You have probably been wondering where I have been and why I have not been posting regularly. In addition to coming off of three major launches in a span of only two months (brutal!), truth is, I am about to have a baby, as in any day now… So, as you can imagine, that has taken up a lot of my time and mental capacity. The blog, regretfully, has suffered as a result…
That said, I am going on a bit of a hiatus. I will hop on every now and then when I can, and I welcome your questions still and suggested topics to cover so I can write about what you want to hear about when I do get the moment to sit and post.
I really debated sharing this about my personal life, as it is, well, personal, but I think it is a lesson in prioritization and also being real with yourself. I have always said that you can’t do it all. There comes a time when you reach your personal limit and you have to listen to your gut and, in my case, your body, and slow down. I worked really hard throughout my pregnancy on some major launches. When I got home at night, there was nothing left—certainly not the brain power to write a thoughtful post. After careful consideration, I thought I owed it to all of you to explain just that.
So, that said, the blog might be quieter than usual for a little bit, but I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Please continue to read and check in, and thanks in advance for understanding that going dark ala Jack Bauer is a choice that I have happily made for the very best of reasons—family.
The PR Closet
PR Consulting is looking for a fashion intern for spring/summer 2014. Details below:
PR FASHION INTERNSHIP
PR Consulting is a public relations agency representing a variety of luxury and corporate fashion, beauty, and lifestyle clients with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. This position allows you the opportunity to acquire important skills in the industry. Clients include Dries Van Noten, Band of Outsiders, and PRISM.
Office hours are from 9:30AM-6:30PM with some exceptions. School credit is optional.
- Must be available a minimum of 3 days per week.
- Must be organized, positive and detail oriented.
- An innovative self-starter with problem solving skills, creativity, ambition, and a strong work ethic.
Daily responsibilities include sample trafficking and press tracking, compiling press clips, organizing showroom and fashion closet, assisting in research projects, and communicating with media sources to call back samples. Also, interns will have the opportunity to work at shows and fashion events during NY Fashion Week if applicable to time frame of internship.
In the body of the e-mail, please include your responses to the following questions:
- What is your availability? (e.g. when can you start interning, how many days a week can you intern, how long do you plan on interning?)
- What previous fashion experience do you have, if any?
LA INTERNSHIP ALERT!
Bollare Communications, a dynamic bi-coastal firm specializing in fashion, accessories, lifestyle, and beauty public relations, is seeking a Spring/Summer 2014 Beauty Intern to join the LOS ANGELES team. Applicants should have a strong interest in PR and a passion for everything beauty!
Interns will gain exposure to all facets of the industry and get a unique opportunity to support the beauty team with event coordination, creation of media lists, product trafficking to top tier editors, and more while working on LA-based brands like NCLA, LALICIOUS, and more (including Kevyn Aucoin Cosmetics and ghd hair tools).
You should be able to start immediately and be available 2-4 days a week.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Assist with coordination of account press, mailings and distribution to beauty and lifestyle media
- Facilitate the sending and tracking of beauty samples/loans
- Assist in coordination of all special events and press appointments
- Oversee show room/beauty product closet
All interested applicants please e-mail resumes and a short cover letter to email@example.com.
Today is International Women’s Day. Celebrate women & girls by sending one to school. Purchase the @BobbiBrown #PrettyPowerful mascara and 100% of proceeds go to @GirlRising Fund. Beauty with brains! #IWD
Friday morning mantra… #tgif
As seen on PR Daily, here is a very informative infographic on how to play and win on Pinterest. For those of you not using Pinterest for your brands, you may want to rethink it, as Pinterest can be a huge driver to your e-commerce site. If you are pinning as a brand, below will help you pin to win.
(Infographic image posted 2/27/14 by Kristin Piombino on PRDaily.com)
HvM Communications (www.h-vm.com) is hiring an intern to start ASAP!
HvM is a boutique PR agency in Chelsea. They handle everything from media relations and product launches to brand communications and event execution. Their clients range from fashion/accessories, design, art, and beauty to lifestyle and non-profits.
HvM is looking for a professional, creative, motivated, organized, self-starter to join us ASAP. Their ideal intern understands that no job is too small and will happily roll up their sleeves to help out.
Daily responsibilities include: Sample trafficking, managing press lists, researching media/celebrity opportunities, assisting the account team with daily administrative tasks, as well as helping plan and prepare for events. On-site event support may by required (if schedule permits.)
Please be very comfortable working with MS Office: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Bonus if you can use Photoshop, Cision and/or have an interest in social media.
You must be able to work a minimum of two to three full days per week. Previous internship experience is required and an interest in PR is preferred.
