WhatRUWearing and PR Couture Join Forces to Launch First Reality Web Series, “PRGirl” [Press Release]

Starring Chicago-based publicist, Alexandra Moresco, the series aims to give viewers an unparalleled peek inside the world of public relations

CHICAGO – AUG. 15, 2017 – WhatRUWearing (WRUW), a digital forum delivering shareable content for style, beauty and lifestyle obsessed 20-somethings, in partnership with PR Couture, the leading sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators, today announced details about “PRGirl,” a brand new original reality web series starring Alexandra Moresco, a 24-year-old entertainment publicist and founder of A Moresco PR. In each entertaining and inspiring episode, Moresco gives viewers a rare opportunity to follow along as a young professional navigates a high pressure, and often misunderstood, PR career.

“The seemingly fabulous world of fashion and entertainment PR remains a popular career interest for creative, ambitious young women and men. Yet, breaking into the industry can be elusive and hard to navigate,” said Farissa Knox, founder of WRUW. “We want to show  the glitz and glam, as well as the grit and grind.

“PRGirl” marks the debut of original video programming for both WhatRUWearing and PR Couture. Providing a balance of career-driven content mixed with real-life personal successes and struggles, episode highlights include Moresco planning her wedding, finishing up her first year of graduate school at DePaul University, and executing one of the largest annual fundraiser galas for the Global Lyme Alliance (Moresco was diagnosed in 2016).

“We are thrilled to support WhatRUWearing’s vision through ‘PRGirl’ and to introduce our community to Alex’s story” said Crosby Noricks, founder and director of PR Couture. Over the last decade, PR Couture has emerged as an invaluable resource for thousands of PR professionals and organizations in the fashion and lifestyle space, many of whom have been loyal to us from college to the C-Suite. Expanding our digital footprint to include video programming is a timely means to ensure we continue to evolve and meet the media preferences of our community.”

Viewers can access a first look at the series, produced by the Autumn Film Company, by visiting the WRUW YouTube channel. The show is set to premiere on October 10 with details about exclusive preview parties and bonus material set to be released over the coming weeks. For more information on the “PRGirl” series, visit www.prgirlseries.com. To become a sponsor, advertiser or partner, email sponsors@prgirlseries.com.

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About PRGirl

PRGirl is a brand new original web series starring Chicago-based Alexandra Moresco, a 24-year-old entertainment publicist and founder of A Moresco PR + Digital Strategy. Created and directed by WhatRUWearing, a digital forum delivering shareable content for the style, beauty and lifestyle obsessed 20 somethings, in partnership with PR Couture, the leading sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators, the show documents Moresco’s world as an in-demand entertainment PR pro while she plans her  wedding, finishes up another semester towards her Master’s Degree at DePaul University and advocates for Lyme Disease (Moresco was diagnosed in 2016).

About WhatRUWearing

WhatRUWearing is a digital forum focused on delivering shareable content to individuals in their 20s and 30s that are style, beauty and lifestyle obsessed. By serving up engaging and entertaining editorial content, news, videos and podcasts, WhatRUWearing, founded in 2013 and headquartered in Chicago, IL, aims to provide its audience with relatable and interactive opportunities for learning and networking through events, TV programming, audio developments and accessibility with leaders in the space.

About PR Couture

PR Couture is the leading sourcebook for fashion and lifestyle communicators. Well-recognized as a top PR blog and brand among leading professionals and publications for over a decade, PR Couture delivers industry news, results-driving strategies, career opportunities, and expert profiles to its loyal audience. Known for its thriving social media community, enrichment courses, workshops and down-to-earth, inclusive point of view, PR Couture helps agencies, brands, and individuals navigate the ever-evolving world of communications, fostering connections, job opportunities and thought leadership across its properties.

