Kate Moss Joins Insta, NYFW Marketing Tactics & Paid Social Media Plans


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

…for the week of September 19, 2016

  • We sat down with Anna Wintour (just kidding… we wish), but she did recently share some great fashion industry advice for anyone looking to break in (via Dazed Digital)
  • London Fashion Week is a make or break for many designers; what the majority of the expenses are may surprise you (via PR Week)
  • The campaigns that surface post-fashion week are often legendary, but this campaign for women may be one of the most influential of the season (via Daily Record UK)
  • Results are in and the top engagements for NYFW include major fashion houses like Michael Kors and DVF (duh), but some newcomers topped the charts (via The Fashion Law)
  • We’ve all seen some nasty Twitter Trolling in our day, but how should brands deal with the negativity? (via The Fast Company)
  • This season’s fashion trend: seasonless collections. See now, buy now takes precedent for everyone from Rebecca Minkoff to Burberry is onboard (via The Daily Mail UK)
  • From lackluster collections to sidewalk fashion shows, design is no longer the center of fashion week; marketing has become the focus (via The McGill Tribune)
  • Earned social media is important, but these days brands need to give weight to paid social strategy as well (via Hit Search Limited)

The Secret to Getting Beauty Products to Celebrities

Celebrity PR Placement Beauty Public Relations Sponsor Glam Squad

We all know that celebrity affiliation with brands can increase exposure, legitimacy, and that “cool” factor (not to mention making us look pretty cool in front of our clients!). While fashion and accessory brands is often about working with celeb fashion stylists, the route to a beauty product placement entails working with a celebrity “glam squad.” Many of today’s successful glam squads have huge social media followings individually; these beauty artists are becoming celebs in their own right. Working directly with the make-up artist or hairstylist for a celebrity is an effective way to get products in the hands (or on the faces or in the hair!) of A-list talent.

My agency has worked with countless celebrity beauty artists over the years, from makeup artists to manicurists. As a result, our clients’ products have been used on the faces of celebs like Kim Kardashian, January Jones, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Hyland, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Chrissy Teigen, and more.

Here’s how you can also leverage celebrity beauty experts to secure a coveted A-list beauty placement.

Determine if there is any budget before doing outreach

Very few things in Hollywood come free, and paying beauty experts to use particular products on their celeb clientele is de rigour. The easiest way to ensure specific products are used on a particular celebrity (and sometimes at a certain event – like a high-profile award show), you’re looking at a sponsorship.

How celebrity beauty artist sponsorships work

You’ll need to work through an agent and negotiating a rate and terms for the artist using your products on their celeb clients.  Bigger artist agencies include Starworks, The Wall Group, Cloutier Remix, and Tracey Mattingly. Pricing ranges from $500 for a small nail sponsorship to $10,000 for a larger hair stylist sponsorship. Events can affect budget (a small film premiere will be less than the Oscars) and of course, the influence and fame of the star herself; the bigger the star, the higher the cost!

Once you’re in the negotiation phase, try and add in a few tagged social media posts on behalf of the stylist, and photography sent to you to be used on brand channels.  It’s smart to ensure that you are able to use the placement in editorial PR outreach; include a few quick interview questions for the beauty artist to answer in order to develop expert quotes for pitching.

Finally, understand (and communicate to your client) that many celebrities and glam squads are under contracts with bigger cosmetics companies so they cannot accept sponsorships from other brands.

Select Your Talent/Opportunities Carefully

Not all celebrities are right for every brand, and not all celebrity placements are going to have the kind of massive affect your client is hoping for. Just like pitching is all about cultivating a custom media list for every client and opportunity, your role is to cull and select celebrities that make sense, and not simply celebrity for the sake of celebrity. If you are working with a fun, young makeup brand that caters to millennials, it’s probably best to stick with a fresh talent. If you have a luxury haircare line that has anti-aging properties, steer away from the latest Disney crew! In particular, when money is changing hands, hold out for the right event tie-in. If you are offered a sponsorship for an event that is likely to go uncovered in the press, or that doesn’t have a ton of photo opportunities, you won’t be able to extend that placement very far in terms of social story-telling and media coverage.

