What is Happening with Fashion Week, Anyway?

Fashion Week is changing - what designers and PR firms need to know

Fashion Month is in full swing and the topic every media outlet seems to be covering, more than the clothes themselves, is the fashion calendar itself and the move to “Buy it Now” fashion on the runway. WWD reported several months ago that CFDA has hired Boston Consulting Group to provide analysis on whether New York fashion week should remain a season ahead and those results were released last week.

Meanwhile in Europe, several major British brands including Burberry announced they would be showing their current season collections at Fashion Week moving forward. In contrast, The Paris Fashion Week Federation announced it would not be adopting the concept of current season runway collections.

We have spent a lot of time researching and staying abreast of the issue as our agency works with many designers who show during NYFW as well as at other fashion weeks around the world. The fashion calendar was developed based on the time it takes from conception to production and the timeline of that process hasn’t changed much over the years.

However, social media and the immediate access the public has to runway images has led many to conclude that consumers will be bored of fashion week collections by the time they hit the stores. Fast fashion’s ability to have “runway-inspired” clothing available in stores within a few weeks of the runway shows adds to this concern. One factor that is often left out of this debate is how a shift to buy-it-now runway shows would impact designers, particularly smaller designers.

The fashion calendar was developed based on the time it takes from conception to production and the timeline of that process hasn’t changed much over the years.

After all, it still takes many months to develop a collection. There is the design process itself, sourcing production, presenting the collection, securing orders from buyers and producing and delivering said orders.

A shortened calendar runs the risk of rushing the creative process for the designer while increasing pressures to produce in factories that do not provide safe working conditions. Smaller designers do not have the bandwidth to shorten the timeline of the fashion calendar. This movement toward immediate purchasing could lead to a huge industry shake-up, and concerningly, larger barriers to entry for new and emerging designers.

Smaller designers do not have the bandwidth to shorten the timeline of the fashion calendar.

We recommend that new designers retain their commitment to the fashion calendar, but work with a PR team that is equipped to develop more creative angles to secure press. For example, sending a post event release to fashion editors with an overview of the collection and show is no longer enough to garner media attention. It is important to develop a full press strategy and exploit all angles and aspects of the show, from the beauty looks created to celeb attendees and branded partnerships. This past season, we partnered with beauty apps and developed blogger loyalty programs all in an effort to increase visibility for brands and also get the attention of buyers and media. Developing strategic partnerships and sponsorships remains crucial for designers looking secure a strong return on their fashion week investment.

It is important to develop a full press strategy and exploit all angles and aspects of the show, from the beauty looks created to celeb attendees and branded partnerships.

Overall, it remains to be seen how fashion weeks around the world will change in the coming seasons, but it is important for brands and their PR teams to pay close attention to buyer and consumer trends, and to incorporate those preferences into fashion week activities and outreach.

Pitching Wedding Brands, Salary Negotiations & Jewelry PR Tips

Fashion PR Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of March 7, 2016

  • Content marketing isn’t just for content marketers anymore. Jazz up your sales copy so you retain customers, even after the sale. (via Spin Sucks)
  • Want to grab the attention of Erica Hueneke, Editor in Chief of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons? Make sure you’re a match made in audience heaven. (via I Do PR)
  • Is the role of Creative Director becoming obsolete? How Dior and Lanvin break all the rules. (via Refinery29)
  • In the jewelry biz? Get your name out with PR tips & tricks from Pietra PR CEO and founder Olga Gonzalez. (via Flourish & Thrive Academy Podcast)
  • Emma Medeiros combined her passion and experience to create Medeiros Fashion PR  and target a niche client list. (via Marie Claire UK)

Favorite Fashion Videos

 

A Clothing Library, Kate Spade’s Success & What Visuals Work on Social

Fashion PR Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of February 29, 2016

  • Keep your copy short, sweet and effective (see what I did there?). (via Pro Blogger)
  • Sephora names natural hair care line in honor of the first female self-made #bossbabe. (via Mic)
  • Career goals! How The Cut’s Rebecca Ramsey forged on into digital media and loved it so much she left styling behind. (via Fashionista)
  • Strong visuals help you get noticed on social. They make your blog posts stronger, and easier to promote.” (via Edgar Blog)
  • A 3D printed dress that mimics the movement of feathers is taking wearable tech to the more wearable side. (via PSFK)
  • Smart ways to get editors to open up your pitches. (via Cision)
  • How the history of Kate Spade came up, well, in spades. (via Racked)
  • In highly anticipated emoji news, soon our favorite means of communication will include choice of gender and haircolor. #Winning! (via Daily Dot)
  • Things you will never ever hear PR pros say. What others would you add? (via AIR PR)
  • A library where you can check out clothes? Um, yes. (via Refinery29)

Favorite Fashion Videos


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Where PR Stops and Social Media Starts for One Hospitality Firm

How PR and Social Media Work Together

The lines between traditional public relations and social media tactics have never been so blurred. At Bread & Butter (a hospitality firm dedicated to telling the delicious stories of hotels, restaurants, chefs, and food and wine brands, we have three distinct divisions: Bread & Butter Public Relations (traditional public relations), Bread & Butter Bytes (social media) and Bed & Butter (hotels and travel). How often do these divisions cross? Every. Single. Day.