For more information or to get involved with the show, please email sponsors@prgirlseries.com

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This is the biggest reason we leave our jobs (and one way to fix it)

communication awards, bias

Like many of you, I have had some great PR jobs, and some really terrible ones. Looking back, the career opportunities that drove me to perform at my best, demonstrate incredible loyalty to a company (like, willing to work for less even, just because I loved it so much) and become an advocate for that company (name-dropping on panels, helping to recruit new talent) all come down to two things: the quality of the leadership and opportunities for recognition.

My experience is consistent with the research. The Aon Hewitt, 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement study found that career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are consistently top engagement drivers. A Gallup poll conducted in 2016 found that it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored. And that experience increases turnover. Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.

Just like the marketing adage that its easier to keep a customer than go out and get a new one, it’s is often much better for business to keep a great employee than to have to scramble to fill an unexpected opening. Constantly hiring replacements is costly and keeps us all from being able to focus and complete the work in front of us. And yet the Aberdeen Group found that only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition.

So let me make it easy on you.

Recognition can happen through small, yet meaningful acts – giving credit where credit is due in a meeting, a Zappos gift card as thanks for a particularly harrowing networking event (I still smile when I think of that one), a hand-written thank you note. But those small acts are also a bit small time;  a bigger means to truly celebrate your team, one with lifetime career value, is through industry awards.

As BCA Judge Dara Elliott put it so eloquently, “We work so hard dreaming up incredible campaigns and bringing them to life. Oftentimes we’re moving so fast, we forget to step back and appreciate not only what we’ve built, but how far we’ve come as an industry!”

46% of senior managers view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense, and we agree. But we also know a good deal when we see one.

I’d love for PR Couture to be a part of how you differentiate yourself from the rest, attract bigger and better opportunities and ensure long-term loyalty from employees and partners.

To celebrate the incredible minds that are part of your organization, consider applying for one of the following awards:

  • Agency of the Year or Startup Agency of the Year
  • Best Digital/Social Team
  • Work/Life/Balance/Culture
  • The Bloom Award – Top Communicator of the Year
  • The Blush Award – Emerging Communicator of the Year

Come check out the BCAs now!

Celebrate PR Couture’s 10-year anniversary (all Year Long)

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.

That's changed.

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.

Celebrating 10 years PR Couture

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.

Love,

 

 

 

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

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How to Make Charitable Partners Part of Your PR Strategy

non profit PR, cause marketing brand partnerships charitable giving

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.

Give generously

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.

 

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Glossier Hacks Social, Racist Beauty Standards & What in the world is Vertical Video

Fashion PR Marketing News

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of August 14, 2017

How Glossier broke into the industry and hacked social media (via Entrepreneur)

Are racist beauty standards exposing women of color to toxic products? (via Quartz)

Sarah Jessica Parker spills about her retail strategies for her new store (via Fashionista)

Is white supremacy present in the beauty and lifestyle images we so often see from companies? (via Kelly Diels)

Messaging apps pose problems for journalists seeking the truth (via ForeignPolicy)

Allure will no longer use the term "anti-aging" and here's why (via Allure)

W Magazine is teaming up with The Mill to create a computer-generated image of Katy Perry for the cover (via Engadget)

CSR manager at The Body Shop, Becky Willan explains what marketers must do for brand purpose to work (via Marketing Week)

Vertical video may be the reason why ads aren't performing as expected  (via Ad Week)

New Look is looking forward to "helping empower a younger generation through fashion" as a new partner of LFW (via Drapers)

 

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Made a Mistake at Work? Here’s how to #Handleit

Mistake PR Job Help

Whether you’re a PR newbie or a long-time supervisor, you’re bound to make a mistake on the job – and that’s okay. In fact, mistakes help you grow and prepare you for all sorts of work situations. The good news?  Chances are slim you’ll make the same mistake twice. While everyone (and I mean everyone!) makes mistakes, few do so gracefully. Whether it’s a small slip up like forgetting to attach a file or as big as miscalculating an event budget, here are six proven ways to bounce back from any PR blunder.

