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AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN THE INS AND OUTS OF BEAUTY PR FROM ONE OF THE BEST BEAUTY PUBLICISTS IN THE INDUSTRY!

Maser Communications (founded by PR maven Jaime Maser) is looking for an intern (15-20 hours per week) for this summer (ASAP). Here’s the scoop…

As a one-woman show with 14+ years PR experience in-house and at agency, Jaime is looking for someone hungry and ready to hustle.  She will be showing them the ropes of running a business and rocking the beauty PR world every step of the way, as she currently manages three full time beauty clients.

Resourcefulness, passion, autonomy, poise and eagerness are key. Tasks would run the gamut from the basics of maintaining media lists and compiling clip reports to helping staff shoots and pitching digital and print media. There’s flexibility in hours and location.  Hands on experience in the beauty PR world guaranteed.

Candidates can email Jaime directly at Jaime@maserpr.com.  Please include a cover letter and availability for this summer.

Good luck!

HOW TO PITCH FASHION BLOGGERS

An Interview with publicist Alyson Roy and fashion & beauty writer Kristin Booker, written by Alyson Roy

These days, a well-placed blog post can be just as valuable to your Fashion PR client as a print placement, and sometimes, even more effective, especially for brands with an e-commerce presence.  But as the blogger space evolves, so do the rules.   

I recently sat down with Kristin Booker, fashion and beauty writer (whose blog Fashion Style Beauty is a must-read) to discuss the new playing field.

Read on as Kristin gives us several nuggets of wisdom, including all the major do’s & don’ts of pitching a fashion or beauty blogger… 

AR: Is there a day and time you like to receive pitches, and how far in advance do you work on your editorials and posts?

KB:  I read pitch emails three times a day, usually: mid-morning (around 10 am), early afternoon (around 3-4) and once more at night around 6. Timing of when they’re sent doesn’t matter as much as what’s in them. I file them as I go through them three times a day.

AR: Do you have any ‘pet peeves’ in terms of dealing with publicists and the way they pitch you?

KB:  I’m glad you asked that question. Here’s what I’d love to impart to the lovely men and women of the PR industry:

  • Please never address me as “Dear Blogger”
  • Please, please get the spelling of my first name right. It shows attention to detail, which means a lot to me. Particularly since I also freelance for five major online media outlets, I need to know that you’ll have the same care and attention for my requests as I will have for yours.
  • Please have read the blog and have some idea of what I cover and don’t cover.
  • Please understand that posting Facebook contests and other social media pushes on my site doesn’t constitute as editorial content. I know that, you know that, so let’s not fool ourselves. If you’re asking me to push your promotion, that’s an ad, and I charge for those, like every other media publication would.
  • Please don’t request barter for things we both know should be paid opportunities. None of us can pay our bills in lipstick.
  • Please be careful when sending emails to large distribution lists. Any email where I can see the “To” list of addressees is instantly deleted, for my safety and for everyone else whose email address is now public.
  • Please do be clear and up front with pitches. Pleasantries are awesome, but what’s new, exciting and amazing about this product? Is this a sneak preview? Am I getting in on something before anyone else is? Let me know about that, because that’s exciting and it will get me to read your email.
  • Please leave Internet abbreviations and colloquial language out of your emails. “LOL” and “ROFLMAO” aren’t going to make us any closer than a professional pitch would.
  • If something is time sensitive, that’s awesome to know up front.
  • If you need me to send you a rate card or a media kit, absolutely happy to do that. Asking for rates and figures in multiple emails makes both of us messy.
  • If a sample needs to be returned, please make sure you state that from the beginning. I assume everything has to be returned unless it’s beauty, in which case it’s not safe or sanitary to do so.
  • If it does need to be returned, it would be awesome of you to address a UPS/FedEx slip for me to walk down the street and return it to you. Everyone who has done that has received the sample about a week after I’ve gotten and photographed it.

AR:  What is a guarantee a publicist will never hear back from you? What are the huge no-nos?

KB:  Addressing me as “Dear Blogger,” following up multiple times on a pitch or a product sample when I’ve explained there might be a delay, and any lack of respect toward what I do. I think respect goes both ways: I value my business relationships and the fact that we’re both trying to accomplish something, so as long as we both have that patient, professional tone, we’ll enjoy a long partnership.

AR: On the flip side, what makes a great pitch?

KB:  A professional tone, a breaking news angle, something that shows they know my audience and what I write about. Short, sweet, get to the point very quickly. Attach your facts as a PDF if you can; your pitch will be shorter and it will help me get more details if I need them without emailing you to death. None of us will die with an empty inbox but we can help each other not feel like every night we’re going to die under the weight of one.

