Becoming A Fashion PR
Becoming A Fashion PR
Hannah Campbell (Senior Account Manager, Communications Team) gives expert video advice on: What does a Fashion PR do?; How do you become a Fashion PR?; Is there any specific training you can do to become a Fashion PR? and more...
Is there any specific training you can do to become a Fashion PR?
Yes, you can do specific training to become a fashion PR. You can do fashion marketing and training. You can do that as a degree. There's different ways that you can get into it. You can do courses on it. London College of Fashion has a really good course and they balance that with marketing and creative. The university I went to, which was Northumbria, does fashion marketing as well and you get involved wtih the whole aspect of fashion so you understand design and you understand how to market a product. You can go and learn it, but a lot of it's in whether or not you're a good communicator and you get on well with people. That's a lot to do with the job.
At what age can you become a Fashion PR?
I started doing it when I was 22. And I think you obviously kind of start quite lower down, and you start kind of as an exec role, whereby you're more sending out samples, etc. And whether you could necessarily call yourself a publicist and a PR I'm not sure at that level, but certainly quite young. I mean, we've got account managers here at Exposure who are 24, who are very capable publicists and fashion PRs.
What roles can you combine with being a Fashion PR?
I think 'Fashion PR' is all encompassing. If that's your job, that's your job. But there's obviously elements that you can get involved in depending on where you work. It's quite a creative job as well, it's not necessarily just sort of reading, reading the papers and doing scanning, and doing things like that. You have to think up stories, you have to add content and create something that maybe perhaps isn't there in the first place. Make it news worthy, make it interesting to the public and interesting to the people within the industry as well.
Do you have to have an interest in fashion to become a Fashion PR?
You definitely do. There's different levels of interest in fashion that you could have. If you work for a big designer, you obviously have to have a massive interest in trends and what they do, and should have a love for their brand and their vision. On the other side of it, you could work for a High Street brand and your interest in fashion is different, because you're more following trends, and looking at the catwalk to follow rather than to set. You definitely have to have an interest in fashion, and love clothes and love shopping and love everything about the fashion industry.
Do you have to have been a model or designer to be a Fashion PR?
No, definitely not. I mean, image is important in this industry so you have to care about how you look and how you present yourself. Which is important in any job, but i guess more so sometimes when you work in fashion.
What advice would you give to an aspiring Fashion PR?
I would give, first of all be completely involved in it, read all the magazines you need to read whether that's anything from your Vogues, or American Vogues, etc right down to your style titles: iD, and Dazed, and all your kind of street style that is really important now in fashion as well. And then be interested in the media because its not just about pages anymore because there's so much more out there that you can use whether that's social networks like Facebook or MySpace or whatever the next thing might be and you've always got to be interested in communication. And then just kind of work really hard and try to get in places and meet people and don't be shy and try to learn everything that you can and take a step back sometimes and just watch what people are doing and how they speak and how they get on with people. One thing I would say is when you start out in Fashion PR there's a tendency to kind of be everyone's best friend and I think you have to earn that and that's certainly something I look for when I'm looking to take on new PR's or within my team is someone who can understand that it's about building a relationship with someone and not just instantly having it and calling them "sweetie" when you pick up the phone.
What are the key skills to being a great Fashion PR?
Communications has always got to be the key. Network - you've got to know people. You've got to know that you can call in your favors when you need to. You've got to treat people the same way as they would treat you. Make sure that you service their requests. Get back to them on time. Make sure you don't mess a story if they're relying on you. You've got to be on the button with whatever they need. Their first point of call. Become their first point of call. Anything that they need they'll call you for. And don't pass them around. Deliver.