Securing charity partnerships for brands opens up fosters goodwill and has the added benefit of providing a unique story angle that can lead media outreach. As you begin planning for next year, consider if a cause marketing approach should be part of your communication strategy and if yes, follow these steps to begin to explore opportunities.
Plan Charitable Partnerships Early
Developing a relationship with a non-profit takes time, so start by identifying the cause you’d like to align your brand with, how you would like to partner and when. Popular options for fashion and lifestyle brands include Breast Cancer Awareness month in April, and American Heart Month in February. Keep in mind that you not only need to have the specifics of your cause-based endeavor squared away to have time to effectively develop and promote the event or specific product but if you plan to secure any print media mentions, you’ll also need to factor in those deadlines. For a breast cancer tie-in, for example, editors generally begin sourcing products in June and July.
Don’t just partner with any charity
When evaluating different charitable opportunities, make sure there is an obvious connection between the brand and the non-profit. For example, if you work with a beauty line that doesn’t use natural ingredients or sustainable production methods, an environmental charity might raise a few eyebrows and lead to more crisis management than cause marketing. On the other hand, if the founder of said beauty brand has an inspiring story as a woman in business, then an organization that offers grants to female-owned companies makes total sense.
The most successful partnerships are the ones where the brand truly believes in the cause of the charity, whether from personal experience or because it reflects brand values. Make sure you and your brand are well-versed in the concepts of pink-washing and greenwashing to avoid negative press.
Vet potential non-profit organizations
Make sure that the charity you are working with is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and actually gives back to where it says it does. Some great resources include Charity Navigator (which does in-depth analysis of charities and their allocation of money) as well as GuideStar or Charity Watch. Kayla Logan, Owner of Kayla Logan PR suggests that “when meeting with different organizations, ask to meet in their headquarters so that you get a feel for operations and always ask for examples of previous partnerships before agreeing to anything.”
Think beyond the “Percentage of Product” idea
Encourage your client to agree to something a bit more creative than the standard 10% of proceeds will be donated (this will go further toward media coverage as well).
When evaluating different charitable opportunities, make sure there is an obvious connection between the brand and the non-profit.
Maria Todaro, Territorial Corporate Relations Manager at The Salvation Army says, “when you are working to develop a meaningful campaign, think about how you can deepen relationships with customers, boost employee retention through engagement opportunities, and create a positive social impact story you can share and be proud of. These are some of the key components of a successful and sustainable cause marketing partnership.”
Discuss promotional language ahead of time
Draft a partnership agreement that outlines all of these specifics of the activation. This will help manage expectations and protect both parties. You’ll want to include some language around approvals for logo and name use. Pay special attention to language use; some give free reign while others are very specific on the terminology that can be used. To avoid headaches down the line discuss language specifics, disclosure, and any confidentiality requirements, before reaching out to the media or speaking publically about the relationship.
While it’s understandable that smaller brands cannot donate a large percentage of sales to charity, if the amount you’re giving is so small that it hardly benefits the charity it can appear to be self-serving. You don’t need to give away all of your profits, but make sure it’s enough to truly impact the nonprofit. Think beyond money as well and consider what expertise or services you might be able to provide.
Kayla often offers her own PR and social media expertise to smaller non-profits who struggle in this area. “Many charities don’t have a strong dedicated PR or marketing team to develop eye-catching creative or social media campaigns. As part of the partnership, I will develop social media templates and extend introductions to my own network to help them succeed beyond the specific client event.”
Charitable giving can boost brand perception and foster positive relationships among customers and media while having a measurable impact on a population in need. There are many great ways to reach out to and work with charities when you choose the right organization that aligns with the values shared between a brand and its audiences.
Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News
…for the week of January 16, 2017
- PR professional Patricia Fletcher gets real for brands who like the idea of PR but aren’t ready to do the work (via Observer)
- These celebrities generate the most Instagram engagement when linked with brands, but will followers continue to engage with each #ad? (via L2 Daily)
- How to keep your lean fashion start-up thriving without sacrificing your creative vision (via Inc.)