Also, something that makes for a good pitch for me: visiuals.  Embedded images are awesome. Dropbox, Box or OneSpace links are great for big, beautiful hi-res images without crashing an inbox.

AR:  How can publicists do a better job of pitching or making your job easier? Is there anything we can do to earn brownie points?

KB:  Just follow the examples above and then get to know me as a person. Let’s grab some coffee, let’s take a walk, etc. The relationships that have grown with me as a writer and a blogger have invested a good deal of time with me, and it shows.

AR:  Can you sum up what you are looking for in a pitch? 

KB:

  • Good data
  • Facts that would captivate a reader
  • Products that solve a problem or create an opportunity
  • A knowledge of my site and what I write
  • A professional, respectful tone that’s engaging and friendly
  • Patience. I get about 200-350 emails a day, so please know that I’ll get back to you eventually. If I don’t, it’s not that I don’t love you; it’s just that the pitch didn’t make the cut.

AR:  Do you have any other final tips you’d like to impart with me and my fellow publicists?

KB:  Please, please, PLEASE don’t keep throwing free products at us as an enticement to build some kind of connection. Let me explain what that means.   I know that there are some people who are in this industry for the free stuff. I know it’s a fact, and I hate it. But let’s also be honest that the people who are in it for the free items aren’t really the quality page views you want on your product. So, the mention of product samples as “FREE PRODUCT SAMPLES” in bold type and huge letters in a pitch automatically makes me feel pretty cheap and that you think we’re all in it for the free stuff. Just speaking for me personally, I have a 60-day backlog of products I have to get written up and none of them were requested. That’s not bragging, that’s simply to say that in the editorial policy of my site, it says that if I’m writing about it, I’ve had experience with the product, which means a press sample was received or I went out and bought it. Please don’t reduce all of us to freebie-hungry product mongers. Some of us really want to work with you to create good editorial, not to be the one on the block with the most shampoo.

AR: Thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips with us.  There is a lot to learn, and I think your notes on how a blog is monetized and what is considered organic editorial versus a blatant promotion or ad is a really important piece for publicists to understand as blogs grow and change.

KB:  Happy to help build the bridge to understanding. :)

About Alyson Roy:

Alyson Roy is a Guest Contributing Editor for The PR Closet, and the Co-Founder of AMP3 Public Relations, a boutique publicity agency that specializes in Lifestyle & Fashion PR campaigns.

Follow her at @AlyAMP3 and www.AMP3pr.com.

About Kristin Booker:

Kristin Booker is a fashion and beauty writer (who has written for outlets like XOJane, xoVain, Refinery 29, MarieClaire.com, StyleCaster and ELLE.com) and full-time fashion & beauty writer on her own blog: Fashion Style Beauty.

Follow her at @fashionstbeauty.

How true is the fact that fashion PR is very cut-throat? I'm currently studying PR at Quinnipiac University and a senior PR major told me that you need to have a certain type of personality to handle the fashion PR industry... How bad is it?

Asked by
Anonymous

Fashion PR gets a bad rap, but it really all depends on where you work and who you work for. Overall, the fashion industry is very cut throat in that it is competitive and there are so many people who want to break into the industry. I do think you need thick skin to do well in fashion PR, and you cannot have too much of an ego because you will be asked to do things you don’t want to do in the beginning, like schlep garment bags of samples to and from magazines and shoots. However, none of that hard work should deter you from pursuing PR as a career. You don’t necessarily have to work in fashion PR, or you can work on various fashion accounts while also working on lifestyle, beauty, entertainment, etc at an agency that reps various clients that span different industries. I always say that you need to see for yourself—as in, get an internship and work in the position before you make a snap judgement solely based on what other people say. Remember that everyone has their own experiences, which may or may not be similar to what you will take away from it. And, quite frankly, there isn’t a job out there that I know of that doesn’t have it’s bad days… 

Best of luck to you!

What would you suggest to this PR chick about to work the CMT Music Award Shows? It's my first "working" awards show, and I want to dress appropriately but still look cute.

Asked by
Anonymous

Ask your boss if they have a dress code in mind. If not, I’d suggest a nice dress and heels—and nothing showing off too much skin. You can keep it professional while also being stylish. Have fun and good luck!

Hi! I met you a couple years ago in fashion camp (in New York) when you came to talk to us about your job as a PR specialist in Bobbi Brown. Honestly, your job sounded amazing, and to this day I'm still considering trying to get a career in PR. I was wondering if you have any tips on what classes to take in High School/ College in order to get a good internship, and later a job? Thank you!

