JCK’s 150th: Luxury Brand Group’s Jen Cullen Williams on What JCK Means to Her

JCK magazine is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! To commemorate that milestone, we’re talking to 150 veteran jewelry professionals in 2019 for a feature series meant to distill the voices of some of the industry’s most enduring and successful professionals.

We can’t print every interview in its entirety in the magazine—so we’ve been posting full interviews here on JCKonline.com every Thursday.

This week we hear from Jen Cullen Williams, managing director of Luxury Brand Group, about how the industry’s changed since she’s been a part of it and what JCK means to her.

JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined? 

Jen Cullen Williams: I joined the jewelry industry in March 2007—nearly 12 years ago—and the industry has changed significantly in the past decade.

When I first entered the jewelry industry in 2007, it was prerecession—luxury retail was quite strong, and advertising and marketing budgets were much more robust. New technologies and e-shopping were just starting to get integrated into luxury businesses. PR was primarily focused on print and broadcast placement, social media for businesses was not a thing yet, and influencer, Uber, Instagram, and jobs like social media manager didn’t exist.

What’s your experience with JCK magazine? 

My experience working with JCK magazine began within weeks of beginning my career in brand communications for jewelry and luxury clients at Luxury Brand Group. I remember drafting one of my first client press releases and pitching it to all the jewelry industry publications and then receiving editorial coverage in JCK’s June 2007 issue. It was so exciting to work with the editorial team at JCK and garner that press hit. To this day, it is still a blast to work with JCK’s editorial team for all types of coverage—from company news announcements to product launches, editorial product shoots, and so much more. It’s an honor for me and Luxury Brand Group to secure placements in JCK magazine for our clients.

What has JCK magazine meant to you? 

As a publicist and marketer, JCK is the leading media outlet for jewelry and watch industry companies to communicate corporate news to the jewelry, watch, and retail communities as well as stay on top of all the happenings from all aspects of the market. JCK has been truly impactful by providing exposure for companies we work with as well as developing business relationships that help grow their businesses.

And for me personally, I’ve loved forging long-standing relationships with the hardworking and talented editorial and advertising teams at JCK magazine.

What was your first impression of JCK magazine, and how has it changed over the years?

Although JCK magazine is a trade (B2B) publication, it often feels like a consumer magazine. It has articles that engage all facets of the market, from design and retail, to technical and global industry news—with beautiful imagery. In my early days, the articles tended to be longer and there were special feature books, but when JCK rebranded in 2010, I was blown away by the new creative direction. I remember emailing editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and publisher Mark Smelzer to say how beautiful the new layout was and how I felt like I was reading a coffee-table book. I love that the magazine continues to evolve and modernize with the changing times!

Catch up on JCK’s 150th interviews:

Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer of Lightbox
Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA
Marie Helene Morrow, president of Reinhold Jewelers
Jenny Luker, U.S. president of Platinum Guild International
Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Russell Shor, GIA senior industry analyst
Walter McTeigue, cofounder of McTeigue & McClelland
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian
Peggy Jo Donahue, freelance writer and former JCK editor-in-chief
Rebecca Moskal, jewelry marketing veteran

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