Fashion & Lifestyle PR Professionals | PR Couture http://www.prcouture.com The Sourcebook for Fashion & Lifestyle Communicators Fri, 22 Jun 2018 19:04:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 5 Question Checklist for PR Companies Representing Ethical Fashion Brands http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/5-question-checklist-for-pr-companies-representing-ethical-fashion-brands/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/5-question-checklist-for-pr-companies-representing-ethical-fashion-brands/#respond Fri, 22 Jun 2018 03:30:00 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46303 Written by Haley Berry, PR Manager, Tiny Box Company Whether…

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Written by Haley Berry, PR Manager, Tiny Box Company

Whether you are representing ethical clothing brands or running one yourself, it’s crucial to ensure that before you land press, you carefully review any and all eco-claims made. After all, nothing spells the kiss of death more than a brand who positions itself as green, only to be discovered to be anything but…According to a recent Unilever study, sustainability issues are increasingly affecting shopping decisions, with 21% of people saying they would support brands that clearly convey sustainability aspects through their marketing and packaging.

Consumers and editors are more informed than ever about the concept of green washing; making eco-friendly and apparent green claims when, if you scratch below the surface, things aren’t so rosy. One of our customers, Jo Salter from ethical fashion brand, Where does it come from? agrees that there is a growing interest, among millennials specifically, to be fully informed about the ethical practices connected to purchase. She said, ‘ I believe there is a growing backlash against throwaway culture and a wish to connect more with what we eat, wear and use in our daily lives.

All to say, the rise in ethical fashion is not just because clever marketing; consumers tastes and thoughts are changing. As both brands and PR professionals, we need to understand the landscape and be able to advise on what we can and cannot say across marketing materials and editor outreach.

Here are 5 talking points to discuss before an ethical brand campaign launch:

From process to materials and supply chain…and yes fabric, there are multiple questions to ask ethical fashion brands before you sign on to represent them and promote them to the media.

1. What is your policy with regard to employee and factory wages?

Even if items may be being made locally, that doesn’t instantly equate to fair working conditions. Get clear on employee policies, benefits and wages, as well as those along the production line.

2. How do you seek to reduce your Carbon Footprint?

Fabrics may be ethically sourced but how are they shipped? It’s the carbon footprint of every single item you are using, not just the big things, that people will ask about.

3. Is your packaging in alignment with your ethical ethos?

I may be biased as I work for a recycled packaging company, but the majority of brands who promote ethical fashion are using packaging that is anything but mindful of the environment.  Ask about the origins of all packaging and shipping materials, whether it is recycled and recyclable and how those items are shipped over.

4. What do you do with scraps and spares?

Does the brand do anything proactive with excess fabric, trimmings, etc? Donating spares to local school to use in craft sessions or developing products out of scraps themselves is not only ethically mindful, but can be a PR story right there!

5. How well do you know your suppliers?

We’ve touched on greenwashing with consumers but it’s also important to mention about green washing with suppliers too. Even if a supplier says their offering is ethical, make sure the brand has done their due diligence and reviewed environmental policies. Any genuine company with an ethical ethos at their heart will be happy to chat about their products and their origins.

Brands – make sure you have dissected every area of your business to ensure you completely ethical to the core. PR professionals – dig deeper with your clients to get the full story; it will help you to tell the most accurate and inspiring story possible.

About Haley

Hayley is PR Manager for ethical and eco-friendly gift packaging brand, Tiny Box Company. The company was started by Rachel Watkyn, who struggled to find eco-friendly packaging for her ethical jewellery business. Ten years later, the brand has 1000’s of customers including many ethical fashion businesses. As well as shouting about all things eco-friendly, the business also supports ethical fashion events and has recently donated recycled gift bags to a Fashion Revolution event organised by Where does it come from? and #ethicalhour in London as well an event by Fashion Circle.

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Behind the Operations of PR Couture: 12+ Tools We use to Run The Business http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/behind-the-operations-of-pr-couture-12-tools-we-use-to-run-the-business/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/behind-the-operations-of-pr-couture-12-tools-we-use-to-run-the-business/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 22:26:44 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46309 As PR Couture has evolved from a standalone blog into…

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As PR Couture has evolved from a standalone blog into a true industry platform, we’ve had to adapt and adjust, building new operational and organizational systems, and relying on outside companies to help everything run smoothly. I’m always fascinated to learn how online business look from the backend, so this week I’m taking you through our essentials. Some of these links are affiliates – meaning you’re helping us out a bit monetarily at the same time – should you decide to use what we use!

The Website Stuff

PR Couture is run on WordPress, in particular we love how using Elementor PRO has given our internal team (usually me!) so much more control over designing gorgeous landing pages, like this one, and being able to easily edit our homepage. It’s been a game-changer not to have to outsource these as much.

We run our signature course for entry-level practitioners, PRISM, on the Thinkific course platform. It’s particularly great that it integrates with Stripe and our email service provider.

