Front Row Fashion PR: Melissa Davis, Founder of Ruby Press

Ruby Press is one of PR Couture’s favorite agencies (their blog is a delightful trove of inspiration!) and we have been helping to share their story for several years now. Founder Melissa Davis is a regular contributor to our Show Me The Pretty series and in this interview she takes us deep into the life of a former fashion editor turned fashion publicist and agency owner. PS. The blog says Ruby Press is currently looking for interns!

Ruby Press

Melissa Davis, Founder Ruby Press

What is your background? Why did you start Ruby Press?

I was a fashion editor in NYC for 8 years before moving to CA and starting Ruby Press. I worked at Harper’s Bazaar {under the direction of the fabulous Liz Tilberis} for three years and then was at Conde Nast title Mademoiselle {which has since closed} for 5 years. Making the switch from the editorial world to the PR world was a natural one for me- having been pitched to for 8 years, I knew what worked and what didn’t.

I moved to California in 2000 and started the agency in 2001. I was working as a Contributing Editor for Lucky magazine and was the Fashion Editor at a local San Francisco magazine called 7×7. I was surprised by all of the amazing talent I found out here in the SF Bay Area and was shocked by the fact that no one had national PR representation.

When I started the agency I was planning on just working with Northern California based businesses, but that quickly changed to include companies from around the globe. Within two years we had a client as far away as Australia! I quickly realized that in this day and age it really doesn’t matter when the client is based.

Why Fashion PR?

When I started Ruby Press the focus was purely fashion since that’s the world I came from. Pretty quickly, I decided to expand the business to include clients that fit under a lifestyle umbrella, so to speak. {Fashion, beauty, home decor, etc.} I am only interested in taking on clients for our agency that I truly believe in and know that my staff will as well.

What are your responsibilities?

As the founder and co-owner of the agency, I oversee everything that happens in the office- I create PR initiatives, write and edit press releases, work on business development, and manage our staff.

Melissa’s Desk, Ruby PR Offices

What is an example of a typical day in the office?

There is no real typical day for anyone at the office, but it often involves pitching our clients to the media, sending out press materials, strategizing our next angles/pitches, and handling media requests.

What challenges are attached to your job?

Media is always changing- and we not only need to keep up, but also stay at the forefront. I’m not sure if I’d really call it a challenge, but I love that the changing face of media keeps us on our toes.

What qualities and/or experience do you look for when hiring interns and employees?

Our interns learn so much on the job. Internships at Ruby Press are not coffee-getting gigs. Our interns have the opportunity to deal with the media directly and because our office is very open, they are a part of everything that goes on at Ruby Press.We look for someone who knows fashion, lifestyle and design media- if you know your magazines and blogs that will go a long way. Excellent communication skills are imperative- we can tell so much about someone by their cover letter and resume and how they interview. How a potential intern presents his or her self is key since they will be representing our agency to anyone that they speak to outside of the office.

In a few words, how would you summarize your agency?

Ruby Press is a boutique PR agency specializing in lifestyle clients. What makes us different from most agencies is that we only work with clients we’re passionate about, we don’t just write and distribute press releases- we have solid relationships with the media, and we consistently deliver excellent results. We love what we do at Ruby Press and I think it shows!

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.