Instagram ditches real time, Vogue uses WhatsApp, and the 4 best social media management tools

Fashion PR News from Around the Web

Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of March 13, 2016

  • Is the future of shopping changing? Get the markeeting deets to understand the shift toward ambient activity. (via Harvard Business Review)
  • Digital accessories is the new trend. iOS app Apparel uses your Twitter feed to create augmented reality accessories so you can virtually spice up your wardrobe. Try the experimental app in person or online. (via The Creators Project)
  • Try out the “Airbnb for luxury fashion,” VillageLuxe, a new website that lets users monetize their closet and connect with likeminded fashionistas. (via Fashionista)
  • Don’t have the time to find the best social media management tools out there? You’re in luck. Susan Gilbert picks her 4 favorites to grow your brand quickly and effectively. (via Business 2 Community)
  • Buzzfeed doesn’t track unique visitors and pageviews anymore. So what are the metrics Buzzfeed uses that every PR pro needs to know? Find out. (via AirPR)
  • More millennial women are burning out in their jobs, and burner out quicker (think, at 30). Want to avoid a breaking point? Take a break. (via Fast Company)
  • Were you recently inspired to buy a Lord & Taylor Paisley Asymmetrical Dress recently? You were deceived. Turns out the retailer paid Instagram “influencers” to wear the dress without disclosing payment details. Now, Lord & Taylor has settled with FTC. (via FTC)
  • Want to get into Fashion Week but don’t have tickets for a front row seat? That’s where Vogue steps in. The fashion mag is getting into the tech game with fashion messaging via WhatsApp – and debuted its new line of communiction this Februrary during Fashion Week. (via Digiday)
  • Kayla Itsines is friendly, girl-next-door fitness expert…with more than 4.6 million followers on Instagram. (via New York Times)

 

Favorite Fashion Videos

10 Unique Job Ideas for PR Majors and Grads

What to do with your PR degree

If you’re anything like me, you chose your college major with a vague understanding of what job opportunities were out there. You thought, “I’ll graduate and then get a job doing PR for a company or I’ll work for an agency and do PR for lots of different companies.” Done.

The good news is that yes, you can absolutely do that. An entry-level job as a PR Coordinator or Assistant Account Executive is the first rung on the career ladder that ends with something like VP of Global Communications, or for the entrepreneurial, CEO. However, there are heaps of other jobs out there that align wonderfully with your PR training.

Here are 10 of them:

1. Focus Group Facilitator

In your PR classes, you learned how important it is for companies to conduct research among their target audiences in order to create effective communication. You also probably learned about primary and secondary research. One of the ways that companies get primary research on their customers is by conducting in-person focus groups. I know someone who does this for Nordstrom – and it’s a pretty sweet gig. As a focus group moderator or facilitator, it’s your job to develop or assist with executing focus groups, including process and procedure on behalf of a company. You’ll need strong analytical, organizational, presentation and problem solving skills.

2. Freelance Digital Writer

Here’s a secret: not all companies write their own blog content. Instead, they outsource blog article writing to their PR or marketing agency, or to a freelancer. I supplemented my income quite nicely for a while by penning a few articles a month for different companies.

As a PR grad, you’re a skilled written communicator (right?). So take what you have learned from your PR or journalism classes and being in college (hello research!) and apply it to a career as a digital copywriter or blog ghostwriter. Reach out to PR and marketing agencies or companies with an active blog with your portfolio and offer your services as a freelance writer. Remember that in the beginning in order to build your portfolio you might need to pitch your work for free, but believe me – that won’t last long if you keep at it!

3. Copywriter

My first job working in fashion was as a copywriter. I was responsible for writing the product descriptions for hundreds of different jewelry pieces for a large ecommerce website. As a PR grad you are well-versed in persuasive writing and you can use that insight as a copywriter for a fashion or lifestyle brand, or as part of the creative department at a digital marketing or ad agency. As a copywriter you could be tasked with everything from the words on a website banner to naming new products or businesses, as well as punchy social media content.

4. Email Marketer

Soon after I started working as a copywriter, I took over email marketing as well. For many companies, email marketing is the single biggest direct sales driver (and way more of a guarantee than media outreach), and the mechanics go well beyond simply pasting in an image promoting a sale and sending it out. A mix of analytics, creativity, design and coding can all be of value in a position like this, where your responsibilities will include planning and executing email campaigns, managing customer segments and unsubscribe lists, testing email performance and deliverability and reporting on campaign performance.

