Lemonade’s Stylist, Marketing Messages for Men & Elle’s New Editor

Snapchat, Instagram, Social Marketing, Fashion PR, Social Media News, Fashion Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of April 25, 2016

  • On Fashion Revolution Day, fash-mobbers congregated in San Francisco to ask the question, “Who Made My Clothes?” to raise awareness about the global fashion supply chain. (via Eco-Chick)
  • While everyone’s trying to figure out Becky with the good hair, meet the stylist behind Lemonade.  (via Racked)
  • Covergirl is the latest beauty brand to offer up augmented reality with the launch of BeautyU, an app that lets users virtually try on makeup. (via DigiDay)
  • “Recent studies on the human attention span show the average human being can only stay completely focused on a single thing for eight seconds.” How attention-grabby are your headlines? (via Spin Sucks)
  • Topshop launches “Top Pitch” boot camp for international tech entrepreneurs and startups in wearable tech. (via Fashionista)
  • The Daily Beast announces Red Label, a new content division covering cocktail culture, fashion and design.  (via PR Newswire)

 

 FAVORITE FASHION VIDEOS

3 Fashion Brands to Follow for Snapchat Inspiration

Snapchat Marketing Tips from Fashion Brands

Snapchat can be a challenging social channel to navigate for businesses, if only because it feels like one more platform to manage. But if there is one industry that has proven any brand can successfully engage with customers on Snapchat, it’s fashion. Fashion houses like Rebecca Minkoff started experimenting with Snapchat early on, but it really became the go-to social channel during February’s New York Fashion Week. Brands offered behind the scenes looks at some of the week’s most high profile, invite-only runway shows, allowing fans from all over the globe an immediate, video-driven perspective, unlike anything they experienced to date.

Since fashion week, fashion companies continue to experiment on the platform. Make sure you are following the following 3 labels when seeking inspiration for your own Snapchat brand strategy to reach consumers 13-34.

Lilly Pulitzer on Snapchat for Retail Strategy

Lilly Pulitzer (@lilly_pulitzer) has a loyal fan base that spans across multiple generations, including millennials. On Snapchat, their strategy seems to be – build anticipation for what’s to come – and drive customers in-store. This is primarily accomplished through behind the scenes access to photo shoots of their upcoming collections to tours of in-store merchandise,

Lilly Pulitzer, who is represented by top fashion PR firm LaForce + Stevens, was also the first fashion brand to take advantage of custom geofilters as both a branding and promotional tool. Utilizing this feature increases user engagement and allows customers to serve as brand ambassadors and increase brand awareness. Each user who shares a Snapchat using the geofilter is reaching people who don’t already follow Lilly Pulitzer, sparking interest and potentially reaching new followers.

Snapchat contributes to Lilly’s growth among millennials, as many are eager to share the Lilly love.

Follow Free People on Snapchat for Brand Loyalty Tactics

Similarly to Lilly Pulitzer, Free People (@freepeople) uses Snapchat to preview new collections. While Free People is certainly aware that Snapchat can’t directly measure sales, the brand recognizes that the platform as a powerful means to generate community engagement.

One unique way Free People engages and grow their audience is by inviting followers to ask and answer questions. Brand representatives will ask customers questions about their weekend plans, for example, boosting the lifestyle aspect of Free People’s brand identity. Free People demonstrates that Snapchat contributes to customer engagement and the connection between a brand and its fans that helps to build trust and loyalty.

Follow ASOS on Snapchat for Marketing Tactics

ASOS (@asosfashion), was a Snapchat early adopter, joining the app in 2013. Asos shares all types of content, but has become known for sharing exclusive, time-sensitive discount codes to Snapchat followers, which both rewards fans for paying attention, and puts Snapchat squarely as a strategy to drive sales.

Combing short-term discounts with Snapchat’s own 24-hour cycle is an obvious tie-in that aligns with the nature of the app itself.

In 2015, ASOS said that while they can’t formally measure engagement on Snapchat, ASOS wants to be in any space where its customers are – and they will continue to use the app. Of course, discount codes are one way they can absolutely track the effectiveness of using Snapchat as a marketing channel.

If you’ve yet give Snapchat a try, consider this your warning. Let’s just call Snapchat the new Instagram and accept it’s the next stop on the social media train. The good news is that this app is a great platform to experiment and test different types of content. Most importantly, listen to your followers and find out what they like.

Whether you are a fashion powerhouse or a new retailer just getting started, take a few tips from these brands and start including Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy.

PS: You can follow PR Couture on Snapchat @prcouture. 

About Ellen

Ellen Borza is an Online PR Specialist at Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency located in Lancaster, PA. Ellen earned a B.A. in communications and a B.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. When Ellen isn’t conducting outreach for her clients, she loves reading and writing about the latest digital marketing trends, especially as they relate to fashion. In her free time, she authors her own fashion and lifestyle blog.

PR Interview: Meet Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, President at rock-it-promotions

Top Fashion PR Firm Canada

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski started her business out of her parents’ spare bedroom in January 2000 with a phone book, a fax machine, and a lot of determination. Since then, Debra’s lifestyle PR firm rock-it promotions has grown to seven-figures in revenue and a few dozen employees and experiences working one-on-one with A-list celebrities like Gerard Butler, Emily Blunt, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

The Toronto-based agency has worked with top fashion and lifestyle brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Mackage, Four Seasons, Toronto Fashion Week and Debra has been the invited PR expert on MuchMore Music, eTalk and Global News, and featured in the National Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and more. Recent new client additions include the Guess and Adidas accounts in Canada.

