View a full range of our ebooks

View full library

Explore

Our Location

The PHA Group
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Digital Studio
Fourth Floor,
47 Dean St,
Soho,
London,
W1D 5BE

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Finance Department
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com

Controversy at Cannes

Controversy at Cannes

Planning a successful event can be extremely stressful and in my experience there are often hundreds of details to consider, from larger aspects such as the venue down to tiny details such as place cards. As part of this it is amazingly easy for problems to arise, especially when dealing with the media, which can then spiral out of control.

A great example of this that I’ve seen recently was with the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where the media and the general public were outraged following the reports that women were turned away by security at the event because they weren’t wearing high heels.

https://gty.im/474112392

The event saw a huge amount of negative press coverage that included public statements from many high profile celebrities. Models Kendall Jenner and Laura Stone were both spotted flouting the Cannes dress code by wearing flat shoes with their gowns, actress Emily Blunt spoke out against the organisation stating that the dress code was “disappointing” and that “everyone should wear flats, to be honest”, fellow actress Rashida Jones also weighed in stating the rule was ‘sexist’ and was quoted saying that “It’s part of a larger problem, which is heels are the worst. They make your legs look better, whatever, but mainly it’s men designing them and setting these rules. If they make a rule where that I have to wear heels on the carpet, then I’m making a rule that I’m just going to wear flats any time I’m asked to wear heels”.

A spokesperson for Cannes Film Festival has since attempted to defend the event organisers claiming that “regarding the dress code for the red carpet screenings, rules have not changed throughout the years. There is no specific mention about the height of the women’s heels as well as for men’s. Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the Festival’s hosts and hostesses were reminded of it.” This then sparked even more media outrage, and saw numerous comments from the public on social media channels with the phrase #cannesheels becoming a trending topic on twitter.

How can other brands ensure that they run a successful event? Outlined below are my top tips to avoid making the same mistakes:

https://gty.im/474108030

Pay attention to detail

At any event it is more often than not, the smallest details that attendees remember. This can be both positive and negative, for example people may be talking for years about one delicious canapé served, or alternatively they could always remember the time that they were spoken to rudely by the staff at an event. This being said, it is crucial to plan all aspects of the event and pay attention to even the smallest details i.e. if you want to implement a dress code make sure it is clearly and effectively communicated to all attendees prior to the event and always allow for there to be exceptions to the rule.

 Your workforce

Plan in time to train all staff that will be working at the event, making sure they are briefed to act professionally at all times. The people working for you are a representation on your brand, and therefore can reflect positively or negatively on your company. A helpful and polite workforce will ensure that the attendees have the best time possible and will remember the event for all the right reasons.

Dealing with the media

Be sure to prepare all your press materials ahead of your event, having quotes/statements ready if needed. Also try to pre-empt any questions that the press will ask, and have the answers ready especially when you are dealing with sensitive subject matter.

https://gty.im/473757958

Crisis Management

Ahead of your event try to avoid any potential crises at all costs, make sure to have a full ‘run through’ with all event staff and highlight anything and everything that could possibly go wrong and discuss the solutions you can put in place.

If something does go wrong then make sure you have the right team in place that is able to deal with it quickly so that you can try to avoid the news reaching the media, or to make sure it is reported in the right way by the media.

Lastly apologise if needed. Acknowledge what has gone wrong and speak directly to those affected, making amends where possible. It is often too easy to make excuses and become defensive in difficult situations, but it’s amazing how far a simple apology can go.

The Oscars 2015: Who wore it best?

The 2015 Oscars took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night and, as usual, on Monday morning PHA HQ was buzzing over who wore what – from sequined goddess Emma Stone in Elie Saab, to Margot Robbie looking elegant as ever in Saint Laurent (accompanied by a $1.5 million necklace, may I add).

