A QUICK LESSON ON AZIONE PR

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FABFITFUN, AWAY, RITUAL, EQUINOX, MOON JUICE, MEDMEN, SAKARA LIFE, SWEETGREEN, SIMPLEHUMAN, GIRLBOSS, STANCE, J.CREW, COLE HAAN…

THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE BUZZY BRANDS THAT AZIONE HAS HELPED MEGAPHONE OUT TO THE MASSES. LELAND DRUMMOND CO-FOUNDED THE TOP PR COMPANY WITH PARTNER MICHELE THOMAS AND SINCE INCEPTION, THE COMPANY HAS WORKED TO EXTEND THE BRAND REACH OF SOME THE TRENDIEST COMPANIES AROUND. 

AZIONE prides itself on maintaining a boutique agency feel while working with some of the most relevant brands of today. We are not simply a PR agency, we are creative agents, big thinkers and storytellers.

We become a true extension of our brands, collaborating to help them build a consistent leadership position in their respective industries. With a unique focus on developing strategy and building dynamic communication blueprints, our organic approach to public relations and brand development keeps our clients cemented in the forefront of the consumer consciousness in an authentic way that they immediately can relate to. The result? Both recognition and longevity in the marketplace across a wide consumer demographic.

 

At AZIONE, we create results-driven metrics for success as we work through key launches, storytelling and trendsetting. We understand the importance of brand consistency and we make it our mission to streamline and authenticate how your business communicates as it grows and evolves.

We don't talk about doing things, we do them. At AZIONE, we mean action.

NOW, THE Q’S.

PRODUCT OR PROJECT THAT YOU'RE PROUDEST OF?

DRUMMOND AND THOMAS:  

AZIONE!!! We've built an agency from scratch and with blood, sweat and tears. We've kept our heads down and have worked tirelessly to shift the communications model in a way that feels authentic and intuitive. We've taken brands from Kickstarter to sale and startup to IPO, we have given back to those less fortunate through social good companies, we've told so many stories across so many platforms and have met mentors that have become close friends. We have gone from hiring our 1st employee to hiring our 35th...it's endless pride and gratitude.


WHAT'S ONE LIGHTBULB MOMENT WHERE THE HARD WORK FELT TOTALLY WORTH IT?

DRUMMOND AND THOMAS: 

There are so many…. When we were first trusted with giving tangible input into large scale marketing plans and became involved not just with communications but the internal brand building process. When we saw those first ideas come to life and consumers and media really embracing our creative vision, that was an a-ha moment. Also, when our existing clients began to refer us business early on, it truly showed us we were doing the job we set out to do. This happens weekly now and it’s a testament to hard work paying off. 


WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE LESSONS THAT YOU HAD TO LEARN THE HARD WAY ALONG YOUR CAREER PATH?


“‘NO,’ IS A POWERFUL WORD THAT CAN HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT.”

When we’re firing on all cylinders, it’s easy to feel guilty about turning down a potential meeting. We rule out the possibility of rescheduling because we’re holding ourselves to this higher standard. The truth is, though, it’s better in the long run to reschedule for a time when you feel at your best. Doing so means you’re bringing your best self to the table and that’s ultimately a win-win situation for everyone.

DRUMMOND AND THOMAS: 

You can’t do it all. Delegating and letting go of the reigns a bit and having faith in your team. You can't do everything and it's really important to delegate and also to push back sometimes on deadlines rather than cram/rush or push yourself past the breaking point.  Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and then realize it's as simple as asking for an extension or help.

Don't try and be everything to everyone. Hire professionals. Our business scaled so significantly since we launched and we had to learn new skills as we went along, there's definitely a learning curve to entrepreneurship. With a PR/Creative background, our knowledge of staffing, infrastructure and HR was more limited. It's really important to ask questions and talk to people along the way that are smarter than you.



WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELF FIVE YEARS AGO TO KEEP YOU MOTIVATED TO GET TO TODAY?

