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In the heart of the Big Apple, Coyne PR aims to set clients apart from all others by seeking the most creative approach to build brands. Nicole Giancaspro, Beauty and Fashion Account Coordinator speaks out about her journey in Fashion PR and gives fascinating insight on daily affairs.
"Fashion itself is exciting and fun. It is one of the most obvious forms of expression without having to say a word."
What is your background?
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations, and I interned throughout my junior and senior years with various PR fashion and lifestyle companies. My first internship was at In Touch and Life & Style Weekly, where I interned three days per week in the publicity department. From there, I gained more experience at Harrison and Shriftman PR, followed by Tractenberg and Company PR. After my college graduation, I took a different route, and freelanced for Mercedes Benz Fashion Weeks in NYC as a press volunteer. This is where I really “got the fever” for fashion PR. In addition to these endeavors, I also worked part time for a Housewife of New Jersey (and still do), assisting in many of her charity projects and events. I now work in the Coyne PR Beauty & Fashion department as an account coordinator.
Why Fashion PR?
I have always had a passion for fashion and admiration for the industry as a whole. I adore different styles along with the ability to portray myself differently. While some people are afraid of style and trends, I embrace them! I love fashion that breaks the mold and creates excitement, so I was always interested to work in an environment with an ever-changing atmosphere. My favorite parts: being behind the scenes, meeting new people, communicating, and building relationships. I am very passionate about every piece of the industry!
How did you land your position?
I always thought the city was my playground, and that is where I needed to be. I was unemployed after college for about a year and a half. I knew I needed more experience to get the job, so I embarked on opportunities that would help me get my feet wet in Fashion PR, including volunteering for Fashion Week and charity events. Since I heard that Coyne PR was one of the best places to work, I sent in my resume. Although an account coordinator position on the Beauty & Fashion team was not open at the time, I remained persistent with the human resources department and kept reinforcing my interest in working at the agency in order to stay on the radar. Once a position opened, I jumped on the opportunity to interview with the team. I also provided a portfolio filled with samples of past work, which included an array of writing samples. I was thrilled the day I received the call from Coyne PR that I landed the job, especially in a field I am so passionate about!
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
For the past year, I have been a team member at Coyne PR Beauty & Fashion. I have grown tremendously, learned from mistakes, and have been a part of a number of exciting, big, and small launches. Working on both the beauty and fashion accounts, I am lucky enough to be involved in many aspects of the business with my team. My first on-site immersion for one of our beauty clients, Mary Kay, is something I will always remember. It was the first annual meeting of high-level dermatologists from around the country to experience Mary Kay’s premiere skin care line. To be able to assist with such a close-knit event really made me feel like an integral part of a team, and I personally felt very proud. On the fashion side, working with Solstice Sunglass boutiques, pitching TV broadcast segments, and watching something I pitched come to life on air is so rewarding. I hope all the work I do makes an impact, and building the skill set and relationships is a big part of what will lead to bigger successes and possibilities down the road!
What challenges are attached to your job?
One challenge and big consideration for anyone looking to break into the industry, is that PR is not a 9 to 5 job. There are no set hours, and sometimes, no set days for work. The Derm Meeting I mentioned above happened to fall on the weekend of my birthday. Another consideration is that you have to be flexible and be able to roll with the punches in public relations as things can change at the drop of a dime. You must always be fully prepared to act on the given situation. It takes fast responses, quick thinking, creative writing and sometimes achy feet! Occasionally, you can deal with the worst of people, and thankfully, sometimes you deal with the best. Though you have the camaraderie and support from your team, in order to thrive and survive certain events and situations, you have to be able to have thick skin and a warm attitude all at once. I have learned so much through my internships and current position, and I have realized that this industry comes with constant learning, as the “rule book” is ever changing. Some challenges will just get bigger – but the sweet is never as sweet without the sour!
What is exciting about your job?
Fashion itself is exciting and fun. It is one of the most obvious forms of expression without having to say a word. Being able to put a voice to fashion is so exciting and intriguing. It is an exhilarating job since you never know what to expect and can have a brand new experience every day through attending and working events, landing placements, and meeting new people. Helping develop PR plans for current and potential clients is also an appealing aspect of the job.
What is an example of a typical day in the office?
I don't think there can be a typical day in PR – let alone in the fashion and beauty industry. With the constant change of trends and beauty hues, you can’t really depend on any day to be typical. Every day our team works hard to stay ahead of the trends.
What are your responsibilities?
The first thing I do when I come in every morning is address my e-mail load, while setting up my own priorities for the day to ensure I am completing my projects on time. I follow this with overall media monitoring for various placements and pitching opportunities to garner as much positive coverage as possible. The remainder of the day can consist of many of the following tasks: creating media lists, media pitching and relationship building, follow-up with interested editors, securing event attendance, on-site event management, development of press materials, distribution of creative mailers, formatting placements, compiling clip books, managing social media initiatives (including tweeting great hits, or tips to our followers), client meetings, new business generation, and best of all, trying all the new trends by sampling beauty products!
What aspects of the job requirements were a surprise to you?
In my internships, I had a number of different PR responsibilities, a majority of which were in fashion, and with those, I discovered that behind the scenes is not as glamorous as it seems. Settling in a steady, full-time position that called for me to pull all of my PR skills and knowledge into play at once was a challenge at first. It was quite a positive experience, and I was actually surprised by how much I knew already, but I also became fully aware of how much I still had to learn. This was a very rewarding and self-motivating surprise.
In a few words, how would you summarize your agency?
Coyne PR, and our Beauty & Fashion division, is a growing agency that plucks the most interesting, creative, fun, dedicated and hard-working people. It is an environment that breeds success and passion. It is the type of place that pays attention to every detail for their clients and makes sure that no opportunity is overlooked. Coyne PR is not afraid to surpass limits and rules. It is a place where ‘no question, answer or idea is too dumb,’ which allows for complete freedom to be creative without limitations.