Following yesterday’s harrowing news that Roxy Jacenko’s PR firm Sweaty Betty had lost a staggering 85 per cent of its client base in just three days due to fallout from the coronavirus, the PR queen has rallied, adding she still has a number of opportunities thanks to her diversifying the business in recent years.
Jacenko (in main photo with husband Oliver Curtis) revealed to B&T that Sweaty Betty had been particularly badly hit by a client exodus due to the agency’s exposure to luxury and high-end brands which had “fallen over” and lead to staff redundancies.
Unsurprisingly, health and food categories were still doing well, Jacenko added.
But the 39-year-old PR maven and socialite was quick to stress that her operations aren’t solely limited to the PR firm, Sweaty Betty.
“Fortunately, we diversified and added other arms to my group of companies well before COVID-19 hit,” Jacenko told B&T.
“We launched 18Communications – a Chinese communications agency servicing Australian and international brands to communicate with Chinese consumers as well as WeChat, Weibo, Redbook Management and Media Buying. Plus, the Ministry of Talent – a digital influencer agency – and Social Union our content creation agency.
“Now the focus is to make sure we continue to grow these companies whilst we look at options for Sweaty Betty PR in the short term,” Jacenko said.
And with things slowing down in parts of the business, Jacenko added she’ll be far from idle.
“Fortunately we’ve got these other agencies within the group and that enables me to be active in the business but not chained to it.
“It’s a time that I’ll be working additionally on my online branding course which launched in 2019 in partnership with [Mamamia’s] Mia Freedman; plus, my in-person seminars on small business, PR, events and social media around Australia and there’ll be other opportunities,” she added.
Let’s also hope that Jacenko’s inner-city Sydney offices don’t also continue to come under attack from disgruntled non-fans of the socialite.
In mid-October last year, Jacenko made global headlines after a Lycra-clad woman – dubbed the “poo jogger” – was filmed out the front of her offices defecating while apparently out on a morning run.
Jacenko said at the time: “This isn’t a person with irritable bowel syndrome, this is a person who’s getting off on it!’ Why do you need to shit in the street?”
Despite the massive media exposure and police hunt the “poo jogger” was never caught and charged, although friends of the woman did publicly come out and say she was deeply embarrassed about what had happened.
Last month, Jacenko was again in the news when she lost her bid for a restraining order against a Bitcoin trader accused of labelling the PR maven a “c@nt” in a graffiti attack on her office.
The offender, Anthony Hess, was labelled “puerile” and “juvenile” by the magistrate but cleared of intimidating and harassing her.
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