We do our hosting through LiquidWeb who are always responsive and we haven’t had our site go down in years since switching over.

The Marketing Stuff

We use ConvertKit to send out the PR Couture Weekly we know you love so much, and all the rest of our promotional and partner emails. We need to have deep intel on our audience because we have so many different segments and revenue streams and CK lets us send out highly targeted emails based on individual subscriber behavior, not list behavior. I love that I can pull a list of people who purchased Ready to Launch and a PR Girl Tee (both currently sold out!), and suggest they also check out our career templates, for example.

For Social Media we use a combo or Recurpost, Buffer and love posting directly to Instagram from our desktop with no mobile pings required with Grum.

Pretty much all our content development these days is done through Canva (though occasionally we use Pages or something else).

The Money Stuff

Bookkeeping: Switching over to bench for monthly accounting has relieved a ton of stress and pressure each month. We have a dedicated rep and can easily connect via chat or calls to discuss anything wonky with our books; it’s a dream to have this handled.

Invoices: We use Wave for invoicing because it’s free and allows for recurring billing.

The Client/Vendor Stuff

We found that upgrading to the paid version of Hellosign made the signing of NDAs, sponsor contracts and even team member agreements much easier to handle. We could move to a more comprehensive solution, like dubsado or 17hats, but the volume doesn’t really require it.

For scheduling client calls, especially consult calls or introductory partner calls, I rely on Book Like a Boss. We then run those through a combo of Skype, Appear.in and Zoom. We used to use Appear.in for internal video meetings as well, but have since swapped to the internal Slack option.

Boomerang for Gmail is a lifesaver when you *are* answering emails at 11 at night but you don’t want you’re clients to *know* you are available at all hours. Simply set everything to send the next morning and you’re on top of it all before your morning coffee.

Misc Stuff

We use Paperform as our go-to for everything form related, from Bespoke Communication Award applications to gathering responses for our recurring Q+As.

For outreach to help us put together our ongoing gift guides, we often post requests on Media Leads (and recommend their service to many clients and emerging brands).

And of course, Grammarly keeps us all from making erroneous errors while moving a million miles a minute!

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The truth behind those big media impressions you’re being promised http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/the-truth-behind-those-big-media-impressions-youre-being-promised/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/the-truth-behind-those-big-media-impressions-youre-being-promised/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 22:17:49 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46379 Written by Kevin Foley, Owner and CEO of KEF Media We lost…

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Written by Kevin Foley, Owner and CEO of KEF Media

We lost a satellite media tour to a competitor recently because the firm told the client it could guarantee 300 million impressions. Put another way, that means the SMT and related content would be viewed by nearly every man, woman and child in America. By way of comparison, the highest rated TV show right now is NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” It has 11.6 million viewers.

Most PR pros know there are no “guarantees” when it comes to earned media. Of course, there are paid outlets and we like many other companies selling broadcast and digitals services utilize them as part of the widely accepted PESO model, so the chances are we go to the same media outlets.

Thus, if I accurately report an audience of 35,000 in Kansas City saw your spokesperson on a morning TV show, I’m using data that supports it. But if the other guy says the same outlet delivered 350,000 viewers, where did that number come from?

Who falls for this? we wonder.

What public relations professional or corporate communications manager thinks it is even possible to deliver hundreds of million impressions for a routine PR story? It might be possible with some earthshaking announcement, but not for a tour featuring a makeup artist flogging eyeliner.

Unfortunately, this isn’t new. Back when I managed accounts at a major PR firm 35 years ago, a video news release company (that no longer exists) tried to sell me on bogus impressions. I called them out. How dumb did they think I was?

“Well, other PR agency people accept our numbers,” the sales representative told me.

“Yes, and some of them also think the earth is flat,” I replied.

When I launched KEF Media in 1986, I vowed never to mislead PR pros about results. We’d verify them and be as precise as we could. Of course, there were agency and corporate clients who would put our numbers up against the fictitious ones concocted by our competitors and hire the competition… “you lie and I’ll swear to it.”

It seems to me when these phony numbers find their way up the client’s chain of command, it’s quite possible some savvy brand manager is going to call B.S. and the people responsible lose their credibility and maybe even their account or job.

Here are five ways to vet the company you’re considering:

Ask for results: Before hiring anyone selling broadcast and digital services, ask to see a sample results report, one that mirrors the project you have in mind. For example, if your spokesperson is a doctor or a mommy blogger or the star of some long-ago sitcom, a report on a tour that featured an A-list celebrity isn’t relevant. Compare apples to apples.

Ask for specifics: Ask how the firm arrives at the impression numbers they present. Are there really 100,000 viewers watching a low power TV station in Buffalo Breath, Nebraska?

Ask about the data: Find out how the reports are compiled using what data.

Ask about PR vs P2p: Ask about the firm’s earned media contacts versus pay-to-play outlets.