After an extremely tough morning admiring all the incredible dresses (not to mention a couple of Hollywood heart-throbs in exceptionally dapper suits thrown in for good measure), I have finally managed to whittle it down to a few of my favourite looks…

 

Emma Stone Oscars 2015

Image Courtesy of gem_106, flickr.com

First and foremost we have Jennifer Anniston. How exactly does she do it?! Now a red carpet veteran, Jennifer always looks incredible. Her neutral Versace gown complimented her skin tone perfectly, and it was this paired with her minimal jewellery and effortless caramel locks that once again proved why Jennifer is Hollywood royalty.

Best Supporting Actress nominee Emma Stone also scored highly in a lime green custom Elie Saab gown, paired with a pair of custom-dyed Louboutins. Emma is arguably one of my favourite actresses at the moment, so I was eager to see what she was wearing, and she certainly did not disappoint!

The last look that really caught my eye was Sienna Miller in Oscar De La Renta. Compared to many of the show-stopping looks from the night, it may not seem an obvious choice however, I found her classic and elegant gown hard to ignore. Teamed with smouldering eyeshadow and a pout to die for, in my opinion, Sienna was hands down one of the best-dressed stars on the red carpet.

The only actress I felt a little let down by was Felicity Jones, who has been a firm favourite of mine ever since she appeared in Chalet Girl (my not so guilty pleasure). Accompanying Eddie Redmayne who won ‘Best Actor’, her silver Alexander McQueen gown wouldn’t have been my first choice for the ‘Best Actress’ nominee. Jones did, however, pull it out of the bag at the post-Oscars Vanity Fair party, where she oozed elegance in a floor-length black gown.

The sheer excitement that the Oscars fashion evokes amongst fashion lovers year after year highlights just how important the night is for designer brands and the PR teams that they are supported by. Picking the right person to dress, and the right outfit will guarantee you coverage on a global scale, and ensure that your designs are beamed around the world for days following the event. However, get it wrong and it can be a potentially damaging move for you and your brand.

Now, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that every man looks GREAT in a suit. However, after much deliberation, I have managed to narrow down a shortlist of three Actors who I thought really stood out from the crowd. Chris Pine, Eddie Redmayne and rising star Miles Teller each walked the red carpet looking extremely handsome in Giorgio Armani, Alexander McQueen and Prada, and demonstrated exactly why the men should never be overlooked when it comes to the international best-dressed lists.

Image Courtesy of pulchramore, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of pulchramore, flickr.com

Chris Pine, The PHA GroupMiles Teller, The PHA Group

Fashion Magazines – A Trend Still in Vogue

 

Image Courtesy of raiza hasiman, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of raiza hasiman, flickr. com

Any girl born in the 90’s will recall impatiently waiting for the latest issue of Mizz or Bliss to hit the shop shelves. For me, collecting makeup ‘Freebies’, laughing at the latest ‘cringe confessions’ and wallpapering my room with cut-out posters of Boyzone and the Backstreet Boys became a monthly fixation.

Fifteen years later and much has changed.

While growing up in a society that continues to digitalise, my interest in magazines slowly tarnished. My mobile phone became a convenient portal for me to keep up with the latest news, particularly in areas of personal interest such as fashion and lifestyle. Recently graduating from University and starting a full-time job in London has especially amplified this digital relationship. From my morning and evening commute on the train, to waiting in the queue for my daily coffee at Starbucks, flicking through fashion websites and apps quickly became a habit to help me pass the time.

It’s not a case of disliking magazines, because you will always catch me at the dentist or nail salon reading through the heap of magazines stacked in the waiting area. Quite frankly; dishing out £2.99 for a chunky fashion magazine that takes up all the space in my handbag is a little too pricey and awfully inconvenient.

And then came HELLO! Fashion Monthly…

 

Over the past month, The PHA Group have been working with the HELLO! team to launch this brand new monthly title, aimed at 18-35 year old women with a passion for fashion. Nowadays it’s clear to see that women in this age bracket have hectic schedules and so require a convenient yet affordable gateway to the latest fashion trends. HELLO! Magazine cunningly came up with HELLO! Fashion Monthly as a way to address these needs. The new fashion magazine is super slim (easily slips into my handbag), only costs £1, and has a press deadline of 12 days which means that the fashion content is much more up to date than other monthly magazines who secure their content months in advance.