Here are three tips for maximizing social media success within the PR scope:

Hosting bloggers at your restaurauntIdentify the true influence of social media influencers

$1.99 can purchase anywhere from 100-500 Instagram followers, depending on what sketchy site you buy them from. These aren’t real people; they will never engage or buy your client’s product. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to identify true influence. We do this by calculating the engagement rate (likes + comments on post divided by total followers). Compare these results across a few influencers in your target market, and you will clearly see who you should direct your time, energy, and budgets to.

Clearly define goals and final product

We are often approached by media, bloggers and influencers who want to share content about restaurant clients after receiving a hosted experience. Who wouldn’t, right? While a guided dining experience is a valuable way to educate media on your restaurant clients, it can often be expensive. In order to vet these opportunities, we make sure to define where the content will be shared (and try and negotiate for as much coverages as we can). If media is planning on running the story online, we throw in an ask that some photos are shared on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tagging our client. We often include that the restaurant will share and link, sweetening the deal for media, who are looking to increase clicks to their stories.

If media is planning on running the story online, we throw in an ask that some photos are shared on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tagging our client.

Maximize media results for social media

We often joke that our PR Directors and Digital Directors sit on each other’s laps, because we’re so closely connected and in sync. This is vital to success for clients – because having a story run online or in print is only the beginning of maximizing that hard-earned coverage. Once a story runs, the shelf life of content is limited.  A story usually lives for about 24 hours, but using social media you can bring it back by highlighting different key factors of the story on social media channels, cleverly cropping photos, and changing discovery hashtags. For instance – one listing on Eater’s 38 Essential Restaurants Lists can be used in the following way:

  • Content for Restaurant E-Blast, increasing existing customer-base interest 
  • Instagram Posts tagging Eater and the other essential restaurants, increasing engagement and discovery
  • Facebook Posts, using photos and links to push content through newsfeeds
  • Tweets and RTs of others, sharing this content and adding life to your client’s feed

When PR and social media professionals work together, both media and influencer coverage can be leveraged to drive even more results for clients.

About Samantha Luthra
Samantha is the Digital Account Director at Bread & Butter, a full service agency devoted to PR and social media for restaurant, hotel, chef and hospitality clients. Her passion is helping brands tell delicious stories online through photos and copy. Food puns are her favorite. Find her on Instagram at @samanthasluthra & @breadandbutterpr

PR Boss Q&A: Meet Christine Faulhaber, Owner of Faulhaber Communications

Christine in FSHOPPE

Agency founder, ringleader, and mentor, Christine Faulhaber is a renowned public relations and marketing powerhouse with a keen eye for opportunity. Christine has been a force in the marketing and public relations industry for two decades; her Faulhaber brand and impressive client roster spans across the lifestyle sector in the areas of fashion, beauty, health, hospitality, real estate, and design. Her Canadian-based business has grown to include a product placement showroom, the FSHOPPE, and a strong national, bilingual team with aspirations of future expansion. Learn more about how this PR Boss encourages her workplace mantra: #worksmart.

CF Headshot
Name: Christine Faulhaber
Title: Owner
Agency: Faulhaber Communications
Education: Ryserson University, Marketing and Communications
Twitter: @faulhabercomm
Instagram:@faulhabercomm

How did you get started in PR?

I went to a performing arts high school and used to sing at resorts. I put myself through business school working in retail. From there I worked as a national merchandising manager and eventually as head of sales and marketing for a top Canadian fashion designer. During my time there, I travelled across the country working with retailers, stylists, influencers and media. I realized that collaborating and closing deals was my calling.

Why did you decide to start Faulhaber Communications?

The fashion designer I worked for changed ownership and then 9/11 happened. I was devastated by it. It made me think about what life was all about, and, during a solo trip to Greece in 2001, I ended up having a bit of a quarter-life crisis. I made the decision to start my own business. I started my company with just a laptop in my kitchen 15 years ago. It grew from referrals and connections I had within the industry. I was 27.

What do you spend most of your time doing?

As CEO, I lead a team of 20 professionals across several sectors of lifestyle marketing and PR. I work closely with my senior team to drive current client success while also pursuing new client verticals and streams of revenue. I try to personally work with each member of my team to inspire them to be the best they can be.

What are you working on right now?

We’re a high energy team. We’re always on and always looking for the next idea. We have a showroom that we call the FShoppe where we house amazing trend items from our clients. Editors, celebrities and stylists are always coming to visit and pull products. Our office is in a historic building with vaulted ceilings, a kitchen and lounge area. It’s important that we keep a good vibe in the office so we make visitors and staff feel at home.

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

One really proud moment was being listed on Chatelaine and PROFIT’s W100 list of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs in 2015. I am an entrepreneur, so to be recognized in a list of super power business owners is a real honour.

Tell us what you are really good at?

I think my team would say that I’m great at networking and finding synergies. I love to connect people, brands, and companies that matter to find opportunities for cross-pollination. I think that’s a big part of what makes Faulhaber successful. I find opportunities ideas where none existed before.

Most memorable or meaningful moment in your career thus far?