If it’s paid media: If the company offers placement on a show that features paid content, when and where does that show air?

And always remember, if those “guarantees” seem too good to be true, they probably are.

About Kevin

Kevin Foley is among the pioneers in the field of broadcast publicity services. After a successful career in account management with two public relations industry giants, Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum, Foley founded KEF Media 29 years ago in Chicago. In 1993, Foley relocated to Atlanta at the suggestion of clients at The Coca-Cola Company while maintaining operations in Chicago. In 1999, all company operations were transferred to Atlanta. Today, KEF Media is the largest broadcast and digital public relations firm in the Southeast, with approximately 30 professionals providing clients with a wide range of television, radio and online services. KEF Media works with every major public relations agency in North America as well as Fortune 500 corporations. The firm has special expertise in Olympic sponsor communications dating back to 1984. Most recently, the firm produced live satellite media tours out of PyeongChang, during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Foley earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Connecticut.

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2018 BCA PROFILES: AMP3 PR, AGENCY OF THE YEAR http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/2018-bca-profiles-amp3-pr-agency-of-the-year/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/2018-bca-profiles-amp3-pr-agency-of-the-year/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 21:42:26 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46374 A boutique agency with a global brand, AMP3 PR believes…

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A boutique agency with a global brand, AMP3 PR believes in being a passionate storyteller that “ignites discussion, disrupts the regular, and powers visibility.” With a focus on fashion and consumer lifestyle brands, AMP3 amplifies their client’s voice through a three-pronged approach of traditional PR, social media marketing and special event PR, unlike many other agencies.

The “zero fluff” policy creates ample opportunities for the AMP3 team to build relationships with clients that produce unique storytelling opportunities. As the 2018 Agency of the Year BCA winner, AMP3 PR is an agency with the perfect mix of culture, balance and uniqueness.

How does it feel to win agency of the year? How are you going to celebrate with your team?

The whole AMP3 team is so excited to win “Agency of the Year,” as it validates the hard work we’ve been putting in and the rapid growth we’ve received over the past few years. To celebrate, we’re going on a company retreat to a quaint chalet in the Poconos complete with a hot tub, meditation garden and luxury tree house to brainstorm on how we can continue the momentum and do even greater things together in the coming year!

In your eyes, what sets AMP3 Public Relations apart from other agencies?

We believe we’re only as good as the stories we tell, and that’s why we have a “zero fluff” policy. We’re on the hunt for those stories that make our hearts beat faster, those stories we can’t NOT tell. We guard our media and influencer relationships as our strongest assets, and our contacts trust us to always deliver the most exciting, innovative and relevant content. We’ve built a reputation for being direct, organized and most importantly NICE to work with, and we demand that each new project will enable us to continue to grow that street cred. For this reason, we’re extremely selective in our clientele; brands must have a worthy story to tell, or we won’t take it on, that’s our guarantee. All team members get a vote in deciding which accounts we work with. There is a cut-throat stigma often associated with fashion PR and publicists in general, and we make supporting and building each other up, as well as educating the next generation a priority. Unique to us, every single employee is incentivized with a commission on each retainer, making success a prerequisite.

How does your team plan to tackle the rest of 2018? What are a few things you’d like to focus on?

We’re working on something called “Operation: Take Back More Time” where we’re looking to uncover any inefficiencies or time wasters within our agency that could be automated by investing in new tools or delegated more appropriately so that we can maximize the deliverables of senior staff and ensure quality of life for our whole team. We’re also looking to build out the capabilities of our digital team as the lines between PR, digital marketing & SEO continue to blur.

We believe we’re only as good as the stories we tell, and that’s why we have a “zero fluff” policy. We’re on the hunt for those stories that make our hearts beat faster, those stories we can’t NOT tell.

What is your team most excited about right now in terms of industry trends, campaigns you are working on, etc.?

We love seeing an uptick in the number of brands who want to make sure they are doing business responsibly. We have several fashion & beauty PR clients coming to us for help in enhancing the sustainability aspects of their businesses and who are seeking our guidance in matching them with like-minded non-profit organizations so that they can offer their consumers a “give back” component that aligns with their mission. More often than not, giving back is the norm, and we are super passionate about helping to tell these stories about doing good. We’re currently working with four sustainable and eco-conscious brands that are natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and we’re excited to continue building out this niche.

Do you have any new or exciting changes happening at AMP3 Public Relations?

We plan on hiring additional team members by the end of 2018 including a seasoned account executive and a newcomer to join our support staff!

What can expect from PR agencies in the future.

I think the definition of PR is going to evolve. We’re going to continue to see a crossover between PR, advertising and marketing. PR agencies will need to have a comprehensive integrated strategy across all mediums when it comes to storytelling.

Anything else you’d like us to know?

We’re gearing up to announce applications for our second annual CAMP3: our complimentary PR boot camp designed to mentor the next generation of communications pros. Stay tuned on our social media channels (@amp3pr) for more details!