Include a few quick interview questions for the beauty artist to answer in order to develop expert quotes for pitching.

Consider PR Seeding Strategies

Not all brands (especially those starting out) have a budget to sponsor celeb beauty experts. You can still develop a celebrity outreach strategy – you just have to focus more on seeding product to the artists. To find out who the top artists are and who they work with, look at who your target celebs tags in their social media posts, they will often have their “glam squad.” Talent agency websites will often have a list of who they represent as well.  If you can’t find an email for the stylist, send an email to their agent offering to gift product to the artist – they’ll often put you in touch directly.

Increase your chances of an unpaid glam squad placement

With social media, it’s easier than ever to see what types of products top beauty experts are into. For example, many makeup artists, manicurists, and hair stylists are leaning more towards natural products. If you have a great eco-friendly makeup or skincare line, reach out to them and let them know what makes that line unique. You might notice that a certain makeup artist is obsessed with all different types of highlighter – if your brand makes a great one, reach out to them with info and offer to send samples for their kit.

Gift Strategically During Certain Times of the Year

In addition to doing research to anticipate what products a beauty artist will love, send artists specific products to have in their kits for certain times of the year – awards show season, NYFW, Coachella, Sundance etc. While most beauty experts will be sponsored for these bigger events, if you have a great product you can still increase the chances that it will be used on a celeb by sending to their artists during these busy times.

Working with a celebrity glam squad requires knowing how the industry works, and being flexible on budget. Whether you’re able to go straight to the top with an exclusive partnership or sending out samples in the hope they will be used, it’s important to think about not only the placement itself but how to maximize that value for your brand through social media and editorial opportunities.

PR Girls We Love: Aly MacGregor, President at Reicura

Berlin Fashion Week

Aly MacGregor is a talented young entrepreneur, serving as the founder and President of internationally acclaimed creative agency Reicura. She is also the co-founder of several businesses in the tech, education and music industries, and consults for some of the fastest-growing companies in the UK, the US, and Canada. Aside from her business endeavors, she also sits on the boards and committees for some charitable organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys watching every single episode of Jeopardy, and being perpetually jet lagged.

Aly MacGregor PresidentName: Aly MacGregor
Title: Founder & President
Current Cities: Mainly Toronto and London, with some NYC in the mix
Agency: Reicura
Instagram: personal: @alymacgregor agency: @reicura
Twitter: Toronto: @ReicuraTO London: @ReicuraLDN

How did you get started in PR?

I quite literally fell into the world of PR! I was sitting in a tort law class when I got a call from a friend in LA saying he was producing an awards show in London and asked if I could help out with PR. Being a nerdy law student, I repeatedly refused until I got dirty looks from my professor and eventually said yes just to get him off the phone. That night I went home and googled “what is PR” and “how do you do PR”.

I started my agency after my first PR gig, and funny enough being the president of this agency is the first and only job I’ve ever had!

Tell us a bit about Reicura

I still consider us to be boutique in size and management style, so I’m the only person in my managerial level “department.” However, I’ve always believed in strong collaboration and keeping things as hierarchy-free as possible without sacrificing individual accountability, so all of our agency departments are very interconnected. Since I both oversee as well as work with each of our company departments, I treat my interactions with my team similarly to how I am as the oldest child with my two siblings: guiding, supportive, and bossy with the best intentions!

What is the mood like in the office? What do you have going on right now?

Our office mood is like an ongoing work party; there’s the less fun part of parties where you have to do things like tidy up spills, but the bulk of them is about having fun doing what you love, which is a hugely important principle that we strictly adhere to. It also helps that our team is hilarious, so there’s always lots of laughs and inappropriate jokes to help get us through the long hours that we put in. We’re currently working on quite a few joint office collaborations since the international fashion weeks are around the corner.

swam canada

Aly with client SWAM Canada at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

What is a recent job success story?