Additionally, rock-it has announced the launch of its social influencer division, Fourth Floor Management, which now represents eight influencers from around Canada: Alexander Liang, Justine Iaboni, Deanne Wilder, Gracie Carroll, Daniel Ocean, Chef Cory Vitiello and Jill Lansky.

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, rock-it-promotions

Luis Mora for Elle Canada

Name: Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski
Company: rock-it promotions
Title: President
Education: BA in Creative Writing from Concordia University
Instagram: @rockitdeb
Twitter: @debgee
Instagram: @fourthfloormanagement
Twitter: @FourthFloorMgmt

How did you get started in PR?

I worked for a now defunct agency as an assistant. I left to spend time with my mom who was dying from cancer and decided I was better at being the boss than listening to one. I was very young and determined and had nothing to lose. Turned out to be a good decision. I started the company over 16 years ago and haven’t looked back once.

 What is your primary focus these days?

I do it all from creating strategies for clients, to pitching stories to the media, to mentoring my team.

What is the mood like in the office?

The mood depends on the day and the work we’re doing, but we are pretty relaxed and like to have fun. We also work really hard and can be serious and very quiet sometimes. We work in an open concept space and it’s not unusual for one of our team to have their dog visiting. I have special treats in my desk drawer to win all the dogs over.

We always have a ton going on! For example, we recently wrapped Toronto Fashion Week, a press day with Chef Daniel Boulud, and a book launch for Food, Sex and You.

What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?

I’m proud of the team every day. Every day they produce great success for the client’s we work with and that is what makes client’s happy. And a happy client means a happy me. As long as I know we have really, truly given our all, then I feel good about the work we do.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your career thus far?

There have been so many, but the year I broke 1 million in revenue was a pretty memorable moment. I started in my parent’s spare bedroom without any money, no degree in PR or business experience. Through sheer work and determination, I grew this little business into a big business. That was pretty cool.

rock-it-promo, best heath magazine

Client Fresh in the Best Health Magazine September 2015 Issue

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

My job isn’t glamourous. It may look that way from the outside, but it is anything but. I’ve always said, if you see a publicist in heels, she ain’t working the way she should be.

How is rock-it structured?

We have various account teams in our office (five and growing). Each team has a Director, an Account Manager, Account Specialist, Account Coordinator and Publicity Volunteer. Every person has their own job description which helps a lot with structure. Some people have additional areas they specialize in, such as social media or design.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?

Grow a thick skin. Shake it off. Have warm bodies to come home to every day. I have three of them and they love me no matter what, every damn day.

My job isn’t glamourous. It may look that way from the outside, but it is anything but. I’ve always said, if you see a publicist in heels, she ain’t working the way she should be.

What are three must-have tools that are essential to your job?

  • A great calendar
  • A phone with two batteries
  • Solid relationships with people (which isn’t a tool, app or product, but it is essential).

I also really like the app Breathe which allows quick meditations wherever you are. James Cordon Car Karaoke videos are also essential to lighten up the bad days.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

This isn’t a ‘9 to 5’ job. If that is what you want, then public relations is not the right career path for you.

Debra, rock-it-promo, etalk

  Debra on etalk

What’s the biggest challenge facing communicators right now?

There is a lot of competition right now from smaller agencies who win business because they are charging too little. It is bad for any industry to have professionals that undercut their value too much. You want to win because you are the best, not the cheapest.

PR trends are always changing – how do you keep up?

I read every day – papers, magazines and online. I record TV shows. I am on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. I’m constantly researching and networking. And 95% of the time, it doesn’t feel like work. I do it because I enjoy it.

What type of person thrives at rock-it-promotions?

Somebody who looks at the bigger picture and isn’t always looking out for themselves. I love people who offer to help others, make others smile and who genuinely get excited about the work they do. I love it when I hear somebody say ‘YES!’ when they secure a great feature for a client, or are glowing after running an amazing event. That shows me they are meant to be there.

What would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?

You can have it all, just not all at the same time. And don’t forget to hold on tight, baby, because life is going to be fast.

Thanks Debra!

 

The Upside to Working With Difficult Clients: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned from Terrible PR Client Relationships

So you’ve just had an awful client experience. This isn’t about one or two hiccups or disagreements—that’s just ordinary professional relationship wear and tear, this was bad. Really bad. As communicators, we know that sometimes things like this happen; we just can’t see eye to eye, despite the fact that we’ve been hired to help reach a mutual goal.

Well, what can you do now? A little perspective can’t hurt – take a little scroll through Clients from Hell for the comic relief, and then sit down and perform your own little post-mortem to divine the lessons learned.

Was it a personality clash?

There are countless reasons as to why you may not get along with someone. When people clash, it often has to do with different communication styles. Did your client overstep boundaries and text you frantic demands at 2 am? Did your client not quite understand your social media report metrics, and get defensive and nit-picky as a result? Did your Account Executive make a blunder in an early meeting that set the stage for a lack of trust? Or, was your client, honestly, just kind of mean?

