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Ruby Press, Oakland Boutique PR Agency

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 7x7. 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 the author: Crosby Noricks

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.


  • Posted October 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    And Ruby Press loves PR COUTURE!!! xoxo

    Thank you so much Crosby and Lauren- this was fun!!


  • Nicole Davila
    Posted October 24, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    After reading this post I have looked in to the opportunities that Ruby Press has to offer. The website is one thing that did catch my eye because how fast the media is moving was mentioned in this interview. I found to be very inviting and informational. By looking at the clients page, both past and present, this would be an amazing PR boutique to work with.

  • T.Nicole
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Great interview and such a cute office.

3 Trackbacks

  • By love list: 10.31.10 on October 31, 2010 at 10:49 am

    […] ♥ I’ve been researching a lot about PR lately, so I really got into this interview with Melissa Davis, founder of Ruby Press PR […]

  • […] an article on one of my favorite public relations websites, The article featured Melissa Davis, who switched into PR after working for the magazine and news industry for eight years. She now […]

  • […] Based in Berkeley, CA, the agency was started by former Lucky Magazine contributing editor Melissa Davis in 2001. Last week The Glitter Guide featured the agency’s historic space (the Heywood Building […]

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, Founder of PR Couture, Fashion Brand Strategist and PR Girl Mentor. 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 Elixir sessions for brands or shoot me a note at