Marjorie Jacquet - (ex)PR Girl #4
For over 15 years Marjorie Jacquet worked as a press officer for Sandie Roy, a press office in Paris, France: a record of loyalty and longevity.
After writing her essay – “Les cheveux dont je rêvais” (“The Hair I Dreamt of”) published by Max Milo – she is now moving on to another entrepreneurship: “Made for Sun” is Marjorie’s interior design e-shop displaying items she carefully picked in Marrakech.
She is now revisiting her 15 year long career as a Fashion press officer for us!
How did you become a press officer? Was it a vocation or pure chance?
After my Baccalaureate I did not really know what to do with my life so I enrolled in History and Geography at university. Well into the middle of my third year I blew it off when I realized there was no other prospect but teaching – which I could not imagine doing. I worked for Zara for a year then enrolled at ISCOM (the French Higher Institute for Communications and Advertising). That is when I knew I wanted to become a Fashion press officer.
On a daily basis, what’s the role of a press officer in a multi-brand press office?
What I find exhilarating is the fact that when you arrive in the morning you don’t know exactly what the day is going to be like. It’s a job full of surprises. We respond to all the demands of our clients and press editors. We constantly go from one topic to another, which requires some organization skills.
Shopping appointments, calls and emails set the tempo of the day, added to which we need to find time for recommendations, press releases, event planning, brainstorming meetings, client reporting. The rhythm is pretty intense in press offices; it is a pretty good experience where you learn how to work fast.
Your greatest professional success? The one you’re the most proud of?
Managing the press relations for Etam’s Natalia show! This show is like a war machine. When the show begins and you’ve managed to have everyone seated, when you look at all the rows and see the most important editors, then you feel really proud of being a part of it!
Your most memorable or most decisive encounter?
For my end-of-study internship I had an interview with Sandie Roy who was starting up her office. It was only the two of us and she trusted me, giving me important responsibilities from the start. I think I remember her giving me a listing and telling me “call the girls again for the themes” on my very first day. After my 6-month internship she hired me and I worked with her for 16 years before starting up my own personal project.
Something completely crazy you’ve done for your job?
At the time, there was a press editor at ELLE all press officers were afraid of, she used to call me Mathilde simply because she thought it suited me better, and I had no other choice but to accept it. Sometimes, when the phone rang, I could hear my colleagues answer things like “I’m afraid there is no Mathilde here” and I would shout, “Yes, there is, it’s me, I’ll explain to you later…”
Your worst professional faux pas?
Wearing Converse shoes for a Spring Court appointment!
A press officer is often torn between the brands’ somewhat unrealistic aspirations at times and the press’s expectations, how did you deal with this?
It is hard to manage the egos of clients afflicted with the same disease: they all want portraits and to be in Vogue. You need to be diplomatic and to try and make the designers understand the journalists’ constant expectations in terms of newness, and the advertisers’ obligations.
Now that you no longer work as a press officer, what was the most hellish part of it?
Honestly, it is alright, we’re not working on the assembly line, there is nothing that hellish about it, except perhaps long work days and the impact they have on your private life.
Some advice for students hoping to work as press agents?
To be aware of the fact that the market is rapidly changing and I believe extra skills such as digital ones or a good knowledge of influence networks are preferable.
“- I’m a press officer and can’t figure out when I’m lying. – Don’t mention it, I’m a journalist, that’s even worse” is this tweet from Loïc Prigent a myth or reality?
Well, it is quite true that we are professional liars. Let’s say that we need to embellish the truth. It is pretty close to selling, we need to convince, no matter what, even if that means telling stories. They’re little lies, nothing big.
Is there a cliché on press officers that really bugs you?
That press officers are always holding a glass of champagne in their hand when this job requires energy and involvement.
Three words to define the world of fashion press officers?
Ebullient, glamorous, superficial
You’ve changed your job and your professional environment now, could you tell us more about your new project?
I’ve been fascinated by Morocco for years, I started selling Berber rugs on Etsy and then set up my eshop, madeforsun.com. I am now self-employed.
Who do you nominate for the next interview?
My friend Patrick Boiteaud, press officer “coach”, whose unrivaled repartee makes everyone laugh in the fashion world. My question is: when is the one man show for? :-)
“It is hard to manage the egos of clients afflicted with the same disease: they all want portraits and to be in Vogue.”