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Choose a Niche for a More Profitable PR Business (+5 Places to Start the Search) http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/niche-pr-agency-business-tips/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/niche-pr-agency-business-tips/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 04:11:20 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46268 Written by Deidre Palode, Founder and Senior Publicist of MayLee…

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Written by Deidre Palode, Founder and Senior Publicist of MayLee Media

For many publicists, the instinct upon starting a firm is to generalize in order to appeal to as many potential clients as possible. However, this approach risks the marketing cliche “speak to everyone, and sell to no one.” Instead, concentrate your efforts on becoming the best possible communications expert for a particular industry niche, or even better, a niche within a niche. Instead of fashion, focus your efforts on sustainable brands, or minimalist brands. Instead of hospitality, focus on female chefs.

Where to begin? Finding your niche can be as simple as going back to your roots of how you grew up. You liked going to the movies growing up? Become a film/tv publicist, also known as unit publicist. Do you keep your image together and are you always getting compliments on your outfits? Your best bet would be to dive into fashion PR. Find your niche and do not quit! Ha that rhymed! Finding your niche is not as hard as some make it seem and can make it easy for great brands to hire you over other firms, something I explore in-depth in my latest ebook,“It’s Just PR: Mini Guide to Becoming a Great Publicist.”

1. Choose a niche you understand personally

One way to choose a niche is to think about your own interests and pick something where you will have the advantage of being the target customer. This means you’ll be easily able to connect with brand audiences because you likely share a similar point of view and interests. Better yet, choose an audience or industry that inspires you. In Chris Ducker’s book, “Rise of the Youpreneur” he talks suggests working backwards to define your target audience (think; client) by choosing a niche that piques your interest. It’s true that PR is much easier to do when you are naturally excited about what you are pitching, just be sure to make sure the brands you want to work with are well-suited for PR services and can pay your rates! 

2. Examine the local market

While it is true that you can certainly have clients from all over the world, many firms look to their immediate location for first clients. My firm was founded in Atlanta, GA where the entertainment business continues to rise. Not surprisingly, I started out in entertainment PR; actors, tv personalities, artists, reality stars, are all in Hotlanta and need representation to boost their fame. Choosing a niche with a large local population of businesses is a smart business move because you increase the pool of potential clients. 

3. Consider how your natural gifts can support a specific industry

I’ve never considered myself to be a beauty guru. However, I have always told I have pretty skin, a great smile and that I’m bubbly! This was enough to draw the attention of a beauty brand for women of color. Initially Black owned and operated with little to no competition in the Atlanta area, together we exploded an under-served market. This natural alignment between my role as the brand publicist and the makeup itself helped my business tremendously. The product was semi-innovative, my firm created a large buzz and I started to receive inquiries and eventually become to be a sought after beauty publicist. Sometimes, all it takes is one client to prove your worth to the rest of an industry.

4. You have deep existing experience from a previous job

If you’re struggling to figure out how a high school hobby fits into your specialization now, not a problem. You don’t always need to choose something you a personally passionate about, if you have deep expertise because of a previous job, or simply life experience. If you know how to solve the problems that often occur on a particular industry, then you may be well-suited for a communications role in that space. For example, if you are a frequent traveler you likely know the major issues facing both travelers and hotels, airlines, etc. Bit of advice, people pay for what they don’t know. If a brand or company has a problem, they are willing to pay for an expert solution. Their Problem + Your Solution = New Client. Hence why crisis communications professionals get paid the big bucks! 

Sometimes, all it takes is one client to prove your worth to the rest of an industry.

5. Identify a gap in the market

For this one, you’re looking for an emerging category currently underserved by other firms in your area. This isn’t a hard task, right? After all that’s a part of our job as a publicist. Research your competitors, research your market, find a need and build a firm that caters to that particular segment of the industry. Find the competitors weaknesses and fill in the lack. From there you can determine if there is an opportunity for you to stand out! 

You would never suggest to a client that they try to appeal to everyone in the world, and the same goes for your PR business. Niche down and make it easier for your ideal clients to find you, editors to come to you, and find a more focused approach actually improves the financial health of your business.

About Deidre

Known to some as an athlete, known to most as one of the best up and coming publicists in the city, Deidre Palode is a sought-after media professional. She is the Founder and Senior Publicist of MayLee Media, creator of “It’s Just PR”, and journalist for 1340 Fox Sports AM and Everything Girls Love Magazine. Holding 3 degrees; Associate of Arts in Communication, and two Bachelors of Arts degrees of Public Relations and Film and Video, Deidre Palode can be described as a Media Mogul in the making. From working with networks such as BET, TVone, WEtv, and brands such as HP, Keurig and a host of celebrities and influential brands, Deidre Palode is a leader, curator and most importantly a humbled servant leading by example. For more support on becoming a standout publicist, download her most recent e-book only on Amazon and follow her on Instagram @deidrepalode @mayleemedia @itsjustpr.