- Fashion patents, trademarks, copyrights, oh my! The complicated world of fashion intellectual property laws explained. (via Fashionista)
- These UK Brands are jumping on the Instagram story bandwagon and killing it, unleashing their global appeal to consumers. (via Digiday)
- Searches for “feminism t-shirt are up” and retailers are taking note in prep for Saturday’s Women’s March (via Yahoo News)
- It is no secret that SoulCycle, Casper, and Drybar all have diehard fans, but how did they build such fanatical brand loyalty? Company founders tell all (via Fast Company)
- Snapchat just created new ad targeting using third-party data from Oracle Data Cloud, joining other social media sites using similar data-targeting like Facebook, Google, and Twitter (via Wall Street Journal)
- The Wynn Las Vegas stopped carrying Tom Ford products because of Donald Trump. Why the President-elect might have more say in the fashion world than expected. (via Racked)
- The three mega-PR trends PR professionals want to embrace in 2017 (via PR Daily)
Just in time for National Polka Dot Day on January 22 (yes that is a thing and yes you will be participating!) and the red carpet award season comes a collaboration between Disney’s most fashionable muse, Minnie Mouse, and fine art photographer Gray Malin. This timely joint effort hits all the right points; nostalgia, art, entertainment and fashion.
What: Gray Malin shot the series in is signature aerial style, taking inspiration from Minnie’s Hollywood and fashion presence to stage a photograph embracing these core tenets through a classically styled black tie affair atop a spectacular red carpet. Malin utilized white parasols to illustrate Minnie’s trademark polka dotted dress and give a nod to Hollywood glamour. The series is a limited run release along with a piece of video art – a first-ever production for Malin.
Why: The release coincides with #RockTheDots, an annual celebration of fashion muse Minnie Mouse and her signature polka dot style, tied to National Polka Dot Day and fittingly falls in the midst Hollywood’s award season.
Of course, no tinsel-town effort would be worth it’s dots (!) without a launch party. Last night 50 fashion guests gathered at the Andaz to celebrate. Guests included Minnie herself, wearing a custom Olympia Le Tan dress, as well as E! News host, Catt Saddler and digital influencers Little Black Boots, Devon Rachel, Dylana and Natalie Suarez, Pursuit of Shoes and Rocky Barnes, to name a few.
Guests enjoyed a four course dinner via a dreamy tablescape that overlooked Hollywood.
Wake up, the PR industry has changed.
Smart brands are looking past the traditional agency model, where product placement is priority, press releases are serviced daily, and each client is served the same generic press plan.
They want to work with forward-thinking publicists who stay on top of the ever-evolving media landscape, find new ways to connect with consumers, and tell meaningful brand stories. And trust me, you don’t need 50 people, a large office full of cubicles, or a cookie-cutter PR plan to do that
This is what strategic PR looks like today
It’s not just about print vs digital
First off, it’s no longer just a traditional print vs digital conversation. Each of these platforms will always be incredibly important from both a branding and conversion standpoint. One does not cancel out the other.
You can’t just focus on digital outlets or blogs and you can’t just pitch traditional press. A good press plan will include a healthy balance of each medium. Any press plan that ignores one is ignoring an entire side of the conversation.
You can’t just focus on digital outlets or blogs and you can’t just pitch traditional press.
Product placement takes a backseat to storytelling
Today’s consumer is much more aware of how and where products are made. It’s not just about a pretty sweater or a cute pair of pants. They want to know: Who made the product? Is it sustainable? What is the sales model? Am I getting the best price possible? Thus product placement, while important, is no longer a top priority for JBC. We are in the business of storytelling for our brands and this has translated to stronger customer loyalty and increased conversion for clients.
Mobile is a priority
Today’s consumer is mobile, and gathers the majority of information on his/her mobile device. Reach out to social media editors to share news or content from your brands.
Along with social media content comes new opportunities to partner with media sites. Racked and Refinery29 both do fantastic Facebook LIVE conversations with brand founders and leaders.
Additionally many brands we work with have found success through social channels like Snap (formerly Snapchat) both from an education and sales perspective
5 Ways stay ahead of the evolving PR Industry
get your whole story in a Headline
The NYTimes reported that our attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds before becoming distracted (down from 12 seconds in 2000), which is less than a goldfish. Studies now show that 62% of Americans now get their news from social media, making this the battle ground for "The true scarce commodity” of the near future..."human attention.”
Headlines matter more than ever and PR professionals must adjust accordingly to ensure headlines, subject lines and social copy captures attention, quickly,
We are in the business of storytelling for our brands and this has translated to stronger customer loyalty and increased conversion for clients.
Look for the cross-over opportunity
Embrace a multi-dimensional approach.
Don’t pigeon-hole yourself as one specific type of publicist. The most successful brands aren’t pure technology brands or pure fashion brands. The most engaging, influential brands today play in the grey area - a fashion brand with a new take on tech, or a home brand with an interesting data team or sales model. Get creative with outreach, i.e. don’t just pitch fashion editors about a fashion brand. Find ways to target travel books, lifestyle magazines, or business outlets.
build relationships with emerging publications
As we all know by now, media is constantly evolving and expanding. In the past year alone, we have found incredible conversion from two brand new platforms- CheddarTV, coined as the CNBC for Millennials, and Glossy, a daily online publication exploring the intersection of fashion and luxury through the lens of digital and tech.
