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 Olivia (Lia) van Eyk
Traveler • Digital PR Lead

Instagram: @liavaneyk
Twitter: @liavaneyk

Wikipedia defines a publicist as “a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a public figure, especially a celebrity, a business, or for a work such as a book, film or album.”
In today’s competitive market, how important is social media and having a publicist in building a brand?

From my experience, social media is a critical yet often-misunderstood element in a brand’s marketing and public relations strategy, as the landscape is continuously changing and expanding. With such a burgeoning digital environment, having an online and social media presence is becoming increasingly critical in reaching a brand’s core demographic and audience. Having a publicist to manage a brand’s digital and social media presence is also becoming more important because one tweet can have a negative and lasting impact on public perception in just a few seconds (as we’ve witnessed a few times this year!). Engaging a dedicated resource for social media ensures that a brand is not only navigating the complex and evolving social media climate, but also effectively communicating a brand’s messaging in an authentic voice.

What is a typical day like for you?

Oh it varies, haha! Working in fashion / beauty / lifestyle PR requires adaptability and the capacity to wear numerous different “hats”. My role varies depending on our client and Agency needs on any given day – from social media strategy and management on behalf of brands and our Agency, to media outreach, to event orchestration, to testing out toy bows & arrows and building a custom smores-cooking station (that’s actually something I did today!). It’s a great industry for developing new skills-sets and continuous learning!

What advice do you have for people trying to break into the PR industry?

Work hard, be kind and respectful, take on any task with enthusiasm, show gratitude, and stay on the pulse of what’s happening in the industry.

As you help clients build their brand and grow their market, you must get to hear so many fascinating stories, especially with such a diverse client base covering everything from fashion, beauty, lifestyle, gourmet food and drink in both Toronto and Ottawa. What is the best part of your job?

It’s hard to narrow down the best part of my job; there are so many components of this role that I love! I’m very fortunate to work with some amazing coworkers, clients and brands, so I’d probably say the people I work with are the best part of my job. The best part of this industry is the energy and excitement involved in making a story or idea come to life – it’s incredibly rewarding to help create and buzz-worthy story, event, or activation and see it come to life through print, online, broadcast and/or social media.

Since we are a fashion and beauty blog, would you mind answering some personal questions?

Absolutely!

Do you have a daily beauty routine?

I try to keep a “routine” but my beauty regime does sometimes vary depending on how crazy things are and how much sleep I have (or have not) had. Bare minimum, my routine includes my Clairsonic and a Kiss My Face “Clean for a Day” Creamy Facial Cleanser, followed by Arbonne’s Re9 Facial Moisturizer and Victoria’s Secret Airbrush FX Perfecting Primer with SPF. I don’t wear concealer, but have been loyal to MAC Fix Powder for years (I swear by it!). My current makeup picks are a Wet N’ Wild Colour Icon Eye Liner in Dark Brown, Almay Intense i-Color Volumizing Mascara in Sapphire, and Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush.

How would you describe your personal style?

Understated. I tend towards the classics, and generally keep my jewellery, apparel and accessories to subtle hues and dainty pieces. When I’m feeling daring, I’ll switch up my look with a red lip or patterned piece to punch up my style a notch. I’m admittedly not great at embracing new trends, and tend to air on the conservative side of things.

One staple item every woman should have in their closet is a little black dress. What tips can you offer to our readers for transitioning a LBD from day to night?

This is something I have mastered in this industry (or at least I like to think so!) as we often are required to run straight from the office to an evening event. Adding a tasteful touch of jewellery, such as a chunky accent necklace or cocktail ring, can instantly add some visual interest to your look. Swap out your ballet flats for a pair of nude pumps, (tip: nude pumps elongate your legs, while remaining neutral with the rest of your look). Swap out your tote for a cute sequin or patterned clutch and add some winged liner and a swipe of lipstick – et voila!

Who is your style icon?

I tend to look to Julianne Moore for style inspiration. I love her conservative and chic look and I’m often told I look like her so I somewhat follow her cues in terms of styling, and hair and beauty. It’s helpful to have someone in the public eye who shares your colouring (and likely pays a celebrity stylist to create her looks!), so I often reference her looks when in doubt of what I can and cannot pull off!

I read somewhere that only 2% of people on earth have red hair. How do you maintain your lovely locks and what are some of your “can’t live without” hair products.

My mane-tenance is pretty low key to be honest! My hair grows incredibly slowly, so I only trim every 6-8 months. To keep from having split-ends in between cuts, I use a Moroccanoil deep conditioning hair mask and Moroccanoil treatment prior to styling. I am admittedly a slave to my hair straightener so a heat protection spray is also key to preventing damage, namely TRESemme’s Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray.

Let’s hear some of your favorites…

Favourite designer: Right now I’m having a real moment with Stella McCartney. Other long-standing favourites include Burberry, Tory Burch, Kate Spade and Michael Kors.

Pair of shoes: Sam Edelman Wilma Wedge suede black. They have become my go-to for many outfits, as they can be easily dressed up or down, and the hidden wedge is extremely comfortable!

Accessory: I’m currently in love with my Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote in black with gold hardware. It’s the perfect size for toting all my goods, and I love the convenience of the shoulder strap.

Lipstick: It took me quite some time, but I’ve landed on a good red lipstick for my colouring in the form of Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish by Kate Moss collection Shade #11.

Perfume: I adore Victoria’s Secret’s iconic Victoria fragrance. I was introduced to it at work last year and have been hooked since – I have a bottle at home, and carry a rollerball fragrance in my purse for when I’m on the go!

What is your favourite way to pamper yourself?

Some quiet time with a glass of pinot grigio, a great book (currently reading “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics), and my dog.

Finally pick three words that describe you best.

Oh wow, these are hard questions!

Ummm – let’s go with: ambitious, open-minded, and perceptive.