[Getting IN provides snapshots into the daily goings on of fashion PR interns. Think your interns are up for the challenge? Send an email to info[at]prcouture.com]
Generally my day starts with Starbucks and incessant ‘tweeting.’ – Margaret Young, 5sPR intern
5sPR, located in the heart of Boston, focuses on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle clients. Owner, Jessica deGuardiola and her two fabulous interns, Sarah Cox and Margaret Young contributed to this piece of life as a fashion PR intern at 5sPR.
Going into this internship, I had the false impression that Public Relations was more of a service provided than a cohesive, creative effort between a business owner, a publicist, and the media. – Sarah Cox, 5sPR intern
What is your background?
Sarah: Right now I’m working on a BA in Art History at Boston University, which may seem like a far cry from the communications degree typically pursued by a PR intern, but I’ve found that the visual and written training from Art History have given me the skills to be able to analyze clients in a unique way when pitching. Writing for BU’s independent student magazine, The Quad has given me the experience to better keep up with things around the office like writing for the blog and dealing directly with journalists.
Margaret: I am currently finishing up my degree in Journalism at Northeastern University in Boston. When it time came for me to take 6 months off classes to partake in the cooperative education program at my school, I chose to stray away from my journalistic roots and found the perfect fit in terms of what I was looking for at 5sPR.
Why Fashion PR?
Sarah: Fashion PR just sort of fell into my life; I like to think that it was kismet. I’ve always known that I wanted to get into fashion so when my friend Margaret invited me to an event that 5s was hosting, I jumped at the opportunity to make some contacts. When I got to the event I felt as though I was “in my element” and Jessica and I got along well, so I went into the office for an interview and the rest is history. Now that I’ve had some experience, I like Fashion PR because I love to see the results that come with it. It’s truly a rush when a journalist or blogger chooses your pitch for one of their features.
Margaret: Originally when I began college, I focused my journalism degree on a magazine writing track in hopes to work at a fashion magazine someday. I eventually decided, however, that fashion PR would be something exciting to try first to give me a different perspective on the industry. I worked in retail for years and have read every fashion magazine I could get my hands on since I was in middle school. Fashion PR is an exciting way for me to get involved behind the scenes of the fashion industry.
What is exciting about your internship?
Sarah: Thus far, the most exiting thing about my internship has been getting the opportunity to meet some really inspirational people. Christan Summers, the founder and and CEO of our client ICU- in Paris immigrated to Europe on her own and has since started a business that is just as chic as it is successful. Being able to work with people like Christan and to speak with them one-on-one has made me realize that success is something that you have to make for yourself. I have taken this inspirational lesson into all corners of my life, and I truly believe that it will help me in developing a sense of professional confidence when the time comes for me to leave campus and join the workforce. Any given day at the 5s office is exciting because of the various people that walk in our door. From this internship, I have met several journalists and bloggers whose work I have been reading for years; I still get a little star struck when I send these people an email or see them at an event.
Margaret: Events are always exciting because we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet new, interesting, and important people in Boston at each one. I also feel privileged to be able to say I have helped contribute to the success of our client’s by getting them mentioned in magazines like InStyle while I am still in college!
What is an example of a typical day in the office?
Sarah: A typical day at the 5s office is high energy all the way through. Typically we sit down and catch up on email correspondence right away, which is followed by brainstorming ideas for our blog, following up on pitches in Cision, and updating our clients on any progress that we have made. Doyle (the office pooch) always seems to know when its time for us to take a break; insisting on a few minutes of attention every now and then to clear our minds so that we can get back to work with a fresh perspective.
Margaret: Generally my day starts with Starbucks and incessant “tweeting.” When I first started at 5s I loathed Twitter because my Journalism professors forced us to do it in class, and I had developed a distaste for it. Quickly, however, I learned its importance and always start my day with Twitter. After Twitter, I work on making media lists for clients, send press releases and follow-up emails. Depending on the day, I might organize UPS or FedEx pickups, read some news outlets related to our focus or flip through magazines for new clients or pitch angles.
What are your responsibilities?
Sarah: My responsibilities at 5s mainly consist of updating our blog Street Sense, as well as taking care of our day-to-day graphic design needs. I have designed the last few invitations that we have sent out for events, and I recently had the opportunity to design a logo for a new client. Designing the logo really made me feel like I was part of the 5s family rather than just an intern, and I look forward to gaining more responsibility in the future.
Margaret: My biggest responsibilities are handling all of 5s’ social media as well as our clients’ social media, sending press releases and follow-ups for select clients, helping prepare for events, working events and making media lists.
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
Sarah: A little over a month ago we hosted a rooftop yoga event for one of our clients, Plank. The afternoon before the event Jessica and I caught a bad 24-hour bug and wound up having to set up for and host the event with pretty severe symptoms. Despite our physical conditions, we knew that this event had to be a success and powered through, feeding each other gatorade and crackers through out the day. In the end, the event was a HUGE success, our client got a lot of great press, and none of the guests were able to tell how sick we really were. The success of that event is a true testament to the power of teamwork as well as to the power of “mind over body” thinking.
Margaret: I would consider all of our events and our client’s coverage successes. We all work together to accomplish them as a team, so each successful event or client mention in the media is definitely a cause for celebration on all of our behalves. Specifically speaking though, I would have to say that working with Rachel Zoe’s team last year for a client of ours was definitely a highlight!
What challenges are attached to your job?
Sarah: For me, the biggest challenge in my job has stemmed from the fast pace of the field. I sometimes find myself feeling frustrated when a pitch hasn’t garnered the response from the press we’re accustomed to and the time comes to go back to the drawing board. I’ve learned to work out my frustrations the old fashioned way; by brainstorming ideas on a pad and paper and then running those ideas by my coworkers.
Margaret: Time management is always a challenge. Exams can sometimes cause me to be unable to email editors back as quickly as I would like. Thank God for the Blackberry!
What aspects of the job requirements were a surprise to you?
Sarah: It was shocking for me to see how hands-on 5s is with their clients. Daily phone calls are usually supplemented with constant contact over email and various social media outlets. Going into this internship, I had the false impression that Public Relations was more of a service provided than it is a cohesive, creative effort between a business owner, a publicist, and the media.
Margaret: When I first started, I was genuinely surprised at how much research I had to do! I didn’t realize how many intricate details go into all of our events and client needs, but solid research to get the details right the first time is an importance I would stress to every PR intern. There are no short cuts.
In a few words, how would you summarize 5sPR?
Sarah: If I had to describe 5s I would say that it is high quality; meaning that when you hire 5s to represent your business you don’t get a publicist, you get a team. If I were to intern at a larger firm i probably would have been given a client and left to fend for myself, ultimately not providing that client with the best possible service. 5s has allowed me to work directly with the principal of the firm on all of our accounts; giving me high quality experience for the future while also giving the client the unique and effective service that they expect.
Margaret: Unique, spirited, driven, loyal and stylish.