Asked by
Anonymous

I answer this in my FAQs: http://theprcloset.tumblr.com/FAQ

KEEPING THE CLIENT (HAPPY): 7 TIPS FOR CLIENT RETENTION

By Alyson Roy

Let’s face it. Sometimes we encounter a difficult client with enlarged expectations of what is possible.  Perhaps they’ve been tainted by false promises from a previous PR agency.  Perhaps they are putting every thing (and every cent) they have into their brand, and just don’t know how to relax and let you do your job.  As their publicist, you need to be able to anticipate what your client wants and needs. Often times, your success is not solely measured by PR deliverables; half the value of PR is the strength of the client-publicist relationship. 

Here are a few tips to keep your clients happy:

Have ESPN.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist the “Mean Girls” reference there.  But seriously, you need to have ESP, so that you can answer their questions before they’re asked.  Following an important meeting or editorial desk side, immediately shoot your client an e-mail or text to let them know how it went. Use “Google Alerts” to track new coverage “as-it-happens” and be the first person to get your client a link to new press as soon as it hits.  If there is a correction that needs making, let them know you’re already on top of it.  In general, communicate often so that your client begins to understand that they are always top-of-mind and that you are constantly hustling on their behalf.  You don’t have to wait until the next formal report to outline your successes; share your wins as they happen, which brings me to my next point…

Recap Results Often.  If your client displays a need to be overly in the loop, consider increasing the frequency of your reporting.  If you normally report monthly, that might mean bi-weekly or weekly.  Although it might sound time consuming, it will save you time on incoming “check-up” calls to reassure them that the campaign is on the right track, and in the long-run, it will keep your client on board. In addition, be sure to quantify your value; don’t just assume that they know.

Be Solution-Oriented.  Clients love to be a part of the brainstorm, especially clients who are already creative by nature (like a designer for example).  Some clients will e-mail daily with new ideas, and although these ideas are not part of your well thought-out plan, it’s important to embrace them.  Check yourself: if you’re poo-pooing your clients’ ideas often, consider a new approach.  No one wants to get a list of reasons why an idea won’t work.  Instead, find a way to take the idea to the next level, and respond with an idea that WILL work.

Follow Through.  If a client mentions grandiose ideas or goals that aren’t the immediate focus, make note of them, mark them in your calendar, and when there’s time, follow-up on those ideas they may have long since forgotten.  If they liked the idea once, they’ll like it again, and they’ll be so impressed that you remembered. Maybe they mention an award they’d love to get nominated for next year.  Find the deadline for nominations now, mark it in your calendar, and follow through with the application when it’s time.  Letting them know that you never drop a ball and that you still want to achieve long-term goals will enhance their trust.  One compliment we hear consistently from our clients at AMP3 is a thank you for making sure certain ideas actually come to fruition.  Assuring your client you are someone who will get things done makes you the type of person they will want to keep on their team.

Be Flexible.  If something isn’t working—and maybe it was something that was your not-so-brilliant idea—be honest, and re-assess the situation quickly so that you can change direction and find something that will move the needle.  It’s good to measure what’s actually driving results and sales.  Plan to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.  Hey, it was a good idea, but we can’t win ‘em all!

Sleep On It.  If a heated scenario ever gives you the urge to reply based on emotion, don’t.  Walk away, take a deep breath, and if need be (and time allows), sleep on it until the next morning.  After all, there’s a chance you read the situation wrong, or that it will sort itself out.  If you respond to criticism in attack mode, it will get you nowhere.  Instead, find a way to combat the situation, and where possible, kill them with kindness.  We’re all on the same team, and everyone wants the campaign to be successful, so find a way to get yourself on the same page with your client before reacting in a way you might regret.

Put your money where your mouth is.  If previous false promises have tainted the client, make “reliability” one of the first words your client would use to describe you.   It should go without saying that in PR, you should ALWAYS under-promise and over-deliver.  It is impossible to guarantee results in PR, so focus on building a reputation as someone who delivers exactly what they say they will.  The entire goal for your client is to pass off the PR/Marketing responsibilities to you so that he or she can focus on other aspects of the business.  Never make them chase you or follow-up to see if something’s been handled. 

If you focus on client retention as much as your focus on PR results, this will add incredible value to the service you provide.

About Alyson Roy:

Alyson Roy is a Guest Contributing Editor for The PR Closet, and the Co-Founder of AMP3 Public Relations, a boutique publicity agency that specializes in Lifestyle & Fashion PR campaigns.  Follow Alyson at @AlyAMP3 or www.AMP3pr.com.

