For many fashion designers, starting out is far from easy. Balancing the creative process with running a business while ensuring that you’re designs are out there and getting the coverage you deserve can often be a struggle. Some designers are lucky enough to have a well established PR company handling their publicity while others are not so fortunate. If you fall in to the â€œnot-so-fortunate category, then this feature is for you. We’ve enlisted the help of Kristin Ann Janishefski, co-founder of PR agency, The Vanguard to offer up some valuable basic PR tips to keep you motivated. Kristen also runs a PR workshop mentoring young designers. Here she gives us her top 5 tipsâ€¦
Tip 1: Don’t underestimate the power of an editorial assistant. Unlike the editor an assistant is more likely to spare 5 mins to talk with you on the phone and is just as informed. Try to extract as much detailed and specific information from the assistant as possible. Now, while some may request that you just email the editor directly, look on the bright side, at least you have gotten some invaluable information that can be used to spin your pitch.
Tip 2. Time is of the essence. The first thing I always ask an editor when I get them on the phone is, â€œAre you on a deadline? Respect the editors and ensure that they have sufficient time to listen to your pitch. This should also segway into tip number 2.5; You are a slave to the clock. The magazine world is very fast paced and they work on extremely tight deadlines. If an editor requests images or more information, get it done as soon as you are off the phone. It could mean the difference between your product being featured or not.
Tip 3. Nothing is ever confirmed. No matter what email/phone call/confirming sheet or booking sheet you may see, NOTHING is EVER confirmed. So prepare yourself for disappointment. A product can get pulled last minute due to something as little as not having space on the page. Don’t take it personal, you have done everything you can do. Usually the editor will work with you on sliding the feature in the next issue, if it fits, but just make sure that you keep following up with them to ensure this happens.
Tip 4. Don’t date your self. While press releases are pretty, most editors prefer receiving an editorial blurb over the traditional boring drab release. An editorial blurb should only be a few short paragraphs, with a couple of quality images that will pique interest. It contains the important points about the product and should refresh the editor’s memory while offering an angle that is appropriate to their publication.
Tip 5. Good face time. High quality images of your collection are extremely important. You should have current high resolution, over 300 dpi, as well as current low resolution images on hand. Low resolution images should be used in the editorial blurbs and high resolution images can be provided upon request. Never send anything over 4 mb in size to an editor! Put your best face forward and hire a professional photographer that will ensure you have quality images of your line.
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