BCAs

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.

 

Millennial Pink, The Tinder of Fashion, & Oprah Posts Fake News

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

…for the week of March 20, 2017

  • 5 must read books by successful magazine editors that are perfect for your Monday motivation or any day! (via Ed 2010)

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PR Industry News: KCD, ELR Media Group, IMG & JMPR & More

PR AGENCY AND INDUSTRY NEWS

  • The Modist, the first global online destination for luxury modest fashion, launched on International Women’s Day, and is represented by KCD
  • Now in it’s second year as AOR JMPR Public Relations will further elevate The Quail’s lifestyle offerings, maintaining luxury lifestyle coverage and handling social media strategy.

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

Contact us at hello@prcouture.com

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Location: Ft. Lauderdale & Atlanta
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PR Mavens We Love: Alexandra Lasky, The Influence

Industry veteran Alexandra Lasky is President and Co-Founder of the influencer marketing agency, The Influence. Formerly VP at her previous firm for 5 years prior to starting her own agency, Alexandra is a West Coast transplant from New York, where she spent years agency-side across fashion, lifestyle and hospitality sectors.

Read on to learn how she knew it was time to move on from traditional PR and exciting recent partnerships with Audrina Patridge and Hillary Duff, just to (name) drop a few!

Name: Alexandra Lasky
Title: President, Co-Founder
Location: Los Angeles
Education: University of Massachusetts Amherst, School of Management, BA Marketing
Company: The Influence
Instagram:
@alilasky @theinfluence
Twitter:
@alilasky, @theinfluence

How did you come to start your own agency?

I had spent five years as Vice President of my former agency when I was approached by an investor who wanted me to start my own agency. He came to the table with the offer to back me and partner with me, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

I wanted to shift my focus into the influencer marketing category, moving away from traditional PR, and so The Influence was created.We provide our clients with unmatched access to an expansive network of tastemakers that includes everyone from high-profile actors to niche bloggers.

It has been an incredible journey thus far.

What are your daily responsibilities?

I oversee client acquisition and communications, event coordination, ideation, media outreach, strategy, influencer activations, social media consulting, talent wrangling, talent branding, content creation, employee supervision...its endless.

How is your agency structured?

We are a multifaceted agency with three key areas of focus, with influencer marketing/talent brand partnerships our main entity, along with event services and public relations services. We cater to our clients on a case by case basis.

What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?While we have a job to do, we also encourage our employees to have fun - we want them to enjoy the task at hand. The mood is always exciting, encouraging and creative, We are working on a variety of fashion, beauty and lifestyle projects which keep our days very busy.

Right now, we have several projects at the upcoming Coachella festival we are working on in particular.

it is not all fabulous parties and open bars. Feature stories do not just appear overnight.

 

What are a few recent success stories?

I'm very proud of the privilege it was to launch my dear friend Audrina Patridge's Prey Swim line. We launched the new luxury swimwear collection in late November for Resort 2017, with coverage spanning WWD to The Daily to Vogue.com to Refinery29, Dujour and many more.

It has been so exciting to be a part of this journey with her. We just launched a partnership with Revolve, and we are working on activations at Miami Swim Week, Coachella and beyond for the brand.

I'm also thrilled to have just been a part of Joico haircare's Blonde Life product launch with Hilary Duff, #LiveTheBlondeLife. There is no one that embodies that of the perfect blonde more than Hilary, with her bubbly and kind, contagious spirit. This sensibility also extends to hair stylist Riawna Capri, owner of NineZeroOne salon, who was the perfect addition to this partnership. It was such a fun project to be involved with (and Hilary's new brighter and lighter locks look gorgeous!).

 

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

This is also a hard one, as I am fortunate to have been involved in so many incredible events and client activations, as well as an invited guests at a variety of top tier, A list events.

Two things that come to mind are working as a talent publicist on the Golden Globes red carpet this past awards season and attending Paris Fashion Week last season on behalf of clients. Both of these were glamorous and amazing experiences. 

Least glamorous moment in your career?

I would just say all the nitty gritty that goes into the marketing, events and PR world. Even as a company president, you need to prepared to get your hands dirty.

Outside of work, I often volunteer as part of the West Hollywood Food Coalition, serving dinner to the homeless as part of an assembly line. This is not glamorous by any means, but it is an important organization in our community.

PR can be stressful & full of rejection - how do you deal?

You just have to remember that at the end of the day, things happen. It is a pressure filled industry, and although every decision should be carefully thought out, we are not performing heart surgery. You need to find a way to fix the issue, resolve the problem at hand, and move on without overreacting. Stress will only lead to rash decisions. I believe there is always a way to work something out and keep everyone happy.

