PR Girls We Love: Aly MacGregor, President at Reicura

Berlin Fashion Week

Aly MacGregor is a talented young entrepreneur, serving as the founder and President of internationally acclaimed creative agency Reicura. She is also the co-founder of several businesses in the tech, education and music industries, and consults for some of the fastest-growing companies in the UK, the US, and Canada. Aside from her business endeavors, she also sits on the boards and committees for some charitable organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys watching every single episode of Jeopardy, and being perpetually jet lagged.

Aly MacGregor PresidentName: Aly MacGregor
Title: Founder & President
Current Cities: Mainly Toronto and London, with some NYC in the mix
Agency: Reicura
Instagram: personal: @alymacgregor agency: @reicura
Twitter: Toronto: @ReicuraTO London: @ReicuraLDN

How did you get started in PR?

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

I started my agency after my first PR gig, and funny enough being the president of this agency is the first and only job I’ve ever had!

Tell us a bit about Reicura

I still consider us to be boutique in size and management style, so I’m the only person in my managerial level “department.” However, I’ve always believed in strong collaboration and keeping things as hierarchy-free as possible without sacrificing individual accountability, so all of our agency departments are very interconnected. Since I both oversee as well as work with each of our company departments, I treat my interactions with my team similarly to how I am as the oldest child with my two siblings: guiding, supportive, and bossy with the best intentions!

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

Our office mood is like an ongoing work party; there’s the less fun part of parties where you have to do things like tidy up spills, but the bulk of them is about having fun doing what you love, which is a hugely important principle that we strictly adhere to. It also helps that our team is hilarious, so there’s always lots of laughs and inappropriate jokes to help get us through the long hours that we put in. We’re currently working on quite a few joint office collaborations since the international fashion weeks are around the corner.

swam canada

Aly with client SWAM Canada at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

What is a recent job success story?

We recently become the agency partner for SWAM Canada, which is an incredible new men’s swimwear line from Will Poho, the founder of Moose Knuckles Jackets, and his business partner Joseph Tassoni. It was a huge win for us as an agency, but it was made even more special by the fact that they have been the best kind of clients an agency could ask for. They have a fantastic and unique product; they let us do our job, and they’re good to have a drink (or 3) with after work!

Most memorable moment in your career ?

I think when we moved from my kitchen to an actual office space was symbolic for me. That move took it from being “fun little part-time thing” to “wow this is my real career”.

Most glamorous moment in your career?

PR isn’t nearly as glamorous as Samantha Jones and Edina Monsoon made it look on television, but I’m not too jaded to admit that attending award shows (especially when you can be a guest rather than working in some capacity) can be very glamorous. Or any of our Cannes-related moments – those have been pretty spectacular.

Least glamorous moment in your career ?

The most recent one I can think of had to do with producing a campaign involving the cutest kittens, and I, of course, ended up being tinkled on, numerous times. Not my finest moment, but I guess one of the unforeseen hazards of the job!

[Moving] from my kitchen to an actual office space was symbolic for me. That move took it from being “fun little part-time thing” to “wow this is my real career”.

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

We have a system at our agency – allow yourself to be upset until X happens, with X being an action you take that makes you happy and that you don’t do too often. So my “X” is drinking whisky. I can be upset for as long as I want until I have a whisky, and then that’s it! No more wallowing, no more complaining – it wasn’t meant to be, and that last drop of whisky signals the end of any residual upset I’m allowed to experience. It helps give you an endpoint for stress and provides you with a positive thing to look forward to as you come out of the negative experience of rejection.

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

For a while now, I’ve been noticing brands starting to strategize using what I call shortcut PR – like when a brand will rely solely on “Instagram influencers” as their PR strategy. There’s no longevity built into that “plan” and it makes PR seem like it’s all about winning a popularity contest when in actually fashion and lifestyle communications is so much more multifaceted. But you’ll see brands choose to put their budgets towards shortcut PR rather than investing in a proper multi-faceted PR plan executed by professionals. So I’d say a big challenge is convincing certain brands, especially fashion ones, that putting all their eggs into that one basket isn’t the smartest move.

What type of person thrives at your company/agency?

Someone who doesn’t have an overpowering ego, and wants to constantly learn. We operate as a real family unit, so if you’re too much of a lone wolf you might not be as comfortable with our company culture. That said, you need to have enough belief in yourself that will allow you to go and get shit done without someone having to hold your hand every step of the way. So basically, an outgoing team player who doesn’t need mollycoddling and can take direction. Simple!

