Alison Brod: Becoming an Experienced PR Professional and Building Her Business
How a fashion and lifestyle public relations specialist succeeded in a fast paced and ever-changing industry
By: Sarah Wylie
Alison Brod is a PR expert who has substantial knowledge and experience in the PR industry. She has built a successful name for her PR and marketing company, Alison Brod Marketing + Communications and has been featured in over 100 media outlets. Her company is based in New York and is known for its viral marketing stunts for restaurants and packaged goods. Brod has accumulated numerous clients throughout her years working in public relations and represents brands in the food, fashion and lifestyle industries. To name a few, Alison Brod Marketing + Communications represents companies such as Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics, Panera Bread, Dormify, and Old Navy. I admire Alison Brod for making a name for herself in the PR world and creating her own successful firm. I am inspired by Brod for having a variety of clients in different industries ranging from fashion to hospitality and food companies.
Creating a business
Brod is a graduate from Tulane University and has a background in fashion, magazine and restaurant PR. In 1996, at the age of 25, Brod decided to start her own PR agency, Alison Brod Public Relations. Burberry, Escada and Van Cleef & Arpels fragrances signed onto her company as her first clients. At the time Burberry was one of the first designer brands wanting to relaunch and rebrand their fragrance. Kate Moss was the face of the campaign and Alison Brod was responsible for the PR and marketing aspect. According to Brod, her main goal since starting her company has been to effectively tell a story for the brand before influencers or media get involved. 25 years later, Brod has made a name for herself and her company and runs a 64-person office that has been renamed to Alison Brod Marketing + Communications.
From ABPR to ABMC
Brod found it imperative in changing her company’s name from Alison Brod Public Relations (ABPR) to Alison Brod Marketing + Communications (ABMC) due to the PR industry changing and the onset of internet.
“Companies were not caring as much about the type of firm they were hiring but more so on reaching audiences and getting big ideas to consumers which created more developmental work for our team,” Brod said.
In changing the name of her company, she is able to accrue more credit for the amount of work that her firm provides. Not only is she focusing on the PR aspect of her clients, but ABMC takes initiative in working with influencer marketing, product development, consumer and sales activations, focus groups and messaging. Brod explains that in changing the name of her company it was time that clients understood the skill set and the variety of services offered in working with these brands and felt that PR had more of a narrow connotation.
Standing out from competitors
Through a wide range of clients, viral marketing campaigns, and finding new ways to set her company apart, Alison Brod has challenged herself to stand out from competitors from the beginning. When Brod first began her agency in 1996, she says that it was not the norm for PR agencies to specialize in beauty. Since 1996 Brod has expanded her company greatly and not only specializes in representing cosmetic companies but everything from lifestyle to sports brands as well. However, she feels that she originally set herself apart from competitors by doing things that had not been done before. For example, her campaign with Burberry and specializing in beauty was something entirely new to the world of PR. Brod takes pride in her company being women empowered and feminine. Her company consists of majority female employees and for a long period of time she concentrated on marketing specifically to women-focused companies, which was a rare thing at the time.
I admire that Alison Brod is a woman in the PR industry who has worked to make a name for herself and built a successful public relations agency. I am inspired by how she does not limit her company to only representing certain brands but instead ranges from all different types of companies. I think that throughout Brod’s career, she's had to adapt and grow her company to suit the needs of social media, internet and shifts within the PR industry. However, I respect that she didn't shy away from the challenge of an ever-changing industry and instead utilized her strengths to build brands that consumers are drawn to.
About the Author
Sarah Wylie is a public relations professional and journalist from Arlington, Texas. She studies both journalism and public relations at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas in Denton and anticipates graduating in May of 2022. Sarah is passionate about all things social media and has a love for writing.