PR Manager

Position:  PR Manager
Company: Couture Public Relations
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
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2 Big Influencer Marketing Concerns (& How to Handle Them)

what keeps influencer marketers up at night

Influencer campaigns aren’t new; the strategy relies on the same idea marketers have been using for years –  find the target consumer’s cool kid (aka “The Influencer”), have them promote and engage with a brand, and reap the rewards of their implied endorsement. At the core, influencer relations is no different from traditional public relations or experiential campaigns that utilize third-party credibility.

Similarly, the influencer is not a new idea nor only the territory of digital marketing. An influencer can be a celebrity or a respected editor of course, but equally the chairman of the school board, the most outspoken mommy in the group, or a social leader among a certain friend group. What has changed are the digital communication channels that allow these people to both increase their reach and monetize their influence.

However, like all great things that catch on with speed, there comes the inevitable drop in attraction and questions of validity that follow. Influencer marketing has been a favorite buzz tactic of late, with budgets increasing and increased scrutiny from all industries.

Have we reached influencer marketing burnout? Quite the contrary — instead, it has become a necessary item in the marketing mix. What has changed is that both practitioners and brands are recognizing that doing it well is easier said than done. To that end, there are two major considerations facing those of us incorporating influencer collaborations into our strategy: establishing ROI and determining appropriate pricing.

1. The ROI of Influencer Outreach

With bigger budgets being dedicated to influencer marketing (and bigger asks coming in from advertisers themselves), there in increasing pressure to be explicit about the ROI for this types of campaign. Platform limitations and complex analytics can be a challenge. Often, it’s more about client education than a new tool or dashboard. For example, we recently purchased tickets to a show based on a social post an influencer had published. We didn’t use the tracking code or comment on the post – but we did purchase. Who tracked that ROI?

Marketer Gary Vaynerchuk recently posted a video on this topic, which we include among the greatest rebuttals to the ROI debate we’ve heard. “What’s the ROI of a $10 million commercial?” Truth be told, even with all the tricks and tools available today, it is really difficult to determine the true impact of a social collaboration. Further, the more public relations professionals input traceable tactics like contesting, discount codes and unique links, the more we tread into the space of advertising, diluting the power of what authentic influencer endorsements can do for a brand.

We recently purchased tickets to a show based on a social post an influencer had published. We didn’t use the tracking code or comment on the post – but we did purchase. Who saw that ROI?

2. Appropriate Influencer Collaboration Budgets

As for pricing, we are all trying to figure out the appropriate threshold. There is no accurate calculator based on followership, and there are serious concerns about fraudulent inflation of influence. There are micro-influencers with niche followings who can have an incredible impact, and big names that may create a high-quality collaboration, but not drive conversions or sales. Some influencers are just more in demand at any given time, that “it factor,” so their fees are higher. It is simply a matter of supply and demand.

We like to approach conversations on pricing based on related marketing activities. What would it cost a brand to stage a shot with a photographer, creative director, and stylist and then pay for ad placement? Influencer collaborations should be a cost-effective choice in comparison while still respecting the time and creative output that comes along with producing brand content.

A campaign has to communicate the right message to the right audience in an authentic and actionable manner. Nothing is 100% traceable per campaign, so metrics like, long-term sales growth, new opportunities, changes in attitude/awareness, may be a more accurate view of success.

About Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward

Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward are the founders of Shine Influencers, a Toronto-based talent management agency for social creators that works with brands and agencies to create impactful social collaborations.

Fashion Copywriter

Position:  Fashion Copywriter
Company: Couture Public Relations
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
Learn more

What to do Right Now to Land More Holiday Gift Guide Press Coverage

Holiday Gift Guides Fashion Magazine Gift Publicity

For some brands, holiday gift guides are the be-all and end-all of press placements; the right product in the right magazine can lead to an influx of sales for as well incredible exposure and brand awareness. The key to a successful holiday placement lies in timing – you need to ensure your client’s products are first in line for editor review – and that means pitching early and pitching smart. Here’s what you need to know:

Step 1: Define the Most Giftable Items from a Collection

First up you need to hone in on a few key products that work well as gifts. Not everything fits the criteria of “gift-y” – i.e. most skincare (so hard to know what a person’s skincare needs are and buying mom wrinkle serum can give off the wrong message). Evaluate your client’s entire line and choose a few items to pitch heavily for gift guides. You’re looking for affordable price points, items that come in great packaging, holiday-themed colors, product sets, accessories and luxe home décor items. Items with a “feel-good” story always do remarkably well, so if you have a red cashmere scarf for under $75 that includes a charitable give-back component – you’re golden.

