Paris agency Rosapark recently announced the arrival of Lauren Weber-Staricky to the position of director of communication. Working with the agency’s co-founders, Jean-Patrick Chicquiar, Gilles Fichteberg and Jean-Francois Sacco, Lauren will help spread the agency’s influence in France and abroad.
In this capacity, she will coordinate, among other things, press relations, public relations, awards, internal communication and community management for the agency. She will also help the agency’s clients with PR concerns and to amplify their campaigns.
We at LBB have known Lauren for years while covering the French creative community. She began her career at BETC before moving to Parisian agency Australia, CLM BBDO, Publicis Conseil, and BBDO Paris, where she spent seven years as communications director. LBB’s Alex Reeves spoke to Lauren about why PR is so vital to ad agencies.
LBB> Having worked on the Paris creative scene for many years, how have you viewed Rosapark and the work it does as an agency?
Lauren> I started out at BETC, where I developed a taste for creativity and strategy and got a sense of what’s required. Naturally, I’ve since been drawn to agencies that are creative and believe in the power of great ideas. Rosapark is, for me, one of the most creative agencies in the advertising landscape. Popular campaigns with major brands and always spot-on in terms of strategy.
It's an honour for me to work in such an agency!
LBB> And how has that view changed over the years as it's grown?
Lauren> Rosapark turns eight this year. I’ve known Gilles (Fichteberg) and Jean-Francois (Sacco) since they were at CLM BBDO so I’ve watched it grow since the beginning and I’ve always been very impressed by their ability to grow while staying so creative. It's quite rare to find an agency this strong in terms of new business, effectiveness, and creativity. That’s what gives Rosapark its strength today. That's why advertisers come to us.
LBB> What does the new comms team look like and how are you planning to work together?
Lauren> I lead a great team, including Melanie Colleou. She's been with the agency for three years and is doing a great job on the Rosapark brand and in particular on the whole influence pole. Theda Braddock works on the international end, and I oversee the big picture.
LBB> Why should agencies value PR people like yourself? And where you are undervalued, why do you think that is?
Lauren> Indeed, the job of PR in an agency is undervalued and sometimes disparaged, yet it’s a central and essential job in an agency. No agency can be big without great visibility, when it comes to campaigns or our managers. In the end I try to do for the Rosapark brand what we do daily for our clients: make the brand grow, make it desirable and essential.
LBB> Why is PR important for advertising agencies and what kinds of journalism are key to this?
Lauren> The power of PR is to amplify the visibility of our campaigns.
It's all well and good to make the best campaign in the world, but if it's not visible, it won't have any impact. And unlike media buying, PR is free visibility. 😊
At Rosapark we work with different types of journalists and influencers. We love connecting with media, marketing and communications journalists because there’s a special relationship there. They know what we do, understand what goes into it, and get all the finer nuances. Many have even done it themselves on the agency side!
I’m also trying more and more to get our name into the mainstream and lifestyle press.
LBB> How would you characterise a good PR-journalist relationship?
Lauren> Confidence, experience and a good understanding of the media and what their constraints are. I’ve known most of the journalists I work with for more than 10 years – they’ve become full-fledged colleagues and even friends in some cases.