Make sure you are setting aside time to research and stay on top of emerging sites and media outlets.
grow your own reputation
It's easy to keep the focus on our clients, but more than ever, communication professionals must keep an eye on their own personal brands, as well as agency awareness.
Whether through contributed content, serving on industry panels or entering award programs like the PR Couture Bespoke Communication Awards, take advantage of all the different ways you can showcase your expertise.
Don't forget to collect client testimonials, save copies of press hits and compile your professional wins into case studies. Having these assets ready to go will come in handy when opportunities arise.
only say yes to clients you love
Work with brands that have impactful narratives and are more than just product; brands with passionate, inspirational leaders who can explain their mission. And dig in deep to find the most interesting, thought provoking, eye-opening stories to share with editors.
I am constantly inspired by the entrepreneurs we represent. From Matt Scanlan of Naadam and Ariel Kaye of Parachute to Denise Lee of ALALA and Josh Udashkin of Raden, these leaders are pushing the boundaries in their own industries and in turn challenging us to find new ways to tell their stories.
At JBC, we are lucky enough to have a business where our clients embrace this new way of thinking, our rather unorthodox approach towards PR. Our staff is comprised of publicists who constantly push themselves to find the newest outlet, the most engaging story, and best way to tell it. And this crucial combination is truly what drives success.
About Jennifer Bett Meyer
For over 16 years, Jennifer Bett Meyer has been a success-driven professional working in public relations and marketing for today’s most dynamic global brands. In January 2013, Jennifer launched Jennifer Bett Communications to offer uniquely competitive brands and startups a new, creative, and multi-dimensional approach to overall consumer awareness.
In 2014 Jennifer was joined by Partner and Managing Director, Melissa Duren Conner, to effectively address the evolving consumer market and the intersection of the digital marketplace and traditional retail. With their team of experienced PR talent, JBC executes strategies that are thoughtful, dynamic and results-driven while providing clients a high-touch level of service and senior expertise.
My agency works with both fashion and beauty brands. While there can be quite a bit of overlap, and in some cases editors cover both beats and you can pitch them multiple clients directly, beauty PR has some slight but noticeable differences from fashion PR.
1. Beauty Publicists Get to Use the Products
One of the perks of being a beauty publicist is that you (usually) get to test out the products yourself! A great on-the-job benefit to be sure, but it’s actually more of a necessity. If you’re going to be pitching the products you should be able to enthusiastically speak their results, whether it’s a styling lotion that tamed your frizzy hair, or a peach lip gloss that looked good on everyone in your office.
While you might get to play with an entire collection of full-size products, everyone working on the account should try some sample sizes or testers in order to truly experience the product. Adding a personal endorsement to pitching can often heighten editor interest, plus it is always more enjoyable to pitch a product you know delivers on its promise.
2. Working with beauty brands almost always means non-returnable samples
When working with fashion and accessories brands, it is common practice to get returnable samples from editors and stylists (unless you are specifically gifting the items).
With beauty products, however, editors need to test out the products to ensure efficacy, texture, and scent. Once a lipstick has been used, for example, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to request it back! You can try and specify that the sample is a comp for photography use only, but the editor may or may not agree to these terms, after all, trying the product personally is what will help her make an accurate recommendation to her readers, which maintains her credibility.
You may have more leeway if it’s a beauty tool rather than a consumable product (you might be able to a hairdryer returned but a moisturizer is unlikely). Luckily beauty brands are able to create test samples which will hopefully open up your ability to comfortable offer samples to everyone on your media list. But for certain big-ticket items or custom products, it’s important to address product sample seeding with your clients and ensure the cost of product is factored into a separate budget from your retainer.
3. Beauty Brands Require Ingredient Expertise
Do you know what anti-oxidants, humectants, and alpha-hydroxy acids are?
Pitching clothing requires that you know materials involved (is it 100% organic cotton? A poly viscose blend?) but it’s generally not the most important facet for editors. From a fashion editor perspective it’s more about colors, prints, silhouettes – the visual elements of a piece). When working in beauty, however, particularly with skincare or haircare, you’ll need to be able to speak intelligently and eloquently about the ingredient make-up. When it comes to say, an anti-aging serum, how the product looks is important, but what it actually does (and how) is even more so. No one is expecting you to be a chemist but you should have a fluent understanding of the ingredients and their functions to be able to explain how the product works and what makes it unique.
