The Director of summer. agency, Bex Ringer, is at the forefront of modern marketing techniques, as the influencer rules the social landscape. As a sub section of B. the communications agency, Bex has overseen the expansion and development of summer. from day one, working with talent and brands to secure culturally relevant and socially conscious campaigns.
From what makes work fun, and how to get into the area, we caught up with Bex to discuss everything social, pop culture influencers and the huge transformation that has taken place across PR in the last few years. If you’re mad for social media and can’t get enough of the ‘gram, find out how to make it into your job in our latest Inside View!
Could you tell us a bit more about your title and role?
I’m Director at summer. a leading global influencer marketing & management agency; brought to life by experts in fashion, beauty, wellness, lifestyle, popular and youth culture.
We connect brands with the right people, design and execute influencer led campaigns, events and collaborations, and manage the careers and brand partnerships of social talent the world over.
What are your responsibilities day to day?
My role is to oversee the running of the agency (we’re a team of 7), ensuring our talent have a strategic led approach to their brand partnerships and develop new business opportunities for them and the agency. I spend lots of my time meeting with brands and talent and connecting the two for campaigns. Every day is different which means the weeks fly by. One day I can be negotiating ambassador deals for our talent, or on a photoshoot with them and the next meeting with potential new clients (brands) and pitching our agency services to them.
What did you study at university and how has this helped you?
I took Fashion Marketing and Communication at Nottingham Trent University and graduated in 2009. I studied fashion and textiles design at collage and knew that I always wanted to work in the fashion industry. However it took me some time to figure out what it was I was passionate about and which direction to go in. I actually did two first years at uni- I initially studied Fashion Management. I fell in love with the creative marketing side of the course and switched to Marketing and Communication after a year of studying, so I could focus more on that.
I had a very positive experience throughout my time at uni with great insights from the industry and a brilliant creative and forward thinking course leader. I also put myself out there and did lots of internships which my tutors fully encouraged. This really helped me to define what career path I wanted to pursue after graduating. I interned in Events, Graphic Design, PR, & Marketing.
Tell us a bit more about your career journey.
After graduating I headed straight to London and continued with unpaid internships within PR at various different agencies for about 4 months. At the time the repercussions of the recession were still being felt so it was a challenging to find a paid role straight away even with previous experience.
I was very lucky to land my first job at a boutique PR agency in the heart of Soho and stayed there for two years. I then moved on to another boutique PR agency for another 2 years before starting at b. The Communications Agency.
I started at b. 5 years ago as a Fashion Account Manager and worked my way up over a few years to Account Director. The industry has changed hugely since I started in my first role and with the rise of bloggers, to now ‘Influencers’ the role of PR’s has really changed. I was working with lots of different influencers in my PR role and developed some great relationships so when my Director asked if I wanted to head up the new influencer division at b. I jumped at the chance.
B.talent was born in July 2016 as a division within b. and due to its success by November 2017 we had rebranded to summer. and are now a separate agency solely focused on Influencer marketing and management.
“Hard work pays off and is enormously rewarding. You can’t climb the career ladder without putting some energy into it!”
Bex Ringer, Director of summer.
How would you recommend progressing through a career at a PR agency?
Jumping at every opportunity and putting in the hard work. Get as much experience within the role you’re doing and learn from your peers. I’ve been lucky to work under some really great and inspiring managers and directors who have guided and taught me along the way. But at the same time I’ve always been self-driven and have worked hard to get to the position I’m in now. Hard work, initiative and passion always shine through.
Summer is the new influencer agency by b. the communications agency. What has it been like developing a new area?
It’s been really exciting and hugely rewarding to see summer. grow. Influencer marketing is still a relatively new industry and is growing very quickly, so to be working within it and with incredibly talent influencers and brands that I’ve always wanted to work with is really exciting.
What do you look for when hiring a graduate?
We look for graduates who have an understanding and appreciation of Influencers and social media. Our day-to-day is spent communicating with and researching influencers so if you’re not into influencers and social media then it probably wouldn’t be the role for you. It’s also really important to have good communication skills and confidence. We spend a lot of time meeting with and approaching talent and brands and it’s ultimately about developing relationships – being a ‘people person’ really helps.
How can a graduate or student gain experience in this area?
Through internships. We offer internships both at b. and summer. it really is the best way of finding out if it’s a career path you want to go in.
What are the perks of the job?
Getting to work with lots of lovely people is definitely one, we have some extremely talented influencers on our books who are a pleasure to work with; it makes work fun! We also get to go to industry events and travel with our talent. Plus the odd free beauty product is always a nice perk!
And lastly, if you had a mantra to remember throughout your career, what would it be?
Oooh good question. I probably have a couple but ‘What you put in you get out’ is probably one I work to the most. Hard work pays off and is enormously rewarding. You can’t climb the career ladder without putting some energy into it!
As the fashion industry evolves along with new technology and contemporary forms of communication, the landscape for public relations and influencer marketing is ever changing. Are you interested in working in the field of social media? Let us know in the comments!
Interview and words by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins