PR Girls We Love: Alyssa Baker, Riot Media Group

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Alyssa Baker runs Riot Media Group, a Los-Angeles based firm known for their extensive relationships with bloggers and influencers in addition to traditional PR and media and events. 

Working with Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, Alyssa has developed key relationships with top-tier media, influencers, bloggers and celebrities. Her background in journalism has served her well, crafting stories editors respond to, and quickly putting RIOT on the map since the firm's launch in 2014. 

Name: Alyssa Baker
Title: Founder
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Education: Indiana University; B.A. Communications & Journalism
Company: Riot Media Group
Instagram:
@riotmediagroup, @alyssabakerTV
Twitter:
 @riotmediagrp

How did you get started in the industry?

From a young age I knew I wanted to carve a path in media relations, thanks to an award-winning Journalism teacher I was lucky to have in high school back. From then on, I solely focused on making it happen. One connection led to another and I landed my first internship at Fox TV Studios as the assistant to the head of global marketing the summer after my sophomore year of college. After that, I was obsessed with PR and Los Angeles, and made the move for good the following summer. I finished school early and got right to work, which is what I always wanted anyways. It was an amazing experience and further ignited the fire already burning inside me.

What led you to start Riot Media Group?

I worked at a handful of boutique PR firms before making the jump to starting my own agency, and I learned something different from each one. Ultimately, I knew I had to try it my way. As an honest, straightforward person, the smoke & mirrors I saw at many PR agencies just didn't make sense to me. I created RIOT to challenge that notion that PR is artful deception- because it's not. The right PR and media strategy can make or break your brand and that's what many start-ups today don't understand. A lot of the success depends on the client relationship and vision. I pride my agency on having great relationships, not only with media, but with our clients. We think of ourselves as an extension of their brand.

As the founder, what is your main focus?

Oh boy, my responsibilities are across the board. There's honestly not much I don't do. I work on every facet of the business from managing staff to pitching clients to media, developing new business relationships, accounting, and social media management, to taking out the trash, there's literally no part of this business that I don't touch.

I created RIOT to challenge that notion that PR is artful deception- because it's not.

 

How is RIOT Structured? What's the mood like in the office?

We are structured by categories- beauty, fashion, tech, health & wellness and consumer lifestyle brands. PR is a crazy industry and calm days are rare, but we always have fun. There's no point in working the crazy, stressful hours we do if we're not enjoying it; that leads to burnout. I love the saying, "this is PR, not ER" but sometimes that's hard to remember when you're caught up in a difficult situation.

What type of person thrives at RIOT?

Someone who is organized, passionate and intelligent. Common sense will take you so far here! Also, someone who wants to make PR and media relations their career- that is a requirement at RIOT. I see a lot of girls come through our doors thinking it's going to be an Instagram-worthy party every day. Those girls usually quit by the second week. That is NOT reality. The reality is sending hundreds of emails per day, organizing detailed spreadsheets, creative writing, and perfecting communication skills constantly. I seek out individuals who are self-motivated but also know how to take direction and respect authority. I'm very much for learning along the way- nothing beats experience!
 

 

What has been the most meaningful moment in your career thus far?

There have been so many remarkable moments, but RIOT's first press preview, our 'coming out' party if you will, is probably the most memorable. We took over a huge space in Santa Monica by the ocean and pulled out all the bells and whistles. The support we received was overwhelming and helped give me the confidence to know I made the right move. A few weeks later we were hired to produce Galore Magazine's Miami Swim Week events. That week was one of the best of my life

What's a recent success story that makes you particularly proud?

This past summer we were hired to create a series of pool parties for a national radio app in Miami and Los Angeles. We didn't have the budget to also book A-list celebs so we developed a strategy that included booking specific talent (within our budget) in hopes that their celebrity friends would come along and support the event. The strategy worked and we secured A-list celebrities at no cost to the client. This approach led to more than 4.8 million media impressions, including attention from outlets such as E! News, Glamour, Buzzfeed, Celebuzz, Seventeen and more. I received texts and emails for weeks that we threw the best party of the summer!

How do you stay on top of industry trends? 

I read constantly! Inc, Forbes, Fast Company, Fashionista, WWD, Refinery29, The Zoe Report... read, read, read! I'm excited for more brands to dive into video and smarter PR/marketing. I still see such disconnect on so many levels, in fashion PR specifically.

What do you wish more people understood about PR?

We cannot make miracles happen. The media landscape has changed drastically, even in the last 2-3 years. Much of what you see online is sponsored posts or inclusions of brands that also pay for some type of advertising within that outlet.

Small brands are having a harder time competing with large companies because they simply cannot afford the advertising costs, so they put all their eggs (and expectations) in the PR basket. PR is not a solution to advertising. All the pieces of the puzzle must be put together to see the best results and return on ROI.

