PR Girls We Love: Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, TishTash PR

PR Middle East Agency Beauty Lifestyle

Natasha Hatherall-Shawe made the move from the UK to Dubai in 2010 after being made an offer she couldn’t refuse. A year later she branched out on her own after finding a gap in the quality of agencies and founded TishTash Marketing and Public Relations. Four and a half years later, Natasha has grown TishTash into the go-to PR agency for beauty and lifestyle in the Middle East with more than 45 brands on their client sheet and a multi-million Dirham annual turnover.

Ask any employee of TishTash, or even Natasha herself, and they will tell you that their success comes from a love of the job and the brands they represent as well as an unbreakable ethos that being kind, caring and respectful can lead to great things.

TishTash Dubai PR Agency Lifestyle BeautyName: Natasha Hatherall-Shawe
Title: Founder & Managing Director
Location: Dubai, UAE
Agency: TishTash 
Instagram: @tishtashtalks

Where did you attend college and what was your degree?

I was born and educated in the UK, where I earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology. Upon graduation, I signed up to do a Masters in the same field, but a summer job at a marketing agency changed my mind. I swapped onto a Masters degree in Marketing instead.

A poster in the faculty building advertising for Ph.D. applications in Consumer Behaviour sparked my interest as it combined my background in psychology and marketing. I graduated as a specialised in shopaholism –the irony of being a ‘Doctor of Shopping’ is not lost on me, or my friends, as I love to shop.

How did you get started in PR?

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

How did you get started in PR?

I was working at the University, studying for my thesis and lecturing on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in marketing. Sitting in my university office, I had an epiphany that I did not want to be still sitting here in 20 years time. I realised I wanted to be out in the business world and wearing beautiful clothes every day!

My first job was a graduate position at a small media agency called BLM Media, which is now part of the global network Euro RSCG. After a few years working in media planning and buying, I moved into more general marketing and communications roles at agencies such as McCann Erikson and Havas.

What is Tish Tash’s “Birth Story?”

After working for more than 16 years in public relations and marketing in the UK, I jumped at the opportunity to work in the Middle East; it has always been my ambition to experience working internationally.

In 2010 I began work in the UAE for a government-owned media company, Abu Dhabi Media, marketing some their digital brands. It was a challenging role that created great opportunities in the region in a very short period. At the same time, I was concerned about the standards and quality I saw in PR agencies, and communications as a whole, within the region. So, in 2011 I took a leap of faith. TishTash is a boutique lifestyle PR agency which specialises in beauty, health, and wellness brands.

What type of person thrives at TishTash?

For me, choosing people that reflect the ethos of TishTash is as important, if not more, than experience and qualifications. We are at work most of our life, so a team that works well together and that echoes my ethos is important to me. I pride myself on having a really lovely team. While we work in a very female industry and a notoriously catty one, my team is made up of genuinely nice girls (and one boy!). We support each other and have each other’s backs and that is something I am very proud of.

I have no time for preciousness and diva behaviour, and I like people who will roll their sleeves up and do whatever they need to get the job done. Even though I own the company, you will often see me crawling around on the floor tidying up cables, erecting banners or packing gift bags – it is just what you have to do.

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

It is peak launch season for the beauty industry, so right now our office is pretty quiet as we are all working hard on lots of launches and events. We have over 20 events this month, so juggling it all is challenging, especially as we are known for our attention to detail and personal touches. We have a big launch for Neutrogena coming up which we are very excited about, and we are also in the process of launching Australian brand Grown Alchemist in the UAE.

What’s a recent success story that makes you especially proud?

Dubai hosts so many events, and before the season closed, we hosted a fantastic breakfast in support of the global Neutrogena campaign #SeeWhatsPossible. A group of amazing Emirati women who had achieved so much were invited to share their stories, and openly discuss the barriers they faced and how they overcame them to show just what is possible, especially in a region where historically women have been limited in what they can achieve. In my entire career, I have never witnessed a media event where people in the audience were openly crying. It was one of the most uplifting and empowering experiences I have had in a while. I feel proud TishTash supported such an important cause in an authentic and genuine way that resonated so well with people.

After working for more than 16 years in public relations and marketing in the UK, I jumped at the opportunity to work in the Middle East; it has always been my ambition to experience working internationally.

Most memorable moment in your career ?

This is a tough question! In the 16 years I have been working in marketing and communications, I have been blessed with some amazing career moments, so picking one is impossible! With regards to my own business, the success I have achieved in just four years makes me pinch myself every day. Representing over 35 amazing beauty brands in the region and becoming one of the biggest beauty PR agencies is something I never dreamed of. Also having one of the largest global beauty brands approach me saying they heard I was the best at beauty PR and choosing to hand me their business without a competitive pitch was a little surreal and amazing.

Most glamorous moment in your career?

I was recently featured on the front cover of a magazine in the UAE as an inspirational woman. I love my job and achieving publicity and coverage for my clients, but I struggle to do PR for my company and myself, so many people had to persuade me to do it. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life as for a month I kept spotting myself on the front cover of this magazine. I doubt I will get the chance to be a cover girl again in my life, so it is something I will cherish and be grateful for forever.

In my entire career, I have never witnessed a media event where people in the audience were openly crying. It was one of the most uplifting and empowering experiences I have had in a while.

Least glamorous moment in your career?

Work/life balance as a whole can be tough. Since launching my agency I have worked pretty much seven days a week, 20 hours a day. I have sacrificed a lot, including holidays and sadly, relationships. Our industry can have very anti-social hours with events in the evenings and on weekends, and is rarely as glamorous as it seems.

However, TishTash is more than I ever hoped for and I am happy to invest my time and love into it, with a view that it will pay off in the future and will leave a legacy that I am very proud of.

How does the PR industry differ in the Middle East?

The Middle East can be a challenging terrain to operate. It is made up of many different countries, and there are different ways of dealing with each, as well as between the Arabic and English media. It is important to understand each market well and the nuances such as language variations and cultural variations to manage regional PR effectively.

It has been a while since I worked in the UK market, but from my experience and what I see now, while influencers are important everywhere, I see their role, foothold and influence in the Middle East being far stronger than elsewhere in the world. Compared to markets such as the US and the UK, the Middle East region was very slow to develop a digital footprint for its traditional media outlets. When the Us and UK magazines were spending time developing their digital presence through online portals and apps, many of the Middle Eastern media companies were still investing money in traditional channels and barely had a social media presence, yet alone a proper digital one.

As such, brands needed to find ways to establish an online presence to get the word out and to drive their own digital channels forward. Bloggers and influencers became the easiest way to do this and very quickly brands were investing their time and budgets in them. Now we do have some fantastic online portals, including Gheir.com, AnaZahra.com, nawa3em.com, Yasmina.com, Savoir Flair and PopSugar, but the bloggers and influencers had already carved their space and dominance and as such we still see budgets allocated to influencer campaigns over traditional media.

What challenges do you face when introducing a new product or brand into the Middle East?

I am not sure our challenges are much different from the rest of the world right now, but some of the biggest challenges we face are as follows:

  • The market is very cluttered – The Middle East is a very attractive market for fashion and beauty brands to launch in and as such it is competitive in terms of reaching and persuading consumers to try/buy.
  • Packaging/brand campaigns that are not culturally relevant/suitable for the market – this is often the case with beauty and fashion brands who end up having to invest a lot of money adapting their products/packaging, so they are acceptable to the region/able to get approved by the Ministries.
  • Accessing critical Arabic media can be very hard for smaller or niche brands as this is largely commercially determined.

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

You cannot take it personally. You just have to dust yourself off and move on, especially when working in a small media pool like the Middle East. Just because someone says no to you one day or may be rude to you, doesn’t mean they will not say yes to something else the next day or be helpful. I always try and see it from the other person’s perspective; perhaps they were having a bad day or had a bad call before you. It can be stressful working on both sides, and I find putting yourself in other people’s shoes sometimes helps.  On a practical note, I try and exercise regularly, eat well, get regular massages, laugh a lot and surround myself with good people as it all helps deal with the daily stress.

My mantra is always “Kill with Kindness” so if someone is rude, unprofessional or downright awful, rise above it, be professional and courteous. You will never regret it, I promise.

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

We have quite a few, but one challenging area that I alluded to above is bloggers/influencers. It is clear that they have changed the face of fashion/lifestyle PR and communications. Today fashion, style, and beauty bloggers are as influential, if not more in many cases, than magazine editors; they are also replacing models in editorial shoots, as well as in advertising campaigns. They are the ones influencing and shaping the landscape, which is why brands cannot ignore them.

As such we have seen many changes in the way brands are doing marketing today, but these changes go further than marketing and point to bigger transformations ahead.

Honestly speaking, the whole area of influencers and bloggers is currently a minefield, and it is something that the majority of marketing and PR professionals I know are struggling with. In my agency, it is one of our most talked about topics! From mind-blowing fees to a lack of regulation, quality of content and dealing with unprofessional and unpredictable behavior, something has to change, as long-term it is unsustainable. I predict the next year will see some variations in this area.

Many of the PR regulatory bodies such as PRCA are actively looking at how they can regulate/standardize to some degree. I think guidelines for all sides – agency, brand, and influencer would help a great deal as we are all still finding our way in the dark to a large extent.

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

That you can be successful, and do well in life, by being nice. I have heard it said many a time that you cannot do well in business by being nice, but I totally disagree, and I have made it my mission to prove otherwise. I have always firmly believed that you treat people how you want to be treated and that you should be respectful to everyone you engage with whoever they are. The same applies even if they are rude to you.