DRUMMOND: 

One day you’ll wake up and live completely in the present. That’s when the magic happens.

THOMAS: 

The best is yet to come.  The hardest of days bring the best rewards.


 

Contents

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ARTIST FEATURE

SHPLINTON

This month’s issue is a little different, as we’re featuring, no, not a photographer, but an artist who sketches, paints, and creates with his hands. Say hi to Shplinton. Quentin Thomas, if we’re being formal. I first met Quentin years ago at a small Aussie-owned shop in Venice. He was dropping off a jacket that he’d custom-made for one of the owners. Its back was covered in paint, fabric, and heart-felt soul. Shplinton’s unique expression of artwork is eye-catching. It awakens your senses and when you see a piece in person, you can literally feel his passion under each brush stroke or ink mark. Born in South Central LA, he’s gone from shy kid who doodled in the Bibles at church, to a professional artisté whose now collaborating with TOMS, restaurants, live painting events at the Ace Hotel, eventually a bike ride across the country to sponsor inner city kids who love art… All while being one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet. Welcome to Shplinton’s world, read our (in person!) interview today.

— Gaelan Simpson, Managing Editor SSR

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FEATURES

A QUICK LESSON ON AZIONE PR

FabFitFun, Away, Ritual, Equinox, Moon Juice, Medmen, Sakara Life, Sweetgreen, Simplehuman, Girlboss, Stance, J.Crew, Cole Haan… These are just a few of the buzzy brands that AZIONE has helped megaphone out to the masses. Leland Drummond co-founded the top PR company with partner Michele Thomas and since inception, the company has worked to extend the brand reach of some the trendiest companies around. In this article, we have a run down on what AZIONE does uniquely in the PR space, as well as a quick pow-wow interview with this unstoppable duo.

— Leland Drummond, Founding Partner AZIONE / The League

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FEATURES

A CENTURY UNDER THE INFLUENCE:

HOW LEVI’S HAS REMAINED COOL FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

Trends evolve, tastes change, fads die, this a constant of life.  Watching Ringo Starr perform in 2018 or reading the recent Rolling Stone profile of a sad and lonely 55 year old Johnny Depp is all one needs to see to know that even being among the coolest people on Earth at one point in time does not guarantee you a life time seat at the cool kids table…The one exception to the unofficial rule of cool that I have seen in my lifetime is the Levi Strauss Co. Consider this…

— Drew Ligget, Founder of Indian Summer Agency

 
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FEATURES

A FASHION OUTSIDER’S DIVE INTO THE WORLD OF DIET PRADA

When it comes to the subject of fashion, I know enough to know that I’m no expert. This was doubly confirmed when I was asked to write about the Instagram sensation Diet Prada. Until I googled it, I had no idea what that was.

After I got the story straight, I started to dig in to the Diet Prada archives, where I was educated in everything from references to film in fashion, the narrow vision of Hedi Slimane, vintage Balenciaga, 1950’s couture, and what I guess can be described as Stefano Gabbana’s terrible personality.

— Erna Adelson

 

FINDINGS

Medmen x spike jonze

Spike Jonze collaborated with the brand and directed a video short for them, highlighting America’s complex and controversial relationship with Cannabis.

NO WAY A FOOTBALL ZINE WOULD WIN A TOP DESIGN AWARD, RIGHT?

How one designer with no formal education created one of the greatest matchday programs of all time. How is it something can change for the better when you didn’t even realize it needed changing in the first place? This is the question West Bromwich Albion F.C. fans were scratching their heads about while thumbing through the Albion News at the start of the 1969 season.

 

PODCAST

037 - GETTING THE GRAM TOGETHER WITH BRANDY PHAM OF PLANOLY

This episode is all about the gram. We sit down with Brandy Pham, Founder of everyone's favorite Instagram planning tool - Planoly. Listen in as Brandy chats through the beginnings of Planoly, and the five ways a brand (or person) should consider using social to establish a story + setting for themselves.

SESSIONS by Matte Black