4. Expect more one-on-one editor demonstrations
Fashion brands tend to hold seasonal press previews, as it’s not usually feasible to bring a full collection for a deskside meeting (the exception being smaller collections or pieces that are easy to carry, such as accessories or swimwear). While an event strategy for a beauty brand is certainly appropriate, (particularly for new launches) more often than not you’ll find yourself going to the editors’ offices to demonstrate the products in person. This means more face time with editors, which can be a nice bonus relationship builder when it comes time to pitch other products.
Landing press for beauty brands is similar to any product in terms of the value of a compelling pitch, but is very product-sample focused and requires an in-depth knowledge of the latest in beauty, skin and hair trends and ingredients.
Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News
…for the weeks of January 1-13, 2017
- PR Couture announces 10-Year Anniversary and the debut of The Bespoke Communication Awards (press release)
- Did your holiday bonus come with a promotion? If you’re now managing a team of people, these management tips are sure to help (via ManRepeller)
- Speaking of management, KCD announces some major restructuring (via BoF)
From wine to women, Gary Vaynerchuk purchases PureWow as part of new company, called The Gallery (via WSJ)
For a truly out of the box (!) workplace experience, check out how Netflix woos great employees (via Forbes)
- Conscious designer Elizabeth Suzann dives into money, explaining”I want to talk about pricing, consumption, our business, what it means to be a consumer and a producer of things, and lots of stuff in between.” It’s good. There are charts. (via Elizabeth Suzann)
- Save the Dates! Your 2017 Award Show Calendar is here (via Sheryll Alexander)
- What’s next for the PR industry in 2017? Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick shares his thoughts (via Holmes Report)
- Thinking about starting a PR business? Read this first! (via Spin Sucks)
- There’s a legal battle raging….and mermaid tails are involved (via The Fashion Law)
These days, PR and marketing professionals need an arsenal of images to pull from in order to keep pace online. Having the right images to align with a brand’s digital storytelling is not just about making something look pretty to garner a few extra likes, the right images can help to drive conversions and keep companies top of mind.
According to a study by Jeff Bullas,
- Articles with images get 94% more total views
- We can expect 45% increase in press release views when a related image is included
- Facebook ads with images have a 37% higher engagement rate than text ads
Due to the turn-around time, resources needed and cost of doing in-house photography, many brands (and agencies) turn toward stock photography – but the cost for those images – particularly for a commercial license – can easily take up the entire marketing budget.
As an alternative, bookmark the following royalty free image sites and begin to build out a library of images to keep on hand. You may have to do a bit of sleuthing to find images that work, but the time spent rarely equates to the cost of an equivalent image on a paid site.
Royalty Free Images for Instagram & Beyond
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Graphic Icons for Content Marketing and Beyond
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Please enjoy the list!
About the Author:
Vishal Kalia is Founder/CEO at www.ROGUELINE.co. Rogueline is platform for Fashion Designers to learn about marketing, product, ecommerce, customer acquisition, fund raising etc. He graduated with BS EEE & MBA and has been in marketing and product development for 14 + years.
PR AGENCY AND INDUSTRY NEWS
At Faulhaber Communications, Lexi Pathak, has been appointed to Vice President and agency partner. Andrea Anders has been appointed to Vice President. Malania Dela Cruz joins the team formally as Director, West.
Do you have agency or industry news to share?
We would love to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!
Contact us at email@example.com
First, thank you so much for you support around our 10 year anniversary announcement last week.
And now I have some BIG news to share.
This is something I have wanted to do for YEARS and it's finally happening!
We are launching a global, online industry award program to celebrate and recognize excellence in fashion & lifestyle communications
We’re calling it the Bespoke Communication Awards.
The way we see it, most traditional PR award programs aren’t entirely relevant to our niche, while others put the emphasis on the brands themselves, neglecting to specifically call out the hard-working agencies, freelancers and other professionals making the magic happen behind-the-scenes.
Not so with the BCAs.
We have developed 4 categories tailor-made for our profession with 30 awards in total. Some are application-only and others are peer-nominated. Agencies, in-house teams, brands, individuals, media and vendors are all welcome to apply.
My hope is you'll find the perfect award or awards and get some well-dexerved recognize all your hard work.
Interested? Here's what to do next
We’ll be opening up call for entries in late February, so for now, head on over to our splash page and enter in your info to be automatically added to our BCAs updates list and get first dibs on applying.
As a brand new program, we’re eager to welcome sponsors (agencies, brands, vendors all welcome) to help us bring the full vision to life. Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in on the ground floor.
Thank you again for helping us reach 10 years.
Now go sign up for BCA updates. I cannot wait to showcase the best of the best talent and creativity from within our own space.