At Faulhaber, we have a number of staff who have been with us since their internships. It means a lot to know that we’ve had a hand in helping them develop into the talented and successful professionals they are today.

Most glamourous moment in your career thus far?

Standing onstage with Mr. Louboutin himself during the launch of the Christian Louboutin Exhibit at the Design Exchange is a moment I cherish. Drinking champagne backstage with Charlotte Tilbury and our celebrity guests at the Canadian launch of her make-up counter at Holt Renfrew was also a cool moment.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I’m a hands on entrepreneur. And that includes getting down on your hands and knees and fixing a power cord. I make it happen, whatever it is.

Christine and Lindsay Singer at IDS16

Christine with Lindsay Singer at IDS16

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

You have to be thick-skinned in this industry. As PR’s we have to earn every win, and part of that is sometimes getting ten no’s before you get a yes. You have to want that win. As for dealing with stress, all you can do is understand that there will be stressful moments and remember to keep a cool head when they hit. Cry and move on. It is part of the job.

I’m a hands on entrepreneur. And that includes getting down on your hands and knees and fixing a power cord. I make it happen, whatever it is.

What are three must-haves that are crucial for you to get the job done?

  • Bluetooth
  • iPhone power cord.
  • Next Issue. I need to be connected at all times. When I’m on the road, I power up my phone and make important calls in my car when I’m alone. I can catch upon a dozen publications on the Next Issue app when I find a free hour.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

A lot of my job revolves around taking care of people and making sure they have the tools they need to be successful.  I herd kittens for a living. Mom. Mentor. Motivator. As a leader, it’s crucial that I set my team up for success so that we can have continued success as an agency.

How is PR (fashion or otherwise) different in Canada from the U.S?

We’re very similar and creative ideas work in either country. One main difference between Canadian PR and U.S. PR is simply the size of the audience and the number of media outlets. Canada has a tenth of America’s population and the amount of media outlets is scaled accordingly. The smaller number of outlets means there’s more PRs fighting for the same wins so you have to find a truly unique angle if you want to stand out. The media pool is shrinking everywhere, so creativity is key both here and in the US.

What is one thing we should know about fashion market in Canada?

Designers should look outside of our borders. Just because the designer is based in Canada doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where their market is.

FSHOPPE

FSHOPPE setup 

How do you stay on top of industry trends?

I am constantly reading, both digital and hard copies. Fast Company, Conde Naste and HBR are a few of my go-tos. Award shows are great for trends. And I follow the right people on social media which is a great way to stay on top of what’s hot.

A hit in the largest newspaper is not as valuable as it used to be. We have to be more digital to reach our desired key demographics.

What type of person thrives at your agency?

Our internal mantra is #worksmart. The people who thrive at Faulhaber are the ones who have an entrepreneurial spirit and make things happen. The millennial generation is invested in diversifying their skills and wearing as many hats as possible – which is important in a communications world that is continuously evolving.

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

The PR pie chart is changing. The media landscape has gone through a massive transformation in the last few years with traditional outlets shifting and shrinking. The emergence of new types of online outlets, the continued evolution of social media and the shift away from traditional media consumption has transformed the way we, and consumers, communicate. A hit in the largest newspaper is not as valuable as it used to be. We have to be more digital to reach our desired key demographics.

At Faulhaber, we have been on top of these trends and have built out a larger digital team to help meet this need and identify strategies and opportunities that were never available to us before. From one-on-one meetings with social influencers, which are happening at our office every day, to creating our own powerful brand of digital channels to help amplify our clients’ voice and convey their message to the right audience, we have had to adapt to the changing landscape in the PR industry.

Monogram Dinner by Design at Design Exchange 2016

At the Monogram Dinner by Design at Design Exchange 2016

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

Be ready to hustle and be ready to make sacrifices. I’ve always said that there’s no such thing as work-life balance, only work-life integration, and I truly believe that. If you really want to succeed you have to be willing to put the work in. I would also tell them to make themselves invaluable to their employer.

Thanks Christine!

 

Campaigns We Love: Stowaway’s Super Tuesday

Beauty Marketing Campaign

Who: Stowaway Cosmetics

What: Stowaway is a cosmetics brand built on the philosophy of “right-sized” makeup. In a marketing tie-in with the Super Tuesday primaries, the company is providing website visitors with the chance to vote on something entirely less contentious – their favorite Stowaway product. Once voting is complete, the participant has the option to get that very product for free (with a $50 order).

Why: Stowaway demonstrates that an engaging marketing campaign doesn’t need to be overly complex, or executed through social media. With the Super Tuesday promotion, Stowaway connects their politically astute (yet likely Facebook feed exhausted) consumer with an empowering alternative (while collecting data on customer product preferences).

 

6 Ways to Rock (and Ruin) Influencer Collaborations

How to work with fashion bloggers and influencers

Whether you’re coming from the brand perspective, you’re a blogger, or you’re a working publicist, it’s imperative to understand the basic principles of influencer collaborations. Brands are dedicating budget towards influencer marketing and as a PR professional, guiding the strategy can become your responsibility.

Case in point: nail polish company Formula X created a #ColorCurators campaign. They launched the series with Song of Style; specifically tapping into influencers to create their own colors. Something Navy was featured in TRESemmé’s NYFW TV commercials, and Chiara is Pantene’s newest ambassador. Welcome today’s celebrity: the blogger.