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PR Industry News: Mariposa Comm, Issa PR, Beach House, BDPR, Introducing AGENC http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/pr-industry-news-mariposa-comm-issa-pr-beach-house-bdpr-introducing-agenc/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/pr-industry-news-mariposa-comm-issa-pr-beach-house-bdpr-introducing-agenc/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:36:42 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46246 PR Couture Council News Mariposa Communications announces representation of handmade…

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Mariposa Communications announces representation of handmade jewelry company Nashelle.

Perry Rose Media announces accessory line Kata Banko Couture’s social justice campaign featuring the Giustizia Suite. A portion of sales will be donated to efforts toward hiring lawyers for wrongly convicted men and women in the United States justice system. Giustizia translates to “justice” in Italian.

Additional agency updates

Issa PR has been appointed Agency of Record for Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, located in the heart of the Mexican Riviera.

Beach House welcomes HAN Skincare Cosmetics to its Agency Roster. Beach House, will handle HAN’s public relations, influencer marketing and social media efforts.

South Florida’s TransMedia Group is opening an office in Dallas, Texas and has appointed Dawn Kimball as Executive Vice President to head up the firm’s expanding operations.

AGENC, formerly known as Caravents, announces they are a full-service marketing agency, specializing in experiential production, digital marketing, and PR.  Services encompass technical production, creative and content creation.

Hodinkee, the iconic watch publication and consumer site, has selected HEIR as their PublicRelations/Communications agency of record for the U.S. HEIR will handle all public relations, executive communications and special events with media opportunities available immediately. HEIR will also represent Alpha Industries as well.

Brown and Dutch PR (BDPR) now represents Serovital’s Hair Regeneres, nutritional supplement and scalp serum which, in clinical trials, grows in new hair growth in your original, non-gray color.
 
samantha slaven publicity is now representing CannaSmack, a line of hemp seed oil-infused skin and bodycare and Valley High, a collection of bold, SoCal-inspired streetwear for women.
 
Outside the Box announces representation of Game Day Tote.  Game Day has recently launched a new line of handbags for sporting events, concerts and music festivals.
 
Magnolia Public Relations is now representing RockEase, a patent-pending, portable device that easily converts any standard chair into a rocking chair.
 
Social Sidekick Media Branding & Public Relations announces the representation of Mercury Hour , a woman owned company specializing in scorpion jewelry.

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

Contact us at hello@prcouture.com

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Fashion Entrepreneur Caroline Vazzana Shares How Industry Hopefuls Can Make it In Manhattan http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/caroline-vazzana-of-making-it-in-manhattan-shares-her-tips-for-success-in-the-fashion-industry/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/caroline-vazzana-of-making-it-in-manhattan-shares-her-tips-for-success-in-the-fashion-industry/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 23:43:30 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46195 Caroline Vazzana is a fashion editor, stylist, author and Founder…

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Caroline Vazzana is a fashion editor, stylist, author and Founder of Making it in Manhattan; an editorial site for millennials and gen-z hoping to make it in the fashion industry.

Caroline left a promising editorial career after working for Teen Vogue, InStyle and Marie Claire on the print and digital teams, curating photo shoots and interviewing designers like Betsey Johnson, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Manolo Blahnik for feature articles – nbd –  to start her own company, all before turning 25.

She recently announced the impending August launch of her book: Making it in Manhattan: Beginners Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the World of Fashion, (available for pre-order now), in support of her mission to provide career advice to young women.

Caroline has graciously signed on to be one of our PRISM Live 2018 mentors, and we couldn’t help ourselves in wanting to know more about how she has managed to to amass such a strong foothold in the industry, so early on in her career!


Want to chat directly with Caroline?
Join PRISM to gain access through our Personal Branding Mentor mastery Call. Just one of the amazing benefits of being a part of our signature course + community this summer!

Click to Sign up for PRISM!

Q: You had already secured multiple "dream jobs" before the age of 25 - how did you break into the fashion industry?

My first big break into the industry was when I was 19 and I interned at Anna Sui in the garment center. I didn’t know anyone in the industry so I just applied online to a ton of internships and Anna Sui was the first one I heard back from!

Q: Take us behind the scenes of Teen Vogue, Marie Claire etc - what is it *really like*?

I absolutely loved working at Teen Vogue & Marie Claire. It’s a very high pressure, fast paced environment- as you could probably guess. But it’s also super creative and you learn a lot.

Q: What made you want to go out and do your own thing and how specifically did you make the transition?

I always loved the idea of becoming my own boss one day. I started saving money and building my personal brand, my book, website and Instagram, while I was still full time and eventually I just got to a point where I thought, “it’s now or never” and I took the leap!

Q: How did the book come about (and how did you land all those big name endorsements!)?

