is a true industry veteran, having founded and brought Blank Communications to where it firmly stands as one of Canada’s foremost fashion, beauty, and lifestyle public relations firms. Whether it’s expounding the benefits of tea to media on behalf of Libre Tea or talking blushers, balms and all things beauty for BeautyMark and Kiss & Makeup, she’s on every journalist’s speed-dial.
LoveSewing: How did you get your start as a fashion/beauty/lifestyle publicist?
Adele Chan: “I started with event-based PR (product launches/events), which led to great contacts who were interested in PR services in those industries.”
LS: What is the most challenging thing about working in this industry?
AC: “One of the biggest challenges is managing expectations of your clients and explaining that there are no guarantees for coverage.”
LS: What is a typical day like for you?
AC: “A typical day for me starts fairly early, between 5 and 6am, so that I can catch up on emails from East Coasters. It also allows me to have some quiet time to myself before the rest of the West Coast wakes up. Most days involve phone calls and emails to media and clients—strategizing, pitching and following up, and checking in with people to stay in touch.”
LS: How has social media changed your job? Has it made your job easier or harder?
AC: “In many ways it has made both it easier and harder—easier since everyone has a digital version [of their publication] so clippings are more accessible, the reach is further and it stays forever and not just for one issue; harder since there are so many new, smaller outlets to keep track of.”
LS: Where journalists have to stay on top of industry news, how do you do the opposite—i.e. how do make sure you stay on top of the latest relevant publications, bloggers, etc.?
AC: “I buy all the top magazines to keep track of what publications are producing and out of general interest. Facebook and Twitter have also made it easy to keep on top of clippings.”
LS: Do you have a favourite client? Dream client?
AC: “I have been fortunate and cannot just pick one as a favourite, but I can tell you what makes a client a dream to worth with: clients who trust and respect you and allow you to do your job without question. Those are the clients that I’m the most successful with. They respect my judgment and trust that I have their best interest at heart.”