5. Trend Forecasting

As a PR or marketing major you likely learned about different theories that explain how a product, service or trend makes its way into mass consciousness and mass consumption. As a trend forecaster, your job is to identify emerging cultural, societal and consumer trends and explain the business impact of these trends for companies. You may either work internally for a company or as part of a companies who specializes in trend forecasting.

6. Educator

Take a cue from Deirdre Breakenridge, the CEO of Pure Performance Communication who doubles as an adjunct professor at NYU (or my own experience teaching at FIDM and the Art Institute). While you might not land a gig teaching grad students at NYU right away, there are many ways to teach and you’ve got the presentation, writing, promotional and organizational skills to be a great educator. If you have a particular area of expertise, passion or a unique perspective, you can develop and teach online courses for places like Skillshare or Udemy to those unable to study PR in school or looking for a career change. To see if teaching is for you, volunteer to give a lecture/talk to your former PRSSA group or high school.

7. Blog Editor

With so many bloggers turning initial passion projects into full-time careers, there are new support positions that help bloggers support the development and growth of their mini-empire. Look for job openings on your favorite blogs, or simply reach out and offer your services as a PR/marketing professional and writer. You could help to coordinate sponsorships, assist with photo shoots, and prime blog content with powerful headlines and keywords. Of course, as you’re learning so much about the blogging business, there’s no reason not to try your hand at it as well.  You have the opportunity to create an entirely original space that is all yours – so mix PR with fashion and food, if that’s your thing. Use your PR skills to publicize your own work – think about yourself as the client!

8. Executive Assistant

If you’re really interested in one particular agency or company but they don’t have any PR jobs open when you’re searching, sometimes the best way to get into the company is through another role – like as an executive assistant or office manager. While much of the position isn’t particularly related to what you learned in school, it’s a foot in the door and a way to intimately learn the business and showcase your talents to the right people. Impress them with your creative, intuitive nature and after you’ve put some time into the role you’ll be in a good position to ask to be considered for a PR position when it becomes available,  especially since most companies look to promote within.

9. Gubernatorial Campaign Fellow

You don’t have to be a huge politics nerd to work for a political campaign (although it wouldn’t hurt), but some of the skills you’ll get to utilize while on the campaign trail will prep you for the fast-paced world of PR. Cold calling, event planning, public speaking, recruitment, persuasion, and audience engagement are all parts of the job – many of which are learned on the spot. And while your resume might not read exactly like Hilary’s, think about it this way: if you’ve ever worked retail, you’re an expert saleswoman; if you’ve ever held a position in school clubs or organizations, you’re a leader.

10. Community Manager

If you’re a people person, then you’re going to have a knack for community management. Someone who loves to solve problems, knows the ins-and-outs of social media communicates clearly and can solve issues rationally will thrive as a community manager. Studies have shown recently that customers expect an answer from every brand they engage with them on social – and that could be your role as a community manager. Show off your skills as a skilled writer, creative thinker, and energetic people person representing your favorite brands.

I hope these opportunities have you excited about what’s possible with a career in a communications field. If you’re ready to put together a crystal clear career plan, build a strong network and improve your PR skills into those of a first-rate communications pro, Prism is your secret weapon.

5 Tips to Manage Your Side-Hustle (without Losing Your Mind)

Freelance PR Tips

Don’t be fooled, freelancing with a full-time job is the same thing as working two jobs. Sure, your second job is more flexible and can mostly be done in your pjs, but you’re still working.

A full-time job may be enough to get you by financially, but sometimes we need to pursue our own passion projects: in comes your side hustle. You’re getting some experience and working on something you love, so what could go wrong?

There’s nothing simple about a juggling act. And more often than not, you may find yourself overwhelmed with your newfound professional bounty. With a few guidelines to help you out, you won’t have to worry about your sanity getting lost in the shuffle.

1. Create home “office hours” for your freelance projects

Great, you leave the office by 5pm and get home by 5:30pm, now what? Map out your time. Maybe you get off early on Fridays, so they’re optimal to get freelance tasks done. Or you can squeeze in two hours to finalize a press release before you begin your Netflix binge.

It’s important to know the amount of time you can block out for your freelance work so that you don’t end up using your weekends to catch up on a project rather than catch up on your sleep. I block out certain hours after work in my calendar for the week, and give my client the total before the weekend so that they know exactly how much time I’m able to devote to their brand. The more you keep a client in the loop, the less emails and calls they’ll send your way, trust me.