Name: Charissa Lauren (featured above on left)

Age: 24

Position/Company:  I’m a Publicist, Entrepreneur and Co-CEO of Pretty Living PR and Pretty Living Magazine, designed to connect, promote and publicize fashion, beauty and lifestyle companies. I’m also an active journalist, writer and editor.

Describe your job in one sentence: Creative, multi-faceted, fast-paced.

Where did you go to college? Point Park University

What was your major? Legal Studies and Political Science

First internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn? Though I’ve always worked in fashion, entertainment and held previous positions in event planning and writing on the side, my educational background is in law. Before creating my dream position in PR, I stuck with my education and first interned as a Paralegal in Trusts & Estates at a law firm in Pittsburgh. My responsibilities were drafting and editing wills, trusts and contracts, legal research and legal administrative work. I learned a ton! I am always grateful for my legal background because it truly assets my role as a PR professional and business owner every day. There are so many situations when negotiation is needed and I am also responsible for our firm’s legal documents. Through working in law, I’ve also become very detail-oriented and task focused and I’ve established a great understanding of client accounts and business development just from a few of the firms that I’ve worked at.

First job in PR? I discovered my direction in PR after becoming known in the industry as the girl to go to if you need to know someone. I was handling PR independently with companies when I was inspired with the idea of a firm to help business owners reach their goals in 2012. That’s when Pretty Living PR was born. Pittsburgh had nothing like this at the time, yet we had a booming industry on our hands and more and more entrepreneurs were venturing with new companies. Yet, we lacked direction in the next steps of publicity and brand awareness. We’re now working with companies in Pittsburgh, throughout the US and overseas.

Did you move to another city to pursue your career in PR? No, I decided Pittsburgh needed a PR firm dedicated to fashion, beauty, lifestyle and event companies and it was proven to be true. We did need this. I’ve never had any anticipation on living and working in New York or LA. I work with clients throughout the country regardless and I see true potential in companies not based in our prime US cities. It’s very important to me that all entrepreneurs and all brands, no matter their location, have the opportunity to advance their company with publicity and PR.

Favorite part of your job? I love the people I meet and work with. I’m constantly surrounded by amazingly driven individuals, risk-takers and dream-builders. Everyone I know is unique and I feel like my network is so well-rounded that it’s a privilege. I’m sincere about getting to know each person I work with whether featuring a company or entrepreneur or working directly with our clients. I’m passionate for those willing to take the leap and follow their dreams and am always honored to be working with entrepreneurs.

Least favorite part of your job? When I was first starting out, I become known very quickly and my lifestyle was extremely fast and demanding. I withheld a lot of responsibilities at a very young age. I eventually grew to rebel public attention of any means. I have trouble with events, photo shoots, speaking arrangements now and to think this used to be my everyday life! But I think it’s merely a ‘break’ and I know my role and position will always come with public attention so I’ll grow to adapt to the pressure again and keep peace in the chaos.

Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)? Naturally, I love small businesses and am passionate about start-ups! There are so many amazing brands out there and I particularly favor the labels intertwining social good. I love EDUN, Helpsy, Fashion Gives Back and the Giving Keys. Cause Marketing is so important, it’s an interactive way to use your brand’s recognition towards an amazing cause.

Biggest accomplishment so far in your career? Probably starting the company, so far! I’ve always envisioned owning a company but I never thought it was really possible and I never knew how to go about it until one day I just decided that I’m just going to do it. And, though the entrepreneurial venture was exceedingly overwhelming, and still is from time to time, I know it will be worth it because I know what we’ve built has true value.

Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? In my profession, I’ve really learned the importance of breathing once in a while. I was very career-driven in my late teens and early twenties, if not my entire life. Everything I’ve ever done has been to benefit my resume and my passions. I worked several jobs at a time, worked for hours on end, doubled my schooling, maintained charity contributions and hardly slept. I insisted I could do everything and be everything to everyone until it really took a toll on me. I now know how vital it is to balance your tasks and not to overwhelm yourself because no matter how many goals you have, you have an entire life and you shouldn’t try to do it all at once. You can’t please everyone and come out alive.

Who were/are your mentors? My first and foremost mentor is the woman I want to become and I aim to be every day, if I can live up to her I will be complete. I’ve also been so fortunate to know so many truly amazing people. My Pap has always been a huge inspiration for my life for his adventurous actions, my mom for her absolute strength and the many entrepreneurs and women I work with on a daily basis.

Best work advice? My Pap’s last words to me were, “There’s a big world out there, find it and focus.” He always sought the most from life, he had an eager-to-learn way about him and he’s always embedded the same in me.

As a publicist, you can’t live without your… Above all of the applications and electronics I need and use every day, I would not be able live without my passion and my heart. You cannot succeed as a publicist unless you truly care about others. Their dreams matter to me.