Brands choose to put their budgets towards shortcut PR rather than investing in a proper multi-faceted PR plan executed by professionals.

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

Don’t try to be me, make your work path fit for the kind of person you are. I’m naturally more on the introverted side and I’m not the greatest self-seller but instead of trying to be something I wasn’t, I built my company to reflect my personality to some degree (ie. we like to be the more invisible brains behind the work and let our clients shine) and surrounded myself with great people who can do things I can’t. It’s your life, make it work for you!

Thanks, Aly!

5 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Job for Something New

Career Tips Exit Strategy Quit Job

A Linkedin study reports that millennials will change jobs about four times before turning 32, so a bit of career hopping is in the cards for most of us. Whether you’re leaving on good terms with your former company, or seeking out a healthier work environment, it’s important to treat your exit strategy with as much focus as your job search. After all, you never want to burn a bridge in your haste for something new.

Make sure you complete these five final tasks to ensure your career and reputation head in a positive direction.

1. Anticipate the Needs of Your Current Team

Don’t create an undue burden for your soon-to-be former co-workers. Do your best to transfer any pending accounts to the new account managers, do a final call to your clients and make sure they are clear about who their primary contact will be.

If possible, plan to spend about a week allowing your replacement to job shadow you in your position, so they can ask questions and learn from the best! If this isn’t possible, spend your last few days at your current position creating process docs and checklists so that it will be easy for someone to come in, fill your shoes, and keep the wheels moving.

Brittany Lamp, Digital Brand Manager at Dita Eyewear suggests that you “make sure that everyone around you feels comfortable with your exit plan. Consider how you can make the smoothest transition out of your position. Lastly, stay positive. Be cooperative and keep working hard up until your last minute.”

How much you stay in contact after your departure is a personal decision, but it is sometimes worth the effort in maintaining a professional relationship to offer to answer any high priority questions a few days or weeks after you’ve left. They’ll likely not take you up on it, but the gesture is meaningful, especially if they are overwhelmed.

2. Take Stock of Recent Wins

PR moves so fast that successes are easy to forget about. Did you have a series of successful placements, help to bring on new clients, improve an agency process or execute a campaign that increased web traffic by big percentages? Get those details down on paper before you forget. It’s so much easier to update and track progress when you’re thinking about it versus months, or even years later. In the excitement of a new job, this is an easy step to overlook—why look behind when you can look ahead? But an updated resume now will save you many hours later.

Make sure your online presence is an accurate reflection of your current interests and most recent accomplishments as well. Do a quick Google search and ensure that all social media bios, website profiles, and your LinkedIn are current – including your headshot.

3. Collect Samples of Excellent Work

In addition ensuring your resume and online information is accurate, add in any new portfolio pieces to your website or LinkedIn profile. Follow company guidelines of course, but begin to collect writing samples, media placements, and reports, as well as anything physical that you’ll want to add to your portfolio. Include notes on results or highlights so you have all the evidence you need for future interviews, applications, and opportunities.

4. Consolidate your media contacts

Now is also the time to gather a complete list of your media contacts and important new connections you’ve made at your current position. You’ve likely spent time getting to know specific niche reporters and assignment editors—don’t forget to update your personal media contact list with their information. Your relationships with certain outlets and connections you’ve built through pitching are extremely valuable assets that you bring to the table in any position. If it’s ok with your employer, send them an email with your contact information from your existing email address, or wait and connect with them on Linkedin or from your personal email after your last day.

5. Say Thank You

No matter the work environment, there will have been people who made your day brighter, easier, and more enjoyable. Make sure they know the impact they made on you with a small gift or card. The talented group of professionals you work with now could be your colleagues down the road (again) one day. Just because you’re leaving doesn’t mean the relationship is over. The connections you build, and importantly, maintain, will be your industry resources and contacts for the rest of your career. Take care to end respectfully and with integrity.

Leaving your first job can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. When you make the next move in your career, be sure you’ve taken care of these 5 items before your last day so you’re prepared for your first day at your new job and beyond.

PS: Looking for more support to become a PR Boss? Check out PRISM, our signature career course for aspiring PR Girls!

About Rachel
Rachel Vandernick is the Web Content and Social Media Manager at Elizabethtown College. She specializes in creating social and web strategies clients in niche industries, creating and managing digital ad campaigns, and helping to streamline brand communications. Connect with her on Twitter @VandernickR

3 PR Pro Tips To Keep Cool at Your Next Client Event

event marketing pr events fashion marketing

Tensions run high at client events. With big expectations and millions of small but important details being finalized, the pressure alone can lead to anyone easily losing their cool. While there are different ways to keep yourself calm at the actual event, we believe that a large part of remaining cool and collected is a direct result of your preparation and mindset beforehand.

