How to Pitch Beauty Editors, Life Before the Internet, & the History of #RoséAllDay


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

…for the week of August 29, 2016

  • Ahh the tricky business of celebrity endorsements. Do you know about the all-important morals clause?  (via Branding Strategy Insider)
  • What PR skills are necessary for a successful PR career? Here are three that will help you to stand out from the rest (via PR News)
  • The last generation to know life before the internet speaks up, and what they have to say may surprise you (via Quartz)
  • If you’re also feeling like the #roséallday hashtag came to life overnight, you’ll appreciate this analysis of the rosé trend (via Red Door)

PR Girls We Love: Sarah Lynch, Global Brand Marketing Manager at Missguided

We Interview the Global Brand Manager of Missguided UK

Things are about to get crazy for Sarah Lynch, Global Marketing Manager for UK-based fashion brand Missguided.  The company just announced that it will branch out from its current e-commerce only strategy and open up a 20,000 square foot store in London this fall. Add to that the continued growth and development of the Missguided shopping app, which currently has over half a million users, and it’s clear that the brand is in an exciting period of major growth.

In between the chaos, Sarah managed to slip away from her desk at the company’s new headquarters in Manchester to chat with PR Couture about how she got started in the industry and the challenges ahead for marketing and communication professionals.

Photo of Missguided Global Brand Marketing Manager, Sarah LynchName: Sarah Lynch
Company: Missguided
Title: Global Brand Marketing Manager
Current City: Liverpool
Missguided Instagram: @missguided
Missguided Twitter: @missguided
Instagram: @sarahlynchie_

How did you get started in Marketing?

I worked at numerous marketing agencies before getting my advertising and social media experience at Shop Direct, a large online department store group based in the UK. I’ve been with Missguided for almost two years now and currently manage marketing, PR, advertising, and social media for all global territories.

What are your primary responsibilities?

My primary responsibilities in terms of PR are to oversee the management of our PR agencies in UK, US, and Australia. I also create and execute PR strategies that are designed to meet our business objectives and drive brand awareness and growth in each territory. This includes building relationships with media and influencers and creating or considering proposals for activations and events. I also work closely with other departments at Missguided to create integrated campaigns and marketing plans. I love to invest time in my team to make sure they’re happy, motivated and progressing in their careers.

Being thrown into the deep end meant that I learned the ropes quickly across numerous countries around the world.

How did your marketing career morph to include PR?

My background is in advertising and social media, and when an opportunity came up at Missguided which included managing the PR team, I jumped at it! I’d worked closely with PR managers and agencies in previous roles, and had good knowledge of the media and press industry, so I had a good understanding of what was involved and knew I could make the right decisions, even if I hadn’t had much experience in the day-to-day workings. I took a bit of a risk and just went for it! Being thrown into the deep end meant that I learned the ropes quickly across numerous countries around the world.

What are you working on right now?

We have a couple of really exciting launches coming up this fall which we’re all working towards at the moment, but I can’t give anything away. In addition to supporting the constant stream of new product drops and stories, Christmas is a key season for us, so we’re focusing on making it the best party season yet!

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

I have the outlook that you can only do what you can do, so as long as I know I’ve tried my best and tried every possible option, if something doesn’t come off how I’d hoped I don’t get too down about it. There’s a lesson in everything, so as long as we learn from rejection or challenging times, it will always be better next time.

What are you really good at?

I have good attention to detail, but especially as I’ve worked up to a more senior level I’ve found I’m good at seeing the bigger picture, knowing where something falls in the grand scheme of things and whether it’s going to make a difference or not. It helps that I’m from a brand background, but also have a good grasp on the commercial side of things, which helps me make the best decisions and work well with other departments of the business.

Missguided UK Headquarters with Sarah Lynch

Sarah Lynch inside the chic Missguided HQ.

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

Our Spring 2016 brand campaign with Pamela Anderson was a particular highlight thanks to the amount of global coverage we achieved and the positive response to Pam and our work with her. Pamela is an icon and a figure of empowerment, which is what we stand for as a brand, and so it was the perfect partnership to launch us into Spring/Summer ‘16 and make people look twice!

What is the most memorable/meaningful moment in your career thus far?

I think it would be early on in my career when I was just starting out working in social media, I was asked to live tweet for a brand from the red carpet of a big televised awards ceremony here in the UK. I was new and super nervous, but I was trusted to do it, and I was on an absolute high afterward. I loved every minute and thankfully it went well. I probably wouldn’t think twice about it now, but at the time it gave me a huge confidence boost and the motivation to push myself outside of my comfort zone, so it meant a lot.

What about the most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I’ve been lucky enough in my work to attend fancy events and to be treated to lovely meals and hospitality. One of my favorite ‘special’ moments was being flown first class to Cape Town for work and given cocktails on arrival at our lovely hotel. It was a special experience and one I’ll never forget.

Swing Chairs at Missguided Headquarters in UK.

Swinging chairs at Missguided HQ.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far:

There have been many – for every glamorous moment there have been at least 20 un-glamorous ones that aren’t shared on Instagram! Spending hours sorting through samples, doing paper work, sitting in a wet field for hours on end while we captured the perfect shot was how I spent many days early on. It wasn’t very glamorous.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

I wish more people understood that it’s not always fun and glamorous! Behind every piece of coverage or event there’s a lot of hard work, things to consider and decisions to be made, which might not seem obvious to people who only see the finished piece but without it, the outcome could be very different.

The biggest challenge for communicators right now is the speed in which people consume information.

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

The biggest challenge for communicators right now is the speed in which people consume information. We have to know how to tap into it and ensure that we’re relevant while also reaching the right audience- it takes strategy and planning. It’s also a huge opportunity for us because our audience is so digitally savvy which makes keeping up and standing out from the competition a constant challenge.

Thanks, Sarah!

Is Your Workplace Toxic? 5 Signs it’s Time to Rethink Your Current Job

5 Signs of a Toxic Work Environment

No workplace is perfect. There will always be challenges and obstacles to overcome, even in what might seem like an ideal office. However, if going to work feels more like being in a scene of the Devil Wears Prada, your office may have unfortunately crossed the line from challenging into toxic.

What exactly is a toxic work environment? If your workplace is showing any of the following 5 signs, it’s time to re-evaluate your current position and explore finding a better fit elsewhere. Life is too short to be miserable at work!

1. There are Constant Communication Breakdowns

Lack of communication within an office can be detrimental to the growth and success of the business. Without healthy communication, it is virtually impossible for a team to work together to accomplish a task. If you aren’t given all the information necessary to complete an assignment, are left out of the loop regarding major decisions, never receive timely reviews or consistent feedback to improve yourself, then communication isn’t functioning where you are. Lack of transparency, encouragement and recognition leads employees to feel as though they aren’t a valuable part of the business. Eventually, this can lead to a losing the passion and drive that you feel for your career.

2. Overwhelming Negativity

Lack of communication and openness often breeds resentment and negativity. No one wants to dread going into work every morning, and if walking through the doors each day puts you instantly on edge, nervous, or uncomfortable, it’s time to take a step back. These types of feelings can crush creativity, hamper your ability to produce high-quality work, and discourage you from asking to receive the training you need to advance your career to the next step. If your office is embroiled in cliques, complaints and a general air of stress and frustration, your probably in a toxic work environment.

3. Lack of Leadership

Creating and maintaining a positive environment of an office starts at the top, with executive and management personnel setting the tone for everyone else. If you see your supervisors acting more like middle school mean girls, that will inform the standards of behavior for the entire office. f your boss puts herself first, takes credit for other people’s work, gives special treatment to a chosen few, or expresses anger in an inappropriate way, you’re likely finding it very difficult to be successful, feel heard and have any trust for those in charge. 

4. Competition is praised over Collaboration

In public relations, much like other creative and service-based industries, collaboration – across teams, disciplines and with other agencies, outside experts, and vendors will have a direct impact on success or failure. A work environment turns toxic when employees are more concerned with their own personal success and promotion than what’s best for a client or the agency as a whole. When competition between team members becomes more important than collaboration, or a need to “own” the work results in a lack of willingness to bring in outside help, or entertain other perspectives, quality of work and reputation are put in jepoardy. If you’re working with people who only do the work when it benefits them, or who are unwilling to go the extra mile to share knowledge and friendly advice, the toxic flares have gone up.

5. Your Personal Life is Affected

For the amount of time you spend we spend at the office, it’s a bit like a second home. Being in a toxic environment for 8+ hours each day can negatively impact your quality of life and your habits outside of the office. If you’re finding yourself engaging in behaviors like unhealthy eating, running shoes gathering dust, restless sleeping and increased alcohol consumption, you might be trying to soothe or escape from the realities of your job. If you find that you are starting to indulge in unhealthy habits outside of work as a result of your day, it’s time to re-evaluate your position and whether your job is worth your personal health.