Work is the last place that you want any kind of conflict as it takes away from your ability to do your job, and to do it well. Instead of focusing on the frustration you are feeling, use this situation as a stepping-stone to avoid future conflict. Get clear on what actually went wrong, and evaluate how professionally and quickly you were able to cut ties and move forward. Take the answers to these kinds of questions back to the drawing board and develop or clarify new policies to that you can set better expectations, and have greater self-awareness about what types of clients are the best fit for you.

Did you ignore red flags?

You’ve already gone through a not-so-pleasant experience with a client, so identify what it was that drew you to them and their project in the first place.

Perhaps you were working with an incredible fashion house or that up-and-coming beauty line all the editors love. So what. Companies are made up of people, and your ideal client is never going to be a nightmare hiding underneath an impressive brand name. If you made the mistake of choosing to work with a client based on name recognition, ignoring signs of internal strife or unrealistic expectations during the proposal process – cancelled meetings, endless rounds of approval on a contract, even sales expectations – it’s time to call this a lesson learned.

Did you stay too long?

In public relations we’re so used to saying “yes, yes, yes,” that we forget that it’s also okay to say “no.” Dealing with a difficult client helps us realize what kind of professional relationships are worth saving, and what kind we’re better off tossing. After all, you can’t make room for a wonderful new client if your current roster is bringing you down. And you can’t risk your media relationships for clients who refuse to send samples, don’t show up for interviews and aren’t interested in developing something newsworthy you can pitch.

Its natural for our first instinct to be that walking away is giving up, an admission of failure. So we stick with clients and projects we dislike and aren’t passionate about. But it’s ok if you realize, in the first few months of working together, that you and a client just don’t fit. Be honest with yourself about who you want to work with, and who you don’t.

Working with difficult clients teaches about what you like and don’t like. Sometimes these relationships can be ultimately very gratifying, as you grow in your own professional skills and learn how to navigate difficult situations and strong personalities. But sometimes, it’s just a bad match. Learn what kind of clients are a fit for own business goals by taking the time to constantly check-in with yourself. Finally, develop an ideal client profile that clarifies what you are looking for – both in terms of industry, budget and personality – and use that to guide your outreach efforts.

You Absolutely Need These Top 5 Social Media Management Apps

The Social Media Apps Used by Top PR Agencies

Keeping up with the Kardashians and everything on our to-do lists can be time consuming and undoubtedly overwhelming.  At Beach House PR, we get by with a little help from our apps.  From finding the perfect hashtag, syncing calendars, or collaborating with our team, there is always a new tool to help make sure we manage our time and kick ass along the way.  As savvy players in the social field, we are constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest apps to help manage our workload as efficiently as possible.  From management tools to Instagram assists, the following PR agency-approved apps are MUST HAVES for social media management success…and sanity.

1. Planogram for scheduling

Say hello to your new BFF.  Planorg.am is THE visual planner and scheduler for Instagram. With this strategic planning tool, you can plan and schedule content and marketing campaigns in advance, either days, weeks, or months before launch – talk about a stress reliever!  Planorg.am saves social lives because it features the capability to manage and schedule content for multiple accounts.  That’s major!  Even more, the push notification feature delivers reminders straight to your phone when it is time to post.  Can we get a praise hands emoji?!  The best part? There are multiple subscription options so you can pick the optimal one for you.  From Basic to Better, there is something for everyone.

2. Trello for project management

Say hello to Trello!  This must-have app makes working in groups so much easier with Trello boards.  A Trello Board is a list of lists, filled with cards, allowing you to organize and categorize projects, campaigns, and more with your social team.  Per each card, you can post comments for instant feedback, add checklists, labels, deadlines, and upload files straight from your computer or phone.  If that sounds complicated, it’s really not.  Trust in Trello.

3. Pocket to bookmark content for later

Girl, your Pocket is about to get digital…and much deeper.  Pocket is an app that allows you to store internet gems you find NOW to view LATER.  It’s a must-have for bookmarking the plethora of digital news articles that your coworkers are constantly swapping around the office.  Imagine all the goodies you can put in your Pocket without weighing you down!  With 22 million users and 2 billion (yes that was billion with a B) items saved in Pocket, this app is non-negotiable.

4. Tagomatic for Hashtags

Is your hashtag game lacking? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that.  Introducing Tagomatic, a genius app that finds the hottest hashtags for your Instagram post. Not only does this tool save you time and money (‘cus we all know time=money), it increases engagement with #TheMostEffectiveHashtags, helps you discover related hashtags, and allows you to copy them directly to Instagram.  Not all hashtags are created equal, so make sure you’re using the right ones.

5. Moleskine Timepage for calendar management

Let’s get organized, people.  With Moleskine Timepage, all of your calendars are synced to one place, seamlessly integrated with weather forecasts, maps, contacts, and other apps.  Timepage’s hottest feature, Month Heatmap, provides a stunning month view to help you look ahead and stay organized. Essentially, it’s an intuitive heatmap of your schedule so you can get a feel of when you’re busy and when you’re free…as if we’re ever free.  Never miss another post, appointment, meeting or five-minute coffee break again by investing in the calendar of all calendars. Lifesaver.

Social media can be chaotic, but our lives don’t have to be.  Have you tried any of these apps?  Are there any rockstar tools that you think we’re missing?  Give us a shout on Twitter @beachhousepr @prcouture!