In a market as small as Dubai, you never know when you will cross paths with someone, so this is even more important. The importance of being nice, giving everyone the time of day and being kind and generous at all times is something I believe in wholeheartedly and instill in all who work for me.

Secondly, love what you do! Passion and love for the job go a long way in marketing and PR. It is essentially a sales job, so you need to enjoy the brands and respect the people you represent, and if you do, this always shines through and is visible to media and those you engage with. This is my personal policy for my agency – I only take on brands and clients that I 100% believe in and know have an amazing product or offer, as this makes my job so much easier.

Thanks, Natasha!

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.

PR Industry News: Liquid Communications, CRC, Krupp & Janice McCafferty PR

PR Industry News

PR AGENCY AND INDUSTRY NEWS

PR agency Liquid Communications is now Agency of Record for Forty-Eight 10, a shoppable destination for modern, successful women

Veteran publicist Dina White has joined Krupp Kommunications as VP of Media Relations

iConcept Media and Council of Aspiring American Fashion Designers (CAAFD) have announced a strategic partnership and the opening of a NYC flagship showroom that will feature 7 to 11 international designers

CRC has announced the hiring of Brianne Dezzutti to Account Supervisor and Director of Celebrity Influencer Management, Erika Kuzmicz to Senior Account Executive and Manger of Celebrity Influencer Management as well as Jillian Fredi as Public Relations Assistant.

Janice McCafferty PR is now handling Corporate PR for Sundial Brands, the largest black-owned beauty brand in America and manufacturer of SheaMoisture, SheaGirl, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture and Nubian Heritage.


Do you have agency or industry news to share?
We would love to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!

Contact us at hello@prcouture.com

How To Plan An Amazing PR Event (with a not so awesome Budget)

Media Event PR Event Event Budget Tips

Producing a successful media event on a budget is not as hard as you think. The number one skill you need (aside from being a stellar bargain shopper) is organization. If you’re a PR pro, you most likely have this skill down pat. Once you figure out the What and Why of your event, the Where, When and How will easily follow. Here are some tips to creating an awesome soiree on a shoestring.

Find the right venue

The location for your event is your first hurdle. This will most likely be the biggest expense unless it makes sense to hold it at your company’s PR office or your client’s workspace. Think about where most of your guests will be coming from and keep the location central. A cute, trendy restaurant, boutique hotel or bar with a separate party room or patio can work well, and reduced the need to decorate from scratch. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the price with the manager. The worst they can tell you is NO. Ask about their less busy days and times and try to make that work to your advantage. Since most people have day jobs, scheduling your event in the morning before work or in the evening once people leave for the day will insure you more RSVPS.

Host multiple clients at once

A great way to keep the budget down with a PR event is by having more than one client participate. Last April, I held a spring beauty media event that included 6 clients. While that sounds like a nightmare, it actually worked out brilliantly. By doing so, I not only allowed all of my clients to show off their latest product launches to the same group of media members, I was able to book a 5-star hotel’s pool area and split all of the expenses by 6.

Keep décor costs down

The theme and location of your event will determine its look and feel. Most locations already have a set décor so you can easily play off existing elements to keep decorations to a minimum. Succulents, plants and loose cut flowers from Trader Joes paired with simple glass vases from The Dollar Store can look much more expensive than they are. For a beauty client, focus on the product ingredients for décor inspiration. For instance, a rose facemask can be accessorized with rose petals, a skin cream with coconut and aloe. Pick up a few coconuts at the supermarket and an aloe plant and voila! You’re fancy.

If you’re promoting a fashion client, you can easily take their latest line sheets and house them in cute, colorful frames and display them throughout. Fun frames or decorative chalkboards are also a great way to show off your client’s social media handles and event hashtag so guests are reminded to share their experience with their followers.

Enhance the event with sponsor participation

Sometimes it makes sense to partner up with another PR firm or service-oriented company to offer a more memorable experience for your guests. Mini massages, manicures, astrology readings, even a braid bar will make the event more interactive and interesting, which will often boost attendance. To negotiate these services for free, offer the companies gratis PR by promoting their logos and social media handles via your invitations and social media..

Keep food and drink options to a minimum

The truth is that media rarely consume a ton of food and drinks at events. Rather than going overboard with snacks, meals and cocktails, offer something to sip and nibble on that makes sense for the time of day of your event. Work with the manager of your venue for elegant yet economical ideas. Depending on where you’re holding your event, you may even be able to bring in a food or drink sponsor to prepare a signature snack or libation that fits in with your event theme. With a sponsor, you can provide your guests with delicious refreshment at no cost to you in exchange for free promotion at your event. It’s a win win!

Lean on your client for event assistance

With events on a small budget, everyone needs to pitch in. You’ll need assistance managing RSVPs, connecting with guests, photography, and generally making sure everyone is having a good time and learning about your client’s products. Bringing on outside help is going to cost you, but if your client is willing to help manage the event, or bring in their own employees to help, it’s one less expense.