Trend reports show that brands are dedicating budget to influencer marketing and for the right reasons. Bloggers can move the needle. From sales, web traffic, or growing social following, bloggers can be a catalyst for brand recognition and buzz.

Welcome to today’s celebrity: the blogger.

Be Social assists with bloggers in three ways: publicity, collaboration, and content creation. Through work in the collaboration space we’ve honed in on the dos and don’ts of influencer marketing.

Tips for working with Fashion Bloggers

6 Elements of Successful Influencer Outreach Campaigns

  • Curate a thoughtful list of bloggers. First up, whose audience would find your brand interesting? Look for people that naturally fit with your brand. Choose influencers that can seamlessly speak to your company, products.
  • Obtain media kits from the bloggers you are looking to work with. Look at their unique monthly visitors (UMV), but also look at their engagement rate. How many comments are on their blog posts or Instagram photos? These are indicators that their audience is not only real, but engaged!
  • Provide the blogger a detailed creative brief on what you are looking for, including inspiration on the photo content, verbiage and visual aspects of the collaboration. The blogger can use this guide as a framework for their post and will assist with managing expectations and eliminate the back and forth.
  • Based on figures from your list, determine your budget, expected reach and outcome prior to reaching out with your campaign idea.
  • Have your lawyer craft an agreement with the blogger that includes details on FTC guidelines. We also suggest having a clause on how long the content needs to stay live on their properties. It’s often that you will find bloggers take down the content after being live for a 30 days. Ideally you want to the content to stay published indefinitely.
  • Provide trackable links to be embedded in the blog post to be able to track clicks and traffic generated from the content. This will help you gauge whether this blogger was a good fit for your brand.

6 Ways to Ruin an Influencer Collaboration

  • Expect that working with one blogger will put your brand on the map. Have a plan to work with a handful of bloggers to ensure a guaranteed number of impressions.
  • Be over-demanding. A blog is a business and a blogger has rates for a specific reason. Creating content takes work, time and dedication so be respectful and stick to the plan.
  • Work the pricing down to nothing and include additional lists of demands. The more you whittle down what you are willing to invest in the blogger, the more you whittle down the value of the relationship
  • Forget to require FTC disclosure when paying for sponsored content.
  • Delay handing over important creative assets and information so that the influencer has time to creatively put her own stamp on the campaign. No one likes being given the details at the 11th hour.
  • Expect an amazing post without clear guidelines, direction and positive communication. The best blogger collaborations take work from the PR/brand side, as you collectively come up with the program.

Bottom line, communication is key for a successful influencer program. It’s important to understand that a single blogger campaign is not going to provide overnight success. For most brands, influencer outreach goals should go beyond solely web traffic and sales. A successful campaign can provide alignment with a tastemaker and credibility among your target audience.

Blogger outreach campaigns can be extremely time consuming and it’s key that an expert is handling the relationship, seeding and program management. If you’re on the marketing side of the spectrum, be sure to check out the PR Couture/Fashion PR Girl on-demand course, Instappable, which will give you all the tools to make you an expert collaborator (I’m one of the guest experts!).

About Ali Grant

Ali Grant is the founder of Be Social, a premium lifestyle communications agency. She started her career at the beginning of the blogger boom facilitating blogger seeding for fashion labels and has since merged her digital expertise with traditional public relations to form Be Social. Through strategic public relations and social media campaign management, Ali has earned recognition for Be Social in leading industry publications, including being named by PRWeek as the Top 50 Innovators in digital publicity. Further accolades include features in Huffington Post, PRWeek, Fashion Monitor, The PR Closet, PR Couture, Daily Front Row, BW Confidential, The Holmes Report, O’Dwyer PR, and has held educational courses at America’s Beauty Show and Bloguettes.

Creative PR, Tech Wearables & Rebecca Minkoff’s AMA

Fashion PR Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of February 22, 2016

  • What happens when you wear an outfit completely made of tech wearables for a whole day. (via Mashable)
  • So, what are your reactions to the new Facebook reactions buttons? (via Wired)
  • What creative PR means to different #PRpros. What does it mean to you? (via Market Wired Blog)
  • This is maj! Our favorite stylist turned fashion queen, Rachel Zoe, is launching a stand alone pop-up at the Grove in L.A. (via Fashionista)
  • Why doing your homework is the basis of good content marketing. (via Spin Sucks)
  • Technology is suppose to help make things easier, but does it really help get things done? (via Harvard Business Review)
  • Only five months in and Instagram already has over 20,000 advertisers…and it’s just going to keep growing. (via Adweek)
  • Rebecca Minkoff and Intel hopped on a Reddit AMA to chat about the future of fashion and tech from wearables to sustainability and environmental impact. (via Hollywood Reporter)
  • How telling a good story means everything. (via Medium)
  • “It’s no surprise that video content is on the rise. From pet videos, television shows, movie trailers and branded content, videos today are reaching consumers, particularly Millennials, more than any other marketing content”. (via Pierpont) 

Favorite Fashion Videos


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PR Girls We Love: Meet Bryanne Lawless, Owner of BLND Public Relations

Team BLND PR

After graduating from UCSD, Bryanne Lawless moved home to LA and immediately got to work at a PR firm in Beverly Hills. A bit disappointed in the industry and wanting to work for herself, she started her own local event production company and then went to work on the newspaper/media side. Working on the opposite side of the PR field opened Bryanne’s eyes to the opportunity for PR in the local area. Bryanne opened BLND Public Relations in 2013 to focus on what she loves most, lifestyle brands. Since then, she has successfully launched multiple lifestyle brands, restaurants, and fitness studios, as well as executed high-end events both locally and nationally.