In order to succeed in PR, you… Must be persistent, diligent, a quick learner, a people person, detail-oriented and exceedingly good at multi-tasking while staying focused.

If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be… a full-time journalist.

How can my readers follow you?

@CharissaLauren on Twitter, www.prettylivingpr.com

DIY PR: 5 TIPS FOR FASHION START UPS ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

By Alyson Roy

Publicity is one of the most crucial elements in any startup’s success, but is also usually seen as a ‘luxury’ service that gets shelved until the business is generating enough profit to properly budget for it.   It’s the old chicken-before-the-egg quandary where financers want to see press coverage before they invest, and startups can’t afford PR until they secure funding.

If hiring a top PR firm is out of the question in the early stages, here are a few Do-It-Yourself PR techniques that any fashion designer or start-up fashion brand can begin implementing with limited resources:

1) Do your homework. You can’t achieve results until you clearly define what you want.  Before starting any PR activity, it’s crucial to identify your goals for publicity.   First, ask yourself whom you want to be targeting through press coverage.  Is it potential investors or is it to drive customers to your e-commerce site? Perhaps it’s a combination of the two.  Next, establish where the desired audience spends its time, for example: which blogs or media outlets are they reading?  Finally, what medium is going to be most effective for you and your brand, ie: magazines, style blogs or TV? Beyond just the medium, decide if you’re targeting a luxury or budget consumer? Then, you can make a properly curated media wish list.  Be optimistic and set your sights high, but if Vogue isn’t realistic, that’s ok.  Make sure the outlets you’re targeting are relevant, attainable and the most likely to generate sales.

2) Use social media to your advantage.  With your wish list in place, you should begin to follow these press outlets on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Ideally, you should zero in on specific writers, editors, bloggers, journalists or reporters who are most relevant to you.  It takes time to build a social media relationship, but by providing valuable interaction with your targets, they will start to notice you.  This means re-tweeting or sharing their content, answering their questions, or sharing helpful information.  It’s not all about you, so make sure your interaction is not self-serving.  If your target is silly, show them your silly side.  When the right time comes, ask if you can e-mail over a look book or some info about your brand.  It’s even better if you can refer to a specific column you’d like to be considered for.  Perhaps they write a monthly column on the ‘Top Designers to Watch,’ or ‘Looks for Less.’  If they do, be sure to reference the column word for word and be clear on your call to action.  Journalists are much more receptive to pitches when they know the pitcher understands their content.

3) If you see something, share something!  A big part of PR is tying your company or brand to seasonal trends.   To do this, you need to keep an eye on what’s going on in the news, or what’s trending on Twitter, and look for a way to incorporate your brand into that story.  For example, if Pharrell’s crazy hats are the hot topic of the week and you run an online hat store, considering running a “Pharrell Phlash Sale,” and offer your customers a limited time only deal.  Somewhere, there is probably a fashion writer talking about the Pharrell trend, and you could insert yourself accordingly.  The goal is to always be thinking with an editorial mind, so whenever you’re launching something new (be it a new website or a new collection), be sure to use this news as a PR opportunity.  Make it relevant and share it via social media, e-newsletter, your website’s newsroom, or as a reason for a press release.

4) Use a Newswire service.  You don’t need a PR agency to put something out on the newswire.  Whether you have a publicist or not, it’s always a good idea to write and issue press releases whenever you have anything newsworthy to share.  You can use free press release engines such as 24-7pressrelease.com, PR.com or NewswireToday.com. Truth be told, simply blasting out a press release will never lead to a flurry of organic editorial coverage, but what it will do is boost your legitimacy, and publish your press release on numerous credible media websites which you could share on the press section of your site.  It also provides great SEO (search engine optimization) juice, which will drive more traffic back to you.

5) Become a Talking Head.  Nobody knows your business better than you do.  Turn your passion into your credentials and become an “expert” in your field.  Find industry trade publications or blogs that cover your turf and reach out to them about contributing educational guest articles, or perhaps doing an interview Q&A about your experience.  This is a great way to build up your expert profile, while also linking back to your company’s website and potentially, putting yourself in front of a valuable customer or contact.   Aside from writing, you can also look into local events and offer yourself up to speak on relevant panels or to donate auction items to local charity efforts.  There are also free services like HARO (Help A Reporter Out), that send out emails 3x daily with a roundup of reporters who are looking for sources for various articles.  Almost every single time, there is a reporter seeking out “Small Business Owners.” All you have to do is reply via e-mail to pitch yourself, and it could lead to news coverage in online, print, radio or broadcast.  These are all ways to start putting yourself out there and to becoming a well-known name in your industry.

