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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.

 

The Friday 15 with Liz Anthony, Mariposa Communications

At the end of each month we invite a member of our PR Couture Council to curate a selection of industry news, tools and other fun stuff capturing their interest at the current moment. Enjoy!

Name: Liz anthony

Title: President & Founder

Agency: Mariposa communications

Location: New York, NY

Find us online: @mariposacomm

5 Things About Mariposa Communications

  1. About us: Liz got her start in the corporate public relations department at Coach, where she oversaw regional press and events. In time, Liz segued into the fast-paced agency world, moving to a boutique firm specializing in fashion accessories working with rapidly growing lifestyle brands like Rebecca Minkoff. In early 2009, she founded her boutique PR firm, Mariposa Communications, to provide custom services to a selection of talented fashion accessory designers, whether already established or on the rise. Liz currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two daughters and their dog Mackie.

2. Get to know a few of our clients: Mariposa’s focus for nearly a decade has been on a select handful of primarily female founded, ethically operated, sustainably sourced, independent fashion accessory brands with charitable components. Our clients include: Cerimani, Galpon.co, Rosena Sammi Jewelry, The 9th Muse & Tribe + Glory.

Agency Superpower: Mariposa Communications is a truly boutique fashion public relations and marketing agency located in Soho. Since 2009, we have strategically grown our business by providing exceptional services to a distinctive set of fashion accessory brands with an approach we truly believe in. Our superpowers include: multitasking, making great things happen, making the lives of media and our clients’ easier and bringing personalization and positivity into everything we do.

Recent Agency Win: Competing and winning business against bigger PR firms.

Currently Looking for: We’re always looking for new clients and trusted partners to collaborate with on projects with the view to form long-lasting, mutually-beneficial working relationships.

5 things about Liz

Q: Rise and shine: what are the first three things you do after waking up in the morning?

  1. Drink water!
  2. Give my family big hugs and let my dog out
  3. Check my phone to review my schedule for the day and star any new emails or to dos that just came in.

Q: Sip and savor: what's your go-to drink to fuel your busy day?

Most days are fueled by green tea and lots of water to stay hydrated but our office space offers nitro cold brew on tap – which often acts as my post lunch pick-me-up!

Q: #Obsessed: What's something you recently discovered that you can’t live without?

Wunderlist – I’ve been using it for a couple of years now for both home & work lists!

Q: Fill in the blank: You know you work in PR when...

You have a penchant for friendly follow ups in everything you do!

Q: My Two Cents: What piece of advice do you love to share?

Treat every interview, internship, volunteer position as a way to position your future, make a mark and start forming meaningful relationships. Even if you find out that it’s not the right fit for you, make the most of it and treat it with the utmost professionalism. The industry is small and your reputation is a competitive asset.

What are 5 things on your radar?

  1. Amy O’Dell’s piece in BOF on the future of media “Rebooting Magazines” – revolutionizing as opposed to redesigning

2. 7 Traits of Successful Female Leaders on LinkedIn

3.@Diet Prada feed on Instagram for a calorie free guilty pleasure.

4. The New York Time’s coverage of the Royal Wedding – “Royal Wedding Time” from May 23.

5. The juggle is real being an entrepreneurial mother, it truly takes a village. This Youtube video capturing the job description of a mother made me both laugh and cry.

Thanks Liz!

PR Agency News- Updates from Magnolia PR, Robin Diamond PR, Allyson Conklin & CARO Marketing

Allyson Conklin PR announces Caitlin Topham has been promoted to Junior Publicist. She joined ACPR as a public relations assistant in September 2017 and hails from Austin, Texas.

Additional agency updates

Magnolia Public Relations is now representing four new brands in the children’s fashion category, including Sapling Child, an organic babywear brand who recently announced their capsule collection with Kristin Cavallari; Kinderkind Kids, an imaginative toddler fashion label; Minnow + Mars, an e-commerce website featuring on-trend & licensed merchandise for babies & kids; and Roco Clothing, an established U.K. children’s formalwear collection.

RED PR is now the agency of record for Love Sun Body — a new reef-safe, natural mineral sunscreen to launch June 1. Delilah Owens was promoted from Senior Account Executive to Account Manager. She has been with RED PR for 2 years.

Robin Diamond Public Relations announces the representation of [solidcore] Austin, the 33rd studio for the DC-based fitness brand, which is a redefined hybrid of the Pilates and bootcamp-style fitness concepts.

AKR Public Relations is now representing La Fleur Bouquets; Eternal Roses are real roses that last a year without water

CARO marketing announces representation of Lumillamingus. This year the brand launched a 6 piece exclusive collection for Goop  and the LMxCatt collaboration in order to raise funds for the Women like us foundation, as well as designer Rayane Basha’s eponymous Atelier de Couture.

Fever Pitch Marketing Communications is pleased to announce that they will now represent the Quebec Original brand to media in the Canadian market. 

Beach House will begin using only 100% recycled, eco-friendly mailers and boxes devoid of excess fluff for product sends.

 

Do you have agency or industry news to share?
We are happy to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!

Contact us at hello@prcouture.com

How to Navigate a Trade Show as a Publicist

Trade shows, fashion shows and media presentations were once the only way to preview a brand’s upcoming collection. And while these debuts have become increasingly consumer-friendly, the industry trade show continues to bring together multiple brands under one roof, all eager to connect with buyers and investors interested in learning more and hopefully, placing an order.

Traditionally, attending a trade show as a PR professional was a frustrating experience; with so much focus on sales, conversations about potential representation and media strategy often felt forced and unwelcome. However, trade shows these days have evolved alongside the digital media revolution, and now with social media integration, special industry events, expert panels and influencer/blogger attendees, it’s opened up the tradeshow floor to be more than just about sales reps and buyers discovering brands.

That said, the most important thing to recognize is that the priority of show for exhibitors is sales, and to be respectful of that primary goal. There are still opportunities to network, grow and maintain relationships and gather information, in fact, fashion and apparel trade shows can be most insightful for market research, trend-seeking and the like.

Though trade shows aren’t traditionally PR friendly, there is potentially lots of upside in visiting to gather industry information, maintain relationships and make new ones all in one place.

Before you step onto the trade show floor, make sure to do the following:

1. Pre-register

Coordinate with your client to make sure that all parties attending the show are registered and approved in the show’s system. Your attention to detail as a publicist is crucial for your client whom you’re visiting or walking with – do not assume that they’ve taken this step for you.

2. Schedule your time most efficiently

Most exhibitors are busy with appointments with buyers as well as foot traffic during the show. As a PR representative be sure to reach out to a brand you plan on visiting either formally via email to give them some further context and gage interest or on social media for a more casual “pop-by to say hi” encounter if they’re busy with sales meetings. Many brands are still looking to network as well in addition to getting feedback and buzz built around their booth.

3. Map out the venue

Be prepared for your visit and pack your go-to marketing materials!

In addition to exhibitor booths and special sections make sure to locate important things like bathrooms, food vendors, bag check, shuttle/cab areas so that you can maximize your visit and be as helpful as possible to clients. Check out the schedule for special events and show enhancements in order to gain the most out of your visit.  Trade shows now have interactive booths, “shop the floor” activations and industry panels that you can participate in as well.

Having walked several fashion trade shows over the last decade I would have to say that above all – eat well, wear comfortable shoes (and wear your Fitbit to track your MANY steps!) and keep your eyes and ears open. Stay on track and on schedule but also try to take in as much as possible from the experience.

6 Lessons Learned from 6 Years Running My PR Company

Somehow six years have blown past and my company, Allyson Conklin PR, is nearly halfway through our seventh year in business!

Some years felt like they were moving at warp speed, while others dragged on until the bitter end (not naming names…2017). But every year there was one thing that stayed constant: I get to do what I love while working with the most extraordinary people and brands. So with that said, I thought I’d get a little personal and share the six things that I learned during our sixth year in business (is this considered inception?). Buckle up folks, it’s about to get real up in here!

