Social media and Samantha Jones have upped the ante of the glamour that goes with being a PR girl, but in reality, it’s a very demanding job.
A PR girl’s duty is to strengthen a company or brand’s image through relationships: meeting with clients, attending events, keeping up-to-date with trends, and maintaining the brand’s visibility.
She is literally a personified representation of the brand; the real skill here is maintaining grace under pressure, because nobody will trust a brand that looks shabby.
Two of the industry’s loveliest PR janes share tips on how to keep composure and look stylish despite hectic schedules.
Marsha Guzman, 36
Assistant vice president, retail banking and wealth management in a foreign bank
Day: Dress, blazer, Zara; shoes, Michael Kors, Palermo, Louis Vuitton; watch, Rolex Datejust; rings, Tiffany; vintage diamond earrings set in gold, model’s own
Night: Dress, Zara; shoes, Michael Kors; nude clutch, Tory Burch; watch, Rolex Datejust; rings, Tiffany; long-strand necklaces, model’s own
What do you do?
I primarily handle company tie-ups, partnerships and events for various banking services. My job entails a lot of meetings and negotiations with different kinds of people: merchants, store and company owners, and even internal groups and divisions in the bank. The main objective is to get buy-ins of both sides and put them together to create and fulfill a mutually beneficial partnership.
A regular day can go from meetings with one or two merchants in the morning; with big bosses in the bank to sell an idea and submitting a profitability paper for a campaign in the afternoon; and, finally, attending a private event with top clients in the evening. I need to be on-the-go and at the same time look presentable all day.
I’ve always believed that looking good and being appropriately dressed is very important. If you look good, then you feel good, and everything else follows. It builds confidence, and commands respect and credibility. It builds the “setting” and impression, providing a good foundation for the substance, which is important too, of course.
In short, one should always be fashionably and intellectually ready. Plus, consistency is always key.
What fashion principles do you live by?
Invest in classic pieces. Don’t splurge on trendy items. Mix and match to achieve a new look; you don’t always have to buy new items. Designer brands are good to ensure quality, but it should fit you, because not all designer brands necessarily look good on everyone. It is also always better to spend on jewelry and watches—items that appreciate in the long run.
What are your tips for women with similar on-the-go lifestyles?
One can never go wrong with a healthy and balanced mind, body and lifestyle. When you eat healthy and exercise, you feel good. When you feel good, you look good and everything follows. Keeping an open and active mind is key to being smart and witty [which is important to getting the clients’ attention].
Know the trends but you need not always follow. Have your own sense of style and be consistent.
Lastly, smile! This is the best and most fashionable thing that one can wear which will never go out of style. It can lift everyone’s spirit especially on a stressful day at work.
Silk shell blouse, Catherine Malandrino; multicolor suiting skirt, ICB; lizard and patent pumps, 3.1 Philip Lim; D Bag, Tod’s; golden South Sea pearl stud earrings set in 18-karat gold, Jewelmer Joaillerie
Silk shell blouse, Catherine Malandrino; multicolor suiting skirt, ICB; Jane sandals, Saint Laurent Paris; Silvana bag, Fendi; Tutti Frutti necklace with one golden South Sea pearl and blue and white sapphires set in 18-karat gold, Jewelmer Joaillerie
What do you do?
As Jewelmer Joaillerie’s corporate communications officer, I manage local and international press relations and handle the writing. Days can range from working at my desk from 9 to 5, to going out for a photo shoot, meeting industry leaders for lunch or coffee, a week in Hong Kong or the US for a jewelry trade show, or even a few days at our pearl farm in Palawan—taking journalists from around the world to discover our golden South Sea pearls.
A regular day will require an outfit that can go from day to night (which means always having my Louboutin pumps on standby for evening and Chanel flats for the day), but on lucky days it will be a nice swimsuit, caftan and slippers on the pearl farm.
Some two to three nights a week I do head out for some face-to-face PR, so I book a salon appointment right after work and head out to various events to represent the brand and also see friends.
What fashion principles do you live by?
I don’t live by any dogmas. Each day is different, and one should always dress appropriately. Even if it’s a pair of pearls, simple heels or a swipe of lipstick, one should always look like it’s an effort. It’s just the respectable thing to do when people took time out of their day for you. And smile! You can be dressed to the nines, but if you’re exhausted from either work or life, your outfit won’t matter and your pitch won’t fly if you can’t offer up a genuine smile.
What are your tips for girls with similar on-the-go lifestyles?
Invest in good skincare because with crazy day-to-night (and then late-night) schedules, I’m pretty sure our future selves will thank us for it. Jewelry can take you far, so invest in a good pair of pearls and a serious timepiece. When tastefully chosen, they go with anything. A set of silk dresses, silk/shell tops, cigarette pants, a boys-size Brooks Brothers blazer and good shoes will take you almost anywhere in this city.
When traveling, I pack mostly dresses and accompanying blazers and scarves because you don’t want to have to mix and match for ensembles in the morning unless you are a morning person (which I am not). Keep it fun and/or functional with a good bag-shoes combination, depending on your intentions.
Lunch break can also mean salon time, so you can get a blowout in an hour and be ready to face an early evening event after office hours with good hair and/or makeup. Best blowouts in the city are still at Jesi Mendez.
And on the subject of hair, sleep with it in a bun and then use dry shampoo the next morning so you can still make your 9 a.m. meeting and have fantastic hair for a 6 p.m. event when you let your hair down.