Not only is the launch of HELLO! Fashion Monthly exciting news for women wanting more accessible fashion – it is also a great opportunity for us PRs working with fashion, lifestyle & beauty clients seeing as print prospects are becoming more and more limited due to publications turning solely digital. At a time of turmoil for print magazines, in particular, the new publication is determined to prove that print is still preferred.

Well… they’ve convinced me!

Image Courtesy of Ximena Arriagada, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of Ximena Arriagada, flickr. com

Flicking through the glossy pages of HELLO! Fashion Monthly at my desk swept me back to the satisfaction I used to feel tucked up on my sofa, quietly absorbing the latest style tips from my favourite 90s mags – although the content is evidently different. The first edition revealed a blend of designer and high-street fashion, with style tips and interviews from fashion leaders, designers and industry insiders (Olivia Palermo

Image Courtesy of BelledeCouture4, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of BelledeCouture4, flickr.com

and Poppy Delevingne to name a few!) For such a small price I was astounded at the quantity of quality fashion content that you get for your money. And with that, my love for fashion magazines was restored.

On reflection, googling the latest fashion trends and beauty tips on my phone was never that enjoyable. Squinting at a small mobile screen was a headache, and waiting for the pages to load was frustrating to say the least. I’m not saying that I no longer pick up my mobile phone for a quick fashion fix, because that would be a lie. But I now look to print fashion magazines more frequently for news and inspiration, as well as a little ‘me time’.

*****

As part of the HELLO! Fashion Monthly launch we are running a #HFMSelfie competition to win £300 Top Shop vouchers. All you need to do is grab a copy and tweet or Instagram us your best selfie pose with the magazine… GOOD LUCK!

A less than safe Ascot bet by Coral

Ascot couldn’t have come round quick enough this year. The sun is shining, the grass is green and the hat stands are empty. However for this years’ race-goers, the rules of the Ascot dress code are stricter than ever and as the doors swung open on Tuesday, the masses of fashionistas and trendsetters flooded in, as did this year’s fashion faux pas’.

With the ban on the fascinator introduced this year, more attendees than ever were looking to get themselves hat-papped and once again there has been some paparazzi-worthy headgear!

Image Courtesy of Charles Roffey, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of Charles Roffey, flickr. com

Milliners up and down the country have taken full advantage of this prestigious occasion and the array of wildlife that has been fashioned into hats so far is more impressive than ever. From birds to flowers and oversized hats to small ones (although definitely no smaller than 10cm!), as always the most important part of any ladies outfit in the royal enclosure has remained perched on top of their heads.

However, for one guest, heads weren’t turning to look at her hat but to gasp at her outrageous dress and very obvious PR stunt!

All eyes were on Strictly Come Dancing star, Kristina Rhianoff, as she arrived at today’s races including that of the Royal Ascot fashion police and security. Ignoring the well documented Ascot guidelines, Kristina was dressed in a short 1920’s style flapper dress made out of Coral betting slips. The Ben de-Lisi designed dress broke Ascot’s strict guidelines in more ways than one. Spaghetti straps and above the knee skirts have always been a strict no-no when it comes to Ascot etiquette, let alone the dress being emblazoned with the name of a famous betting shop.

It has been strongly speculated that Kristina’s fashion faux pas was instead an impressive PR stunt for the betting company, and after being escorted off the premises by security sporting a rather large smile, no one would believe any differently. Needless to say, the famous dancer would not be banished that easily and returned to the races moments later, in a new dress that conformed to the dress guidelines. A spokesperson for Kristina said “It was always her intention to change her dress and she is still at Ascot enjoying the hospitality at the races.”