1. Bigger does not always mean better

2017 was an incredible year of growth for ACPR. It was our best year yet revenue-wise, thanks to our existing base of loyal clients, along with the new faces that joined our party. This meant that I had to beef up my staff. And boy was it exhilarating. And stressful. And exhausting. But as I crossed that bridge and found myself in new territory with two full time employees, I learned that bigger does not always mean better. A bigger agency doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better service. A bigger budget doesn’t always mean that you’re getting better results. A bigger team doesn’t mean that you’re better off in general. It’s perfectly fine to be small, and knowing where I’ve been, where I’m going and where I am right this very second, I’m ok with exactly where we are, size-wise.

2. Things change…and relationships do, too

If you would have asked me at the start of 2017 if I would foresee things changing drastically both internally and externally within the year, my answer would be ‘no.’ But they did. I said goodbye to a longtime employee who I miss dearly. I parted ways with longterm clients that left me in shock. And with each change I had to grapple with the fallout, and even sadder, the lost relationships. Yes, all of these changes were necessary and good, but lord almighty they were painful at times. What I learned is that the only thing we *can* expect is change. Things just can’t stay the same, as change is inevitable. And if we fight it, it’s just going to hurt more. In our seventh year, I’m all about the ebbs and flows, and appreciating every moment and relationship for exactly what it is.

3. Good things take time (and sometimes a lot of it)

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call me Allyson Instant Gratification Conklin. But what can I say, I’m a product of today’s world. If I want something, I want it now. But that’s not how the business world works. In retrospect after our sixth year, maybe it’s not a bad thing? There’s a reason that they say patience is a virtue, and a reason that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. This last year I learned that if you force things, they likely won’t be sustainable. If you rush to make a decision, it likely isn’t the right choice. If you choose the easy route, chances are it’ll make your life harder. And ain’t nobody got time for that. As frustrating as it is to wait, I’ve learned that if it’s good, it’s worth waiting for.

A bigger agency doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better service. A bigger budget doesn’t always mean that you’re getting better results. A bigger team doesn’t mean that you’re better off in general.

4. A new office space changes everything

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVED my home office space (no surprise here since one of my core values is ‘home’). But there came a time when it became critical that I separated my business and personal life by finding an office outside of the home. Quite honestly, I was tired of feeling like I had people in my personal space 24/7, that I couldn’t spend a sick day on the couch or knock off early without feeling weird that I was leaving someone to continue working downstairs. Plus rushing to vacuum up all the dog hair on the hardwoods first thing every morning was getting a little out of control. To me, finding an office space was so much more than a financial decision. But I’m happy that we made it, because it changed everything. Yes, there are benefits (a new space to decorate!) and drawbacks (I have to reserve a conference room for sensitive calls), but the biggest benefit I see is that it alleviated some of my imposter syndrome. It’s weird how that works, right?! And I’m happy to report that it’s not just me who’s thriving in our new space, everyone is. 

5. Time off is a good thing

I never really quite understood the term “time off,” especially as an entrepreneur. Over the last six years I’ve never been away more than five days. And I’ve always chosen to take my computer with me, no matter if my trip was business or personal. It felt scary to leave the business for more than a long lunch. To step away and trust that everything was going to continue moving forward and still be there, and successful, when I got back. But I’ve learned that importance of taking time off. Resting and recharging is key, and unfortunately I didn’t do it well in our sixth year. And this resulted in me getting sick more than normal, waking up in a panic some nights, finding myself becoming burned out a little more easily than usual, and feeling more anxious about the business as a whole. So I’m making it a goal this year to take at least a day off a month (and really take the day), plus go on a long vacation without my computer.

6. Staying true to yourself is the only way

Blame it on getting older and hopefully a touch wiser, but why waste one moment being someone you’re not? Admittedly, as a people pleaser that places way too much emphasis on being liked, I wasn’t always true to myself in our sixth year. And in those situations, I didn’t feel good about myself and whatever I did often came back to bite me. In my sixth year, I got to know myself better than I ever have before. I took *all* the personality tests. I worked with a business coach. I read self-help and business books. And slowly, but surely, I got to see myself for who I really am. Simultaneously, I began to understand the importance of showing that version, my true self, to the world. I’m stubborn but I’m fair, sensitive but resilient, pragmatic but loyal, and strong but kind (the list goes on and on, like the Sara Bareilles song). I’m not gonna lie, but I sort of like this version of me (maybe that’s why I decided on ’emergence’ for my 2018 “word”). I’m confident that this version is the one that will help me continue to drive ACPR along on a path of success for the next six years.

Before I leave you, here’s a final bonus lesson: The Universe has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need. Not what you want. There’s a difference. Just be open to it. That’s all I have to say about this. #believe

A version of this article originally appeared on AllysonConklinpr.com

10 Pitch Angles and Social Media Content Ideas for May

Ah May, the month of memes (or so it seems!). While it might feel likely simply the last month before summer hits, the fifth month of the year is actually full of great lifestyle story opportunities for digital pubs, not to mention agency and client social feeds. Read on!

(never gets old)

1. Last-minute gift ideas for graduates: They really do grow up so fast. Luckily for you, that means many family members and friends are scrambling to grab gifts for their graduates just weeks or days before their commencement ceremonies. Focus on lifestyle and business clients that have a quick-ship or online gift certificate option for a better chance of being featured.

2. Mother’s Day: Now’s the time to pitch all last-minute gifts for mothers of humans, pets and mammas to be. Show some love to the mom-bosses in your office as well as clients with a dedicated social post thanking them for all of their hard work.

3. Vegan Month – This holiday offers the perfect opportunity for animal-friendly fashion and beauty brands to shine. You can use a cruelty-free angle when pitching for Mother’s Day gift guides, or have your client write an opinion piece about why being cruelty-free is crucial to their brand ethos.

4. Wine about it – You don’t have to be a level 3 sommelier to get a client feature for National Wine Day (May 25). Try pitching places to go, food pairings and clothing items to seamlessly transition from the office to happy hour to celebrate. Heck, host an office wine tasting or happy hour for social content and good wine vibes all around.

5. Cinco de Mayo – now is a great time to pitch partywear brands and any clients with roots in the Chicanx community.

6. May “Gray” – Beauty, fashion or something in-between- pitching a gray color story ties in perfectly with the “May Gray” theme and offers a welcome break from overdone spring pastels.

7. Summer Blockbusters – Take advantage of the busy movie season and pitch looks that are inspired by upcoming movies.

8. May flowers – For all the love and attention floral prints and pastels garner around springtime, there’s a lot to be said about clean beauty products featuring floral ingredients like lavender and chamomile.

9. Fair Trade Day – Falling on May 13 aka Mother’s Day and many a graduation day, this is a prime tie-in for of course, fair trade brands including coffee, candles, skin care and apparel, but those following any type of better guidelines can use this day as inspiration for related story ideas.

10. Mental Health Awareness Month – with frank conversations about mental health already trending (see: Ban.do anxiety necklaces) the entire month of May opens up opportunities to discuss and pitch self-care, clients/employees willing to get real about their mental health struggles, and various work-life-balance-inspired pieces.

Of course, we close out the month in the US with Memorial Day and hopefully a nice 3-day weekend to bask in multiple placements. Good luck and happy pitching!

PS: Need help nailing down a pitch? Let us help you whip that pitch into shape!

4 Tips from a PR Grad Who Landed Her Dream Job in a Brand New City

Breaking into the public relations industry and getting your first job can be daunting. This time last year I was preparing to graduate college and begin the search for my first industry job, so I know this firsthand.

I attended the University of Mississippi where I studied Integrated Marketing Communications. I knew I wanted to work in PR because I admired how PR pros used strategic communications to help individuals and brands reach their goals. I moved to Nashville after graduation and I began reaching out to PR firms. I was instantly drawn to Pierce Public Relations after reading the founder’s inspirational story about how she moved to Nashville and started her own business.