Keep Swag Simple

A gift bag is usually expected at media events, but this doesn’t mean every guest needs to walk out the door with $500 in free product. Talk to your client(s) before hand and see what they’re comfortable offering. If it’s a new beauty launch, one item from the launch along with a press kit is a good idea to gift each media member. Ask the manager of the venue if they have anything they could throw in like a gift certificate, or a wrapped up baked good from their kitchen. If you have a co-sponsor at your event have them throw in a gift card or small item. Resist the idea to fill up your gift bag with a bunch of collateral (discount coupons, promotional materials) that is just going to get tossed, and focus on 1 or 2 useful items in a good looking package.

With a bit of creativity and elbow grease it is possible to work with your clients and sponsors to produce a well-attended, successful media event without blowing the entire PR budget.

Account Executive

Position: Account Executive
Company: NKPR
Location: New York City, NY
Learn more

3 Things All Successful PR Managers Know

PR Manager, Professional Development, Manager Tips, Team Management, Agency Management, Public Relations Career

At the base of every great PR agency is the management team who facilitates success from the bottom up. Without strong, effective leadership, communication, and direction, most agencies would be hard-pressed to stay in business for long. Gallup estimates that the quality of managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. With that said, here are three components necessary to improve your management skills.

Team members need autonomy

True leaders empower others. This is why I believe it’s important to give ownership opportunities to each of your account execs. Autonomy increases team members’ ability to both make decisions and be accountable for their own actions – good or bad. When employees know their actions and ideas truly make a difference to their company, they are more invested and motivated to contribute their best work, and they take more pride in their accomplishments. Introducing shared leadership models will also help sustain the business as a whole, ensuring so that knowledge, expertise and agency structures are not solely dependent upon one person. After all, an agency needs to function positively and profitably, regardless of the near-constant client, employee and industry changes so common to agency life. 

Open communication increases efficiency

I believe in being transparent with my team because it allows for better relational engagement; which in turn produces better performance. An open relationship between a manager and her staff builds trust, which invites more honest feedback which improves everyone’s workday and allows issues to be addressed quickly and efficiently. It’s important to let your team know that you truly care about their thoughts and that their voices matter. Different voices create diverse perspectives when it comes to each client, project, and task. Every team member brings something different to the table and a bundle of distinct ideas is better because each client is unique, and one style does not fit all.   

Introducing shared leadership models will also help sustain the business as a whole, ensuring so that knowledge, expertise and agency structures are not solely dependent upon one person.

Trust is a two-way street

You can do anything, but not everything. As a manager, you need to focus at least some of your time on team dynamics, individual performance and agency planning, and this means shifting away from being involved in every tiny aspect of a client’s retainer. Delegation not only deepens that all important trust factor by showing your team members that you value their competence but will improve productivity. As the CEO and founder of BLND Public Relations, there are a lot of things that need to be done constantly — like taking care of the back-end of the business, problem-solving issues and making myself visible and accessible to all out clients. I always keep in mind that there are only 24 hours in a day and only one of me. Delegation helps my team and me to make the most of each day, which produces big results in the end.

While every business is different and there isn’t one magic formula that makes every team thrive, take time to analyze the best way to increase engagement and communication with your team. While it can be tempting to put management to the wayside in order to keep up with business and media opportunities, a strong, committed and thriving team will help to ensure your agency’s long-term growth.

Ethical Fashion Marketing, The Truth About Unfollows & Constructive Criticism in the Office

cn_fashion-pr-fridays_08

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

…for the week of October 3, 2016

  • Does your PR agency have a specialty? Should it? (via Spin Sucks)
  • It’s not easy to hire the right people based on a standard job interview. Here are some tips (via Career Contessa)

7 Reasons to Say Yes to PRISM

PRISM_Hero-checkout

PRISM is simply an easier way to break into PR

It’s no wonder that PR comes up regularly as one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. And, when you’re just starting out, you’ve got an extra set of worries. You’re trying to do anything and everything you can to get the right experience and skills to help you successfully land a great, swoon-worthy position in the industry. Add to that figuring out exactly what aspect of PR is the best fit for your skills and personality, growing your network, and confidently going after the jobs you want; it’s enough to make even the most motivated PR Girls go headfirst into overwhelm!

But, what if there was a sort of secret industry handshake and you knew it? Or a specific code-phrase that would move you from the back of the line to the front row? What if simply, there was an easier way to move forward in your career, no matter where you live, no matter your connections or your location?

Signing up for PRISM is a bit like that.

Behold, 7 reasons why you should sign up for PRISM, the signature PR career course from PR Couture

bluegem1. Public Relations is built on compelling storytelling, persuasive writing and strong branding. In PRISM, we use your own personal brand to explore all of the above, focusing on how to package your unique mix o magic – that blend of perspective, experience, and passion that only you have – so that your presence and brand attracts the right opportunities your way.