Trouble-shoot a solution (before you bring it up)

You can’t undo a mistake – but you can create a killer solution. After recognizing your screw up, immediately begin brainstorming the solution. That way, when you go to your manager, you’ll already have a viable resolution. It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. Evaluate what you did wrong and fix the habit moving forward. Were you distracted? Handling too many tasks at once? That’s fine – but don’t do it again. While yes, managers appreciate your heads up and problem solving, they’ll expect you to learn from your errors. If you make the same blunder over and over, expect a different post-mistake conversation.

Take responsibility, quickly

If you catch your mistake before your supervisor and are unable to rectify it quickly and quietly, fess up as soon as possible. Being willing to admit there is a problem and enlist support on next steps shows your maturity; taking responsibility proves you’re a trustworthy colleague. Additionally, admitting your mistake puts you one step closer to fixing it – before the client or media find out. Once you’ve fessed up, you and your supervisor can work on a solution together, whether it’s notifying the client, fixing a press release or rescinding information. Being upfront from the get-go will show professionalism and prove the agency made the right choice in hiring you.

Apologize if you need to – but don’t overdo it

If you need to apologize for your blunder, do it simply and quickly. Over apologizing and agonizing for days won’t fix the issue – instead, it will make you look incompetent and as though you care more about what this says about you than in solving the problem and moving past the issue. A quick email to notify your team member or client that you recognize the mistake and are working to fix it ASAP will suffice. Don’t send a lengthy novel of excuses – keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Mistakes happen; good managers recognize that. They’ve undoubtedly been there and will appreciate the apology.

 

Go easy on yourself

You’re certainly not the only one who’s screwed up in the workplace – and I promise, you won’t be the last. We’re all human; mistakes are part of our DNA, and trust me, you (like everyone around you) will be making mistakes for the rest of your life. It’s entirely normal, and the best thing you can do is recover from your mistakes gracefully and learn from them moving forward.

You can’t undo a mistake – but you can create a killer solution.

Innovation requires risks – take them

While we all hate making them, mistakes both small and large – are inevitable. I’m not condoning you go out and mess up every project, but think of it this way: When you’re deathly afraid of slip ups, you’re actually hindering your work and, ultimately, the client. All that fear of messing up could in fact leave you wide open for exactly that to happen, so trust yourself.

In today’s PR landscape, we need fresh thinking and new ideas to help our clients stand out. And innovation requires courage. It takes knowing you may fail and you may mess up – but you may be wildly successful. Calculated risks are integral to public relations, and as long as you raise those red flags early – and craft quick solutions – you’ll be an innovative, invaluable asset to your team.

BCA Profiles: J Public Relations, Agency of the Year Award

J Public Relations is an international powerhouse PR and social media agency specializing in hospitality, travel and luxury lifestyle with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego and London. Established in 2005, the agency is the country’s fastest growing, bi-coastal agency in the travel and hospitality spaces. Its global roster includes more than 100 hotels in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Dubai, Europe, Asia and more. JPR steadily garners and retains stalwart accounts including Relais & Châteaux, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Vail Resorts Hospitality, Grace Hotels, InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, Newport Beach & Company, Four Seasons Lanai and 17 Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts.

A philanthropic focus, internal trend reports, in-house social media division, complimentary hotel nights, a designer handbag after 5 years and an annual account team budget to “wow” clients and the media, are just some of the ways JPR stands apart and attracts top talent.

In 2016, the agency, helmed by Jamie Lynn Sigler and business partner Sarah Evans, topped revenue of $7.7 million, continuing the JPR’s trend of impressive double-digit annual growth since its inception.

How does it feel to win agency of the year? How are you going to celebrate with your team?

We’re tremendously proud to be named the 2017 Bespoke Communication Awards Agency of the Year.  We genuinely love what we do and the clients we represent.  It’s a celebration to see our hard work, dedication to our client partners and results rewarded.

In your eyes, what sets J Public Relations apart from other agencies?

One word: culture.  We’ve created a culture-first brand where our team members, clients and media friends are part of the conversation.  We never stop learning and we lead with a spirit of curiosity.