Here are the lessons and advice from my experience that you can apply to your public relations job search to land a great position.

1.Proactively Find Companies You’d Like to Work For

When I moved to Nashville I had no professional connections and had to start building relationships from scratch. I did a lot of research on different companies and their leadership. I also subscribed to local business journals and read tons of articles written by public relations professionals on websites like The Muse and Ragan.

One day, I came across an article written by Julia Bonner, the president of Pierce Public Relations, about how she had launched and grown her firm. I was inspired by her hard work and emailed her directly to share how her story resonated with me. I also explained how my experience as a marketing intern and writer would be a good fit for her firm. We met a few weeks later and she told me how she was impressed by the way I had written her and the research I had done on her company. I was hired as an account coordinator shortly thereafter. Taking the time to read up on potential companies and reach out to those that could be a fit is definitely worth your time.

Taking the time to read up on potential companies and reach out to those that could be a fit is definitely worth your time.

2. Stay up-to-date on industry news

Even if you don’t have direct job experience in the PR industry you can still know a ton. In order to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in the PR world, I subscribed to industry newsletters, followed PR professionals on social media, listened to podcasts like Inside PR  and read PR blogs like Spin Sucks. It’s important to be on top of emerging trends; stay hungry to learn more about the industry beyond your degree.

However, it’s not enough to simply read information, you must apply what you’ve learned, or at least have an opinion. Post and share your thoughts on industry news via social media. You never know how this might grab the attention of a potential employer. Plus, with social results showing in search, this ongoing professional focus could be exactly what helps you stand apart during the requisite potential employer google search of your name.

3. Prepare a digital portfolio

Most PR agencies and departments will ask for work samples. Instead of scrambling through old hard drives and email account, save the work you’ve done for internships, volunteer and campus leadership positions or classes as you go.  There are also plenty of ways to build work or writing samples, even without official experience. Letters of recommendation from professors or other industry professionals are good to have as well. I submitted articles I had written for a student publication and collateral I had created for the universities American Marketing Association chapter to demonstrate my writing and design abilities. and have it ready to send their way. You may include news releases, media pitches, or other examples of creative work that sets you apart such as video editing or website design.

4. Don’t Settle if the job doesn’t feel right

Don’t jump at the first job you’re offered just because it’s an offer. Committing to your first ‘real’ job is a big deal.

When deciding on whether to accept a job offer, consider more than just money and benefits. Could you see yourself working alongside the other employees? Does their work inspire you? Will you thrive in this position? During one interview, I had a hard time connecting with the panel of interviewers.  I wanted to work for a firm that was open, friendly and made me feel energized and motivated about the work I’d be doing. Based on the interview, I knew the firm’s conventional culture would not have been the best fit.

I chose to accept the position I’m currently in because the company’s work excited me and the company values matched mine.  If you’re offered a position but have reservations about the company or role, don’t pressure yourself to take it. You can always keep looking.

The journey to your first PR job after graduation may be discouraging at times. I encourage you to stay positive and focused. Be prepared, patient and don’t give up. Your dream job is out there.

About Kara

Kara Weller is an account coordinator at Pierce Public Relations and a graduate of the University of Mississippi. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

5 Graphic Designer Tips for Click-Worthy Pins to Drive Brand Discovery & Traffic

We look to Pinterest as a resource for all things pretty and aspirational…but what about as a tool for brand discovery and lead-generation? In addition to its ability to save content for future reference, Pinterest has proven itself as a powerful search engine and a space for brands, businesses and agencies to play.

Ready to step up your Pinterest content strategy? It all comes down to creating graphics on Pinterest that grab attention and curiosity to land those clicks to your intended destination.

Here are five design tips to consider before going on your next pinning spree.

1. Pinterest Works Best with Vertical Images

When it comes to designing engaging and eye-catching content for Pinterest, thinking tall and vertically is key. If you log onto the platform today, it’s easy to get lost in an endless scroll of little squares and tiny images that may be pretty, but don’t scream, “Hey, pin me!”

With this in mind, make a point to stand out from other content living in Pinterest’s feed by designing bold, tall pins that are at least 1200 pixels in height. This could look like vertically cropping images to get them primed to pin, stacking multiple square images to create tall pins or focusing on re-pinning vertical images only to create a cohesive presence in your own brand’s Pinterest profile.

2. Keep it branded (subtle, but still branded)

No one is going to pin an image with a huge watermark and yet you know that keeping it branded is key to drive awareness and demand! Keep the content front and center but still incorporate branded elements by adding in the following elements. 

Branded colors: these could be introduced through colored typography, overlay or footer.
• Brand fonts: keep your branded typography prominent on any header, footer or body content.
Brand photography: if you’re an agency, consider included images of your office or your team in Pinterest graphics; if you’re a product, including product photography in content is an absolute must.

 

3. Include a clear header and call-to-action

Sure, pretty images can take you far on Pinterest, but if you’re pinning on behalf of your business, agency or client your Pinterest graphics will often need a clear header or strong call-to-action to keep those re-pins and clicks coming.

For example, are you an agency that’s pinning content that will link back to your services page? Consider including an enticing header like, “The 3 PR Services Every Business Needs” on your pin. Pinning on behalf of an ecommerce client who has just unveiled their spring line of clothing? A call-to-action included within the graphic like, “Spring’s Must-Haves Have Arrived: Shop Them Here First!” is a great way to create a sense of urgency and make it clear as to what the pin is promoting.

4. Add value and generate leads through educational content

Not only is Pinterest a strong tool for generating web traffic and sales, but it’s also a viable lead-generation tool for businesses and agencies. Add credibility and position your business as a thought leader by regularly publishing pins that link back to case studies, client press results and informational blog content on a regular basis.

Worried that linking back to client results and case studies will seem too salesy? Position your Pinterest graphic messaging as an enticing, clickable story rather than a sales pitch, such as, “Fashion Brand XYZ Grew Their Sales by 50% Thanks To THIS Marketing Trick.”


5. Create pins for all blog content and major website landing pages.

Pro tip: have you checked your Pinterest metrics and noticed that a pin linking back to a particular blog post has gained traction with re-pins and clicks? Capitalize on this by designing three additional, different graphics linking back to the same blog post to extend the life and reach of this engaging content.

It may sound redundant, but it can’t be stressed enough: in order to begin ramping up your Pinterest presence and driving traffic (and potential leads!) from the platform back to your site, creating unique, on-brand graphics for each major landing page on your website and all blog content published is key.

With more than 2 million people pinning shopping content specifically, it’s worth picking your eyes up off that Instagram feed and making sure your pins are helping with brand promotion.

For more graphic design tips + tricks click here

 About Lindsay

Lindsay Scholz is a brand designer and social media strategist at Lindsay Scholz LLC, where she helps creatives and small businesses establish a purposeful digital presence. Prior to venturing into small business ownership, Lindsay held various roles in PR, advertising and social media with notable companies like national footwear corporation Caleres, Inc. and J. Walter Thompson Atlanta, where her expertise and work in digital marketing was featured by the likes of USA Today, Fast Company and Huffington Post Live. Lindsay currently resides in St. Louis, MO with her husband and two dogs, Brooke and River.

PR Mom Boss Mother’s Day Gift Guide

If public relations is on the most stressful jobs list, life gets exponentially crazier when you add in kids. This Mother’s Day, give a little something to all the hard-working mom bosses, and mom bosses-to-be in your life. She’ll appreciate it more than you know. To make it easy, we’ve picked 15 gifts options at all sorts of price points. Happy Shopping!
santa anita race track, shayne blue,

Spread the news

Made with care in small batches, this organic cotton jersey, sustainably made as well as screen printed by hand in Los Angeles, is not only the perfect gift for all the mamas, but supports a hard-working mom boss herself.

Women are Sacred tee, $65, available at Our Sacred Women

Pitch pad

Check it off

Help the PR boss in your life keep her work on track despite the chaos of motherhood with the Pitch Pad- the perfect tool for publicists to stay on top of pitch ideas and follow-ups,and stay organized when pitching clients.