Fashion’s True Prince, Eva on Instagram Metrics & Retailers Head to Snapchat

Snapchat, Instagram, Social Marketing, Fashion PR, Social Media News, Fashion Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of April 18, 2016

  • “Over the last year, especially, digital upstarts have become increasingly entwined with the companies whose business models they are disrupting.” Find out who is behind some of your favorite sites. (via Hollywood Reporter)
  • Whether seeking self-promotion or securing interviews on behalf of a client, be sure your media training is up to snuff before the questions begin.  (via Presenting Yourself)
  • When Eva speaks, we listen. And she’s telling fashion brands to relax; Instagram numbers never tell the whole story. (via BoF)
  • Does your online persona need an upgrade? Where to start and what to do. (via AirPR)

3 Places to Find a Professional Mentor

professional pr mentor tips

As young PR professionals, we are in an exciting yet extremely overwhelming time where it can often feel like there is so much out there we simply don’t know. And so we need direction; we need to find someone who not only knows how to use the coffee maker in the office but who is willing to provide tips on cold calling editors and pitching on the spot.  We need inspiration; we need to find someone we admire who encompasses the refined public relations professional we aspire to be. It’s time to find a mentor.

Find a mentor in the workplace

Your first PR internship is an obvious place to seek out such a person, a PR girl or guy who not only has the patience to teach you the basics, but who exemplifies PR prowess and ethics.

I was lucky enough to find 2 mentors at my very first internship in college at a small boutique PR firm.  It was just the #BossLady, one account executive, 2 other interns and me.  We all became very close.  That internship was my very first experience in the industry and much of what I learned I still utilize to this day.  Though we all continue to journey on different PR paths, we continue to catch up and discuss our successes as well as lean on each other.

Key Takeaway: We often think of mentors as grown ups with heaps more experience than we do, but peer mentors can be just as useful. Who can you add to your PR squad?

Find a mentor online

Even if you aren’t currently working in PR, or aren’t living in a city with a ton of networking opportunities, you have the entire internet at your disposal. There are a ton of blogs and other online resources, like Twitter chats, that can help to further your career development. By paying attention to the people managing and writing for these sites, you can identify potential mentors – ones that you never thought you’d get the chance to meet or work with!

Through NYC PR Girls, I stumbled upon PR Couture and was instantly obsessed.  My classmates and I even planned an imaginary PR Couture Convention for one of our event planning classes. Through a little social media networking, we caught Crosby’s attention (gasp), and we were able to set up a meeting. Crosby instantly opened her arms and amazing wealth of knowledge to us, inviting us to pitch our conference and other ideas to her, and sharing information and seeking our feedback on a few emerging ventures. As a result, I was one of the first to sign up right away for her PRISM course and recently attended Fashion PR Confidential.

Key Takeaway: Don’t be confined by your physical limitations and always make the ask – the worst that can happen is you get a no. That’s a near-constant in PR anyway, so might as well get used to it!

Find a mentor outside your industry

It’s easy to get wrapped up with joining every club, reading every blog and finding public relations agency CEO, trying to find that perfect mentor. But sometimes a mentor is a business savvy relative, or someone you volunteer with or who is seriously kicking ass in an entirely different industry.

This may seem strange, but my best friend is one of my mentors. Her buoyant personality, unstoppable drive and go-getter business ethics not only make her my best friend, but someone I look up to as well. We feed off each other when we’ve had a little too much wine and when we need a little help crushing this whole “adulting” thing.

Key Takeaway: You might already be surrounded by potential mentors. Ask yourself how you might formalize these relationships. For example, asking your entrepreneurial cousin for a monthly coffee date, or even hiring a career coach.

Ultimately, this is a period of transition. What we need is support and direction, much more than any sort of official mentorship, so think broadly about how to assemble your own cast who can cheer you on from the wings. Once you’ve got a mentor, be sure to make the most of the mentor-mentee relationship and always focus on being as helpful to your mentor as she is to you.

About Morgan Hough

Morgan is an entry-level PR Girl currently living in sunny Stuart, Florida.  She works as a Junior Account Executive at an advertising, PR & marketing firm for luxury real estate and as a freelance writer for fashion & lifestyle brands. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

PR Girls We Love: Fallon Ryan, Public Relations Director at Lana Jewelry

Jewelry Photo Shoot Celebrity PR

Fallon Ryan is the Public Relations Director at Lana Jewelry, a contemporary fine jewelry company based in Chicago. In the past give years, Fallon has moved up within the company, from Intern to Director. She has helped grow the brand immensely through coverage in top tier fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour, and celebrity placements on A-list stars like Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lawrence, Madonna and Gigi Hadid.

Now responsible for everything from social media planning, advertising, photo shoots, tradeshows and events, Fallon’s first love remains product placement; nothing compares to pening a magazine and seeing Lana Jewelry inside.

Celebrity PRName: Fallon Ryan
Company: Lana Jewelry 
Title: Public Relations Director
Education: BA DePaul University
Instagram: @lanajewelry
Twitter: @lanajewelry

How did you get started in PR?

I secured my first internship by applying to an incognito accessories internship post on Craigslist, and here I am at Lana Jewelry 5 years later. Before that, I worked in accounting, which wasn’t nearly expressive and motivating enough for me — but I still do my own taxes!

How did you get the job you have now?

