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Ellen’s New Network, Top 100 Authentic Brands & That Free Leggings Ad

Fashion PR News from Around the Web

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

…for the week of May 2, 2016

  • Hey there new PR Grads, you’ve heard of leaning in, but do you know how to Sit Up for career success? RED PR founder Julia has your back (via RED PR)
  • Since 2012, Cohn & Wolfe has studied authenticity as a guiding principle and business practice. The new study includes the top 100 most authentic brands among consumers. You’ll want to review the findings in time for Monday’s team meeting. (via Cohn & Wolfe)
  • Are Millennial Geeks a target audience on your radar? Here’s why they should be. (via YPulse)
  • Have you put down $20 in shipping for your pair of free luxury leggings? Here’s what’s behind the Facebook marketing tactic. (via Fashionista)
  • Activists are protesting working conditions at H&M; almost all of the retailer’s factories remain behind schedule in carrying out mandated—and life-saving—renovations. (via Ecoterre)
  • “Advertising has a very long history of dovetailing and co-opting feminist movements.”  What’s your take on so-called Marketplace Feminism? (via HuffPo)
  • Mother’s Day stats for Marketers? We’ve got ’em. (via The Shelf)
Courtesy of: The Shelf

 

How to Talk to Strangers: Industry Networking Tips for PR Grads

Public Relations Networking PR Grad Jobs

Part of being a successful publicist is having a killer network, so it’s critical to know how to quickly build and maintain rapport with those in and outside of the industry. Your network will become your source for under-the-radar job openings, client referrals and new projects as well as insider intel.

Gone are the days of happy hour networking events with name badges and awkward elevator pitches. Who has the time? Most often, your connections are going to come from taking advantage of any and all opportunities during your regularly-scheduled life, as well as PR industry events and conferences. It’s part of your job as a professional communicator to recognize a potential networking opportunity, interact on the fly and keep the conversation flowing.

While many PR professionals are natural connectors, it’s not an easy thing to simply walk up to someone at an event and strike up a conversation. But, practice makes perfect.  My top tip is to find a place of mutual connection – whether commenting on the event that brought you together, offering a quick compliment on a great pair of shoes, or asking for help choosing an Instagram filter.  Then relax and let the discussion run it’s course. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of going into “pitch mode” when you first meet someone. Your goal isn’t to sell yourself, or your clients, it’s about authentic engagement and connecting with likeminded professionals in your field.

Gone are the days of happy hour networking events complete with name badges and awkward elevator pitches.

The next time you are in a position to make a connection, adhere to these dos and donts:

DO share a little bit about yourself and your company with people you meet. Give them something to remember you by with a beautifully designed business card, and let them know how they might be able to help you.

DO share information about upcoming projects or launches that may be of interest. However, make sure you are sharing, not selling.

DO follow-up via email in a timely manner with any connections that you want to maintain. Move the conversation forward by sharing resources, asking for help or putting a coffee date on the calendar.

DO remember that the people you meet at events may become your future colleagues or employers, so be on your best behavior. Be positive about any work experiences you have had to date, resist the urge to trash talk a poorly executed event as a means to form an easy connection.

DON’T dominate the conversation. Networking is not a monologue. By all means be interesting, but don’t do it at the expense of being interested in what others have to say. Always aim to listen more than you speak.

DON’T share your personal life story, struggles, health issues etc with someone you have just met. Be cognizant of how much you are speaking and if you’ve strayed too far off topic, bring it back to something relevant for both parties.

DON’T immediately look up your new connections on Facebook and send them a friend request or comment on an Instagram post from 3 weeks ago. Keep it professional and connect with new acquaintances on LinkedIn instead.

DON’T stalk your new connections on social media. Even if you’re doing so in the spirit of supporting the work they do, don’t overwhelm a new relationship with an abundance of likes and comments. Be genuine and give the new relationship room to breathe

If talking to new people at events terrifies you, chances are, you just aren’t doing it enough. The only way to build your network is to get offline, show up to events and meet people. Be genuine, let the conversation unfold organically and don’t forget to follow up when you meet someone fabulous! Have fun!

 

PR Industry News: Jeneration PR, RED PR & MONAT

Fashion, Beauty Kids Public Relations

Skip Hop, a global lifestyle brand devoted to designing innovative products for parents, babies and kids, has named Los Angeles-based Jeneration PR as Public Relations Agency of Record.