How does your team plan to tackle the rest of 2017?

In the second half of 2017, you can expect to see JPR continue to push the boundaries of social with our content creation and strategy for luxury travel clients.  Internationally, our London office continues to grow with European clients and global brands that want to reach the UK market.

What is your team most excited about right now in terms of industry trends, campaigns you are working on, etc.?

We’re most excited about the blending of PR and social strategy.  Today, they come together to create one fluid campaign.  We’re seeing the PR and social spaces advance at breathtaking speed, opening new doors for direct conversions and revenue.  Our goal is to build brands and build businesses and we’ve never had more opportunity than we do today.

Do you have any new or exciting changes happening at J Public Relations?

Every day here feels new and exciting.  Whether we’re onboarding a new client partner, promoting a team member or building out an office or division, we thrive in an environment of momentum and movement.

How will PR evolve in 2018?

You’ll see PR agencies continue to go beyond traditional PR and add or amplify their social and digital teams and services.

We’re seeing the PR and social spaces advance at breathtaking speed, opening new doors for direct conversions and revenue.

Anything else you’d like us to know?

This is an incredibly exciting time to be in PR.  Every day brings new opportunities and challenges.   We have big plans for 2017 and beyond.


We’re in planning mode for the 2018 BCAs! Want to get in involved as a sponsor, judge or volunteer? Email info@thebespokeawards.com

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The Evolution of Fashion PR, Researching Influencers & Google’s PR Crisis

Fashion PR Marketing News

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

…for the week of August 7, 2017

JBC’s Melissa Duren Conner talks future plans and the changing role of fashion PR (via Glossy)

Instagram is adding a fun new feature to Live Video! Click here to find out more (via Instagram Press)

The FTC, influencer, disclosure thing continues to unfold around sponsored content (via The Fashion Law)

Social media audiences dictate the way many fashion and beauty businesses run (via WWD)

Cornell researcher Brooke Erin Duffy goes in depth on how not just anyone can make it as a social media “influencer” (via Quartz)

Facebook’s new video tab could siphon away video users from TV networks, Youtube, Snapchat and other social media channels (via Ad Week)

Looking to become a digital marketing leader? Here’s four tips on how you can gain massive visibility for your brand and more (via Social Media Today)

Google faces a PR crisis over sexism and diversity as well as allegations from the U.S. government (via CNN)

Livestreaming may be the key to brand marketing and building authenticity (via Marketing Week)

Avoid writing content that will never be read by anyone with these 5 helpful tips (via Entrepreneur)

 

5 Takeaways on What it takes to run a successful PR Firm

Written by Stephanie Scott, CEO and Communicator-in- Chief of First and Last PR

Whenever I’ve seen a PR character on television or in a movie, she or he is always snooty, carrying a clipboard or bossing someone around to get ahead. That’s not my PR reality. What I’ve learned is that to achieve great success in public relations, you must be your best authentic self and operate as a strong team. At times, you’ll be a leader and at others, you’ll understand that to be a great leader requires following.

Humility Helps

I was recently producing a three-day event and wanted to order breakfast for the models and glam team but the kitchen wasn’t open yet (we had a super early call time!). The client had a later start time and I was the only one there representing the brand. Rather than waiting for an assistant or someone else to show up, I took the orders and picked them up – all 8 hot coffees, mochas, lattes, dirty chais, low-fat turkey bacon and double bacon sandwiches – myself and tethered across the street and down the block to
get them. You might think it’s weird for the owner of an award-winning PR firm to “fetch coffee” but I don’t.

The bigger story is that we had a production schedule to keep and breakfast would be nice for the team and allow us to keep focus, so I picked it all up and somehow managed to carry two trays and a tote bag full of hot breakfast sandwiches and waters back for the team without spilling a thing (I waited tables for a stint in college so perhaps that helped). The bigger picture was about keeping the team going, so of course I wasn’t “too good” to get coffee. I have my own agency and am proud of everything I do –
especially getting coffee if it keeps the team happy and on time. No one is too good to pick up a box or carry a bag. I like to think of it as professional chivalry. Just do the right thing and treat everyone with respect.