What’s the biggest challenge facing communicators right now?

The constant news cycle is making it harder and harder for publicists to connect with the correct editor. Hearst just combined 5 women's focused editorial teams into one! Databases like Cision are not consistently updated and are not as useful as they once were. 

Also, unqualified publicists and social media managers are flooding our field and decreasing our worth. Clients do not understand how media works (that's partly why they hire us) and can have a hard time understanding the value we bring to their brands when we secure top-tier press. When they are then approached by a publicist offering to do a $2,500 job for $500, it's a disservice to all of us. 

I see a lot of girls come through our doors thinking it's going to be an Instagram-worthy party every day. Those girls usually quit by the second week.

 

PR Can Be Full of rejection, how do you deal?

Ok, let's talk about rejection first. As someone who grew into being a perfectionist, I used to take rejection really personally. Now, I don't. As you grow in this industry you really do realize that everyone has a job to do and goals to meet. If your pitch isn't working, it's most likely not that the journalist hates you, it's just that the angle won't garner the clicks the outlet needs. Revise the pitch and figure out another way to gain attention and earn that placement.

Now stress. PR is very stressful. As an agency owner I have a lot on my plate. From maintaining cash flow and the client roster to making sure the clients are always pleased with the placements we earn for them, at times it is tough to juggle it all. For years I worked day and night and put my personal life on the back burner and that's what NOT to do.

This year I really made a point to focus on me and figure out what else I love besides PR. I got a dog and he's the cutest. I make time for friends. I stopped being a flake on personal obligations and it has helped my stress level big time. Actually, the greatest thing has been my dog Elfie. 🙂

What advice do you have for someone inspired by your story?

You can literally do whatever you want in this life if you work hard enough. I grew up in the middle of corn fields but I had a passion and purpose and worked endlessly until I made my dream my reality. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but we're all a work in progress in this world. Stay focused, stay hungry and create your own destiny. It's all possible!

That said, if you want something bad enough, you - and only you - can make it happen. If you come to a roadblock and can't get through that next door, break the window! Perseverance is what separates the good from great. I moved to LA knowing one person and never looked back. My boss at FOX told me, "Fake it 'til you make it," and that is the best advice I have ever received. When you get intimidated, because you will at some point, fake that confidence until you believe in yourself as much as other people do. Also, just do great work. If you're proud of your work you will never have to make excuses for it!

Thanks, Alyssa!

 

Digital Story Coordinator

Position: Digital Story Coordinator
Company: Me by Design
Location: Freelance/Virtual
Learn more

3 Reasons to Start Your Agency Blog in 2017

PR Agency Blog Marketing New Clients Company Culture Firm

On top of all the content creation agencies do for clients, it is just as equally important to be creating as much (if not more) content in support of the agency itself. While a gorgeous Instagram feed is great, a more powerful content destination for prospective clients, talent and even media is through a company blog.

If the idea of managing yet another platform coupled with the concern that this takes time away from billable hours, here’s how we rationalize it at BLND: with all the incredible information, insights and expertise our teammates have, blog posts should not take more than 30 to 40 minutes to complete. Even though this time is not being billed, it will be compensated when an abundance of new revenue is coming in due to client recommendations, online professional networking, and increase in SEO because of the amount of content getting pushed out through our blog.

A Blog Invites Agency Discovery via Search

How: By writing blog articles that are relevant and related to your company, industry, and the services you provide, you become an instant resource for prospective clients. As you write consistently, using industry keywords, compelling headlines and sharing articles through social media,  you support your agency’s discovery through organic search. This means that when a potential new client goes to search for a PR firm with your capabilities, their entry point could be through a blog article you’ve written called something like, “6 Things To Know Before Hiring a Lifestyle PR Firm.”

Another smart strategy is to write quick insightful reads that benefit a wider audience. Topics can include industry news, listicles of favorite products/apps, Tips and Tricks, How To’s, etc. Just be sure to write consistently.

One of the reasons why BLND believes in the importance of SEO content curation is because we have been able to secure new business by having written blog content with SEO keywords towards the industries we represent. Within the first month of posting this way, we signed three new clients. Increasing search results for your agency will increase new client leads. Simple as that.

A Blog Showcases Agency Accomplishments

How: Instead of waiting for an award submission or pitching a trade publication to cover your latest accolades, write up the news yourself.

Current clients always love to know what their agency is up to and potential new clients want to get to the know the personality of the firm they may want to be working with soon. Take a screenshot of the press hit or the blogger/influencer who has shared the company’s services/product and create a blog post around it. Summarize the press hit and highlight the company’s name by linking it back to their website. Make sure to not only do this for your clients but for your company and teammates as well. If your agency has a press hit or has a mention elsewhere, highlight that in a blog post. Your agency news is just as important as client news.