The result: A social media presence that employers will love, a cover letter that is heaps above the quality of what most applicants are sending, and a sense of confidence and clarity around what you bring to the table that will make people clamor to work with you. Really.

PRISM was without a doubt one of the best investments I made when starting my career. If you’re going into PR, marketing, or any communications field, this course is essential. The knowledge, networking and skills are something I’ll have with me for a lifetime.
-Samantha Maxon

pinkgem2. Lifestyle public relations is not exactly like the public relations taught in school. During the course, we go deeply into how to develop key messages that editors respond to, and how to write a pitch using my own pitch template. Not to mention, the audio interviews with publicists from Style House PR, Beach House PR and Elle Communications provide invaluable insight into how to succeed at a top agency.

The result: You can easily write sample pitches to include in your portfolio, even if you’ve never worked on a PR campaign before. You’ll know how to help your team develop PR plans that are strategic, creative and properly organized.

PRISM really helped me find focus. Nearly a year later and Crosby is still on hand to offer advice and knowledge – she truly is an amazing mentor.
-Hayley Ashworth

greengem3. After taking PRISM, you’ll get a virtual key to the best PR Girl professional association out there. Our Alumni group is a place to ask questions, gain support, and find out about job opportunities that never even make it onto a job board.

The result: Never feel alone, confused or blind when it comes to your career or a next step. Through the alumni group, PRISM grads have landed volunteer gigs at New York Fashion Week, received feedback on graduate school application essays, discussed the best ways to ask for a raise, tell an employer you’ve accepted a new position, and of course, jobs. One of our Prismadonnas works for a top fashion recruitment agency – her job is literally to connect qualified applicants (like you) with amazing career opportunities.

Before taking PRISM, I was not sure how I would work in fashion PR with zero experience. Now I am confident in my abilities to work in fashion, and even more confident in my PR skills. Every assignment invites you to be vulnerable and think critically.
– Jailyn Glass

bluegem

4. During PRISM, you’re surrounded by fellow aspiring PR professionals who love what you love and who also want to work in fashion, lifestyle or entertainment PR. As anyone who has been stuck in a PR class focused on examples from healthcare or public service companies, this is a welcome relief – and so much fun!

The result: The sheer relief of finding your squad, girls who get you and know what you’re talking about. Plus, course examples and conversations focus on the companies and brands you care about.

Before taking PRISM, I was struggling with defining my personal brand and focus as a publicist. Now I feel secure, prepared and confident about my public relations abilities. Through PRISM and access to Crosby, I landed my first celebrity client!
-Tamisha Monet

pinkgem

5. The sheer pace of public relations means that oftentimes, entry-level professionals are left without the mentorship and guidance needed to not only feel confident but to know how to excel. PRISM offers a ton of support that is hard to get in a professional setting.

The result: During the course, you have daily access to me through our group Facebook page, where you can ask me anything and everything. Plus, I’m happy to make email introductions when appropriate, recommend resources and generally take a special interest in ensuring you are successful – during the course and afterward.

PRISM helped me to zero in on my talents, focus on developing my weaknesses, and become a PR machine. I love my new role as a PR Coordinator for a lifestyle PR agency.
– Angela Hathaway

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6. As Lindsey over at The Working Girl said, Prism is “an incredible opportunity and such a smart way to kick off your dream career.” For a one-time investment, you get lifetime access to the course materials plus ongoing career support.

The result: Revisit course assignments when faced with a particular challenge or opportunity, revise and refine your personal brand and practice your writing any time you need a boost.

PRISM particularly helped me in the developmental stages of my website, defining my personal brand, and determining my purpose and message to the world. I recently accepted a position as PR Coordinator for a swimwear brand and am so excited about where my career is headed.
– Lauren Long

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7. $449 worth of bonus materials – from audio interviews to ebooks, are available to you just as soon as you sign up. 

The result: A course valued at more than $2,700 is yours for just $297 (and you can grab your spot for just $99 with our payment plan).  

Let’s do this!

PRISM course grads have gone on to land positions at top PR agencies, brands, and publications, as well as kickstart freelance PR careers. I’d love to show up for you and work together over the next 6 weeks. Registration ends Sunday and class starts October 11. If you have any questions, please use the live chat on the sign-up page and we will be happy to connect with you!

Getting IN: PR Assistant at Moderne Press

PR Assistant Job Moderne Press Lifestyle Agency Bay Area

Getting IN is our interview series with emerging PR professionals making their way in the industry. In this interview with PR Assistant Bailey Emmons (who also happens to be a recent PRISM course grad), you’ll learn how she went from Intern to Coordinator in just six months at lifestyle PR agency Moderne Press, and the tools that are essential to her job.