This intern position is unpaid but a stipend will be provided and school credit is available, if needed. Hours would be from 9:30am to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
They are looking for someone to start immediately.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and a brief cover letter including when you can interview, your availability, and an ideal start date.
Name: Meredith Xavier
Position/Company: Principal & Founder of Ligné Agency and The Ligné Group
Describe your job in one sentence: To oversee every facet of business that walks through our doors from strategic planning with clients, to overseeing our team of publicists and managing campaigns - while being present on the road across 12 markets for design fairs and industry events.
Where did you go to college? Pepperdine University
What was your major? Art History
First internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn? My first internship was at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts where I was a writer and researcher for the education department. I worked with the curators of the visiting collections to create education materials that highlighted and integrated the museum’s permanent collection. It was my responsibility to create engaging material that the museum visitors used as a resource when viewing the exhibitions. I had an extremely tough editor who taught me to write with direction and purpose, while having an understanding of who my audience was - an imperative skill in PR!
First job in PR? I never actually worked in PR before I started the agency. Ligné Agency started as a business development firm that helped showrooms and product designers further expand their sales and distribution nationally. I was pitching furniture and lighting to showrooms for brand representation, and to interior designers to incorporate these brands into their projects. I realized to get more exposure and make the distribution process easier we needed more national attention, so I started to write to the editors about my clients. It was just a natural progression from there!
Did you move to another city (like NY/LA) to pursue your career in PR (if applicable)? I started the company in Los Angeles, so I was already in a great place to get involved in PR - although monthly trips to New York became an immediate necessity.
Favorite part of your job? I love how much I get to travel. I get my energy and ideas on the road, and the face time with clients is so crucial to the success of our business. Our industry is so incredibly creative and unique - and we are heavily integrated on all sides from working with the press to the designers to the showrooms. And it’s not bad that I have to be in Milan and Paris for the fairs every year!
Least favorite part of your job?The favorite part of my job can also be the hardest. Being on the road 3 weeks a month at times is tough, especially with a one year old baby girl at home. My wardrobe consists of dresses that never wrinkle that I can easily toss in a carry bag and go. I have become the master packer after 4 years of being gone gone gone. The amazing thing now is that my husband, Yuri Xavier, joined the company in 2012 as our CEO, and has been able to tag team some of the travel with me.
Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)? Hermes has the most incredible and unforgettable campaigns. The campaign they did with the silk scarf as a butterfly wing was so whimsical and right on target with their consumer. I also think the Sherwin Williams campaign with the paint swatches that transform into landscapes and objects is genius.
Biggest accomplishment so far in your career? In 2011 our agency became the United States and Brazil agents for Windfall Contemporary Crystal Lighting. It was a company I had wanted to be a part of for years - their work is absolutely incredible, and their partnership has been a large part of our agency’s success.
Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? Nothing is for sure until the magazine comes out! We have had many instances where a client was expecting a feature and it was cut by the editor without notice before going to print. This of course is a publicist’s nightmare after working so hard to secure a feature. We have learned from the start to communicate to the client about how the editorial process works so they are prepared for these types of surprises, and of course saving us from hard conversations for events that are out of our control.
Who were/are your mentors? My dad was my greatest mentor. He was an incredibly successful business man who instilled in me the value of education, hard work and being the master of your own destiny. He was my biggest cheerleader when I started the agency and helped me put together our initial projections and business plan. He passed away from cancer in 2011, which was completely devastating - but he is still with me when tough business decisions arise, he is the voice in my head.
Best work advice? Always maintain a positive attitude and work environment. PR is incredibly stressful, so it is important to always keep positive and power through the day, no matter what is thrown at you.
As a publicist, you can’t live without your…iPhone, but I am also going to say my planner. If I don’t have it written down, I will definitely forget. I have a thousand things running through my mind every minute - I still prefer the old fashioned pen to paper to keep myself organized.
In order to succeed in PR, you…need to have and understanding of people and how to build trusting relationships. No one likes a pushy publicist that presents stories that are a waste of an editor’s time. It is imperative to research and know who you are speaking with, and be a resource for them. When you give well researched and valuable content, you will become a respected and valuable source.
If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be…an art historian.
What is your website, twitter handle, or anything else you’d like to promote?
There is a saying that “all press is good press,” which basically means that if you are in the press, it draws attention to you, so that is a good thing cause it is free publicity… but is it really good? I was recently asked how I feel about that statement and if I agree with it, and the answer is not really. Here’s why…
First, I’ll say that there is no right or wrong answer to whether or not that statement is true. This is all subjective and can be argued both ways. I personally happen to be of the school of thought that I’d rather keep my brand out of the spotlight if that light is unflattering in any way. Maybe I feel this way because all of the brands I’ve ever worked for have gotten great press 99% of the time, so we didn’t need any more attention. However, there are many brands and personalities who welcome any press—good or bad—because it means buzz, eyeballs, and awareness. Certain celebrities act out because they love the attention and it keeps them in the headlines—and they probably figure we are a forgiving public anyway and tend to forget in the wake of a comeback story.