It’s cliché, but I worked my way up the ladder from intern to now. I proved that the company needed me. At first, that was by making sure the team’s supply room was always sparkling clean, and now it is by securing placements on major celebrities.

What are your primary responsibilities?

Lana Jewelry is a smaller company, so my position oversees a creative umbrella: social, digital, events and branding, in addition to traditional public relations. My most prominent role is product placement and securing coverage through celebrity and editorial channels.

What are you working on right now?

It’s a busy month for us and the office is crazed with a variety of projects. On this week’s agenda: prepping for the fall campaign photo-shoot in New York next week, pitching celebrity stylists for May red carpets such as Met and Cannes, planning collaborative events with Nordstrom for spring/summer, and booking trips to New York and Los Angeles for fall press previews.

I proved that the company needed me. At first, that was by making sure the team’s supply room was always sparkling clean, and now it is by securing placements on major celebrities.

Take us behind the scenes – how is Lana structured?

The PR/Marketing department is the only in-house communication department at Lana; the rest of the office is comprised of sales and production departments. Rachel and I are two-woman show who rely on an amazing team of interns, and super talented photographers/artists who we work with throughout the year. The business is equally challenging and rewarding which keeps each day exciting.

Gwen Stefani wearing LANA Jewelry

Gwen Stafani in Lana

What type of person thrives at Lana?

Someone who has thick skin, is creative, hustles and enjoys listening to 90’s R&B throwbacks.

What are three must-haves essential to your job?

Instagram. Photoshop app. Portable jewelry cases (I made mine from plastic photo organizers and foam).

How do you stay on top of industry trends?

Instagram is a news source. It’s where the average person spends their free time, and where the not so average (celebs and influencers) post first. I also subscribe to all the major fashion magazines; there’s something about holding a book, ripping out an article, and pinning it on the wall that inspires me more than a screenshot ever will. When they start their own trends instead of following what’s hot.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?

Stay positive. The lows always last longer than the highs. Rejection is an opportunity for achievement; it keeps you humble and working hard.

What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?

I started overseeing the Lana Jewelry seasonal campaigns last fall and I am very proud of the turnout. I am working with a tremendous creative/styling duo, JP and Sandy, and the photos have totally rebranded our campaigns. Shooting campaigns is new to me, so it’s been a thrilling journey.

Jewelry on celebrities

Jennifer Lopez in Lana

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Meeting Jennifer Lopez at dinner in LA (she was wearing the Lana Jewelry Glam Hoops that I loaned her stylists earlier that day for “American Idol”). It was by complete accident and I felt like the stars were aligned.

Most meaningful moment in your career thus far?

Securing the first Lana Jewelry placement in Vogue magazine so meaningful. It proved to me that “anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it” isn’t just a B.S. phrase on T-shirt.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

The Lana Jewelry brand doesn’t advertise, pay for placements, or gift the jewelry to the celebrity. My team works very hard to build relationships with stylists and editors (who love the product) to secure jewelry placements.

What are the biggest challenges facing fashion communicators right now?

The game of pay-to-play is such a challenge, especially for Lana Jewelry, because we don’t gift before a placement. With the introduction to social media endorsement, many brands feel the need incentivize celebrities/bloggers/editors to obtain media placements. It has definitely made the industry more competitive, but if you represent a good product, are a nice/easy person to work with, and take the time to write quality/personal pitches, you don’t need to pay-to-play. I am certainly a fan of sending gracious thank-you gifts, but I am a believer that traditional product placement is still very feasible.

The Lana Jewelry brand doesn’t advertise, pay for placements, or gift the jewelry to the celebrity.

What are you really good at?

I can (almost) name any celebrity’s stylist at any given time. I guess I am good at stalking.

What would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?

Stay humble. You don’t deserve anything until you prove it.

Thanks Fallon!

9 Questions to Help Figure out Your Retail Pop Up Store Strategy

Retail Marketing: How to throw a successful popup event

Part of the beauty of a pop-up shop is that it exists in an isolated timeframe where you have a limited downside. The pop-up shop allows you to achieve multiple goals in a temporary setting, using a relatively low-cost alternative to investing large sums of capital in order to sign multi-year leases and make other long-term commitments.

The first thing to remember is that not all pop-up events are intended to sell merchandise. Likewise, not all pop-up events are intended to launch a brand. Pop-up activations are ultimately about customer engagement. They are an opportunity to physically interact with customers, surround them with your message and gather feedback about your customer at the same time.

What makes pop-up events special is that they are unique to your brand and goals, so there is no one formula that will work for everyone. However, some questions to ask when identifying the goals of your pop-up should include:

  • Are you launching a new brand or category within an existing brand?
  • Are you growing brand awareness for a specific product line?
  • Are you testing a new market?
  • Are you experimenting with what works and what doesn’t?
  • Are you educating customers?
  • How will you immerse them in the lifestyle experience of your brand?
  • Are you testing the launch of a new partnership or collaboration?
  • Are you pushing out inventory with a sample sale?
  • Are you leveraging a highly seasonal business?

The answers to these questions will inform you as to what your plans and strategy should be for your pop-up shop. They’ll allow you to hone in on what your purpose is and what your customers’ expectations might be. By having clearly defined goals and expectations, you’ll be able to focus on building out a true experience for your customers.

Pop-up activations are ultimately about customer engagement.