RED PR signs MB45, the go-to modern beauty studio for chic hair and nails in 45 minutes with highly-trained artists. It will open in June in Tribeca. Delilah Owens has joined the team as Senior Account Executive, bringing 5 years of solid agency experience in beauty and lifestyle. She was formerly with Elle Communications.

MONAT Global is a direct selling company founded in 2014 and focused on the development of high-quality, non-toxic hair care products. The company has won three Stevie Awards, including the GOLD award for Startup of the Year. The Stevies are given out annually by the American Business Awards.

 

PR Girls We love: Sabina Ellahi, PR Manager at MAKE UP FOR EVER

Beauty PR Makeup Forever Publicist Interview

While Sabina she didn’t immediately know that she wanted to enter the beauty PR realm, an early tendency to pocket high school lunch money for makeup was a strong clue. After internships at Marie Claire and Gucci, Sabina spent nearly six years working for top NYC PR agencies representing brands such as Essie, NYX Cosmetics, and Dolce & Gabbana Beauty. In 2015 Sabina joined the PR department at MAKE UP FOR EVER.

Sabina-MakeupforeverName: Sabina Ellahi
Company: Make Up For Ever 
Title: PR Manager
Education: BA University of Delaware, Journalism
Instagram: @sabinabean // @makeupforeverofficial
Twitter: @SabinaEllahi // makeupforeverus

How did you get started in PR?

I was a journalism major, so my intention was actually to go into traditional media. I wanted to go into hard news, but eventually settled on magazine editorial. My first internship was in the fashion closet at Marie Claire. I never thought about PR as a career until I saw the large number of agencies that repped the designers and brands I came into contact with while doing sample returns. It piqued my interest on exploring the other side.

I remember my journalism professors were a bit miffed that I was “selling” myself going into PR – but I convinced them otherwise. The following summer, I interned in the PR department at Gucci. There I learned the inner workings of the role and how to establish PR goals for a brand. I loved the notion of telling a brand’s story – whether through a seasonal collection, new launch, or brand initiative – and working with the press to get proper exposure. Part of the reason I loved journalism was because I loved storytelling. PR allowed me to continue to do that.  I really got to immerse myself into a brand and become passionate about making sure the brand was represented in all the right ways.

What is the mood like in the office?

We recently wrapped an event for an exciting new collaboration with Charli XCX. That event was fun! Now that the announcement is out we’re all working to continue to amplify the noise and build buzz around this collaboration, a few weeks ahead of the product launch. Meanwhile, we’re already planning events for our fall launches.

After all these years in PR, it’s still challenging to remember to always be thinking ahead, because so many things happen in the present that require your attention. That being said, the thinking ahead part is what will ultimately set your programming up for success. 

I loved the notion of telling a brand’s story – whether it’s through a seasonal collection, new launch, or brand initiative – and working with the press to get proper exposure.

What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?

I secured a full page feature for a widely known mass brand in Vogue last year. I got a fact check, but I assumed it was just for a small blip of a mention within the article. Then the beauty director at the time (Sarah Brown) sent me the issue with a note and lo and behold: there were the lipsticks from the brand I worked with all over the page! It was like opening a present on my birthday.

Beauty PR Makeup Forever PR Girl

What are you really good at?

Building relationships. It’s pivotal in PR to build and more importantly, maintain connections.

After all these years in PR, it’s still challenging to remember to always be thinking ahead, because so many things happen in the present that require your attention.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your career thus far?

I’ve built incredible relationships while working in this industry, both among my peers and with editors and bloggers – many of whom I now call my close friends. The humanizing aspect of building relationships within the professional realm (and this is not just in PR) tends to kind of get lost, but I always strive to maintain integrity and to be myself. After all, we’re all human – we have personal lives and stories that make us who we are.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I once had to get Chris Evans dress socks because he forgot to pack a pair for a fragrance press day we were having. I think this experience teeters between glamorous and not-at-all glamorous because on the one hand, I had to go buy someone socks. On the other hand, I spent the day with Captain America! That was fun. He was incredibly down to earth and easy to work with, which made the press day all the more enjoyable.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Peeling about 20,000 plastic wrappers off makeup products for backstage makeup kits before New York Fashion Week.

What’s the biggest challenge facing lifestyle communicators right now?