About Alyson Roy:

Alyson Roy is a Guest Contributing Editor for The PR Closet, and the Co-Founder of AMP3 Public Relations, a boutique publicity agency that specializes in Lifestyle & Fashion PR campaigns.  Follow Alyson at @AlyAMP3 and/or www.AMP3pr.com.

Name: Allyn Lewis (featured above on right)

Age: 23

Position/Company: Chief Executive Partner/Co-Owner of Pretty Living PR

Describe your job in one sentence: My business partner, Charissa, and I are the fairy godmothers of the fashion, beauty, lifestyle and event industries – you dream it, we make it happen!

Where did you go to college? The University of Pittsburgh

What was your major? Psychology

First internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn? I actually never had an internship in the PR field or otherwise. I began college as a Neuroscience major determined to go to med school, so most of my time in college was spent hitting the books.

First job in PR? And I never had a previous job in PR. I started out modeling in high school and just started to get more and more engaged in the other aspects of the shows and shoots I was involved in. I loved helping with coordinating projects and I was always promoting everything I was involved in on social media.

Did you move to another city to pursue your career in PR? Nope! I believe that with enough determination, you can create your own opportunities no matter where you are or what city you are in.

Favorite part of your job? I love that it’s different every single day. I never know what to expect when I wake up in the morning. It’s always exciting!

Least favorite part of your job? There are never enough hours in the day for me to get everything done I want accomplished!

Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)? Aerie for American Eagle - the #aerieREAL campaign is brilliant.

Biggest accomplishment so far in your career? Securing our first client in the UK! It’s so exciting to be able to call our business International.

Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? No matter what you do, you can’t make everyone happy, so stand up for what you believe in and everything else will fall into place.

Who were/are your mentors? Aside from Olivia Pope, I am truly inspired and mentored by each and every one of the strong professional women constantly surrounding me. I learn and grow from everyone I work with, not just as a publicist, but also as a person in general.

Best work advice? BELIEVE – in yourself, your business, your employees, your work, your pitches, and your clients. You have to believe before other people will!

As a publicist, you can’t live without your… 1) My Sugar Paper Planner – this is where my entire life is organized and color coordinated. It’s how I keep myself on track! 2) My iPhone (of course)

In order to succeed in PR, you… need to trust your gut!

If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be… a doctor or a ballerina!

How can my readers follow you?

Personal website - www.allynlewis.com; twitter & instagram - @allyn_lewis

TIPS FOR LANDING (AND SUCCEEDING IN) A PR CAREER

By Alyson Roy

Getting your foot in the door can be the hardest part in any industry, but there’s a lot you can do to make yourself more attractive to potential employers and to stand out in your first job in the PR world. 

Angle your experience. The first step is to represent yourself in a way you would represent a future PR client.  If you can’t sell yourself, no one will ever believe you can sell a client.  Build your resume like you would build a good story pitch. This means getting right to the hook from the get-go and backing up your idea with clear bullet points that can’t be argued. Don’t make your dream employer read three paragraphs deep to get to your selling point; they won’t.  Instead, sum up the who, what, when, where, and why of “you” in your intro.  Your previous job experience (which will hopefully include some PR internships) should take inventory of the skills you’ve learned in the real world.  Bullet point any actionable tasks you’ve accomplished such as writing press releases, securing a story or working Fashion Week (hyper-linking to examples of your work is a good look, too).  It’s also a great idea to include some testimonials instead of listing that references are “available upon request.”  You might not get to the “request” part, so it’s better to let your supporters vouch for you while you have an employer’s attention.

Google yourself. No really.  Most companies considering a slew of applicants will Google the top contenders to check for a clean—and hopefully impressive—online reputation.You should test Googling yourself to see what a potential employer might see.  Two potential problems could arise.  The first issue is any unprofessional photos.  You should make sure that your public-facing profile photos on all social networks are professional (that means no partying or duck-face selfies!)  If you use one network in particular (such as Facebook or Instagram) to share personal photos with friends and family, you should set that profile to private so that only those you are connected to can see it, but remember, your profile picture will still be visible.  The second issue is that you aren’t Google-able at all, meaning, you don’t come up on the first two pages of Google.  This can be a red flag for employers, ie: “She wants to work in PR but she’s not even on any social media? Will she know how to maximize social media for our clients?” If this is the case, you should consider using your full name to create profiles on as many networks as possible, including a detailed profile on LinkedIn.  If you’re not Googleable because you have a really common name (sorry John Smith, that’s you), you should create a basic blog or resume website specifically for SEO purposes to boost your visibility (Tumblr and About.me are easy options).  Once you’ve cleaned everything up and become a social butterfly (literally), you should consider focusing on one network to grow for professional purposes.  LinkedIn & Twitter can be good for this.  An employer might be browsing your tweets, so if you’ve recently been sharing #PR tips and getting involved in industry conversations, that will leave an impression.  Finally – when applying for jobs, it’s a wise idea to include all of your social links (and links to a blog with writing samples if you have one!).  In doing so, you save the hiring manager the task of finding you, and bonus: you ensure you’re pointing them to exactly what you want them to see.

