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Marie Claire's Twitter Strategy and Fashion PR Pitch Tips

us-marie-claire-april-2009-mandy-moore5While many fashion brands, journalists, bloggers and the like are harnessing the power of Twitter to develop relationships, engage around the future of media and build a loyal following, fashion magazines have been slower to join the online tribe. Those that have rarely post with any regularity and when they do, it's usually just a feed to recent online articles or a bit of buzz during fashion week and then veritable silence. On the other hand, the Marie Claire Twitter account not only participates regularly on Twitter but actually (gasp!) engages directly with their following, has been known to look for writers  from their Twitter community, and even recently charted, or is that tweeted, a blind date in real time.

PR Couture was lucky enough to get some time with Senior Web Editor Ashley Parrish and Web Associate Diana Vilibert to learn more about Marie Claire's Twitter Strategy as well as some Marie Claire pitching tips for fashion PR's on Twitter. For more information on Twitter strategy, check out the recent PR Couture post, "5 Tips for a Successful Twit Pitch" in addition to our list of fashion aficionados on Twitter in the comments for "Fashion PR Agencies, Designers and Bloggers."

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PR: How long have you had the account? Who manages the account? How much time daily/weekly do you spend directly engaging?

MC: We first tweeted on January 16th, so we're coming up on our three-month Twitterversary. Web associate Diana Vilibert manages the account on a daily basis, and senior web editor Ashley Parrish tweets on Sundays during each new episode of Running in Heels. It's hard to say how much time we spend tweeting. It's always open and running on our desktops, so as we're putting new content up on the site or come upon something our followers might like, we'll tweet it. But it really depends on the day--sometimes we have more time to reply to followers and jump into conversations, and sometime we don't.

PR: What are the goals of the MC Twitter account? Did you begin with these goals in mind or have they evolved over time?

MC: The goals of the MC Twitter account were to drive more traffic to our site, to make the site known as a daily destination for all things beauty, fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle and to interact with users. I think those have always been the goals and still are, though it's something that just comes about and happens naturally. We enjoy tweeting and love the Twitter community and engaging with our followers, and the more we learn about who's reading and responding to the articles we tweet, the better we're getting at finding the right things to tweet and let readers know about.

PR: One of the things I thought was great was using Twitter to mine for potential stories and writers, do you plan on continuing to do this?

MC: We definitely plan on doing this more! There's a community for everyone on Twitter, and it's such a great resource to tap into for potential stories, writers, and PR contacts that we might not necessarily have connected with otherwise.

g>PR: What are the key components of a successful Twitter strategy?

MC: For us, it's a combination of providing information and engaging in conversation. We aim to post links to articles on our site that appeal to both the largest range of users (like topical/newsworthy articles and blogs or career/job-related articles), and also articles that might appeal to smaller niches in the Twitter community. I think this kind of targeting is why we've been so successful--even if you're just posting a link, editorializing how you present it or asking a question will engage more people than using your Twitter account as an RSS feed. But aside from being informative and interesting, Twitter is not the place to go to talk AT your readers, so it's equally important to start and join conversations, to answer questions, and to retweet our followers when they post something interesting or relevant.

PR: How does Twitter integrate or support additional MC online tactics? What are some of the other ways Marie Claire is involved in Social Media? Why is it important for print magazines to embrace the online space?

MC: Print magazines don't exist in a vacuum, and neither do their websites or Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts, so all of those components need to work together. We go where our readers are, and our readers are flipping through the magazine at home, they're reading our blogs and articles on marieclaire.com, and they're talking about it on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Print magazines now have an online presence whether they want one or not--if you're not using social media to promote and talk about your brand, your readers will still be talking about it without you, so it's in your best interest to join the conversation.

PR: How are you measuring and reporting your Twitter success? Do you monitor for brand mentions?

MC: We measure by referrals from Twitter. Referrals increase as we got more involved with the platform. We had 21.8K referrals from Twitter in March, compared to 5.7K in February. We also search for mentions of Marie Claire (vs @ replies to @marieclaire) by people that might not necessarily know we're on Twitter and address their comments--like pointing them to an article they remember seeing in an old issue or looking up where they can buy a product they like.

PR: Do you accept "twit-pitches?" what is the best way for someone to submit something for potential coverage on MarieClaire.com?