Steer away from items that are more “necessities” than indulgences, super expensive items (unless you’re pitching a luxury pub), anything too complicated to explain, or pieces that just don’t photograph very well on a page, like products with more muted colors.

Step 2: Pitch According to Gifting Group

As you are researching publications for the ghosts of gift-guides past, you’ll notice that often, editors group together collections based on their intended recipient. So, you’ll find gift guides based on a person’s style, their age, and their relationship to the gift-giver. As you write up your pitch, consider which category is a fit for the giftable items you have identified. A fashion tech accessory might be the perfect fit for a “Work BFF” themed-guide, whereas a set of gorgeous rose gold stackable rings is the perfect stocking stuffer for a “Trendsetting Teen.”

Thinking like an editor, and pitching against common gift-guide groupings can go a long way toward making it easy for editors to easily see how your products fit their needs.

samplegiftguide

Step 3. Pitch multiple items at once

Editors are sifting through hundreds of gift guide pitches from publicists and brands looking a handful of coveted spots. Make it easier for editors by pitching them a lot of items at once in an extremely organized list, boosted by clear, quality images.

In addition to your email content, embed or link to a gift guide “one-sheet” or visual collage with all of your clients’ gift offerings. Include the necessary information an editor needs, including brand, price, purchase information and a quick description about what makes it especially gift-y.

Step 4:  Pitch Editors in Person

Another smart strategy is to press pause on your normal email pitching and bring the giftables directly to key editors by hosting a “Holiday in July” style editor preview, or a”Holiday Gift Guide Deskside Quickies.” Each summer I partner with a few fellow publicists and we promise editors 8-10 great gift options in 15 minutes – and we bring candy! Getting some face time with editors is great for us, and the ability to quickly choose from a bevy of great gift options is a real time-saver for harried editors.

Step 5: Pitch on time

If you’re planning to send out holiday pitches in September because that’s when editors are still working on their regular fashion/beauty stories for December issues, you need to rethink your strategy. Editors start sourcing gift guide items way in advance – usually right after 4th of July! Even if you find a magazine who closes their gift guide later, it can’t hurt to get on their radar well in advance, so pitch early.

With prior planning, insight on how each outlet structures their gift guide, and great products, you can greatly increase your chances at securing these prime gift guide placements. Pitch away – and happy holidays (in July)!

Social Media Dream Jobs, Fashion Tech in India & LinkedIn Pulse

Fashion PR Fridays Image 3

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

…for the week of July 11, 2016

  • This #bosslady takes female community to a whole new level with her global media empire  (via Inc.)
  • Most PR Girls know that social media can lead to a dream job – here’s more proof (via Racked)
  • Toronto Fashion Week is cancelled – indefinitely. Learn why the major Canadian fashion event decided to pull the plug (via Edmonton Journal)
  • So that is what that job description really means…  (via Conductor Spotlight)
  • Sometimes, the best option is to hang up your Rockstuds and strap on a Nudist. Stuart Weitzman has a new CEO (via Luxury Daily)
  • 9 things to consider when taking the plunge into being a business owner (via Create & Cultivate)
  • The ultimate product placement – as told by Taylor Swift and friends on 4th of July weekend (via Fashionista)

5 Tips for Cutting Costs During an Unpaid Internship

Fashion PR PR Intern Unpaid Intern

In the fashion & lifestyle industries, unpaid internships are a bit of a necessary evil when it comes to gaining real-world experience in your chosen field. However, working without a paycheck isn’t without its challenges.  As someone who has volunteered for more fashion weeks than she has completed semesters, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to save money while building relationships and making the most of all the great opportunities out there for an aspiring PR professional.

1. Negotiate Different Forms of Compensation

You may not be receiving weekly compensation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a complete lack of monetary support. Many companies are willing to pay for or provide lunch and reimburse for travel expenses and you should absolutely discuss how you can take advantage of existing benefits the company already offered to employees (i.e. paid lunches, subway tickets, etc.) as an intern.

2. Get a Part-time Job

Okay, let’s be real here. There are plenty of other things you would be rather doing with your small amounts of free time, but getting a part time job will help to alleviate the few days a week that you’re spending getting to know your dream career.

You can search for something related to your ideal field, like fashion retail, or find flexible work where the tips or standard wage might be a bit higher – like waitressing, nannying or deliveries. Having a few extra bucks in your wallet for an afternoon pick-me-up at Starbucks can only help when you’re working two jobs and working on your degree. Don’t worry – it will all be worth it in the end.