Almost all communication is digital now, which means sometimes messages can get lost in translation. There tends to be a lot of ambiguity within emails, texts – anything that happens digitally. I think it’s a cultural thing for women to dissect every word and punctuation (I sound like I’m talking about the problems of online dating – but that’s a conversation for another day). I still find that a simple phone call goes a long way. You’re able to communicate much more easily (and more quickly), and eliminate any issues of ambiguity. I hope that method doesn’t fade over time.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?

I know this is said over and over again, but it really is true – PR isn’t ER. We’re not performing brain surgery! It’s easy to get stressed out and worn down because so many things are happening and there are levels of expectations for you to be performing your best at all times. When I start to feel overwhelmed, stressed or see rejection come my way, I always make sure I remove myself from my desk and disconnect for a little bit. Giving myself time to think, decompress, and process what is happening allows me to reassess the situation at hand and come back with a solution (or in rare cases, acceptance of the situation). It also helps to remind yourself that you’re only human – we’re not robots. 🙂

I always strive to maintain integrity and to be myself. After all, we’re all human – we have personal lives and stories that make us who we are.

What are three must-haves that are essential to your job?

  • iPhone: Needs no explanation. It’s a powerful connectivity device. (Although I admit, sometimes I do long for the days of a flip phone because it was a simpler time).
  • Instagram: A given for any publicist! I love how clean and streamlined the app is. I still get captivated when I see some of the photography on there.
  • Feedly: I have hundreds of websites that I want to check out on a daily basis, but unfortunately, time isn’t on my side. Feedly is an essential for me as it aggregates all the content from news sites and blogs into a cohesive feed, allowing me to skim through topline news and content from all of the sites I like to follow. It makes the news I want to keep up with very digestible for me.

What do you wish more people understood about PR?

People tend to glamorize PR – I blame TV and movies for that. In PR, there’s a high level of strategic thinking that happens daily – whether it’s figuring out the phasing of a launch roll out, how a collaboration announcement is made, or more generally how we communicate the brand story. With social in the mix, you have to weave all those elements into the larger business objectives.

The landscape is always evolving. We have to constantly make sure we’re not just up to date with the trends, but working ahead of them.

Makeup Forever Charli XCI

Charli XCX, Make Up For Ever

PR trends are always changing – how do you keep up?

WWD is really the Holy Grail for me for when it comes to staying on top of industry trends. I was bummed when the daily editions went digital – but it makes sense in this climate. News rapidly travels in the internet age, and print simply doesn’t have the luxury of releasing news instantaneously.

On that note of instantaneous, shareable information – social platforms is also a crucial tool in our industry. Instagram and Snapchat gives me more intel than I’ve ever had access to about what’s going on across the industry – whether it’s events, new launches, even just the going ons within a publication. Talk about the era of sharing everything!

I also continue to maintain friendships with many of my peers in the business from past jobs. It’s like we all grew up together, starting from working as assistants to now working in mid and senior level positions. Since I’m so immersed in the world of color, it’s interesting to hear from my other peers about what trends are happening with skincare, hair and nails. The conversations we have helps me stay abreast of all the happenings in the entire world of the beauty business.

What would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?

Stay hungry for knowledge – never stop thinking that there isn’t always something new to learn, no matter how far along you advance in your career. Because trust me, there is ALWAYS something new to learn.

Thanks Sabina!

 

What to include in a Modern Day Press Kit

Fashion Brand Press Kit Example

There was a time not that long ago when brands produced printed look books and press kits for every new collection launch or announcement and mailed them to all relevant media outlets.

While some brands still produce printed press materials, it’s becoming increasingly rare. More often, press materials exist in a digital format and are shared via email, a download link or publicly on a company website. Even though the format of press materials might evolve, the information that editors and journalists need about your clients and brands remains the same.

For new product launches or seasonal collection launches, a look book is a key part of a press kit. The look book should include images and style names of the key items you want to showcase to the press. Images of the collection can be shot on models or still life on a white background. All images in the look book should be available in a high resolution format, since many publications can use a brand’s product images for certain still life stories. Before you shoot a look book, consider the publications on the brand’s radar, and whether or not your concept would look at home within their pages.

