FOUNDATIONS PR, PATH BREAKING PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY FOR LUXURY AND LIFESTYLE BRANDS
Established in 2002, Foundations PR is a reputed PR and communications agency with specialization in the Lifestyle and Luxury domain. The agency provides niche services to their clients who are both national and international brands and market leaders in their categories.
The specialised PR agency is the brainchild of visionary Siddharth Sharma, an industry leader who has conceptualise and execute successful PR campaigns for prominent lifestyle and luxury brands. Foundations PR has built strong brand recognition and brand awareness for marquee International and National brands. They provide quality PR services to give their clients a distinct cutting edge in today’s complex market place. Their brand strategy lies at the heart of their integrated communications approach which combines thoughtful, imaginative ideas with up to the minute consumer insight and sector knowledge.
Strategic communications, quality media relations, talk of the town events, celebrity associations, cross-marketing & partnerships, crisis preparedness and issue management, media evaluation and analysis, product launches & product placements, is the hallmark of the agency. It offers bespoke and custom services to its exclusive clientele.
Specialising in the luxury and lifestyle domain, Foundations PR leverages its extensive expertise in launching, building and repositioning brands across various categories. The agency has serviced illustrious names across categories that include iconic luxury watch brands which include: Harry Wintson, Jaeger LeCoultre, Romain Jerome, Baume & Mercier, Laurent Ferrier, Cecil Purnell and others. Luxury home decor and furniture brands such as: Visionnaire, Roche Bobois, Fendi Casa, Theodore Alexander, Maitland Smith, Christopher Guy and Baker along with luxury Indian decor brands such as Address Home, Hands Carpets and many more. Premium footwear brands such as: Red Tape, ECCO and Staccato. The leading natural beauty care brand Lotus Herbals, Jewellery and accessories brands: S.T. Dupont, Da Milano, ORRA Fine Jewellery and others. Fashion & clothing brands such as Numero Uno, 7 For All Mankind, Geisha Designs by Paras and Shalini and Krishna Mehta to name of few. International Luxury audio and video brands such as: Nakamichi, Triangle and Jamo. The agency also actively promotes theatre, art, music and sports associations.
EVOLVING OVER THE YEARS
The agency has been in the industry for more than 17 years now and witnessed how the media landscape has changed along with the gamut of communications. Media relations is the vehicle, Foundations PR team has used throughout their journey as they believe it is a core part of public relations.
Siddharth elaborates, “I believe, the way people communicate with each other and the way brands communicate and engage with consumers is changing rapidly. Social media has revolutionised the way news is being disseminated and it is our responsibility to keep up with the changing times and transform accordingly. We need to make sure that during this transformation, our clients continue to get maximum visibility through print, electronic and online media, which is essential to spread the brand message credibly”.
THE CURRENT BUSINESS MANTRA
The team at the boutique agency has always strived to take calculated decisions when it comes to associating with brands they have worked with. Foundations PR has partnered with many marquee brands who approached the agency through word of mouth and referrals. The agency also reaches out directly to niche lifestyle and luxury brands after doing its share of due diligence.
“Having established ourselves as a strong player in the niche domain of luxury lifestyle and entertainment, I believe it is essential to understand the sectors in its totality. We are at the top of the game with the understanding of the luxury sector and have been able to gain a favourable reputation which eventually, gets brands to approach us directly.” shares Siddharth
The agency prides itself on its business ethics, integrity, straight forward approach and complete dedication to their clients. This working philosophy has ensured that most clients have worked with the agency continuously for many years. Many brands have been associated with Foundations PR for a period of 5 to 10 years and a couple of them have even stayed with the agency for over 15 years, which only verifies the trust that their clients have placed in the agency. Under the leadership of Siddhart, the agency follows a four-step program to develop effective PR strategies as it gives undivided attention to each one of its clients which includes the following steps:
- Listen: Starting with a clean slate, the team at Foundations PR initiates the process by taking a clear brief of the objectives its clients are looking to achieve via Public Relations.
- Think: Building an effective program with maximum impact requires clearly defined goals and the list of potential targets that Foundations PR team would approach to achieve them.
- Do: To develop a brand image that the clients want to achieve, Foundations PR puts into action its plan to ensure that the specific objectives of its clients are met.
- Review: Growth being a constant for the nearly 18 year old agency, they always strive to review their work to customise their approach to success.
BUILDING A TEAM WITH CHALLENGE OF ATTRITION
Talent Retention is one of the biggest challenges for the industry today. PR agencies are facing very high levels of attrition. The sudden mobbing out of talent leaves agencies to square one as they have to start rebuilding their talent pool from scratch which can be a very tiresome process. Foundations PR constantly performs the process of hiring talent, however, they believe retaining young talent is a challenge. They try to retain employees to the best of their ability with incentives and a friendly atmosphere.
They are a team of 15+ experienced professionals who deliver in different areas of the business. At Foundations PR, the thrust is on public relations and they also offer allied services. The agency offers an array of services through its in-house sister agency BeFoundation which looks into the digital side of the business including, social media, top notch branding and creative services, and building brands and their corporate identity. Foundations PR also assist brands in conceptualising and publicising high profile events.
MEETING THE CHALLENGES
Foundations PR, being a leading brand, have witnessed a lot of situations that have supported its growth over time. During the past few years, events such as demonetisation, imposition of GST and the slow pace of economic growth have brought a downturn in the marketplace. This market scenario has adversely affected the service industry, which has led companies to slice spends on advertising and public relations. However, in these tough times Foundations PR has retained key clients thanks to its consistent performance and strong deliverables.
Besides attrition and a sluggish economy, competition is also a challenge that the agency needs to tackle. Siddharth shared, “With so many individuals making an entry in the industry, many inexperienced players are offering PR services at lower rates, to get an entry into brands. However, we outrank them as they don’t have domain expertise and market knowledge that we offer which gives us an edge over the competition.”
ADVICE FROM THE INDUSTRY LEADER
Siddharth has been successful in charting new territories as Asia’s first visually impaired self-employed public relations professional. He is invited on many occasions to speak as a motivational speaker and as a panellist at various forums.
Having faced the challenges of being an entrepreneur, Siddharth shared, “Success is far away but failure is closer! One should know what they are doing. Domain knowledge is much needed in a vast field like PR, one should be able to identify the part of PR one wants to service and get the maximum domain knowledge before they start offering solutions. For someone who has been in the industry for over 20 years and has seen the market evolve, this is key advice that he would like to share.”
Siddharth emphasis “Always believe in delivering a 101 percent since , 99 is never good enough.!!”