If you find yourself in a work environment that possess one of the above signs, it’s important to set aside time to re-evaluate what you are looking for in an employer, how much it is affecting your personal life, and how much longer you can maintain your happiness in your current the position.  While no office will be perfect all the time and speaking up about the problem may lead to a solution, once you have exhausted all attempts, or are experiencing emotional manipulation, fear-based tactics or a general growing dread of going into work, remember that you’re not stuck; your perfect job could be just around the corner.

Create a Brand Ambassador Program in 3 Easy Steps

Turn your Audience into Brand Ambassadors.

A brand will be hard-pressed to grow without the support of its audience. Take the Skimm for instance. I learned about the company through a friend and my friends regularly hear about the company from me. This sort of word-of-mouth endorsement happens all the time, and often under the radar for many brands.

In order to capitalize on the natural recommendation engine that powers conversations among friends, family members and coworkers, many companies rely on support from their loyal audience members to amplify awareness and enthusiasm to help drive business goals. By inviting customers to become part of the company mission as ambassadors, loyalty and third-party credibility is strengthened.

What can we learn from brands who have successfully mobilized their audiences to help with promotion? Here are 3 key takeaways to help you formalize an ambassador program, or simply ensure you are making it easy for brand enthusiasts to help drive the message forward:

1. Focus on where ambassadors and potential customers naturally interact with one another

As part of its 10th-anniversary activities, the Jessica Simpson brand offered a one-semester brand ambassador program aimed at college women at 10 universities. To be part of the program, ambassadors had to complete a multi-step application process which included interviews and completing a creative project. “Jessica Simpson is an awesome brand, especially because it caters to all sizes of females,” says Emily Randall, program manager at Youth Marketing Connection (YMC) — the company that coordinated the ambassador program. “Her line doesn’t discriminate and anyone can wear and feel good in Jessica Simpson.” The brand listened to the customer and was authentic and personable, and had ambassadors at each school represent and promote them through social media content and events. She also notes that “The results of this program were the successful awareness of the Jessica Simpson brand, increased engagement of the brand on social media, and increased social impressions on social media, ultimately leading to increased sales online and at store retailers,” and that although this was a one-semester deal, they are still in contact with the brand and hope to offer another activation in the future.

Nia Washington was one of two ambassadors at University of Georgia, and her role consisted of spreading awareness via social media, hosting free events ranging from fashion to pop-up shows, and visiting campus organizations to talk about the Jessica Simpson brand. At each event attendees left with free JS clothing, accessories and beauty products. Nia believes it was successful because the Jessica Simpson and YMC teams used college girls to market to, well, college girls. She says, “We knew how to relate to our audience because we were part of the target demographic. People want to hear about fashion advice from people they can relate to and trust.” She also notes that “the program allowed me to strengthen my marketing skills, grow my social network, and add a ton of beautiful pieces from the JS collection to my wardrobe.”

2. Build in feedback mechanisms (and take suggestions to heart)

Another brand that successfully targets the college demographic is 31 Bits, a socially good fashion brand. Each semester, the brand works with a team of international students who represent 31 Bits on their campuses. Reps have the opportunity to earn money through sales tied to their activities and to gain experience in event planning and social media. They also help their reps set up a marketing plan, use an exclusive Facebook group, and have a handbook that provides information about the jewelry, the company, sales tips and tricks, and event ideas.

Courtney Frantz, 31 Bits’ Director of Involvement, explains that “campus reps have truly paved the way for 31 Bits’ future in each of their own communities and campuses. Thanks to our passionate advocates and campus representatives, 31 Bits has been able to make an even larger impact on empowering people to rise above poverty.” Importantly, the company listens to ambassador feedback to help improve the program and influence company decision-making.

3.  Connect around lifestyle/values, not simply the product

For nearly 4 years, FitGirls_Inspire has celebrated women who love to lift and lead a healthy lifestyle through apparel and content.  The company’s brand ambassador program focuses on working with social media influencers who are already passionate about health and fitness. Ambassadors are required to share a weekly photo or video highlighting Fit Girls_Inspire clothing (ambassadors get new styles first), along with an ambassador-specific discount code that can be shared with followers.

The company understands that truly effective ambassadors balance passion with promotion. Founder and CEO Anual John Jackson Jr shares that he looks for ambassadors who are excited to “spread not only the clothing but the entire message on which the company was founded,” noting that “being honest and believing in what you stand for is the best way to grab audiences’ attention and grow organically.”

These are just a few of ways brands are connecting with their audiences to become brand ambassadors. In the end, authenticity, access, and respect are tenants that make it easy for enthusiasts to continue to spread the good word about the companies they love.

