Time for us to pause


No watch brand was ready to face this microscopic enemy that took the world for ransom and made it stand still for an entire month. Weakening global communities and economies alike.


But this tiny invader has given us time. Time to think, to assess and to reevaluate not only strategies, goals but to prepare for an uncertain future as well.


It all comes down to what has been created and done during this isolation period, that will shape the way everyone will tackle the future months ahead.

This has certainly been a learning period for many, but for most it has been a contemplative moment. We were able to appreciate what we have, our families, our friends, cherish our “normal” way of life and be thankful for the wonderful opportunities given to us.

But it was also a time to reflect on a professional level. Reflect upon the choices that led everyone here today. And then, there are the ones that will be made in the near future. These will definitely be the most important ones, that will prepare brands for what’s to come, whatever that may be.


  • Create. Not only to think outside the box but to go further and actually imagine there’s no box at all.
  • Look outward to inspire inward. It’s been amazing to see some of the smaller watch brands being so creative. Seven Friday, for example, who did live sessions on instagram before all others. Some of these brands have been doing an amazing job at keeping engagement high and creating relevant content for their followers, thus continuing to build their community. They have definitely inspired us in many ways. To set aside fear and dive into something new and exciting.
  • Refresh existing models. With Watches & Wonders and Baselworld cancelled, watch brands needed a brand new idea. Breitling just reinvented the way they presented their yearly novelties. With its virtual summit, Breitling invited journalists from across the world to log in on April 16th and introduced their newest models, through an online presentation.


Even though the future is bleak and we still don’t know what will happen, brands have certainly surprised us. So move forward we shall, and we cannot wait to see what other positive outcomes, the COVID-19 crisis will have allowed to be concocted during this quarantine period.


That time, I met the extraordinary Gregory Pototsky

by Marina Coelho

The universe has a way of bringing people together in the most surprising ways. Through a chain of connections that started with the coolest pop artist I know, Rueffa, I was able to meet this amazing artist and discover his incredible work.⁠ ⁠


I get a call from Rueffa telling me she just heard Gregory Pototsky is in town and that I should definitely meet him. Following her lead, I call his publicist and just like that, I was invited to a private viewing with the artist himself!

The house he’s staying in is a magnificent property on top of the Sintra hills, overlooking the ocean.

Svetlana and Frédéric, personal friends of Gregory, welcome me inside. The house is a white canvas adorned with beautiful paintings and sculptures patiently waiting to be hung and displayed.

Suddenly, a very relaxed Gregory enters the room to greet me. After butchering a few words in Russian (which I’m still learning after 2 years); he welcomes me into the living room, we sit down, and he naturally starts telling me his story. Svetlana kindly translates his words to me, and reciprocates my amazement to him.


I must shamefully confess that up until this moment, I was not a big fan of nudes; being more an Impressionism lover myself. But to hear Gregory’s personal life story, his struggles, more specifically his uplifting view on life and his inspiration behind every one of his art pieces; makes you take a second look at his work and appreciate each delicate line on the canvas.

Gregory Pototsky was born in 1954 in the Kurgan region. In 1977, he graduated from the State Institute of arts in Odessa. In 1986 he graduated from the Kishinev State University.

His sculptural and artwork has been in private collections of Gérard Depardier, Pierre Richard, Charles Aznavour, Pierre Cardin, Paulo Coelho, Stephhen Baldwin, Emir Kusturica, and many more.

The way he works is unique, connecting with his subject at a very deep, personal and emotional level. Transcending the simple creation process and becoming an instant therapeutic session.

Not only are his paintings and sculptures, beautiful and emotional pieces; but Gregory himself is a beacon of light, the pure embodiment of kindness; that’s why, he was so adamant to create the International Academy of Kindness. The organization runs multiple international charitable activities under the program “In Russian with kindness, from Russia with kindness”. He also created the symbol of peace and kindness “the Dandelion”, which is in 30 countries around the world.


I could have read his official biography, admired his work and gone through his long list of famous patrons; but to experience a connection to Gregory himself has given me a privileged insight into the mind and heart of an extraordinary person.

What was supposed to be an hour-long private viewing; turned into a weekend-long exchange that culminated with the amazing art premiere hosted by Svetlana Romanova and Frédéric Lassoeur.


4 ways to use PR during your quarantine

Following the usual slow beginning of the year, luxury brands were so ready to take on the second quarter by storm and set the tone for the year, organizing watch fairs, announcing events, and preparing new product launches.