MC: Yes, twit-pitches are welcome. We tweet an email address to reach us at whenever we're looking for tips or info from our followers, but tweeple are also always welcome to @ or DM us and ask a question, or to ask for an email address to send a longer pitch too.

PR: What has been the most surprising/fun thing about being on Twitter?

MC: We were surprised to see how excited people on Twitter were when we initially signed up! Word spread quickly, especially once we tweeted enough to show that we were there to join the conversation, not just flood everyone with links. We've also had a lot of fun brainstorming ways to use Twitter in a new way. Web associate Diana Vilibert just went on a blind date with another Twitter user, and they both tweeted the whole thing. It was a real-time he said/she said. Everyone had a lot of fun following it (and many even stuck around through the whole five-hour date!) and it was great to see so many people involved and sharing their thoughts as the date unfolded.

About the author: Crosby


Known as the "fashion publicist's most powerful accessory," (SD-UT) and the "West Coast 'It' girl of fashion PR," (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks is a brand strategist, author and founder of PR Couture. Crosby was included in the iMedia 25 Class of 2012 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, and enjoys helping fashion and lifestyle brands connect with their audiences in meaningful and creative ways.

19 Comments

  • Posted April 14, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I love marie claire mag and as a social media focused publicist, i think they’ve done a pretty awesome job in building their brand on Twitter, and engaging in real conversations with their readers.

  • Posted April 14, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Great interview! I found this a really interesting read and will definitely start following Marie Claire to see the points raised in action on Twitter.

  • Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    They are one of the few mainstream fashion outlets that really get it!

  • Posted April 16, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It is this attitude that will continue MC’s success. Staying in touch with the every changing lives of their readers and giving a piece of themselves in the process adds value to their brand that will reflect in these trying times for printed publications.

  • Posted April 17, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Everyone is on twitter, I might as well follow fashion twitters to get updates, why not follow MC as well? :D

  • Posted April 19, 2009 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    wow, i’ve been really enjoying mc on twitter… they’ve done such a great job of engaging their audience

  • Posted April 19, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Love the interview, and love Twitter. I joined Twitter about three days ago, and I’m already completely addicted. Yes, it’s true…I’m a twit! :)

  • Posted April 21, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Nice page!
    Like the layout :)

    xo!

  • Posted July 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. Very interesting stuff.

    Pilar Harris’s last blog post..haphazard

  • Posted August 5, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I was excited that one of my jewelry designs was in the September issue of Marie Claire, and when I Tweeted that today, MC helpfullly Tweet back to let me know the photo was online too! Very nice!

  • Posted February 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Great job…this is how it’s supposed to be done! Great people who “get it” at Marie Claire!
    @brprmiami

  • Posted May 31, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this really insightful post! One of my dream jobs would be to do public relations for a fashion magazine (in particular Glamour) since I read it all the time! I did like the interview format for this post and I liked a lot of her conscious answers.
    A lot of brands make the mistake of just using a Twitter account to toot their own horn. It sounds like Marie Claire is particularly dedicated to building a community of readers, something to be admired and followed, for sure.

  • Posted January 16, 2011 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Great article! Love that you’re able to get an insider’s point of view on how print titles are finding ways to leverage social media!

  • Posted February 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this interview – lots of helpful tips as I am rather new to twitter. Love Marie Claire too.

  • Runner6837
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s great that Marie Claire has customized Twitter to work with their fashion PR strategy. I think that’s the beauty of social media, that it is malleable enough to be utilized by everyone. Social media utilization is simply a matter of figuring out what aspects of your business can benefit from increased visibility.

  • Runner6837
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s great that Marie Claire has customized Twitter to work with their fashion PR strategy. I think that’s the beauty of social media, that it is malleable enough to be utilized by everyone. Social media utilization is simply a matter of figuring out what aspects of your business can benefit from increased visibility.

  • Emily
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    I like the goal of tweeting: “it’s a combination of providing information and engaging in conversation.” Whether it’s a company’s PR strategy or a personal account, without that intent in mind, Twitter would be pointless! Great insight to Marie Claire. Thank you!

  • Emily
    Posted November 20, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    I like the goal of tweeting: “it’s a combination of providing information and engaging in conversation.” Whether it’s a company’s PR strategy or a personal account, without that intent in mind, Twitter would be pointless! Great insight to Marie Claire. Thank you!

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me a note.