Within the first month of posting this way, we signed three new clients.

A Blog Promotes Company Culture and Team Expertise

How: Utilize the best writers on your team to write content for the blog, invite top photographers to create stock photography to accompany articles and have your social media team weigh in on shareable headlines. A company blog is a place where your employees can demonstrate their skills and where you can trial out new plugins or media (cinemagraphs, anyone?). If the blog is a clear agency priority and a place for creative expression, team members will be eager to participate. Consider a weekly employee profile, “links we love,” “product essentials” or even playlists. This type of lifestyle and career content helps give a face to the name and a unique voice to the company, humanizing the people behind the services provided.

Convinced? Hold a team meeting to develop an internal blog strategy. Determine a goal, develop recurring topics, decide on a manageable post-schedule and how you will determine success. A shared blog calendar will help you to keep track article ideas and assignments.  Then, it’s time to install a blog on your agency website and publish your first post!

 

Social Ad Sales, Emotional Branding & Reflections from the Industry’s Elite

Fashion PR Articles News Industry

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

…for the week of December 19, 2016

  • How to use Facebook Live create a seamless media shopping experience for your audience (via Digiday)

  • Bobbi Brown’s letter to her younger self will inspire you to become the person you were meant to be (via i-D)

My First Day as a PR Assistant Account Executive

PR Job Entry Level First

If you’re gearing up for your first full-time PR job, you’re probably experiencing a fair amount of nerves, coupled with sporadic bouts of the what-ifs: What if I fail? What if I screw up? What if I can’t handle the workload?

To help calm your nerves, I’m giving you an inside peek what at my first day as an Assistant Account Executive at a PR agency was like. Enjoy (and major congrats on landing the position!).

10 am: Arrival

On my first day, I was asked to come in a bit later in the morning. First up, I was given an office tour and introduced to all my co-workers (it’s a small office).

I read a tip online that to help remember people’s names you should say the person’s name out loud after they’ve been introduced. I thought this would be great to practice on my first day. Alas, I forgot to do it #fail. I did, however, offer a firm handshake with a (hopefully) cheerful look. I made a point to speak to everyone I interviewed with to tell them how excited I was to be there.

10:15 am: Time to dig in.

I settled into my workspace, noticed a pit stain and ran (jk walked) to the bathroom.

10:30 am: Attended my first internal client meeting

I grabbed my notebook and pen and blindly headed into my first meeting, where we discussed a current client crisis (that’s first day #goals for sure). I remained attentive but I didn’t put pressure on myself to speak or ask questions.

11 am: Paperwork

I filled out HR paperwork, which included the dreaded W-2 forms. Regardless of how many times I fill out that form, it will always confuse me.

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11:30 am: I set up my laptop and email

Seeing that agency email address (and a ton of emails already in my inbox) makes it all feel real.

12 pm: Overview of expectations

My manager explained that I would be responsible for daily monitoring clients in the news, updating status reports for client meetings, writing pitches, pitching the media and sending media mailers. These tasks mirrored some of the responsibilities from my internship experiences, so it made me confident I would be successful in my new role.

This was a great opportunity for me to ask plenty of questions, so I could understand my role and my accounts. I’m on eight accounts, so there was plenty to write down. I TOOK A LOT OF NOTES.

1 pm: Welcome lunch

Cancelled. Important people were out sick, so I dedicated three minutes to dreaming of tacos and took a bite of a bagel. Then, I turned back to the 250 emails in my inbox.

2:30 pm: Email time

I caught up on emails…sort of (200 now) and researched my client accounts.

3:45 pm: Account onboarding

I received information on each of my accounts and more detailed responsibilities for each.

4:30 pm: Client Call

The call was canceled. I got the news…ten minutes into sitting in the meeting room…alone.

5:30 pm: Last email check of the day

I attempted to catch up on emails again (down to 190) and read through important client documents sent over by my team to better understand what we were doing for each of them and to get up to speed on their brand.

6 pm: Prepared to go home

I stayed an extra 10 minutes. I didn’t want to seem in a rush to get out. I brought home my notes to review — I needed extra time to digest all that information. When it was time to leave, I wished everyone a good night and caught the elevator with a co-worker.

And my first day was over. Zzzzzzz.

The next day, my workload picked up, big time. I didn’t expect to be so busy so fast. My team wasted no time transitioning me into account work.

My advice: use your first day to get organized, which includes reading documents on the server. When you understand your accounts and the status of each, things will run more smoothly. Also, be sure to learn how to use your email service (most likely Outlook) if you’re unfamiliar with it. Start getting organized as well. I made folders for each client in my email and computer.