If you need a certain amount of hours at the office for your internship, ask to narrow it down a few full-time days rather than a few hours here and there. This helps cut down on travel-related expenses and opens up your availability to take on paid work.

3. Clean Out Your Closet

While not related to your career as such, it’s amazing how much extra cash you can find in your own closet. I closet purged last year and made $120 in just one week from getting rid of unworn clothes and accessories. Whether you are a Marie Kondo  convert or just someone who can’t pass up a good sale, it is always a good idea to cleanse your closet of things that no longer fit or that hold no sentimental value. You can bring your haul to a consignment store, cash/trade operation like Buffalo Exchange, or post them online on sites like eBay, Poshmark or Thredup.

4. Pack Your Own Lunch

In New York, a chopped salad can often cost more than your train ticket. Planning your lunches will help you to make healthier choices instead of getting Chipotle every day because it’s convenient to your office and packing your own lunch will easily save you anywhere from $5-$15 a day.

5. Walk it Off

Walking is good for your mind, body and wallet! If you don’t have to pay for a $12 Uber or hop on 3 different subways, why would you? The best form of transportation is your own two feet! So many professionals commute to and from work by walking, they wear sneakers and change into their dress shoes upon arriving to the office. If you can plan your time wisely, choosing to do something like parking at the less expensive parking garage a few blocks away really can make a difference.

Being conscious of your cash flow during an unpaid internship is important, and so is knowing that your internship is an irreplaceable experience. Properly budgeting can help to alleviate stress during the duration of your internship so that you can show up excited and committed to making the most of the opportunity.

About Nicole Biscardi

Nicole  is an emerging fashion communications professional who has completed fashion internships for Harper’s Bazaar and Caravan Stylist Studio. This motivated New Yorker has attended Fashion PR Confidential and is a graduate of the PR Couture PRISM Course. She loves to express herself through fashion and is currently pursuing a blog and her next professional opportunity.

 

3 Reasons to Rethink Your Relationship with Tracking Time

Time Tracking Timer Apps Public Relations

Time sucker, task stalker, that little timer sitting in the corner of your desktop that you constantly forget to turn on until you’re 40 minutes into a certain task…how do you refer to your time tracker? If you ask most PR professionals, they’ll tell you that tracking time (i.e. marking and assigning your day into 15 or 30-minute increments in order to keep track of hours spent against client retainer dollars) is one of the most laborious and irritating of all agency admin tasks.

However, whether you are running your own PR agency, a freelancer or an employee, it is possible to feel differently – and even become a champion of – the value of time tracking for both you and your clients. After all, it’s crucial to be able to both quantify your time in order to ensure that current budgets are keeping efforts profitable (and that clients understand what you are doing on their behalf each day!).

The truth is, as a freelancer, I would be terribly lost without my timesheets.

1. Time Tracking Makes Invoicing and Reporting Easier (Which Means Getting Paid Faster)

By having a running log of all your efforts from any given month, providing clients with a record of efforts made on their behalf becomes a cinch. Even more so, if you are an independent contractor operating on an hourly rate, your time tracking becomes an instant invoice. Whether you choose a simple time tracker app or something like Harvest, which integrates with software like Freshbooks, a time tracker is a time saver when it comes time to getting paid.

2. Time Tracking Helps You Build a More Realistic Budget (Which Means Getting Paid More)

We all want to work with clients that we love, and especially in fashion & lifestyle PR, this can mean a bit of flexibility and compromise on budget. However, if you are repeatedly underselling and over-working, time tracking will reveal exactly what your hourly rate looks like at the end of the month. You may be surprised to note that your actual time spent is way above what was budgeted for.

This awareness allows you to negotiate for higher retainers, as well as gives you a handle on what you should be realistically charging when new clients come a knocking.

3. Time Tracking Makes You More Efficient (Which Means Better Results)

Time tracking doesn’t have to revolve around money, it can also help you visually see where your time is going during a work day. I use Toggl to track every project and task, even on monthly retainer work. I like to have something to look back at to see how I spent the work week as well as knowing I have a backup when evaluating and reporting results back to clients.

It’s easy to spend the day moving in and out of different client priorities, as well as getting sucked into the rabbit hole of research, or the robotics of pitching against your media list. By tracking your time, you’ll quickly find out if you’re spending too much time brainstorming or not enough on follow-up. When you have a clear sense of where your time is going, you can adjust your efforts according to client priorities and budget.