Many of us spend more time at the office than in our own homes. As such, creating an office space that everyone (executives, interns, editors, clients and stylists) love can help makes the long hours and hard work that much more enjoyable. According to the Harvard Business Review, ‘face-to-face interactions are by far the most important activity in an office.’ Their data suggests that "creating chance encounters and unplanned interactions between knowledge workers, both inside and outside the organization—improves performance.”
With this in mind as an interior designer, my approach to an office space is to create a space that inspires and is the catalyst for thoughtful conversations and interesting ideas.
Recently I had the opportunity to work with Sara Andréasson and Jill Cooper, co-founders of Michele Marie PR. They expressed a need for a more creative, fashion forward office space. They had grown tired of working with a formal desk set up in their Beverly Hills office. As a PR agency specializing in editorial, celebrity, and social media press in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries, they felt they needed a more open and inviting space to create a collaborative environment for both employees and clients.
Designing a New Office Space
A few key questions can help get to the heart of design inspiration.
- What is the goal/role of having an interior designer?
- What is the mood or emotion of the space?
- What are we trying to accomplish?
- What is your number one priority for this project?
After this initial conversation with Sara and Jill, I found that the biggest challenge during this project would be incorporating two different aesthetic preferences into one shared office space and lobby (a common occurrence among clients). It was also important to find a balance between appealing to both women and shining a spotlight on their expertise through the clients they represent.
Key Design Considerations for Creative Agencies
We all felt it was important to create a stylish space that would not distract from the various apparel and accessory lines MMPR represents. This is important because clients should never feel like they are competing for the spotlight with the agency that is suppose to represent them, or that there is a preference for one client over the other.
Great offices act as a visual extension of a company’s brand so focus on cultivating an atmosphere that captures your company essence and energy. The women pulled inspiration from Soho House West Hollywood, but expressed a desire for a brighter alternative. A key objective was ensuring the design was streamlined to fit five to six people comfortably in the main meeting space.
Additionally, Jill and Sara wanted their office space to feel fashion-forward. Both needed an executive office that was comfortable and feminine while still being functional for small meetings. To achieve this, we kept the common areas neutral and added in more personal elements into the executive office design.
Accolades and art
Incorporating meaningful items, awards and media hits in a tasteful manner can be a challenge for agencies. A great solution is to treat items as a collection and display them in a concentrated area. First you should determine:
- What elements are personal and belong in office spaces?
- What accolades are beneficial for a client to see?
- What belongs in the more communal spaces?
And then chose areas that makes sense for the given item. Personal elements like thank you notes might be more appropriate as a gallery wall in an executive's office, while awards are great to display in spaces prospective and current clients are likely to glimpse—think lobby or conference room adjacent or even a main corridor.
When displaying artistic pieces, floating shelves are a great solution because they have a minimalist profile and enable you to use a high quantity of items with similar scale. This provides the impact of a pattern and the function of accessorizing without cluttering or detracting from the rest of the space.
Consider First Impressions & Public Spaces
MMPR is a PR agency which embraces new concepts, so I was working with both mixed-use spaces (with an open layout), and private areas designated for offices and meetings. As a result, a core objective was to create continuity between rooms while also taking into account their various functions. However, I faced a bit of a challenge because MMPR is not only used as an office, but also a showroom. Celebrity stylists frequently visit the space to see the various clothing, beauty and accessories that MMPR represents. Because of this it was crucial the lobby remain neutral.
Clients should never feel like they are competing for the spotlight with the agency that is suppose to represent them, or that there is a preference for one client over the other.
The lobby is the place everyone walks through, so it's important that if feel inclusive. We wouldn't want to alienate a menswear or traditional corporate client by going over the top with pink toned hues or boundary-pushing art in the entryway. Save that for executive offices that allow more room for personal leanings. Keep your public domains inviting and unbiased with colors like grey and white.
To maximize the lobby space, which I knew had to function as both a waiting room and workroom, we added a divider to create this separate space. The new area now became multiple functional (such as an assembly area for gifting) and left the main section of the lobby as a welcoming area for clients and guests. Jill and Sara have a great collection of industry books that shows off a passion for what they do. We turned the books into a display piece, a fashion library, in the lobby, to create a strategic focal point that also doubled as storage space.
Before the redesign, the reception desk sat behind the entryway. That is counter intuitive. If you walk into a room, your instinct is to keep walking towards your destination and so, we moved the desk around to be the first thing guests see when they walk through the door. Not only did this make more sense when considering the flow of the room, but it also created the opportunity of adding a multi-purpose room off to the side of the lobby. This extra space was perfect for client and stylists fittings; in the fashion industry in particular many people since are working on tight schedules and prefer to simply meet in the lobby to save time, instead of walking back through an office.