Relationships Matter (Event More than You Think)

Over the years, I’ve been able to forge so many strong industry relationships and I’ve discovered who I like working with – it’s the same for everyone else. I started out working in fashion and then switched to become a beauty editor before working in public relations.

I have my own agency and am proud of everything I do – especially getting coffee if it keeps the team happy and on time.

As a beauty editor, I got to interview so many talented people working in our industry from celebrity hairstylists and makeup artists to photographers, perfumists, dermatologists and stylists. Now, I rely on my personal Rolodex of contacts for collaborations and when I’m hiring experts to work with on campaigns. When I call someone for work, my calls are immediately answered. I’ve developed great relationships with many of these individuals – most of whom I consider to be friends – and it is because of this that my clients value what my firm brings to the table. Experts are also happy to work with us because of the trust that we’ve developed with them over time and the experience of being a true partner.

Get Involved and Give Back

Compared to global firms with hundreds or thousands of employees, my firm small in terms of numbers, but we have a huge impact when it comes to securing press and getting results for our clients One way that I learned to stay engaged with the public relations community at large is to be actively involved in communications organizations like reading the PR Couture weekly newsletter and blog, joining the board of New York Women in Communications and being an active member in industry organizations such as Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). At First and Last, we started our own non-profit, First and Last PR Foundation. Being a member of professional organizations is a great way to interact with others in our industry, stay abreast of current events and develop a network of people that you can rely on for professional advice or just to laugh with at the end of a campaign. Of course you get what you put in. Don’t just pay dues to be a member. Find a committee that you want to be on to learn more about something that you don’t have as much experience in or to lead on something that you are an expert in and give back to that organization.

Treat Everyone Like a VIP

There’s something gratifying about the smile of appreciation received from a random act of kindness – either when you hold the door open for them or treat an employee to lunch
just because. Over the years, I’ve been able to develop such solid industry relationships not because I’m on the scene all of the time and meet a lot of people (I’m so not) but because I value and treat people well as a true part of my nature. I try to do the right thing for and by people all of the time. We work in a really competitive industry and editors, bloggers and clients can choose to work with anyone so why do they choose us? I think part of it comes from the exceptional customer service that we provide and because I’ve learned to underpromise and overdeliver. I try to give people more than what they are expecting even if it’s the little things because it shows them how much I care about them and not just the outcome for a client. In my experience, this leads to better results in the end, and happier people to work with.

Deliver On Value Promised

When I first started working in communications, I was a beauty editor – not a publicist. I later transitioned to become global director of marketing and communications for a luxury skincare company helping to launch the brand across the US and around the world including Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, and Dubai. When we approach a launch, we come to it with a 360 view combining editorial, social media, marketing, sales and the end consumer retail experience. This is what our clients and partners have come to appreciate about working with us because we’re able to see beyond one great story and add to the total
vision for their business now and beyond today.

So many people want to work in our industry and we’re lucky to be able to. I’ve learned that longevity in our industry requires that we get involved in as many things as possible to help with personal and professional growth and always give your best. When you look back, you’ll be pleased with your hard work and have a lot more respect for what you produce because you’ve earned it.

About Stephanie Scott

Former beauty editor turned communications pro, Stephanie Scott is CEO and Communicator-in-Chief of First and Last PR, a firm that provides services to leading luxury and consumer product good companies, mid-sized beauty firms and the next generation of innovative beauty brands. First and Last PR is currently celebrating their 5-year anniversary.

 

BCA Profiles: Droese PR, Best Launch/Relaunch Campaign Award

Droese PR Dallas BCA Awards

Founded by Suzanne Droese and colleagues in 2007, the Dallas-based publicity powerhouse known as Droese PR has grown to offer comprehensive public relations, consulting and strategic planning for a variety of luxury lifestyle clients.