As PR pros, each and every day on the job is different—and it’s one of the many reasons why we love what we do! And, in order to run successful, profitable businesses, it’s crucial that everyone – from CEO to Intern – track their time. With so many great programs to help automate this effort, there’s no need to feel like this is just another thing to add to your endless to-do list. Instead, look at time-tracking as an essential part of demonstrating your value and ensuring your best work.

PR Agency News: Beach House NYC, LER PR, Liquid Communications

PR Agency LER PR Beach House PR NYC PR

Much & House Public Relations, a full-service boutique agency founded by Elizabeth Much and Sharon House is now East 2 West Collective.

L.E.R. PR announces representation of New York-based luxury menswear label Rideau.

LINEAPELLE NEW YORK will take place July 19/20. Registration is open.

Beach House announces the launch of their NYC office with Jordan Landes-Brenman, formerly Director of PR & Digital Strategy at Beach House’s West Coast Office, named Director of PR & Business Development at Beach House NYC.  The agency also announces its representation of Germany-based skincare brand BABOR for PR & Social Media in North America.

Canada’s lifestyle public relations agency Liquid Communications, continues to grow their client roster, as agency of record for Paris-based datingapp Happn.

How to Make the Most of Your First 90 Days in a New PR Job

Lifestyle PR, Entry Level, Employment Tips Public Relations

Part of being successful in the PR industry is building and maintaining quality and solid industry relationships, and this starts with demonstrating your value and building rapport among your coworkers. Because it’s normal for practitioners to move from agency to agency, particularly in niche verticals like fashion, beauty and lifestyle, being able to quickly immerse yourself into a new agency or brand culture is crucial; and there is no time quite like the first 3 months or so of a new position to set you up for success among your your boss and your peers.

Here are the top five things to keep in mind during your first few months at a new position.

1. Get to Know Your Team

Being able to integrate with the existing team in the first few weeks reinforces to your employer that you’re compatible with the other employees.  Taking the time to really get to know your coworkers will establish a strong foundation and sense of teamwork immediately, which will improve communication and collaboration down the line. Make it a point to build one-on-one rapport with everyone in the office; get to know their work or management style, key responsibilities, previous work experience, and hobbies. Your co-workers will be more open to sharing the inside scoop, tips, and tricks on succeeding at the job if they feel a connection with you, and you’ll feel at home at your new desk more quickly.

If you are coming in as a manager, it’s especially important to take the time to get to know the lay of the land, current attitudes, and expectations of your team.

2. Ask for feedback

The first 90 days are a magical window where you are adjusting, learning and able to make (at least a few) mistakes. While you are learning the ropes,  make it a point to ask questions and seeking out feedback. If your work has corrections made to it, see this as an opportunity to further hone your skills and ask for specific guidance so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Asking for feedback also shows that you are invested in the business and in becoming the best employee possible.

3. Take Initiative

As a brand new employee, you have a fresh perspective on everything, which is highly valuable. If you see an opportunity to improve a process, bring in a new client or recommend a better tool or service, say something. Similarly, channel your enthusiasm for your new job into exceeding expectations; go above and beyond what you’ve been told to do. This doesn’t mean saying yes to every project or taking on extra work, but it does mean doing everything you can to ensure your tasks are completed at the highest quality possible. Taking initiative can be anything from updating a media list, writing pitches for the pipeline, or creating shot lists for images you may need down the line. Being ahead of the game, while continuing to kill it on the work you’re being given, is a great way to integrate yourself quickly into a new company, and position yourself for a promotion down the line.

4. Identify and Offer up Your Niche Skill

In the first week, you should figure out what everyone on your team is good at and what skills are needed to fill the void. If you have experience in this area, offer up yourself as a resource. If not, put together a professional development plan in your off time and fill that gap with new knowledge.  By becoming the go-to for a particular perspective or technical capability, you help differentiate yourself and define a clear value within the company structure.

5. Help to Drive Revenue

If you really want to make a positive impression in your first few months in a new position, figure out how to make your company more profitable. For PR agency professionals, this is often by bringing in new clients leads to the office. When new clients sign that retainer, you’ve added a clear, financial benefit to your presence. The best way to find new clients is to research businesses whose brands are similar to other types of businesses your firm represents and use your network and communication skills to put your agency on their radar.

If you are able to accomplish these 5 tasks within the first 90 days of your new position, you’ll be an invaluable asset to the company and will find yourself quickly rising through the ranks.

PS: In order to shine in your first 90 days, you first need to land the job! Grab your free copy of the PR Couture Ace Your Interview Guide  and turn your next opportunity into an offer letter!

