A career in fashion PR can offer an opportunity to work the business side of fashion; fashion writing, fashion show production, in-store events/sample sales, branding, website development, all while helping fashion designers, boutiques, and fashion labels find the success they deserve.
Fashion public relations is concerned with building and maintaining relationships with different target publics – media, prospective customers, vendors, investors, and deals with reputation management, serving as the conduit between those different groups and those in charge at your company – whether that is the CEO or the designer herself.
Fashion Public Relations Specialists and Publicists help apparel companies and retail stores build and maintain a favorable public image. Because they do not pay for publicity or media coverage, Public Relations (PR) Specialists must find creative ways to keep the company’s brand name in the public eye.PR specialists select information that they want to share with the public and write up press releases or conduct press conferences to distribute the news through television, newspapers, radio and direct mail. They are also responsible for interacting with media when questions or crises arise from outside sources. As such, PR specialists must maintain strong professional relationships with media personnel.
The magic wand that publicist wield to influence the editor’s picks section in your favorite fashion magazine is, in fact, the result of hours of work coordinating, emailing, overseeing and advising clients on everything from logo to lookbook, as well as messaging and pitch opportunities.
To get started in fashion PR and land that first fashion PR internship or job, know that you are facing a competitive industry where who you know and a great pair of boots will get you noticed a lot faster than a carefully constructed resume. Still, there are several things you can do to position yourself in the brightest light possible, at least long enough to secure that internship at before being relegated to the back office and sent on seemingly impossible errands on extreme deadlines.
Get Involved in the Industry
Online and offline, who do you know and who could you get to know? Ask around and see if anybody knows anybody and then get in touch for a brief informational interview. Don’t even worry about a job, just focus on getting to know people in the industry and making a good impression. Once that is done, I almost guarantee you that when a position does open up, you will get an email. Twitter chats are a great place to begin to develop relationships with PR Practitioners and show off your smarts. Do a quick search to find people talking about things you are interested in, then introduce yourself and contribute to the conversation.
Build Your Portfolio (even without job experience)
Do you have any creative friends? A photographer, a stylist, a local band? Offer your services designing a press kit – include basic info like a bio, sample work, contact information, and testimonials. Print it all out, save a digital copy and bring it with you to your next interview. No friends? Don’t worry, see if there are any local fashion shows coming up for charity and offer to write a press release. None of those either, get creative on your own and develop a media kit for a mythical company or for your favorite designer.
Start a PR blog
What about fashion, or public relations, truly inspires you? The next time you apply for a fashion PR position, include a link to your blog in your cover letter. Digital will show that you are truly passionate about fashion and be an insider’s look at who you are. Great working relationships are all chemistry, baby.