How Agencies Use Snapchat, Celebrity Kids Fashion Placements & Tips to Become a Better Writer


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

…for the week of August 22, 2016

  • Still trying to figure out your agency’s plan for the Snapchat-osphere? These 8 firms share a behind the scenes look at why they share what they share (via Hubspot)
  • Athleisure is trending because it offers a distinctive physical feeling that corresponds to how we are expected to feel about work in an era when “do what you love” is the conventional wisdom about careers.” Yup, you’ll want to read – and ruminate on this one (via Real Life Magazine)
  • Fashion brands have always clamored to dress celebrities. These days, the children’s clothing market is seeing a boost from luxury brands and consumers obsessed with what these celebrities pint-sized counterparts are photographed wearing as well (via The Fader)
  • Being a great writer is a craft that should be continuously perfected, these writing tips will help amplify your skills (via Poynter)
  • Installing Twitter’s quality filter today will keep the Twitter trolls away (via Meet Edgar)
  • Contributing bylines to publications grow thought leadership, but make sure you’re doing these three things before submitting your next guest post (via Air PR)
  • Why add user generated content to your marketing plan? UGC not only builds trust in your brand, it’s a timely spin on traditional, word of mouth advertising (via Create + Cultivate)
  • Do you have a habit of being a bit too verbose? These tips for self-editing blog posts are great for anyone who writes or pitches for a living (via ProBlogger)


Grow your business and get press!

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PR Toolbox: Separate Personal & Business Calls with Flyp

Get multiple phone numbers with FLYP

Once upon a time, many publicists carried two cell phones, personal and business. Now that our phones have become completely ubiquitous, it’s more likely that you have a single device, and struggle with maintaining a clear division between “life life,” and work life. Whether you’re a freelance publicist or a small agency, having a separate business phone line for your clients and the media can be incredibly beneficial. Flyp is a phone app that makes this super easy, giving you the ability to have multiple phone numbers on a single device. 

Flyp Benefits For PR Professionals

Choose a local and NYC area code for pitching: for times when you are responsible for hyperlocal media outreach or events, but aren’t based in the area you’re pitching, Flyp makes it east to get a local number to pitch the media and manage RSVPs. Conversely, if you’re based in a small city, a NYC area code can be a plus when connecting with journalists and editors.

Keep personal and business communication separate. When using it for client calls (full disclosure: I was set up with a free account), it was great to see client calls centralized and separated from my personal ones – and I know this will be even more beneficial when I travel.

If you work with multiple consultants or have individual reps stationed across the country, Flyp is an easy way to set up phone numbers for your satellite offices.

If you’re still using an office landline, a switch to Flyp ensures you can take phone numbers wherever you go, which is perfect for agencies experiencing rapid growth. 

When using it for client calls (full disclosure: I was set up with a free account), it was great to see client calls centralized and separated from my personal ones…

Flyp allows you to keep your personal phone number private. You just swipe the notification on your screen, unlock your phone and tap “Answer” to take the call. It then will switch over to look like you’re making a call (where it’s connecting to Flyp’s network) to keep your number private.

Streamlining Business Communication. Flyp let’s you keep all of your work calls, voicemails and texts lived in one centralized place.  Easily import all of your phone contacts or add new  ones and all of your calls, voicemails, etc. then will live in the Conversations section.

Your first number is free, which is pretty amazing. For $30 yearly, you can get an additional number; that’s significantly less expensive than a regular phone hard-wire bill! Flyp this makes me think long and hard about getting rid of our hard-wired phone line.

Much of what helps us succeed as publicists are tools like Flyp that provide easy solutions to streamline everyday work. Having the ability to remain connected to “the office” at all times is our piece of mind & our kryptonite. At Moderne, we all took the plunge and downloaded Flyp, and our work lives were forever changed.


PR Girls We Love: Rosie Davies, Director, The London Fashion Agency

PR Girls We Love, Rosie Davies, London Fashion Agency

Rosie Davies is the Director of London-based PR firm, The London Fashion Agency.  In 2013, Rosie launched LFA to bring about new options in PR for independent designers, including affordable marketing, public relations, social media, and graphic design services to ensure clients are ready for editorial press. Upon recognizing that many brands were looking to gain access to professional industry resources, LFA developed a collection of DIY PR resources available on their LFA website. The agency’s accessible approach to PR has earned recognition and numerous awards; in 2015 Rosie won Creative Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year. Past and present clients include Tootaly, The Keep, Miss Pom Pom, and Aida.

PR Girls We Love, Rosie Davies, The London Fashion Agency

Name: Rosie Davies
Company: The London Fashion Agency
Title: Agency Director
Education: MA Textile Design, University of Arts London
Twitter: @ldnfashionagcy
Instagram: @ldnfashionagcy 

How did you get started in PR?