2. Beware of over booking yourself

So you clocked in the full 40 hours in the office, and your freelance client has an upcoming event that same weekend, that may keep you up late a few nights. No need to panic; one or two hectic weeks here and there is just a normal part of having a career. However, finishing a crazy full-time workweek, staying up until 1am every night writing some marketing content, and having to down three coffees and Red Bulls a day just to get by is not normal—and completely unhealthy.

The more you keep a client in the loop, the less emails and calls they’ll send your way, trust me.

Burnout is the last thing you need when you want to make your side hustle work out in your favor. Remember why you’re doing this! Freelancing isn’t just a way to get some more money in the bank, but it’s also a way to unleash your creativity while doing something you love.

Do not let your love for something fade because you’ve been over working yourself. Get your control back by limiting the projects you work on, and getting real about the amount of time you are able to commit to your bonus endeavors.

3. Prioritize your 9-5

Never, ever attempt to get way with doing freelance work at your day job. The two should always be kept separate. Feel free to use your commute and lunch hour wisely, but other than that you’re asking for trouble if you’re working on an outside project during your nine-to-five.

You should also check your job at the door. Meaning, leave work at work and get into freelance mode when you get to your home office desk. When I get home, I turn off all notifications for my regular job, as well as personal pings. I want to ensure that the time I spend on my freelance projects is devoted to those clients alone. Don’t forget, your freelance clients deserve your full-time style focus.

4. Find a support network

Freelancing is similar to being an entrepreneur—you’re your own boss, and you have your own skill set that you’re sharing with others in exchange for money and/or experience. Entrepreneurs are urged to invest in themselves, and you should too!

You should also check your job at the door. Meaning, leave work at work and get into freelance mode when you get to your home office desk.

Skillshare is a super-affordable way to learn new  creative skills, or strengthen your current ones. For a small monthly fee, you get full-access to classes like ‘Introduction to HTML’, and ‘the Golden Secrets to Hand Lettering’. There are also tons of books as well that you could bite into for some help like PR Couture’s very own ‘Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide To Breaking Into Fashion PR’, or Tara Gentile’s ‘Quiet Power Strategy’ to help keep the creative juices flowing.

Want something to feed off on for free? I’m a total podcast junky! Tons of well-known experts have their own podcasts, and interview other industry pros that are constantly dishing out tips and tricks we could all use. I get some of my best ideas and business hacks from podcasts. Smart Creative Women with Monica Lee, She Percolates, and Soulful PR Podcast with Janet Murray are just a few incredible podcasts to add to your queue. I love having them on in the background while I catch up on my emails in the morning.

5. Know your end game

Working two jobs at full throttle is only sustainable in the short term. Have an action plan with a clear outcome in place. Is your goal to eventually turn your after-hours work into full-time income? What numbers either financial or in terms of clients/projects do you need to hit to make that realistic. If you plan on staying full-time and only taking on extra projects when you feel like it – how can you best support yourself during the busy times – and take advantage of project-free months. Having a clear vision and outcome will help you keep your bearings when the going gets especially tough.

Land Your Dream PR Job with help from PR Couture

PRISM_Hero-checkout

Become a Prismadonna

While some say, “it’s PR not ER,” kickstarting your career in public relations can feel as complex and overwhelming as the prospect of performing surgery, blindfolded. Why? Unlike other professions, the sheer pace at many PR agencies is so completely nutso that despite our best intentions, oftentimes experienced publicists simply don’t have the time to slow down and offer support and guidance to the newest crop.

So there you are, all excited and eager to get started in your career with absolutely no idea what you should be doing. Not to mention, that lack of direction and training leaves the higher ups in the office frustrated that you just just can’t figure it out.

Nightmare, huh?

The good thing to know is that you’re totally not alone. And I’ve got a solution that is going to help fill in a ton of the blanks – making it easy to stand out – from cover letters to campaign ideas – you’ll simply rock this whole dream job thing.

gem-blush-02Welcome to our signature course, PRISM

PRISM covers personal branding, positioning, and pitching, plus a ton of career resources to help you get hired, promoted, made queen Girl Boss of the office, you get the idea!

Nearly 70 aspiring PR Girls have already become Prismadonnas (what I call my PRISM grads), and are actively supporting one another through our Alumni group. This kick-ass PR Girl squad is killing it career-wise, working New York Fashion Week, landing jobs at top PR agencies, working with celebrities and top designers, you name it.

Does that sound like a career path and network you’d like to be a part of? Good, because the entire PRISM course just got a fresh upgrade and I can’t wait to share it with you.