In a way, a pop-up is an amplification of a focus group. It allows you to collect a substantial amount of information on customer reactions to a product and it creates an environment in which people are giving you feedback. However, they are also speaking publicly about it, and even sharing it on their social channels. They’re not sitting in a small group where they feel con ned to give you structured answers. They’re coming to discover a new experience and talk about how it makes them feel.

Step one when planning your brand’s pop-up shop is to step back and think about your key goals. There’s lots of possible benefits, but what’s the one goal that this pop-up needs to achieve to be a success?

If you are launching a new brand, it’s a great way to learn what resonates with your projected target market. If your brand already has a presence in one city but you want to explore another, it’s a test to be sure you open in the right neighborhood and an opportunity to learn how merchandising and pricing may be impacted from city to city.

Brands can explore completely different audiences with pop-ups, too. For example, just because you might be a great men’s retailer doesn’t mean that you can’t sell equally well to women. You can potentially use the pop-up as a cross-marketing opportunity, combining with existing interest groups of women who are shopping for your target male demographic. In a pop-up, a brand has a safe place to test new markets, customers, and beyond.

Excerpted from The Pop-Up Paradigm: How Brands Can Build Human Connections in a Digital Age written by Melissa Gonzalez, the founder of the Lionequese Group in New York City. She can be reached at mg@lionesquegroup.com.  The Pop Up Paradigm is available online.  

10 Social Media Myths That Ruin Business Results

10 Social Media Myths

Just a few short years ago, companies questioned whether they should use social media to connect with key audiences. But, with as much as 72% of all internet users active on social media—936 million on Facebook worldwide, 1 billion on YouTube, and 270 million on Twitter—the question has evolved into how companies should use social media to connect with their audience.

These statistics are growing every day. It’s no wonder why social media has become the fuel driving the modern marketing machine! So, how can we better use social media?

Before thinking of a strategy for better social media optimization, let’s re-examine the common our outdated myths about social media that we simply need to let go.

What separates fact from fiction? The truth from the fibs? The internet is brimming with social media misconceptions about how to ensure a high return on investment with social media campaigns. These fallacies actually travel faster, farther, and wider than they do in other industries, simply due to the very medium through which they have evolved…digital communication.

Here’s a roundup of the top 10 most common social media marketing myths and how you can debunk them before your next planning meeting.

Myth 1: If you aren’t on every social media platform, your strategy won’t work

Brands need to focus their efforts where they are most effective, and this holds true for social media. We speak about social media in generalities, but there are nuances to every platform. To best serve your audience, you must go to where you’re target audiences are spending their time.

A company never needs to be active on all social media sites, though it might be beneficial to claim handles on the top-performing ones in case your social strategies change or evolve over time. Instead, companies should be active on the platforms that work for them and make sense for their brand.

In order to let this myth go, reflect on your company’s function and role in the lives of your audience. Decide which accounts you will prioritize and emphasize, and how each social media platform will aid in your strategic engagement goals.

Myth 2: Publish content and people will engage

With millions of blogs posted, tweets exchanged, and purchases made online daily, standing out among the feed is more important than ever. Simply put, it’s not enough to produce content on your social media channels, you need to be actively engaged with your audiences. You need to have a content extension program in place to ensure the necessary reach required to get your target audience to take action.

To let this myth go, consider how often you want to be promoting content and how you will work within the confines of each platform in order to generate engagement, clicks and retain attention.

Myth 3: Social Media will take all your time

Social media marketing is not a regular job; you have to be active 24/7/365 to attain the best results. However, we’ve come a long way in terms of social media management, and there are several programs available to help you automate your content publishing and alert you to content seeding a response.

53% users who mention a brand on Twitter expect a response within an hour. The percentage increases to 72% for those with a complaint. Another interesting set of statistics reveals that people aged 35-44 are the keenest late night shoppers, with 41% of this age group claiming to log on for late-night purchases.

53% users who tweet at a brand expect a response within an hour.

And when purchasing online, 71% visitors expect help within five minutes.

To let this myth go, ensure you are both scheduling content to go live outside of the traditional work day and that you have a plan in place to offer customer service quickly – around the clock in necessary.

Myth 4: Post, repost, repeat, works

While it is true that only a small portion of your social media audience is going to see your live content, reposting the exact same content over and over again (or worst of all, setting your Facebook posts to auto-post to Twitter), runs the risk of annoying your followers into clicking that unfollow button. Be cautious around reposting the same articles and links over and over.

Research also shows that social media posts perform better, attracting more engagement and shares, when they contain other forms of media.

To let this myth go, explore adding GIFs and photos to your Twitter links, play with headlines and evaluate which perform best on what platform. Ensure you are publishing a mix of promotional and useful content.

Myth 5: Social media is the best tool to gain new customers

In most cases, your primary audience on social will be current or past customers. As such, you can look to drive loyalty through repeat purchases and brand ambassadorship through social endorsement. However, brands need to stop expecting social media to be a primary driver of immediate, direct sales for new customers.

To rethink this myth, view social media as a means of cultivating customer retention and increasing brand loyalty.

Myth 6: A social media presence will open us up to negative comments

Social media is a two-way street. You are bound to acquire negative feedback or complaints, which you shouldn’t ignore. Arguably, social media is the perfect platform to engage your B2B or B2C audience effectively when it comes to feedback—good or bad. The problem with this perception is that the conversation is already happening. Without social media monitoring, you’re simply not able to respond.