What are three current favorite tools, apps, or products that you love and why?

The Glam App - an on demand beauty app, where you can order hair, nails or makeup to your home, hotel or office on the fly. Available in 22 cities, the service always comes in handy for last minute needs.

I could not live without IMBD Pro, a must have tool in the entertainment industry.

And then Post Mates, for any type of delivery need you have - from food to office supplies - it is a virtual assistant app essentially.

A few more - Uber of course, and the app Hotels Tonite - which allows you to book rooms at 5 star hotels at the last minute. All the hotels you want to stay at in any city offer rooms at very discounted rates, so you never have to worry when booking last minute client travel.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

Working in the fashion/entertainment space is not all fabulous parties and open bars. Feature stories do not appear overnight. There are so many elements that go into everything we do. So much time spent organizing, pitching, budgeting, coordinating, building relationships, understanding clients and achieving goals.

Succeeding in this industry industry requires patience, excellent multi-tasking abilities and a mind that thrives under pressure.

What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?

There is a very exciting shift right now in the industry due to the continued growth in the importance of social media in all elements of the industry. It has been exciting to launch a new agency at the time in which we did, and has allowed us to offer services to so many clients spanning the fashion, beauty and hospitality space.

I look forward to the continued growth of influencer marketing, and how we will push forward with new innovative techniques.

What's the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?

One challenge has been the constant folding of well respected, established traditional media outlets. The industry needs to grasp the changing landscape, and overall there are many traditionalists that are not moving as quickly as they should - both on the PR and the media side. The news outlets feeling the affects, need to adopt to the transition as well. They need to be able to support their print books with their online platforms, utilizing the influencer space at hand, in order to keep their brands relevant and trending.

The industry needs to grasp the changing landscape, and overall there are many traditionalists that are not moving as quickly as they should - both on the PR and the media side

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Wow. So many things, not sure where to start! One thing I would have told my younger self would be to worry less about what industry peers think, as everyone will have their own opinion, their own thought process, their own ideas. Trust your instincts and set your sites high. Your gut is usually right in this field and if you can envision something, you can create that result.

Anything else we should know?

We are definitely looking for intern candidates to join our LA team. Applications can be sent to contact@theinfuence.com..In addition to the services discussed, we also offer eCommerce and digital marketing consulting.

Thanks, Alexandra!

6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Professional Reputation (+ 15 Resources)

You know those people who seem to show up, out of nowhere, everywhere you look? There they are, quoted in that feature about the latest marketing trend, then smiling out at you from their gorgeous new office space in your favorite design blog, later checking in at the airport on the way to keynote a conference (while dropping major hints on that they are not being paid in exposure. Ahem.).

Working in communication, we understand that perception is often reality; and that the real story is often anything but the shiny headshot, the glossy pull-quote. It’s hard work, hits and misses, late nights, moving mountains for a media opportunity, and the occasional burnout easily hidden by the right Instagram filter.

And yet, when everything starts moving, the parts aligned just so to set it all in motion, there’s nothing quite like riding the interest wave (something you no doubt understand from making it happen for your brands place).

If you’re interested in getting to that next level in your own career, there are definitely a few things you can do right now to fast-track the process.

1. Start by sharing your story

My guess is that if you chose a career in public relations or marketing, you consider yourself a pretty good writer. This is great news, because one of the easiest ways to start to build industry interest is by submitting articles to relevant publications, and filling out career profiles.

Sites like Ideamensch, Career Contessa, and PR Couture all make it super easy to submit your information for a feature. This is a great way to start building your own arsenal of press hits which will help you with #2.

2. Land speaking opportunities

Armed with a few industry press hits, a speaker sheet (similar to a one-sheet or fact-sheet) with a few topic ideas you’d be happy to present to a crowd, you can easily begin reaching out to local PR and marketing organizations, as well as regional and national conferences, to explore opportunities for you to be a featured speaker, moderator or panelist.

If you’re unsure what you want to speak about, I highly recommend the book Transformational Speaking by Gail Larsen, and this free course on landing your first speaking gig by Dr. Michelle Mazur.

3. Invest in a support system

We all know that success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The more people you have rooting for you, helping you and connecting you to their networks, the more possibilities open up. Whether you sign up for a workshop, join a business mastermind group online, or commit to monthly strategy sessions with a handful of other industry experts you trust, make sure you that operation YOU isn’t a solo operation.