The Pitch Pad, $15, available at Deja Monee

MilkStork

Pump it Up

The first company to tackle the challenge of getting breast milk home for traveling business mamas, the Milk Stork milk delivery service is the perfect gift for new mothers who are constantly on the go.

MilkStork subscription, $79-$159, available at Milk Stork

Number Four Haircare

Good Hair Day, Everyday

For the mom who loves minimalism, gift this black & white gift set that will keep her hair looking fly, no matter what the day brings. She can keep the full set at home and the mini set in her desk drawer for last-minute touch ups.

Gift Set, $25, available at Number Four Hair Care

BOXFOX

Unexpected gifts

The perfect gift for the editor whose expecting, send this magic combo of handpicked gifts to keep her feeling indulged and loved. Box Fox comes pre-wrapped and is the perfect gift to ship long-distance.

New Mama Gift Set, $57.50, available at BOXFOX

Caffe Umbria Moka Pot

Little Luxuries

Life is too short for your basic drip coffeemaker. Give your hard-working busy moms a bit of luxury every morning and turn her morning cup into a gourmet treat! Caffé Umbria's Moka Pot is a stylish yet affordable way to produce a filtered, ground-free coffee via stovetop.

Moka Pot, $41.95, available at Cafe Umbria

Spire Stone

Daily R&R

It's the only wearable device that measures breathing patterns that indicate periods of tension, relaxation, and mental focus, and sends you notifications of when you should take a break or go for a walk—it’s very sensitive to the state of mind. Sleek, minimal, elegant, monochromatic, and unisex, Spire Stone is worn at the hip or torso--not like a trendy wristband or watch. The material is made of PC (polycarbonate) and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), and it uses medical grade steel, which is coated to prevent skin irritations. Spire Stone is washer resistant in case it ends up in the washing machine.

Spire Stone, $129, available at Spire

Sea Nymph Hair Pins

Simple & Stylish

No time for a blowout before the big gala? No problem, give the mom in your life a shortcut to the editorial hair she craves with Swarovski pearls hand-wired onto Kata Banko Couture's signature hair pin. The sleek pearl design on the stay-in-place pin won't get in the way, or come loose. Messy bun, set match.

Sea Nymph Hair Pins, $78 (set of 3), available at Kata Banko Brides

mom-gift-guide

#winning

A parenting book she'll actually read - authors Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn know firsthand that raising kids is tough and want to remind us all that showing up (most of the time) and loving our kids (even begrudgingly at times) is absolutely enough. Best read in the bathroom with a locked door.

You're Doing A Great Job, $17.95, available at One Bad Mother

Leather Yoga Bag Pyar&Co

yogi at heart

She inspires you with how she manages to fit in time to "ohm" in between desk sides and daycare pick up. Give her a brand new yoga bag as chic as she is. This one is big enough to hold everything she needs for class and you know she'll go nuts over the rose gold one!

Leather Yoga Bag $160, available at Pyar&Co

Knockaround Glasses

Rose Colored Glasses

Let's face it, designer sunglassess and sticky kid hands just don't mix. We love Knockarounds for their on-trend shapes, variety and it's ok if little Jack tosses them out the widow price point. This sea glass colored pair is perfect for spring and summer.

Mai Tai Frames, $20, available at Knockaround

Pretty Little Fliers Sneakers

Pretty Little Flyers

This is a great fit for the working mom who needs to look uberstylish AND be quick on her feet chasing kids around and running around to meetings! Give her an alternative to her beloved heels - and she''ll love you forever (and she'll wear these EVERYWHERE!)

Pretty Little Flyers Sneaker, $268, available at Hollie Watman

Beyonce scarf andieanderin

Who Run the World?

Meant to resemble both the bold and soft sides of the Lemonade album, this Beyoncé-inspired scarf will bring out the Queen Bey side of any mama. Made of 100% silk, this show-stopping scarf is the perfect addition to any wardrobe, and it comes with a storyboard that highlights the accomplishments or Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. What's not to love?

Queen of Pop Necktie, $44, available at andieanderin.

Bibo Single Drink Machine

Happiest of Hours

Designed by a mom, for moms, welcome to the "Keurig" for Cocktails. No one in the office will be mad to have this single-serve cocktail maker on hand, least of all her!

Bibo Barmaid, $199.99, available at Amazon

Adsorb Beauty

It's big in Japan

Busy mommas often skip out on taking the time to treat themselves (and that includes her skin!) Make it a spa day everyday with this kit Adsorb, is the only company in the world utilizing AntiBody technology in the skincare industry and the #1 professional line in Japan. She'll love showing off her skin (& her insider scoop on this new stateside option)

Adsorb Skincare Set, $278.40, available at Nordstrom

Quick Links for Easy Shopping

Women are Sacred tee, $65, available at Our Sacred Women

check it off

The Pitch Pad, $15, available at Deja Monee

MilkStork subscription, $79-$159, available at Milk Stork

Good hair day, everyday

Gift Set, $25, available at Number Four Hair Care

unexpected gifts

 

New Mama Gift Set, $57.50, available at BOXFOX

 

Moka Pot, $41.95, available at Cafe Umbria

Spire Stone, $129, available at Spire

Simple + Stylish

 

Sea Nymph Hair Pins, $78 for three, available at Kata Banko Brides

 

You’re Doing A Great Job, $17.95, available at One Bad Mother

Yogi at Heart

 

Leather Yoga Bag $160, available at
Pyar&Co

Rose Colored Glasses

Mai Tai Frames, $20, available at Knockaround

Pretty Little Fliers Sneaker, $268, available at Hollie Watman

Who Run the world?

Queen of Pop Necktie, $44, available at andieanderin.

Afternoon
Pick-me-up

Bibo Barmaid, $199.99, available at Amazon

#TreatYourself

Adsorb Skincare Set, $278.40, available at Nordstrom

The Friday 15 with Lindsey Palmer, Palmer Public

Palmer Public

At the end of each month we invite a member of our PR Couture Council to curate a selection of industry news, tools and other fun stuff capturing their interest at the current moment. Enjoy!

Name: Lindsey Palmer

Title: Founder

Agency: Palmer Public

Location: Park City, Utah

Find us: @palmerpublic

5 Things About Palmer Public

Our Mission: Palmer Public supports bold brands and leading industry pioneers that influence positive decision-making and spark movements. We produce results-driven media coverage, content that connects with key audiences and brand awareness campaigns that embody viral components to get brands in front of both the right media contacts and consumer loyalists.

Get to know a few of our clients: Since launching in 2016, we’ve been fortunate enough to cultivate deep-rooted relationships with our core clients. We specialize in shining light on companies within the entertainment, business and non-profit sectors. Clients include Hunt A Killer, National Ability Center, Reynolds Polymer Technology, and your very own PR Couture, among others.

Agency Superpower: Authenticity – In this industry, you have to cut through the smoke and mirrors. Our clients truly appreciate the genuine, transparent and realistic feedback we provide. It creates a solid foundation for a long-lasting relationship and has proven to be very successful for us.

Recent Agency Win: Last week we celebrated having a client shoot a live interview at the NYSE with the team at Cheddar.

Currently Looking for: Currently looking for a summer intern to assist our growing team. Email info@palmerpublic.com for details.

5 things about Lindsey

Q: Rise and shine: what are the first three things you do after waking up in the morning?

  1. Unfortunately, I hit snooze at least once when my alarm goes off at 6:30 am. I swear I’m a morning person, though.
  2. Morning rituals include brushing my teeth, washing my face with ice cold water and doing a quick 7-minute breathing/stretching routine.
  3. Power up my Keurig so I can fuel up for the day!

Q: Sip and savor: what's your go-to drink to fuel your busy day?

When I need a little extra boost and I’m craving something slightly sweet I turn to a triple shot vanilla latte with almond milk from Hugo’s, of my favorite local spots.

Q: #Obsessed: What's something you recently discovered that you can’t live without?