If this was a PR stunt, it was nothing but a success as within just a matter of hours photos of Kristina in THAT dress have already featured across numerous newspaper websites and I am sure there will be plenty more to come when tomorrows papers hit the newsstands.

The Kimye Wedding: A Media Extravaganza

 

Image Courtesy of Fresh Fragrances, flickr. com

Image Courtesy of Fresh Fragrances, flickr. com

After long-awaited speculation and anticipation, the Kimye wedding has taken place and Kim Kardashian has finally become Mrs West, although the media frenzy surrounding the couple’s wedding is far from over. The location of the wedding, who designed the dress and if the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé were to be attending the ceremony were just a few of the various topics being discussed globally throughout social media. With so much media attention surrounding what has been referred to as the ‘wedding of the century’, it has become more than just an exchange of vows between a couple. It has become a media extravaganza, with the family and friends themselves documenting every part of the lead up to the wedding on social media sites such as Instagram, inviting us in to have a taste of their lavish lifestyle.

In terms of PR, designers, restaurants and hotel owners are given vital opportunities to maximise their publicity and recognition, with the Kardashian clan’s every step being observed and published. The pre-wedding rendezvous was just as well publicised as the day itself, from a brunch held at Valentino Garavani’s Paris mansion, to a luxurious rehearsal dinner at the Palace of Versailles. Guests were then flown from Paris to the location of the wedding which took place at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. With all of this being broadcast over social media, such locations are given the opportunity of boosting their credibility, as well as encouraging more tourism to these romantic European cities.

However, it is the fashion and glamour that never goes unnoticed, with the Kardashians wearing pieces by Valentino, Azzedine Alaia, Martin Margila, Givenchy and Balmain throughout the week leading up to the wedding, giving these designers even more of a global platform to showcase their designs. Of course, after much anticipation as to which high-end designer the reality star would wear on the big day, Kim did not fail to live up to expectations, opting for a custom-made Givenchy Haute Couture dress created by Riccardo Tisci. As well as the dress receiving great levels of media attention, the exchanging of the couple’s Lorraine Schwartz wedding bands have certainly not been ignored.

Despite the wedding having been and gone, this has not reduced the level of talk surrounding the couple’s celebrations, with attention moving forward to their chosen honeymoon destination of Ireland, staying at a luxury private estate in Munster. It is likely that Ireland will see an increase in tourism, particularly in the next few months, as a result of the media’s exposure of it as a romantic destination good enough for the power couple themselves.

So the Kimye wedding we have all been waiting for is finally over, but this doesn’t mean the frenzy is over too. The media will no doubt now be speculating and waiting for baby number 2 and the pregnancy fashion that is sure to follow…we can’t wait!

Hello Cannes

It’s that time of the year again where we are visually transported to the French Riveria and invited to experience the Festival de Cannes celebration of film and cinema. With the Festival’s 66th birthday this year, we are sure not to be disappointed with this year’s line-up. Scheduled to preview fresh films of all genres from around the globe the Festival kicked off on the 14th May. From emerging directors, to regular Hollywood superstar attendees, Cannes is one of the most anticipated and international events of the year.

Since its birth in 1946, the Festival’s founder Thierry Fremaux has traditionally showcased some of the most important European films in cinema history, making it one of the most sought-after public platforms for raising the profiles of film-makers and actors. English director and writer Mike Leigh explains, ‘If you’re a film-maker, it’s the centre of the universe’. With British talent attending the event including Robert Pattinson, Matt Smith, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton we hope to make an impact on the Festival.

Image Courtesy of gem_106, flickr.com

Eva Longoria Cannes Film Festival

Cannes, would not be Cannes if it wasn’t for its media metropolis manifesto, and glamour under the sun fashion. Public relations and Cannes go hand in hand together. With a number of journalists flying out to capture the booming festival (which has multiplied by 5 in the last 40 years), publicity has never been so vital for the Festival’s success.

