The Magic of SOPR: How to Combine Social Media & PR to Get Your Clients the Best ResultsFeb 15, 2022
“We turn PR wins into social media content to bring credibility and visibility to our clients.”
Today, we’re sitting down with the amazing Carey Balogh and Lauren Genest, the Founder and Vice Groupie of Brand Groupies! These two incredible women pioneered their own PR method that is seriously transforming their industry.
Tell us a little about your business and niche!
We’re Lauren and Carey of Brand Groupies. We work with commercial architecture, engineering, and construction brands on their marketing. After working in fashion PR for a combined 45 years, we pivoted to work with A/E/C clients to put our own special fashion stamp on the business.
We coined the term SOPR: the fusion of SOcial and PR! The two absolutely go hand-in-hand to craft cohesive and memorable messaging to make an impact. When we work our SOPR magic, our clients are absolutely transformed into industry rock stars!
How did you get your start in PR?
Carey got her start in PR from an internship at a fashion PR firm, and took that all the way to Italy! She lived in Milan for three years and worked with multiple global fashion brands while there before coming back to work in NYC.
Lauren originally found out about fashion PR through Carey, actually. Carey’s younger sister, Holly, was in the same sorority as Lauren, and the two would go visit Carey in New York and go to fashion parties.
That’s where Lauren really knew fashion PR was for her, and she started doing PR for a global couture brand right after graduation.
How long have you been working together?
Just a few years! We stayed in touch through over a decade of our own careers, and reconnected when Lauren moved to the town where Carey had grown up. She joined the team right before the pandemic, actually.
How has it been to work together?
It’s been great! We’re super picky with which clients we work with, which has seriously helped. We get excited together and celebrate our wins together, and it’s developed a great energy in our agency.
It’s all about patience; we’ve said no to a ton of clients because we were holding out for the right partners. We just want to surround ourselves with the types of partners and clients that keep our energy and excitement up.
Tell us about SOPR! What is it and how did you come up with it?
SOPR combines social and PR with branding and marketing. It’s about amplifying content across social platforms and looking at it with a PR mindset. We turn PR wins into social media content to bring credibility and visibility to our clients.
Instead of hiring a social management agency, a PR agency, and a marketing agency, we cover all three for our clients. We help them invest in all areas, and bring results on all three fronts.
Carey originally coined the SOPR term, but it’s something we had already understood before ever naming it. After working in the social space with branding and PR, putting all three together came really naturally.
You both have 20+ years of experience in fashion PR. How does this background inform your super unique approach to B2B clients?
Fashion PR is really a training ground. It’s cutthroat, stressful, and sometimes toxic, but really exciting and interesting. We always say that if you’ve worked in fashion, you can work in any industry.
We took our 20+ years of fashion training and applied it to more traditional industries. We’ve made the A/E/C space sexier and made these industries and brands stand out on social, especially by bringing the faces behind the brands to the forefront.
Have you run into any challenges or conflicts working with competing clients?
Fortunately not! Our clients are more complementary than competitive, like working with a few denim brands and a few watch brands. It’s very different from the fashion industry in that regard.
We go very deep within each brand to make them stand out on their own and build their marketing, PR, and social legs.
Doing social, PR, and branding is A LOT. How do you implement all three for your clients?
Systems have been seriously transformative for us! We’re trying to systemize literally every day. The content calendar is everything to us.
At the beginning of each year, we spend a lot of time building social media strategies for our clients, and a lot of that focuses on their brand pillars. We go deep into their pillars to make sure every bit of content we post is reflective of those values.
Because we spend so much time with our clients at the start, we really get to build trust with them. They truly invest in us as a duo and invest in the Brand Groupies approach.
How many people are on your team?
There are two other Brand Groupies on our team on the coordinator and manager level. Then we have our video, creative, and podcast producer partners, and our media training and digital advertising partners. Then we have our web developer to round the team out.
It’s taken a while to find our amazing partners, but we’re so happy with our team. They’re our go-tos. We all have the same high standards and are on the same page when it comes to our projects.
You have your own Brand Groupies podcast! Tell us a little more about that.
We originally launched the Brand Groupies podcast in January 2018, back when we were servicing smaller, local clients. It was about helping these small businesses make the right decisions and develop a marketing and PR mindset.
We also just love hearing their stories! Over time, we transitioned into talking with brand leaders outside of local businesses, since that’s more in line with where our agency is now. We always think about our audience and how we can give value to these entrepreneurs, and bring on guests that align with that.
We’re so grateful that Lauren & Carey decided to share their story with us! We can all learn a lot from their super innovative SOPR method, and how they bring their fashion PR background into their current work.
Check out Lauren & Carey’s agency Brand Groupies, and be sure to join our own Profitable PR Pros community over on Facebook so that you can take advantage of all that this amazing community has to offer!