I have a few things I’m currently obsessed with right now.

1. I LOVE my salt lamps. I have two in my office and one in my bedroom. They give off that perfect calming yet empowering vibe.
2. I’m a huge walker. I love getting in a ton of steps when I’m not at my desk. I can’t live without my Bose SoundSport Free wireless headphones. Your life will change once you cut the cord.
3. We’ve recently been testing the waters with Airtable in the office. I’m still digging in, but so far I’m enjoying the status, approval and assignment functionalities it offers between managers and team members.

Q: Fill in the blank: You know you work in PR when...

You just landed a huge hit for a client and five minutes later they want to know what’s next.

Q: My Two Cents: What piece of advice do you love to share?

1. Take advantage of internships and the opportunity to learn from others in the industry. Don’t be afraid to send a cold email and ask to grab coffee with an agency owner about how they got started.

2. Make your notebook your new best friend. I’ve had interns tell me they’ll remember everything I assign them in a touch-base and then I list 20 things off. It’s just not possible. Anticipate and be prepared. Bring it with you everywhere.

3. Knowing what you love to do is just as important as knowing what you hate to do. Learn the difference and let it support you in finding your dream career.

Industry-Wise, What are 5 Things on your radar?

  1. I love learning how other agency leaders establish boundaries and find a true work-life balance. In this article Andrea Mullan, the founder of Victory PR, shares her experience of juggling motherhood and entrepreneurship.  Whether you’re a mother or not, I think everyone could takeaway some productive and reassuring tidbits from this piece.

2. In PR, you have to be okay with rejection and understand that getting a “yes” or acceptance is far and few between. I appreciate Gary V’s enthusiasm in this video to inspire youth not to just shut down after being told “no” once. *Youth lecture starts around 7:30. This video has adult language.

3. Running your own business forces you to avoid living in the past and to quickly make changes to adjust to industry ebbs and flows. In this article, Richard Branson shares 11 words that confirm that exact mentality.

4. Being in the business of storytelling, I love listening to stories and hearing how people got started in their career. In this podcast interview Tim Ferriss turns the tables and interviews Katie Couric to get the scoop on her background.

5. I love to skim through top marketing campaign roundups or award lists to see what worked and didn’t work for brands of all sizes. This article summarizes the 2018 WARC 100 and shares the impactful results for a few of the top performing campaigns.

Thanks Lindsey!

6 Home Décor Outlets Every Publicist Should Know

decor blogs, lexingtonpr, home decor magazines

While understanding how to tell a great story is important to any successful media campaign, the truth is that any publicist worth her weight in gold must also know who to tell that story to. In today’s ever-changing media landscape with outlets launching, folding and just so so many influencers and bloggers, this is sometimes easier said than done.

We all know the go-to shelter publications like Apartment Therapy, ELLE Décor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful or HGTV. But when it comes to pitching and placing interior design products and designer experts, these lifestyle websites should also be on your radar. Their followings are dedicated, their content is inspiring, and your clients are sure to be grateful when they make their coverage.

Ashley Capp for MyDomaine

MyDomaine

Self-described as a “completely shoppable lifestyle destination with beautiful inspiration for the home,” MyDomaine is the spot to find everything from chic product recommendations to great advice. They target a millennial female that is seeking a stylish yet accessible approach towards décor.

What to Pitch: Pitch your design client’s latest launches and collections for their trend-focused coverage, design tips from experts for their “How To” style features and be sure to emphasize things like whether the brand you’re working with might be eco-friendly (something they frequently highlight in round-ups like this).

Domino

Domino covers the latest in interior design, curating market and on-trend products that their readers can easily shop to bring a particular look to life. This outlet blends commerce and content, providing both design inspiration and a shopping section directly on their website.  They describe themselves as “the ultimate guide for a stylish life and home.”

What to Pitch: Are your client’s designs already sold on Domino.com’s online shop? If so, pitch them for a Q&A to chat about their latest design collection or propose a home tour to bring their styles to life. Domino has plenty of market and trends coverage so highlighting specific products that are new when they launch and that tie-in with a trending style is great for this outlet.

Haris Kenjar for Rue Daily

Rue Daily

Rue began as a bimonthly digital interior design magazine and has now transformed into a daily source for all things inspiring. They showcase entertaining tips, décor inspiration and a look at products that can help make your space look amazing.

What to Pitch: Pitch your client’s events, discounts and latest news for their weekly “Links We Love” section. Highlight new seasonal décor for their trend-roundups or pull together a concept pitch for a “How to” feature in their Decorating section. Rue is also full of dreamy home tours, so if your client has a fantastic space that showcases their designs, be sure to send in your best photos for this column! Keep in mind their aesthetic is contemporary, bright, airy and clean. Does your client have a stunning new dinnerware collection? Pitch it as a tablescape for their Entertaining coverage.

The Coveteur

We all know the Coveteur as a cool-girl destination for the latest in luxury fashion and beauty. They provide a behind-the-scenes look into the lifestyles of global tastemakers and fashion elite, highlighting not just trends themselves but also the people creating them. The Coveteur started out as a website posting an inside look into tastemaker’s closets but has grown dramatically. What you might not know is that it’s a great spot to pitch your design clients.

What to Pitch: Working with a super cool founder of a home décor brand? It’s likely that their closet reflects their great taste in design so consider pitching them for a closet tour feature, which will highlight their personality and style while helping readers get to know their brand more. Did you know the Coveteur launched an Interiors section last year? Pitch a home tour with never-before-seen photos of your client’s design studio, office or house.

Anna Powell-Teeter for Lonny

Lonny

Lonny focuses on providing inspirational but also approachable design advice for their readers. Their coverage ranges from design ideas to market trends. They also feature a vast photo collection of absolutely beautiful homes and gardens.

What to Pitch: Pitch your client’s latest trend-driven styles for their “Ideas” section, highlighting their design purpose and how they help a space achieve a certain look. Lonny dedicates a whole section of their website to “Home Tours,” so be sure to leverage this angle and pitch your client’s beautiful home space or design studio. Working with a design pro who is also the face of their brand? Pitch them as an expert and a source for “Tips” and “Advice” features.

Racked

Focused on shopping, neighborhood stores and the retail scene, Racked highlights cool shops, the designers behind them, designer collaborations, special events, must-have products and even round-ups of top online shopping destinations in different design categories.

What to Pitch: Is your design client in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles? Better yet, do they have a freestanding shop or are they opening one? Then Racked is a perfect outlet to pitch.

Oh, and when you send that pitch, remember to embed your absolute best imagery! Not surprisingly, beautiful imagery is going to be critical to bringing your client’s designs to life for any of these outlets. Especially if you’re introducing a brand these editors aren’t already familiar with.

Class of 2018 PR Grad Gift Guide

Graduation season is almost upon us, and that means a whole new flock of young PR professionals will leave their college years behind and begin their journey in the workforce. We’ve hand-picked a few of our favorite items to celebrate the future publicist in your life and reward their years of hard work. 

A rentable wardrobeIt's time to retire the all-day athleisure and begin building a work-friendly wardrobe. In PR, it's necessary to be on trend always, and those in the know, know that renting is the way to go. A gift subscription to Gwynnie Bee, available in sizes 0-32, will leave her giddy.

A rentable wardrobe

It's time to retire the all-day athleisure and begin building a work-friendly wardrobe. In PR, it's necessary to be on trend always, and those in the know, know that renting is the way to go. A gift subscription to Gwynnie Bee, available in sizes 0-32, will leave her giddy.

Gwynnie Bee subscription, available at Gwynnie Bee

Buddy SystemIt's all about who you know, so send your grad off into the world armed with some sage advice to help her make the kind of connections and build the sort of lasting relationships that will help guide her path forward. This guidebook comes complete with lessons and self-work exercises. A Tribe Called Bliss, $23.40, available for pre-order (out May 8) at Lori Harder or Amazon

Buddy System

It's all about who you know, so send your grad off into the world armed with some sage advice to help her make the kind of connections and build the sort of lasting relationships that will help guide her path forward. This guidebook comes complete with lessons and self-work exercises.

