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  • Writer's pictureAgenz PR

How Rihanna successfully utilized PR tactics to grow a massive empire

Robyn Rihanna Fenty utilizing the media to increase branding to an impeccable level

By: Chinyere Akuechiama

As defined by the Public Relations Society of America, public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. From the start, Rihanna made it a key point to always include her audiences in the decisions that were made, and in turn, that helped boost the success of her preceding brands. In 2017, the first of an empire launched; Fenty Beauty. It

Robyn Rihanna Fenty, singer and CEO of Fenty Beauty, Savage X Fenty and Fenty Skin

shook the grounds that other beauty companies where standing on. With its initial variety of shades offered, it became known as one of the most inclusive brands on the market with something for every customer. This was something that had not been seen too often in the beauty industry. Fenty Beauty saw what was lacking and wanted to change that; they set the pace for other beauty brands that followed suit.

In 2018, the second wave of an empire was launched; Savage X Fenty. Within months of launching, the debut collection sold out worldwide. Since then, the company has seen a tremendous amount of success. Annually, Savage X Fenty expects revenue of up to 17.0 million from its peak in 2021. Now, we reach the last of the empire; Fenty Skin. Launched in 2020, it achieved an automatic success.

Executive Prescence

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbados born singer and businesswoman. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential people of her generation. In 2005, she released her debut track “Pon de Replay” which skyrocketed her into stardom.

Instagram post of Rihanna at her Savage X Fenty Vol. 4 fashion show which premiered on prime video.

13 years of singing proved to be a success for the artist, but she always knew that she wanted to do more. With an Instagram following of over 145 million, Rihanna has always been a widely regarded artist. Whether it be fashion or beauty, she has remained to be an inspiration to many.

This social regard is what helped her brand ventures succeed in the way that they did. She is an artist a lot of Gen-Z ‘s listened to growing up, someone that they’d tell their kids was the star of their time. Due to her not releasing music since 2018, a lot of people look forward to anything that she puts out; whenever she releases something, it is rapidly recognized. She is highly admired, and A-lister among celebrities and the first Black Woman to head a luxury brand. With being an African American, she made it her mission to be as inclusive as possible with all her products; she has achieved than and then some. She has maintained her all-inclusive policy since every launch and dominated over competing companies who have been on the market for ages.

“For so long these mainstream brands have alienated diverse consumers with their limited shade ranges and outdated marketing, Fenty Beauty filled that gap in the market.” Says Hoda Awad in PR Week, an Account Manager of Madano.

Influencer Association

In this generation, social media is the leading force of influence among Gen- Z’s. Gen-Z’s make up the leading number of influencers than any other. Fenty saw that, and from their beginnings, the Fenty empire has utilized influencers in the best way possible. Specifically, with Savage X Fenty. They began their launch with a multitude of well-known influencers and celebrities promoting their products. I specifically remember an abundance of ads on all social platforms showing different content creators and celebrities of different shapes and sizes, trying on products from the line.

The brand has used people such as Vanessa Hudgens, Megan Thee Stallion, Normani and Dove Cameron; all people who have influence over Gen-Z’s. They continued their pursuit of influence after consumers were taken with the quality and of course, their passion for inclusivity.

Ambassador Program

Something the company does is specifically work with influencers through a marketing program for small influencers, brand ambassadors and well-known celebrities. Through the Savage X partnership, influencers from all over can help promote the vastly diverse brand.

Rihanna at her Fall 2019 Savage X Fenty Fashion show concert.

It is said that this marketing technique they used is the reason for its broad demographic and its “maximized reach”. By utilizing those already influential connections, it was a smart move to begin a company with a multitude of them promoting the brand. Another concept used to promote is by hosting fashion show concerts whenever a new collection drops. All models of different shaped and sizes walk for the line, and all shows are recorded and aired on streaming platforms shortly after.

“That’s what the show is all about: representation,” says Rihanna.

Donations and Charitable Work

Rihanna has become one of the most highest paid artists there is to date. She started her own company and due to its massive success she rose to billionaire status. With that, she always planned to use her earnings to help others. Born in Barbados, Rihanna always emphasizes her humble beginnings.

In 2012 she created the Clara Lionel Foundation named after her grandparents. The organization provides funding for emergency responses to natural disasters caused by climate change and also helps to educate marginalized communities. Rihanna dedicated a specific line of Savage X Fenty with the same name as her foundation. All the proceeds from that line went directly to the charity. On the Fenty Beauty website, there is an opportunity to donate to the foundation directly, or purchase products in which the proceeds go toward the foundation.

Rihanna, Left, assisting at a Clara Lionel Foundation Initiative in Malawi.

The charity is investing in climate justice initiatives in both the United States and the Caribbean. The organization is committed to investing up to 15 million in 18 different organizations working on climate justice. In February 2020, the Clara Lionel Foundation was named one of the world’s most innovative not-for-profit companies by Fast Company, and Rihanna received the NAACP prestigious Presidents award in recognition of her public service achievements.

From starting in a small island in Barbados to becoming one of the biggest stars of this generation, Rihanna has achieved an incredible amount of success. She used her platform to promote all her ventures, which in turn amplified their victories. I for one believe that her own platform and her tactics had to have been the best PR move one could have made. Starting with structuring her brands specifically off of influencers, that put her products ahead of other competitors in the market even before their worldwide releases. With this momentum, I believe her brand empire will continue to flourish.

About the Author:

Chinyere Akuechiama is an upcoming PR professional in Denton, Texas. Chinyere studies Journalism with a focus in PR at the University of North Texas with a minor in Political Science and Mediation. She is expected to graduate in December 2023 with her bachelor’s degree.

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