Bryanne Lawless, BLND PRName: Bryanne Lawless
Job Title: Owner
Agency: BLND Public Relations
Current City: Hermosa Beach,CA
Education: Major in Communications from the University of California, San Diego
Twitter:
@blndpr
Instagram:
@blndpr

How did you get started in PR?

I got my start in PR from my internship experiences during college at UCSD. I interned at the Hard Rock Hotel and was involved with more nightlife marketing, falling absolutely in love with it.

How did you come to start BLND PR?

When I moved back home to L.A. after college I started working at a PR firm in Beverly Hills and didn’t have the best experience. The atmosphere wasn’t for me and I left that position thinking that I wouldn’t be pursuing a career in PR anymore. Later on, after I worked as an investment banker, I started working for a local newspaper in the South Bay. While working there, found there was a huge opportunity for small businesses to grow with PR and social media. I saw that the PR world was changing, so I decided to start BLND PR.

These days, what do you spend most of your time doing?

My primary responsibilities at BLND are centered on new business development. This involves signing new clients, making sure our current clients are always happy with our work and ensuring that BLND as a business is attractive to new clients. As a small boutique firm we are extremely hands-on with our clients so overall client communication is a huge part of my responsibilities.

What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on?

The mood in the office is always a little crazy in the best way possible! We always have music playing and there is a dog running around and wanting everyone to play fetch with him, so there is always something going on in the office, which is what we love.

Since it’s the beginning of the year, it’s a big time for clients to rebrand and reinvent themselves. We are extremely busy right now with new clients that are looking to make a big business push in 2016.

BLND PR Girls

Team BLND all smiles at work 

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

Recently we went up against 5 other big PR firms in the same area for a new client and won the bid. It was a very proud moment for BLND, especially because two years ago — when we first started — we went up against similar firms and wouldn’t fully win the bid but kept on trucking. I feel very lucky to be ahead of the competition and to win these bids.

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

My most memorable moment in my career so far, has to be starting BLND PR, making a pink couch out of fabric and a random couch from Home Goods (that is still in our office two years later). It always reminds me of where we started and how much we’ve grown.

What about the most glamorous moment?

The most glamorous moment in my career thus far, was being featured in the L.A. Business Journal. My pup also made it on the cover, so I was a proud mama.

BLND Pup

The official BLND PR office mascot 

Ok boss lady, what are you really good at?

I’m really good at talking to people and connecting with others, which is why I love PR since we are constantly in communication and sharing our client’s message to people. I surprisingly loathe writing even though PR has a majority of writing to be done in order to communicate the message.

I’m really good at talking to people and connecting with others, which is why I love PR because we are constantly communication and sharing our client’s message to people.

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

I try to stay really positive, I’ve always been a pretty positive person so I just have carried that attitude into my business. I live on stress, and feed and thrive on crazy situations by constantly moving and shaking. I always tell the new girls that they will know if they love PR within 3 days, because they’ll either be all over it from the start or they’ll hate it.

I live on stress and feed and thrive on crazy situations and constant moving & shaking, so I always tell that girls that start with us that you’ll know if you love PR in 3 days because you’ll either be all over it from the start or you’ll hate it.

What are three must-have tools, apps, or products that are essential to your job?

  • My phone – I’m constantly checking emails at 3 am with one eye open.
  • Photoshop to quickly make edits on projects
  • My number one girl Britta – she runs the office and I wouldn’t be able to handle it without her (but don’t tell her that)

unspecified-2

Team BLND

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

I wish more people understood how highly stressful PR is. I think PR gets a bad reputation for being a glamorous job, but no one really understands the amount of work that goes into each thing we do for our clients. I also think a lot of businesses think they can do their own PR and social media, but it really is a job in itself. By allowing us to help them with what we specialize in, they can better do the things that they are good at.

How do you stay on top of industry trends?

We try to stay on top of industry trends in a couple of different ways. First, we try to go to networking events as often as possible to meet new people in our industry. We also do training sessions for management twice a week to make sure we are on-top of the latest technologies and techniques, as well as do training sessions for our interns because we always want them to be constantly learning and expanding their skill set. When it comes to social media BLND is constantly trying all the new platforms so that we can have our clients on them too. We have a Snapchat, a Periscope and are just launching our YouTube channel!

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

I think the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now is the fakeness in the industry. It’s so important to remember where you came from and help one another out. In our industry, I believe you can get farther and do better work for your business and clients by being a good person. My favorite quote is in my email signature and I think it perfectly sums this up: Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

In our industry, I believe you can get farther and do better work for your business and clients by being a good person.