Depending on the news you’re announcing, other key pieces of your press kit could include:

  • A media alert with event details. This document includes the who, what, where, when and why for the event your client is hosting. It’s used when trying to secure media to attend and cover an event.
  • A company history with key dates and background information about your client or brand.
  • Biographies for key executives at your client’s company.
  • Press releases announcing new collections and/or other important news from your client.
  • Multimedia materials including videos and high resolution images. If any of these materials require a photo or creator credit, make sure to clearly note it.

If your brand or client has the budget, consider building a dedicated press site that can be the destination for all of your latest press information including look books, press releases and high resolution images. Another option is to upload your press kit to a site like Issuu, or to use a file sharing service like Google Drive or Dropbox to host all of your client’s press information. What you don’t want to do is crowd your pitch with a host of attachments; make it easy for an editor to scan the information – all in one place – when she needs it.

Overall, when putting together a press kit, it’s always important to keep the media’s needs top of mind. Editors and journalists are very busy and they receive a huge volume of PR pitches every day, so anything you can do to make their lives easier will help increase your chances of coverage.

Editor Q&A: How to Pitch Mother Mag

James BleuBird Media Mother

Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’re especially excited for this How to Pitch Q&A with one of our favorite online destinations for modern moms. Founders Katie and James met at on a press trip – Katie was most recently the Senior West Coast Editor of Refinery29 and James is operates the successful blog Bleubird. Soon after, the two came together to launch Mother, a unique full-service, style-leaning parenting site.

Editor Interview with Katie and James, Mother MagName: Katie Hintz-Zambrano, James Kicinski-McCoy
Twitter: @mrszambrano, @bleubirdblog
Instagram: @katiehintzzambrano, @bleubird
Title: Founders
Publication: Mother
Circulation: Worldwide
Email: hello@mothermag.com
Twitter: @mothermagdotcom
Instagram: @mothermag

How do you prefer to receive pitches?

Katie: Via email and personalized! When I get an email that says ‘Dear Editor,’ or worse yet, ‘Dear Blogger,’ I hit delete! Please read our site and know what we would likely cover before sending a pitch over.

How far in advance do you work?

James: I prefer to have at least two weeks, so I can make sure that if a photoshoot needs to take place I can properly prepare, but one week ahead works just fine in many cases

What is the best time to send pitches?

Katie: I work around the clock (probably a bad thing!), so I could get something at 2pm or 2am, and I’ll see both!

PR tips with Katie, Mother Mag founder

Katie Hintz-Zambrano with her son 

What types stories/pitches are you looking for?

James: Anything that resonates with Mother and makes sense for our brand and audience, whether that be a lookbook of a new fashion line for women and/or children or a new beauty product launch.

What makes a great pitch?

Katie: I love when a publicist shows that they are clearly fans of the site and get what we do. It’s always nice when someone pitches a specific column or comments on a past article that they read. It shows they’ve done their homework and I’m much more likely to respond to those emails to show them that courtesy back. When people pitch a product or a person for the site, attaching images (the person with their family and interior shots of their home, if they are pitching a Mother Stories profile), is really key, as is having a link-out to the product/person’s website high up in the pitch.

If you are interested, what do you need to move forward?

James: Detailed brand and product information and samples that we choose ourselves, so we can shoot our own beautiful photography. In some cases, photos from the brand that match our aesthetic.

What is the best way for a publicist to build a relationship with you?

Katie: I think sending us personal notes about articles they liked (if it’s genuine) is always a nice thing. Again, it’s great to know that they get what Mother is all about. If your client wasn’t mentioned in an article that you think they could have been in, it’s okay to send a nice email about that, too!

For example, ‘Hey, I loved your article on toddler shoes. Would love for you to consider my client XYZ if you ever publish a follow-up piece!’ If I just honestly forgot about your client, I might even add them to the current article! That’s the beauty of the web. Also, we’ve started doing a lot of events, so helping support us with gift bag goodies, tabletop designs, and offering samples for shoots we might have is all really appreciated.

James BleuBird Media Mother
James McCoy with her 4 children

What is a guarantee that a publicist will never hear back from you?

James: I don’t like copy and pasted, impersonal pitches. Know who you are sending an email to and take the time to make sure that your pitch makes sense for our site and audience.

We’ve started doing a lot of events, so helping support us with gift bag goodies, tabletop designs, and offering samples for shoots we might have is all really appreciated.

What do you wish more publicists understood about Mother Magazine?

