Meg Connolly's agency has launched some of the world's most covetable brands - the likes of the ambitious new Faena District in Miami and a roster of ultra-luxe real estate, lifestyle and design brands.
Meg shared with us some of the values that have been cornerstone to her company's success and longevity, as well as how she manages to find balance in an increasingly fast-paced industry.
What does your company do?
Meg Connolly Communications is a high-service, results-driven public relations and marketing agency representing prestigious international clients in the luxury lifestyle arena. We have offices in New York and Los Angeles, and we are recognized for our dynamic and creative approach, flawless execution (we are admittedly perfectionists) and press generating partnerships and initiatives.
Since I founded the agency in 2006, we have carefully grown our client base to include some of the world’s most celebrated luxury brands. Our clients are a mix of ultra-luxury brands including Faena, Vik Retreats, Christofle, Bronson van Wyck, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and Savoir Beds among others.
How did you start the business? What were you doing at the time?
Prior to MCC, I headed global PR for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, where I had the opportunity to create and implement communications strategies for the world’s greatest designers, architects and chefs including Yabu Pushelberg, Stephen Sills and James Huniford, Alain Ducasse and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I was also scouring the globe for agency partners, and it was at that time I came to believe that there was space to create a unique firm which held service, results, creativity, as well as client and media relations at the highest level. I was fortunate that St. Regis and Maybourne Hotel Group (Claridge’s, The Connaught and Berkeley Hotels in London) signed on as our first clients. We continue to represent the St. Regis brand and many of their hotels, and worked with Maybourne Hotel Group for over 8 years. Longevity in our client relationships is another hallmark for MCC.
Tell us about some of the highlights of your career thus far
I am incredibly proud of all of the work which best displays the qualities and characteristics for which the agency stands apart, namely strategic and creative thinking, from cover stories and multi-page features in the most important and discerning outlets to creating partnerships for our clients that drive press. There are many examples – from bringing The Berkeley Hotel’s famed Prêt á Portea to Bergdorf Goodman for Fashion Week (which sold out immediately and was featured in range of top publications including Vanity Fair and W), to launching Vik Retreats and putting José Ignacio, Uruguay on the map for chic travelers.
What are some of your current projects that you’re excited about?
The opening of Faena District Miami Beach is an incredible project, it is immensely ambitious, dynamic and layered – a merging of art, design, music, theater, wellness and culinary. Alan Faena’s vision for an urban utopia, bringing together the best minds, architects, designers, thinkers and talents has elevated Miami to new heights.
The hotel, designed by Alan in collaboration with Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin is spectacularly glamorous, features Francis Mallmann’s only North American restaurant. The hotel is part of Faena District which includes Foster + Partners Faena House, and Rem Koolhaas designed Faena Forum, Bazaar, Park & Marina.
The District runs from 32nd to 36th & Collins from the beach to Indian Creek, truly a city within a city.
We are also launching Celerie Kemble’s island fantasy retreat, Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic. The design is remarkable and singular and we are excited to share it with the world.
It can be an intense, competitive industry – how do you stay calm and centered?
I’m proud to say we have created a culture which is positive and supportive and quite wellness oriented. We have a walking and bike desk in the office, which are pretty much going nonstop. That said, we are in an incredibly fast paced industry, and as highly service oriented professionals, who hold the bar high, the daily cycle can be very intense. Working smartly and efficiently, and maintaining clarity is key and something we strive for daily, though sometimes it’s equally effective to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day.
What are some of the biggest changes you predict for the industry in the next 5-10 years?
The volume and pace of communication is certainly a challenge and it requires a high bandwidth to say one step ahead of it all. It is no longer communication across one platform either, understanding how to share your message thoughtfully and effectively through traditional print publications, in the digital space and on social media, it calls for strategic and detailed plans for every launch.
This will only increase as the industry continues to evolve, Instagram didn’t exist six years ago but now it is something we are thinking about daily, who knows what will be next!
Additionally, having the foresight to understand trends and capitalize on them is important, but carving out a platform for your client is even more critical.
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