Front Row Fashion PR: Q&A with Chandler Poling, White Bear PR

Los Angeles-based Chandler Poling has honed his craft working in the fashion and entertainment business as both a producer and publicist. As Vice President for CW3PR,  Chandler ran two successful Emmy Award campaigns and worked second-in-command under Charley Walters to help expand the company from 3 clients to 11 clients in a matter of months, including Kathy Rose of Roseark Jewelry, couture designer Emil Gampe and Samantha Rei, America’s leading Lolita fashion designer.  About six months ago, Chandler opened up his own shop, White Bear PR, to provide PR in the fashion, entertainment and music industries with a focus on social media marketing.

How did you get started in PR?

I started by promoting a friend’s brand, Blasphemina’s Closet. I felt she had amazing potential and apart from our friendship, I knew her designs were incredible and that I could help her reach her PR goals.

What do you love about your job?

I love working from the ground up. I enjoy spotting raw talent, harnessing it and molding it into a form that is digestible to the public and watching the client excel into a solo-venture career where fashion supports them 100%.

What is your least favorite part?

The amount of time it takes. Typical PR campaigns don’t see high end results until 2-3 years later.

How have you seen fashion PR evolve since you started in the industry?

A lot of power has shifted from major magazines like Vogue to online hits like Women Wear Daily. I think the balance of influence is needed so one company doesn’t control what is chic and what is not.

Who is an ideal White Bear PR client?

An ideal client would be someone who has great designs, is a self-starting work horse and has a modest budget towards PR (p.s. PR is not free)

What attracted you to your current clients?

I only work with people I like. I don’t have time for divas or attitudes. Great clients have goals and stick them out to the end.

What role does product placement play in your work?

I used to work for NBC on the show “Heroes” where I did a lot of product placement. However in that circumstance, I rarely worked with apparel except one deal with Nike in Season 3. Currently, I pair up my fashion clients with my film/tv clients so their designs can be seen in beautiful photoshoots or red carpet events.

How can a designer know when they are ready to hire an agency?

When they start their own trends instead of following what’s hot.

If a client is focused on a particular fashion niche, what is your process to get up to speed on that particular facet of fashion?

I buy every magazine on that niche at the newsstand and devour the subculture so I can better understand what the market is looking for in that niche.

What advice do you provide clients with regard to building their brands through social media?

I always tell them to be proactive and interact with individuals. It’s important as you are starting out to build strong relationships with long term clients. A first time client who buys your designs is someone who could buy items off your next time. Keep in touch with them through Social Media and events and never underestimate them.

Get in touch with Chandler on Twitter.


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.