I did a degree in textile design but always knew I wanted to start a business one day. I fell into PR by complete accident. I took on an internship with a small London based brand, called Lowie. On my first day I remember them asking me if I was passionate about print design and I said no, I’m passionate about business. The designer said to me, “You’d be good at PR and marketing”. I didn’t even know what PR was, but she gave me the phone and a pile of magazines. I never looked back. Lowie are still my client today, 6 years later.

How is LFA structured?

We are a really small team. There are 6 of us in total at the agency. The majority of our clients want either PR retainer or PR resources. Our instant resources can be bought directly from our shop so we don’t need a team member working on this. In the PR team, there are 3 people ensuring that the tailored lists we are selling are the best they can be, and that our clients on retainer are gaining the coverage they deserve.

We also offer a consultation service directly with me. Brands come to our studio for an hour and we discuss why they might not be getting any traction with publications. We look at their images, branding, product and social media.

What is the mood like in the office right now?

I have ensured that our office is in keeping with our ethos! We are an honest, approachable, friendly fashion agency, and it was really important to get this across through our studio space. We have comfy sofas for our consultations and lots of sweet treats. Our staff work flexi-hours; if they want a little longer in bed, that is fine. It’s important to keep the team happy.


PR Girls We Love, Milo, London Fashion Agency

Milo, Office Manager & Mascot

What are you currently working on?

We have a number of projects going on. The main one has been re-designing our instant resources. They used to come in an excel document, but I wanted to include pictures and make them beautiful, so they now are downloadable in a PDF format.
Our staff work flexi-hours; if they want a little longer in bed, that is fine. It’s important to keep the team happy.

What are you really good at?

I’m an ideas person. I constantly have a stream of creative ideas, new services, new ways to market things. But I guess I’m good at controlling my creativity as only a few make the cut.

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

We recently had a brand move PR to us after being unhappy the results from a much larger agency. They came to us late in the season, so I was concerned about the coverage that could be achieved in such a short space of time. In keeping with our company’s ethos, I expressed my concerns to them but said we would do our best to achieve as much as possible. They were featured in 12 publications in the first 6 weeks, which made both the brand and our team thrilled. I couldn’t have asked for a better press reaction and can’t wait to see what we can get for them next year.

London Agency Pr Girls We Love London PR

Most memorable and meaningful moments in your career thus far?

I won the special merit award for the Great British Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year in December 2015.  I was honoured.

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

I don’t let anything that is out of our control stress me out. If a product has been cut from a major story, that’s not great, but there is nothing we can do about it. I also ensure that we have a good working relationship with all our clients so they know we are working hard for them. If a client is unhappy, it can lead to stress, so I don’t let this happen.

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

Xero for accounting; Instagram for marketing; and Squarespace for website.

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

Coverage in magazines doesn’t just happen. There is so much work that goes into getting that product on that shopping page of Elle. It takes a team effort from the brand and the agency. We want our clients to have beautiful products, branding, social media, and imagery before even thinking about getting press in magazines.
I don’t let anything that is out of our control stress me out. If a product has been cut from a major story, that’s not great, but there is nothing we can do about it

What type of person thrives at your company?

Someone who cares about beautiful products, made by independent brands and designers. If you are passionate and hard working, then everything else can be taught.
PR Couture, London Fashion Agency, Rosie Davies

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

I have 3 things: Never turn anyone down for a cup of coffee (even if you think they are of no use to you), work hard every day, and be yourself. It pays to be nice to people!

Thanks, Rosie!

6 Best Practices for Building a Media List that Gets Press

PR Couture Media List Tips

While it’s very important to perfect your messaging and media materials, it’s equally essential to ensure you’re sending client information to the right editors. Irrelevant pitches are a huge reason why PR gets a bad name in the publishing world. Ensure your outreach is helpful to your recipient by following these six best practices.

Keep a master list

While you should customize your media list spreadsheet for every campaign, it’s also a smart practice to keep one master media list of all your contacts. Depending on what program you’re using to manage your media list, you can create categories for different types of media. In Excel, for example, you can create columns for different information like short vs. long lead, regional vs. national and digital vs. print, or organize via location.

While it may seem time-consuming to compile all of this information for every contact you add to your media list, it will help you greatly in the future since you’ll be able to quickly sort and filter your media list to customize it for the current campaign.

Consult a traditional media database

If you have access, begin compiling your list using a traditional, subscription-based service like Cision or Meltwater. These databases are comprehensive, constantly updated and easily searchable – making it easy to quickly export a list of target journalists covering a particular location or beat.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, try PR Couture’s fashion & lifestyle media & blogger lists for a strong list foundation.