From a PR perspective, this is the perfect opportunity for filmmakers all over the world to promote their masterpieces, of all genres, to the public and get the recognition it deserves, particularly independently produced films. Without Cannes, or the media coverage that comes with it, it’s likely these films would go unwatched.

As with any major event involving celebrities, fashion choices are fundamental to boost personal status. With the red carpet dress code at Cannes, black tie, designers are given the ultimate opportunity for press coverage and recognition. Who will you be routing for this year?

 

Fashion’s Big Night: The Met Ball 2014

The Met Gala is one of the many anticipated sartorial fashion showcases of the year. Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, this year’s annual charity event paid homage to couturier Charles James. The code of dress was an enchanting ‘White Tie and Decorations’ theme, which was emphasised in a billowing sea of dresses.

Image Courtesy of gem_106, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of gem_106, flickr.com

A Cinderella story was envisioned, as the evening’s host, US Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour led the entourage of celebrities in cascading couture up the stairs from the red carpet. With guests including Rita Ora, Lily Allen, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Kardashian dressed in aesthetic extravagance, from classic to glamour via Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Chanel. Fashion houses scrambled for stars to wear their latest silhouettes, as recognition was the forefront.  Being one of the biggest opportunities to flaunt anything and everything, social networking and media coverage was heavily utilised, bringing an epidemic of photographers from publications and newspapers to outreach maximum publicity worldwide.

However, the event would not be complete without the ‘Best Dressed and Worst Dressed’ notorious fashion stamp. As critics (and the public) eagerly awaited live photos from the carpet to be uploaded, eyes were firmly glued to computer screens, ready to judge and determine which celebrities successfully accomplished ‘classical glamour’, and which forgot to check The Galas’ dress code. The pressure of wearing the right dress on a night out has never been so detrimental.

For the fashion designers whose dresses were to be showcased, it was a nervous wait on whether the PR move was worthwhile. For those who didn’t come out on top, and for those who didn’t even make the list of go-to designers for the event, the prep work has already begun ready for next year.

So who’s got some work to do ready for next year? Katie Holmes in her yellow Marchesa dress was labelled an outright disaster, Rita Ora was described as a drowned mermaid in her Donna Karan Atelier dress and the jury is still out on Kristen Stewart’s Chanel number.

Better luck next year guys!

 

 

Fashion's Big Night: The Met Ball 2014

The Met Gala is one of the many anticipated sartorial fashion showcases of the year. Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, this year’s annual charity event paid homage to couturier Charles James. The code of dress was an enchanting ‘White Tie and Decorations’ theme, which was emphasised in a billowing sea of dresses.

Image Courtesy of gem_106, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of gem_106, flickr.com

A Cinderella story was envisioned, as the evenings host, US Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour led the entourage of celebrities in cascading couture up the stairs from the red carpet. With guests including Rita Ora, Lily Allen, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Kardashian dressed in aesthetic extravagance, from classic to glamour via Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Chanel. Fashion houses scrambled for stars to wear their latest silhouettes, as recognition was the forefront.  Being one of the biggest opportunities to flaunt anything and everything, social networking and media coverage was heavily utilised, bringing an epidemic of photographers from publications and newspapers to outreach maximum publicity worldwide.

However, the event would not be complete without the ‘Best Dressed and Worst Dressed’ notorious fashion stamp. As critics (and the public) eagerly awaited live photos from the carpet to be uploaded, eyes were firmly glued to computer screens, ready to judge and determine which celebrities successfully accomplished ‘classical glamour’, and which forgot to check The Galas’ dress code. The pressure of wearing the right dress on a night out has never been so detrimental.

For the fashion designers whose dresses were to be showcased, it was a nervous wait on whether the PR move was worthwhile. For those who didn’t come out on top, and for those who didn’t even make the list of go-to designers for the event, the prep work has already begun ready for next year.