You may be overwhelmed in the beginning, especially if agency life is new to you. Be confident, though, and ask for help whenever your need it (seriously).

So pack your lunch, prep your outfit and kill it.

About Kim

Kim Stephens is a PR professional working in NYC. She recently began her first full-time job at a boutique PR agency, and her clients range from the beauty and healthcare sector. To fuel her creative side, she manages a personal blog, Kimmycocoa, where she helps millennial women with that whole adulting thing.

 

PR Girls We Love: Noreen Heron, President of Heron Agency

After working as Director of Public Relations for Hyatt Regency Chicago, planning and executing some of the Chicago's largest events, Noreen Heron launched the Heron Agency with Hyatt on board as a client.

Heron Agency specializes in lifestyle public relations as well as theater and restaurant clients. Over the past 15 years, the scope of the agency has expanded to include corporations, medical practices, sports teams, non-profit organizations, and franchises.

Noreen calls the Heron team “family”, but she also has two children, Connor and Ava, and together they love to travel, dine out, and explore the city. 

Name: Noreen Heron
Title: President
Education: University of Illinois, Chicago. Communications and Theatre
Location: Chicago, IL
Company: Heron Agency
Instagram: @noreenheron @heronagency
Twitter:
 @noreenheron  @heronagency

We've often heard that sometimes the agency principal will interview to get the business and then never be seen again. That is not our system here.

How is your agency structured?

Lianne Wiker Hedditch has been with the agency for 11 years, and she is our Vice President, creating strategy and overseeing day to day operations.

We are unique in that every PR campaign that we implement has a complimentary marketing campaign where our Marketing Manager Holly Gustavson (with the agency 7 years) works to obtain partnerships, promotions, contests and other 'non-traditional' ways to gain exposure for clients.

Our Senior Publicists Emily Potts and Ann Maher are busy pitching and attending live shots. I like to keep the team busy pitching so we employ writers Amy Oost, Megan Gasper and Ellen Molina to create engaging press releases.

Our Bookkeeper, Caryn Smietana handles financials, contracts, and assists me on Media Buying as we are also a full service Ad agency. We also have a Social Media division.

What is the mood like in the office? 

Fun! Creative! Happy. Family like. We trust each other and rely on each other a lot. We sometimes can have up to 10 interns per quarter working here so it's always busy.

What type of person thrives at Heron?

First and foremost, the person who thrives is a hard worker who is willing to roll up her sleeves and passionately get the job done. I want people that understand how important our role is to our client's bottom line. That is an enormous responsibility and one not to be taken lightly. The more exposure that we gain, the more service industry employees work.

Also, she should be a team player, smart, creative and hopefully a strong writer and communicator.

Tell us a bit about your role

At this point, I would say that my primary responsibility is new business development, but I also still service accounts, and then of course, perform various HR responsibilities.

I like to work on every account that we have in some way. We've often heard that sometimes the agency principal will interview to get the business and then never be seen again on the account. That is not our system here.

Chicago PR Agency Hospitality

What are you working on right now?

We are fortunate to work for some really exciting and glamorous clients! We just opened the Westin Nashville, the tallest hotel in Nashville with country star David Nail and Brett Young performing.

The acclaimed Chef Alain Roby is making the World's Largest Candy Cane for his shop in Geneva and we always get a lot of exposure on that. We're opening the Escape Room/Safe House which has been a legendary destination in Milwaukee, and is new to Chicago. Lastly, we are handling the launch for the American Writer's Museum opening on Michigan Avenue in May.

We have 32 clients currently so that is just a smattering of what is happening right now.

What is a recent success that made you especially proud?

We opened two rooftop decks this summer, Raised and Aire, that we secured on just about every media "Hot" list in Chicago, with additional coverage in USA Today, Food & Wine Magazine and Fodor's.

How do you stay on top of industry trends?

I network a lot, and due to the nature of our clients' work, we are seeing the press sometimes weekly at our press openings. That face to face contact with the press is so important. We have multiple subscriptions to various trade publications and newspapers (our poor mailman!) and we regularly have discussions here at Heron Agency on how to remain on the forefront through innovation.

What is the most meaningful moment in your career so far? 

I had my eye on our current office building for many years. We have a storefront space on busy Fullerton Avenue that was constructed in 1898 and features the original tin ceiling, exposed brick walls, and vintage light fixtures. Everyone that comes in the office tells us how much they like our space, and we feel that it has a very creative vibe that works well for publicists.

Before all the furniture was moved in, I had a picnic on the hardwood floor with the whole team where we opened Veuve Cliquot and toasted to many happy years to come. I was able to obtain artwork from the theater that I grew up working in and that is still displayed here. I cried the first day I saw it all on the walls. It felt like such a personal space.