Here are three ways to keep your cool during a client event:

Event Reality #1 – Be Prepared For The Worst

While we’d all like to believe in the power of positive thinking, it’s important to be realistic going into a client event and map out possible problems and pitfalls. Once your team identifies the worst case scenarios, you can properly plan for how to handle the variety of situations that may arise. Doing so will have you and your team prepared, equipped and ready to handle the worst if it unfortunately does happen. It’s important that your client trusts that no matter what uncertainties may arise during the event, your team will be fully able to adjust like nothing went off course.

Event Reality #2 – Organization is Everything

No matter how small the event, you never want to go into it unorganized and unsure of what is going to take place when and where. Coordinating a run-thru of the event with your team beforehand will bring to light any details that may have slipped through the cracks and get everyone on the same page. Printing out resources, such as a timeline of how the event should go and a contact sheet with important team members, vendors and client phone numbers, will also tighten the overall execution of the event. Vendors participating in the event will also appreciate the organization and will be more likely to work with you and your client again in the future if the event goes smoothly. Everyone feels calmer when they feel they are prepared, and being organized will do just that.

Event Reality #3 – Fuel Up (on Food, not Champagne)

Client events can be extremely draining. They require you to be on at all times and ready to handle any situation that is thrown at you. During the event there is usually little to no down time for you to grab something to eat, which is why it is so important for you to fuel up for the event beforehand to keep you energized and ready to go. Being ‘hangry’ at a client event will lead to nothing good. Make time to eat before and if you don’t have time, sneak some snacks in your purse to fuel up when you’re feeling low on energy.

No matter how much you prepare for a client event, there will always be unanticipated hiccups along the way. When this does happen, it’s important that you keep your cool and assure your client everything is on track. Keeping things in perspective, remaining calm and handling the problem with confidence will lead to a successful event no matter what curveballs you might be thrown.

Business Dinner Etiquette, Overtime Pay & NYFW Lessons Learned

cn_fashion-pr-fridays_08

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

…for the week of September 12, 2016

  • Instagram Stories 101: how to take advantage of the drawing tool, use text, upload boomerangs, and more (via The Stylesmith Diaries)
  • Proper fork placement, conversing with other guests, and the tipping of the service staff all play a part in proper business dining etiquette. Make sure to brush up on your manners before attending a work dinner (via YSF Magazine)
  • The photography pros are dishing on how to take amazing photos, and we think your Instagram followers (and clients) will thank you when you put these tips to good use (via Huffington Post)
  • The Tommy Pier was a show to remember, but what really sparked the Tommy Hilfiger x Gigi Hidad collection? (via Fashion Week Daily)
  • With social media marketing strategies at the forefront of marketing efforts, knowing which platforms to target for which audiences is more important than ever (via AeroLeads)
  • Skipping breaks may seem like a great idea to get a little more work in, but is it really benefitting your productivity? (via The Everygirl)
  • Being environmentally conscious isn’t just for the food industry and we’re about to see a shift with a specific fabric to bring eco-friendly fabrics to fashion – can you guess what it is? (via South China Morning Post)
  • If you were one of any many dancing women in black leotards and wearing bunny ears for Halloween, you might want to consider copying iPhone animations and becoming Snapchat filters this time around (via PopSugar)

The #PRGirl NYFW Recovery Guide

NYFW PR GIRL Fashion Week

If the regular pace of PR life is like a brisk trot through an urban jungle, New York Fashion Week is perhaps that part in any superhero movie when the city dwellers run for their lives while destruction rains down upon them. In all seriousness, for those fashion publicists working the front lines during one of the most intense work weeks of the year, there is only one thing to do once the last show wraps; enjoy the hell out of that after party, and then put up an out-of-office notification and set yourself on vacay mode.

Even if you aren’t able to truly get out of town, we recommend setting up a home-based mini retreat to reset your soul before Monday. To that end, we’ve rounded up a few essentials for a staycation-style, NYFW recovery weekend.