Katie: Mother is a very specific parenting website. It’s for smart women who also care about aesthetics. Just because your client makes a product geared towards mothers and children, doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll cover it. The same goes with venues. Sometimes I’ll get pitches about family resorts or hotels, but there’s really nothing cool about the property. We would never suggest that our readers use their hard-earned money to go somewhere that didn’t feel special and beautiful.

PS: Don’t miss out on our Parenting/Kids Media List, currently 20% off through Mother’s Day in the shop.

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Lemonade’s Stylists, Marketing Messages for Men & Elle’s New Editor

Snapchat, Instagram, Social Marketing, Fashion PR, Social Media News, Fashion Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of April 25, 2016

  • On Fashion Revolution Day, fash-mobbers congregated in San Francisco to ask the question, “Who Made My Clothes?” to raise awareness about the global fashion supply chain. (via Eco-Chick)
  • While everyone’s trying to figure out Becky with the good hair, meet the stylists behind Lemonade.  (via Racked)
  • Covergirl is the latest beauty brand to offer up augmented reality with the launch of BeautyU, an app that lets users virtually try on makeup. (via DigiDay)
  • “Recent studies on the human attention span show the average human being can only stay completely focused on a single thing for eight seconds.” How attention-grabby are your headlines? (via Spin Sucks)
  • Topshop launches “Top Pitch” boot camp for international tech entrepreneurs and startups in wearable tech. (via Fashionista)
  • The Daily Beast announces Red Label, a new content division covering cocktail culture, fashion and design.  (via PR Newswire)

 

 FAVORITE FASHION VIDEOS

3 Fashion Brands to Follow for Snapchat Inspiration

Snapchat Marketing Tips from Fashion Brands

Snapchat can be a challenging social channel to navigate for businesses, if only because it feels like one more platform to manage. But if there is one industry that has proven any brand can successfully engage with customers on Snapchat, it’s fashion. Fashion houses like Rebecca Minkoff started experimenting with Snapchat early on, but it really became the go-to social channel during February’s New York Fashion Week. Brands offered behind the scenes looks at some of the week’s most high profile, invite-only runway shows, allowing fans from all over the globe an immediate, video-driven perspective, unlike anything they experienced to date.

Since fashion week, fashion companies continue to experiment on the platform. Make sure you are following the following 3 labels when seeking inspiration for your own Snapchat brand strategy to reach consumers 13-34.

Lilly Pulitzer on Snapchat for Retail Strategy

Lilly Pulitzer (@lilly_pulitzer) has a loyal fan base that spans across multiple generations, including millennials. On Snapchat, their strategy seems to be – build anticipation for what’s to come – and drive customers in-store. This is primarily accomplished through behind the scenes access to photo shoots of their upcoming collections to tours of in-store merchandise,

Lilly Pulitzer, who is represented by top fashion PR firm LaForce + Stevens, was also the first fashion brand to take advantage of custom geofilters as both a branding and promotional tool. Utilizing this feature increases user engagement and allows customers to serve as brand ambassadors and increase brand awareness. Each user who shares a Snapchat using the geofilter is reaching people who don’t already follow Lilly Pulitzer, sparking interest and potentially reaching new followers.

Snapchat contributes to Lilly’s growth among millennials, as many are eager to share the Lilly love.

Follow Free People on Snapchat for Brand Loyalty Tactics

Similarly to Lilly Pulitzer, Free People (@freepeople) uses Snapchat to preview new collections. While Free People is certainly aware that Snapchat can’t directly measure sales, the brand recognizes that the platform as a powerful means to generate community engagement.

One unique way Free People engages and grow their audience is by inviting followers to ask and answer questions. Brand representatives will ask customers questions about their weekend plans, for example, boosting the lifestyle aspect of Free People’s brand identity. Free People demonstrates that Snapchat contributes to customer engagement and the connection between a brand and its fans that helps to build trust and loyalty.

Follow ASOS on Snapchat for Marketing Tactics

ASOS (@asosfashion), was a Snapchat early adopter, joining the app in 2013. Asos shares all types of content, but has become known for sharing exclusive, time-sensitive discount codes to Snapchat followers, which both rewards fans for paying attention, and puts Snapchat squarely as a strategy to drive sales.

Combing short-term discounts with Snapchat’s own 24-hour cycle is an obvious tie-in that aligns with the nature of the app itself.