BLND PR

It’s sweet to be a BLND PR Girl 

What type of person thrives at BLND?

The type of person that thrives at our company is someone who can take initiative and run with projects and assignments on their own. Our office is sometimes crazy, so they have to be able to be a little crazy too. The person who thrives here at BLND has their own direction and I’ve found with PR it either clicks with a person or it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter where they went to school or what they’ve done before, people who love PR — and understand — it will thrive.

The environment where you work has a huge impact on your overall life so you should always do something that you love above all.

And finally, what would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?

First, I would tell them to get a dog – they teach you a lot about yourself and they are always perfect for making you smile when things are crazy. Next and most importantly, I would say to have no fear and just take that jump. If you’re doing something you don’t love everyday, you won’t be giving your best. The environment where you work has a huge impact on your overall life so you should always do something that you love above all.

Thank so much to Bryanne for all the BLNDspiration!

 

Become the New Beauty Brand Everyone’s Talking About

4 Resources to Launch a New Beauty Brand

Launching a new beauty brand is always so much fun – as a total beauty lover, I always get so excited whenever I work with a new beauty brand. Building brand awareness for pretty new skincare, fragrance, makeup, and more is so rewarding – growing brands from the ground up has always been a passion of mine, and even better when it’s for beautiful items!

That said, with so many new launches out there, it can be a bit difficult to stand out amongst press and consumers when you are a brand-new line that no one has heard of (yet!). Below are some of my top resources I turn to when working to launch a new line – I highly recommend all of the below to both publicists and brands alike!

Use Instagram to Build Relationships and for Pitch Angle Inspiration

While Instagram is a great way to share photos of your relaxing beach vacation or delicious dinner, it’s also an incredible resource for those launching beauty brands. Instagram is an incredibly easy way to keep tabs on top contacts you’ll want to reach out to about your brand, including beauty bloggers, YouTubers, makeup artists, editors, and influencers. Instagram also easily lets you find new contacts in your space – search for hashtags relevant to your industry such as #nailart, #beachwaves, or #brows to see who is posting about these topics. You’ll also gain insight into trends and what the top influencers are posting about – great to get ideas for media outreach!

Instagram is an incredibly easy way to keep tabs on top contacts you’ll want to reach out to about your brand, including beauty bloggers, YouTubers, makeup artists, editors, and influencers.

Celebrity Agents Get Product into the Right Hands

If you’re looking to get your products used on celebrities, look at some of the top artist agencies based in both NYC and LA. They handle bookings for their makeup artists, hair stylists, and manicurists for gigs with celebrities at cover shoots, red carpets, and events. These agencies have many of the top artists all in one space and it’s usually quite easy to reach out via email to the agent with info about your brand. They’ll usually let you know which artists they think would be the best fit for the line and where to send product for them to test. I’ve had great success by reaching out to these agencies – they’ve put me in touch with top artists who have gone on to use clients’ beauty products on celebs like Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, and countless others!

Get the right list to introduce your beauty brand to editors

You can have a compelling pitch and story, beautiful images, and a reasonably priced product, but none of that matters if you’re not able to contact the right editors with the news. There are a variety of great media databases out there but they can be quite pricy – if budget is an issue look to ready-made media lists from PR Couture as well as our How to Pitch series. This interview with Holly Carter, Beauty Director at StyleWatch is a must-read!

Create Easy Social Graphics with Canva

Canva is a wonderful online graphic design tool that allows you to create beautiful visuals for your brand. The options are endless – you can create infographics to show the results of studies on your skincare product or easily put together a stunning, on-brand graphic for social media channels. (Bonus: they have different size templates already set up for various social media channels). Imagery and graphics are crucial when launching a beauty brand to the press and consumers, and this tool makes it very easy to ensure have you have gorgeous ones available.

These four resources are just the beginning of how to creatively launch and capture the attention of media, influencers and customers about your new brand. Remember, you only launch once, so enjoy the journey!

Facebook’s Instant Articles, an Instagram Algorithm & Fashion Week Swag Bags

Fashion PR Fridays

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of February 15, 2016

  • Social responsibility for the win! How H&M is changing the apparel industry with their sustainability model. (via Triple Pundit)
  • So you know those swanky swag bags at Fashion Week? There is a precise strategy behind who nabs them up. (via Fashionista)
  • Fashion has only just touched the tip of the iceberg in the digital realm. What’s next? (via BoF)
  • “We’re selling them a story more than we’re selling them space,” See who is using storytelling and architecture to create some pretty amazing events at Fashion Week. (via Business Insider)
  • We’ve come a long way, baby! What the beauty industry looks like in this world of social media.