Lifestyle PR Assistant Moderne Press Agency JobsName:
 Bailey Emmons
Education: BA in Communication, Santa Clara University
Agency Website: Moderne Press
Instagram: @whenlifegivesyouemmons, @modernepress
Twitter: @modernepress
“Whether it’s seeding products to influencers, organizing cross-brand and loop giveaways or posting content on a brand’s behalf, I’ve gotten to work with dozens of bloggers and brands on different kinds of projects.”

Tell us a bit about your background

As a college student studying communication, I also enjoyed fashion and was looking for a way to combine the two fields. I had taken one public relations course, but it mainly focused on tech and sustainability (two major themes in the Silicon Valley), neither of which was an area I was interested in working in. When I discovered PR Couture, I realized it was possible to work in both the fashion and the PR worlds, and with the site’s agency directory, I found Moderne Press and realized I wouldn’t have to leave the Bay Area to find opportunities.

How did you land your current position?

I started following Moderne Press on Instagram. In October, Connie posted that they were looking for an intern and so I applied. After an initial phone interview with the PR Director and an in-person interview with Connie, I got a call offering me the internship. I was an intern with the agency for six months before being offered a full-time assistant position.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT MODERNE PRESS

Moderne Press is a boutique public relations and social media agency, specializing in working with fashion, lifestyle, home décor and kids brands. We work closely with small businesses to establish their brand voice and create recognition.

Lifestyle PR Agency Moderne Press

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I work on many of the social media campaigns for our clients. Whether it’s seeding products to influencers, organizing cross-brand and loop giveaways or posting content on a brand’s behalf, I’ve gotten to work with dozens of bloggers and brands on different kinds of projects.

WHAT SKILLS and SOFTWARE ETC ARE ESSENTIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS?

It’s important to stay on top of trends and timing – most editors are working months in advance, so keeping an eye on their current and upcoming projects will help when it comes to pitching at the right time. Following up is also essential – I can’t tell you how many times people have responded saying they missed my initial outreach!

In terms of software, we use a program called Flow to organize and delegate tasks among our team. I write lists and notes constantly, so it’s great to have everything in one place. They even have a smartphone app! For client social media management, we use an app called UNUM to plan Instagram posts and view analytics.

What is one way you’ve grown in your career?

I used to be nervous about asking questions because I thought it would make me look silly, but I quickly realized that feeling silly about asking a question is way better than making an easily avoidable mistake.

Moderne PR Lifestyle PR Agency

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE SEEKING A SIMILAR POSITION?

Look everywhere! LinkedIn and Indeed.com are great, but my internship was actually posted on Craigslist! Also, searching hashtags like #fashionpr and #printernship can help you find listings in unexpected places, like Instagram or Twitter.

I used to be nervous about asking questions because I thought it would make me look silly, but I quickly realized that feeling silly about asking a question is way better than making an easily avoidable mistake.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! I had limited PR knowledge and experience, and didn’t feel totally qualified for a position in the field, but I applied anyway knowing it was something I really wanted to try.

Bailey is also a Prismadonna (a graduate of our signature PRISM Course), so I had a few bonus questions to ask her about her experience:

What made PRISM a fit for you?

I loved that PRISM is a digital course, so I was able to work on it wherever and whenever worked best with my schedule. I was excited to get started, and loved that I was learning about PR in a totally different context than in school – one I was really interested in!

WHAT WAS THE MOST VALUABLE part of PRISM for you?

The networking tips have been so valuable. Relationships really are everything, and it is so helpful to make those connections with media, your PR peers and brands. You never know when the contact you’re emailing with at one magazine may move on to another, or when that brand you collaborated with on a giveaway might be looking for a PR agency of their own.

Being a part of the Alumni group has great added value for me; it’s great to have a support network to go to with questions and opportunities. Now I’m just much more confident with reaching out to people to see if I can help with projects.

Thanks Bailey!

PS: Prism registration ends Sunday!

How to use Twitter Chats for Career Growth

Twitter Chats, Public Relations, PRISM, PR Couture, Fashion PR, Professional Development

Last week I shared 10 of my favorite Twitter chats for PR professionals. I hope you’ve had a chance to investigate at least a few of them. Now, we’re all busy people, so it’s important that we maximize the value of any time spent engaging with others on Twitter. So, what can we do to ensure Twitter chatting is time well spent? Follow these 5 guidelines:

1. Research the topic ahead of time

The host will announce the topic of the chat a few days ahead of time, so if you want to make the most of your participation, especially in an area you aren’t super familiar with, take some time and prep for the Twitter chat – note new developments or campaigns that fit the theme. Having relevant examples at hand will make it easy to impress; you’ll be well-informed from the outset.

2. Jump right into the conservation

Don’t be afraid to participate in these chats: test your knowledge against the seasoned pros. No one will notice you if you do not say anything, but remember you are there to be noticed so contribute your ideas. All chats are based on PR theories and practices so while you may not have the hands on experience, you do have the knowledge.