First up, brand new cotton pajamas to live in all weekend long.
Needham Lane, $70-78
Follow the scent...to freedom.
Evil Queen, $18
A little bit silly, super comfy, walk on a cloud slipper shoes that work for that inevitable run to Duane & Rede? Check.
Zhenzee, $68
After all that champagne, a detox is in order. These come delivered right to your door. Don't you feel better already?
Daily Harvest, $7.99 each
Pedicures are so last season. You need to get a little gross (it's ok, Vogue agrees).
Babyfoot, $15.88
Truth is stranger than fiction. No one knows this more than fashion people. No one. Settle in for one incredible story.
In the Name of Gucci, $24.95 (We suggest the audiobook; your eyes are tired from staring at seating charts).

 

 

How to Pitch Managing Editor Brianne Nemiroff, Viva Glam Magazine

Viva Glam Magazine Publicity Press

VIVA GLAM Magazine is a Los Angeles-based women’s lifestyle website and quarterly publication with 4.5 million views a month. Topics include fashion, beauty, travel, wellness and entertainment, including celebrity interviews. Online Magazine Editor Brianne Nemiroff pens celebrity features and red carpet fashion coverage as well as a natural beauty and recurring vegan/vegetarian travel column.

Brianne NemiroffName: Brianne Nemiroff
Title: Online Managing Editor
Publication: Viva Glam Magazine
Email: brianne@vivaglammagazine.com
Instagram: @briannenemiroff, @vivaglammag
Twitter: @briannenemiroff@vivaglammag

How did you get where you are today?

I started contributing to VIVA GLAM’s entertainment section fresh out of college. Gradually, I worked my way up to the position I have now.

How far in advance do you work?

We work anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months in advance. If it’s a travel piece and it’s also in our print edition, it can be up to a year as we print seasonally.

VIVA GLAM MAGAZINE

Brianne Recently Interviewed ET’s Carly Steel

Photo: Diana Ragland

What is the best time to send a pitch email?

I read all of my emails so anytime is fine. I generally answer my emails the most on Wednesday and Friday mornings. But if it’s a timely pitch, I’ll answer the day-of.

What does your job entail and what kind of stories do you write?

I accept pitches for all sections as I overlook all of them: fashion, beauty, wellness, fitness, food, travel, and entertainment. The stories that I write personally are for entertainment (interviews, set visits, and red carpets), natural/non-toxic beauty, and my travel column “Visiting as a Vegan/Vegetarian”.

Share a bit about your target reader. Who are you writing for?

Our readers are 18-34-year-old females who love living a healthy, balanced lifestyle, enjoy pop culture and love to look glamorous. Most of our readers are up and coming models and actors and look to us for advice on how to better themselves from the inside out.

I generally answer my emails the most on Wednesday and Friday mornings. But if it’s a timely pitch, I’ll answer the day-of.

What email subject lines capture your attention?

Putting Pitch or Interview in the subject line captures my attention most!

What makes a great pitch?

If the PR rep is respectful and clearly understands of our target audience, that’s great. Exclusives are appreciated as well.

What is the best way for a PR person to build a relationship with you?

If they are based in LA, I would love to meet them! Keep emailing me new topics and I will remember you!

Greeting Card Promo

choose-your-own-greeting-cards-set-of-3-3-350x350

5 Things I Learned My First Year as a Freelance Publicist

Freelance PR Independent PR Fashion PR Beauty PR Career

Last year I was let go from my job and living in an area where no one was hiring—especially in the PR field. Considering my passion and experience was in public relations, I chose to take it upon myself to create my very own career path as a freelance publicist.

Some make a brave, planned jump into consulting, while others are more forced into it due to circumstance. My foray into freelance work started without any clients and no experience in the business aspects of independent contracting. Happily, a year later I have successfully built a freelance career. I have four consistent clients, and have had to turn down projects I can’t fit into my schedule.

Making the shift into solopreneurship has been one of the most terrifying and rewarding experiences of my life. I’m definitely looking forward, but every now and then it helps to look back on everything I’ve learned.

1. I became comfortable with pitching myself

As a business professional, and especially when you run your own business, it’s so important to keep track of – and stay in touch with – your contacts. For freelancer work, these existing relationships are often the lead to your next client referral.

As a natural introvert, the idea of having to sell myself to potential clients used to give me anxiety. But I had to force myself out of my comfort zone and become comfortable with networking and asking for work in order to grow my business,

So how did I start to build my business? Thanks to Google and LinkedIn I was able to get the contact information of businesses and individuals I wanted to work with. Then, I wrote an email explaining how I believed I could help, as well as highlighting previous experience, including my contact details and resume. I also reached out to former contacts and let them know about my new circumstances and latest areas of expertise.