All of a sudden, due to this forced quarantine, we put on hold these certainties that we took for granted year after year, and replaced them with fear, doubt and skepticism. Brands started cancelling fairs and movie festivals, postponing product launches and events and of course freezing communication budgets.


As a PR professional, I know the importance of preparing for an unforeseen crisis, but more often than not, we are so focused on our day-to-day operations that we don’t make it a priority to work on a crisis management handbook.  And even though several movie directors have warned us multiple times about the possibility of a worldwide pandemic, no one really believed them. It all seemed farfetched, a sci-fi plot to entertain us rather than break us. But here we are, unbelievable as it may seem; two months after patient zero, one week in quarantine (at least for me), and the world stands still.


But where we perceive a threat, we should always try to see opportunity. Through this surreal and unprecedented crisis, we have been given the most precious commodity: TIME. Time to reflect on our life but also our work, our business strategies and communication activities. Now, how we use this gift, it’s entirely up to each one of us, so I’d like to take this pause in time to share with you a few of my PR tips to make the most of your quarantine.

  • Acknowledge the COVID-19 crisis. This first tip is actually something that most brands have done fairly quickly. To address the seriousness of this crisis, and take measures to protect their employees, partners and clients. This decision may be a tough one to make at the business level, of course. But in the end, it humanizes the brand while reassuring the public that it is conscious about the dangers of the situation but not afraid to take appropriate actions.
  • Create content. If there was ever any doubt about the importance of content creation, well now more than ever, brands need to get this done. Their customers are at home 24/7, craving for a distraction from this crisis. So, a social media focus during this period is key. It’s inexpensive, easy and your creativity can be unleashed! There are so many ways to create relevant and current content; what about creating a video mash-up of your employees working from home? Make it fun, make it sincere and authentic! Your customers will sympathize, and your teams will appreciate the shout out!
  • Help any way you can! We’ve seen a few companies stepping up to help their communities. LVMH producing hand sanitizer, or Kering ordering surgical masks, or even FIFA donating 9-million euros to the WHO. Obviously, each business is different but the key here is to do what you can. Donate proceeds from sales, start a food-drive, support a local hospital. Whatever you can do, again will humanize your brand and show the world you care.
  • Reconnect with your journalists. We now have all the time in the world so reach out, re-kindle those relationships, share content with them. Journalists are craving content at the moment. So why not partner up with them to organize a live talk around a subject/ a product or organize the classic takeover of your social media accounts. The ideas here are endless, and they’ll be so thankful in the end.

PR may be the last thing on everyone’s mind at the moment, but I hope that these PR tips will be useful during your quarantine. And, since we do have the time and we’re not going anywhere anytime soon, let’s get our PR teams together (virtually of course) and have fun designing creative PR activities in the meantime, to continue reaching out to our employees, partners and clients. 


How important is brand authenticity?


In only 10 years time, we have changed the way we communicate. In the past, a brand introducing itself to the world would have been encouraged to shout out lout that it was the best; be arrogant and cocky in order to succeed. Nowadays, the audience responds more positively to a brand that is willing to take the risk of being vulnerable and authentic.

Social media has played a key role in this evolution. Brands are more likely to use these platforms to show their imperfections and the audience loves it. No longer is the time of perfection, the consumer wants a real and a relatable message. Authenticity has become an important fact to consider in order to remain competitive.

But what does it really mean to being authentic? Well, it means being honest, transparent, communicating integrity. These are keywords that will ultimately guide you to consumers’ appreciation.

How do you create it? Well, we don’t actually. Authenticity already exists within each organization, among its history, its  mission, its core values, among the reality, the struggle and the truth that drives the company on a daily basis. We, as PRs, must take these messages; put them on paper, on video; and translate them into a story that will resonate among the targeted consumers.


Millenials are the key to this new way of communicating. it’s been proven that this group does not relate to the shopping trends that used to rule older generations. They are non-responsive to traditional advertising and marketing techniques. They are not looking for the “best” brand, they are looking for the brand that will relate to them the most, that engages with them but most importantly that will bring a solution to their problem.


There are 3 ways, we believe authenticity can be achieved:

  1. Show who you are by actions, not just your story.  Show your consumers what you are doing on a daily basis that makes your company thrive.
  2. Don’t patronize your audience. Engage them in a two-way conversation about your mission, your story. Videos, events and social media are a few great tools to use in this case.
  3. Be yourself. Show what your brand is truly about. You don’t need artifices to shine. Be your true self and your audience will humanize your brand, and create an instant connection.

By using authenticity in your communication plan, you are humanizing your brand and building a relationship with an audience based on honesty, integrity, love and truth which audiences respond to with genuine human emotions and feedback.