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

Read as much as you can! Knowing what is going on in our world, what is trending, is a big part of PR. You also need to know writers' beats, so it is helpful on that front. Figure out what you want to be an advocate for every day. Obtain as many internships as you possibly can. Always send thank you notes. Be kind to all. Network as much as you can. Smile!

Everyone that comes in the office tells us how much they like our space, and we feel that it has a very creative vibe that works well for publicists.

What is has been your least glamorous moment so far?

Wow, anyone who is in PR knows that you probably have more "least" glamorous moments then the glamorous ones. Hmmm...so many to choose from :). I appeared in a parade with it pouring rain dressed as a nun to represent NUNSENSE, the musical, and the costume was too big for me and with the rain it was so heavy and just pooled around me. In addition, I had a 101 degree fever, but there was obviously no way to cancel. Myself and the Marketing Director, Eileen LaCario, thought it would be fun to have the nuns on scooters, and I borrowed my boss' convertible to drive through the parade route. When packing up the scooters to leave, one popped right through his vinyl convertible top. My brother was enlisted to help pass out flyers along this route and I couldn't find him afterwards. While it shows the lengths that I will go through to promote a client, it goes down as one of my worst memories!

What has been the most glamorous moment in your career thus far? 

Accepting the PR News PR Agency Elite Award in 2014 at the Grand Hyatt New York. It was wonderful to win it and accept it for our team here, but the fact that it took place at a Hyatt made it all the more special (after leaving Hyatt, they became my first client and we represented the Eastern and Central divisions of Hyatt for 9 years. We still represent various Hyatt properties in addition to other brands such as Fairmont, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Hampton Inn and more). The VP of Hyatt who hired me in Chicago, Jerry Lewin, happens now to be headquartered at the NY property, so he gave me a hug and said how proud he was of me and our team.

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

We lean on each other in the office. We commiserate, we unload, we comfort each other.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

You never can turn it off and you have to be constantly attached to your phone! Miss one text on a crisis situation from a client, or one from a reporter who says that he or she will run a photo for your client if you can get it within the hour, and you hate yourself.

It takes very high energy, persistence and an insane work ethic to be a publicist. It also takes understanding family and friends!

Thanks, Noreen!

PR Couture Client Holiday Gift Guide

PR Marketing Client Gift Guide

For the ones you love and the ones you love to hate, we've put together a client gift guide sure to please. From last-minute gifts delivered via email to splurges that truly recognize great shared success, we hope you find just what you're looking for to recognize those professionals who put their trust in you month after month.

Quick links for easy shopping

Sweeten the deal

Artisan Sugars Pink Stilettos Sugar

Sugar Shapes for Coffee and Tea, $6.50, Artisan Sugars

52 Lists for Happiness PR Couture Client Gift Guide

52 Lists for Happiness, $16.95,  Moorea and Seal

Three Designing Women Stamp and Embosser Client Gift Guide

Custom Stamps, $40,  Embosser, $54, Three Designing Women

Bright Endeavors Client Gift Guide PR Couture

Trio of candles in Lime Lemongrass, Holiday Citrus and Whitebark Pine, $24.99, Bright Endeavors

Anne Klein Women's Black Leather Strap Watch & Bracelets Set 28mm AK-2684BKST

Anne Klein Watch & Bracelets Set, $112.50, Macy's

Sugarfina 8 Piece Holiday Bento Box

Happy Holidays Bento Box, $65, Sugarfina

But First, Coffee Mug

But First Coffee, Special Edition, $18, ban.do 

PR Couture Dream Client Thank You Card

Dream Client Thank You Card, $5, PR Couture

PR Couture Simple Habit Meditation App

Simple Habit Mediation App, $19.99, Simple Habit

14K GOLD SUBWAY FINE STUDS and Ring - HARLEM TO SOUTH FERRY

14K Gold Subway Studs, $165, 14K Gold Subway Ring, $300, Shahla Karimi

 

BLK Water Bottle Holiday Client Set

Glass Water Bottle, $35 each, bkr

Pigment Gold with Glass Terrarium

Pyramid Terrarium, $26, Pigment

How to Maximize PR Opportunities from an Editor Preview

PR Strategy Editor Preview

Editor previews are an important component for any public relations professional working with fashion, lifestyle or consumer goods clients. It’s a way to connect with media in person while showcasing your client’s latest products and collect valuable insight into what resonates with the press. Editor previews can incur a significant financial and resource investment, so it’s important to make sure that your next event is set up to maximize your ROI.