Don't forget about the hallways
Most people look to change obvious features like workstations or new furniture. However, it is important to take advantage of everything at your disposal in order to share your brand story. One way to do that is through hallway walls.
Sara and Jill have collected many mementos and client pieces through the years of MMPR being in business. Originally these items were piled into bookshelves in the lobby. In order to create a more organized and calming feel, we installed shelving along the walls of a corridor leading to the showroom. By displaying key pieces throughout the space instead of all lumped together, the brands were still on display but the display felt less chaotic. Hallway walls are a natural and unobtrusive way for clients, media, stylists and employees to interact with MMPR’s history. It also creates a seamless transition from space to space.
How to Make the most of smaller spaces and shared workplaces
For Sara and Jill’s office we really had to get creative in order to optimize the space for both solo and collaborative work. Their shared office is modestly sized and a vital need was functionality and spacing for group meetings. In order to reconcile needs with wants, we played around with the furniture. I chose lounge chairs that had narrower arms, but a fully supported back, rather than bulkier options. To subtly add depth without relying heavily on patterns, I used textural variety. This means is I selected one linen and one velvet version of the same chair. Textiles are a fun and integral aspect of adding variety and visual appeal to any space.
The hallway walls are a natural and unobtrusive way for clients, media, stylists and employees to interact with MMPR’s history. It also creates a seamless transition from space to space.
While a streamlined minimalist desk looks lovely, make sure such items are paired with a discrete storage system. Invest in a credenza that can also double as a filing cabinet. In the co-founders office we selected a well disguised mini-file drawer that looks and functions as an accent table in the space.
If you’re considering an office redesign, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure the transformation is dream-worthy. First, make sure you know what your brand is and stands for. Identify how the space, especially the lobby, reflects the voice of your brand. Balance beauty with functionality. If you are unsure of what to do and have the budget, seek the guidance of a pro, especially when it comes to purchasing expensive furniture.
The biggest mistake I see people make when redesigning is splurging too soon and then missing out on key essentials needed for the space. Another common mistake people make is overestimating how much space they really have and then try to jam in more furniture that leads to an overcrowded and overwhelmed look. Knowing dimensions and laying out your space is especially crucial if you have a small office space. It is essential to factor in the number of employees and how big your work area needs to be. This will really help you determine your furniture choices and how you will set up the functional flow of the space.
From there, identify all your employee work areas before designating conference rooms or lounges. When designing, be sure to keep public and private spaces at a safe distance. You want to avoid having external visitors walk past a space in which private client conversations are happening.
About Stefani Stein
Los Angeles-based interior designer Stefani Stein is known for her relaxed yet refined style that has caught the attention of several celebrity clients over the years. Her modern touches intertwined with classic and unexpected elements make her a highly coveted designer for commercial and residential space design. Connect with her on Instagram @stefanisteinla.
Hello my lovely PR Couture reader,
I'm not sure if you noticed, but this week we went dark on the blog for the first time in TEN YEARS. As in, no posts published, at all.
While the decision was necessary for the team to gear up for some BIG announcements coming your way in the next few weeks, it gave me one of those "holy shit" moments.
As in, holy shit: I have been publishing articles on PR Couture, often five days a week, for TEN YEARS.
In December 2006 I spent a weekend teaching myself the basics of WordPress, enlisted a friend to help with a logo and published my first blog post.
It used to be that most of you knew our origin story. It used to be that my own name was synonymous with PR Couture.
So, please indulge me a bit as I take this opportunity to quickly share a bit about where we've been, where we are, and where we are headed.
PR Couture 2006-2016
I discovered public relations in graduate school and was immediately drawn to the intersection of business strategy, writing and creativity required. After combining this newfound discovery with a copywriting job that had quickly turned into running a PR and marketing department (along with a lifelong love of clothing and fashion), I wrote the very first academic thesis on the subject of fashion public relations.
After graduating, I started PR Couture as a means to both share what I had learned and as a platform to learn more.
Back then, fashion blogging was just getting started, most PR agencies had nothing more than a phone number on a splash page (if you were lucky). There was no Instagram (gasp!), there wasn't even Twitter. The whole Girl Boss/Boss Babe/Digital Entrepreneur "build your brand online" thing was years away.
As that all changed, my own career grew alongside PR Couture for years in a sort of symbiosis. PR Couture became the oh so necessary creative outlet for a girl who hadn't quite figured out that she was a Boss at heart.
PR Couture became the oh so necessary creative outlet for a girl who hadn't quite figured out that she was a Boss at heart.