I do understand why some people believe bad press can be a positive thing, which as publicists we need to try to spin into a positive outcome regardless. Sometimes an incident will result in way more traffic to your website or social platforms than you would have normally gotten. So, maybe all press is good press if nobody has ever heard of you, but I’d have think that is a stretch.
I would rather be in the press for something neutral to positive, or not in the press at all. Being on the defensive or working through a PR crisis is never your first choice as a publicist. I do believe bad press can have disastrous results that can harm a person or brand, and therefore, the business at large. We have seen it play out with brands like Toyota. Sales decline, stock prices drop, and the overall sentiment about your brand goes sour. That is not to say you cannot rebuild, but it takes time. The best strategy for getting good press is doing good things, for having a unique story to tell, and for having a great product. It might sound obvious, but it isn’t always easy to do. What it is, however, is the smart way to approach PR.
Do you think all press is good press? Tweet me at @ThePRCloset and share your thoughts.
Name: Ali Grant
Position/Company: I am the owner of Be Social Public Relations, a full-service public relations firm based in San Diego, California. We advise clients in the lifestyle, beauty, restaurant, healthy living, and luxury sectors by offering traditional publicity, social media marketing, and event marketing.
Describe your job in one sentence: I help my clients “be social” with their target audience.
Where did you go to college? California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
What was your major? Journalism and Public Relations
First internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn? My first internship was at an agency in Southern California. I was just 18 years old. They were most known for their work with SKYY vodka, Campari and other national brands. Since I wasn’t 21 yet, I wasn’t able to take part of all of the alluring photo shoots or flashy red carpet events. I was stuck in the office creating clip books and diving into endless competitor tracking. I ultimately learned that the field isn’t always glamorous. I learned to work hard, stay organized, and be creative.
First job in PR? In-house PR for a software company. I soon learned my true passion was in lifestyle PR, but I will always be a geek at heart. I know HTML!
Did you move to another city to pursue your career in PR (if applicable)? I’m far too in love with San Diego…although I definitely would have.
Favorite part of your job? Scoring an incredible press placement always deserves a victory dance, but when it comes down to it, my favorite part is the women I get to work with on a daily basis. They inspire me! They work hard, love what they do, and I truly enjoy seeing young, powerful women owning their line of work.
Sampling and using client product is also a big bonus. Having a delivery of fresh acai juice from Acai Roots or wine spritzer from Bon Affair makes my day!
Least favorite part of your job? Expense reports. Help! And PR stereotypes…Kroll Show anyone?
Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)? Birchbox. (Check them out.)
Biggest accomplishment so far in your career? This is an obvious and not particularly detailed answer, but I’d have to say starting my own agency. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I’m excited to get up and go to my office and be with my team. How many people get to say that? I actually enjoy going to work. I’m proud of that.
Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? Knowledge is power! Every book I read, every newspaper I browse through, and every question I ask eventually will help me out. Ask, read, watch, and listen. You can never stop learning.
Who were/are your mentors? My grandma. She’s written articles for national magazines, has published numerous novels and graduated college at the age of 18 while also being a college athlete. She’s extremely intelligent and has as much style as the pages of Vogue. She gave me confidence at an early age, inspired me to always be learning, and is the reason for my ongoing perseverance. I owe a lot of my success to her. Since she has Wi-Fi and a cell phone (like I said, she’s on top of it!), she is probably going to read this…so thank you!
Best work advice? Work hard and be nice to people! Always keep strong working relationships with everyone you come across in business. During one of my first jobs, I worked closely with the account director. Almost a decade later and we’re still working together. She’s one of our lead contacts at Cate McNabb Cosmetics, a client of Be Social PR.
As a publicist, you can’t live without your…clients.
In order to succeed in PR, you… must hustle.
If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be… something like an Erin Andrews.
How can my readers follow you? If you like “inspiring” quotes, wannabe Lauren Conrad manicure shots, and OMG-worthy Instagrams, follow my team: @BeSocialPR. Plus: www.besocialpr.com and www.facebook.com/besocialpublicrelations.
This post will be short and sweet. Recently, I’ve had some conversations with candidates interested in becoming community mangers. When I have asked them details about the social platforms of the brands they want to work for, none of them even knew what the brands were doing in social media.
Three words of advice when it comes to interviews—ALWAYS BE PREPARED. And there is no such thing as being over prepared. I mean, when has that ever come back to hurt you?
