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Getting In: My Fashion PR Internship with Elevate PR in Orange County, CA

"My parents wanted me to go to medical school to become a doctor...I decided to pursue a degree in fashion." - Bonny Park

Balancing a full time job and an internship in the fashion PR world can be quite overwhelming to most, but Bonny seems to handle the fast paced pressure at Elevate PR with utmost sophistication. From planning and executing events to celebrity and media outreach, this fashionista is not "just another intern doing monotonous tasks," but rather is one who is part of a team, ready for any challenge, and sees everyday as an "opportunity to learn something new."

What is your background?

I come from a small town a couple hours north of Los Angeles.  After my high school graduation, I moved down to San Diego and have been here ever since.  I grew up in a traditional Korean family where my parents wanted me to go to medical school to become a doctor.  Although I’ve always dreamed of working in fashion, my parents were vehemently against the idea, so I went into the finance industry instead.  After working for several years, though, I realized that I was not completely satisfied with my career path and I decided to pursue a degree in fashion.  I recently received my Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising, and I’m ready to rock!

Why Fashion PR?

My obsession with fashion started at a very young age.  I remember asking my mom to buy me a Liz Claiborne purse when I was in the fourth grade.  I mean, does a fourth grader really need a purse?  Although the only things inside was a few pencils and notepads, I loved carrying that purse around.  I love all things fashion: shoes, clothes, handbags, makeup, magazines, watching the runway shows, reading the blogs, and everything else!  I wanted a career that I could feel passionate for and really be involved.

How did you land your internship/job position?

Twitter had been around for awhile, but I never paid much attention to it until last fall.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  I started to follow people with similar interests, and began networking online. That is when I met Audrey Huynh of Elevate PR.  We started conversing over Twitter about celebrities, fashion, and life in Southern California.  After awhile, our relationship grew to a point where it was like we already knew each other.  Eventually, Audrey offered me an internship with Elevate PR, and of course I accepted!

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

Typically I will start my day by managing Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Social media management is constant and I try to monitor it as much as I can throughout the day.  Staying on top of the trends and trending topics - whether it’s learning about fashion or reading about the latest scandal and how the crisis is resolved - is very important in the public relations field. I send out correspondence for Elevate PR clients, potential clients, and the media.  I also brainstorm with the girls for the latest angle to pitch and discuss the latest news.  The best part of my day is keeping the Elevate PR girls on their toes!

What are your responsibilities?

My responsibilities include tweaking graphics on outgoing collateral, researching the latest trends in entertainment, fashion and footwear.  I assist Elevate PR in planning, coordination and executing events.  Other responsibilities include helping to build clients’ brands; whether through creative ideas on its marketing strategy; celebrity outreach; contacting the media; etc.

What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?

Elevate PR is working with a client, Natashia Tomek of TASH Limited, who is a young footwear designer from Orange County.  We sought out all the relevant details from Natashia, and I helped to create press releases as well as sent them to targeted audiences.  We ended up securing press from a variety of outlets, including getting Natashia onto the cover of OC Metro.  This issue is especially meaningful to Natashia, since its theme was “OC’s Top 40 Under 40”.  Natashia has worked incredibly hard for her shoe line, so we were happy that her entrepreneurial side was showcased in addition to her shoe line. TASH Limited was invited to participate in L.A. Fashion Week, and is currently working on being involved in several award shows and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.

What challenges are attached to your job?

Juggling my time can be difficult because I have a full time job in finance while I am interning.  Being able to work from any location is great since all you need is a computer and a phone, but switching gears can be difficult.  There is no off switch when it comes to PR.  I am constantly checking emails, making phone calls and researching about different clients and trends.  You never know what the next day will bring.  I can’t complain because I still love the different challenges.

What aspects of the job requirements were a surprise to you?

I was surprised to find out how much effort goes into planning an event. When I was in college, one of my assignments in “Promotions and Events” class was to plan a mock event. I remember this to be fairly easy. And when it came time to plan a non-profit event in real life, I discovered that it was quite chaotic! There are so many aspects of PR that are thrown at you when planning an event. You have to be ready for last-minute changes, you need to have a strong team to work with, and you absolutely must be prepared for any potential disasters.

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

Elevate PR is a boutique, full-service communications firm that is fun, fresh, and personable. They individually tailor PR campaigns to their clientele needs to maximize results.

About the author: prcouture


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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.