In 2013, PR Couture + consulting became my full-time gig. In 2016 I launched our most comprehensive redesign to-date, added two amazing women to help me out, taught two sections of JMS-0496 Fashion Public Relations at San Diego State University, one Fashion PR Confidential workshop in NYC and two live PRISM courses online (surrounded by palm trees in my San Diego backyard - heaven!). Oh, and had a baby. It was kind of a big year.
My goal has always been for PR Couture to be a shared platform and brand that facilitates community and a sense belonging that can be sorely lacking in our industry. I am proud that we focus on subjects relevant to those of us just starting out in the industry, like our Getting IN series, as well as those of us with several years of experience, like our PR Girls We Love series.
Today, PR Couture has evolved from a blog into your go-to industry sourcebook, and we are just getting started.
Before we head into a year's worth of anniversary celebrations, however, I invite you to join me in not simply reflecting on the evolution above, but on your own growth in the last decade. It's been amazing to participate alongside you as digital communications has altered our industry so significantly. How lucky we are to live in a time where incredible connections can be facilitated with the swipe of a finger, where an idea and an online presence can be the start of something huge.
I've been re-watching a lot of Parks & Rec lately. In addition to wishing Leslie Knope was my best friend (or business partner!), one quote from the show sticks out:
None of us achieves anything alone.
So thank you.
You keep me inspired, motivated and you help me to support my family. That is some serious stuff, kitten. More than myself however, you have indirectly helped your fellow readers find dream jobs, connected agencies with clients who are perfect for one another, helped women launch freelance careers, and so many others experience life-changing moments, friendships and opportunities.
Yup, you did that.
So thank you, thank you for being a part of my team.
PS: If you have a PR Couture-related memory I'd love to hear it! Email me using the envelope link in my bio below, or share on social media with the hashtag PRCx10
Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News
…for the year!
- PR is a female-dominated industry, but only 30% of all global PR agencies are run by women (via Quartz)
- “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)
- It’s time to get real; business advice agencies need to stop giving their clients (via The Drum)
- Do you know what PR blogs your competitors are reading? (via Meltwater)
- “Advertising has a very long history of dovetailing and co-opting feminist movements.” What’s your take on so-called Marketplace Feminism? (via HuffPo)
- Connected Clothing: The relationship between the fashion and tech industries continues to deepen (via PSFK)
- What beauty editors want PR professionals to know about pitching; like, stop with the coffee dates and drink invites already (via The Luxury Spot)
- The new influencers on the block are pint-sized but raking in big kid paychecks on Instagram (via WhoWhatWear)
- Learn why microinfluencers are on trend for 2017 (via Fashionista)
- Lessons learned after 10 years doing PR for Apple (via Harvard Business Review)
Now that the holiday rush is over and you're (hopefully) holding onto some end of the year gold in the form of a bonus check, here are a handful of self-gifting ideas to help ensure both your style and your career are ready to make in impact in 2017. Enjoy!
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Alyssa Baker runs Riot Media Group, a Los-Angeles based firm known for their extensive relationships with bloggers and influencers in addition to traditional PR and media and events.
Working with Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, Alyssa has developed key relationships with top-tier media, influencers, bloggers and celebrities. Her background in journalism has served her well, crafting stories editors respond to, and quickly putting RIOT on the map since the firm's launch in 2014.
How did you get started in the industry?
From a young age I knew I wanted to carve a path in media relations, thanks to an award-winning Journalism teacher I was lucky to have in high school back. From then on, I solely focused on making it happen. One connection led to another and I landed my first internship at Fox TV Studios as the assistant to the head of global marketing the summer after my sophomore year of college. After that, I was obsessed with PR and Los Angeles, and made the move for good the following summer. I finished school early and got right to work, which is what I always wanted anyways. It was an amazing experience and further ignited the fire already burning inside me.
What led you to start Riot Media Group?
I worked at a handful of boutique PR firms before making the jump to starting my own agency, and I learned something different from each one. Ultimately, I knew I had to try it my way. As an honest, straightforward person, the smoke & mirrors I saw at many PR agencies just didn't make sense to me. I created RIOT to challenge that notion that PR is artful deception- because it's not. The right PR and media strategy can make or break your brand and that's what many start-ups today don't understand. A lot of the success depends on the client relationship and vision. I pride my agency on having great relationships, not only with media, but with our clients. We think of ourselves as an extension of their brand.
As the founder, what is your main focus?
Oh boy, my responsibilities are across the board. There's honestly not much I don't do. I work on every facet of the business from managing staff to pitching clients to media, developing new business relationships, accounting, and social media management, to taking out the trash, there's literally no part of this business that I don't touch.