A Tribe Called Bliss, $23.40, available at Lori Harderor Amazon

#posivibesThe post-graduation job search is a stressful time, not to mention the job itself.  Remind her to stay positive and know you're rooting for her success with this grab and go tee. No Bad Days shirt by Ban.do, $38, available at TOBI

#posivibes

The post-graduation job search is a stressful time, not to mention the job itself. Remind her to stay positive and know you're rooting for her success with this grab and go tee.

No Bad Days shirt by Ban.do, $38, available at TOBI

Well-Rested  Help your grad upgrade from their old dorm mattress to a bed that’s made just for them. Recently launched by Mattress Firm, tulo is a new kind of bed-in-a-box-brand that fundamentally believes “one is not a choice.” The brand offers mattresses in three different firmness levels for specific types of sleepers.   Tulo, $575 available at

Well-Rested

Help your grad upgrade from their old dorm mattress to a bed that’s made just for them. Recently launched by Mattress Firm, tulo is a new kind of bed-in-a-box-brand that fundamentally believes “one is not a choice.” The brand offers mattresses in three different firmness levels for specific types of sleepers.

Tulo mattress, available at Tulo

On trend tech As the new kid in the office, recent grads are expected to wow colleagues with their knowledge of new tech tools and trends. Help your grad prove their tech-savvy knowledge with the Lifeprint Wireless Photo and Video Printer. Lifeprint creates prints straight from your camera roll and social media accounts. Plus, it’s augmented reality feature is straight from the future; print a video still and watch the actual video from the companion app. That's one cool party trick.  Lifeprint, $129.95, available at The Grommet

On trend tech

As the new kid in the office, recent grads are expected to wow colleagues with their knowledge of new tech tools and trends. Help your grad prove their tech-savvy knowledge with the Lifeprint Wireless Photo and Video Printer. Lifeprint creates prints straight from your camera roll and social media accounts. Plus, it’s augmented reality feature is straight from the future; print a video still and watch the actual video from the companion app. That's one cool party trick.

Lifeprint, $129.95, available at The Grommet

Safety First Safety is now stylish thanks to this collab between personal safety device company Revolar and sustainable jewelry brand Cerimani. A simple press of the pendant will send an alert for help. Choose from either Moonstone or Turquoise.  Revolar x Cerimani Necklace, $250, available for presale May 1 Revolar

Safety First

Safety is now stylish thanks to this collab between personal safety device company Revolar and sustainable jewelry brand Cerimani. A simple press of the pendant will send an alert for help. Choose from either Moonstone or Turquoise.

Revolar x Cerimani Necklace, $99 presale May 1 (reg $125-$150), Revolar

Pack it Up Post-grad life for a PR girl can be summed up in a few words: busy, on-the-go, and hustling hard! Which is exactly why this combo tote is the perfect gift for the girl making her way off campus and into the big city. The adjustable strap allows it to be worn as a backpack, crossbody, satchel AND tote.  the POPPINS, $348, available at JEMMA

Pack it Up

Post-grad life for a PR girl can be summed up in a few words: busy, on-the-go, and hustling hard! Which is exactly why this combo tote is the perfect gift for the girl making her way off campus and into the big city. The adjustable strap allows it to be worn as a backpack, crossbody, satchel AND tote.

the POPPINS, $348, available at JEMMA

Plan Ahead Help the grad you love stay organized in their life post-college with a planner that offers function AND style. The Day Designer Academic Year Flagship Edition features daily planning pages and scheduling, top 3 to-do prompts, goal setting worksheets, and so.much.more, giving her all the tools she needs to conquer #adulting. The only catch? Picking one of the 11 gorgeous cover styles available.
  Academic Year Flagship Edition, $49-$59, available at Day Designer

Plan Ahead

Help the grad you love stay organized in their life post-college with a planner that offers function AND style. The Day Designer Academic Year Flagship Edition features daily planning pages and scheduling, top 3 to-do prompts, goal setting worksheets, and so.much.more, giving her all the tools she needs to conquer #adulting. The only catch? Picking one of the 11 gorgeous cover styles available.

Academic Year Flagship Edition, $49-$59, available at Day Designer

Oh so PolishedHelp your grad stay on budget by making it easy for her to keep her mani fresh at home. Painted Polish contains ZERO of the gross chemicals found in other polish and this collection of blush shades is PR Girl perfect.
   I Love Blush Polish Set, $49-$59, available at Painted Polish

Oh so Polished

Help your grad stay on budget by making it easy for her to keep her mani fresh at home. Painted Polish contains ZERO of the gross chemicals found in other polish and this collection of blush shades is PR Girl perfect.

I Love Blush Polish Set, $49-$59, available at Painted Polish

Breathe it inYes, finals are over but that doesn't mean life is just one big party. Set your grad up for success with the little black dress of essential oil diffusers and send her off with a few scents - lavender for relaxation, grapefruit for energy. Even if her apartment is the size of a closet, at least it will smell like the spa!  JASMINE Aroma Diffuser, $59.99, available at

Breathe it in

Yes, finals are over but that doesn't mean life is just one big party. Set your grad up for success with the little black dress of essential oil diffusers and send her off with a few scents - lavender for relaxation, grapefruit for energy. Even if her apartment is the size of a closet, at least it will smell like the spa!

JASMINE Aroma Diffuser, $59.99, available at Stadler Form

Heirloom Gems There are few things better than a unique piece of jewelry to commemorate a big life event. Choose her school colors, birthstone or another meaningful reminder and work with designer Phoebe Jonas to design a completely custom keepsake she'll treasure for the rest of her life.   Droplet Ring, $475-$2500, available at

Heirloom Gems

There are few things better than a unique piece of jewelry to commemorate a big life event. Choose her school colors, birthstone or another meaningful reminder and work with designer Phoebe Jonas to design a completely custom keepsake she'll treasure for the rest of her life.

Droplet Ring, $475-$2500, available at Phoebe Jonas

Right on TimeFor the PR grad keeping an eye on her texts, emails and daily steps via her Apple Watch, a Bezels & Bytes band is the perfect style upgrade. She'll be thrilled to ditch the nylon and show off her new classy look.  Chainlink and Leather Apple Watch Band, $98, available at Nordstrom

Right on Time

For the PR grad keeping an eye on her texts, emails and daily steps via her Apple Watch, a Bezels & Bytes band is the perfect style upgrade. She'll be thrilled to ditch the nylon and show off her new classy look.

Chainlink and Leather Apple Watch Band, $98, available at Nordstrom

OMG! cosmetics case

Keep it fun

Becoming a college graduate don't mean you can't still have a little fun. Add a touch of playfulness to your college grade's routine with the OMG! Cosmetics Case.

OMG! holographic cosmetics case, $24, available at OMG! Accessories

Buffy Comforter

#BuffySoFluffy

Made from natural fibers like eucalyptus and rejuvenated microfiber, this skin-friendly comforter will make sure your grad is well-rested and ready to take on whatever post-grad life has to offer.

Buffy Comforter, $120, available at Buffy

Dress Like a Parisian

Effortlessly chic

Help your grand find her own authentic style with detailed and witty fashion tips from personal stylist and fashion blogger Alois Guinut. The book covers every element of style down to the pattern choice, and is chock-full of graphics and street-style photos from the streets of Paris. This guidebook is the perfect gift to get your graduate ready to wear her new agency wardrobe with confidence.