We recently become the agency partner for SWAM Canada, which is an incredible new men’s swimwear line from Will Poho, the founder of Moose Knuckles Jackets, and his business partner Joseph Tassoni. It was a huge win for us as an agency, but it was made even more special by the fact that they have been the best kind of clients an agency could ask for. They have a fantastic and unique product; they let us do our job, and they’re good to have a drink (or 3) with after work!

Most memorable moment in your career ?

I think when we moved from my kitchen to an actual office space was symbolic for me. That move took it from being “fun little part-time thing” to “wow this is my real career”.

Most glamorous moment in your career?

PR isn’t nearly as glamorous as Samantha Jones and Edina Monsoon made it look on television, but I’m not too jaded to admit that attending award shows (especially when you can be a guest rather than working in some capacity) can be very glamorous. Or any of our Cannes-related moments – those have been pretty spectacular.

Least glamorous moment in your career ?

The most recent one I can think of had to do with producing a campaign involving the cutest kittens, and I, of course, ended up being tinkled on, numerous times. Not my finest moment, but I guess one of the unforeseen hazards of the job!

[Moving] from my kitchen to an actual office space was symbolic for me. That move took it from being “fun little part-time thing” to “wow this is my real career”.

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

We have a system at our agency – allow yourself to be upset until X happens, with X being an action you take that makes you happy and that you don’t do too often. So my “X” is drinking whisky. I can be upset for as long as I want until I have a whisky, and then that’s it! No more wallowing, no more complaining – it wasn’t meant to be, and that last drop of whisky signals the end of any residual upset I’m allowed to experience. It helps give you an endpoint for stress and provides you with a positive thing to look forward to as you come out of the negative experience of rejection.

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

For a while now, I’ve been noticing brands starting to strategize using what I call shortcut PR – like when a brand will rely solely on “Instagram influencers” as their PR strategy. There’s no longevity built into that “plan” and it makes PR seem like it’s all about winning a popularity contest when in actually fashion and lifestyle communications is so much more multifaceted. But you’ll see brands choose to put their budgets towards shortcut PR rather than investing in a proper multi-faceted PR plan executed by professionals. So I’d say a big challenge is convincing certain brands, especially fashion ones, that putting all their eggs into that one basket isn’t the smartest move.

What type of person thrives at your company/agency?

Someone who doesn’t have an overpowering ego, and wants to constantly learn. We operate as a real family unit, so if you’re too much of a lone wolf you might not be as comfortable with our company culture. That said, you need to have enough belief in yourself that will allow you to go and get shit done without someone having to hold your hand every step of the way. So basically, an outgoing team player who doesn’t need mollycoddling and can take direction. Simple!

Brands choose to put their budgets towards shortcut PR rather than investing in a proper multi-faceted PR plan executed by professionals.

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

Don’t try to be me, make your work path fit for the kind of person you are. I’m naturally more on the introverted side and I’m not the greatest self-seller but instead of trying to be something I wasn’t, I built my company to reflect my personality to some degree (ie. we like to be the more invisible brains behind the work and let our clients shine) and surrounded myself with great people who can do things I can’t. It’s your life, make it work for you!

Thanks, Aly!

5 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job for Something New

Career Tips Exit Strategy Quit Job

A Linkedin study reports that millennials will change jobs about four times before turning 32, so a bit of career hopping is in the cards for most of us. Whether you’re leaving on good terms with your former company, or seeking out a healthier work environment, it’s important to treat your exit strategy with as much focus as your job search. After all, you never want to burn a bridge in your haste for something new.

Make sure you complete these five final tasks to ensure your career and reputation head in a positive direction.

1. Anticipate the Needs of Your Current Team

Don’t create an undue burden for your soon-to-be former co-workers. Do your best to transfer any pending accounts to the new account managers, do a final call to your clients and make sure they are clear about who their primary contact will be.

If possible, plan to spend about a week allowing your replacement to job shadow you in your position, so they can ask questions and learn from the best! If this isn’t possible, spend your last few days at your current position creating process docs and checklists so that it will be easy for someone to come in, fill your shoes, and keep the wheels moving.