The silver lining to a complaint is that it opens the door to dialogue. Not all conversations will be positive, but it is important to understand that receiving negative feedback on social media will not ruin your company, but being ignorant of its existence might.

Myth 7: Social media is a marketing channel for sales

As a one-to-many communication channel, social media should not be seen as another one-way sales or marketing channel. Promotion that directly advertises goods or services needs to be mixed in with standalone value. Think education and entertainment first.

There is great value in offering your audience content that helps them succeed. Sometimes that content is going to be a solution in the form of a product or service. But keep relationship-building and community building front and center of your strategy. Content marketing pieces should relate to your business, but not always be about your business.

Myth 8: The bigger the following, the better

Particularly in the fashion and lifestyle space, the purchasing of followers – through paid advertising or sketchier means, is rampant. The belief that bigger is better leads brands to put a follower count above all else when it comes to success metrics.

The truth is that there is very little value to be gained from adding thousands followers who are disinterested in your company, and are likely coming in from dead or inactive accounts.

Content marketing pieces should relate to your business, but not always be about your business.

It’s easy to see if a company has clearly paid for their following, which reduces your credibility and puts your entire reputation with your genuine following at risk. Instead, focus on increasing engagement with your existing audience.

Myth 9: Thou shall not promote competitors

The majority of social media marketers believe that sharing competitors’ content will damage their own image, business, and brand reputation. This is a fallacy. In fact, sharing valuable content produced by your competitors can lead to partnerships and goodwill.

Now, you may not want to share the marketing or promotions of a direct competitor, but an article penned by the CEO of a like-minded company shows an awareness and interest in your industry beyond sales, and your audience is likely to appreciate the recommendation.

These brands may also reciprocate the gesture by sharing your content.

Myth 10: Go for reach over niche

As an example, many social marketers do not take Google+ seriously because they don’t see a specific use for promoting their business. However, according to Marketing Land, more than a billion and a half photos are uploaded at Google+ photos each week from more than 300 million active users present in the Google+ Stream.

Now, this isn’t to say that Google+ is right for your business, but social media platforms that are regarded as too niche or emerging for serious effort, could be a serious miss. There are platforms that cater to everyone. From foodies to the cat-obsessed, and these niche sites can be a win for brands looking to effectively connect with a particular audience.

So be flexible and test out different platform to find the right social media mix.

Social media offers compelling, impactful opportunities to drive consumer loyalty while effectively telling a multi-media, content-rich story about a particular brand. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach here, it’s all about exploration, testing and continual refinement to figure out what works.

About Nina Pineda

Nina is part of Spiralytics’ SEO Team. She launched her career as a web copywriter but eventually jumped into SEO and Online Marketing out of curiosity. This curious cat may be easily amused by Tumblr memes, funny YouTube clips, and foreign TV series but she is keen and driven in achieving results when it comes to work. Don’t let the petite physique fool you; She has a big heart wherein her other half, family and friends fit in.

 

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Pinterest’s Colors of the Year, WTF is WeChat, Fashion/Beauty Brand Marketing Coachella

Snapchat, Instagram, Social Marketing, Fashion PR, Social Media News, Fashion Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of April 11, 2016

  • Find out fashion’s top 25 most desirable companies to work for. Spoiler Alert:  Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior are the top three on the list. (via FashionTimes)
  • Gucci and Burberry go gender neutral with shows for both men’s and womenswear. (via Marketing Magazine)
  • Move over Pantone. Find out what Pinterest found to be the true Colors of the Year(via Pinterest Blog)
  • If you’re hoping to sell online in China, consider WeChat. The messaging app is attracting quite a bit advertiser interest for branded content. (via L2)
  • Think you know what ’empowerment’ means? Jia Tolentino tackles word by striping away the layers of cultural marketing rhetoric. (via The New York Times)
  • If you’re interested in boosting revenue through speaking opportunities, the Rebel Speaker Podcast is worth a subscribe. (via Dr. Michelle Mazur)

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PR Industry News: CFDA & Cadillac, alice + olivia & new Agency clients

Recent Fashion, Beauty Agency and Industry News

The Retail Lab, a program of the CFDA and Cadillac, gives designers the opportunity to gain real-world business and retail experience through a store and mentorship program. The inaugural fashion designer is Timo Weiland, whose shop will open to the public in early July.

The alice + olivia brand, in partnership with Neiman Marcus, held their first ever See-Now-Buy-Now runway show with music by The Dolls and Ana Calderon. The show featured the alice + olivia x Grateful Dead capsule collection paired with limited edition items from the Spring 2016 collection.

White Handed PR announces representation of Slovakian footwear brand Novesta, who are launching their first U.S. collection with the introduction of the brand’s unisex, eco sneakers.

Los Angeles-based, fashion and action-sports PR boutique agency S+L Communications, has been acquired by Santy, a full-service, integrated marketing communications firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Charmed PR announces representation of Luma Brush and Blo Blow Dry Bar in Brentwood (soft launch is this weekend).

Consumer sport and lifestyle PR agency GUNG HO Communications has acquired London-based Coffin on Cake PR.

The Eighth Floor Strategic Communications announces the addition of flooring company FLOR and lifestyle performance brand Hawke & Co. as new clients to the agency roster.