The Bespoke Communication Awards recognized Droese for their work on the multi-brand store Forty Five Ten. Company owners sought to gain national relevance, while staying true to their Texas roots and promoting the launch of a new flagship store in downtown Dallas. DPR’s program involved an inventive A-list event and media outreach that garnered increased national press coverage, including features in key luxury and fashion media outlets including: Business of Fashion, W, Wallpaper, InStyle, Elle, MR, GQ, Town & Country, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue and WWD. The store launch involved a three-day series of grand opening events, which brought in customers, designers, press, and the community. While the store had existing strong relationships with numerous designers, many had never visited the Dallas area. Guests included Anne Hathaway, Viktor & Rolf, Kelly Wearstler, Eddie Borgo, Cindy Crawford and Hamish Bowles, to to name a few. Additionally, DPR developed and introduced a Forty Five Ten-branded book, The Eccentrics, in partnership with Assouline, to launch the new store as well as to publicly align the brand with some of its notable relationships. The book sold well in Dallas and nationally creating further and ongoing interest in the brand.

We caught up with Suzanne herself to learn more about DPR’s approach and future plans.

How does it feel to win Launch/Relaunch Campaign? How is your team going to celebrate?

It was so exciting to win the award for a campaign we worked so hard on, over the course of the year.  We put everything we had into making the relaunch really special and successful.  We celebrated our award the same way we celebrate all milestone moments at Droese Public Relations – with champagne, of course.

What is your team most excited about right now?

Public Relation strategies have changed in the past few years. Our goals have changed. We have to look at client’s objectives through a different lens; public relations requires a 360 degree approach from all angles – print, digital, influencer relationships and interactive consumer facing experiences. Retail is a different, more challenging game and we have to tackle our goals accordingly.

Our team is excited about the ever-changing consumer facing experiences and how we motivate people to shop. Consumers are spending their money differently. We look to develop active campaigns that grab the attention of consumers, and provide a enjoyable, creative experience.  It’s all about the experience.

How do you ensure proper planning and preparation before, during and after a launch/relaunch? What stage do you feel is the most challenging?

Our office motto is “one team, one goal.” We all expect perfection in every step of the process when it comes to events and activations. We plan for the unexpected and I have taught my team to think on their toes. An event checklist becomes our best friend!  We try to earmark goals starting 8-12 months out. Then we move down to the day, then hours, before the event.  On the day-of an event, it’s minute by minute. Attention to detail makes an event go off with a hitch!

Retail is a different, more challenging game and we have to tackle our goals accordingly.

I find the situations that are unexpected can be challenging, but always provide a learning experience alongside the issue. Teaching the team to trust their gut matters.

What are three tips that you’d give to PR pros to help them be as prepared as possible for their next launch?

Details, details, details and creativity. There are no bad ideas! Think outside the box. Challenge yourselves to expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Pay your vendors and treat them with respect. Relationships can make or break you!

If we looked inside your purse/work bag right now, what PR survival must-haves would we find?

My laptop and my phone – and chargers for both of them – are always a must, along with lip gloss.  For event days,  it’s a full-blown event kit (scissors, tape, clipboard, pens), and a beauty kit with breath mints,  hair spray and just about anything else imaginable!

What is your team focusing on most during the rest of 2017?

We are focused on ending the year strong. Holiday gift guide has become a huge revenue driver for our clients. We start pitching holiday in July and we don’t stop until December 23rd.

What is a trend you’re following?

I hope we will continue to see the uptick of the #GirlPower movement.  It’s so nice to see women supporting and cheering on each other.  Experiential marketing and the use of micro-influencers will continue to grow. And, I think overall, we will continue to see clients and consumers expect transparency – they are too smart not to want to know the inner workings and details.  While some agencies and practitioners might feel threatened by this, we shouldn’t.  We should take it as opportunity to educate them on what we do.  PR, if done right, is never as easy as it looks!


