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How fashion publicists land post-award show press

Your Guide to Landing Red Carpet, Post-Award Show Fashion PR Coverage

The business of award show fashion is just that, a business. With media seemingly paying more attention to what actresses, pop stars and A-list celebrities don on the red carpet than what awards they’re nominated for or even win, it’s no wonder most designers are drooling for a piece of the red carpet revelry.

To get a sense of how cutthroat this business has become, just read “Slaves of the Red Carpet” in the March issue of Vanity Fair. It’s an eye-opening account of how Hollywood’s top fashion stylists have actually helped turn much of the media into “a scrapbook for images.”

If you, too, are part of that fashion bubble, rubbing elbows in the public relations department of an haute couture house like Dior, Chanel or Armani, then lucky you! Fashion magazines will eagerly fill their with your client’s designs. But for the rest of us, it takes some creative thinking to land your client’s dress designs and accessories in the blitzkrieg of post-award show fashion coverage. However, if you know how, when and where to properly package and present what you’re pitching, you could just end up with the biggest win of the evening.

Pitch the Look for Less

Do you represent evening-wear, jewelry and/or a handbag client? Then the most ubiquitous red carpet fashion angle to pitch is the “Look For Less,” which goes something like this:

Hey! Jennifer Lawrence's stunning sequin gown may have cost a year’s worth of mortgage payments, but we have an almost exact version for the price of dinner for two at Red Lobster.

Create side-by-side collages of the evening’s top female nominees along with your product images that strike an uncanny resemblance and are more in line with what a regular human being could afford.

Putting this together is similar to a game of Memory; clicking back and forth between the endless stream of photographs on sites like InStyle.comEOnline.com and various Instagram feeds with your client’s collections till you land a match. Mind you, do this in real time during theevent. A glass or two of wine helps move things along.

How to Pitch Emmy Fashion Award Show Coverage

Pitch Red Carpet-Inspired Looks

An easier approach, especially if you don’t have $150 Gaultier doppelgängers on hand, is to create a “Red Carpet Inspired Fashion” pitch. Pinpoint fashion trends that were evident throughout the evening and promote your goods that way. Perhaps Sandra, Lupita and Cate all wore black and gold gowns. Design a Polyvore-style collage with black and gold items from your clients and explain how you can easily take inspiration from the red carpet and bring it into the real world.

Prepare Your Pitches During the Award Show

If you rep a client that fits the mold for red carpet fashion PR, make sure to be by your email and phone bright and early the morning after the event to start pitching immediately. With events like the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the American Music Awards, media outlets across the board will automatically sound like they’re in a loop with who wore what, who had a wardrobe malfunction and who needs a new stylist. Take note of all these pitching cues as you watch each award show and identify opportunities to bring your clients into the mix. After all, the inevitable award show quirks are all anyone will be talking about. Audiences love post-show recaps and the media knows it. Once the actual award show is over, the media needs to keep that post-award show buzz going. A red carpet-related pitch may just be what they’re looking for.

Pitch a Mix of Celebrity, Fashion & News Media

To find out who to pitch, think of where you typically see and read about these stories. Weekly publications like People and Us Weekly almost always run “Look for Less” spreads right after a big award ceremony. The same with the online versions of many fashion monthlies like InStyle.com and celeb-fashion sites like Celebuzz.com. Morning news programs are rife with these types of segments with many news producers work days and even weeks before a big award show like the Oscars putting together a fashion segment with the help of stylists and magazine editors, like this:

How to Pitch Oscars Fashion Media Coverage

Even if you aren't quite ready to pitch this seasons' award shows, use this as a time to research the media frenzy and take notes on story ideas for next time!

Jumping on the red carpet, award approach to landing press for your clients can be tedious, but when it hits, it can also be extremely rewarding. Now if only they had award ceremonies for well-deserving fashion publicists...

Photo Credit: minglemediatv

About the author: Robin Doyle


Charmed PR owner Robin Tolkan-Doyle is a results-driven publicist and writer with more than 20 years experience in the media. She has been featured as a fashion correspondent on KTLA, KABC, eHOW's Style Channel and YouTube's FAWN Network. Prior to working in public relations, Robin sat on the other side of the pitch as a magazine editor and writer. She knows how editors work and what they want. She's also launched two successful fashion and accessories' businesses of her own, so when it comes to aspiring entrepreneurs, she gets them. Totally. (She's also a native Angeleno, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley). Robin also blogs about finding the beauty in life, lipstick and loud children at Beautyologie.com. When she’s not doing all that, she’s a nurturing mom to her two children and three dogs...and living a charmed life.

2 Comments

  • Posted February 28, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    We don’t handle fashion PR, but those are great tips to consider and think about for any industry.

    Good article!

  • Posted March 1, 2014 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I am a senior at the University of Oregon majoring in journalism with a focus on public relations. I have always been intrigued by the world of fashion. This post provides some great insight into one of fashion’s most famous nights, the Oscars. Pitching the look for less is a great idea! These are PR tips that could be applied to many different situations.

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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 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 a note.