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Fashion PR Lingerie

Part 2: Show Me The Pretty – Fashion PR Advice with Hopeless Lingerie

The indie fashion PR component to top fashion PR blog PR Couture, Show Me The Pretty is a two part series that features 5-question interviews with hand-selected indie fashion labels. PR Couture shares the pretty and then, in part two, turns it back to the designers to ask questions and get advice and feedback about their own fashion PR strategy from a variety of industry experts. Sound like fun? Email info[at]prcouture.com for more information.

Visit Part 1 - Show Me The Pretty - Hopeless Lingerie - to get caught up!


In terms of Social Media, how do you manage your personal and business profiles when they are so closely related?

PR Couture Says...

For a long time, I tried to segment a personal Twitter account as well as a "PR Couture" account and the whole thing got quite confusing. Especially because the PR Couture account was growing much more rapidly than the personal account. I made a decision to be both personal AND professional on the PR C account and I think this has greatly contributed to our success (we just hit 15k followers). I don't think there really is any public/private anymore, and most people get that, and they want to be able to connect with you above and beyond your product, so I say, find a happy mixture. On Facebook, keep a fan page and a personal page and be vigilant about your privacy settings.

- Crosby

Being present as the face behind the brand is undoubtedly important, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your online privacy or give the entirety of your personality to your public business branding.  Keep personal things personal, and always be aware of your own online security.  If you want to be seen, get a set of pro shots done for public use, or use ’behind the scenes at work’ or ‘out at an event’ images, and keep everything else for yourself and your friends.  Keep something back and it won’t consume you; social networking is a tool, not a job.

- Sarah-Jane Adams, Fashion Journalist, www.sarahjaneadams.com

As a designer, you have to separate the two. The lines between personal and public are increasingly blurred, our personal selves are often the representation of our brands - your public image represents your brand. So to me, there’s no distinction, what you do in private is public. Act accordingly on the web

- Macala Wright Lee, FashionablyMarketing.Me

Your business and personal profiles can definitely compliment each other. Often times your personal contacts can become your customers and want to know what is going on just as much. Obviously it is all about your comfort level regarding whether or not you want to cross over the two but it definitely doesn't hurt if you are willing.

- Polina Raygorodskay, Polina Fashion

If you can't keep two separate accounts, you need to be careful.  What you say on behalf of your business should support your brand image.  I often compare it to a cocktail party- it's okay to have fun but don't say anything you would be embarrassed to say in front of someone you work with, or would like to work with.

- Melissa Davis, Founder and Co-Owner of Ruby Press

Should you censor your true feelings about certain issues for fear of losing potential customers? Or just remain politically correct on all fronts...

PR Couture Says...

Most often, there is a way to communicate how you feel about something without coming at it at the expense of the other side. I think it's all about how you approach it. Most of the time, I say go neutral, but for those issues and beliefs you have that are particularly strong, find a way to voice your opinion in as inclusive of a way as possible. Your customers may surprise you!

- Crosby

I think it's important to act professionally and try to keep socialmedia relevant to the subject matter at hand. If there is something I feel passionately about, but it's either divisive or not related to PR or my clients, I'm not going to spend time Tweeting about it to the wrong audience. I do try to promote relevant causes, such as children's charities, that I feel passionately about and may interest my audience.

- Adrienne Dorsey, Magnolia PR

Type in haste, repent at leisure… as the front of house for your brand, it’s important to remove yourself from anything that will bring you negative attention.  Everything you post online will be seen, or even saved, by someone, even if you immediately remove it… at best you risk losing a customer, at worst you risk it being exposed to a wider audience.  Don’t forget that the press even use tweets as a legitimate source for quotes and stories now, so maintain the correct image at all times.

- Sarah-Jane Adams, Fashion Journalist, www.sarahjaneadams.com

I like your questions. You’re thinking about image as well as the values that you hold close to you.  90% of the marketing and PR professionals will tell you to stay neutral and not alienate a particular audience or customer demographic. I don’t agree with that. Stand up for what you believe in; but do it tactfully, and do so with GRACE.

Recently an LA designer I know went into a retail location she sold to and the owner was making statements on how she disliked gays and didn’t support Proposition 8. She turned to the designer and asked her, “Don’t you hate the liberalness that gays think their entitled to?” The designer responded, “I don’t believe in disallowing anyone to marry the person they love.” Her sister and her wife had been together for 10 years. She didn’t go on about she supported gay rights or was liberal, she simply stated something from the heart.

– Macala Wright Lee, FashionablyMarketing.Me

It is important to remember if it comes out of your mouth - you said it. You may not be able to control where it appears or in what context. I advise my clients to not say or do anything in front of the media they would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper. This holds true in social media, perhaps even more so, because what you say sticks around. There is no such thing as yesterday's news.

- Margaret Ryan, Marketing Strategist and Blogger at www.seasonfivestyle.com

I often get concerned that the line between spam and PR blurs especially in relation to things like Twitter and Facebook. How do you keep the balance?

PR Couture says...

Think of Facebook and Twitter as permission marketing - essentially your fans and followers have "opted-in" to your feed. Keep the balance by asking questions, engaging in relevant and non-relevant conversation to build rapport and relationship and when in doubt, ask your followers for their feedback.