Instagram Caption Tips, Snapchat Memories & Joanna Coles on Cosmo

Fashion PR Fridays Image 3

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

…for the week of July 4, 2016

  • From Fleet Street journalism in London in the 1980s to editor of Cosmopolitan, Joanna Coles talks everything from Cosmo’s growth to women’s rights and Antonin Scalia (via The New York Times)
  • Tired of spending hours ‘fixing’ stories once they go live? Here are 8 questions you should ask (and answer) before you pitch to avoid this particular type of follow-up.  (via Poynter)
  • We love getting to share tips and tricks. Founder Crosby Noricks chats about PR Couture’s evolution with Canadian PR Pro Kayla Logan this week (via Kayla Logan PR)
  • This mini memoir from Pam Workman-Hilton, Director of Reputation Management at Grey Group is worth it for the title alone (via CNBC)

 

 

Campaigns We Love: #ICanSheDid by Madam C.J. Walker Beauty

Madam CJ Walker Prestige Haircare PR Campaigns Fashion Beauty

Who: Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture is a hair care line by Sundial Brands that launched exclusively with Sephora back in March. Madam C.J. Walker created specialized hair products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

What: I Can Because She Did” is a digital campaign – assets were created by Alchemy Life, Inc. with Janice McCafferty PR assisting with media outreach. Campaign content includes an online meme generator and 20 short videos featuring female entrepreneurs and influencers including Madam Walker‘s great-great-granddaughter and official historian A’Lelia Bundles, style influencer/media personality Tai Beauchamp and forensic scientist/Fulbright Scholar Sheila Dennis. Outreach tactics include traditional and social media, digital advertising events, sampling/trial and influencers and database marketing.

Digital PR Beauty PR

Why: Within 24 hours of  launch, Allure, Yahoo! Beauty, MadameNoir, Heart & Soul and Hype Hair covered the campaign, and the brand saw an immediate increase in social media engagement. This campaign honors and encourages women by informing and celebrating the hard work of beauty pioneers like Madam C.J. Walker. We can in part because they did! Visit www.icanshedid.com to access all of the online campaign elements, including the meme generator and video vignettes.

PR Girls We Love: Meet Stephanie Tan, PR Manager at Influenster

Stephanie Tan

Stephanie Tan heads in-house PR at Influenster, an NYC-based product discovery and reviews platform that offers users rewards-based opportunities from consumer brands. Stephanie’s thoughtful media strategy has helped to drive the startup’s growth and positioning as the go-to destination for product discovery. The Influenster community currently boasts more than 2 million members who’ve written more than 7 million reviews about more than 1.5 million products. In April, the company announced it had closed an $8 million round of funding from Ebates.

When she isn’t putting in long hours identifying and pitching story opportunities, this former dance and psychology major still makes time to practice her moves with regular dance training and yoga. When it’s time to stop moving, she’s on a constant hunt to discover the latest ramen spot in the city.

Headshot_Stephanie Tan

Name: Stephanie Tan
Company: Influenster
Title: PR Manager
Education: B.A. Cornell University
Twitter: @influenster
Instagram: @steph.tys // @influenster

“The only way to figure out what you’re best at is to step out of your comfort zone and try everything.”

How did you get started in PR?

I was a double major in psychology and dance at Cornell and first discovered public relations as a potential career path by promoting shows on campus and pursuing my honors thesis on the intersection of dance and advertising.

How did you get the job you have now?

After internships and positions at a few PR agencies, I realized that what I really wanted was the opportunity to focus on transforming a single brand from the inside out. Influenster offered not only the challenge of creating a communications strategy from the ground up, but required that I diversify my skill set as a well-rounded marketer, while extending my media relationships and expertise to encompass lifestyle, business, and tech PR.

What are your primary responsibilities?

I help to tell Influenster’s story to the media and develop our brand identity through the news. Since we’re a startup, we all wear many hats to make the magic happen. I work closely with the co-founders as well as the content, research and design teams to strategize and craft new ways to position the company.

There are limitless ways to tell the Influenster story — that’s part of what makes this job so fulfilling. One of my approaches is working collaboratively with our research and design teams to survey our member community regarding on-trend topics, e.g., millennial holiday gift preferences, back-to-school shopping etc., and making the data come alive through insightful, thought-provoking yet simple infographics. It’s all about creating persuasive content that ties seamlessly back to Influenster’s capabilities.

Influenster office_Dogs

The Influenster office dogs take work very seriously. From the left and working clockwise around: Chaplin, Beau, Dr. Watson, Rex and Cooper. 