Fashion PR Con Email Banner

  • A fashion label that is taking the branding beast by the horns and letting customers make their own decisions. (via The Cut)
  • Facebook’s new instant articles feature is opening up a whole new world of contributed content. (via Poynter)
  • Snapchat’s most fashionable board member Joanna Coles says shopping is happening on the app soon. (via Re/Code)
  • An Instagram algorithm might be coming soon and brands aren’t too mad about it. What do you think? (via Digiday)
  • Sign up for Fashion PR Confidential and learn the ins and outs of fashion PR, hear from industry pros, polish up your PR skills and network with fellow publicists. First course of 2016 is March 19-20 in NYC – register today! (via Fashion PR Confidential)

Favorite Fashion Videos

How to Create Fashion Week Presentations that Wow

nyfw presentation tips

New York Fashion Week is back and blowing the fashion crowds away with beautiful shows, street style, and also some snow. This writer tends to love a good presentation because of the personal touches that are added to the show, the freedom to enter and leave as you please, and the fact that you can get up close and personal to the clothing, hair and makeup. However, not all presentations are created the same. Here’s some tips on creating a memorable Fashion Week presentation that will have your show all over Instagram. Most of this applies for runway shows, too.

1. The theme dominates all decisions

Having a strong theme is a key component to having a successful presentation. The designer behind the brand should have some sort of theme in mind for their collection, and everything else will bounce off of that. If there is no specific theme for the collection, tie it all together with the presentation itself and tell the collection’s story.

Select a venue that works for your theme. Find partners and sponsors that align with the event theme and the brand. Hair, makeup, nails, decor, music and everything else should align with the theme and tell the collection’s story flawlessly. Don’t forget to include lots of Instagram-worthy elements.

Though this next example is a runway show, it’s a great use of theme. Hood by Air’s collection this Fashion Week is called Pilgrimage. Hood by Air plane tickets were placed on each guest’s seat and models carried bags wrapped in airport security plastic. One model was also wrapped in said plastic. The tickets are a great personal touch, and makes you feel like you’re heading on a Hood by Air Pilgrimage, too.

Photo via VOGUE

2. Message (Not) Optional

Not all shows deliver a strong message, but it’s helpful to get people talking about your presentation. Brother Vellies did an incredible job in delivering a message with their “Transformation” theme. Besides the adorable butterflies fluttering around the room, the label’s designer Aurora James used the presentation to express the importance of sustainability and the need for more upcycling in the fashion industry. A mix of thigh-high boots and open-toe sandals for this Fall 2016 collection were pointing fingers (or toes) at global warming.

Photo via VOGUE

3. Think outside the tents

Don’t be afraid to add something to your show that’s not typical of fashion shows. Mara Hoffman’s Fall 2016 collection featured cocktail attire, and was set in the perfect location and decor to fit that theme. Hoffman even told Vogue, “I wanted to be able to set the mood. I thought I could story-tell in this environment much better than the runway.” The show evoked the ageless and timeless beauty of women with models from children to 90-something Ilona Royce Smithkin.

Because of the range of age, particularly the adorable spunk of Smithkin, Mara Hoffman’s show flooded my Instagram feed, and probably yours, too.

Photo via Getty Images

4. Don’t skimp on an RSVP strategy

Monitor the Fashion Week calendar (and look at past calendars) and select a less-busy day and time for your show. Once the scheduling is set, submit it to The Fashion Calendar, Modem Online and other Fashion Week calendars. Create a list of editors, bloggers, celebrities and other industry professionals who will find your invite relevant to them (ie GQ is not the best fit for a womenswear show).

Rolling start times of presentations are more appealing to invitees, especially if the brand is an emerging designer, because guests can stroll in and out at their leisure. If another show starts late, they don’t have to worry about rushing over to this one for a specific start runway start time. Highlight the time frame on the invitation.

The rolling start times of presentations are more appealing to invitees, especially if the brand is an emerging designer, because guests can stroll in and out at their leisure.

Create an invite that fits the theme and is appealing. If your invite looks cheap, invitees will assume the event won’t be a well-executed event. Your invite should be to-the-point, mobile-friendly, include a function to add to their calendar, and have an easy RSVP action, such as clicking to RSVP or simply replying to the RSVP email.

After the show is over, your job isn’t done. Send a show recap and images/video out to media immediately after the show to secure press coverage.

Tweet @prcouture with presentations you love this season.

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Ideal candidates must be motivated, passionate about writing and the beauty and fashion industries, knowledgeable about pop culture, willing to learn, organized, and detail-oriented. Candidates should be based in NYC metro area but will consider remote candidates as well.


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5 Ways to Overcome Those Pesky Creative Roadblocks

Bust out of creative burnout

There are various reasons as to why we get writers’ or creative blocks. But the ‘why’ of this situation isn’t what stumps us all. Getting over that hump seems almost impossible—especially when you need to the most. Meeting deadlines suddenly becomes that much harder, and we feel drained.

Luckily, these things are just temporary. Naturally, the dark hole stealing our creative juices lifts, and we can see the light again.

Well, let’s face it. Not all of us have that time to wait around for you creativity to kick in. You suddenly have an article due first thing tomorrow morning; so, now what?

Confirm your slump is a creative block and not you burning out

An almost immediate halt to your creativity could be one of many signs of burnout. If that’s the case, then you really have another problem. Burnout and a block are very different.

Burnout is more serious, and should be handled at once. Some awesome self-love and a good break from the office craziness usually does the trick, temporarily. Balance is the key to burn out; inspiration is the key to creativity.

Take your mind off of it, really

No one is saying forget your troubles and responsibilities, and have fun…well, not forever, at least. But giving yourself a day or a couple of hours to refresh your mind can do wonders. What could this possibly entail?

