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Fashion Bloggers

Let Me Love You: 4 Steps for Fashion Bloggers, from a PR Girl

For bloggers eager to working with your favorite brands, consider a fashion publicist as your gatekeeper. Learning how to approach and work with the PR agency that represents the clothes, accessories and makeup you love is a crucial step in growing your personal brand and serving your audience with the style recommendations they seek.

Here are 4 ways to make yourself a PR Girl BFF

1. Know your niche

Each brand has a slightly unique target audience, and so do you. As the PR team, we are responsible for finding, and filtering out, the right media opportunities for the brands we work with. Knowing your niche and having a clear understanding of the type of content you post and where brands have opportunities to work with you is critical for being PR-friendly, as well as a smart business strategy.  It can backfire on you to blindly request samples for any product under the sun. If your site is focused on chic, outfit of the day posts, doing a sponsored post for a Cereal brand or a pair of flip flops could not only be a turn off for readers, it makes the brand content irrelevant and confusing. You are the steward of your audience, treat them well and you'll be in a strong position to pitch me on why your blog is the right fit for one of my brands.

2. Have a media kit

If I'm interested in what you're doing, I'm going to ask for a media kit. And then I'm going to circulate that media kit to my team and possibly to my brand contact. What I'm looking for is basic information about your site including topics you cover, regular columns that you write, traffic stats, and follower counts for your social media channels as well as newsletter subscribers.  You may also include other areas of interest, like education, skills or hobbies to help facilitate the brainstorm process for us when we're looking for the best campaign ideas for your site. To be especially PR-friendly, include past brand collaborations with results. If you are looking for compensation for posts, include this information on what sponsored opportunities you offer and in what budget range. Your media kit can be a single sheet or a multiple page document but it should be current and ready to send when inquiries hit your inbox.

3. Nurture your PR Girl relationships

Understand where we're coming from. Our job is to get our clients media and blog coverage yes, but also to support brand growth and business goals. We live to make our clients happy with our work and to see the value in what we do. If you have publicists that you enjoy working with, make sure they know you want your relationship with them to be more than a one-off post. After all, relationships make the world go round, and we invest in those who invest in us. If you're flexible and willing to work with me based on what I'm empowered to offer by my low-budget, startup client, I'll remember that when I get a great campaign opportunity down the line. There are many times I’ve worked with bloggers in trade for product and then went on to secure larger deals with them that included monetary compensation. See beyond budget constraints and find ways to add value to my clients by coming up with creative ideas to help exceed expectations. Think long-term relationship and publicists will too.

If you have publicists that you enjoy working with, make sure they know you want your relationship with them to be more than a one-off post.

4. Keep your commitments

If you have come to an agreement with the publicist, please don't drop the ball. We are depending on you and it makes us look really bad to have to let our client know they can't count on that article after all. Many publicists tell horror stories of working with bloggers who fall off the grid during a project only to re-appear months later wanting to pick up where they left off. Not only is this a great way to lose credibility, it's the perfect way to get blacklisted. Fashion PR is a small niche, and we will warn other firms if we get screwed over.  So please, if you agree to do a sponsored post or collaboration, fulfill the terms of the agreement and let your PR contact asap know if you need support or more time. And when your post goes LIVE don’t forget to tag or link to the the brand. Extra points if you shoot over a thank you email with a link to the coverage. We are more than happy to help promote your great work.

Fashion publicists need and want to cultivate positive relationships with bloggers and influencers that are a good fit for their clients. If you've got big blog goals, your professionalism and integrity are critical. Well that and mastering the Instagram flat lay.

Image via: Zenita

The Reality of Gifting Suites

The Real Deal About Celebrity Gifting Suites

Ever since I began working in fashion and beauty public relations more about 10 years ago, I’ve received hundreds of email requests from media production companies inviting my clients to participate in their gifting suites. In other words, pay a price tag that’s usually in the four digits for the opportunity to present and gift their products (for free) to whomever happens to attend their event. From The MTV Movie Awards to The Emmys, you name the celebrity-clad soiree; I’ve received an email (or 10) about a gifting suite attached to it. I’ve also received hundreds of forwarded emails from my clients who receive the same requests from these media production companies. Most of my clients always ask me, “What do you think?” “Is this type of event worth it?”