Be solution-oriented: Your first real job usually includes a trial period, and one of the best ways to prove you’re capable is to be a problem-solver.  Never come to your supervisor with a list of reasons why a certain task or idea won’t work.  Instead, always approach your boss with creative ideas that WILL work.  Coming to your higher-up to ask approval to implement a solution that could be saving them from a PR disaster will not go unnoticed and will help you to become identified as a valuable team member.  By approaching problems with a positive can-do attitude, you will paint yourself as a resourceful candidate who is ready for more responsibility.

Be Consistent: My friend, Lauren Berger (Author of “Welcome To The Real World”) always says, be the same person you were on Day 1, on Day 30, Day 90, an so on, and she’s right.  On the first day, we all show up in our most professional outfit and a willingness to work, but after that we start to get a little too comfortable.  At the end of the day, we’re not judged on our first impression, but on our cumulative work ethic, so try to wake up every day like its your first, and constantly find ways to create new value and be a well-liked team player.  It will pay off in the end.

Be in it for the right reasons: There is a lot of glitz and glamour in Fashion PR, also known as shiny distractions.  Show your employer you’re not in it for the fancy perks, but because you genuinely love the work.  Show up for opportunities, take initiative, and always check in to see if there’s anything else you can be doing to help.  When you’re ready to handle more, ask for it.  You’ll get what you ask for.  By becoming someone your boss can always rely on to finish a task completely, especially the mundane not-so-fun ones, you’ll also become the employee your boss trusts the most and thinks of when opportunities for more responsibility arise.

These tips will definitely help you land and succeed in your Fashion PR career.  Promotions and raises for everyone!

About Alyson Roy:

Alyson Roy is a Guest Contributing Editor for The PR Closet, and the Co-Founder of AMP3 Public Relations, a boutique publicity agency that specializes in Lifestyle & Fashion PR campaigns. Follow Alyson at @AlyAMP3 or www.AMP3pr.com

In light of my pending childbirth, I want you all to meet Alyson Roy, Co-Founder of AMP3 Public Relations and Guest Contributing Editor for The PR Closet for the  month of May. AMP3 PR is a boutique consumer lifestyle agency that specializes in Fashion & Lifestyle PR campaigns, so Alyson has incredible experience planning major PR campaigns, working with the media, servicing clients—all things you want to learn more about. She is a true PR pro, and begins her intro to all of you by imparting her expertise below.

As I mentioned, Alyson will be my featured guest contributor this month, so before she starts posting her informational and inspiring thought pieces on May 5th, I wanted to introduce her to all of you. You’re lucky to be learning more about PR from Alyson this month—and I am honored to have her write for The PR Closet. So, meet Alyson… 

Name: Alyson Roy

Age: 31

Position/Company: Co-Founder & Partner Publicist at AMP3 Public Relations

Describe your job in one sentence:  I head up all client accounts at AMP3, which is a boutique agency specializing in Lifestyle & Fashion PR, where we offer clients traditional PR & media outreach, social media PR & online visibility, and special event PR & Production.

Where did you go to college? I’m Canadian, so I went to college in Canada at Acadia University.

What was your major? I got my Business degree, with a specialization in Marketing & Communications.

First internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn?  My first internship was at Arista Records (a division of BMG).  They gave me one major project for the summer, which was to track the impact of various publicity initiatives on record sales (such as appearances on morning shows versus late night shows) to be presented to the CEO with my suggestions for PR going forward.  My first week on the job was also my first week living in NYC (ever), and I learned very quickly that I was in my element, truly happy, and 100% moving to New York immediately after graduation. 

First job in PR? After leaving the major record label scene and experiencing what it was like to work in-house for a big company, I discovered the concept of the boutique PR firm, and worked at a music, fashion & lifestyle agency called Flawless.

Did you move to another city to pursue your career in PR?  Yes.  There was a very limited (aka: non-existent) job pool in the Entertainment & Fashion PR industry in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, so I figured I might as well move to the capital of both industries: New York City.