So who’s got some work to do ready for next year? Katie Holmes in her yellow Marchesa dress was labelled an outright disaster, Rita Ora was described as a drowned mermaid in her Donna Karan Atelier dress and the jury is still out on Kristen Stewart’s Chanel number.

Better luck next year guys!

 

 

Lily Allen: She’s Back And She Means Business

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

She’s back. Holding the trophy as one of the nations much loved, and much-missed singer phenomenons: Lily Allen has made her ultimate comeback to the music industry.

Vowing to never return to the industry four years ago, her eagerness for a ‘normal’ life proved less than exciting  “I wasn’t good at staying at home all day, it didn’t suit me” she explained, “I’m creative, it’s just who I am.. I missed the positive feedback about my music from my fans. I missed the rush of performing. I missed the free clothes and handbags and the good tables in posh restaurants. I did!.”

In terms of PR, Allen’s comeback has been a strategic success. Media savvy, over the last year she has teased us with small features in chart songs and Christmas adverts (we all remember the John Lewis ad), making her return a gradual process. So it wasn’t a surprise when she announced she was releasing her third album ‘Sheezus’. Her lyrics, avant –Lily, are still the opinionated, controversial songs we all know and love her for. It’s clear that the smart thinking Allen knows how to gain media coverage and exposure when it comes to gossip – her recent Twitter banter with models over one of her tracks ‘Insincerely You’, she is well aware that her songs gain the attention of the media…

Her decision to cut ties with the music industry and instead become a full-time mother, wife and fashion entrepreneur, was risky. In hindsight, she is one of the few celebs willingly to choose to fade into the background of showbiz, eager to reverse her high status back to ‘human’. With the power of PR however, her face began to appear more frequently; landing fashion events, interviews, track features and magazine covers, which have all worked in her favour of regaining her lost stardom.

Has Allen made it seem that in fact, you can have it all? Indeed it seems so. Not only has she come back into spotlight seamlessly, she has also been able to keep up being a loving wife and mother of two. She has become even more of an admiral and inspirational icon to the public than ever before. Her fearless and courageous temperament has shown to us all, that you can relinquish anything.

 

Lily Allen: She's Back And She Means Business

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

Image Courtesy of ThePrettyHelpless, flickr.com

She’s back. Holding the trophy as one of the nations much loved, and much missed singer phenomenons: Lily Allen has made her ultimate comeback to the music industry.

Vowing to never return to the industry four years ago, her eagerness for a ‘normal’ life proved less than exciting  “I wasn’t good at staying at home all day, it didn’t suit me” she explained, “I’m creative, it’s just who I am.. I missed the positive feedback about my music from my fans. I missed the rush of performing. I missed the free clothes and handbags and the good tables in posh restaurants. I did!.”

In terms of PR, Allen’s comeback has been a strategic success. Media savvy, over the last year she has teased us with small features in chart songs and Christmas adverts (we all remember the John Lewis ad), making her return a gradual process. So it wasn’t a surprise when she announced she was releasing her third album ‘Sheezus’. Her lyrics, avant –Lily, are still the opinionated, controversial songs we all know and love her for. It’s clear that the smart thinking Allen knows how to gain media coverage and exposure when it comes to gossip – her recent Twitter banter with models over one of her tracks ‘Insincerely You’, she is well aware that her songs gain attention of media….

Her decision to cut ties with the music industry and instead become a full-time mother, wife and fashion entrepreneur, was risky. In hindsight, she is one of the few celebs willingly to choose to fade into the background of showbiz, eager to reverse her high status back to ‘human’. With the power of PR however, her face began to appear more frequently; landing fashion events, interviews, track features and magazine covers, which have all worked in her favour of regaining her lost stardom.

Has Allen made it seem that in fact, you can have it all? Indeed it seems so. Not only has she come back into spotlight seamlessly, she has also been able to keep up being a loving wife and mother of two. She has become even more of an admiral and inspirational icon to the public than ever before. Her fearless and courageous temperament has shown to us all, that you can relinquish anything.