Most of the time, my answer is “No.”

That’s not because I don’t think that the powers that be behind these events do a decent job inviting and luring media members/stylists/influencers/talent/etc. to attend their suites and shower them with copious swag bags full of free cosmetics/accessories/clothing/the latest gadgets/trendy snacks/housewares/spa treatments/vacations/etc. Their guest lists are always chock full of top tier names and sought after talent.

Most of the time, my answer is “No” because…

1. The top tier celebs on their guest lists do not end up attending these suites. At best, you might have the assistant to an A or B level celebrity breeze past your table. Nowadays, celebrities get paid to endorse products. Why would they come to a suite and happily take a picture with your item for free when they can get paid to do it instead? If you’re not convinced, visit the websites of these media production companies and check out the photos of the celebs they feature. If they’re a big time celeb, the pic is usually from years ago before paid endorsements were the deal du jour, and gifting suites weren’t a dime a dozen. Most of their current pics are of reality “stars” and actors/actresses who you wouldn’t be able to name on the street unless their publicist whispered it in your ear.

2. The top tier media outlets don’t come either. Sure, you’ll have bloggers and the occasional reporter. But the higher up editors are too busy to attend these types of events. The best way to pitch them is through email. If a large media outlet comes through a suite, the coverage your client will receive will most likely be a very quick mention amongst a lengthy list of other brands showing at the event, too.

3. These events are costly and the odds that the ROI will be worth it for your clients, is very low. Between the price tag for your client to have a table at an event, the cost involved with giving away 50-200 items and the time and manpower involved, these opportunities to get “your products in the hands of today’s top-trendsetters” and “land sought after national press that will take your business to the next level” typically bomb more often than not.

As a transparent, honest and hard-working publicist, I do my best to advise my clients on how, where and when to spend their marketing dollars. The business of celebrity gifting suites is a moneymaking venture. Don’t be fooled. A majority of the brands that actually show at these types of events are small, new and/or unknown brands trying to get a break. The owners of these brands don’t necessarily know any better and get caught up in the all the hype, when in reality, they end up sitting at their table watching the front door for any so-called celeb to walk in.

Photo Credit: Jason Hargrove

BoF's Fashion School, Vogue's Digital Party & a Rent the Runway Competition Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of September 28, 2015

Millennial Marketing, Vogue’s Digital Party & Social at LFW

  • Welcome to the new front row of Fashion Week. Also known as Instagram. (via Guardian)
  • Bloggers are serious hustlers. Here’s an inside look of the labor-intensive side of the job where we don't always see. (via The Atlantic)
  • Business of Fashion is launching educational courses for fashion entrepreneurs to make their fashion business dreams a reality. (via Fast Company)
  • “For advertisers, that means fewer 30-second commercials and more emojis and apps.” What it means to advertise and market in the new age of millennials. (via New York Times)
  • The brands with the highest social media engagement during London Fashion Week. (via Luxury Daily)
  • Vogue know how to throw a party! A digital wrap party that is! (via Digiday)
  • Project Rent the Runway? Not quite but the luxury rental service is launching a competition for aspiring #bossbabes. (via Entrepreneur)  
  • Ralph Lauren steps down from his role as CEO and will be replaced by Old Navy’s previous exec. What’s next for the brand? (via The Cut)  
  • Could it be? Could Twitter finally be banishing the 140 character limit?  (via The Next Web)
  • What growing fashion retailers are doing to differently to boost their ecommerce efforts. (via Marketing Land)

Favorite Fashion Videos

Photo Credit: Noukkasigne


Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, Founder of PR Couture, Fashion Brand Strategist and PR Girl Mentor. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixir sessions or shoot me a note at