I created RIOT to challenge that notion that PR is artful deception- because it's not.
How is RIOT Structured? What's the mood like in the office?
We are structured by categories- beauty, fashion, tech, health & wellness and consumer lifestyle brands. PR is a crazy industry and calm days are rare, but we always have fun. There's no point in working the crazy, stressful hours we do if we're not enjoying it; that leads to burnout. I love the saying, "this is PR, not ER" but sometimes that's hard to remember when you're caught up in a difficult situation.
What type of person thrives at RIOT?
What has been the most meaningful moment in your career thus far?
There have been so many remarkable moments, but RIOT's first press preview, our 'coming out' party if you will, is probably the most memorable. We took over a huge space in Santa Monica by the ocean and pulled out all the bells and whistles. The support we received was overwhelming and helped give me the confidence to know I made the right move. A few weeks later we were hired to produce Galore Magazine's Miami Swim Week events. That week was one of the best of my life
What's a recent success story that makes you particularly proud?
This past summer we were hired to create a series of pool parties for a national radio app in Miami and Los Angeles. We didn't have the budget to also book A-list celebs so we developed a strategy that included booking specific talent (within our budget) in hopes that their celebrity friends would come along and support the event. The strategy worked and we secured A-list celebrities at no cost to the client. This approach led to more than 4.8 million media impressions, including attention from outlets such as E! News, Glamour, Buzzfeed, Celebuzz, Seventeen and more. I received texts and emails for weeks that we threw the best party of the summer!
How do you stay on top of industry trends?
I read constantly! Inc, Forbes, Fast Company, Fashionista, WWD, Refinery29, The Zoe Report... read, read, read! I'm excited for more brands to dive into video and smarter PR/marketing. I still see such disconnect on so many levels, in fashion PR specifically.
What do you wish more people understood about PR?
We cannot make miracles happen. The media landscape has changed drastically, even in the last 2-3 years. Much of what you see online is sponsored posts or inclusions of brands that also pay for some type of advertising within that outlet.
Small brands are having a harder time competing with large companies because they simply cannot afford the advertising costs, so they put all their eggs (and expectations) in the PR basket. PR is not a solution to advertising. All the pieces of the puzzle must be put together to see the best results and return on ROI.
What’s the biggest challenge facing communicators right now?
The constant news cycle is making it harder and harder for publicists to connect with the correct editor. Hearst just combined 5 women's focused editorial teams into one! Databases like Cision are not consistently updated and are not as useful as they once were.
Also, unqualified publicists and social media managers are flooding our field and decreasing our worth. Clients do not understand how media works (that's partly why they hire us) and can have a hard time understanding the value we bring to their brands when we secure top-tier press. When they are then approached by a publicist offering to do a $2,500 job for $500, it's a disservice to all of us.
I see a lot of girls come through our doors thinking it's going to be an Instagram-worthy party every day. Those girls usually quit by the second week.
PR Can Be Full of rejection, how do you deal?
Ok, let's talk about rejection first. As someone who grew into being a perfectionist, I used to take rejection really personally. Now, I don't. As you grow in this industry you really do realize that everyone has a job to do and goals to meet. If your pitch isn't working, it's most likely not that the journalist hates you, it's just that the angle won't garner the clicks the outlet needs. Revise the pitch and figure out another way to gain attention and earn that placement.
Now stress. PR is very stressful. As an agency owner I have a lot on my plate. From maintaining cash flow and the client roster to making sure the clients are always pleased with the placements we earn for them, at times it is tough to juggle it all. For years I worked day and night and put my personal life on the back burner and that's what NOT to do.
This year I really made a point to focus on me and figure out what else I love besides PR. I got a dog and he's the cutest. I make time for friends. I stopped being a flake on personal obligations and it has helped my stress level big time. Actually, the greatest thing has been my dog Elfie. 🙂
What advice do you have for someone inspired by your story?
You can literally do whatever you want in this life if you work hard enough. I grew up in the middle of corn fields but I had a passion and purpose and worked endlessly until I made my dream my reality. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but we're all a work in progress in this world. Stay focused, stay hungry and create your own destiny. It's all possible!
That said, if you want something bad enough, you - and only you - can make it happen. If you come to a roadblock and can't get through that next door, break the window! Perseverance is what separates the good from great. I moved to LA knowing one person and never looked back. My boss at FOX told me, "Fake it 'til you make it," and that is the best advice I have ever received. When you get intimidated, because you will at some point, fake that confidence until you believe in yourself as much as other people do. Also, just do great work. If you're proud of your work you will never have to make excuses for it!
Position: Digital Story Coordinator
Company: Me by Design