Public relations in fashion is one of the branches that demand the most work. Here are a few essential steps to follow to be introduced into the fashion industry.
Fashion public relations try to persuade the media to have the brand or product that they are promoting. Of course, qualifies that such description corresponds to the days when traditional media controlled and modulated the information. That data was ultimately going to consumers.
Today, communication channels with the consumer are wider than ever since social media. The rise of influencers have led to many more methods – and ways – to promote a brand or product.
Besides, consumers have become much more sophisticated. They have more knowledge and many more options.
What has not changed at all is the essence of the privileged position within the industry. The importance of taking care of the connections between designers and the press.
We explain how to take your first steps in the world of fashion communication as a springboard to advance in the industry.
How to get experience in the fashion industry
Experience is what will help you the most to find a job in the fashion industry, the best thing to do is to get that practical experience while you are studying.
To hunt down that first big opportunity, there are many online offers, but it’s also a good idea to search through your contacts.
In the fashion industry, even if you don´t know anybody famous, the importance of public relations is that you can always run into a person who works for PR and can introduce you to a company through events or LinkedIn.
Professional experiences in a brand vs agency
You can work well internally in the brand or externally, through an agency. The choice is mostly a matter of preference, but experience in both fields can be a great asset. You have the feeling of being at the heart of the industry, and you know everything that moves.
When you work for the brand, you probably specialize more, and you get involved in more levels. In an agency, on the contrary, you acquire a macro vision way of working. Depending on what the client needs, it can be a particular project, a continued professional service, or just for a parade. Working inside an agency focuses more on a specific project and its results. In goodnoon´s experience, clients come to you because they want your point of view. The knowledge you have gained after working with many different companies and in different scenarios.
What place does retail occupy in the process?
When working for a fashion retailer, it is a common task, since it helps multiple brands with a single objective. Every piece that is designed is to serve the end consumer, but it’s also about understanding what drives the business. We must know the trends and the history that the product sells, because it is something that the consumer is very interested and hold a great business opportunity.
How to create a network of contacts?
Having a network of contacts is vital in any industry, but it is essential in the fashion industry. Although you can gain contacts through social networks, establishing a direct relationship with someone, based on trust, is undoubtedly more important. They are based on a genuine approach, as well as goodwill and respect, making room in your life each week to take care of your relationships and make new contacts is very important among the fashion industry.
While new technologies have their place, the mission is not only to build on its network of contacts but to get face-to-face meetings for designers. For example, designers spend two days in a city and organize a round of meetings. If there is no possibility of a face-to-face reunion, picking up the phone is the best way to sell proposals and establish links through social media.
What are the public relations dissemination channels today?
Fashion still works on paper, but also has migrated online, collaborating with influencers, positioning famous people, and even consultancy work on what content to generate on your client’s social media. Collections have to be presented with a traditional fashion show and cultural activities since they are the current great asset for fashion brands which includes television, press, events, among others.
How to create a reliable communication strategy
Developing a good communication strategy depends at the beginning of what the client or the company wants to achieve. At Jovani, they implement the same communication strategy for all their regular customers listening to their needs and come back with the best possible proposal, that means not adhering by the system to any passing fashion, for example, the ‘see now, buy now.’
The objective is therefore to find ways for the client to obtain a return on his investment (ROI). The industry is constantly looking for new parameters, so it is better to prepare to face changes in key performance indicators (KPIs) and think about developing new ways to demonstrate the success achieved.
How is the collaboration with influencers different from the traditional press?
The question is to know exactly what your client’s needs are, what he wants and what kind of audience he wants to reach. You deal with individuals, not entities, so the approach is much more personal, which has developed a specific program for collaboration with influencers after verifying the added value of long-term partnerships. We have to assimilate that the influencers are in a certain way their brand and that they protect their brand in the same way that any organization would.
If you are a brand of super luxury, but you have not been responsible for developing a sufficiently accessible broadcast and products, how are you going to fit in with an influencer followed by millions of millennials, people who do not have the money to buy you? You have to connect with the public and at the same time with the image of that person if you consider that the scope you have is the one that interests you. Influencers are an important part of a much broader communication strategy.
A collaboration of celebrities with fashion pieces receive wide coverage in minutes. The fact is that not all proposals always need this type of accessibility, this personalization approach is the core of the work of a PR, because making fit the projects with the appropriate media is crucial to success.
A step by step guide on how to become fashion public relations:
1) Graduate in the career that you are most passionate about related to fashion, that allows you to develop your ability to solve problems and communication skills.
2) Acquire experience, either working directly in the brand or a communication agency.
3) Decide in what area you want to specialize, while always keeping abreast of the advances in the fashion industry.
4) Develop a good network of contacts and take care of your professional relationships.