I started writing the book just as a way to remember all of the incredible lessons I’d learned and experiences I’d been through. Eventually I realized I wanted to get it published so I did some research and found a literary agent who then found me a publisher who signed my book. I loved the writing process because I was able to relive these fun experiences all over again. I’m very thankful that through my work now I get to meet and work with so many incredible people so when the time came to get endorsements, I turned to these people and they were so happy to support the project. I see my book becoming a huge part of the brand- hopefully there will be more books down the road!

Q: What is your best advice for building connections and getting noticed/hired in the fashion industry? What do young women often get wrong?

Be kind and persistent! The industry is so small right now, so it’s really important to be kind to everyone. Also being persistent and not taking no for an answer is huge to being successful! One more thing, dressing professionally but still staying true to your personal sense of style can be tough, but I think it’s a huge part of helping you land the job.

Q: Is it necessary to be in Manhattan to "Make it?" What advice do you have for those who are unable to move to NYC?

Great question! I actually address not being in Manhattan in my book, but I think if in the beginning you can’t be in NYC, try to get involved in the local fashion community wherever you live to gain as much experience as possible.

I started saving money and building my personal brand, my book, website and Instagram, while I was still full time and eventually I just got to a point where I thought, “it’s now or never” and I took the leap!

Q: Building your own business can be stressful and full of second guessing yourself - how do you navigate decision making and "scary situations?"

Self care is a huge thing for me. Since I’m always on the go and always out and about I find it really important to take time to relax and do things that make me happy. Otherwise it’s easy to get burned out!

Q: What's your favorite phone app right now?

I wouldn’t be able to survive without my calendar app on my iPhone because that’s how I schedule out my days! I love using Snapseed to edit pics!

Q: What products are you currently obsessed with?

I love all of the beauty products from Sunday Riley, they have been a game changer for my skin!

Q: What's your favorite podcast?

Monocycle by Leandra Medine of Man Repeller

Q: Favorite place to grab coffee/cocktail in NYC?

I don’t drink coffee so I’d say grabbing an iced coconut matcha latte at Cha Cha Matcha is my go to!

Thanks CAroline!

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How to Get Your Brand Involved in Miami Swim Week http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/how-to-get-your-brand-involved-in-miami-swim-week/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/06/how-to-get-your-brand-involved-in-miami-swim-week/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 01:31:40 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46182 Miami Swim Week is the largest swim and resortwear event…

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Miami Swim Week is the largest swim and resortwear event globally that combines a market week and runway shows. Brands, buyers, media and influencers come from all over the globe to mix, mingle and do business.  Miami Swim Week is not organized by one single producer or entity, rather it is the name given for the week as a whole that is made up of multiple producers, events, parties and trade shows. This year Swim Week will be held from July 12-17, 2018 with most of the events and action occurring from July 13-17.

To give you a little background, it really started to form about 15 years ago when IMG Fashion came in and created a platform of runway shows at The Raleigh hotel dubbed Mercedes Benz Fashion Swim. They chose Miami and that particular time of year because the Swim Show was one of the largest and longest-running swimwear trade shows in the world, so it seemed like a natural fit. The runway shows really propelled the week into a media and buyer hub for swimwear, resortwear and everything related. Other events and producers started to pop up offering alternatives to the Swim Show and the runway platform Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim. Four years ago IMG decided to leave the market to focus on their other runway platforms around the world and since then there has been mass confusion from brands as well as PR and marketing professionals on where to go and what to do to capitalize on this very important opportunity. My agency has been heavily involved in swim week since the beginning and so we know the history, the present state and a little bit about plans for the future. Below find a breakdown of the most credible and legitimate trade shows and runway/event platforms.

Trade Shows

There are three trade shows, Swim Show, Hammock and Cabana. All three trade shows are juried and you must apply as a brand to get in, each with their own vibe and options for ways that brands can present themselves to buyers. Buyers attend all three depending on the types of merchandise and price points they are seeking. It is important to note that all three trade shows are held within a few blocks of each other and in July it is incredibly hot and humid, so doing anything too far outside of this footprint is not a smart idea unless it is AMAZING, you are a big brand or you have chose one of the hot properties to see and be seen.

Runway Platforms

When IMG left the market, the vendors they used to produce their event formed SWIMMIAMI and that along with Funkshion served the needs of designers for the last three years. This year, Funkshion has rebranded as Paraiso and is the predominant producer of runway shows as well as other consumer-facing events that will all be under one umbrella. Funkshion, now known as Paraiso, holds runway shows in a large tent in Collins Park, which is across the street from Cabana, caddy-corner to Hammock and blocks away from Swim Show. They also have gorgeous, very “grammable” shows with runways built over pools at The Setai and Nautlius South Beach, both hotels. The Setai is literally next door to the Cabana tent and Nautilus is two properties down. There are other independently produced runway shows and some smaller producers, but nothing really gets the media and buyer attention and attendance like Paraiso will this season unless it is a major brand or within that small geographical footprint. There will likely be one other location where a few shows will be held by SWIMMIAMI producers. There has been an interesting twist to the saga this season as a company has secured the instagram handle @miamiswimweek and is going to create a runway platform. This has caused a lot of confusion for peoples since the handle is what people use to describe the week as a whole.  I actually reached out to the producer to learn more about it, so I could provide insight for clients. I asked very simple questions about the production of the event, including where it would be held. The producer couldn’t answer any of my questions and actually got quite defensive with me. My recommendation would be to sit this one out. He has never produced an event or a show for Miami Swim Week, so I would recommend seeing how his event unfolds this season before committing any marketing budget.