Supplement media lists with good, old-fashioned research

While a subscription media database is a great starting point, it’s not a one-stop shop.

Anytime you’re reading a publication or website and discover a story or section that seems like a good fit for a brand you represent, check the byline and/or masthead and add the appropriate editor to your media list. If an editor works for a large media conglomerate, it’s pretty easy to figure out the email formula for his or her publication. Many digital outlets include direct links to email the author of a story, so be sure to check author bios and the about section. Additionally, many freelance editors and writers have their own websites where they list their contact information. With a little digging, it’s easy to find new contacts for your media list.

Pitch Tip: Make a note of the story that you made you add this contact to your database and reference it when you’re sending a pitch.

Track competitor media coverage

There are many reasons why it’s beneficial to closely monitor competitor PR and marketing efforts. One major advantage is garnering new media contacts. While it might be frustrating to see your competitor secure a great media placement, the silver lining is discovering new media contact or outlet that could be useful for future campaigns. Make a note of the editor who worked on the story and look up that person’s contact information. Add them to your media list along with a note about their coverage of your competitor. You can reference this coverage in the future when you pitch this editor a similar story. For example, I saw the story you wrote about X fashion brand and I thought my client’s new launch/store/collaboration might be of interest for an upcoming story.

For example:

Dear Elisa,

I saw the story you wrote about X fashion brand and I thought my client’s new launch/store/collaboration might be of interest for an upcoming story.

Anytime you’re reading a publication and you see a story or section that seems like a good fit for a brand you represent, check the byline and/or masthead and add the appropriate editor to your media list.

Update your media list regularly

The media landscape is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest editor shuffles. The Daily Media from Daily Front Row is published every Friday and announces job changes in the industry with a focus on fashion editorial moves. Cision also has a great blog that shares the latest media moves. Another way to stay on top of job changes is to connect with your editorial contacts on LinkedIn.

Add helpful notes to editor contacts

We’ve discussed adding in related, published content, but your media list should act as a treasure trove of editor information.

Once you start forming relationships with editors, you can update your media list with notes and tips that can range from an editor’s birthday to her Instagram account, to how he or she likes to be pitched (i.e. phone, email, in person), and any little quirks or preference you have learned (i.e. hates roses, loves rosé).

Following these steps to develop a stellar media list will help you secure better media results while ensuring you have all the information you need to build strong relationships with the media. By resisting the urge to mass pitch and instead, only reaching out when you have interesting, relevant and useful press information, you’ll continue to prove your value to media and clients alike.

How to Find and Befriend Freelance Writers

Freelance Fashion Beauty Writers Publicity Press Coverage Media Relations

With the rise of the virtual workplace and reduced editorial staff, many fashion & lifestyle websites and magazines rely on freelance writers to keep up with content demands. While these writers often get stories assigned to them by staffers at the magazine, they can be pitched directly. In fact, most freelancers are regularly pitching story ideas to editors and are expected to have experts and products at the ready once they get the green-light.

Getting in the good graces of influential freelancers is another method to secure media coverage for clients, rather than going straight to a publication. Freelancers I’ve worked with have penned some amazing features on my clients and have since kept them top of mind for a variety of future stories.

I’ve included below some of the greatest benefits of working with freelancers, as well as how to find them.

Benefit #1 – Freelancers write for multiple outlets

Forming a strong relationship with a freelance writer can open the door for your clients at not just one, but many great outlets. Freelance writers I work with on beauty stories write for Dr. Oz Magazine, Health, Allure, and Marie Claire, just to name a few!

If you can successfully present different angles to the writer for all of her relevant outlets, and one freelance writer can get your client in front of numerous magazines and websites.

Benefit #2 – Freelance Writers Are Based Everywhere

The majority of the editorial world is based in New York, which makes it difficult for PR agencies based in other places to meet up in person. Freelance writers are located around the country, so if you have a client opening a new clothing boutique in San Francisco or a hair salon in Miami, you’ll more likely than not be able to find local freelancers to connect with. While some local writers only cover stories for regional outlets, some are also stringers for national publications, making freelance outreach a great way to get your local brand in front of a bigger audience.

Benefit #3 – Freelancers are easier to find than ever before

It can be challenging to find freelance writers because they aren’t listed on a masthead and may not come up on a google search as being connected to a particular publication. However, by doing your due diligence beforehand (researching publications and paying attention to who is writing what), it’s easier than ever before to find ideal writers for your clients.

