As Communications Director at one of Sydney’s top, full-service luxury and premium PR agencies, Ingrid Lovett is ‘the face’ of MaxMediaLab (MML). The busy mother-of-two spends her day in and out of meetings, creating and launching press releases and marketing campaigns, holding strategy presentations, developing branding initiatives, managing internal communications and external media relations and much more.
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I grew up on Sydney’s Lower North Shore with my grandparents. Our neighbourhood had lovely tree lined streets a village atmosphere with a keen sense of community. I was an only child so loved having friends over, swimming in the pool, climbing trees and riding my bike or going down to visit friends at The Spit where we would play on boats for hours on end. I had a very adventurous spirit and dreamy persona. I was very connected to nature and the world around me and would spend hours outdoors exploring during summer. I loved helping my grandmother cook going to art classes reading and watching movies in the cooler months.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
My very first job was at McDonalds in Cremorne. My school friends and I went for an interview together and all got a job there at the same time! We would all ride our bikes to work, clock in and then eat together afterwards. I learnt a lot about responsibility and being on time. Being a people person, I also learnt very quickly I wanted to be on the front counter greeting people and not in the back cooking.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEKDAY LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
I am up at 6.30am to run, circuit and swim in the ocean every morning in any weather with my partner. I find it so therapeutic for my mind, body and soul even on mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed – but this routine drives my momentum through the day. My next stop is Birichina in Bondi for a much-needed coffee! Then home to make breakfast and getting my girls, Lucia, 9, and Miel, 13, ready for school before heading to the office. From then on, my day is a mix of meetings from strategy presentations to media negotiations and team and client liaisons. My evenings are spent cooking, eating out or enjoying some down time before a relaxing movie or reading in bed.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT MML?
I have been at MML for six years and have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with CEO, Lynette Phillips, the exec team and my colleagues. Lynette has an incredible vision and empowers everyone around her with her can-do / everything is possible attitude. Culture and creative communications are incredibly important in everything we do and with the people we work with. I have a dedicated team of 10 in my department who are super passionate and agile, which is so important when working with our clients as we are an extension of their team. We work across local and international brands, not only launching them into them market but growing their presence, brand awareness and market share. Strategy is at the heart of everything we do and ideating, researching, and coming up with ways of doing things differently breathes life into every project we embark on.
BEFORE MML, YOU WERE AT L’ORÉAL LUXE?
Previously I was at YSL Beauté as PR and Comms Manager where I also looked after media for over seven years before it was purchased by L’Oréal Luxe globally. I was then inherited you may say by L’Oréal and invited into the PR and Comms team. I had an amazing seven years there working alongside Christine Burke and Camille Walker. I came in as PR and Communications Manager and worked on beautiful global brands like Giorgio Armani, YSL, Ralph Lauren, Kiehl’s, Biotherm and Lancôme. As PR and Comms Manager it was our job to launch new brands and products into the local market as well as work with event specialists to bring these launches to life. We also worked closely with global ambassadors and embarked on many global famils and local events and partnerships.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS?
I feel incredibly lucky to have had so many opportunities and highlights throughout my career. These span from biannual trips to Paris and Singapore, to press famils at Kokomo Private Island, Patron HQ in Guatemala in Mexico, and even into the secret world of Moët & Chandon’s underground wine cellars before dining in the private ballroom with Chef de Cave, Benoit Gouez. Other highlights have been managing PR and Comms for Hamilton Island Race Week for a few consecutive years before launching Fenty Beauty and bringing Rihanna to our local market to celebrate the first year of Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin. Another highlight was bringing the first influencer into the market, Michelle Phan, for Lancôme at Myer, before anyone knew what an influencer was. Managing to get the first local interview for Mr Ralph Lauren in the Australian market.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO PURSUE A CAREER LIKE YOURS?
I would always recommend staying in a position for more than three years so you learn as much as possible as well as challenge yourself so you can make a difference from that experience. I have found the younger generation are more restless and feel the need to move more frequently but I would always encourage them to stick it out as it shows loyalty, and they will gain more respect from future employees on their resume.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
ONE COMMON MYTH ABOUT PR THAT YOU WANT TO DEBUNK?
That there is no return on investment (ROI) in PR activities. PR is an authentic way to share your story in media and allow your potential customers to engage with your brand quickly. It builds trust in the public when they see your brand’s name in the news. Trust leads to conversations, and ultimately an increase in sales. PR gives you ROI in terms of media buzz, public engagement and a loyal customer base, generating more sales and returns.
This feature was published in the Summer issue of Retail Beauty.