2. I figured out my personal brand

Before my freelance career, I didn’t fully understand the idea of personal branding. To be honest, I would roll my eyes whenever someone would say, “you are your brand.” Now I understand that when you work for yourself, this statement couldn’t be more accurate.

Starting a freelance business really makes you realize what it means to be your own brand. Over the past year, I cleaned up my social media presence by separating my personal and professional accounts. On my business profiles, I only share professional articles. I also branded my website, and learned to talk about my experience and services in a consistent way. I used Tumblr to share my portfolio, including press clippings, and Canva to create my logo and other fun, fun digital brand assets, which made a huge difference in my professional brand for very little cost.

As a natural introvert, the idea of having to sell myself to potential clients used to give me anxiety. But I had to force myself out of my comfort zone and become comfortable with networking and asking for work in order to grow my business,

At my previous PR firm, I never worried about my social media presence being a direct means to grow client work;  we weren’t allowed to add clients on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But as an independent consultant, your online and social media efforts must help prospective clients to discover you and desire to contact you.

3. I learned how to save and spend more wisely

The whole “feast or famine” myth for contract workers is absolutely true. Sometimes I had a full roster of clients, to the point where I was overextended, and other times my workload was minimal. The natural pendulum of project work means that income can be unpredictable, which makes budgeting (and a backup plan should work run out) imperative.

Once you make over $400 from freelancing gigs, you are required to report your income and pay quarterly estimated taxes. These are typically anywhere from 20-30% of your annual earnings so I made sure to factor that in when charging clients, and automatically tucked away 20% of all of my earnings for tax time.

I quickly paid outstanding credit card balances; the fees and APR charges really add up in the long run. I also looked for easy places where I could save with a bit more effort. I stopped eating out all of the time and switched to a cheaper internet provider.

Day Designer Work Planner Life Planner Image: Polka Dot Whimsy

Day Designer, Image: Polka Dot Whimsy

4. I started to track…everything

Setting income and saving goals, and tracking spending is essential to running a successful business. But there is so much more data and planning that is valuable to me as a freelancer. These days, I use both physical and digital tools to stay on top of my work.a day designer to map out my days, weeks and months. Having a visual layout of tasks helps me stay on top of everything from invoicing to project plans.

I use a day designer to map out my days, weeks and months. Having a visual layout of tasks helps me stay on top of everything from invoicing to project plans. And, I use Toggl, a free task timer tool that lets me easily track the work I am providing, organized by projects and clients. Toggle provides various time summary reports that make it easy to prepare accurate invoices, and provide a detailed recording of time spent, should there be any client questions come billing time!

5. I learned to take control of my schedule

The reality is that I work more now as a freelancer than I ever did at a 9 to 5. My days tend to be longer, and I have larger workloads. However, I can honestly say I would never go back to an office job. There’s no better feeling than being able to make your own rules.

I never thought I would be running my own business, but freelancing has helped me realize how much I appreciate my freedom to be able to create my own schedule, and work on projects and clients of my choice. Next year I plan to commit to a content calendar for my blog, continue to work on securing ideal, consistent clients on retainer and take a work-free vacation!

Are You Guilty of These Common Mistakes When Pitching the Media?

Media Editors Fashion Public Relations Publicity Placement Brand

Mastering the skill of pitching is essential to garnering press coverage in clients’ target publications. A great pitch can result in anything from beautiful multi-page, in-depth features for clients to stronger relationships with top editors.

While it’s not an exact science (everyone has their own style of pitching that works for them) there are a few mistakes you should try to avoid at all costs to ensure the greatest outcome for your outreach.

Mistake #1 – Pitching the wrong person

Different editors cover different beats – from accessories to beauty, and down to specific columns. Make sure that the contact you are pitching actually covers whatever product you are pitching by researching their recent contributions before you reach out.

This can get tricky within the fashion world as many editors only cover one specific niche. If you are unsure, the best way to find know what someone covers and to make sure you are pitching appropriate info is to simply send a quick email to the person you do have contact information and ask. I like to send a one-line description and one or two images of a client’s latest line and ask who the best contact would be for XX market. When you keep it short and simple you’re likely to get a helpful response.

Mistake #2 – Including the wrong information

Make sure that every pitch you send out addresses your editor by her first name, and that you have spelled it correctly – Lindsey vs Lindsay, for example. Proofread (preferably by at least an extra set of eyes) at least twice. Resist the urge to tell a designer’s entire life story and instead focus on prioritizing the information most relevant – product details, pricing and purchase information. A poorly written, or overly wordy pitch is more likely to be trashed. If you are lucky enough to get a bite, you run the risk that incorrect info will make its way into the coverage you receive. Proofread, proofread, proofread and keep your communication brief.

