Roxy Jacenko on pushing boundaries in business

The entrepreneur, author and PR guru talks candidly about business, events and social media.

Having built five businesses, authored five books and hosted sold-out seminars, Roxy Jacenko is a strong leader in her field.

Spice News recently spoke with the queen of PR herself, to find out about her career and how she stays ahead of the ever-changing events industry.

Launching a successful public relations business at 24 years of age would be enough for some, but for Roxy Jacenko, it was just the beginning.

In addition to her renowned Sydney PR agency Sweaty Betty, Jacenko’s suite of businesses now includes influencer agency Ministry of Talent, social media agency Social Union and accessories brand Pixie’s Bows.

She also runs regular In Conversation seminars and has published five books, including her latest release, Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips and Tricks.

“With any business, unless you continue to evolve you get forgotten about,” says Jacenko.

“I’ve never ever been one to say: ‘Well one business is doing well and that will suffice’.

L’Occitane event
produced by Sweaty Betty

“You’ve got to continue to up the ante and push the boundaries, otherwise you just become a number and I don’t want to be a number.”

Meeting expectations

Sweaty Betty has become synonymous with not only managing public relations for high-profile brands – be it in the fashion, food or lifestyle industry – but producing incredible, Instagrammable events as part of that.

According to Jacenko, guest expectations are higher than ever before, which means events must be extremely engaging to make an impact.

“Gone are the days where Champagne and canapés will suffice,” says Jacenko. “People want experiences.”

An example from Sweaty Betty’s own client events is the launch of a new Aqua range for skincare brand L’Occitane.

“At the table we had the product melting in ice and cloches over the top, which were revealed by waiters all at the same time,” says Jacenko.

“It wasn’t just a product display and a meal, we have a bit of a talk and that’s it – we created moments.”

The rise of social media

The rise of social media has completely shaken up the event landscape, so much so that Jacenko admits she makes every decision because of it.

“People are time poor and they’re using social media every time they open their eyes, through their lunch break, while they’re waiting for a friend and until they go to bed,” she says.

“The more you use it, the better your content is and the more success you’ll have on it.”

One of Jacenko’s businesses, Pixie’s Bows, was built entirely through Instagram.

“We’re now in 14 Myer stores and we’re also in The Iconic Kids,” she says.

“So yes, [social media] important. Is it there forever? Probably not, but you’ve got to be in it to win it.

“And then you move onto the next thing when the next thing comes about.”

If there’s one thing we can learn from Jacenko, it should be to always look ahead for the next opportunity.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Jacenko and her husband Oliver Curtis launched 18 Communications in January this year, with a goal to help brands tap into the lucrative Chinese market.

“We’ve got a big Chinese community here in Australia, and no one is tapping into [Chinese social media platforms] WeChat and Weibo – well there will be now!”

This is an excerpt from the February edition of Spice Magazine. Subscribe here.

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