We’re in planning mode for the 2018 BCAs! Want to get in involved as a sponsor, judge or volunteer? Email info@thebespokeawards.com

Amp up your presentation skills with these 4 tips

Presentation Tips for PR and Marketing Professionals
Marketing and PR professionals are used to the ongoing networking and relationship-building that helps to drive word-of-mouth recommendations, but the process of actually presenting in front of a live audience is a completely different game – one that requires not only an effective presentation from a visual standpoint, but an energetic, informed delivery.

Don’t skip over introductions

While you might be ready to simply dive into the actual presentation (after the inevitable late nights and multiple rounds of review who could blame you!), but introductions are an important way to engage your audience. Take time to introduce each team member and allow them to explain a bit about their focus. Include a personal anecdote or fun tidbit that relates to your clients business, and then invite your audience to do the same.
Remember its not just about demonstrating your expertise, but demonstrating you are the right partner. Opportunities to add a bit of personality to your presentation not only engages, or hooks, your audience, but actually prices them to be more invested in what you have to say.

Begin with an attention-grabber

Because you have done your research and have garnered clear objectives from your prospective client, you know the problem or opportunity at hand. Build a story around this knowledge, pulling in examples from previous successful programs and making it known how deeply you understand the business challenge at hand, before jumping into why your firm should be hired.

Stay focused on the central message of the presentation

Tangential conversations can crop up when a nervous presenter veers off-topic, or when someone on the prospective client team asks a question that then refocuses away the conversation at hand into uncharted (and unplanned for) territory. Connect with your team beforehand and make sure everyone is clear on the intended outcomes of the pitch, and name someone the point person to reel everyone back in. Remember it’s totally fine to say something like “I am really enjoying this conversation, but in the interests of everyone’s time, I’d like us to table that for later and dive into a few of our campaign ideas.”

Practice before you pitch

When the script and slides are ready, deliver the whole presentation in front of someone else, or video tape yourself explaining your part of the pitch. Video is a great (if painful) way to make sure you aren’t fidgeting, swaying, speaking too quickly, mumbling, etc.
With practice, you can learn to deliver new business presentation with confidence.  For a great resource to circulate with your team, consider sharing this infographic from WalkerStone about how to keep audience engaged during a presentation and communicate your message efficiently.

PR Week’s 40 Under 40, CollegeFashionista Expands & Grants for Entrepreneurs

Fashion PR Marketing News

 Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

...for the week of August 1, 2017

WWD suggests there are now two main types of bloggers - those that drive sales and those that build brands, "but rarely both." What do you think about the distinction? (via WWD)

PR Blog Behind the Spin shuts down and announces plans to launch the PR Place (via Behind the Spin)

A helpful roundup of grants for artists and entrepreneurs (via Insight Personal Finance)

PR Week announces the 2017 40 under 40 - see who made the list (via PR Week)

CollegeFashionista announces plans to help college students launch careers across fashion-related industries (via CollegeFashionista)

A few simple ways to boost your energy level, from a fellow formerly super stressed out fashion PR pro (via HuffPo)

The Under Amour brand is losing steam with US customers (via Business Insider)

 

We all know it can't be great, but the impact of smartphones could be downright terrible (via the Atlantic)

NBC launches a new initiative to hire and train female directors (via Deadline)

Looking for a job? In addition to our haute and heavy job board, check out these 13 companies on a hiring spree (via the Muse)

 

BCA Profiles: Reformation, Digital/Social Team of the Year Award

Founded by Amanda Haines in 2012, Reformation crafts powerful digital public relations strategies for modern lifestyle brands across Canada and the United States, seamlessly integrating media + influencer relations, content creation, social community management, and digital marketing to tell stories with purpose. Their focus on developing “irresistible brand stories and influencing with integrity,” a skill and value-set that resonated big time with our BCA judges.

The Digital/Social Team of the Year award recognizes communication agencies and in-house communication teams that have successfully honed in on the true art of building strong consumer relationships in the digital space.