Brittany Lamp, Digital Brand Manager at Dita Eyewear suggests that you “make sure that everyone around you feels comfortable with your exit plan. Consider how you can make the smoothest transition out of your position. Lastly, stay positive. Be cooperative and keep working hard up until your last minute.”

How much you stay in contact after your departure is a personal decision, but it is sometimes worth the effort in maintaining a professional relationship to offer to answer any high priority questions a few days or weeks after you’ve left. They’ll likely not take you up on it, but the gesture is meaningful, especially if they are overwhelmed.

2. Take Stock of Recent Wins

PR moves so fast that successes are easy to forget about. Did you have a series of successful placements, help to bring on new clients, improve an agency process or execute a campaign that increased web traffic by big percentages? Get those details down on paper before you forget. It’s so much easier to update and track progress when you’re thinking about it versus months, or even years later. In the excitement of a new job, this is an easy step to overlook—why look behind when you can look ahead? But an updated resume now will save you many hours later.

Make sure your online presence is an accurate reflection of your current interests and most recent accomplishments as well. Do a quick Google search and ensure that all social media bios, website profiles, and your LinkedIn are current – including your headshot.

3. Collect Samples of Excellent Work

In addition ensuring your resume and online information is accurate, add in any new portfolio pieces to your website or LinkedIn profile. Follow company guidelines of course, but begin to collect writing samples, media placements, and reports, as well as anything physical that you’ll want to add to your portfolio. Include notes on results or highlights so you have all the evidence you need for future interviews, applications, and opportunities.

4. Consolidate your media contacts

Now is also the time to gather a complete list of your media contacts and important new connections you’ve made at your current position. You’ve likely spent time getting to know specific niche reporters and assignment editors—don’t forget to update your personal media contact list with their information. Your relationships with certain outlets and connections you’ve built through pitching are extremely valuable assets that you bring to the table in any position. If it’s ok with your employer, send them an email with your contact information from your existing email address, or wait and connect with them on Linkedin or from your personal email after your last day.

5. Say Thank You

No matter the work environment, there will have been people who made your day brighter, easier, and more enjoyable. Make sure they know the impact they made on you with a small gift or card. The talented group of professionals you work with now could be your colleagues down the road (again) one day. Just because you’re leaving doesn’t mean the relationship is over. The connections you build, and importantly, maintain, will be your industry resources and contacts for the rest of your career. Take care to end respectfully and with integrity.

Leaving your first job can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. When you make the next move in your career, be sure you’ve taken care of these 5 items before your last day so you’re prepared for your first day at your new job and beyond.

PS: Looking for more support to become a PR Boss? Check out PRISM, our signature career course for aspiring PR Girls!

About Rachel
Rachel Vandernick is the Web Content and Social Media Manager at Elizabethtown College. She specializes in creating social and web strategies clients in niche industries, creating and managing digital ad campaigns, and helping to streamline brand communications. Connect with her on Twitter @VandernickR

3 PR Pro Tips To Keep Cool at Your Next Client Event

event marketing pr events fashion marketing

Tensions run high at client events. With big expectations and millions of small but important details being finalized, the pressure alone can lead to anyone easily losing their cool. While there are different ways to keep yourself calm at the actual event, we believe that a large part of remaining cool and collected is a direct result of your preparation and mindset beforehand.

Here are three ways to keep your cool during a client event:

Event Reality #1 – Be Prepared For The Worst

While we’d all like to believe in the power of positive thinking, it’s important to be realistic going into a client event and map out possible problems and pitfalls. Once your team identifies the worst case scenarios, you can properly plan for how to handle the variety of situations that may arise. Doing so will have you and your team prepared, equipped and ready to handle the worst if it unfortunately does happen. It’s important that your client trusts that no matter what uncertainties may arise during the event, your team will be fully able to adjust like nothing went off course.

