Last Thursday night was my first encounter with London College of Fashion and Task PR a fashion and lifestyle PR agency who are based in central London. Tamara Kretzer and Andre Schlagowski the founders of Task PR led the tutorial and will be for the remaining 6 sessions.
This course is ideal if you have experience of either fashion or non-fashion PR and would like to learn new and creative ways of promoting fashion brands, products and people in an increasingly competitive fashion market.
The course includes:
- The power of the fashion image
- Celebrity product placement
- Exploring the digital landscape and social media
- How PR works with marketing and advertising
Time flew it was an enjoyable experience as well as informative and insightful. Tamara and Andre were passionate about their work Tamara said ‘I love my work’ and I could tell she meant it. They really believe in providing people with opportunities to break into the fashion industry successfully. They recognise the challenges young people face in getting where they dream of.
The tutorial started off with the basic differences between Public Relations and Advertising so to remind a few of you advertising is expensive yet controllable where as free editorial cover is uncontrollable and so the most important thing here to realise is that relationships are vital.
Interestingly when asked about the definition of PR it was refreshing not to hear the CIPR definition recited but hear a simple business understanding that in fashion PR you are invisible the dark energy that that bridges the gap between the designer and the media.You are responsible for the perception of the brand and communicating with consumers to buy the end product.
So the game of PR…
To maximise coverage however there are loads of brands competing for editorial space and it should be remembered that there is competition with advertisiers…paying customers!!! Everyone is fighting to get on the front page so in PR one needs to build good relationships with key media figures people who are influential. Relationships are key to succeeding and it’s important that you know exactly who you need to contact,what their role is, what pages they are in charge of or what events and columns they are associated to etc. The number of people contacting jouralists is high….you need to be remembered for impressing them with your knowledge about them by offering them information that is relevant to what they do and will be useful. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON THEY REMEMBER FOR INSULTING THEM IN ANYWAY OR WASTING THEIR TIME!!!
As a little big tip!!! It was suggested that we start up our own contacts list, get a ring binder folder and some plastic wallets cut out the pages in magazines and papers that list the contact details of all involved in producing the publication. Not only will we get to know who is who but in an interview these actions speak loudly you can explain that it’s just a little personal database of contacts that you have been collecting, Tamara said if someone turned up to an interview for a job with that they woud get the job straight away. This is something I would not have thought of myself so thank you.
So what are the 3 ingredients for PR success?
1. Understand the product, target consumer, the price points, competition, brand knowledge etc.
2. Understand the timeline, when do I approach the press, what’s happening in the market place, when do I contact people, the media, consumers, bloggers, work backwards from the key date.
3. Contacts – networking and building posite relationships is essential in successfully achieving desired results, with no contacts where will you be. As previously implied… be hot on knowing specific people.
We were informed about understanding the market place and where products fit, usng a triangle and breaking it into 4 sections, at the top we have luxury products these are more exclusive items there will be fewer of these and they will be expensive, the next section below is High End which is still expensive not as exclusive and generally there are more of them and then high street and at the bottom mainstream which is usually that point where the most exclusive items have become trends amongst the mainstream, it has travelled down from the top for example when Juicey Couture brought out their tracksuit, it was a luxury item that became a similar style product located in Primark a mainstream store. The life span of a product crashes due to competition and in using PR it is possible to prolong the life span and avoid the crash.
So this is it for the moment I hope this may have been useful in some way and I look forward to being able to share more information with you soon.