3. Add onto existing conversations

If you have something to add to another person’s statement, whether  to agree or offer a different viewpoint, respond to their tweet by quoting it below your comment.  If you want to gain more specifics about something, just ask. No rules state that you can only answer the questions set by the host.

4. Write down resources for future research

Take notes on everything: what tools other professionals are using; what campaigns they all mention; what events, seminars, and webinars they promote. You could even note down any comments they make and use it in an assignment (with their permission) or new business proposal. Pull as much information from these 140 characters as you can.

5. Continue engagement after the Twitter chat ends

Consider it pajama networking. Once the conversation has finished, follow the people you had direct interaction with and reply to any tweets you may have missed. During the following week, keep the connection going by retweeting or replying to those tweets. In this way, you’ll be building the relationship, after all,  because you never know where it could lead.

The more you consistently participate in specific Twitter Chats, the more it will feel like you are simply checking in with you colleagues and less like you are simply throwing your thoughts into the wind. As regular chat participants come to expect and enjoy your participation each week, you’ll be well on your way toward expanding your network, industry knowledge and Twitter platform expertise. Happy chatting!

gem-blush-03Find out more ways to successfully grow your own personal brand and land your dream job with PRISM. PR Couture’s signature course is a 6-week virtual program tackling brand positioning, pitching and career planning, plus tons of added mentorship and support. Registration closes Sunday, class starts Tuesday, October 11. Learn more and sign up now!

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.

Freelance Publicist

Position: Freelance Publicist – VIP/Gifting
Company: Lindsey Smolan PR
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Learn more

How to Gain Fashion PR Experience (Without Moving to New York)

Fashion PR Fashion Jobs Fashion NYC

It’s easy to slip into the mindset that New York is the only place to be to work in fashion. While it might be the ultimate location, it is in no way the only location.

I grew up in Houston, Texas – a city known for being an oil and gas center not a fashion capital. Like many others, my dream was to move to New York and work with the likes of Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, and Karl Lagerfeld. However, my college journey didn’t take me to New York, it landed me in Chicago. While I was originally disheartened by my chances at fashion opportunities in Chicago and Houston, I learned to maximize the experiences I had and change the way I thought about the fashion industry outside of its main hub.

With five easy mindset and habit changes, I was able to land myself with some invaluable opportunities in the fashion industry that have prepared me for my pursuit of a fashion PR job after graduation.

Leverage retail experience

The only job experience most college students have is retail and it is often a way that many students support themselves while still in school. During my freshman year, I worked at a boutique for a knitwear designer, Souchi. Rather than using slow hours to do nothing, I took on responsibility for social media management and content creation. I took Instagram photos each day, updated our Pinterest boards, and even modeled the clothing for the blog our owner updated on our site. As a 5’3” woman, I am no way built as a model, but it gave me the opportunity to show future employers that extra dedication.

Keep track of the lifestyle PR firms and fashion events your area

I follow bloggers, department stores, and PR firms in the Chicago area. For example, the Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue posts about stylists and designers coming into the store for events. These events allow you to introduce yourself and possibly even get a business card from somebody on their team.

If a firm lands a new client, they almost always take to social media to celebrate. When I was pursuing my current internship with C1 Revolution, a PR firm in Chicago, I first learned about their bridal and ready to wear client, Sarah Seven, when the company posted about it on Instagram. When I contacted my boss about internship opportunities, I made sure to mention my fashion experience. As an added bonus, if you are already familiar with a firm’s clients, it shows you really did your research before approaching them.

Remember: Smaller doesn’t mean less significant

There are so many emerging designers coming from all different parts of the country. Matt Baldwin, A CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist, is even based out of Kansas City. Opportunities are everywhere. You just have to look for them. During my many Google searches of Chicago fashion, I stumbled upon a jewelry company called Lana Jewelry. It wasn’t a name I had ever heard of, but when I started working there, I learned they sent jewelry to the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cara Delevingne, and Chrissy Teigen.

Being a part of a smaller team gave me more opportunity for responsibility. I was entrusted to pull pieces for celebrities and shoots for magazines like Women’s Health and Vogue. I was put in direct contact with prominent influencers in the fashion industry, which I may not have been able to do at a larger label.

Think beyond public relations

A company may not have an exact PR internship, but don’t forget to look in other areas of the company that are similar to PR. My first fashion internship was in marketing and ecommerce at a Houston based brand called Elaine Turner. In this role, I was able to write copy for email blasts, track our social media analytics, and even assist with the re-launching of their online website. This experience actually proved to be advantageous in landing my PR internship with Lana Jewelry. I had previous experience in updating an online store and had much more Excel experience, which made it easier for me to create charts and formulas for reports. The more analytical experience I had was able to set me apart from other potential applicants.