Choose a media-friendly venue

If your agency, client or brand has a showroom, that can be a great environment for a press event for several reasons. Not only is an existing showroom budget-friendly, but it also provides a setting that helps tell a brand story for your client. If an existing showroom is not an option, then a chic hotel or restaurant can also be a suitable location for a press preview. But remember, just like in real estate, location is everything. While you might be able to find something more affordable in a suburb or fringe neighborhood, you want to find a place that is in a convenient geographical location for the press you’re targeting.

Offer flexible attendance

If no one shows up to your preview, your hard work will be for naught. An editor preview can be run like an open house, or private, one-on-one appointments. Depending on your selection of brands, a cocktail party or a seated meal might be just the ticket. Consider opening up a variety of options to maximize attendance.

Practice your pitch

You and your team need to be on your game 100%  – both in terms of knowing each editor by name and beat, as well as the ins and outs of each client you are representing. Make sure you’re fully versed and educated on the collections you’re presenting, and prepare talking points for different types of media. Brush up on the designer’s inspiration, retail availability, pricing, company history and any other information that might be relevant to press you’re targeting.

Create A Social Media Moment

There are many ways to encourage social media engagement at an editor preview. For example, you can incorporate a hashtag into the decor or create the perfect Instagram photo opportunity. Snapchat geo-filters are now easy and affordable to design and implement.

Think like a reporter

While it can be awkward to take notes during a conversation with a chief editor, make an effort to jot down some notes after each meeting or appointment. Depending on how many editors attend your preview, your memories could blur together by the end of the event. Take note of each publication’s favorite pieces and any feedback they provided about the collections presented. Also keep track of any upcoming stories the editors are working on. After the preview is over, organize your notes and pay particular attention to anyone who requested high-resolution images and samples.

Once you’ve hosted a successful press day, the goal should be generating media coverage based on the feedback you received from editors. Follow up with everyone who attended and make sure they receive your press materials and lookbooks. Prioritize anyone who requested specific samples and/or images for an immediate story and make sure you deliver on any promises made during your preview. Look through your notes and write highly-personable follow-up emails or thank you cards to all attendees.

Top 50 PR Firms, Intern Management & Cosmo’s New Reality Show

Fashion PR Articles News Industry

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

…for the week of December 12, 2016

  • Find out why we will definitely be tuning into “So Cosmo,” the show that takes you behind-the-scenes at Cosmopolitan Magazine on E! ( via The Cut)

  • Has Neiman Marcus fount the solution to attract affluent millennials? (via Fashionista)
  • Miami University introduces new fashion co-majors and minors in fashion design, fashion corporate business, and fashion entrepreneurship (via Patch)

 

PR Couture Partner Holiday Gift Guide

Sponsored Content

The holiday season is upon us and with it, the crazy busy hustle toward holiday vacation. To kick off our 2016 holiday gift guides, we asked a few of our favorite partners and brands to participate in our first ever Partner Gift Guide. We are thrilled to bring you their picks for a quick and easy approach to gifting this season (make sure to read through the captions as there are several special discount codes just for us!).

Quick links for easy shopping

SugarWish PR Couture Partner Gift Guide

Use code PR Couture to get 10% off at SugarWish

Rocking Vibe PR Couture Partner Gift Guide

Artemis necklace, $150, Rocking Vibe 

Jelt Belt PR Couture Partner Gift Guide

Glacier White-Silver Belt, $34.95,  Jelt Belt

 

 
Teen Vogue/Parsons PR Couture Partner Gift Guide
Use code PRCPTV to save $125 through 12/31 Parsons School of Design x Teen Vogue Certificate
Wonderland Organics PR Couture Partner Gift Guide

Soothe Serum, $39.99, Wonderland Organics

Raw Generation Skinny Girl Start Program

Skinny Start 3 day program, $299.99, Raw Generation 

Hug Your Skin Indulgence Christmas Collection

Indulgence Christmas Collection, $39, Hug Your Skin

Pinky Up Tea PR Couture Partner Gift Guide

Use code PINKYUPCOUTURE to save 20% at Pinky Up Tea

5 Steps To Gear Up For An Influx Of New PR Clients In The New Year

PR Agency New Clients Growth New Year Prep

New Year, New You doesn’t just apply to personal New Year’s resolution goals. Both agencies and brands take advantage of a fresh new calendar year as an opportunity to achieve businesses growth. A new year means new companies just starting out, others looking to rebrand their current business or product, and still others finally ready to implement new marketing and PR strategies. 

January is a great time for public relations firms to add new clients take on new clients ready to tackle the year with awesome campaigns. Of course, with new clients, comes new responsibility. Once the holiday dust (or is that glitter!), settles, make sure you’re in a good position to welcome in new clients with open arms. Here are the top five ways to prepare your team for an upswing of client on-boarding in the new year:

Refresh Case Studies

Clients want a fresh start, but they still want results and case studies can make or break a new client win. Now that short-lead gift guide submissions are coming to a close and clients are heading into holiday vacay mode, review client reports and update final numbers. Make sure to have a mix of strategies and client verticals represented. If you haven’t taken the time to create a cohesive case study structure and design, this is the time to step up your game. 