Call me biased, but for entry-level women seeking help landing their first job, the PRISM course + alum community cannot be beat. Jeneration PR has a wonderful Facebook group for brands and business owners seeking DIY publicity. Breakfast lecture series Creative Mornings is a monthly happening in cities across the world and a wonderful chance to be inspired before 9 am. For those lucky enough to be in NYC – the programming available at The Wing deserves your attention.

4. Become an Award-Winner

The distinction of winning an award instantly sets you apart. From PRSSA Awards I won during graduate school to Blogger of the Year in 2010, and being named a  local San Diego”40 under 40,” I’ve enjoyed the curiosity that builds from being listed as one to watch. I still get asked about these accolades, years later, and where appropriate, they still merit a mention on my resume and bio. We’d certainly love to honor you through our Individual Award category as part of the Bespoke Communication Awards this year – Top Communicator of the Year has a pretty nice ring to it!

5. Meet major players through volunteering

Did you catch all our SXSW coverage through Instagram Stories? Our on-site correspondent Amanda Nelson has volunteered for several years on the Press Team – giving her access to all conference events and a ton of key folks working behind the scenes. She’s actually built her career on connections made while volunteering. Whether you choose an event, or to join the board of a non-profit that aligns with your own values, the more you expand your network, the more extensive your options.

6. Identify out of the box media opportunities

You’re no stranger to what would make for a great client media opportunity – and now it’s time to turn the tables back on yourself. The quickest way to a potential client or recruiting opportunity may have very little to do with a traditional PR or marketing story – and everything to do with a personal hobby, big life changes (having a baby, remodeling a new home, carrying around a cardboard cut-out of Barak Obama). From signing up for HARO to joining Media Leads and exploring podcasts, keep your eyes and ears peeled for new publications and quotable opportunities outside your regular area of expertise.

Implementing just a few of these strategies will help you begin the task of capturing media and prospective clients and company attention. We look forward to supporting you through the BCAs!

That #Sponsored Life, New Artistic Director at Givenchy & Best Brand Activations at SXSW

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

...for the week of February 6, 2017

  • Networking takes work. These tips can help you make the process more painless and easy (via Moo)

6 Tips + Tricks to Improve Media Outreach Results

In public relations, we rely so heavily on email that breaking through the noise in an inbox is a constant challenge. Whether reaching out to an editor, influencer or consumer audience, everyone wants hyper-relevant content and products that serve their specific needs, wants, and desires. As communication experts, our challenge is to combine the messaging and branding of our client’s businesses with a compelling, relevant writing that captures interest and makes it easy for our intended recipient to take the next step.

These days, a successful publicist must not only write exceptional pitches and press releases, but various forms of marketing content intended for consumers. At BLND, we believe this skill comes down being a great writer; someone who can write business communication and creative copy with ease.

Here are 6 tips and tricks to becoming an even better writer.

1. Pretend you are the intended recipient

It’s no secret that sending out the same standard pitch to 100 media contacts will get you pretty much nowhere. Instead, it’s up to you to really delve deep into understanding the challenges, interests, and motivators of your intended audience. Get underneath their skin, try on their perspective, and modify your writing to appeal directly to your recipient

In practical terms, make sure that your media list is filled only with reporters or editors that are the perfect fit for the news you are sending to them. You cannot rely solely on media databases or other programs to ensure information is updated, so do a double check on personal social accounts, review recently written articles, and confirm your pitch angle meets their needs.

For consumer content like social media posts or a marketing newsletter, pay attention to the language your target audience is using on their own accounts, hold a virtual focus group or have a brand ambassador program you can rely on to get instant feedback on your language before putting it out to your mass audience.

2. Master the Business Personal voice

While the information in your writing needs to be informative, resist the urge to be overly formal. Instead, use the background reconnaissance you did for your media list and set a personal yet professional tone in your opening paragraph.

You may start with the fact that you took the time to read their last article, noting specifically what you enjoyed about it. And then mention that your client has a similar story and/ or product that you wanted to run by them for a potential new story. Don’t simply re-write the title of the article – that makes it obvious that you simply copied and pasted to make it  seem like you read it. Take the time to summarize and use a nugget of information from their article that points out the connection of why you’re reaching out to begin with.

3. Concise and Clear, Always

Time is of the essence, especially when a reporter or editor is on a deadline. The only thing that separates us from salesmen are the authentic relationships we build with the media for mutual beneficial purposes.