How does it feel to win Digital/Social Team of the Year? How is your team going to celebrate?

Totally exhilarating! This is the first time in the five-year history of our agency that we’ve applied for an awards program – so to win on our very first outing, we feel so lucky.  It’s incredibly exciting and gratifying to have our work recognized by our peers. We celebrated our win with happy hour drinks, and with our annual Reformation Retreat in the Okanagan Valley (our local wine country!), including a gorgeous lakefront cottage, a wine tour, a zipline adventure, and plenty of fun – think Cards Against Humanity, pool time, and watching The Bachelorette.

What’s a digital client win you can share that illustrates your team’s approach?

A local, grassroots fashion brand with only one collection under its belt, Smash + Tess launched its Fall/Winter 2016 collection in October 2016. The ultimate goal was to get pieces from the collection in the right hands – we were confident that once targeted digital influencers saw the pieces, felt the fabrics, and tried them on, they would be hooked – and share it with their followers. We knocked it out of the park when we delivered Smash + Tess’ signature Fall/Winter 2016 piece, the Sunday Romper, to Canadian blogger, HGTV Canada star, and former Bachelorette, Jillian Harris. Jillian posted multiple times on Snapchat and Instagram Stories, which we in turn reposted on Instagram @smashtess and other channels. She then included the item in her holiday gift guide on JillianHarris.com. Web traffic spiked in alignment with both initiatives and the piece sold out. It was then released in a second color, which sold out twice. The company then released the Sunday Romper in a new, third color, called Jillian Grey. The result of the ongoing promotion was a 106.5% increase in Smash + Tess’ Instagram following, and the 634 sales from late October through December 2016.

What is your team most excited about right now?

Everything is evolving at lightning speed in our industry. At the moment, we’re really focused on visual content creation. The images we create for our clients are better than ever and we’re looking to add video to our service offering – we can’t wait to see where that takes us. We’re also looking at how we can expand our work with influencers and hope to unveil some new service offerings at Reformation later this year.

We celebrated our win with happy hour drinks, and with our annual Reformation Retreat in the Okanagan Valley (our local wine country!), including a gorgeous lakefront cottage, a wine tour, a zipline adventure, and plenty of fun – think Cards Against Humanity, pool time, and watching The Bachelorette.

How do you make sure digital/social team drives and helps amplify PR efforts?

Content is king.  At Reformation, we are always exploring how we can make written content go farther. For example, if we write a press release, can we rework it into a blog post? An email blast? Can we pull out content for social posts? Do we have solid, on-brand, multi-purpose imagery? We work all the angles, and we don’t split our team into either ‘PR’ or ‘digital’ specialists. Today’s PR landscape IS digital. Our account leads manage both sides of the spectrum, which is where the magic of integration happens. They work hard to tell a story using as many media as they can, to amplify their clients’ messages to the right audiences. That’s what Reformation is all about.

What is your team focusing on most during the rest of 2017?

Goal-setting, both professionally and personally. Our team identified it as an area that they’d like to focus on last summer, so this year we’ve done a workshop with a business coach, and we’re using monthly goal-setting planners to set our sights on big things. We recently set our business goals for 2018 at our annual Reformation Retreat, so now the big task is to ensure we stay focused on those goals and carry them over the finish line.

If we looked inside your purse/work bag right now, what PR survival must-haves would we find?

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer to cover those under-eye circles from late nights at events and early mornings on-camera, mints for those post-coffee meetings, iPhone 7+ for taking incredible images (it even has a portrait lens!), Powersheets Make It Happen Goal Planner, and wedding magazines (for when I need to escape from the craziness, if only for a minute!).

What’s next for Reformation?

Our team is growing! We currently have a team of seven and we’re interviewing to fill 2-3 more positions before the year is though. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would have a team of 10 at Reformation, but we’re almost there. It’s completely crazy – in a good way.


We’re in planning mode for the 2018 BCAs! Want to get in involved as a sponsor, judge or volunteer? Email info@thebespokeawards.com