If you are going to manage social platforms and online communities in the role you are applying for, you better know all there is to know about those platforms, what the brand is doing on those platforms, any recent contests/campaigns/chats/posts/tweets, etc they have executed/launched/posted, etc. If you are not familiar, how do you expect that you’ll get the job?
So moral of the story is that when interviewing, know all there is to know and more. And then even more than that. Cause if you show no interest in becoming overly familiar with the brand, the brand will not be interested in hiring you.
That is all.
Fashion Week is here again! And because it snuck up so quickly since this past September, February Fashion Week always feels more brutal. It is freezing outside, shows are now all over Manhattan, and we all have a lot of other projects on our very full plates to focus on as it is still the beginning of the year. So, I pulled together my personal 10 tips for surviving Fashion Week in the PR world:
- Divide and conquer the shows amongst your team. You can’t do it all. Everyone should split up shows and own those particular PR/designer contacts, press lists, call sheets, recaps, etc.
- Be proactive and pull together show inspiration or any info your press will need backstage prior to the show so you aren’t doing it after the show when what you should be doing is going home to rest or getting other work done.
- Be organized. Know which press are coming to which show, etc, so there are fewer surprises. If you have all of your info ahead of time, you’ll be prepared for what takes place at the show.
- Know which reviews matter most to your client(s) and designate someone to media monitor for them. If that person is you, set Google alerts around your show(s) so you can keep up with real time reviews, and make sure you pick up WWD, NYT, etc every morning to stay on top of the reviews for your show and others before your client asks.
- Dress properly. You are schlepping from one show to another, hailing taxis in the bitter cold, and standing on your feet for hours at a time. Fashion and function can coexist, so dress warm and WEAR FLAT SHOES. I promise, your feet will thank you at the end of a very long, grueling day. You can also chase streakers off the runway!
- Eat. It’s that simple. When we get so busy, we forget the most important thing we can do for ourselves, which is nourish our bodies. Eat and drink plenty of water at the very least. A dehydrated publicist backstage cannot function at the top of her game. And if you don’t want to get sick, you need to make sure you are fed and have the energy you need to get through the shows.
- Take vitamins and drink green juice instead of coffee. Unless you want to get sick…
- SLEEP. You may have to skip an afterparty or two. I promise you, they are all the same. Go home and sleep, especially if your body is telling you it is exhausted. You won’t make it through the week if you don’t get enough rest, or you will, but you’ll suck at your job and be kind of useless to your team.
- One word: Uber.
- Finally, just enjoy it. There are plenty of things to enjoy about Fashion Week, as rough as it can be. The excitement, energy, creativity, and brilliance that takes place can be really inspiring, so take it all in, breathe, and keep in mind it that it is only a few weeks, twice a year. If you set your sights on the finish line, you’ll power through in no time.
HAPPY FASHION WEEK!
What’s your Fashion Week survival tip? Tweet me at theprcloset and share your #1 tip…
A dynamic boutique public relations agency, Push the Envelope PR, is hiring interns for spring 2014! The job description in their own words is below:
Welcome to luxury and pop culture PR heaven with amazing opportunities for hard working, career minded, experienced persons to support savvy PR team. Clients in fashion and beauty.
• Have campaign involvement
• Be pitching editors and placing stories
• Learn a lot
• Have excellent writing skills, creativity, be detailed oriented, very organized and able to work independently as well as part of a team
• Be connected to what is new and why
• Know magazines, blogs and celebrity driven outlets
• Be currently enrolled in or a graduate of a college program for PR, Marketing, Journalism or have valid PR experience
Great if you:
• Have previous agency experience
• Are knowledgeable with design programs such as PhotoShop and Adobe ImageReady
• Impress us with your energy, drive, sense of humor, communication, conversational and selling skills and talent
Positions available for interns who can dedicate 2 days beginning now for the semester or on-going.
Non-paid, school credit for time will be arranged.
Please e-mail resume, cover letter and writing sample to email@example.com
As a senior in high school about to make a college decision, I have a few questions for you. I hope to enter the public relations field of fashion after college. I was wondering what your thoughts were on attending a fashion school such as the Fashion Institute of Technology. Do you think attending a school specialized in fashion is better or worse than attending a liberal arts school? If you saw FIT on a resume vs. Fordham or Syracuse, what would you think?
They are all great schools. If you are truly interested in fashion specifically, FIT is a great choice, but if you want to study PR/Communications, there are several programs at various schools that will offer the curriculum you need. Ultimately, choosing a college comes down to making sure the courses, curriculum, campus life, faculty, classroom size, cost, location, etc all meet your needs. You should take college tours before you decide if you can. Good luck.