Event Reality #2 – Organization is Everything

No matter how small the event, you never want to go into it unorganized and unsure of what is going to take place when and where. Coordinating a run-thru of the event with your team beforehand will bring to light any details that may have slipped through the cracks and get everyone on the same page. Printing out resources, such as a timeline of how the event should go and a contact sheet with important team members, vendors and client phone numbers, will also tighten the overall execution of the event. Vendors participating in the event will also appreciate the organization and will be more likely to work with you and your client again in the future if the event goes smoothly. Everyone feels calmer when they feel they are prepared, and being organized will do just that.

Event Reality #3 – Fuel Up (on Food, not Champagne)

Client events can be extremely draining. They require you to be on at all times and ready to handle any situation that is thrown at you. During the event there is usually little to no down time for you to grab something to eat, which is why it is so important for you to fuel up for the event beforehand to keep you energized and ready to go. Being ‘hangry’ at a client event will lead to nothing good. Make time to eat before and if you don’t have time, sneak some snacks in your purse to fuel up when you’re feeling low on energy.

No matter how much you prepare for a client event, there will always be unanticipated hiccups along the way. When this does happen, it’s important that you keep your cool and assure your client everything is on track. Keeping things in perspective, remaining calm and handling the problem with confidence will lead to a successful event no matter what curveballs you might be thrown.



Business Dinner Etiquette, Overtime Pay & NYFW Lessons Learned


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

…for the week of September 12, 2016

  • Instagram Stories 101: how to take advantage of the drawing tool, use text, upload boomerangs, and more (via The Stylesmith Diaries)
  • Proper fork placement, conversing with other guests, and the tipping of the service staff all play a part in proper business dining etiquette. Make sure to brush up on your manners before attending a work dinner (via YSF Magazine)
  • The photography pros are dishing on how to take amazing photos, and we think your Instagram followers (and clients) will thank you when you put these tips to good use (via Huffington Post)
  • The Tommy Pier was a show to remember, but what really sparked the Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hidad collection? (via Fashion Week Daily)
  • With social media marketing strategies at the forefront of marketing efforts, knowing which platforms to target for which audiences is more important than ever (via AeroLeads)
  • Skipping breaks may seem like a great idea to get a little more work in, but is it really benefitting your productivity? (via The Everygirl)
  • Being environmentally conscious isn’t just for the food industry and we’re about to see a shift with a specific fabric to bring eco-friendly fabrics to fashion – can you guess what it is? (via South China Morning Post)
  • If you were one of any many dancing women in black leotards and wearing bunny ears for Halloween, you might want to consider copying iPhone animations and becoming Snapchat filters this time around (via PopSugar)

The #PRGirl NYFW Recovery Guide

NYFW PR GIRL Fashion Week

If the regular pace of PR life is like a brisk trot through an urban jungle, New York Fashion Week is perhaps that part in any superhero movie when the city dwellers run for their lives while destruction rains down upon them. In all seriousness, for those fashion publicists working the front lines during one of the most intense work weeks of the year, there is only one thing to do once the last show wraps; enjoy the hell out of that after party, and then put up an out-of-office notification and set yourself on vacay mode.

Even if you aren’t able to truly get out of town, we recommend setting up a home-based mini retreat to reset your soul before Monday. To that end, we’ve rounded up a few essentials for a staycation-style, NYFW recovery weekend.

First up, brand new cotton pajamas to live in all weekend long.
Needham Lane, $70-78
Follow the scent...to freedom.
Evil Queen, $18
A little bit silly, super comfy, walk on a cloud slipper shoes that work for that inevitable run to Duane & Rede? Check.
Zhenzee, $68
After all that champagne, a detox is in order. These come delivered right to your door. Don't you feel better already?
Daily Harvest, $7.99 each
Pedicures are so last season. You need to get a little gross (it's ok, Vogue agrees).
Babyfoot, $15.88
Truth is stranger than fiction. No one knows this more than fashion people. No one. Settle in for one incredible story.
In the Name of Gucci, $24.95 (We suggest the audiobook; your eyes are tired from staring at seating charts).