What is the mood like in the office?

It’s very much a work hard, play hard environment at Influenster. The team consists of some of the sharpest minds in the NYC startup scene, and we get to collaborate and bounce ideas off of one another on a daily basis. Our open floor plan fuels the creativity, and the dogs brighten up our day! We bond over Thursday Tastings of each team member’s food & drink culture, Summer Fridays, catered lunches, monthly company outings, holiday celebrations and much more.

What are you currently working on?

Right now, we’re in the process of planning the 2nd Influenster Reviewers’ Choice Awards, stringing the creative assets together for a millennial beauty trend report and conducting a research survey on the Summer Olympics.

Generally, I’m always looking to raise awareness about Influenster through lifestyle press and business award recognitions. Thought leadership is another big focus of mine; working to position our co-founders as experts in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. It’s been an exciting year thus far, we’re the runner-up as NYC’s Best Tech Startup in the Timmy Awards, and we’re on our way to achieving many more company “firsts.”

What are you really good at?

Anticipating the needs of reporters. I’m always thinking one step ahead and surprising them with my preparedness.

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

We recently entered a strategic partnership with Ebates, which was a milestone achievement for Influenster. Being able to break that story to the national media was exhilarating.

I’m always looking to raise awareness about Influenster through lifestyle press and business award recognitions. Thought leadership is another big focus of mine; working to position our co-founders as experts in digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Starring in YouTube videos for the Influenster channel. I got to reveal the latest products to our community of 100K+ subscribers.

Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Carrying crates of bottled water samples from a truck to a storage room all day for one of my first jobs. I ended up straining my back and visiting my physical therapist to get it fixed. This experience taught me strength, tenacity…and better squat form!

What’s a big challenge facing communicators right now?

Keeping up with the pace and flux of media innovation is a challenge. There are so many layers to promotion these days  e.g., native content, influencer marketing, mobile media, etc. It’s essential for communicators to be versatile and well-versed in platforms and tactics that go beyond media relations – digital strategy, content marketing, research, and analytics are all a part of the evolving landscape that help to shape brand identity.

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

Rejection is part and parcel of a career in PR. Whether it makes or breaks you depends on how you deal with it. I believe in not taking things personally and instead, I redirect rejections as fuel for my determination to turn a no into a yes.  

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

  • Muck Rack: for media intelligence
  • HARO: to know what journalists are looking to cover
  • The News: print, digital, word of mouth and beyond

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

Earned media is much like ballet. We have to make it look smooth and easy on the outside, but there is so much hard work and precision put into achieving each milestone.

Influenster office_Team

Team Influenster works hard and plays hard

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

Immersing myself in media in all forms possible. I read on my subway commute to work, catch up on industry news at work, and watch the news on television at night. I’m also an ardent student for life, I’m constantly learning, whether it may be on Coursera, General Assembly or attending industry workshops and conferences. Keeping up with professional development is the only way to stay relevant and in tune with emerging trends.

Earned media is a much like ballet. We have to make it look smooth and easy on the outside, but little do people know how much hard work and precision is put into achieving each milestone.

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

Experience life! The only way to figure out what you’re best at is to step out of your comfort zone and try everything. Read, travel and study what you’re most passionate about. Intern or job-shadow at your favorite companies and the rest will follow.

Thanks, Stephanie!

How to Produce a Memorable Brand Event with a Blogger as Host

Event PR, Influencer, Fashion Blogger, Events

You strategize, conceptualize, create and coordinate and through it all, the pressure to successfully produce a memorable, results-oriented (and Instagram-worthy) event is mounting. From finding the perfect venue to gift bag sourcing and sponsors, event planning is so much more than finding the perfect floral arrangement and photo booth backdrop; you need RSVPs and you need your attendees to help drive brand messaging forward, from an offline experience to an online record of time well spent.

For fashion and lifestyle brands, one signature move is to source a host who in both name and action, can help ensure a memorable event.  The right host is often a top-tier digital influencer everyone wants to meet in person, who helps drive attendance and keeps the party alive kicking.

At Be Social, we frequently engage these digital influencers to host client events, have found this to be a strategic means to boost event effectiveness. Now, we’re sharing six of our best tips to ensure your next blogger-hosted event is flawless.