Warm Up Media Leads

The new year means internal reviews, new promotions and new jobs for your favorite reporters and editors. Ensure you have a clear agency process to keep up-to-date on media moves as well as a way to wish them a hearty congrats on their new position. And of course, keep your media lists updated with the latest contact information. Opening or reopening the doors of communication with editors is a great way to hit the ground running come January 2nd and take advantage of top-of-mind status as they begin to look for sources, products, and stories in their new position. Warming up these leads also means that when you sign a new client, you won’t feel uncomfortable reaching out cold to see if there is any interest in your new pitch.  

Create New Business Systems

Hold an internal evaluation meeting with your team to get feedback on what’s working and what needs improving. Consider having a discussion on workplace collaboration, learning/working styles, and any current challenges. Invite your team to brainstorm new solutions regarding agency systems, project management, new software solutions and ideas to be more efficient and profitable in the new year. If there are new programs or skills to learn, now is a good time to source tutorials and allow non-billable hours to be spent getting up to speed. Allow at least two to three weeks for the team to learn the new ropes being put in place, and get ready for the onslaught of new businesses and steady work processes.

Organize Your Physical Workspace and Digital Office

Clean out the office and ditch outdated files in the office and on your computer. And please, for your own sanity, take the time to clean out your email. A cluttered inbox is so stressful, it is not fair to your, your current clients, and potential new clients if your inbox is a source of overwhelm. A messy inbox can also affect timelines, project execution, and worst of all: work nightmares (who was that one person who emailed me about that thing) while you’re trying to get a good night’s rest. Clean out your desk drawers, find an organizer for all those business cards, and throw away all those sticky notes that you don’t need anymore. 

Don’t Forget About Your Current Clients!

Yes, that’s right! You still have current clients to worry about. This is a perfect time to schedule an in-person meeting with your current clients and see where they are in terms of new year goals for their company and where they would like to see their campaign or brand in the coming months. This is a great opportunity to share a nice client gift and ask if they have any referrals. These meetings are a great way to begin prepping for a shift in the initial campaign and keep a solid relationship with your clients whose contract may be coming to an end soon.

Retention is so important towards the end of the year, as you don’t want to have to be looking for new business, but allowing new business come to you. Having a balance of loyal clients and expanding your business with new clients is the perfect way to start off the new year!

PR Couture PR Boss Babe Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season goes by in a flash, and it's hard to make time in between holiday parties and last-minute gift guide requests (hello!) to shop for yourself and your fellow PR Girls. With this in mind, we hope you enjoy our round-up of PR Babe-approved gift ideas. No judgement if you decided to keep these for yourself, you've earned it!

QUICK LINKS FOR EASY SHOPPING

Style Club Boss Babe PR Couture PR Babe Gift Guide

Boss Babe Jacket, $49,  The Style Club

Waiting on Martha "You Got This Trinket Tray"

"You Got This" Trinket Tray, $10, Waiting on Martha

Moorea Seal This Week's List Pad

Moorea Seal "This Week's List Pad," $18, available at Moorea Seal

Eleve Cosmetics Lip Dye and Lip Plump

Eleve Cosmetics Lip Dye + Lip Luv Gift Set, $40, available at Eleve Cosmetics

Fair Local Market PR Babe Gift Guide

Custom PR Girl gift box, $70, Local Fair Market

 

Trend Bar Charm Accessories, $20,  Trend Bar

PR Couture PR Girl T-shirt

PR Girl Shirt, $28 or BOGO 30% off with code PRCHEER30PR Couture

Mullein & Sparrow Rose Gift Set, PR Babe Gift Guide

Rose Gift Set, $42, Mullein & Sparrow

PR Babe: Nerd Skincare Biocellulose Mask (Pack of 3)

Biocellulose Mask (Pack of 3), $60, NERD Skincare

I Choose Beauty Breathe Tank for PR Babe Gift Guide

Breathe Tank, $28, I Choose Beauty

Oil-Cleansing Starter Kit, $50, Live Crude

 
PR Babe Gift Guide Ultimate Fashion PR Book

Ready to Launch, $14.99, PR Couture

Pamper Subscription Box PR Babe Gift Guide

Pamper Box, $50, Globe In

more gift guide are on the way!

PR Couture PR Guy Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide for PR Guys PR Professionals PR Dudes

Shopping for guys isn't the easiest, especially when they work in PR. How do you gift these trend-conscious dudes something they don't already know about? We've compiled a selection of gifts and cool discoveries any PR dude would be thrilled to receive.