Mistake #3 – Botching the Subject Line

It’s easy to put a ton of focus on the pitch itself, but the subject line you choose is often as important as (and sometimes even more so) than the body of the email. Make the editor want to open your email with your subject line with a few words that are compelling yet pithy. Choose a few words that describe the type of product rather than the brand (unless you’re working with a highly-recognizable or coveted brand) and if you have a great price point, put that in the subject line as well (“Under $100 Fall Fashion: Plaid Flannels, Lace-Up Denim, and more!”)

I recently wrote a pitch for a jewelry client that received a great response from editors. The subject line “Dainty, Sparkly Jewels to Dress Up Holiday Outfits,” resulted in interest and sample pulls from outlets including W, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and more.

Mistake #4 – Pitching Products Off-Season

If you are pitching a super cool swimwear line, don’t pitch your bikinis to long lead (print) media in August. Your “Keep Cool this Season” email will be dead in the water; toward the end of the summer editors are working on December and January issues.

Now, just because you have an off-season item doesn’t mean you have to wait months to reach out. In PR, it’s all about the story angle – what about pitching warm weather escapes for those headed somewhere tropical for their winter holiday? However, your best bet for the most coverage is to hold off until December/January when publications begin sourcing for their (inevitable) swim stories.

I recently wrote a pitch for a jewelry client that received a great response from editors. The subject line “Dainty, Sparkly Jewels to Dress Up Holiday Outfits,” resulted in interest and sample pulls from outlets including W, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and more.

You can still pitch for short-lead/bloggers/influencers year-round with seasonal apparel and accessories (sunglasses, winter coats, etc.), many of these people travel frequently and are working on shorter turn-around times for articles. Your rose gold bikini might be perfect for next week’s swim essentials post.

Mistake #5 – Attaching Large Files

It’s definitely important to have images that accompany your pitch, but large file sizes are often blocked by editor email servers – meaning your pitch won’t even make it to their inbox. If your email does reach your intended recipient, it’s annoying and cumbersome to have to download a large file. Instead, embed low-res image files that fit within a standard email window (no larger than 600 pixels wide).  If you have a linesheet or fashion lookbook, consider including a dropbox link instead of an attachment. Or, compress any PDF documents first with software or a free website like SmallPDF.

By avoiding these five common pitching mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of securing some fantastic placements for clients!

PR Job

Position:  Fashion & Social Media Publicist
Company: Mannfolk PR
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Learn more

NYFW via Google, Ted Baker’s Open Door Social Strategy & Staying True to Your (Online) Voice

cn_fashion-pr-fridays_08

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

…for the week of September 5, 2016

  • Can’t attend fashion week but want a backstage pass & the chance to shop the runway? Google has you covered and all you have to do is search “fashion week” (via Women’s Wear Daily)
  • Conde Nast pairs with IBM to adopt Watson, a platform that will further analyze the consumer’s perception of specific influencers to develop more personal digital marketing campaigns (via The Drum)
  • There are more fashion weeks in the world than New York, London, Paris, and Milan – but can these other international events bring the worldwide spectatorship afforded their more famous counterparts? (via Racked)
  • Gone are the days of creating new fashion trends, because there aren’t any new ideas left. Now the challenge is restyling the past (via The Daily Beast)
  • Ted Baker turns to social media to get people in their doors, literally (via NewsTalk)
  • Street style meets street photography; is it a craft or simply a popularity contest? (via City AM)
  • Amazon officially takes the plunge into the luxury fashion market and they’re planning for the long run (via Business of Fashion)
  • Karen Walker shares why NYFW is no longer part of her brand strategy and how she’s reaching her end consumer (via New Zeland Herald)
  • Bring true to yourself can be tough when you have influencers coming at you from all angles, but there are some great ways to maintain your online voice (via Create + Cultivate)

10 Printable Etsy Art Posters to Instantly Dress up Agency Walls

Office Decor Ideas PR Girl

A creative work environment is an essential part of enjoying coming into work each day, not to mention setting a welcoming and on brand experience for the clients, editors, and stylists stopping by each week. New art is a quick and often affordable way to elevate workplace vibes, whether you are cubicle central or creating a gallery wall in the conference room. The task becomes even easier when you choose digital downloads, which you can then print to your exact specifications at a fraction of the cost. To help get you started, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite downloadable prints from Etsy that would be perfect eye candy for any lifestyle PR professional agency or office walls.

