I see you think [fashion] has nothing to do with you. You select that lumpy blue sweater from your closet because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.
– Miranda Priestly, Devil Wears Prada
Famed fashion publications like VOGUE, ELLE, GLAMOUR and GQ set the standard for what’s considered on-trend in any given season. As PR pros, it’s our job to find inroads with editors at these magazines to get our clients featured alongside the Christian Louboutins and Louis Vuittons of the industry.
Gone are the days of only household-named, Fashion Week-represented brands in the pages and blogs that influence the masses—online communication, and a resulting shrunken globe, has opened up the field for up-and-coming brands to get recognition. Consumers no longer want only the same big brands they see on every billboard—and consumer press are following suit by offering fresh looks and ideas.
As consumer PR reps in the Midwest, we can take advantage of this new demand to garner coverage for our brands in several ways—many of which can be achieved from behind a Macbook in Indianapolis or anywhere in the world.
Here are five methods PR professionals can utilize for fashion brand exposure:
On of the easiest ways to get your brand in front of decision-making market editors is with an eye-catching lookbook. Lifestyle photography and crisp product shots show quality and fit. Whether sent to editors digitally through email or mailed to their office in hardcopy, lookbooks get their eyes on your brand without having to direct them to a showroom in NYC.
Just as with any press, fashion editors need to be intrigued with an inventive story angle. Spring Break fashion, winter travel, blingy accessories—don’t just pitch your product, pitch a feature idea. Even if your client isn’t a fashion brand, a creative angle can get your less-than-sexy emergency radio featured on Marie Claire or your wearable sleeping bag featured on GLAMOUR. Yes, those are actual BLASTmedia clients, Etón and Selk’bag.
If you want to see your brand on the pages of Life & Style or OK! Weekly, it better be on a celebrity. And the only way to a celebrity’s style is through her stylist. Shipping lookbooks and product samples to major styling houses can get your hat on the head of Channing Tatum or watch on the arm of Ice T. It’s worked for us with our clients nobis and Phosphor!
Most major magazines feature some version of a holiday gift guide in their November/December issues, and are always looking for ways to freshen them up with new content and brands. Real Simple, in fact, specifically calls for products that have not had press elsewhere, so new brands are sure to draw attention.
Although online and phone conversations make up the meat of today’s media relations, sometimes you have to step out from behind your coffee-speckled keyboard and get out into the world. For fashion brands, setting up one or two days of desk-side meetings with major press in New York City can get the bulk of your collection in front of major contributors.
All of these tactics require finesse, expertise and acute fashion sense, so fashion brands with a budget should enlist professionals in the PR industry. If you’re starting from the ground up, and carrying out your own PR efforts, do your research first. Add trusted fashion PR blogs like PR Couture and PR Closet to your list of weekly reads. If there are similar brands to yours already in the market, track them to see what media outlets are covering them, and if you have a favorite fashion writer, stalk their tweets and coverage to find an in for your brand.
For fashion PR questions in 140 characters or less, feel free to tweet me @KimberlyPuckett!