How to Pitch Managing Editor Brianne Nemiroff, Viva Glam Magazine

Viva Glam Magazine Publicity Press

VIVA GLAM Magazine is a Los Angeles-based women’s lifestyle website and quarterly publication with 4.5 million views a month. Topics include fashion, beauty, travel, wellness and entertainment, including celebrity interviews. Online Magazine Editor Brianne Nemiroff pens celebrity features and red carpet fashion coverage as well as a natural beauty and recurring vegan/vegetarian travel column.

Brianne NemiroffName: Brianne Nemiroff
Title: Online Managing Editor
Publication: Viva Glam Magazine
Email: brianne@vivaglammagazine.com
Instagram: @briannenemiroff, @vivaglammag
Twitter: @briannenemiroff@vivaglammag

How did you get where you are today?

I started contributing to VIVA GLAM’s entertainment section fresh out of college. Gradually, I worked my way up to the position I have now.

How far in advance do you work?

We work anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months in advance. If it’s a travel piece and it’s also in our print edition, it can be up to a year as we print seasonally.


Brianne Recently Interviewed ET’s Carly Steel

Photo: Diana Ragland

What is the best time to send a pitch email?

I read all of my emails so anytime is fine. I generally answer my emails the most on Wednesday and Friday mornings. But if it’s a timely pitch, I’ll answer the day-of.

What does your job entail and what kind of stories do you write?

I accept pitches for all sections as I overlook all of them: fashion, beauty, wellness, fitness, food, travel, and entertainment. The stories that I write personally are for entertainment (interviews, set visits, and red carpets), natural/non-toxic beauty, and my travel column “Visiting as a Vegan/Vegetarian”.

Share a bit about your target reader. Who are you writing for?

Our readers are 18-34-year-old females who love living a healthy, balanced lifestyle, enjoy pop culture and love to look glamorous. Most of our readers are up and coming models and actors and look to us for advice on how to better themselves from the inside out.

I generally answer my emails the most on Wednesday and Friday mornings. But if it’s a timely pitch, I’ll answer the day-of.

What email subject lines capture your attention?

Putting Pitch or Interview in the subject line captures my attention most!

What makes a great pitch?

If the PR rep is respectful and clearly understands of our target audience, that’s great. Exclusives are appreciated as well.

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

If they are based in LA, I would love to meet them! Keep emailing me new topics and I will remember you!

Greeting Card Promo


5 Things I Learned My First Year as a Freelance Publicist

Freelance PR Independent PR Fashion PR Beauty PR Career

Last year I was let go from my job and living in an area where no one was hiring—especially in the PR field. Considering my passion and experience was in public relations, I chose to take it upon myself to create my very own career path as a freelance publicist.

Some make a brave, planned jump into consulting, while others are more forced into it due to circumstance. My foray into freelance work started without any clients and no experience in the business aspects of independent contracting. Happily, a year later I have successfully built a freelance career. I have four consistent clients, and have had to turn down projects I can’t fit into my schedule.

Making the shift into solopreneurship has been one of the most terrifying and rewarding experiences of my life. I’m definitely looking forward, but every now and then it helps to look back on everything I’ve learned.

1. I became comfortable with pitching myself

As a business professional, and especially when you run your own business, it’s so important to keep track of – and stay in touch with – your contacts. For freelancer work, these existing relationships are often the lead to your next client referral.

As a natural introvert, the idea of having to sell myself to potential clients used to give me anxiety. But I had to force myself out of my comfort zone and become comfortable with networking and asking for work in order to grow my business,

So how did I start to build my business? Thanks to Google and LinkedIn I was able to get the contact information of businesses and individuals I wanted to work with. Then, I wrote an email explaining how I believed I could help, as well as highlighting previous experience, including my contact details and resume. I also reached out to former contacts and let them know about my new circumstances and latest areas of expertise.

2. I figured out my personal brand

Before my freelance career, I didn’t fully understand the idea of personal branding. To be honest, I would roll my eyes whenever someone would say, “you are your brand.” Now I understand that when you work for yourself, this statement couldn’t be more accurate.