PR Girl Mantra
Pribish Printables, $2
Gratitude #FTW
Designs by Maria, 5.99
It's not a crime...
Words and Confetti, $5
Essential for fashion publicists
Inspire Empire, $3
Don't forget it
Type Secret, $3
..and get back to work!
The Antlered Seal $4.50
You read that like Rihanna, right?
Zeal and High Heels, $2
A sense of humor makes it better...
Gracie Lou Printables, $4
Bonus! While not a printable (or from Etsy), we couldn't resist including our very own gold foil print, perfect for any PR office! PR Couture, $28 PS: Save 20% with code GoodVibes20 until Sept. 30

PS: Welcome to our new series, PRoducts We Love! To submit an item for editorial consideration, email hello@prcouture.com or use our contact form.

PR Industry News: Small Girls Take on No Subject, BoF’s New Paid Access & INK & ROSES

PR Industry News Agency Announcements

PR Agency and Industry News

NYC-based PR and Influencer Marketing Agency Small Girls PR has acquired Los Angeles-based Event Production and Influencer Marketing Agency No Subject (for more on the founder’s of both agencies, check out this interview with Small Girls and this one with No Subject and Create & Cultivate Founder Jaclyn Johnson)

Business of Fashion has announced they will move toward a paid, subscription model starting October 25. BoF Professional will include access to all articles as well as Professional-only analysis and special briefings.

Editor database for the cosmetics industry beautypress has announced the appointment of Carmen Alfaro Baxter to the role of Sales Manager US and UK.

Full-service marketing firm INK & ROSES is now Public Relations Agency of Record for mi*Brite®, a luxury at-home teeth whitening collection. In addition to traditional PR programming, INK & ROSES will support the mi*Brite® brand by providing ongoing strategic counsel as needed for various business functions.

To submit your agency or company news for consideration, email hello[at]prcouture.com

Meet Sarah Owen, Trend Forecaster + Senior Editor at WGSN

Sarah Owen, PR Couture Interview

As the Senior Editor of Digital Media and Marketing at WGSN, Sarah Owen has spent her career examining trends in pop culture and translating them into the forecasting direction for a wide variety of industries, including fashion.

During her career, Sarah has worked with publications like Kinfolk, Vogue, and Nylon. She’s reported backstage from New York Fashion Week, written for The New York Times, and interviewed Karl Lagerfeld. For Sarah, endless analysis to identify and predict which micro-trends will eventually become meaningful is just a day in the life.

Sarah Owen, Trend Forecaster and Senior Editor

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

Name: Sarah Owen
Company: WGSN
Title: Senior Editor of Digital Media and Marketing
Current City: New York City
Instagram: @WGSN
Twitter: @WGSN
Personal Instagram: @sarahsarahowen

How did you get started in your career?

I got started in journalism and photography quite early in Australia. I used to be the editor-at-large of a now defunct street publication called Clay, back in 2007. During that time I was also doing street style photos at festivals way before it was really a thing. I had a handful of different jobs in Australia, the most prominent one was at Country Road. I came to NYC to assist at Vogue, and that’s when my career started to take off.

How did you get the job you have now?

I joined WGSN as an assistant covering global youth trends. As the company evolved, so did my role. I ended up as Senior Editor of digital media & marketing trends. It felt like a natural transition; now I’m forced to stay tuned into cultural happenings across social media.

What are you working on?

My current role includes a lot of monitoring and reporting on social media trends, marketing strategies, and new technologies. I’ll be paying attention to all of these aspects, embedded into a collection or used to enhance a show, during New York Fashion Week.

What is most meaningful to you about your career?

Meeting and working with some of the most talented and inspiring brains in the industry – both internally and externally. My colleague Andrea Bell (who heads up our Think Tank directory) constantly motivates me and brings the most innovative perspective to the table. Getting to be a part of the conversations that shape the future is the most rewarding part of working at WGSN. 

What are you really good at?

Being curious and being a chameleon.

WSGN's Sarah Owen at a festival

Photo: Diego Zuko

Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?

Two that come to mind include the time I took a private jet to an Opening Ceremony and Intel launch during a blizzard in NYC. We needed to get to Las Vegas, so just balled out, basically. The other glamorous moment was interviewing Karl Lagerfeld, which was a childhood dream really.

Getting to be a part of the conversations that shape the future is the most rewarding part of working at WGSN. 

What do you wish more people understood about your job?