1. Choose an existing brand enthusiast

Influencers are more than just marketing figureheads, they are also consumers who have favorite brands, from shoes to skincare. When choosing your host, you’ll be best served by someone who is already familiar with – and a fan 0f – your client’s brand. Genuine enthusiasm and excitement is a huge part of hosting an event with authenticity and class, so choose someone who already wears your client’s clothes or uses their product. Here’s the clincher: in addition to approaching organic brand ambassadors, it’s essential the influencer also fits with the brand culture and aesthetic. You must be 100% confident that the host will accurately represent and clarify your client’s communication goals and personality. Remember, an event is a high-touch marketing opportunity to provide consumers or media contacts the chance to become invested and excited about a brand’s sensibility,  and your host plays a huge role in the whole event experience.

2. Craft an Agreement

Now is not the time for agreements made with an air kiss or an email. You need to outline the specific expectations and outcomes for your host. Wrap these up into a letter of agreement or preferable, a legal contract. In addition to outlining payment terms – whether in product, publicity or money – consider things like a cancellation clause in light of sickness or emergency, as well as and pre-event or post-event duties. Negotiate your terms and include every single detail to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

3. Prep your host before the event

Imagine showing up to host an industry award show, photograph a wedding or moderate a panel with no idea of what to expect (or what’s expected of you!). Take the time to set up a few prep meetings with your host before the event to discuss plans, timing and updates. A few days before, create and circulate a briefing document that outlines every detail of the event. Include who will be in attendance (if the influencer is unfamiliar with a particular VIP, include a photo and useful background information), an overview of the goals of the event, history of the brand, important key messages/data points for this specific event, important announcements and timing, social media hashtags and event flow.  Have your host arrive early and take her through a mock event timeline, so she knows exactly what to do and say. Organization and transparency are key to ensuring expectations are managed and everyone is in the know.

4. Integrate product into host attire

For fashion and beauty brands, it’s a total miss not to ensure the host is decked out in client product (even better if you have done a wardrobe or beauty test ahead of time to ensure the host is wearing something she feels comfortable in). Hair/Make-up/Wardrobe are all important points to note in your host our agreement. By giving your host time to enjoy and experience the product, she can more effectively speak to which color, fragrance, style etc is their favorite because they actually know! If you’re working on an event that doesn’t have an obvious tie-in, consider having the outfit match brand colors, or creating something unique – like an accessory – specifically for the event.

5. Require social media promotion and documentation

Having your influencer simply host an event is one part of the tactic, but you’re really looking to maximize their reach and endorsement as much as possible. A common ask is to have your host post an event teaser prior to the event to increase attendance, and to specify a certain number of posts during the event itself. You can have your own social team on hand to help make this easy by texting photographs and sample captions for her use. Another great idea is to have your host take over your Snapchat or Instagram on the day of the event, which gives your existing followers a unique way to experience the event.

6. Make your host feel like a part of your squad

Hosting an event can be nerve-wracking, so remember to act as the host to your host. Introduce the host to media, other bloggers, and members of your team. Give them a point person/assistant to rely on for any questions or emergencies during the event itself – from a lost lipstick to a broken microphone. They more you can make your host feel like a valued member of the team, the better the experience for everyone.

When done properly, a blogger or digital influencer can make for the perfect host.  Remember, your host can only achieve the results you want when they have a clear direction, expected deliverables, and lots of support and encouragement. When it comes to events, it really is all in the details. Good luck!

About Ali Grant

Ali Grant is the founder of Be Social, headquartered in San Diego with a showroom in Venice, California. She started her career at the beginning of the blogger boom facilitating blogger seeding for fashion labels Through strategic public relations and social media campaign management, Ali has earned recognition for her company in leading industry publications, including being named by PRWeek as the Top 50 Innovators in digital publicity. Further accolades include features in Forbes, Huffington Post, PRWeek, Fashion Monitor, The PR Closet, PR Couture, Daily Front Row, BW Confidential, The Holmes Report and O’Dwyer PR. She’s also hosted educational courses at America’s Beauty Show and the Bloguettes.

Refinery29 Invests in Facebook Live, PR Blogs to Know & Rebrand Tips

Fashion PR Fridays Image 3

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

…for the week of June 27, 2016

  • Need help shooting a fashion lookbook? We’ve got a great lookbook guide  from San freelance photo stylist Sarah Kensell (via Pixelz)
  • We all want that great new hire to stay on, here’s how to keep them happy (via Entrepreneur)
  • Ever wonder how Facebook chooses the posts you see first? They just explained their algorithm for the first time, sorta (via The Next Web)
  • Eloquii launches a new editorial hub to serve $18 million dollar plus-sized fashion market (via Forbes)
  • Dreading that rebrand? Here are 5 tips to help you through the process (via Reuters)
  • Pro Tip: Check out #SaySomethingNice, the new social media campaign in Europe brought to you by Amazon Fashion and style bloggers (via Fashion United)
  • Do you know what PR blogs your competitors are reading? (via Meltwater)

 

Social Summer: 8 PR Boss Babes To Follow on Social Media

PR Girl PR Boss Instagram Fashion PR

PR professionals are never without our phones and social media apps; there is nothing better for a boost of inspiration than seeing how other fashion & lifestyle communications pros are killing it through their own social media channels. Here are 8 of our favorite fashion and lifestyle PR girls who never disappoint during a mid-day scroll and are taking serious advantage of summer.