Starting a freelance business really makes you realize what it means to be your own brand. Over the past year, I cleaned up my social media presence by separating my personal and professional accounts. On my business profiles, I only share professional articles. I also branded my website, and learned to talk about my experience and services in a consistent way. I used Tumblr to share my portfolio, including press clippings, and Canva to create my logo and other fun, fun digital brand assets, which made a huge difference in my professional brand for very little cost.

As a natural introvert, the idea of having to sell myself to potential clients used to give me anxiety. But I had to force myself out of my comfort zone and become comfortable with networking and asking for work in order to grow my business,

At my previous PR firm, I never worried about my social media presence being a direct means to grow client work;  we weren’t allowed to add clients on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But as an independent consultant, your online and social media efforts must help prospective clients to discover you and desire to contact you.

3. I learned how to save and spend more wisely

The whole “feast or famine” myth for contract workers is absolutely true. Sometimes I had a full roster of clients, to the point where I was overextended, and other times my workload was minimal. The natural pendulum of project work means that income can be unpredictable, which makes budgeting (and a backup plan should work run out) imperative.

Once you make over $400 from freelancing gigs, you are required to report your income and pay quarterly estimated taxes. These are typically anywhere from 20-30% of your annual earnings so I made sure to factor that in when charging clients, and automatically tucked away 20% of all of my earnings for tax time.

I quickly paid outstanding credit card balances; the fees and APR charges really add up in the long run. I also looked for easy places where I could save with a bit more effort. I stopped eating out all of the time and switched to a cheaper internet provider.

Day Designer Work Planner Life Planner Image: Polka Dot Whimsy

Day Designer, Image: Polka Dot Whimsy

4. I started to track…everything

Setting income and saving goals, and tracking spending is essential to running a successful business. But there is so much more data and planning that is valuable to me as a freelancer. These days, I use both physical and digital tools to stay on top of my work.a day designer to map out my days, weeks and months. Having a visual layout of tasks helps me stay on top of everything from invoicing to project plans.

I use a day designer to map out my days, weeks and months. Having a visual layout of tasks helps me stay on top of everything from invoicing to project plans. And, I use Toggl, a free task timer tool that lets me easily track the work I am providing, organized by projects and clients. Toggle provides various time summary reports that make it easy to prepare accurate invoices, and provide a detailed recording of time spent, should there be any client questions come billing time!

5. I learned to take control of my schedule

The reality is that I work more now as a freelancer than I ever did at a 9 to 5. My days tend to be longer, and I have larger workloads. However, I can honestly say I would never go back to an office job. There’s no better feeling than being able to make your own rules.

I never thought I would be running my own business, but freelancing has helped me realize how much I appreciate my freedom to be able to create my own schedule, and work on projects and clients of my choice. Next year I plan to commit to a content calendar for my blog, continue to work on securing ideal, consistent clients on retainer and take a work-free vacation!

Are You Guilty of These Common Mistakes When Pitching the Media?

Media Editors Fashion Public Relations Publicity Placement Brand

Mastering the skill of pitching is essential to garnering press coverage in clients’ target publications. A great pitch can result in anything from beautiful multi-page, in-depth features for clients to stronger relationships with top editors.

While it’s not an exact science (everyone has their own style of pitching that works for them) there are a few mistakes you should try to avoid at all costs to ensure the greatest outcome for your outreach.

Mistake #1 – Pitching the wrong person

Different editors cover different beats – from accessories to beauty, and down to specific columns. Make sure that the contact you are pitching actually covers whatever product you are pitching by researching their recent contributions before you reach out.

This can get tricky within the fashion world as many editors only cover one specific niche. If you are unsure, the best way to find know what someone covers and to make sure you are pitching appropriate info is to simply send a quick email to the person you do have contact information and ask. I like to send a one-line description and one or two images of a client’s latest line and ask who the best contact would be for XX market. When you keep it short and simple you’re likely to get a helpful response.