Paraiso

This is a new platform that will be in the mix this year and it will be interesting to see how it shapes swim week. The Funkshion runway shows have been absorbed into the platform, but there will also be a slew of consumer-facing events with an app! According to their press release, PARAISO, guests will be invited to use the app to collect a virtual AR token at every scheduled event. Once participants have collected a token at four events, they will be rewarded with a VIP invitation to an exclusive, secret event that evening that will feature an A-list musical performance and mind-blowing experience. I have spoken with the producers and it sounds really innovative and could be a great way for a brand to connect with consumers. Paraiso will run July 12-16, 2018.

Tips for Success at Swim Week

 

Pick the Right Location

As someone who has been involved with Miami Swim Week for over 10 years and worked with everyone from Sports Illustrated to Tresemme to editors from InStyle and celebs like Audrina Patridge and Tyson Beckford, it is so critically important to make sure your event is within a few blocks of the three major trade shows or if not, you are at a hot property and are offering car service for key attendees. No one you want to attend is going to go outside of the footprint created by the trade shows unless you have something major going on.

Partner with someone who understands Miami

The city is beautiful and glorious and has a lot to offer, but it has its own pace and idiosyncrasies and it can be really hard to pull off a successful event if you don’t understand the market and the vendors.

Partner with Influencers

Editors and buyers come to Miami, but over the last few years more and more top-notch influencers have started coming and this gives a brand an amazing opportunity to connect with influencers from all over the world. Don’t waste the opportunity.

When in Doubt, Ask Us.

We are known for our work on bigger projects like major runway shows and presentations, but have seen and tried it all at swim week. from pop up shops to presentations to consumer-facing parties. If you are thinking about getting involved in Miami Swim Week and want honest answers free of charge, join us next Tuesday, June 5th to talk about #MiamiSwimWeek when we host a Facebook Live Chat breaking down everything happening this year and answering all of your questions on costs, opportunities, event spaces and more. Click here to here to join us.

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Do These 10 Things When Business Is Slower Than You’d Like http://www.prcouture.com/2018/05/10-ways-to-boost-your-business-when-things-are-slow/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/05/10-ways-to-boost-your-business-when-things-are-slow/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 04:42:46 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46162 Every business goes through the occasional slow period. If you find…

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Every business goes through the occasional slow period. If you find yourself with a slightly reduced client load or frighteningly slim to-do list, take advantage of the downtime with these 10 strategies and reduce the urge to freak out. Slow (or even slower) periods can feel like a gift from the gods – if you use the time wisely.

1. Take a damn break already

Vacation, staycation, Wednesday afternoons off – chances are you are more than a little run down. While it might seem counterintuitive, if you’re feeling blocked or waiting around for your next big idea, try putting some space between you and your inbox. Turn on that out of office, say yes to a digital detox and relax. For whatever reason, not working is a surefire way to get all fired up about work again – just try it.

2. Streamline your processes

This is the best time to do a full evaluation of all of the systems, software and documents that keep your business going. What’s working, what’s clunky/frustrating to use, and what information is out of date. From updating employee and client on boarding docs to evaluating new software and apps, it’s time for a full on investigation of new tools (or how to use your existing tools more fully) and overall better workflow.

3. Nail down your sales process

Many agency owners and freelancers find it hard to carve out time to really develop a sales process that keeps new clients coming in throughout the year. If sales feels a bit icky, use this opportunity to revise your relationship with selling, identify and implement a CRM system, whatever it takes to put new business back into focus. This is also a great time to reach back out to former clients or prospects.

4. Hire a coach

What kind of a coach? Who knows! There are coaches for absolutely everything, so pick someplace you’d like to up-level in life and find the right human being who can help you to get there.

5. Spent some extra time with your existing clients

Hold strategy sessions with clients, ask to shadow operations for a day, invite everyone over for a mid-day slumber party in the office. If you don’t have the right client makeup at the moment, dive in deep with the clients you do have to cement relationships and demonstrate your value.

6. Mentor or volunteer

Our industry is in desperate need of mentors to help guide the next generation (and there is a fair amount we can learn form them too!), respond to the best “just want to pick your brain” emails you’ve received over the last months and make someone’s day with a bit of your time.

7. Expand Your Skillset

What will it be? Video-editing, Analytics, Story-telling or perhaps going for your APR certification? With so many incredible online courses at your fingertips, there’s no excuse to brush up on a skill or discover your aptitude at something new.