Dress like a Parisian, $24, available at Dress Like a Parisian and Amazon

Quick Links for Easy Shopping

Gwynnie Bee Gift Subscription, $69/month, Gwynnie Bee

Buddy system

A Tribe Called Bliss, $23.40, Lori Harder

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ban.do t-shirt, $38, TOBI

Well-Rested

Tulo Mattress, starting at $575, available at Tulo

Lifeprint Wireless Photo and Video Printer, $129.95, The Grommet

Safety first

Turquoise Safety Necklace, $99-$150, Revolar

POPPINS backpack tote, $348, JEMMA 

Academic Planner, Flagship Edition $49-$59, Day Designer

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I Love Blush polish, $50,
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JASMINE Aroma Diffuser, $59.99, Stadler Form

Droplet Ring, $475-$2500, Phoebe Jonas

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Chainlink and Leather Apple Watch Band, $98, Bezels & Bytes

OMG! Accessories cosmetics case, $24, OMG! Accessories

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Buffy comforter, starting at $120, available at Buffy

Effortlessly Chic

Dress Like a Parisian, $25, Dress Like a Parisian

4 Pieces of Life Advice for New Working Moms

I always knew I wanted a family, which was a major factor in my decision to launch my own PR agency. My work experience prior to launching Victory made it clear that the face-time model of most offices wouldn’t support my vision of working motherhood, and about three years after I took on my first client, I became a mom.

Adjusting to life as a new mom with a full-time business to run was full of ups and downs (some of which were comically bad. Like how I thought strapping my son to my chest was a solid childcare plan – handsfree! It was not). It was also full of small victories that I learned to celebrate a little as I went. Even today – five years into working motherhood – I still feel proud of myself for getting all three of us ready for the day in the morning and out the door on time. Extra points for smiling faces!

Simply giving myself a pass on the things that I couldn’t really control- like when my baby would eventually sleep through the night – took a tremendous amount of pressure off.

While those early days weren’t always pretty and were very often unproductive, these days I’ve hit my stride and feel incredibly fulfilled by my dual role as mom and entrepreneur. I’ve found that by establishing firm boundaries between my time with my family and my time with my work, and by carving out separate time to do the things I need to do for my well-being, I can enjoy it all despite the frenetic pace. (Pro tip – sleeping counts, which is why you will never find me up at 11 p.m. baking for the bake sale. Sorry not sorry.)

Whether you’re considering becoming a parent or are currently deep in the trenches of newborn-land or toddlerhood, here are 4 hard-won lessons from me for finding balance and navigating that working mom life.

1. Allow yourself some time to adjust to your new life

Before I had my son I was sure I was ready for what life would be like once he was born. I understood that it would be hard, but I felt prepared and excited to take it on. My husband and I crafted plans for just about every aspect of my son’s first year that we could – we read every book we could get our hands on and developed a philosophy for all of the hot-button topics. Before my son was born I knew how my maternity leave would go, how I would feed him, and how I would manage his sleep.

What I utterly failed to account for in my planning was how his birth would affect me, like the hormonal rollercoaster ride I’d be on many months after his birth. As a result, I often felt an unpleasant mix of failure and disappointment that things didn’t go as I planned.

Eventually, I realized what I needed was to adjust to my new life. For me, that was primarily a mental shift. Simply giving myself a pass on the things that I couldn’t really control- like when my baby would eventually sleep through the night – took a tremendous amount of pressure off. The result was that I was able to prioritize better and enjoy the truly magical chaos that is working motherhood.

2. Learn to accept help

I lost count of how many times well-intentioned family and friends (and complete strangers) told me to ask for help in the months before my son was born. The truth is I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand what could be so hard about asking for help and I had absolutely no idea how much help I would need (see item #1). What I wish I’d realized is that I needed to be able to accept other people’s help, not ask for it. There’s a crucial difference. I spent a lot of time re-folding clothes, re-loading the dishwasher, and re-organizing closets in those early months, and those are hours I’ll never get back.

What I wish I’d realized is that I needed to be able to accept other people’s help, not ask for it. There’s a crucial difference.

An experienced working mom, much wiser than I, once explained to me that what I would have to make peace with things done slightly differently than I would do them myself. As long as the most important things were taken care of – my family was well cared for – I could learn to be flexible on the other stuff. I did and I’m much happier and more productive for it

3. Don’t compare yourself to other people

This is golden advice for anyone, really, but no one more so than new moms. I used to marvel at the other moms I’d see whose babies were sitting happily in their strollers, moms who themselves seemed put-together and at ease. When I finally mentioned it to another woman who seemed particularly good at managing it all, she responded with what can only be described as maniacal laughter. She clued me in on the fact that all new moms endure their own struggles and I wasn’t alone in what felt like a clumsy transition to motherhood.

It’s true that old habits die hard and I’d be lying if I said I never compare myself to other moms anymore, especially those who look like they are just killing it. But here’s what I remind myself: we all have our good days and our bad days. They’re both temporary and they’re both a part of what makes life as a working mom so satisfying. There’s nothing like looking back to the early days of motherhood, when you probably felt like you were at a peak mess, remembering that tiny baby you had, and chuckling at the thought of how far you’ve both come.

4. Accept that there will be disruptions

Once I officially returned to work I felt constantly upended by the stream of what felt like neverending disruptions. From doctors’ appointments that always took more time than planned to sleep regressions on top of an already laughable sleep “schedule,” so much of early motherhood was at odds with my ability to get back into a work schedule. I was accustomed to fielding the fires that erupt day-to-day as a publicist and it was useful to apply some of that same thinking to my experience as the working mom of an infant. In those early days, I found the best way to manage the disruptions was to actually lean right into them.

I was accustomed to fielding the fires that erupt day-to-day as a publicist and it was useful to apply some of that same thinking to my experience as the working mom of an infant.

As any new mom will attest, spit up and other messes are part of the deal. I spent a lot of energy trying to avoid being spit up on before I headed out for work and lost a lot of time to last-minute wardrobe changes. In doing so, I was struggling against one of the many little disruptions that punctuate a working mom’s life, adding an unnecessary layer of frustration. Instead of trying to avoid spit up (good luck) or simply going to work with spit up on me (which believe me, still happened), I started wearing a robe over my clothing whenever I was dressed. In making slight adjustments to my behavior and expectations like this one, I was better able to navigate this new world I found myself in and all of the little curve balls it would throw at me.

It was a challenge to figure out how to balance my desire to be with my baby with the ambition I felt to succeed professionally. There were times I thought I had it all figured out, only to realize that the plan needed tweaking.

New motherhood is hard and often disorienting and when you layer a demanding career on top of it, the challenges become even more complex. In my case, they were amplified by the fact that Victory PR was also my baby in a sense. I grew and nurtured it into a business I was proud of, and when I was away from it, the effects were noticeable. It was a challenge to figure out how to balance my desire to be with my baby with the ambition I felt to succeed professionally. There were times I thought I had it all figured out, only to realize that the plan needed tweaking.

I deeply appreciated when other women were honest about their own struggles and I try to always be honest about my own. That honesty with myself and others has been a crucial part of my motherhood journey. It has opened the door to more meaningful relationships with my friends and family, my sons, my work and most certainly a deeper understanding of myself.

The excitement of working motherhood never quite ends, but thanks to these five essential tips, I got through new working motherhood not just unscathed, but a better mother and publicist and I know you can, too.

PR Agency News- Updates from TARA Ink, Victory PR, Samantha Slavin & More

Victory Public Relations officially announces representation of Floss Bar, an innovative new dental care system that is convenient and affordable for everyone.

Additional agency updates

AMP3 PR announces representation of three new brands including KEF, a music lifestyle brand known for their innovative engineering, Derma-E, an ethical line of natural skincare products and Brooklyn Candle Studio, an indie natural candle brand. AMP3 will be handling publicity, events, and influencer marketing for all three campaigns.

CARO Marketing names Grace Bessy as their newly-appointed head of press. CARO also announces representation of London-based Moeva Swimwear, as well as luxury swimwear  brand Dos Gardenias, CARO also announces representation of ASTRA, plus size contemporary fashion.

TARA, Ink. announces representation of women’s online retailer Fashion Nova, led by Principals Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio and Senior Publicist Rebecca Astorga.