Mistake #2 – Including the wrong information

Make sure that every pitch you send out addresses your editor by her first name, and that you have spelled it correctly – Lindsey vs Lindsay, for example. Proofread (preferably by at least an extra set of eyes) at least twice. Resist the urge to tell a designer’s entire life story and instead focus on prioritizing the information most relevant – product details, pricing and purchase information. A poorly written, or overly wordy pitch is more likely to be trashed. If you are lucky enough to get a bite, you run the risk that incorrect info will make its way into the coverage you receive. Proofread, proofread, proofread and keep your communication brief.

Mistake #3 – Botching the Subject Line

It’s easy to put a ton of focus on the pitch itself, but the subject line you choose is often as important as (and sometimes even more so) than the body of the email. Make the editor want to open your email with your subject line with a few words that are compelling yet pithy. Choose a few words that describe the type of product rather than the brand (unless you’re working with a highly-recognizable or coveted brand) and if you have a great price point, put that in the subject line as well (“Under $100 Fall Fashion: Plaid Flannels, Lace-Up Denim, and more!”)

I recently wrote a pitch for a jewelry client that received a great response from editors. The subject line “Dainty, Sparkly Jewels to Dress Up Holiday Outfits,” resulted in interest and sample pulls from outlets including W, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and more.

Mistake #4 – Pitching Products Off-Season

If you are pitching a super cool swimwear line, don’t pitch your bikinis to long lead (print) media in August. Your “Keep Cool this Season” email will be dead in the water; toward the end of the summer editors are working on December and January issues.

Now, just because you have an off-season item doesn’t mean you have to wait months to reach out. In PR, it’s all about the story angle – what about pitching warm weather escapes for those headed somewhere tropical for their winter holiday? However, your best bet for the most coverage is to hold off until December/January when publications begin sourcing for their (inevitable) swim stories.

I recently wrote a pitch for a jewelry client that received a great response from editors. The subject line “Dainty, Sparkly Jewels to Dress Up Holiday Outfits,” resulted in interest and sample pulls from outlets including W, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and more.

You can still pitch for short-lead/bloggers/influencers year-round with seasonal apparel and accessories (sunglasses, winter coats, etc.), many of these people travel frequently and are working on shorter turn-around times for articles. Your rose gold bikini might be perfect for next week’s swim essentials post.

Mistake #5 – Attaching Large Files

It’s definitely important to have images that accompany your pitch, but large file sizes are often blocked by editor email servers – meaning your pitch won’t even make it to their inbox. If your email does reach your intended recipient, it’s annoying and cumbersome to have to download a large file. Instead, embed low-res image files that fit within a standard email window (no larger than 600 pixels wide).  If you have a linesheet or fashion lookbook, consider including a dropbox link instead of an attachment. Or, compress any PDF documents first with software or a free website like SmallPDF.

By avoiding these five common pitching mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of securing some fantastic placements for clients!

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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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NYFW via Google, Ted Baker’s Open Door Social Strategy & Staying True to Your (Online) Voice


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

…for the week of September 5, 2016

  • Can’t attend fashion week but want a backstage pass & the chance to shop the runway? Google has you covered and all you have to do is search “fashion week” (via Women’s Wear Daily)
  • Conde Nast pairs with IBM to adopt Watson, a platform that will further analyze the consumer’s perception of specific influencers to develop more personal digital marketing campaigns (via The Drum)
  • There are more fashion weeks in the world than New York, London, Paris, and Milan – but can these other international events bring the worldwide spectatorship afforded their more famous counterparts? (via Racked)
  • Gone are the days of creating new fashion trends, because there aren’t any new ideas left. Now the challenge is restyling the past (via The Daily Beast)
  • Ted Baker turns to social media to get people in their doors, literally (via NewsTalk)
  • Street style meets street photography; is it a craft or simply a popularity contest? (via City AM)
  • Amazon officially takes the plunge into the luxury fashion market and they’re planning for the long run (via Business of Fashion)
  • Karen Walker shares why NYFW is no longer part of her brand strategy and how she’s reaching her end consumer (via New Zeland Herald)
  • Bring true to yourself can be tough when you have influencers coming at you from all angles, but there are some great ways to maintain your online voice (via Create + Cultivate)

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