Chatting A Bit

Chatting A Bit With Ashley Rossiter

If you follow Haynet and the Equestrian and Countrystyle Blogger of the Year Awards, you will be familiar with judge Ashley Rossiter from MirrorMePR. In a recent announcement, the awards have been split into two sectors with MirrorMePR taking over being the host and running of the Equestrian Blogger/Vlogger of the Year Awards.

Sam Hobden from Haynet recently caught up with Ashley to find out more about the force and personality behind MirrorMePR, an award winning public relations & social media marketing agency:

You have a strong passion for fashion, style and rural life. Were you brought up in this environment as a child?

“We didn’t grow up in a particularly rural area, but we had a large garden, and there were plenty of fields and horses at the end of my road, so I spent much of my time in the great outdoors! I suppose my passion for fashion and style came from my parents; My mother was always very stylish, and my father was a music producer, so they were pretty cool growing up!.”

What were your childhood ambitions? Was it an easy route to head into a career in fashion, or was it a tough road?

“I knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry very early on. I loved creative writing as well, so I decided I wanted to work as a fashion journalist at quite a young age. My parents were very supportive in my career choice, but the careers officer at my school wasn’t so keen and suggested I choose a ‘secretarial role’ instead of chasing after something ‘unobtainable’. That made me even more determined! I didn’t know anyone in fashion, but I knew I wanted to do something along those lines, so I went to London College Of Fashion, studied fashion journalism and ended up styling celebrities and writing for mainstream women’s magazines as well as regularly presenting on TV for various fashion slots. PR came later and was a natural side-step, given my journalist and stylist experience, and I love it!”

What advice would you give a school leaver that wanted a career particularly in the area of equestrian and rural marketing and PR?

“Don’t give up!  My career path didn’t always go smoothly (I started in PR when I left college but ended up diversifying into styling, and that was the route that took me to where I am now!). Stay focused but be prepared to be adaptable too! Also, you really have to believe in the products you promote – if you don’t you’ll struggle to sell them into the press! I personally love luxury, fashion, horses and pets so have built our company’s USP’s in those areas.”

Tell us about MirrorMePR and why you set your own business up. What have been the triumphs and challenges?

“Again, circumstances changed, so I went from freelance to setting up my own agency by chance. The triumphs? Growing brands and being part of their journeys and helping small start-ups at the very beginning of theirs with our small business coaching services. The challenges? Like all business, we have had our challenges but nothing which can’t be solved by a strong cuppa and a slice of cake!”

You have worked in the fashion industry for many years and in television. How has this experience and knowledge helped run your own business in PR and consultancy?

“Having been on the ‘other side of the fence’ means that I understand journalists and brands and the way they like to work and their expectations of the PR & marketing relationship. With video a growing medium, having presented on camera and also directed behind the scenes, I help our clients with their on-camera delivery. Some people are just naturally good on camera but for most people, help and training in this area can really make the difference when presenting the right brand persona. My styling skills also come in handy on shoots too (you’d be amazed at how many uses a bulldog clip has on a photoshoot!)”

Social media marketing is a challenging place to be at the moment! What do you feel is the future of promoting a brand socially?

“Video content is king, but anything live is also a big winner. Creating and developing your brand personality is essential. And my advice – get someone with the expertise and knowledge to manage your social media if you can – you’ll get your life and your sanity back!”

You are a huge animal lover! Tell us about your animals past and present that have been a big part of your life.

“Oh gosh, I’ve had the joy of numerous horses in my life since my early 20’s – owned, shared and loaned but all loved very much! I didn’t have a pony as a child, but that didn’t stop me having my own full grooming kit (To be used when I went for my weekly riding lesson at my local riding school of course?!). My first horse coming back into riding as an adult was Jack, an ex-racehorse. Let’s say I learnt a lot from Jack – mostly how to ride correctly!! Dogs have always been part of my life too, and my first dog Jeff, a Jack Russell  X Chi is now an old man but still chasing squirrels at 17 (when they are near enough for him to spot!).”

What are your future plans and goals for MirrorMePR?

“To continue to deliver an unrivalled service to our clients and have fun along the way!”

On a day off, where would we find you?

“Brunch/Lunch/Afternoon Tea somewhere nice, mostly eating.”

Where do you hope to be in ten years?

“Enjoying the job as much as I do now!”

Against the Clock

Bays, Greys or Chestnuts: Ohhh bays because they’re easy to keep clean but Greys because when they are clean – they look epic!!

Gin or Champagne: Champagne (re-affirming the ‘Ab Fab’ stereotype)

Cheese or Chocolate: Can I have both? I do love a good cheeseboard though…

Sunshine or Snow: Being horsey – it has to be sunshine!

Home Counties or Far Away Shores: Love the home counties but with sunshine, not snow, please.

Spend or Save: Err best not ask my accountant that one!

Home Cooked or Eating Out: Eating out as I cannot cook anything edible past pasta or pizza.

Music or Film: Music to sing, run, dance and unwind to.

Wellies or Heels: Wellies every time – especially for festivals or at work events.

Ashley Rossiter is MD of Award-Winning Equestrian, Country & Lifestyle PR & Social Media Marketing agency, MirrorMePR. With over 30 years of industry experience, Ashley was a fashion and celebrity stylist, TV fashion presenter and fashion journalist writing for numerous women’s magazines, prior to working in PR. Her claim to fame is appearing in an Ant & Dec pop video.
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