Samantha Slaven Publicity announces representation of NY-based activewear and swim line, Hollie Watman, City Beauty, best-known for their lip plumping City Lip glosses, Savane, performance mensawear owned by Perry Ellis Int’l, CannaSmack, a botanical line of skincare products utilizing hemp seed oil, Effervescence LA, the first-ever epicurean event focused solely on Champagne and sparkling wines and Entre Nous, a luxury consignment showroom and ecomm site.

The Riviere Agency announces representation of announced its representation of Isti Clutch, designer bags that seamlessly transition from day to night and are fun as well as functional.

Do you have agency or industry news to share?
We are happy to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!

Contact us at hello@prcouture.com

5 New York Bridal Fashion Week Trends to Inspire Content & Pitching

bridal pr, wedding pr, wedding blogs, wedding press, bridal press, bridal magazine

New York Bridal Fashion Week has officially wrapped. While lace and full skirts may seem go-to bridal, the details and silhouettes this season proved today’s bride has a style all her own – modern, fresh, daring, fashionable. With the blurred lines of fashion and bridal these days (WWD, The Cut, Vogue and more include bridal fashion runways as site content) keep these trends on your radar for pitching opportunities.

All A BOW

Bows were definitely plentiful this season, with both top designer and indie designer bridal labels launching their version of the feminine motif. Haute Couture house Galia Lahav (above) took their spin with sparkle, while Lela Rose went for a more abstract composition. If your client has a chic spin on a bow, get ready to pitch.

take the plunge

Once again a trend seen across the board, plunging bodices delivered daring lows on some of this season’s wedding dress necklines. Naaem Khan’s etheral rock n’ roll take on the style (pictured) has us hooked on the deep-v. We’ve seen plunging necklines on bodysuits and swim, so it’s safe to say this trend has hit all apparel markets – and they’re not going anywhere.

ROCK n RUFFLES

Flowy, ethereal ruffles made their presence known at bridal fashion week. A bit of volume along the neckline and hems give a fresh, graceful look. Alexandra Grecco’s ruffles on gowns and jumpsuits (pictured) proved exactly that. Keep these in mind for red carpet to festival fashion call-outs.

2 BONUS TRENDS

PUFFED SLEEVES

Hello Anne Shirley! There was a bit of a stir with this trend last season, but this spring we saw a whole lot more. Puffed sleeves, often with fabric fitting the wrist, delivered laid-back, bohemian, glamorous vibes.

PEARLS

Noted in PR Couture’s jewelry trend round up for this year, pearls are especially haute this year! The number of pearl-adorned dresses and capes is growing in the bridal and eveningwear market, offering up opportunities to do a fresh take on this classic.

With wedding season just around the corner, make sure to keep these trends on your radar for story opportunities.

9 Plus Size Fashion & Lifestyle Magazines & Blogs PR Pros Need to Know

The plus size fashion industry has now exceeded 20 billion dollars. That’s right, billion with a B! And that means the “regular” fashion industry can simply no longer afford to ignore it. Curves are here and they’re here to stay. Even if you don’t specialize in plus size designers and creative professionals like I do, chances are you have at least one client who would be a fit for one of the destinations below.

Plus-size Magazines/Sites

Roman Vail for Plus Model Magazine

1. PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE  

Overview: Plus Model Magazine “inspires the style-savvy, fashion-forward, full-figured woman to embrace her curves.” Created in 2006, PMM has an Instagram following of almost 600K and regularly also features Big & Tall men and “ageless beauties”, proving that age, like size, is no barrier to fabulousness.

What to pitch: PMM keeps their readers in the loop about deals like Mother’s Day sales, new collections from brands such as Eloquii and Lane Bryant, as well as emerging trends and interviews with top plus professionals.  Send pitches here.

2.  QUEEN SIZE MAGAZINE

Overview: Founded in 2011 by Tawana Blassingame and Philip Drew, QSM is a monthly print and digital publication that gives a platform for both established and up & coming professionals, and often features articles about the health and social issues related to the plus size industry.

What to pitch: Stories about plus size events, health and social issues such as weight loss surgery and body-shaming, and beauty products may be sent to queensizemagazine@gmail.com.

3. MAHOGANY CURVES MAGAZINE

Overview: Founded in 2013 by model Wendy Copeland, Mahogany Curves Magazine inspires curvy women to embrace their whole selves, with uplifting features on self-love, dating and wellness, along with fashion and beauty.

What to pitch: Fashion tips for different shapes and plus challenges, great shopping spots such as new store openings and empowerment stories may be sent to mahoganycurvesmagazine@gmail.com.

4.  STRUTTER MAGAZINE 

Overview: Known as the “Plus Size News You Can Use,” Strutter features articles on topics such as plus size representation in the media, brands that cater to all sizes, and controversial issues of the day. While not updated weekly, this is still a great place to go for a client mention and link.

What to pitch: Plus size industry news, events, and social empowerment stories are encouraged. While no stories about diets, get-thin-quick schemes, or juice cleanses are allowed, pitches about people in the fitness industry who promote health and wellness for all may be sent to readstrutter@gmail.com.

Plus Size Personal Style Blogs

 CeCe Olisa, Lifestyle Blogger 

5. THE CURVY FASHIONISTA

Overview: Created by Marie Denee in 2008, The Curvy Fashionista‘s influence truly knows no bounds. Atlanta-based Marie even hosts TCF Style Expo every August, a body-positive fashion convention that brings attendees face to face with both independent and mainstream fashion brands, as well as each other, to celebrate themselves for who they are, not what society says they should be.

What to pitch: Pitches for the new section, “Curvy Boss” should highlight plus women in business, as well as plus suiting and other wear to work outfits.S tories about body positivity, emerging brands, bloggers, plus size events, etc, should be sent to news@thecurvyfashionista.com.

6. CECE OLISA

Overview: CeCe Olisa is a Lifestyle Blogger and Co-Founder of theCURVYcon, a convention celebrating body positivity and plus size fashion during New York Fashion Week. CeCe also creates immensely popular plus size workout videos on her YouTube channel and has collaborated with top plus brands such as LOFT, Lane Bryant, Always, and Forever21.

What to pitch: Ideas for outside-the-box brand collaborations, plus size workout videos, creative consulting or speaking invitations can be sent here.

Gabi Fresh, personal style blogger

7. GABI FRESH

Overview: Launched in 2008 by Gabi Gregg, Gabi Fresh is a personal style blog with fashion advice, inspirational and risk-taking outfits, encouraging women to break every fashion “rule” if it means finding their own unique style.

Gabi Fresh has been featured in Glamour, Teen Vogue, InStyle, The New York Times, Seventeen, Time Out New York and Cosmopolitan and contributes to media outlets such as Vogue.it, Refinery29, Glamour.com, and Essence.com.

What to pitch: Gifted products from brands that are unexpected and outside the norm and ideas for paid short- or long-term collaborations may be sent to Gabi’s manager laura@thedigitalbrandarchitects.com.

Benjamin Pete for Garner Style

8. GARNER STYLE

Overview: Author of “The Curvy Girl’s Guide To Style”,  Chastity Garner Valentine’s personal blog Garner Style has been seen on Oprah.com, and in the New York Times and Elle Magazine, and centers around Chastity’s life, clothes, marriage, and travels. As Cece Olisa’s partner in crime, she co-founded theCURVYcon and has helped nurture it from a single day workshop to a major draw for New York Fashion Week.

Chastity is even a published vailable at Barnes & Noble, Amazon UK, Kindle UK, Kindle, and Amazon.

What to pitch: Pitches on fearless fashions, beauty products, and self-love topics may be sent to chastity@garnerstyle.com.

New publications and blogs catering to the plus market are launching all the time. As a bonus blog and shameless client plug, check out Fashion Foragers, created by mother/daughter duo, Leslee and Mackenzie Barnes, both successful plus size models who are bridging the generation gap by joining their fashion forces.

What to pitch: Gifted products and story ideas may be sent to me emma@medeirosfashionpr.com

Good luck and happy pitching!