Do something you love. When my inbox gets into the double-digit territory, I go for a round of Word Streak. I escape for less than 10 minutes, let loose a bit, and come back feeling a little better. Reading a book, listening to a playlist or getting in a quick episode of Sex and the City distresses me when I’m working from home helps me get back into a creative mood. It gives me a chance to stop thinking about all the things that need to be done, and collect myself.

No one is saying forget your troubles and responsibilities, and have fun…well, not forever, at least. But giving yourself a day or a couple of hours to refresh your mind can do wonders.

Pinterest your way to inspiration

Hopefully your office allows you appropriate mind breaks during down time. A little Pinterest never hurt anyone, or Polyvor, Instagram, We Heart It, etc. If I seem to go blank for a great upcoming client pitch, I immediately head to one of these sites and check out my trending feed.

What’s going on? What are editor’s pinning themselves? What awesome new trend sets are in the works? You get inspired by other equally fabulous people and before you know it, you’ve got yourself two pitch angles! Visuals can really get those wheels turning, especially if you have a time crunch. Type some keywords into the search bar and you’ll really get to where you want to be.

Fresh air can also do the trick

Speaking of getting your mind off of your creative block, step outside. Some fresh air can help you feel renewed, and it’s totally free. If you’re chained to your desk most of the time, carve out a moment to step outside and grab some coffee.

For remote workers, we can thankfully step outside whenever. Take advantage of a lunch break and go for a run, or do a power yoga session. Is it raining? Who wants to risk getting drenched? Crack open a window. Many people find listening to the rain quite soothing. Who knows, you could become one of them as well.

Some fresh air can help you feel renewed, and it’s totally free. If you’re chained to your desk most of the time, carve out a moment to step outside and grab some coffee.

Phone a friend

Or if it’s during the workday, a text can do the trick. I find that people are great at not only distracting us, but also getting us out of a creative rut. Who better to help you come up with three phrases for ‘ultra-trendy’, other than your best friend?

Times like this call for a group chat where my girlfriends can throw all the NYFW trends they’ve been loving at me.  Plus, they’ll surely throw in a couple of outrageous memes for an afternoon pick-me-up—it’s perfect.

Welcome to the New PR Couture!

PR Couture Launches New Website

Just like Madonna, PR Girls know when it’s time for a new look. And, as any hard-working Girl Boss will tell you, a brand new shiny website is pretty much the ultimate Valentine’s Day present.

I’m excited, relieved and feeling all the warm and fuzzies with this site launch, and can’t wait to show you around!

In anticipation of December’s 10 year anniversary (I know, shut up, right?), I knew it was time to give the old gal both a style and structural transformation. To get started, I spent time redefining PR Couture’s business model with my incredible coach Kate and articulating my vision for the future. I chose ShiftFWD to take the insights gleaned from our PR Couture Reader Survey and my rather-long wish list to bring the site up to speed. With Naomi and the team at ShiftFWD, I finally feel like I’ve found a true design & development partner and I cannot say enough great things about working with them on this project – from start to finish. There was a ton of cleanup to do as well (nine years of content and pages and moving things to their new homes gets…messy), so I can’t forget to thank my team of admin angels, Martha and Yasmin, who helped me to organize the backend (village, people, village).

So, what’s new?

From a style perspective, it was time to give our branding a light refresh and introduce a sophisticated, neutral palette. We dropped the old tagline “Fashion PR’s Haute Spot” and ushered in a new one more representative of who we are now, “Sourcebook for Fashion & Lifestyle Communicators.”

Structurally, we had two main goals with the site. First, to make it easier to comb through recent articles and archives to find the tips articles and examples you need to up-level your results. We accomplished this through a total re-categorization of all articles, fancy content-rich menu drop-downs, and the introduction of handy category landing pages (take our media relations page for a spin). We’ve also and with Outbrain to bring you a super powerful recommendation engine. Secondly, it was important that we do a better job of organizing and displaying all the other goodies – courses, media lists – we offer. To that end, our directory, shop and job board have been entirely revamped. The mobile and tablet experience has been completely upgraded as well so you can easily connect with us from any device.

In support of that adage, Go Big or Go Home, we also took the opportunity to switch email service providers (hello ConvertKit) so if you’re on our email list (hint hint) you’ll see some changes there in the next few weeks as well. Job-seekers in particular are going to love our jobs digest – alerting you right away when a new opening has been posted.

What’s changed

When I started PR Couture nine years ago, I was 26, fresh out of grad school and looking for a way to connect with other publicists and fashion bloggers while sharing what I knew about fashion PR. For the next six years, it became my passion project/side-hustle/after-hours gig while I worked my way up agency-land. For the past 3 years, PR Couture has been my full-time business and consulting platform, which I’m proud to say led to six-figures in 2015. These days, I’m doing most of my consulting through my new, personal site and thinking about PR Couture as a standalone brand, media company, sourcebook…community.

I hope you continue to get a ton of value out of the site as we grow (and grow up!). It’s important to me that continue to prioritize helpfulness, professional kindness and connection; I’m always a quick email away.

Now, start exploring the New PR Couture!

And please, mind any small issues you may encounter as we fine-tune everything!

Love,
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