There is no "off" switch for PR. Everyone in the industry is basically always working and you always have to be accessible and ready to handle anything at any given moment. -Ashley Santucci
Ashley Santucci left a school she loved in order to intern in the city she has loved since a child, New York City. To date she has had several internships that span across a broad range of different facets of the industry including journalism, styling, blogging, and PR. Although Ashley has tried many different options of the types of careers one can pursue in the fashion industry, it is in the constantly evolving and somewhat hectic life of fashion PR where her true passions lie.
What is your background?
I've lived in Long Island, New York my whole life. My family and I were always traveling into New York City because we lived so close, and I knew that I wanted to work and live there one day. After high school, I went to Binghamton University in upstate New York. Although I loved the school itself, I realized I really wanted to be close to the city again. So, I transferred back home to school on Long Island in order to commute into NYC for internships year round. I am a Communications major and a Business Administration minor. To date I have interned at First Enterprise Securities, Cosmopolitan Magazine, emcBlue.com as a fashion blogger, Prada, and PR Consulting. I also am a contributing writer for USA Today College and occasionally do some assisting styling with Andrew Mukamal. Basically I love and breathe every aspect of fashion whether it's PR, writing, or styling.
Why Fashion PR?
I have always loved fashion, but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with it. I've also always enjoyed aspects of the communications industry, like writing, event planning, and public speaking. Once I started interning in New York City, everything just clicked for me, and my amazing PR internship at Prada confirmed that fashion PR is what I wanted to do. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the aspects of PR such as writing press releases, pitching, event planning, ect., and I love being right in the middle of all the action in the fashion industry, I could never have a job where I do the same thing everyday so fashion PR is perfect because it is fast paced and is always bringing something exciting and different.
How did you land your position?
I just completed an internship at the fashion PR agency, PR Consulting. When I was deciding where I wanted to be for the fall, I made list of all the agencies I wanted to intern at. I did tons of research on their websites to learn about the companies, their clients, and who I felt would be a good fit for me. Then I wrote personalized cover letters, e-mail my resume out, and interviewed! I really believe that if you put in the time and effort, landing a great internship isn't hard!
What is an example of a typical day in the office?
There really is no "typical" day in fashion PR which I love! Although, every day ALWAYS consists of dealing with tons of e-mails! A calm day at PR Consulting consists of a lot of sample trafficking to major magazines, handling credit requests, and finding and circulating press to our clients. Other days can be crazy busy and filled with activities like creating press kits, planning huge events like shows for Fashion Week, coordinating 300+ person giftings, and anything else that pops up during the day.
What are your responsibilities?
My main responsibility as an intern was to manage the sample trafficking. Some of my other responsibilities included picking up/dropping off samples, creating and updating spreadsheets, helping with monthly and seasonal reports for clients, finding and scanning press clippings, coordinating giftings to editors and celebrities, and helping with any additional tasks that came up throughout the day.
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
One major event that I was just a part of was the Versace x HM fashion show and event that took place in November. Versace is one of PR Consulting's clients and this was a HUGE (500+) person event for them. Beforehand, I helped with creating press kits, seating charts, show books, delivering invitations, ect. The week before the show was crazy at the office, and the hours were crazy as well! Everyone's main focus was on preparations and making sure that everything was going to run smoothly. I loved working the actual event and seeing the progress from the initial stages of planning to the finished product. At the event, I helped set up, placing seating cards, and greeting and seating high profile guests. I even got to see Donatella herself! The fashion show and event, as everyone knows, was a massive success and I am really proud to have been a part of it!
What challenges are attached to your job?
One of my favorite parts of the job, the fast pace, is also one of the biggest challenges. There is no "off" switch for PR. Everyone in the industry is basically always working and you always have to be accessible and ready to handle anything at any given moment. It's definitely been a challenge to handle this while being a student with 18-credit semesters, a part-time job, as well as writing and styling on the side (and staying sane!). I also don't love my 1+ commute into the city on the LIRR. But, I love this industry which really makes everything worth it!
What aspects of the job requirements were a surprise to you?
I wouldn't say anything was necessarily a surprise. Because I've had previous internships, I basically knew what to expect at PR Consulting. There are definitely differences though between in-house fashion PR and and agency PR. Although they are both great, the people, environment, and pace are very different, so that took a little adjustment. I would say, though, that I was surprised how easy it is to get close to the people you work with in such a short time. Throughout my internships, I've gotten really close to some of my managers, and I know I have made lifelong friends with some fellow interns!
In a few words, how would you summarize PR Consulting?
Innovative, hardworking, fast-paced.