In 2015, ASOS said that while they can’t formally measure engagement on Snapchat, ASOS wants to be in any space where its customers are – and they will continue to use the app. Of course, discount codes are one way they can absolutely track the effectiveness of using Snapchat as a marketing channel.

If you’ve yet give Snapchat a try, consider this your warning. Let’s just call Snapchat the new Instagram and accept it’s the next stop on the social media train. The good news is that this app is a great platform to experiment and test different types of content. Most importantly, listen to your followers and find out what they like.

Whether you are a fashion powerhouse or a new retailer just getting started, take a few tips from these brands and start including Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy.

PS: You can follow PR Couture on Snapchat @prcouture. 

About Ellen

Ellen Borza is an Online PR Specialist at Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency located in Lancaster, PA. Ellen earned a B.A. in communications and a B.S. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. When Ellen isn’t conducting outreach for her clients, she loves reading and writing about the latest digital marketing trends, especially as they relate to fashion. In her free time, she authors her own fashion and lifestyle blog.

PR Interview: Meet Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, President at rock-it-promotions

Top Fashion PR Firm Canada

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski started her business out of her parents’ spare bedroom in January 2000 with a phone book, a fax machine, and a lot of determination. Since then, Debra’s lifestyle PR firm rock-it promotions has grown to seven-figures in revenue and a few dozen employees and experiences working one-on-one with A-list celebrities like Gerard Butler, Emily Blunt, Morgan Freeman, and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

The Toronto-based agency has worked with top fashion and lifestyle brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, Mackage, Four Seasons, Toronto Fashion Week and Debra has been the invited PR expert on MuchMore Music, eTalk and Global News, and featured in the National Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and more. Recent new client additions include the Guess and Adidas accounts in Canada.

Additionally, rock-it has announced the launch of its social influencer division, Fourth Floor Management, which now represents eight influencers from around Canada: Alexander Liang, Justine Iaboni, Deanne Wilder, Gracie Carroll, Daniel Ocean, Chef Cory Vitiello and Jill Lansky.

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, rock-it-promotions

Luis Mora for Elle Canada

Name: Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski
Company: rock-it promotions
Title: President
Education: BA in Creative Writing from Concordia University
Instagram: @rockitdeb
Twitter: @debgee
Instagram: @fourthfloormanagement
Twitter: @FourthFloorMgmt

How did you get started in PR?

I worked for a now defunct agency as an assistant. I left to spend time with my mom who was dying from cancer and decided I was better at being the boss than listening to one. I was very young and determined and had nothing to lose. Turned out to be a good decision. I started the company over 16 years ago and haven’t looked back once.

 What is your primary focus these days?

I do it all from creating strategies for clients, to pitching stories to the media, to mentoring my team.

What is the mood like in the office?

The mood depends on the day and the work we’re doing, but we are pretty relaxed and like to have fun. We also work really hard and can be serious and very quiet sometimes. We work in an open concept space and it’s not unusual for one of our team to have their dog visiting. I have special treats in my desk drawer to win all the dogs over.

We always have a ton going on! For example, we recently wrapped Toronto Fashion Week, a press day with Chef Daniel Boulud, and a book launch for Food, Sex and You.

What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?

I’m proud of the team every day. Every day they produce great success for the client’s we work with and that is what makes client’s happy. And a happy client means a happy me. As long as I know we have really, truly given our all, then I feel good about the work we do.

What’s been your most memorable moment in your career thus far?

There have been so many, but the year I broke 1 million in revenue was a pretty memorable moment. I started in my parent’s spare bedroom without any money, no degree in PR or business experience. Through sheer work and determination, I grew this little business into a big business. That was pretty cool.

rock-it-promo, best heath magazine

Client Fresh in the Best Health Magazine September 2015 Issue

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

My job isn’t glamourous. It may look that way from the outside, but it is anything but. I’ve always said, if you see a publicist in heels, she ain’t working the way she should be.

How is rock-it structured?

We have various account teams in our office (five and growing). Each team has a Director, an Account Manager, Account Specialist, Account Coordinator and Publicity Volunteer. Every person has their own job description which helps a lot with structure. Some people have additional areas they specialize in, such as social media or design.

PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?

Grow a thick skin. Shake it off. Have warm bodies to come home to every day. I have three of them and they love me no matter what, every damn day.