You can cross-check names against social media or search the hashtags #freelancelife” and “#fashionfreelancer” to discover new writers. On LinkedIn, do a broad search of keywords such “freelance beauty writer” – usually once one you find a contact, more will come up in the “related contacts” sidebar. You can then often find their website and contact info, as well as a portfolio of recent clips. Keep in mind – just because someone covered NYFW 5 years ago doesn’t mean they currently do…freelance writers sometimes switch markets so that fashion contact could now solely write about technology. Make sure to focus what they’ve written about recently.

Freelance writers can greatly help with giving you and your clients access to some top national outlets – make sure to nurture these relationships as you do with on-staff editors. Going freelance is becoming more and more common – make sure to keep these influential writers top of mind with story pitches, event invites, and product mailings to further boost your chances of press success!

Crisis Comm 101, Back to School Marketing Stats & How to Become an Influencer


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

…for the week of August 15, 2016

  • Having a crisis communications plan in place before something happens is key – 27 PR pros share top strategies to help get the ball rolling (via Media Minded)
  • Personal branding is one of the best building blocks for career growth in the age of social media (via T8N Magazine)
  • A new kind of brick and mortar store is setting up shop in SoHo; customers take away more than just purchases (via Fashion Times)
  • Do clothes make the man? PR Consulting continues to grow it’s Grindr game (via GQ)
  • Amp up your marketing campaigns for the back-to-school boom, it’s worth it, we promise (via The Shelf)
  • All the cool CEOs are doing it; the case for a work from home culture (via Hoo Jobs)
  • Your social media is the customer’s first impression of your company. If it isn’t spectacular, you may want to consider rebranding (via Marketing Land)
  • Ever think, “I should have been a fashion blogger?” It’s not too late to foster a following and become an influencer (via Mashable)

Fashion PR Intern

Position:  Fashion PR Intern
Company: BPCM
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Learn more

PR Industry News: Agency Updates from M&C Saatchi PR, The Eighth Floor & The Ross Group

Agency News August 18, 2016

M&C Saatchi PR just announced the promotion of Jen Dobrzelecki to the position of Executive Vice President and the appointment of Meredith Brengle as Director of the New York office. 

Strategic Communications Agency The Eighth Floor announces its representation of NYC-based fashion designer Paola HernándezPaola Hernández launched her label after studying philosophy in Mexico City, fashion at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, and shoe design at ARS Sutoria in Milan.

Islamic Fashion & Design Council (IFDCannounces Leena Asad as the organization’s latest Brand Ambassador.

Luxury and Lifestyle PR agency The Ross Group has partnered with Fashion Mixtape for emerging fashion designer referrals.

Do you have agency news that you would like to share with us?
We would love to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!

Contact us with your news at

PR Girls We Love: Sabrina Wottreng, Sabrina Wottreng PR

PR Girls We Love, Office, Sabrina Wottreng

Sabrina Wottreng Public Relations is a Chicago-based public relations agency, providing strategic communications consulting and PR training for small businesses and start-ups. Founder Sabrina Wottreng recognized that often, businesses most in need of public relations are unable to afford typical agency retainers, and yet she hated the thought of missing out on the opportunity to work with companies she admired due to budget limits. And so, she forged her company around the needs of startup companies.

Instead of simply offering PR services, Sabrina developed products that help small businesses and entrepreneurs learn how to be their own publicist including e-books, classes and one-on-one trainings. Her client process is as follows:  first, teaching clients how to do their own PR, then reviewing an audit of the client’s branding and then finally, meeting face-to-face to devise a PR plan that is then executed by the client. After that initial engagement, the client can choose to sign on for a retainer.

In her spare time, Sabrina dedicates her time to writing a novel, taking improv classes at the Second City, and riding around the city on her beloved Ducati.

Sabrina Wottreng, Freelance Publicist, HeadshotName: Sabrina Wottreng
Company: Sabrina Wottreng Public Relations
Publicist, Owner
Loyola University Chicago
Twitter: @SabrinaWottreng
Instagram: @SabrinaWottreng 

How did you get started in PR?

I went to college wanting to be a luxury consignment business owner, but then I learned what PR was, became obsessed and switched majors. My first PR internship was with Zapwater Communications in Chicago.

How did you get the job you have now?

What a long story! After hopping around a few different agencies and never fitting in or liking how they do business and having an in-house role, I realized I needed to create the PR firm I wish I would have worked for.

What are your primary responsibilities?

Winning new business, securing press, and teaching small companies how to do their own PR until they’re ready to hire a firm.

I have my go-to social media, web development, graphic design, copywriting and photography vendors. We maintain our autonomous freedom and create an A-Team for the client.

