Friday, 4 March 2011

Amanda Wakeley

Absolutely Fabulous evening last night courtesy of top 20 London accountants haysmacintyre - An Evening with Amanda Wakeley -  complete with cat walk, red carpet, (well purple, actually), and Amanda's beautiful clothes modelled on the very beautiful real women at haysmac.  She told us that despite her celeb credentials - she dresses Angelina Jolie for example, and famously used to design for the Princess of Wales - Amanda has a real passion for dressing 'real women' and making them look amazing.


Amanda shared with us the story of her business over the last 20 years.  Only now does she feel she is getting where she wants to be.  Creatively, she has been a tremendous success from Day One.  But on the business side - Oh what a tale of woe!  She has had to stump up hard-earned cash to buy back her own name on two separate occasions - first from her ex-husband and business partner; later from receivers, after a period of leaving 'the business side of things' in the hands of a new business partner.   


But seeing her clothes on the catwalk, you could see why she had been driven to keep going, despite all the let-downs from her business colleagues. Hers is simply a talent that must out.


In conversation with Amanda over canapes, once the formal part of the evening finished, it was interesting to hear just how critical PR had been for her business in its early stages.  Yes she was well connected from the start, but she stressed just how important it had been having a good PR on hand at the start, placing her in the top broadsheets and glossies. This is what brought in the early prestigious commissions and her reputation just grew from there.


The event itself was an example of good professional services marketing done brilliantly.  The idea behind the event was to promote haysmac's creative industries team that looks after clients in the advertising & marketing, fashion & design and TV, film & radio industries.  The logistics were impeccable; the food and drink amazing (particularly a pear blini); and the evening just wonderful fun.  And we loved the goody bags!  A handbag-shaped chocolate; a pocket-sized sewing kit in a posh silver case; and a 10% Amanda Wakeley discount voucher.  Doesn't get better than that!


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Interesting conversations throughout the week with a variety of people in the legal world about the increasing use of social media by law firms and barristers sets, and the growing enthusiasm for twitter in particular.  Quite a divide between those that see, as I do, that twitter is no longer just for early adopters, but now firmly part of the business mainstream.  Still some cynicism, particularly from those working very long hours already and simply too busy to get up to speed with an unfamiliar new medium.  Unfortunately, firms / sets no longer have much of a choice: today, if you don't engage you are in danger of looking severely behind the game.


Thinking what more we can do to help busy lawyers and marketeers to catch up, without adding to their already too long 'to-do' lists.  Hmmm.....


There is of course Brian Inkster's Lex 2011 Tweetup, taking place at All Bar One in Kingsway, 58 Holborn, on 16 March, 6.30pm onwards.  Brian is one of the first lawyers ever to tweet and is inviting all his fellow legal tweeters to meet up in the real world at this event.  If you know anyone who needs persuading of the value of twitter to the professions, this could be a fun way to bring it to life.  Brian is also speaking that day at the Lex 2011 Strategy Forum on the subject of how social media can help professional services businesses.


If you don't follow Brian on twitter already, I'd recommend it.  www.twitter.com/brianinkster.


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Favourite news stories this week?  For me, the two most astonishing were the sad story of John Galliano totally losing the plot - (interesting to note that it was the existence of the now infamous 'I Love Hitler' video that made his denials pointless - a real sign of the times); and Gaddafi's UNBELIEVABLE 'All My People Love Me' interview. Gave me some new ideas for news management advice - it had never occurred to me that a viable tactic might be to lie just SO outrageously that your interviewers are momentarily lost for words.


The two stories were savagely and brilliantly captured by The Times' this week in cartoon form.  If anyone has an image, please do send.  Did you see it?  Gaddafi showing off long white robes with edges dipped in blood, saying 'So Galliano, don't you think?!'


More next week.


Clare



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