“I wanted to transition from internships to a paying PR job. PRISM gave me the tools and confidence to take that next step. I just landed a job as an E-commerce assistant for a fashion and lifestyle brand. I manage the online store, assist in PR/Marketing and photo shoots. It’s literally my dream job!” – Morgan Hough, Florida

More about the course

PRISM is a 6-week course that covers personal branding, PR skills and career planning. This year I’ve completely revamped course materials, fine-tuned exercises, challenges, hacks and added new, in-depth expert interviews with successful PR professionals.

Choose from 3 different PRISM tracks that each offer varying degrees of one-on-one support, plus get a heaping swag bag of free bonuses ($449 worth) just for signing up, not to mention lifetime access into the PRISM Alumni Network.

Update: The live PRISM course is now closed, but you can sign up for the DIY course and complete it at your own pace. Learn more!

To all the ambitious future boss babes looking to improve your PR skills and land your dream job, I’d love to offer myself up as mentor, PR coach and general life cheerleader.

What do you say? Come see what I’ve created for you this year.

gem-blush-03PS: If PRISM isn’t a fit, but you know a great intern or entry-level candidate, I’d be so honored if you’d let them know about PRISM by sharing this blog post. I do my very best to ensure course grads are the type of gals you love to hire.

Pitching Wedding Brands, Salary Negotiations & Jewelry PR Tips

Fashion PR Fridays

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

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

Favorite Fashion Videos

 

Five Musts to Produce the Perfect Blogger Party

Tips for Throwing a Blogger Party

On Monday, February 15th, at SUSHISAMBA West Village, a stylish set with a combined reach of 1.2 million Instagram followers were seated in the rooftop lounge for the first Blogger and the Brand event. If you haven’t heard of Blogger and the Brand, that’s fine. The goal of these events are to connect New York City bloggers with brands in an organic way while educating influencers on the fundamentals of legal disclosure, analytics, tracking and new collaborative tools such as Shopping Links (one of our event sponsors). While no agency plans any event without doing research, here are a few things our event planning research failed to highlight. With these tips and a little creativity in your side, hopefully, you will be a little more prepared for your next blogger event!

1. Instagrammable space

Instagrammable should definitely be a word. Or if it isn’t, let’s all join together to make it a thing. When dealing with bloggers, especially in fashion and beauty, it’s sometimes hard to remember that they are extremely creative people who want to let that creativity shine through visual content shared back with their followers.  The concept of Instagrammable space goes far beyond having a beautiful venue. It’s also about providing design elements for bloggers to create their own capture of the space. Our team laid out tables of cut roses, Vodka Mariette (our lovely non-GMO drink for the night), candles and collateral. Within minutes of arriving, attendees were creating the perfect collages for their social channels.

Takeaway:  Ensure that multiple elements of the room can be configured or arranged to be photographed, as bloggers will move a chair and add a pair of heels to get the perfect shot. Make it easy (and encouraged) for them to do so.

2. Don’t skimp on the lighting

Unless your goal is to have paparazzi flashes and heads down fiddling for the perfect filter, ensure the room is very bright. Most cell phone cameras focus amazingly well in bright rooms (and aren’t great in dim lighting). Using the flash also means lower-quality pictures, which means your event won’t look as good as it could when shared online.

Our litmus test for brightness were out gift bags.  One of our sponsors, Ecru New York, had packaged their product in white organza bags with a satin lace. If the camera had to flash to recognize the product against a similar marble tabletop it was too dark.

Takeaway: We definitely wish we had turned up the lights even more. When it comes to blogger parties, the brighter the better.

3. More is more is more

We didn’t stop accepting blogger RSVPs until the day of our event.  As luck would have it, our event fell on a cold, slushy Monday night, but attendance was still strong, boosted in part by our willingness to accept those last-minute decisions.

We planned to have 40 bloggers in attendance and reached that goal, but our final RSVP list included well over 90. Don’t even ask how large the initial invite list had to be to get 90 RSVPs.

Takeaway: When in doubt, more is more, especially when hosting a blogger event mid-winter.

4. Make room

It’s not only important to have “Instagrammable Space,” but a venue large enough to allow for the mini blogger entourage. The most successful bloggers will want to bring a photographer or manager or someone else who can assist them with capturing the event. This means that event management needs to consider more bodies, more more equipment, coats and cords to contend with. Due to space limitations, we were unable to provide room for extra persons, yet the venue was still near capacity despite the snow. This is definitely a key learning for next time.