Favorite part of your job?  To be a good publicist, you have to think like an entrepreneur; like every new project, company or brand is your own, and you need to grow it as much as possible—I LOVE that spirit! I also love the variety in PR, and how every day is different than the last.

Least favorite part of your job?  In PR, you can’t guarantee to a client exactly what the results of a campaign will be.  There are no guarantees, only earned results, and this can be stressful.  It’s especially hard when you’re told that a client story is going to run, you’ve even done your fact checking, and then you flip through the magazine (or turn on the channel) only to find out that Britney shaved her head or Bieber got arrested again, and thus, your client’s clip got cut.  The disappointments in PR are tough, but there is always a reward around the next corner to make up for it.

Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)?  I absolutely loved what Marc Jacobs’ team did during New York Fashion Week with their special pop-up shop in SoHo that only accepted social media as currency.  Kate Spade’s 24-hour digital pop-up window was equally genius.  There have also been a lot of great New York centric lifestyle campaigns that have really made an impact, I’m looking at you: SoulCycle and The Cupcake ATM. Also, “Avocados From Mexico,” seem to be literally everywhere I’ve been so far this year, from Sundance Festival to the latest issue of Us Weekly.

Biggest accomplishment so far in your career?  Hands down, launching my own company.  Sometimes I look back at the beginning and then at how we’ve grown and I pinch myself, seriously.

Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? The number one complaint I hear in new business meetings is that clients are tainted from previous false promises in PR.  It should go without saying that in PR, it’s always best to under-promise and over-deliver.  

Who were/are your mentors?  The Dean of my business school was really helpful in my career initially, and a resource I didn’t actually realize was available to me until after I had graduated college.  I also look up to women like Kelly Cutrone & Rachel Zoe who have turned their service-based businesses into personal brands, consumer products, book deals, and so much more!

Best work advice?  Be solution-oriented.  Never respond to a problem with a list of reasons about why a client’s idea won’t work.  Instead, always be prepared with a list of alternative ideas that WILL work.  If you approach a negative situation with a positive solution, it keeps the energy moving forward and will show your client what you can bring to the table.

As a publicist, you can’t live without your… iPhone, MacBook Air, Google Drive, and little black dresses.

In order to succeed in PR, you… need to be a (wo)man of your word.  Make “reliable” one of the first words your clients, colleagues, or media contacts would use to describe you.  When you develop a reputation for delivering exactly what you say you will, people will rely on you.  And trust is one of the most valuable assets you can have in PR.

If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be… a journalist!  After years of working on the pitching side of the business, I’ve grown more and more curious about what it’s like on the other side of the coin.  Telling stories would always have to be an essential part of what I do.

What is your website, twitter handle, or anything else you’d like to promote?

www.AMP3pr.com
www.twitter.com/AMP3PR  || www.twitter.com/AlyAMP3
www.instagram.com/AMP3PR
www.facebook.com/AMP3PR

Check back every Monday in May for continuous words of PR wisdom, as Alyson will guest contribute this month and share more of her experience and expertise!

THE INTERN QUEEN WELCOMES YOU TO THE REAL WORLD

You all remember Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen, no? I featured her in my Spotlight series because she is the go-to for all internship questions and advice. Well, as if she isn’t busy enough, she is about to release her second book…

Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business) comes out tomorrow, April 22nd.  This is a book that all recent grads should get their hands on.  It’s all about how to be successful in the first job experience, both personally and professionally.

In this book, Lauren also covers the following:

  • Personal Rules for Success (Examples: Rule #1 Confidence is King, Rule #2 Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable, Rule #3 Learn to Love Rejection, Seriously)
  • How to Stay Organized, Prioritize Everything, and Maximize Your Potential at your first, second, or third job
  • Networking Rules (How to Stay in touch, How To Find a Mentor, How to Network both Internally & Externally)
  • How to Deal with Difficult Bosses and/or Co-Workers
  • How to Handle Mess-Ups at Work (You burned a bridge, your boss is screaming at you, people are speaking negatively about you, you sent an email to the wrong person, you sent your boss to the wrong address)
  • How to handle asking for raises and promotions AND how to handle NOT getting the raises and promotions that you want
  • How to channel your inner entrepreneur within a corporate environment
  • How to manage your time at work so that you don’t always feel “so busy”
  • How to control your spending and personal finances during your first job
  • Work/Life Balance – How to make sure you are taking care of yourself and having a good time during that first job experience

To learn more about the book or to pre-order, click here: http://amzn.to/OFOPL7

Happy reading!

GOING DARK…

Dear Readers,

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.

xo,

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?
Please apply directly to yesenia@prconsulting.net.

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 kate.morgan@bollare.com.

GOOD LUCK!