Tell us a bit about how different communication departments are structured at your company.

I am a one person show, but I have many preferred vendors that go in on projects with me. I have my go-to social media, web development, graphic design, copywriting and photography vendors. We maintain our autonomous freedom and create an A-Team for the client.

What is the mood like in the office?

My office is my laptop, and I’m working on building up my #diyPR seminars. I’m putting a large amount of effort towards efficiency and productivity. Instead of having five, one-hour prospective client meetings to explain what PR is and what PR I do, they can attend a seminar of mine. They will learn how I do PR and walk away with tips and industry knowledge. If they become my client, then I’ve saved time initially meeting them one-on-one.

PR Girls We Love, Freelance Publicist, Sabrina Wottreng, Office

Image Credit: Ashley Hutchinson


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

I recently launched a tech startup in a very specific niche. We conducted interviews with all of the major outlets for the industry, and the client was overwhelmed with demand for their Beta Test!

What are you really good at?

I’m really good at networking. I probably have a contact in my CRM for any random ask. From calligraphy to custom dog bones to drone pilot, I have a guy!

If you see someone that you think is interesting or doing cool things, get coffee with them.

Most memorable and meaningful moments in your career thus far?

Memorable: I was billed into a project and did not have direct access to the client until they were with me at the TV station before a segment. Before the segment, I sent over talking points to memorize. However, the the rapper didn’t have the points memorized. I figured his team was going to yell at the marketing company that billed me in on the project because I had to be stern, and quickly media train him before he went live. Instead his team asked me to consult with them for a few months.

Meaningful: April 22, 2014 – I was interning at a top agency and doing PR for a few small, small companies on the side. In my daily monitoring of a side client, I saw that they had a featured article about their product line expansion on I thought to myself – why am I getting paid $10 an hour, to be an intern, when I have a college degree? I can get an article in!

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Glamour in PR is such a myth!!! However, there have been some great client gifts along the way. If you call telling celebrities the names of reporters walking up to them glamorous, there’s that.

My mind is swirling with flashbacks of the craziness that is high stakes events. There was the time I was running up stairs in heels carrying boxes full of client swag because the elevators went out. Every single event, you have people doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING possible to get you to let them in when they are not on the guest list.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

I would say the least glamorous moment in my PR career was dropping of product to an influencer that I’d been communicating with for a while and having them deny me access to their room. The doorman took the expensive product and I went on my way.

PR can be so many different things…

My mind is swirling with flashbacks of the craziness that is high stakes events. There was the time I was running up stairs in heels carrying boxes full of client swag because the elevators went out. Every single event, you have people doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING possible to get you to let them in when they are not on the guest list.

What’s a big challenge facing communicators right now?

The biggest challenge is defining what PR is. Some agencies also do social media, some agencies just do traditional and don’t work with influencers, some agencies are all about events and less about placements and so on. PR can be so many different things that I’ve found it important to specifically spell out the PR that I do.For example, I don’t do events. If my client wants to do an event, I’ll refer them to great event planners.

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

PR is sales, therefore it’s a numbers game. There will always be another client and another reporter. It’s hard when you’re really banking on something or someone, but it makes the wins even more exciting.

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

Cision, HARO, and Coffee.

PR Girls We Love, Sabrina Wottreng Branding, Freelance Publicist

Image Credit: Ashley Hutchinson 


What do you wish more people understood about your job?

I wish people stopped thinking PR is just press releases and calling reporters. The industry has changed exponentially and antiquated ways are dead. My job is about connecting the dots.

PR trends are always changing – how do you keep up?

  • I’m an avid reader of the publications I frequently pitch along with business and tech-centric publications.
  • Networking! It’s common for me to attend 4-7 networking events per week.
  • I love to attend seminars and hear what others are saying about social media, marketing, and advertising.

What type of person thrives at your company?

Go-getters. My tribe of creative vendors are serious go-getters, and we all benefit from each other’s hustle.

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

Hustle, trust your gut, and practice giver’s gain!

Hustle – If you see someone that you think is interesting or doing cool things, get coffee with them. Knowing people has been essential to my success and ability to run my own company at 23.

Trust your gut – There have been times when I took on clients because I needed the money even though I was getting a bad vibe. Those clients were the ones that didn’t pay me, called me incessantly and caused me the most stress.

Giver’s gain – All of my business has come to me via referral. When I meet with people, I always ask who their best referral networks are and then I introduce them to people I know that fit their need. For example, social media specialists are a great referral source for me, so I always love getting connected with as many social media specialists as possible. When you introduce someone to a person that can make them more money, they will likely do the same.


Thanks, Sabrina!