Quick Links for easy shopping

Gentlemen's Monthly Subscription Box

Gentlemen's Monthly Box, $29,  Gentleman's Box

Holiday Gift Guide Barking Irons Dwarf Duffle in Black

Black Dwarf Duffel, $189, Barking Irons

Bose Sound Sport wireless headphones

Bose Sound Sport wireless headphones, $149.95, available at Bose

 

Quick links for easy shopping

Create a Drawer, $60, Basic/Outfitters

Moore & Giles X Crosley Record Player

Moore & Giles Crosley C10 Turntable, $840, Moore & Giles

Mantry Food-of-the-Month club PR Guy Gift Guide

Food-of-the-Month Club, $59, Mantry

Roory GETT PR Guys Gift Guide

GETT Black Leather and Suede Sneakers, $100, available at Rooy

The Martini Kit curated gift bag from Mouth

Moore & Giles Douglas Belt in Navy, $135, available at Moore & Giles

M.R.K.T. Midnight Green Briefcase

Mateo Briefcase, $87.50, available at M.R.K.T

Ted Baker HERBERT Mouliné leather trim gloves

HERBERT Mouliné leather trim gloves, $129, Ted Baker

WTF Toxin Free Car Wash Supplies

Waterless Car Wash Kit, $45, available at WTF Car Wash 

The Kate Spade Foundation, More Changes with Print Mags & Virtual Reality

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

…for the week of December 5, 2016

3 Easy Ways to Become a Better Public Speaker

Public Speaking Tips for PR Professionals

As PR professionals, communications is our thing of course. We do it every day. Yet whether it’s a new business pitch, a presentation to investors or a desk side with a top editor, delivering your message can be nervewracking.

PR Couture was fortunate enough to sit down with Anna Roberts, a is New Zealand-born T.V and Radio presenter. With nearly ten years of experience and working in both Auckland and Dubai, she certainly is no stranger to public speaking. In 2015 Anna launched her communications advisory agency, Nudge, and a year later, I’m | Anna Roberts. Nudge offers public speaking and media training for clients across a variety of industries, while I’m | Anna Roberts is a multimedia platform targeted at business women and focuses on life, business, and style.

We discussed public speaking and what communications professionals can do to become even more effective at delivering our messages and sharing our stories. As she attested, “even though the majority of us can all walk with ease every day; we wouldn’t just wake up and run a full marathon; you would train for weeks, work up incrementally and have a support network around you.”

So where do you begin?

With preparation. Public speaking is not a time to simply ‘just wing’ it. Use everyday scenarios as rehearsal opportunities. The next time you catch up with a colleague, or a friend who works outside of your industry, mention the presentation and give her your key talking points. You could even run the entire thing by her and ask for feedback. Did a job or analogy fall flat? Are you repeating the same word, using terms that might be too technical for your audience, or breezing through industry jargon assuming everyone will keep up? Discussing and researching part of your speech with others will increase your muscle memory so that when you do get on stage or walk into the boardroom, words flow easily.

When it’s time to present, Anna explains that fear of public speaking is completely healthy, but that moving through that fear comes down to two things; one, how much you trust yourself and your abilities, and two, what your body does in uncomfortable situations. A shortness of breath, shaky legs/hands and sweaty palms are your body’s natural response when your body thinks it is in danger. Luckily it doesn’t last, and Anna says that “after about 20 seconds you’ll become comfortable with your new environment.”

To help us further, Anna put together these 3 public speaking tips for PR Professionals

Listen to yourself

Listening to your voice may make you cringe, but you need to do it if you’re going to improve how you communicate with others. Record your telephone conversations or listen to the voice notes you send to people. Once you know your style and tendencies you can then start to play with different vocal techniques.

Watch for verbal cues from your audience

Communication is a two-way street. You need to hear what your audience is saying so you can improve your message. Look for head nodding, smiles and knowing glances. If everyone is on their phones, you might need to amp up your delivery.

Use the Rainbow Passage

The Rainbow passage is like as an exercise for your tongue. It includes most of the sounds in the English language and will make sure your mouth is moving in the right way to hit all those intricate sounds. Read it out loud every morning, slowly, and you’ll be amazed by how clear your voice will start to sound.

Practice does make perfect, and public speaking can help you to grow your influence, build trust and notoriety and land new opportunities for both you and your clients. All reason to making public speaking a priority for you as you advance in your career.

About Hayley Jaqueline Ashworth 

Hayley graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University, England with an MSc in International PR. Having spent the last couple of years traveling and exploring the world, during which she completed the PR Couture PRISM course, Hayley has settled in Dubai where she is currently interning and finding her place in the Middle East’s communication industry. You can follow her Instagram and Twitter to keep up with her adventures.