You may be an incredible creative writer, but now is not the time to showcase your comfort with metaphors and adjectives. Make the pitch brief. Use clear language and focus on the key messages and brand information that express exactly how and why your client is a fit for their beat. 

Before you press send, do a once-over and eliminate any especially long sentences, confusing structures or unnecessary fluff.

4. Add A Visual

Our attention spans have sunk with the rise of technology and impact of information overload. This means that even the best worded pitches cannot compete with a stunning product photo.  

5. Ask For Feedback

We are not mind readers, so don’t feel bad if you get a negative response back, even if you’ve done your due diligence to find the best person to pitch. This is not a defeat, it is a conversation opener. Send that person an email back asking them what they are currently working on and if they need any help on that piece — you never know if you might have another client that could fit perfectly. Be sure to update your notes, so the next time you reach out, you can use it in your introduction to create continuity.

6. Schedule A Meet Up

Reporters and editors are people too! Ask them out for coffee or to grab drinks after work one night and learn a little bit about them, what they enjoy writing about, what they are currently writing about. Authentic interest and in-person time will help you build a relationship with them for future conversations because you’ll no longer be pitching them, but asking them if they have room or time to include your client in their story.

Multiple Openings

Position: Multiple
Company: CLD PR
Location: Los Angeles
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A 5-Step Pre-Press Checklist for Designers to Maximize Media Coverage

Written by Brittany Sierra

We often think of publicity as the goal; forgetting that while gaining press attention can support brand growth, improve organic search results and generate sales, there’s a lot brands can do to optimize their efforts in order to properly prepare for what happens after your product is featured. After all, eyes, clicks and follows are headed your way, it’s important to take advantage of that momentum.

Consider creating a pre-press checklist, to ensure that all relevant departments are on call to mobilize when actively reaching out to media. Here are 5 things that should absolutely be part of this process.

1. Have plenty of inventory for key pieces

A common struggle with newer brands that can totally kill PR efforts is not being able to keep up with the demand generated by a press hit. If you are lucky enough to have your product featured in a major publication or website, make sure you are able to deliver on orders. Address this potential issue before landing press so that fulfillment isn’t an issue.

2. Audit Your Social Media Accounts

Social media is a major influence when it comes to buying decisions. Before you start press outreach, make sure that each of your social platforms reflects the current brand direction. Don’t be afraid to delete pictures and posts that no longer represent your brand. Remember, followers want to see your products and get an inside look at your business. Always ask yourself, “will my audience find this interesting, useful or helpful?” before you post.

Once that press hit comes in, make sure to promote it across all your channels, properly tagging the publication and writer in your copy. Editors appreciate this small act of gratitude as it helps to get their work in front of more people.

3. Make it easy to shop for editor favorites

The attention from being highlighted in a press piece can drive a significant amount of traffic to a brand website. As such, you want to ensure that there is continuity from the media coverage to the site. For example, if you know that Vogue is about to feature your white denim in their December issue, make sure those jeans are front and center on the homepage. You want to make sure that when people visit your site, it looks good and that you’ve made it easy for potential customers to buy. Some ways to ensure that your website is prepped and ready are:

In addition to making it easy for people to purchase the products they are looking for, make sure to do the following:

4. Create an about page you’re proud of…

Emerging brands often think that shoppable pages are most important and neglect building out an about page that truly explains the brand vision and story. However, the about page is often the most viewed page on a website. Prospective customers want to know more about a brand (values, personality, key players) before they make a purchase. A strong about page builds credibility and trust.

Once that press hit comes in, make sure to promote it across all your channels, properly tagging the publication and writer in your copy. Editors appreciate this small act of gratitude as it helps to get their work in front of more people.

While you are making these updates, do a quick review of your entire site. Check for broken links or outdated information. Here are some additional ways you can prep your site to consistently turn website traffic into sales.

5. Capture site visitors

Not everyone who visits your website from a press hit is going to buy immediately. It doesn’t mean your press efforts are worthless. Instead of focusing on immediate sales, focus on acquiring that customer through your email list. Entice new site visitors to subscribe through a first-time buyer discount code, exclusive access to new collections, free shipping or gift with purchase.

Getting published in a major publication or online platform is amazing, but media and press attention is only half the battle. The other half is taking advantage of that placement and extending its value in as many different ways as you can.

About Brittany
Brittany Sierra is Founder of Laptops & Smalltalk, a Portland-based boutique agency and online platform that bridges the gap between business and emerging fashion through brand development, business consulting, PR and Marketing.

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

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 in many small 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!”