Takeaway: When planning your blogger-focused event, be sure to consider room for extra photographers, particularly for more prominent influencers who will only post a perfectly curated and styled image. While it might be a little extra hassle, it’s well worth the return in earned media.

5. Make sponsors happy with interactive exhibits

We didn’t actually have the space to implement this one, but create interactive displays or sectioned-off spaces that provide sponsors with an opportunity to engage directly with bloggers is a great way boost sponsor ROI, while providing a sneak peek and speculation around the almighty goody bag. goodies they will receive. Whether this means having a display stand with a sample fragrance bar or a mannequin with a beautiful gown, giving bloggers a peek at their goodies definitely “peaks” their curiosity and leads to more excitement and photography surrounding the event.

Takeaway: Always have the gift bags somewhat visible, as this assures bloggers that there is a reward for their time.

There were quite a few other learnings that we discovered during the blogger event, including the need to repeat and encourage the use of the event hashtag – all night long! But these are simple line-items and nothing that cannot be managed with proper planning.

So when considering your next blogger event, we hope you keep the above in mind and let us know how it goes!

About Marcus Campbell

Marcus is the founder of Ombre Digital, a digital fashion marketing agency focused on helping emerging brands develop or augment their online presence through proven digital tactics in advertising, content, email, PR, search and social. Ombre Digital seeks to level the playing field by sharing “big brand” marketing strategies to small fashion and beauty entrepreneurs wherever they go.

PR Agency News: AMP3 PR, 5W, Kenwerks & Red PR

Fashion PR Beauty PR Industry News

Boutique Fashion PR Agency, AMP3 PR, has added new four new clients to its 2016 roster: Italian designer Domenico Vacca (and the opening of his 10-story flagship destination in NYC), Joan Oloff designer footwear, women’s ready-to-wear newcomer Rohitava Banerjee, and e-commerce platform Armadio.  (Find out more about AMP3 PR in our interview with CEO Alyson Roy)

New York-based full-service agency 5W Public Relations has been named agency of record for Borghese, adding the iconic skin care and color cosmetics brand to its beauty division roster.

American fashion brand Raffi  has retained creative marketing firm Kenwerks as the brand’s marketing and public relations agency of record.

Hayley Williams, singer of Nashville-based rock band Paramore has launched hair dye brand Good Dye Young with Red PR on board for media outreach and social media management. (Learn more about Red PR in our interview with CEO Julia Labaton)

What is Happening with Fashion Week, Anyway?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pitching Wedding Brands, Salary Negotiations & Jewelry PR Tips

Fashion PR Fridays

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

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

Favorite Fashion Videos

 

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

Fashion PR Fridays

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

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

Favorite Fashion Videos


To watch more Inner Style videos visit InStyle.com Use password innerstyle.

Where PR Stops and Social Media Starts for One Hospitality Firm

How PR and Social Media Work Together

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

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

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

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

Clearly define goals and final product

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

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

Maximize media results for social media

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

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

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

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

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

Christine in FSHOPPE

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

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

How did you get started in PR?

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

Why did you decide to start Faulhaber Communications?

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

What do you spend most of your time doing?

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

What are you working on right now?

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

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

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

Tell us what you are really good at?

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

Most memorable or meaningful moment in your career thus far?

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

Most glamourous moment in your career thus far?

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

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

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

Christine and Lindsay Singer at IDS16

Christine with Lindsay Singer at IDS16

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

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

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

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

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

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

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

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

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

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

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

FSHOPPE

FSHOPPE setup 

How do you stay on top of industry trends?

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

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

What type of person thrives at your agency?

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

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

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

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

Monogram Dinner by Design at Design Exchange 2016

At the Monogram Dinner by Design at Design Exchange 2016

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

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

Thanks Christine!

 

Campaigns We Love: Stowaway’s Super Tuesday

Beauty Marketing Campaign

Who: Stowaway Cosmetics

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

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

 

6 Ways to Rock (and Ruin) Influencer Collaborations

How to work with fashion bloggers and influencers

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

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

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

Welcome to today’s celebrity: the blogger.

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

Tips for working with Fashion Bloggers

6 Elements of Successful Influencer Outreach Campaigns

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

6 Ways to Ruin an Influencer Collaboration

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

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

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

About Ali Grant

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

Creative PR, Tech Wearables & Rebecca Minkoff’s AMA

Fashion PR Fridays

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

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

Favorite Fashion Videos


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