Sharon Herzog

sharon herzog

Twitter: @Sharon_Herzog
Instagram: @Sharon_Herzog

Sharon’s the founder of Fashion PR Girl based in California. (She’s also Co-creator of the Instagram Collaborations course Instappable with PR C Founder Crosby Noricks). Based in Santa Barbara, her Instagram is filled with two of our favorite things – water and wine! Her recent trip to Europe and gave us a serious case of wanderlust but our business minds appreciate her newsy Twitter account and thoughts on fashion PR, data and influencer relations.

Aliza Licht

aliza licht

Twitter: @AlizaLicht
Instagram: @alizalichtxo
Snapchat: AlizaLicht

It wouldn’t be a PR Girls We Love list without putting the former DKNY PR Girl and author of Leave Your Mark on it. If anybody knows social media and fashion, it’s Aliza. Ever gracious, Aliza is likely to send you a response to a query as she’s highly engaged across all her platforms. Check out her recent Facebook Live session and sign up for her email newsletter Blackboard for plenty of career advice.

Genevieve Ascencio Alcinay

genevieve ascencio

Twitter: @thatgenevieve
Instagram: @thatgenevieve
Snapchat: that genevieve

First off, major congrats are in order for the new VP of Digital at Factory PR. We loved the Instagram Takeover Genevieve did for us last year and have been avid followers ever since. Equal parts fashionable, down to earth, and in the know, Genevieve is one babe to watch for plenty of shoe envy, NYC summer antics, and industry smarts.

Brittany Lamp

brittany lamp

Twitter: @brittanylelamp
Instagram: @brittanylelamp

As the social media manager at Beach House PR in the OC, as well as a PR Couture contributor, Brittany is a PR boss who knows how to mix her strong style point-of-view and beachy vibe with her industry expertise.

Danielle Gano

danielle gano

Twitter: @ellecomm
Instagram: @ohheyelle

Danielle is the founder of Elle Communications located in LA and NY, an agency that does tremendous work in the social good space.  Be inspired by all the feel-good, do-good work Elle is up to on Twitter, but get an extra special view of Danielle’s adventures on and off the clock, including travels to Africa, Mexico and Israel, fundraising, friend tributes and plenty of pup shots of Weimaraner Weylin on Instagram. Bonus: You can also follow the company on Instagram to see what else this hard-working team is up to behind the scenes.

Pitches and Wifi

pitcheswifi

Twitter: @PitchesandWiFi
Instagram: @pitchesandwifi

While not a person per say, this more recent account is a must for millennial babes and recent PR grads. The Pitches and Wifi Twitter consolidates advice from top sites like PR Daily, Career Contessa, and PR girls. Their Instagram is a worthy mix of tips and tricks plus fashion inspiration, all in a (albeit anonymous) voice and tone we can’t help but relate to.

Sarah Rachel Jenkins

sarah jenkins

Twitter: @sarahrachel_PR
Instagram: @senorita_saritaaa

Sarah’s the founder of lifestyle agency White Oak Communications. Follow along on Twitter for current events, pop culture and daily adventures. Instagram adds excellent so-cal scenery shots and awesome food pictures. Bonus: Follow White Oak’s Instagram and Twitter for more inspiration and to be in the know about the latest restaurant openings and events.

Dria Murphy

dria murphy

Twitter: @driamurphy
Instagram: @driamurphy
Snapchat: driamurphy

From running her own consultancy, Alise Collective (which you also can follow on Instagram and Twitter), to being a bit of an it girl in her own right, Dria’s social channels provide insight into her clients’ successes as well as her fabulous style (both fashion and interior design), as and how she stays fit. Expect lots of snaps from the Hamptons this summer.

Want more PR Girls to follow? Check out 6 PR Girls To Follow on Twitter and 25 Instagram Accounts For PR Firms To Follow.

P.S. You’re following PR Couture on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (prcouture), right?