Glo Creative has hired Lamont Johnson as Public Relations Director.

 

 

6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Influencer Marketing

Is Influencer Marketing the Right Brand Strategy?

The growth of influencer marketing means many companies are wondering if it’s a viable marketing strategy. The truth is not every company is ready, or well suited, for influencer marketing. Keep these questions in mind when determining if working with influencers is the right marketing strategy to implement,

1. Are you looking for a Brand influencer or a Brand ambassador

Brand influencers are content creators who talk about products and services within a certain niche, such as travel, health or fashion. Brand ambassadors, or spokespeople, on the other hand, are typically hired to talk about a brand. The relationship may not always align with their values or product preferences (are top celebrities really using $7 drugstore shampoo?).

Let’s put it another way: you’re looking to buy a new pair of Nike sneakers. What will impact your purchasing decision: a Nike commercial, or your best friend who bought them and raves about them? The commercial might entice you, but it’s your friend who will ultimately push you to buy.

That’s what influencer marketing is all about, and for this reason, influencers can be tremendous assets to a brand. Rather than talking about the product, you’re letting other people do it for you, organically.

2. Do you host a lot of events?

For many businesses, event marketing is key. A brand influencer can attend events and network on your behalf. If they love your brand, why not create an event for them to bring in their audience?

Many fashion brands do this with bloggers. A blogger will promote the event on their blog and social channels, encouraging local readers to come to the store event. These events are often an extension of a partnership between a blogger and the brand. A blogger hosts a store event, inviting people to try on looks (see an example of an influencer promoting a store event with a post from Julia of Lemon Stripes promoting an event with Madewell). If your store wants to bring in foot traffic, influencer marketing can be a great tactic.

3. Do you want to inspire action?

If you’re simply looking for brand awareness, traditional marketing might be a better fit, as a brand influencer does much more than promotion. While influencers certainly raise awareness, their primary role from a brand perspective is to inspire engagement and action.

Influencers are very intentional with what they choose to talk about, and therefore have a specific niche and an earned audience. When they share reviews and experiences, they impact the audience’s purchasing behavior.

If we look back at the Nike example, an influencer might share an Instagram or write a blog post featuring a new look with her favorite Nike sneakers. Their audience, in turn, is more likely to buy the shoes because they trust the influencer.

If you’re simply looking for brand awareness, traditional marketing might be a better fit, as a brand influencer does much more than promotion.

4. Are you willing to give up control of your message?

With a brand ambassador, you have the ability to control your message. What do you want them to say? What key points do they need to mention? Influencer marketing is different. It’s about finding an individual who is compatible with your brand, while still allowing the influencer to infuse their own voice and style.

You can certainly ask an influencer to address specific points; however, those points should seamlessly flow with the rest of their story, not just yours. The key is to allow them to be creative with their content, otherwise the message won’t feel authentic. If you aren’t willing to let influencers share their own message regarding your brand, then influencer marketing isn’t an ideal strategy.

5. How much do you want to spend?

As with any marketing plan, budget is important. How you choose to spend your money can greatly impact your strategy. With influencer marketing, there are many important cost considerations that can affect your decision to work with influencers.

In most instances, you will have to offer some form of payment for an influencer’s services, whether it’s product or monetary compensation. Asking an influencer to take the time to put together content around your product for free won’t work. Depending on your campaign, your budget can start low and increase over time, rather than spending a lot upfront like you might with a brand ambassador.

Of course, depending on your notability as well as the influencer’s following, you might have to pay more upfront to work with them. Keep in mind that larger, well-known influencers can charge thousands of dollars for their work. If you’re not prepared to spend that kind of money, consider searching for influencers who have a smaller reach.

In addition, you can always ask for a media kit during initial discussions. Those numbers can give you a better sense of the ask before you dive too deep into discussions, and determine whether they’re willing to negotiate. If you’re unsure about how much to spend, start small and then track results.

If you’re unsure about how much to spend, start small and then track results.

6. Are you looking for a partnership?

One-time collaborations are great for sending out messages about your brand in the short term. If you have a new product launch in the works, working with a few people to craft and share your message prior to or on the day-of launch is probably enough. While you certaintly can work with influencers in the short term, it’s much more benefial to think about long-term opportunities.

One of the best parts about working with influencers is the potential for lasting relationships. You get to work with people who genuinely love talking about your brand with their audience. Think about the big picture. Is there a potential for a one-off project to turn into something more?

A partnership ensures that you are consistently putting out a message about your company to attract new and loyal customers. And you’ll feel comfortable knowing that you are working with someone who truly enjoys collaborating with your brand.

If you’ve determined that influencer marketing is suitable for your business goals, the next step is to start looking for the right influencers. Don’t let numbers be your sole focus. Look for influencers who have engaging readers and followers.

Relevance is just as important, as you want to attract the right customers. Build and nuture relationships with influencers who are eager to help promote your brand, and sales and new business opportunities will come.

ABOUT ELLEN

Ellen Borza is an Online PR Specialist at Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency located in Lancaster, PA. Ellen earned a B.A. in communications and a B.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. When Ellen isn’t conducting outreach for her clients, she loves reading and writing about the latest digital marketing trends, especially as they relate to fashion. In her free time, she authors her own fashion and lifestyle blog.

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