8. Create a digital product

An ebook, hour-long DIY PR course, find a way to bring in some passive income with a digital product. There’s not reason not to add a little e-commerce to your website and get important information in the hands of prospective clients to build trust. Plus, you now have a thing to market and promote – hooray!

9. Create Your Own PR Plan

Whether for your personal brand or your agency, use this time to figure out how to grow your own reputation. Perhaps you focus on thought leadership – posting one key takeaway on Linkedin each day for 30 days, or you make a goal to speak at a conference, use this time to figure out how to get YOU in the spotlight. You have a ton of thoughts, opinions and expertise to share and now you can finally pen a few pieces of contributed content for your favorite PR blog (cough cough). Pitch a few ideas, write up a few articles, and use those new bylines to wow existing clients and lure in new ones.

10. Start Something

You have a million ideas in your head and in notebooks, so pull one out and get to work. Perhaps its a vintage store powered by Instagram or a one-day conference in your city, or a rotating dinner party. Use this time to actually make something happen because you finally…have the time.

Business slowdown can be cause for concern, or with a bit of a reframe, be a welcome chance to reflect, refine and reset.

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West Coast PR Agency Owners Spill Business Advice for Building an Empire http://www.prcouture.com/2018/05/west-coast-pr-agency-owners-spill-business-advice-for-building-an-empire/ http://www.prcouture.com/2018/05/west-coast-pr-agency-owners-spill-business-advice-for-building-an-empire/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 04:11:07 +0000 http://www.prcouture.com/?p=46157 As more and more women embrace not only entrepreneurship but…

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As more and more women embrace not only entrepreneurship but a commitment to pursuing leadership positions across all industries, conference like The Gritty Movement provide a welcome shower of inspiration, opportunities for connection, business development and of course, plenty of Instagram eye candy.

After a rousing keynote, Founders and CEOs of both Be Social and Covet PR (Ali Grant and Sara Brooks respectively) took the stage, along with the founder of a local boutique (Andrea Van de Vort, Shop Van de Vort) and Co-Founder and COO Kate Nowlan of the recently acquired women’s fitness apparel line Grace By Grit, to discuss their experiences building their businesses from the ground up.

To see PR agency owners so well represented throughout the conference, as well as the winners of our own Bespoke Communication Awards (Be Social won our Digital Presence award in 2017, and our Blush Award in 2018; Covet was named Startup Agency of the Year in 2018) was a real treat.

Under the banner of getting gritty and with a mind toward leadership, each laid down exactly what she considers to be invaluable components of scaling and growing a business. Enjoy these nugget of wisdom from some of the most hard-working, courageous and confident women in PR from the best coast!

Hire/Outsource as Soon as Possible

Ali earned a big laugh from the crowd explaining how she used to play receptionist “Be Social, How May I Direct Your Call?” when it was just her on the office. Each woman spoke about the challenges of getting the through hurdles and bumps around getting things off your plate when you’re simply in the habit of doing them. Sara noted that she had to ultimately realize that hiring an expert was actually a money-saver in the end because that person could accomplish in two hours what would have taken her ten.

Go Niche

Both Agency Owners were able to see a shift in the market and take full advantage. Ali spoke about starting Be Social’s influencer talent division upon realizing this is where so many promotional dollars were going and Sara attributes much of Covet’s early success to capitalizing on the growing wellness market, noting that clients want to hire deep expertise in their particular vertical.

Your PR Skills are Not Running a Business Skills

As Sara explained, “I started my pr firm because I was good at PR, not because I knew how to run a business,” explaining further how in particular, she’s learned to be smarter about hiring practices, resisting the urge to hire “100 more Saras” and instead look for team members that offer a complementary skillset, directing the crowd to “Hire people smarter and better than you,”

Invite Your Employees to Review You

Along with the challenge of learning how to run a service-based business comes the new territory of learning to effectively not only manage but lead a team. Ali sang the praises of Bonus.ly, a software that allows team members to recognize one another. Implementing true 360 feedback at Be Social has been a powerful way reflect and refine her approach. Sara noted that “you owe it to your employees to provide constructive criticism. If it’s all unicorns and rainbows all the time something is wrong.”

Find a Female Mentor

While not something she experienced herself,Ali reflected on how much a female mentor would have helped her to navigate so many business challenges, quipping that asking her 55-year old uncle for accounting advice didn’t always cut it.

The conference’s clear focus on exploring the function of leadership helped to anchor and streamline the days programming, keeping the conversation focused on critical business issues like management, growth, scale and of course, staying sane! In a conversation that likely made the ticket price for attendees, The Gritty Leadership Conference also hosted an eye-opening and encouraging conversation about female angel investing with investor Silvia Mah, Founding Partner at Ad Astra Ventures.

To stay connected and register for the next conference, check out The Gritty Movement

 

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