My job isn’t glamourous. It may look that way from the outside, but it is anything but. I’ve always said, if you see a publicist in heels, she ain’t working the way she should be.

What are three must-have tools that are essential to your job?

  • A great calendar
  • A phone with two batteries
  • Solid relationships with people (which isn’t a tool, app or product, but it is essential).

I also really like the app Breathe which allows quick meditations wherever you are. James Cordon Car Karaoke videos are also essential to lighten up the bad days.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

This isn’t a ‘9 to 5’ job. If that is what you want, then public relations is not the right career path for you.

Debra, rock-it-promo, etalk

  Debra on etalk

What’s the biggest challenge facing communicators right now?

There is a lot of competition right now from smaller agencies who win business because they are charging too little. It is bad for any industry to have professionals that undercut their value too much. You want to win because you are the best, not the cheapest.

PR trends are always changing – how do you keep up?

I read every day – papers, magazines and online. I record TV shows. I am on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. I’m constantly researching and networking. And 95% of the time, it doesn’t feel like work. I do it because I enjoy it.

What type of person thrives at rock-it-promotions?

Somebody who looks at the bigger picture and isn’t always looking out for themselves. I love people who offer to help others, make others smile and who genuinely get excited about the work they do. I love it when I hear somebody say ‘YES!’ when they secure a great feature for a client, or are glowing after running an amazing event. That shows me they are meant to be there.

What would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?

You can have it all, just not all at the same time. And don’t forget to hold on tight, baby, because life is going to be fast.

Thanks Debra!

 

The Upside to Working With Difficult Clients: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned from Terrible PR Client Relationships

So you’ve just had an awful client experience. This isn’t about one or two hiccups or disagreements—that’s just ordinary professional relationship wear and tear, this was bad. Really bad. As communicators, we know that sometimes things like this happen; we just can’t see eye to eye, despite the fact that we’ve been hired to help reach a mutual goal.

Well, what can you do now? A little perspective can’t hurt – take a little scroll through Clients from Hell for the comic relief, and then sit down and perform your own little post-mortem to divine the lessons learned.

Was it a personality clash?

There are countless reasons as to why you may not get along with someone. When people clash, it often has to do with different communication styles. Did your client overstep boundaries and text you frantic demands at 2 am? Did your client not quite understand your social media report metrics, and get defensive and nit-picky as a result? Did your Account Executive make a blunder in an early meeting that set the stage for a lack of trust? Or, was your client, honestly, just kind of mean?

Work is the last place that you want any kind of conflict as it takes away from your ability to do your job, and to do it well. Instead of focusing on the frustration you are feeling, use this situation as a stepping-stone to avoid future conflict. Get clear on what actually went wrong, and evaluate how professionally and quickly you were able to cut ties and move forward. Take the answers to these kinds of questions back to the drawing board and develop or clarify new policies to that you can set better expectations, and have greater self-awareness about what types of clients are the best fit for you.

Did you ignore red flags?

You’ve already gone through a not-so-pleasant experience with a client, so identify what it was that drew you to them and their project in the first place.

Perhaps you were working with an incredible fashion house or that up-and-coming beauty line all the editors love. So what. Companies are made up of people, and your ideal client is never going to be a nightmare hiding underneath an impressive brand name. If you made the mistake of choosing to work with a client based on name recognition, ignoring signs of internal strife or unrealistic expectations during the proposal process – cancelled meetings, endless rounds of approval on a contract, even sales expectations – it’s time to call this a lesson learned.

Did you stay too long?

In public relations we’re so used to saying “yes, yes, yes,” that we forget that it’s also okay to say “no.” Dealing with a difficult client helps us realize what kind of professional relationships are worth saving, and what kind we’re better off tossing. After all, you can’t make room for a wonderful new client if your current roster is bringing you down. And you can’t risk your media relationships for clients who refuse to send samples, don’t show up for interviews and aren’t interested in developing something newsworthy you can pitch.

Its natural for our first instinct to be that walking away is giving up, an admission of failure. So we stick with clients and projects we dislike and aren’t passionate about. But it’s ok if you realize, in the first few months of working together, that you and a client just don’t fit. Be honest with yourself about who you want to work with, and who you don’t.

