Conde Nast College welcomes Purple PR Director Nancy Oakley to speak to the student body about her career journey in PR and what key fundamentals we should all take into a career in 21st Century PR. BA Fashion Communications student, Alice Morey reports…
Nancy Oakley Purple PR at Condé Nast College
On the frontline of PR, working with clients across the fashion and lifestyle spectrum, Nancy Oakley visited the College as part of the regular Tuesday industry guest lecture series to give students an insight into the functionality and role of PR in a new digital age.
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Oakley is a Director at the renowned Fashion PR agency, Purple PR, an agency with offices in London and New York, providing communications, digital and creative strategy, press, talent and partnership, and events and VIPs. Purple has established itself as leader in cultivating and developing new talent. Working with the likes of Bianca Saunders and Daniel W. Fletcher at the nascent stages of their careers.
Oakley started out her career in PR after completing a Fashion Design degree at Salisbury Art College and a brief spell at Artwork (a knitwear brand), before moving into PR. Since the beginning of her career Oakley notes the transition and integration of digital allowing the “ability to elevate a campaign globally”. A campaign no longer exists just as a PR statement and active in a few channels, now a 360-degree omni-channel approach is adopted to target different media channels, maximising the message of a campaign.
Networking is everything!
A key takeaway from Nancy was “having a big network was everything”, when working with emerging talent when budgets can be restrictive being able to pull in favours and talk to your network can help a vision to come to life. Collaboration is key connecting the right sponsors with talent. Have outside interests which can help you build a relationship outside fashion; much like the ethos of college, which encourages students to look broadly across culture, tech and the arts industry to be able to see how the fashion industry is responding and reactive to wider societal shifts.
Organisational skills are paramount in PR
Development of skills is crucial with Oakley stating, “organisational skills being paramount”, specifically the use of GPS systems, time sheet and Excel data. Being able to problem solve, come up with creative solutions on the spot whilst crucially staying calm and not flapping.
Passion, patience & politeness will get you everywhere
Being passionate, patient and polite all the time is the fuel which carries you through a PR career, a desire to be there with rewards being seeing a full front row and collection going down the runway. Oakley’s motivation and knowledge of for the subject was inspirational and left much for the Condé Nast College students to consider – particularly the second year BA Fashion Communication Students, who are currently working on PR and Digital Strategy campaigns and how to craft innovative and interesting campaigns with a purpose and a wider story to share.
By Alice Morey