Rosie Davies on ‘How to Do Fashion PR on a Limited Budget’

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Rosie Davies on ‘How to Do Fashion PR on a Limited Budget’

The friendliest and most affordable Fashion PR shares her knowledge with PYT.
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Image: London Fashion Agency Instagram

About Rosie Davies

Rosie started the London Fashion Agency three years ago, taking on small independent brands. She’s a PR expert, pairing brands with the right publications and has worked with more than eighty names. We met Shannon from LFA on the first ever Role Focus video.

Side note: She is also easily one of the nicest people I have ever met. I’m a very awkward hug person, but Rosie’s super tight squeezes are a far cry from ‘chic air kisses’. I’ll choose Rosie’s any day and coming from me that is major awkward girl progress.

What did the seminar cover?

Refine… What is PR and what do you need to have before contacting press?

How… Social Media, Publications and Gifting.

Response… What to do? Communicating with a network.

Cost… How much does it all cost?

What is Fashion PR?

PR: Getting a service or a product in front of the public.

Traditional PR is product placement = Free coverage.

The Types of Press Placements:

Interviews: They are informal and personal.

Product Reviews: It is an opportunity to get a product reviewed by a respected industry body.

Product Placement: Images (assets) sent directly to publication to generate sales. (Most effective for sales)

Regular Feature: Every publication has a specific column that continues every issue. Editorials: Photoshoots shot by the stylists that have been commissioned by the publication. Particularly good because it could potentially raise the status of the brand.

Influencers: Product that is gifted to ‘influencers’ (bloggers) to feature on their social channels.

“You can’t ignore bloggers. They’re very influential”

Different types of PR:

(PRINT) Long Lead (Monthly magazines – They are worked on four to six months in advance. 

PRINT) Short Lead: Publications that are released weekly or every 2 weeks. Three months lead.

(ONLINE) Instant! This could be one day depending on their schedules.

What do you need before PR?

KEY: A STRONG BRAND IDENTITY

Brand Ethics: Where are your products made? Are you ethical

Brand Story: The background – How are you different? Will the press be intrigued by your story?

Brand Style: LogoFonts, Color Schemes, Mood

Product: Don’t do anything with press unless your product is perfect. That is what you will be judged on the most.

What is the selling point to the press? Example: If you mention that the brand is fully manufactured in the UK, this could be viewed as a strength to press.

There should be consistency with all your branding. Hire a freelancer if you need an expert to come in and handle imagery, assets, copy etc.

Imagery

GREAT imagery is the key! Press receive many press releases and lookbooks daily – your brand imagery will make you stand out.

Top Tip: SPEND YOUR BUDGET on quality imagery.

Other types of imagery: Cut out shots aka Assets: Clean cut, high resolution images with natural lightings.

Top Tip: ‘U SHOOT ISLINGTON’ is a recommended studio to get your product images shot. Either hire a pro to do it or do it yourself. Prices start from £99 p/h.

Lifestyle imagery: The right model has to be organised, art directors may have to be hired, as well as stylists. The whole process has to be perfected in order to create the right image to sell the story to the public and press.

Social Media Preferences

Pick a mixture of platforms that would work well for your specific service/brand.

Instagram serves as your visual brand imagery conveying the story of the brand.

Facebook might work more effectively for an older market

Twitter often comes down to personal preference, it’s a good way to share links and engage with your audience

Snapchat is for more of a younger market, it is more instant but disposable. Very helpful to convey behind-the-scenes footage.

BE CONSISTENT on socials.

Posting and reposting. Engage with your audience well. Be in their shoes.

Reposting is fine just make sure you CREDIT!

Videos can be a strength if executed perfectly, they are visually appealing to the eye.

Socials aren’t enough, having a website is essential!

“The press judge a brand in four seconds”

When should you start to contact press?

When you have…

Beautiful lifestyle imagery

Top quality cut out shots.

The story.

Clear branding.

How to do it well?

Position your brand.

Confirm and know what publications and influencers your brand or service will be relevant/appropriate for. Be realistic!

Knowing whom to pitch

Fashion Assistants:  Keep them close, they’re who you will be interacting with via emails and calls. Fashion Assistants will climb the career ladder one day and maybe the next big Editors.

Interns: They are the people who you will be getting through to when asking for returns or making product pulls. Be respectful of them, they will be the next Assistants.

Editor and Editor Assistants: They will have control on the stories that will go to print or online.

Stylists, Directors: They will have control on decision-making.

Editor in Chief: The main person to have control on what which editorial/written pieces and the order of each magazine issue.

TIP: There are multiple Editor roles; be specific as possible.

Follow them on social media, interact with them, get on their radar.

Pitching

– No blanket emails – They are a BIG no no!

– Be genuine and simple; mention/compliment their work to as a sign that you are keeping tabs on their work. Always remain genuine.

– Say exactly what you want.

– Pitches should be more than three lines. Be short be sweet and simple.

Gifting

– 1 out of 8 publications will grant you coverage if you gift them.

– Inform them on the pieces you have and ask what they like from the collection. This should only be done if it appeals to them and they will genuine use or review it.

– Be selective! If you’re sending journalists/Editors clothes do make sure you have the right sizes!

Working with Editors:

Be efficient, time is of the essence!

If they ask for samples/images act instantly! Send high-res images via dropbox or WeTransfer if they are too big for a regular email attachment.

Samples = send via courier ASAP.

In the end make sure you do follow up with them to see if you have made the cut.

What happens next? 

Always thank them: Build strong relationships.

Make sure you keep account of what has been sent, use a database to keep track.

“Be realistic! In placing yourself, consider which methods are best for your brand”

Working with influencers

Instagram influences have more power over consumer purchase, even more so than press.

Build relationships, don’t use them.

Check if their audience is appropriate to your brand.

Be clear when contacting them: What do you want? How will you reward them.

BEWARE OF BOUGHT FOLLOWERS

You can see the similarities and differences from an active page vs. a bought followers page.

Start with a list of twenty influencers to contact.

No Response? …Don’t Panic

Follow up in a few weeks from a different angle.

Add key players in your field to a Mailchimp mailing list and update them on big business advances.

Engage with them on social media.

Cost

Gifting and packing = A realistic cost on how much you can afford to spend.

Product Photography = £99 P/H

Lifestyle Photography = £400 P/D

Publications List = £99 + VAT

There may be other costs depending on your needs add that in to the budget: Stylist, model, props, web Build (Squarespace)

This is just a snapshot of all the value bombs Rosie dropped in the session. If you are a young brand considering PR, contact the award-winning agency for a consultation. Prices start from £39

Special thanks: Rosie Davies | @ldnfashionagcy www.thelondonfashionagency.com 

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