- Crosby

PR is promoting something of interest to a responsive audience, spam is unsolicited advertising to those who neither asked for it nor want it.  In that vein, make sure you’re interacting with your supporters, rather than just constantly blasting them with promotional sound bites, and inject a sense of your personality into your social networking so that you’re not  just a faceless PR machine.

- Sarah-Jane Adams, Fashion Journalist, www.sarahjaneadams.com

We don't pitch over Facebook or Twitter- I don't think that our Facebook fans or Twitter followers want to be pitched.  They want to hear news about our clients now and then (because they are fans) but it has to be mixed in with other fun information about the going-ons in our office and our lives.

- Melissa Davis, Founder and Co-Owner of Ruby Press

It's important to strike a balance between editorial and promotional content, along with community building. Twitter, in particular, is a great place to build relationships with both influencers and customers - so make sure that you're sharing content of value and participating in a two-way conversation.

- Dina Fierro, Managing Director, Fashion & Beauty at Attention

Can traditional PR be traded in for internet PR? Or does traditional PR still hold more value and benefit for an online business?

PR Couture says...

Online PR and blogger outreach can be extremely successful strategies, but the audience is still there for print. Look for opportunities to tell different stories and highlight different products across a varied mix of media.

- Crosby

Rather than draw a distinction between online media and traditional media - I think it is important to ask the question: what are you trying to accomplish? Brand visibility? Sales? Generate interest among partners and/or advertisers? Armed with this information you can determine that best strategy to reach the audiences that will help you achieve these goals. Most often, it will be a marketing mix that integrates different forms of media.

- Margaret Ryan, Marketing Strategist and Blogger at www.seasonfivestyle.com

The two absolutely go hand-in-hand.  Both are so important these days.  Online and print press are both incredibly valuable and I can't imagine either existing on its own.  Online media coverage (blogs and websites) and social media have such an immediate impact and can create a buzz very quickly, but print press coverage carries a lot of weight and can make or break a business.  Definitely look for a PR agency that has strong relationships in both arenas.

-Melissa Davis, Founder and Co-Owner of Ruby Press

In today’s ever-changing media landscape, it can be difficult for boutique brands, especially those who rely heavy on online sales, to know where to focus their PR attention – in print or online. While it is true that PR can come “a la carte,” we strongly believe that to launch a successful PR campaign and hit all your target markets, brands should consider having a presence both in local and national print media, as well as with online magazines and blogs. It helps to strengthen a brands credibility and gives customers confidence in a product when they read about a collection on their favorite blog and then see that same brand on the pages of their favorite national magazine. Even boutique brands with limited budgets can elicit the help of PR professionals who can offer well-round campaigns.

- Jamie Werner, PR Manager, Moderne Press

NO, the majority of product lines can’t survive on digital coverage alone. Not if they want to scale and build cash positive, expanding businesses. Depending on your business goals, you need regional, national or international coverage. How can people talk about you if they don’t know your exist? Moreover, what’s going to make them buy your collection? Many consumers aren’t digitally savvy and they rely on day-time TV talk shows and their monthly magazine of choice to find products relevant to their tastes. Mind you, you should curate your print coverage. I am  not for print coverage that doesn’t add to the bottom line.

- Macala Wright Lee, FashionablyMarketing.Me

Internet PR and traditional PR must be used together. There is no one better way to relate to the public. The public is everywhere. They read magazines, go online, watch movies and television, go out to events, etc. A good PR campaign should have all of those elements in place.

- Polina Raygorodskay, Polina Fashion

For any business that lives online, your social media channels (i.e. Facebook or YouTube), or placements garnered on websites and blogs - is of pivotal importance. Simply put, there's no more effective way to increase your natural search results or drive qualified traffic to your site. Not to mention, traditional media is referencing Twitter as a source in features regularly and often seeks validation for story and trend features via the blogosphere. Of course, traditional media placements are still a powerful tool for building awareness on a large scale.

- Dina Fierro, Managing Director, Fashion & Beauty at Attention

Fashion PR Lingerie

When is the right time for a small business to look at employing a PR agency?

PR Couture Says...

When you can no longer manage PR on top of all your other duties; when you have enough budget to bring on some support; when you are looking to enter into a new market and need specialized expertise...

- Crosby

Small businesses should begin looking at PR when they feel ready to take that next step in raising awareness about their company and are prepared to handle any growth that may result from those efforts.  PR is a long term investment in building your brand credibility; you should have specific goals in mind so that your PR agency can formulate the best campaign for you.

- Connie Wong, President, Moderne Press

Boutique PR fees, for any firm that is good, is going to run you $2,000 to $5,000 USD per month in fees. If you go the celebrity route, you need to factor in the product you have to give away, can you afford to give away $10-50,000 (retail cost) of product per year? There are firms that work for less (under $3,000) and some firms that start at $5,000 per month, what can you afford? VET your PR professional like you vet your sales or showroom representation – get references, check recent placements. Google them!

- Macala Wright Lee, FashionablyMarketing.Me

If you want to aim for national press coverage to coincide with the launch, then  I suggest hiring an agency about 6 months before your merchandise delivers. Long-lead media (i.e. national magazines) works on about a 4 month lead time and you'll need time to get your press materials in order as well.  Of course, if you're thinking about hiring a PR agency after you've launched, that's fine too.

- Melissa Davis, Founder and Co-Owner of Ruby Press

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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 rad 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 an electronic communiqué.