Fashion designers often struggle in the early stage of their careers to find their identity and stay true to their craft. The difficulties with the business model and being profitable are a direct result from the desire to do everything at once. PR specialist and marketing consultant Stephania Schirru has helped grow multi-million dollar fashion brands and is an expert in the field. She says it is necessary to find your niche, then focus on it and perfect it. To get featured in the press, you must tell your brand’s story. The panelists for Fashion Mingle’s Mastermind session “Tricks To Get Featured In The Press” talked about how to successfully get press and have your brand featured in a publication.
Tricks To Get Featured In The Press
How to find the right publication for your business
Not every publication is one size fits all, said Fashion Mingle CEO and cofounder Melissa Shea. How do you figure out the right publication for you? Before picking one, you must determine your goal. Why do you want to have a press? Once you have a plan, research the publication to find out which aligns with your target market and best mirrors your aesthetics. Most media outlets have a media kit for their advertisers, breaking down their demographics, reach, and distribution. It includes psychographics that will give you a good starting point for picking your publication.
Google Alerts can be very helpful. Stephania suggests searching for a topic the clients relate to, getting an idea of who covers what, along with details like tone, type, and how often they’re uploaded. Muck Rack is another good tool; it allows you to enter an editor or publication and access past articles. No matter how good your relationship with an editor, you must always stay updated on their recent work. Oh Tepmongkol-Wheaton is the CEO for the fashion tech startup The Ohzone, Inc. and emphasized the importance of taking your time to pick the correct publications, as the quality of your choices brings more success than a higher number of pitches.
How to find the journalists’ contact information
Both online and on social media, most publications list the editors’ or writers’ information underneath the article. Many blogs include emails and social media handles, and platforms like RocketReach allow you to find an email address by searching for first and last name and affiliation. Another interesting tip is that most magazines or publications like Vogue, Conde Nast, and GQ have the same email format. It’s “first name underscore last name @magazine.com.” Other magazines like Hearst, Cosmo, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar, usually use “first name initial last name @magazine.com.” If you can still not find it after that, there are several media lists out there that you can buy.
How to write a pitch that will get read
Before you even decide to pitch, it’s vital to reunite all the material you may need. Have your marketing assets, website, a good presence on social media, and high-resolution images. Founder of Runway The Real Way Catherine Schuller brings up how helpful hiring a company such as Getty Images can be for photography; many reporters are looking for visuals and could be interested in making a roundup with pictures that they pulled together.
Ensure you have your lookbook line sheet ready to go if asked for, as many opportunities may be missed due to unpreparedness. For digital, you must pitch one to three months in advance; print, three to six months, sometimes even nine months. The best pitches are based on the news cycle, which is the approach where important holidays and events are followed to pitch the right topic at the right time. Never pick a story because it’s trending; create something fresh.
Be vague at the beginning of your pitch, organize your brain, and come up with three messages you want to bring across. First, a catchy subject line should answer who, what, where, and why. Then, introduce yourself. You will have less than a paragraph to find a connection with the editor, so a good suggestion is to tell a story. Next, tell them why this story is newsworthy. Fourth call to action, what do you want them to do? Interview you, include you in a roundup, come to your next event? In the end, always have a low-resolution picture that is still pretty good visually. You don’t want to send them a high-resolution image because it might not get delivered.
DIY tools to land a feature about your brand
Don’t underestimate social media, as it has become vital and has made it easier to build relationships with editors. If there’s one who always features your favorite celebrities or writes important stories, sending them a DM and liking and resharing posts will make the subsequent introduction a lot easier. Owner of TRUE Model Management Dale Noelle also recommends participating in interviews for influential newspapers, which is excellent for credibility. But those can involve quick turnarounds, too, so be prepared at all times.
If you don’t have a publicist but get interviewed often, write down the answers to your most asked questions, and whenever they’re asked again, the document will be there. It’s not advised to announce anything that is not secured yet or that you have not protected legally. Fashion and business attorney Shirin Movahed spoke about projects you may be working on or brands you’re creating; trademark the brand and anything related to it and copyright it. All the content that can be registered should be.
The art of the follow-up
Journalists receive many pitches, so following up is indispensable. The technique recommended by Stephania is to follow up anywhere from three to four days later, letting another week pass and following up again. Be patient and don’t be discouraged, as the editors may not reply just because they haven’t seen your pitch yet. You can send an editor more than one, though you should include another angle. With each follow-up, always add value. Instead of saying, “Hey, I sent you this email. Waiting to hear back from you.” say, for example, “This designer is going to showcase at New York Fashion Week; here are images from our latest editorial shoot.”
You can find more fashion and PR resources on Fashion Mingle.
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