Fashion PR Confidential, the annual two-day crash course in fashion public relations, is led by two of our favorite fashion PR pros: Danika Daly and Crosby Noricks. Their most recent event took place last month at Chelsea’s M Wild’s studio, and we got an inside look at the event. There was a ton of helpful information shared, and we’ve got a wrap-up of the event for you here:
It’s safe to say that contrary to popular belief, the fashion industry isn’t as glamorous as social media makes it seem. While it can be very exciting to help brands build strong reputations and receive, building a successful career as a fashion publicist takes a great deal of hard work.
Fashion PR Confidential is a tremendous resource and valuable stepping stone for young hopefuls trying to break into the industry. With a jammed-pack course that included everything from how to pitch and social media strategy to planning fashion shows and maintaining relationships, FPRC is arguably the best of its kind. Students put into practice what they learned when they were placed in small groups to act as PR professionals responsible for getting the ball rolling for mock companies.
Here are the top takeaways:
PR and marketing are not the same thing.
While marketing is a form of promotion for profit that is more concerned with driving sales, PR is more about managing perception and maintaining relationships.
Planning is key.
Strategic PR includes research, implementation and evaluation. Publicists must establish objectives that align with research and decide who their clients’ target audience is. They should ask questions, such as: What are the brand’s goals? How will PR support these goals? and, Who are the key players?
Media outreach is everything.
The success of a brand or PR campaign can be partially attributed to its media coverage. Whether bloggers are sporting your client’s latest styles on Instagram or they’re being featured in glossies everywhere, it’s important to know the right people to pitch ideas to.
Master the art of pitching.
There are levels to this pitching thing and every publicist should have it down to a science. Pitches should be tailored for the blogger, editor or agent you’re pitching to. The best ones include photos and pricing, are clear, concise, easy to skim and “make the ask”. Do you want to the product to be featured in an upcoming story? Would you like a blogger to wear it and post photos on social media? [Editor’s note: it’s surprising how many pitches we get here at Third Wave Fashion that don’t have a clear ask.]
There’s a difference between PR and publicity.
Many PR professionals prefer not to be called publicists, and rightfully so. The negative connotation associated with publicity and all its derivatives can undermine the hard work and dedication that they put into their jobs. PR is well thought out and strategized for the sake of maintaining a positive reputation. Publicity however, can be negative and may hurt rather than help brand awareness.
When working in PR, your mind should always be working.
Whether you’re getting ready to head to the office or your walking down the street, you should always be thinking of cool ideas that would be of value to your clients. They depend on you to help take their brand to the next level and so you should always have their best interest in mind. If that means pulling over to the side of the road when you think of a genius pitch or partnership opportunity, so be it!
While it has become clearer that whom you know is an important factor in landing a job, your network is especially important when working in PR. Having a fully stacked Rolodex will be to a publicists’ advantage–the fashion industry is small and everyone is connected in some way. It’s important to maintain great relationships with whomever it is that you come into contact with. You never know who you may need to ask a favor of or whom you’ll need to reach out to for a future project.
FPRC gave students the tools they need to be successful PR professionals. While they will have to pay their dues before leveling up as top industry aficionados like those they learned from, its safe to say that they’re ahead of the game in prepping for their futures. Interested students should look out for the FPRC’s web course as well as upcoming workshop dates by following @prcouture and @fashionPRcon. We highly recommend it.
Murielle Henriquez has joined Third Wave Fashion as a contributor. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables. You look breathtaking today!
Feature image ℅ PR couture; Dria Murphy ℅ FPRC.