Andre Bogues | P.R. & Culture
August 29, 2020

InterviewsAndre Bogues | P.R. & Culture

Meet Andre - a top London PR pro, who's graced PR Week's 30 Under 30 & worked with the likes of Bumble to Google & recently launched Labb Lab pro bono consultancy for the Black community. We chat inclusivity, fashion and showing up as your best.

Andre At Work

How would you say your experience in the fashion industry has influenced your work in PR?

Briefly working in fashion for a few brands and as a writer lead me into PR. Helping to organise events and then having to mingle with the attendees opened my eyes to the power of that level of communication. 

Can you talk to us about clients, campaigns or projects you’ve worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

At my last agency I helped launch a new division, alongside a white paper and internship scheme, all rooted in youth culture. It took a while and may not seem like a huge deal but I was really proud of it as we took something relatively cool and unspoken about (Gen Z at the time was a term bubbling under) and brought it to life within a hulking, blue, corporate agency. It felt like something completely separate to what the rest of the agency was doing and the work our clients were doing – which opened my eyes to the fact it was time to move on.

I was super proud of the outputs and brands we got to talk to, but mostly the internship scheme which brought a new wave of talent into the building – really shaking things up in terms of inclusivity but also bringing people in who would never think of joining the agency, or even the world of PR.

What are the 3 most important elements you would say every good PR campaign should include?

Humanity and emotion – there has to be a reason for people to care/share. Whether it makes them laugh, opens their eyes to new ways of doing something or pulls at heartstrings, there has to be a human element. 

Cultural resonance – news hijacking is great, but really powerful campaigns add something to the cultural landscape rather than taking from it. Starting new conversations in new spaces or adding additional layers of complexity to a trending topic. 

Integration – the future of PR/media is merky, so a good campaign should be able to translate into different forms of comms (advertising, OOH, paid media etc.).

What three questions can brands ask to try to better understand the journalists they want to work with?

 

  • How do your audience consume their news? Print, digital, social?
    • This is key to knowing how to pitch your story and knowing the best place for it to land
  • Where do you see your publication in the next two years and how will the stories develop?
    • To be frank, some publications that exist now won’t exist in a year or so. Journalists are going to have to diversify their skill sets to stand out. Knowing the above allows us to help them prep for the future and prep our clients for new ways of working 
  • Lastly, what do they think of the brand?
How do you keep on top of industry news? Any podcasts, newsletters, sites, events you follow?

Anthro Global of course! Haha

Most of my news comes from WhatsApp group chats with my agency, and a few other friends,; people are constantly sharing things..

Other than that, I listen to a few podcasts (a little less than usual now we’re no longer commuting) including the Business of Hype by Hypebeast, the Speakeasy by the Unmistakables and Courier Daily.

I also love the reports that Protein do – think I’m more of a report/whitepaper person than short and snappy news.

Andre After Hours

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t hold back and stop imagining all the ways in which something could go wrong. Growing up I was super self conscious and hated presenting or having to do things in front of groups. Now I lead pitches, have hosted webinars and small talks (not at the TED level yet haha) and I think it’s down to being comfortable with myself but also not worrying about how I come across. If you’re being your true self, people will appreciate it.

What are your tips for showing up as your best self? 

I always come across quieter than I am when I first meet people and that’s because I like to take a few moments to get the vibe. I think the best way to show up as your best self is to read the room – know when to be super serious and when you can be light and fun. Nine times out of ten, light and fun is the way to go.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly or complex. Questions to find out more about something, questions about your future, awkward career-specific questions. The worst thing someone will say is no, so go for it. No one ever suffered from having too much information.

What outfits and styles make you feel the best day to day? 

I’m still trying to nail my ‘go to’ style but for now I’d say it’s a mix between loud patterns and black (all streetwear influenced of course).  I love a good statement trouser or trainer, something that just gives you a bit of a boost and makes you feel more you. 

I pretty much stick to my style no matter what; I’ve had a few times where I’ve had to wear a suit for a corporate new biz meeting, and it’s still been full of colour.

What’s your favourite quote to live by?

“But had I accepted the pickle juice, I would be drinking pickle juice right now” – Nicki Minaj

I know the above sounds crazy out of context, but it’s all about asserting yourself and wanting better for yourself. For context, Ms Minaj was at a photoshoot with a $50 budget and pickles as a snack; she left the shoot as she knew she deserved better. 

I live by the quote because a) it’s hilarious and b) it’s important to stand up for yourself and push for what you think you deserve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the community newsletter and
Get the hottest insights from industry experts & analysis in your inbox every Sunday morning 🔥☕

Join the community newsletter and
Get the hottest insights from industry experts & analysis in your inbox every Sunday morning 🔥☕