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

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. The BCA early deadline closes in ONE WEEK – so grab all the applications you need to ensure you and yours get the recognition you deserve before pricing increases by $50.

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.

Come check out the BCAs now!

Lifestyle Account Coordinator

Position: Account Coordinator
Company: The Communications Store
Location: New York City
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Google Hangouts is Slacking, Our Favorite New Instagram Account & Social Tools You Need to Know

Fashion PR Marketing News

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

…for the week of March 6, 2017

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Multiple Openings

Position: Multiple
Company: Elle Communications
Location: LA/NYC
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5 Life-Changing Career Lessons learned During My First Year in PR

Written by Tessa Bonnstetter

Let me start off by saying: I had no idea I’d end up in PR. Like many of us, I grew up fantasizing about being a magazine editor. I knew I needed a creative career where I could express my unique viewpoint and assumed that meant I was made for the world of editorial spreads and “must-have-for-Fall” pages.

And I was. But in a different way.

I have come to understand that publicists are strategic storytellers. We work closely with brands to communicate their message, or sometimes create that message.

And now, here I am: a year-and-a-half in. In reflection of my time so far at a boutique beauty, health and fashion firm in NYC—behold: a list of my most valuable {work-related + personal} lessons.

1. No idea is a dumb idea

I have found that almost every time I hold my tongue in a meeting, someone says what I’m thinking shortly thereafter, and it’s perceived as a great idea. Whether you’re in a room of creative minds during a brainstorming session, or it’s the final thought that crosses your mind before bed, speak up or write it down. Maybe your idea isn’t the “one”, but it could be a stepping stone to something incredible that is about to happen. My tip is to make sure you can articulate how the idea contributes to the task at hand. Don’t worry if you don’t see eye-to-eye on every strategy; having differing opinions is how cohesive, well-thought-out ideas are realized. Trust your gut and believe your ideas are worthy.

2. Your team is everything

Not every agency or work environment is the same. I am a firm believer that you are who you surround yourself with, and in public relations, the first step to great work is a great team. You should feel inspired each day, and know that no matter what, your colleagues are rooting for you and who are always willing to see your point of view. Those who stunt your dreams, stunt your growth!

For me, it’s been important to know my own value while being open to feedback. I developed an open dialogue with my boss from the start which means that should there be any friction or miscommunication with clients I have someone reliable to talk with.

3. You don’t need to know everything right away

When you’re just getting started in public relations, the pace of everything can be stressful as you aim to keep up with the ideas that are flowing, and the acronyms and phrases being used (most of which are completely new).

It’s okay to not know all of it – but it is your responsibility to get your questions answered. Write down your questions during a meeting and review them with your team afterward. Note down any confusing language and do an online search for them later.

I used to get overwhelmed on client phone calls when five different people would be speaking on the same subject. I found that copying down the call agenda and taking my own notes on top of that helps me to stay engaged. Being present and having questions is how you grow- and learn.

4. Professional growth starts NOW

Your college degree is just the beginning. In an industry like PR where things change quickly, industry-related articles and podcasts are helpful tools that keep you excited about your work. I have also found that the more I become fluent in this industry, the more new, fresh ideas I have, which directly benefits my agency and our client base.

Podcasts are a great go-to for city girls like me. Two of my favorites include Fat Mascara and The Glossy Podcast, both have a mixture of seasoned, relatable, and unapologetically authentic hosts and guests.

5.  You must be your own biggest fan

No one matters more in your career than you. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? If you’re feeling uninspired, unmotivated, or insecure, identifying these feelings is half of the battle.

In the middle of a hectic day, you might need to take a walk around the block or break away and work independently. Being able to check in with yourself is an important part of self-care. For me, self-care is reading a book from my favorite author, a workout class taught by a motivating and empowering teacher, or a bubble bath and a podcast. The industry (and everyone in it) moves so fast that the first reaction when thinking about a quick break can be guilt, so start unapologetic self-care practices now.  Taking good care of yourself does not make you selfish, it is a way to make sure you are living your best life and contributing your best self to the task at hand in the office.

Treat yourself like you treat your best friend. Root for yourself every day and amazing things will happen.

About Tessa

Tessa Bonnstetter is a publicist at Style House PR. She lives in Hoboken, NJ with her friend Claire who is, conveniently, a makeup artist. In her spare time, you can find Tessa reading, exercising, making breakfast for dinner, watching the Food Network and Facetiming her long-distance BFF’s, boyfriend and family (including incredibly cute and brand-new twin nephews). Follow her on Instagram @TesssyBonn +  @StyleHouseCo.