The success you achieve when you retain a publicist can often have a lot to do with assets and support provided by the brand itself. Often brands sign on with a PR agency and magically expect to see their product appear in next month’s issues of their favorite magazine. However, working with a PR agency requires constant communication and the more information you provide the agency about the inner workings of your brand and the story that is unfolding, the more positive results you will see. Your publicist is a member of your marketing team and so keeping them informed on marketing pieces of the puzzle will ensure you get maximum bang for your PR buck.
Fill your publicist in on new retailers
Your publicist should be one of the first to know when you open new accounts and secure new retailers. Provide them with the styles that will sell into the retailer and the ship date. Your publicist can then target outlets based on this retail list.
Fill your publicist in on major inventory changes
Update your publicist when you add new pieces to your collection or sell out of a particular item or style.
Put your response to your publicist’s emails at the top of your priority list
Be responsive to emails from your publicist. Often pull requests or request for images or samples are time sensitive, as editors always need items yesterday.
Give your publicist an all access pass to images
Give your publicist access to high resolution (at least 300 DPI) product stills that they can send on a moment’s notice to media outlets. Many media outlets use high-resolution images to create fashion spreads, so if you don’t have product stills of each style with no background not on a model, you will certainly miss out on coverage. The easiest way to do this is to create a Dropbox folder with all of the images and share it with your publicist. Bonus tip: Make sure to label the folder with your brand name and season as opposed to a generic name “high res product stills.” For Example, “X Collection Spring Summer 2015 High Resolution Product Stills.”
Fill your publicist in on your calendar of events
Provide your publicist with a trade show schedule, trunk shows and events. If your publicist has access to your trade show schedule early, they can pitch media who will be attending the show and even book desksides in your trade show booth. Just make sure to manage expectations as editors often miss trade show appointments. They have a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time.
Have gorgeous lifestyle images
Have good quality lifestyle images. Some publications that have great reach will rely on lifestyle images from brands to create editorial spreads, so good lifestyle images can help secure you media.
Build in a budget for PR samples
Create a system for sending samples and make sure you budget for samples to be send to editors. We ask clients to budget for a certain amount of nonreturnable samples per month or quarter that can be sent to key media and bloggers.
Make your relationship with your publicist public
List your publicist on your website. This will help filter relevant press to the proper contact.
Develop a PR star product
A good fashion publicist knows what editors are looking for in various product categories and can help you develop a product or sku that will help garner your brand press. We worked with a brand to coordinate collaboration with French silver purveyor Christofle that really garnered great press attention in the luxury market and allowed us to target lifestyle and interior design publications.
Get to Know the PR timeline
Understand how the PR time cycle works and be patient. Major national magazines work about 4-6 months out, so if a particular publication falls in love with your item the first pitch, it would still take time to find the right editorial placement and then even more time to see the placement come to life. It is also important for you to understand the timeline in order to get your publicist line sheets, look books, photos and pricelists of collections with enough time for them to properly pitch you to the appropriate outlets.