Zak Communications wins several new mandates

The PR shop has picked up assignments with Messika, Nexxus, L'Occitane and Silk Laundry so far this year.

Boutique PR agency Zak Communications has picked up a number of new assignments this year, adding to its existing roster of clients in the luxury, fashion, beauty and lifestyle space.

Most recently, the shop with offices in Toronto and Montreal won a mandate with Messika, a Paris-based high-end jewelery brand. It has been tasked with leading the brand’s national communications strategy, including media and influencer relations, executive profiling and celebrity relations. Since winning the account, it has attended a brand immersion atelier at Messika headquarters in Paris, and is currently working on a VIP launch event with brand founder Valérie Messika to be held in Toronto in October.

The win follows a number of others for Zak this year.

In January, it was named public relations AOR for Unilever-owned hair care brand Nexxus. Since then, it has been overseeing strategy and execution of traditional and influencer relations. It held a late-March launch event to help reintroduce the brand to the Canadian market. According to an email from Aaron Michiels, Zak Communications VP, the event was designed as a “hair care master class” hosted by  Nexxus global creative director Kevin Mancuso, involving the Nexxus heritage line and four new hair care collections. It continues to work on a paid influencer strategy with Cynthia Dulude, Ariba Pervaiz and Samantha Jane, although the brand is prioritizing earned PR as a core pillar of its marketing strategy this year, according to Michiels.

Also in January, the agency was brought on to lead national communications, including media and influencer relations and regional launch events, for French personal care brand L’Occitane as PR agency of record. It kicked off the partnership with a launch event in Montreal, showcasing the brand’s French heritage and new product innovation. It has since led a national mailer campaign, as well as ongoing media and influencer storytelling, including a press trip to the brand’s headquarters in Provence. For the remainder of the year, Zak is focusing on an influencer partnership and holiday preview event.

In February, it was awarded a mandate from Australian clothing brand Silk Laundry. Launched in 2015 with a focus on sustainability and on more-affordable, high-end women’s fashion, the brand opened its first Canadian store in Montreal this year – a launch celebrated through a VIP cocktail event – and launched a Canadian ecommerce site. Zak continues to work on national media and influencer relations for the brand.

Both L’Occitane and  Messika were awarded as a result of a competitive process to which it was invited to pitch. It won Silk Laundry by responding to a Canadian RFP and was awarded Nexxus based on an existing relationship with Unilever Canada.

Founded in 2002, the PR shop has a history of working with prestige brands in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories. Its current roster also includes Fenty Beauty, Kat Von D Beauty, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Ole Henriksen, Bite Beauty, Nest Fragrances, Marc Cain and Rodan + Fields.

Agency founder Laurie Zakreski says that qualities such as transparency and agility have “become paramount to success when things are moving so rapidly.” Accordingly, while influencers have come to play an important role in effective communications strategies, she believes “having a strong foundation in traditional PR continues to be equally important.”