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. 


Meet our client – Empower Sports

sports agency

Empower Sports is a Sports Communication Agency
created by Pedro Pinto in 2018.

Empower works with athletes, coaches, sports executives and clubs to promote their image, protect their reputation and monetize their brand.

Pedro Pinto, the company founder and CEO has over 20 years experience in media, communications and sport. He spent more than a decade with CNN International as a sports presenter, reporter and executive producer. Pedro then held the position of UEFA Communications Director for a four year tenure, leading the press office, editorial and digital content and corporate communications.

Empower Sports is based in Lisbon but operates at a worldwide level, and currently manages an impressive portfolio of high profile Portuguese football players and coaches, such as Nani, Paulo Fonseca and Cédric Soares.


Luxury brands have always been interested in partnering up with sports in general. At first, brands approached more elitist sports; but as time went by, they understood the power of popular sports such as rugby, the NBA and even football. Nowadays, these collaborations have become a mainstream practice.

Empower Sports reached out to Sparkling PR so we could consult, develop and manage partnerships between their clients and luxury brands worldwide.

“For those who know me, understand that football is a family affair. One of my first memories is seeing my father play at the glorious Benfica stadium, so this collaboration with Pedro was a natural match and I’m very excited to start working on finding brands that are a perfect fit for each of these incredible football icons”
Marina Coelho, Founder of Sparkling PR


Meet our client – Chic Every Weather

Chic Every Weather is a fashion app serving as a personal assistant where the user can shop curated looks from the most iconic brands.

Chic was launched in 2018 by Joana Branco, a fashionista at heart and her husband João, a talented designer. Joana understands the struggle of everyday women who want to dress to impress, or just find the perfect look for that special occasion.

Chic offers thousands of look combinations from premium and luxury brands, making it easy to choose the preferred style with a simple click of the refresh button. The user not only gets inspired by the looks but can also purchase them straight from the retailer’s website.

fashion app

From the early stages, Joana had a very clear idea of what she wanted her app to do and look like. The result was a sleek, elegant and fashion-forward design, so easy and fun to use, it can become addictive. But Joana also wanted to incorporate a social responsibility component which is very dear to her and so through occasional partnerships, Chic Every Weather is able to share awareness on some of Joana’s most treasured causes. Most recently, she used her platform to inspire donations to help with the Australian Wildfires crisis.

The fashion app Chic Every Weather is based in Lisbon, Portugal and currently collaborates with brands like Farfetch, Gravithin, Josefinas and Omnia.


Joana enlisted Sparkling PR’s communication consulting services and as such, we will be consulting in international Business Development, PR and Digital activities.

“From the moment I met Joana, I knew that we would be a great match. Her love for fashion and her devotion to helping people is what we thrive to work with at Sparkling PR.”
Marina Coelho, founder of Sparkling PR


Meet our client – Dynalux

in-store traffic analysis

Our new client DynaLux is a data collection and in-store traffic analysis solution that offers luxury brands and retailers genuine insights into the audience that actually visits the physical retail stores.


Dynalux’s mission is to revolutionize the in-store traffic analysis market the same way Google Analytics and other online analytical tools have allowed e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Net-a-Porter or Farfetch to better understand the trends and profiles of their respective audiences.

It’s true that these platforms have the ability to capture data and analyze in detail the visits trends (with or without a transaction and with or without a log-in). By going beyond the simple demographic-related analysis, they are able to obtain trends and shopping behaviors, which in turn allows them to have a better vision, choose the best marketing and sales actions, improving user’s experiences and ultimately, increasing their sales.

In the case of physical luxury boutiques, there are currently some solutions available to analyze traffic, however, such automated tools only scratch the surface. A qualitative in-depth analysis of traffic (regardless of conversion) isn’t available at all. Knowing that for every 100 visits to a luxury boutique, 15% to 25% of customers wish to and/or carry out a transaction or at least leave their details to be contacted in the future; the remainder are not being considered at all, in any way, shape or form. Of course, the staff will have a general idea of the visitors who visit their boutique. And so, with the type of data captured and analyzed by DynaLux, rather than relying only on historical sales to make projections, brands and retailers can now track a wealth of information, including the root causes behind the non-converted visitors.

DynaLux intends to go beyond this analysis and offer a detailed view of each visit, thus explaining each unfinished sale, which will allow its user to take immediate action to counteract this situation.


Dynalux is currently based in Dubai and is already working with major luxury brands such as IWC, Vacheron Constantin, Officine Panerai, Zadig & Voltaire, Paul Smith and Balenciaga, among others.

They now wish to work the European market and have chosen Sparkling PR to be their local partner to develop their business activity in Switzerland, Portugal and Spain.

“I’m so excited to partner up with Omar Chaoui, founder of Dynalux. I’ve known Omar for more than 5 years and it’s always a pleasure to work with colleagues again. He has over 20 years experience in the luxury industry and has a great understanding of the retail needs of brands and retailers alike.
Marina Coelho, founder of Sparkling PR