Keep Going

Don’t let the length of your search dishearten you. I stayed in contact with my current boss for over a year and had two other internships before I was able to land an internship with her company. I didn’t just send her hello emails to see if she had a job available. I also sent her different projects I had worked on to keep her in the loop on the experience I was gaining. When a position opened up, and she knew I had been working in fashion, she brought me on board to help out with Sarah Seven. If you are willing to put in the effort, you will find an opportunity.

gem-blush-03Gain fashion PR experience and expertise in your pajamas with PRISM. PR Couture’s signature course is a 6-week virtual program tackling personal branding, PR skill upgrades, career planning, plus tons of mentorship and support. Registration closes Sunday, class starts Tuesday, October 11. Learn more and sign up now!

About Kendall Thompson

Kendall is a senior pursuing her degree in PR and advertising at DePaul University in Chicago. Having spent the last few years building a career in fashion PR, she is now the PR Assistant at C1 Revolution where her focus is on fashion and lifestyle brands.

Burnout Fixes, Milan’s Social Fashion Week, & Vogue vs. The Bloggers

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

…for the week of September 26, 2016

  • Cartier goes bit on sponsored content to support the reopening of their New York City flagship store (via DigiDay)
  • Having influencers at the forefront of campaigns isn’t a new concept, but L’Oréal is looking to change the relationship with their Beauty Squad moving forward (via Marketing Week)
  • Presenting at conferences can be as simple as “show up, speak and leave” but doing so ignores how your talk can create networking opportunities (via Fast Company)
  • While Vogue bashes bloggers, Milan Fashion Week centers their shows around social media and the images are incredible (via The Week)
  • The non-marketing, marketing plan that’s working for Zara (via Huffington Post)
  • Burberry gets creative with their new see-now-buy-now concept in SoHo (via Creative Review)
  • Avoiding career burnout can be tough, but finding ways to avoid it can help you stay put and get back on track to conquering your goals (via Create + Cultivate)

NYFW From a Fashion Blogger’s Perspective

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What to Expect as You Grow in Your PR Career

What to expect as you grow in your PR career

Hard work, long nights, endless cups of coffee later, and suddenly you’re fully in the midst of your career. You may have recently been promoted, been made the lead on an account, or find yourself doling out (some pretty amazing) advice to a new crop of interns. Good things are happening in your career!

First, take a step back and notice what’s happening. You’re doing it! You’re making your way through the ranks. Communications positions are notoriously fast-paced (not just in your working environment, but in how quickly media consumption habits change), which means it’s easy to get swept up in client demands and deadlines and forget to truly notice that you are succeeding. Now that you’ve realized (and hopefully celebrated) that you’re truly getting into the swing of things, now is a good time to take a step back and reassess or reinforce your professional goals.  Here are a few 5 questions to ask yourself:

 

Do I want to specialize?

Going from Intern to Assistant Publicist to Account Director requires you to move from a position of following instructions and absorbing information, to being a leader who directs her team. In that process, you will have learned a ton about your strengths, weaknesses, preferences and limits.

One of the most common things we realize at this stage is that there are certain aspects of the job we enjoy more than others. While no one loves tracking their time, some of us enjoy the hustle of pitching editors, while others thrive as social media managers. Start to think about whether or not you’d like to specialize – whether that is in a subject area, like event marketing or analytics, or a particular target audience, Latina females under 30 perhaps, or a facet of the fashion or lifestyle industry, like athleticwear, eco-beauty.

What is my Boss style?

Think about the different managers that you have had throughout your career and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. What traits encouraged you to do your best work, and what aspects of their leadership style caused more harm than good? As you continue to rise in the ranks, you’ll be looked up to as an example by incoming interns or new junior staff and it’s important to have a clear plan for how you plan to lead.

Who can I mentor?

Our industry thrives on relationships and collaboration. Now that you have a handle on your career, you might want to think about giving back a bit. Whether you join a professional organization, mentor someone on your team or volunteer in some capacity, you can now lend your knowledge, experience, and contacts to an aspiring PR professional trying to make her way up the chain. There’s no better feeling than knowing you helped another PR girl out, and mentorship can be an incredibly powerful way to participate in your industry’s growth.

What’s my celebration style?

When the stakes are higher, it’s important to maintain your chill, no matter what. A great way to do this is to have built-in reward systems. A round of champagne gummy bears for the team after turning in that big client report, a weekend staycation at a local hotel or AirBnb once you wrap up a big event? Figure out what helps keep your motivation, and that of your team, up and productive.

Are my accomplishments up to date?

As you grow in your career, you should always just keep score of little goals and accomplishments you hit. Quantifying your talent will come in handy should you decide to change agencies, ask for a raise, or speak on a panel.

I’m so thankful for my days of running around New York City fetching coffee and writing press release after press release because those tasks ultimately helped me become a PR specialist. Every sample run, every PR training course lead me to my current path. See you at the top!