I wish more people knew that we do more than fashion-based trend forecasting. WGSN serves a multitude of industries spanning from retail and design to automotive and fast-moving consumer goods. We work in real time up to two years in advance on trends.

What are a few challenges you see facing communicators right now?

I think a few key ones are keeping up with the pace of change, especially with the increase in technology/innovation. Measuring ROI is a tough one for marketers along with the need to allow consumers to have control and be an integral part of a brand’s story.

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

Stay focused and hungry. Consume as much information outside of the industry you work in so that you bring unique knowledge that complements what you are expected to know.

Thanks Sarah!

4 Ways Publicists are Different From Event Planners

event planning career

Popular culture has led many to believe that the PR industry is just a whole lot of party planning. I blame some of our favorite fictional publicists like Sex and The City’s Samantha Jones for the onslaught of graduates with pipe dreams of planning fabulous parties for book releases, celebs and movie premieres.

Spoiler alert: it’s not always glamorous, and planning a flawless event is hard work.

While there are many similarities between PR professionals and event planners, as events are often part of a brand’s overall promotional strategy, expertise in public relations and communications doesn’t necessarily make someone skilled at producing events.

An event planner is someone who plans and executes all aspects of an event, be it internal, corporate, external or promotional. Duties often include coordinating and confirming locations and venues, transportation, on-site logistics, program schedules, guest speakers and red-carpet arrival times.

In contrast, a PR professional often collaborates with an event planner or producer on the overall concept of the event, and is often responsible for ensuring the right people (media, influencers, VIP customers) show up and are followed up with post-event. The PR person in charge acts as a defacto host during the event, facilitating media interviews and ensuring everyone understands and uses the event hashtag. The event planner in on-site to ensure all the important elements, from signage to flow, are working smoothly to ensure everyone has an amazing time.

Still, clients often mistake these two roles as one in the same, expecting a publicist to be as skilled in event execution as pitching the media. While some agencies may have an events division (particularly those who produce events regularly for fashion week, or large influencer activations), the two roles are very different.

Here are four big ways event planners differ from publicists.

A PR Pro is the life of the party but the event planner is the life behind the party.

Aside from natural differences in workload, PR professionals and event planners typically have different mindsets and thought patterns. PR professionals tend to be right-brained, possessing great creativity, critical thinking, verbosity, spontaneity, dexterity and communications skills to manage PR campaigns and client reputation with complete confidence. Event planners are usually ruled by their methodical, task-based, analytical and logical left brain, in order to give such great attention to detail on event logistics. While both jobs attract fairly outgoing and congenial individuals, each thinks differently about how to get the job done.

Preparing a client for a media interview is not the same as prepping an events team

In part, a PR professional is in the business of helping clients stay on message during media interviews, which is in part about relating to the audience or readership, and speaking in easy soundbites to ensure the best media coverage possible.

When it comes to events, every decision, from napkins to photo both props, must reinforce a brand’s unique positioning. And, beyond what attendees see, any planner worth her pay rate prepares for the worst case scenario; the host’s shoe heel to break, the bartender to run out of ice, the caterer to run late, an unexpected downpour, etc.

A PR pro friend might be able to get you out of a word jam, but your event planner friend is going to be the one with duct tape, bandaids and fishing wire in her purse.

A PR Pro is up at the crack of dawn; event planners go to bed at the crack of dawn

Those in PR are all too familiar with the 3 and 4 a.m. phone alarm to get out of bed and get on set at the TV station, primed and ready for morning show segments starting as early as 4:30 a.m. In contrast, those in event management know all too well that just because everyone else has left the party, doesn’t mean the work is done. Between clean-up, wrap-up and briefing the bosses, it could be sunrise before the event planner rests. Running an 18-hour day and falling into bed at 3 a.m. is just part of the event planers life on event days. On the other hand, PR pros will keep setting double and triple the amount of alarm clocks to keep waking up before the sun to hustle story opportunities.

A PR pro friend might be able to get you out of a word jam, but your event planner friend is going to be the one with duct tape, bandaids and fishing wire in her purse.

A PR pro faces deadlines every day, but an event planner faces the ultimate, immovable deadline

Publicists are typically facing daily, if not weekly, deadlines that keep them pitching the press, crafting great media materials, defining communications strategies, fielding crises and meeting with clients. For event planners, a ton of effort goes into just a few hours (or in the case of a fashion show, minutes). For annual or anniversary events, event planners can carry the pressure and stress of planning for months or even years.

Yes, you need “p” and “r” to spell party, but brands who understand that they need both a communications expert and an events expert will ensure better results and bigger reach from events.