Working with difficult clients teaches about what you like and don’t like. Sometimes these relationships can be ultimately very gratifying, as you grow in your own professional skills and learn how to navigate difficult situations and strong personalities. But sometimes, it’s just a bad match. Learn what kind of clients are a fit for own business goals by taking the time to constantly check-in with yourself. Finally, develop an ideal client profile that clarifies what you are looking for – both in terms of industry, budget and personality – and use that to guide your outreach efforts.

You Absolutely Need These Top 5 Social Media Management Apps

The Social Media Apps Used by Top PR Agencies

Keeping up with the Kardashians and everything on our to-do lists can be time consuming and undoubtedly overwhelming.  At Beach House PR, we get by with a little help from our apps.  From finding the perfect hashtag, syncing calendars, or collaborating with our team, there is always a new tool to help make sure we manage our time and kick ass along the way.  As savvy players in the social field, we are constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest apps to help manage our workload as efficiently as possible.  From management tools to Instagram assists, the following PR agency-approved apps are MUST HAVES for social media management success…and sanity.

1. Planogram for scheduling

Say hello to your new BFF.  Planerly is THE visual planner and scheduler for Instagram. With this strategic planning tool, you can plan and schedule content and marketing campaigns in advance, either days, weeks, or months before launch – talk about a stress reliever!  This app saves social lives because it features the capability to manage and schedule content for multiple accounts.  That’s major!  Even more, the push notification feature delivers reminders straight to your phone when it is time to post.  Can we get a praise hands emoji?!  The best part? There are multiple subscription options so you can pick the optimal one for you.  From Basic to Better, there is something for everyone.

2. Trello for project management

Say hello to Trello!  This must-have app makes working in groups so much easier with Trello boards.  A Trello Board is a list of lists, filled with cards, allowing you to organize and categorize projects, campaigns, and more with your social team.  Per each card, you can post comments for instant feedback, add checklists, labels, deadlines, and upload files straight from your computer or phone.  If that sounds complicated, it’s really not.  Trust in Trello.

3. Pocket to bookmark content for later

Girl, your Pocket is about to get digital…and much deeper.  Pocket is an app that allows you to store internet gems you find NOW to view LATER.  It’s a must-have for bookmarking the plethora of digital news articles that your coworkers are constantly swapping around the office.  Imagine all the goodies you can put in your Pocket without weighing you down!  With 22 million users and 2 billion (yes that was billion with a B) items saved in Pocket, this app is non-negotiable.

4. Tagomatic for Hashtags

Is your hashtag game lacking? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that.  Introducing Tagomatic, a genius app that finds the hottest hashtags for your Instagram post. Not only does this tool save you time and money (‘cus we all know time=money), it increases engagement with #TheMostEffectiveHashtags, helps you discover related hashtags, and allows you to copy them directly to Instagram.  Not all hashtags are created equal, so make sure you’re using the right ones.

5. Moleskine Timepage for calendar management

Let’s get organized, people.  With Moleskine Timepage, all of your calendars are synced to one place, seamlessly integrated with weather forecasts, maps, contacts, and other apps.  Timepage’s hottest feature, Month Heatmap, provides a stunning month view to help you look ahead and stay organized. Essentially, it’s an intuitive heatmap of your schedule so you can get a feel of when you’re busy and when you’re free…as if we’re ever free.  Never miss another post, appointment, meeting or five-minute coffee break again by investing in the calendar of all calendars. Lifesaver.

Social media can be chaotic, but our lives don’t have to be.  Have you tried any of these apps?  Are there any rockstar tools that you think we’re missing?  Give us a shout on Twitter @beachhousepr @prcouture!

Fashion’s True Prince, Eva on Instagram Metrics & Retailers Head to Snapchat

Snapchat, Instagram, Social Marketing, Fashion PR, Social Media News, Fashion Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of April 18, 2016

  • “Over the last year, especially, digital upstarts have become increasingly entwined with the companies whose business models they are disrupting.” Find out who is behind some of your favorite sites. (via Hollywood Reporter)
  • Whether seeking self-promotion or securing interviews on behalf of a client, be sure your media training is up to snuff before the questions begin.  (via Presenting Yourself)
  • When Eva speaks, we listen. And she’s telling fashion brands to relax; Instagram numbers never tell the whole story. (via BoF)
  • Does your online persona need an upgrade? Where to start and what to do. (via AirPR)