Posts in: press-coverage

Public Relations

3 Things Fashion Brands Need To Do to Land Press Coverage

Press coverage is one of those things that has a leg in both the vanity metrics of our businesses and the actual metrics of our businesses. But it's a tough area. Because it takes time, consistency, and thoughtful strategy. Three things that we as often impatient business owners aren't all that good at accepting. Understanding the fundamentals of getting press coverage is at the heart of being successful at it.

Fashion Trade Shows Public Relations

How To Get Press Coverage for Independent Fashion Designers

Recipe for Press

So I’m pretty sure that I sucked you in with that headline, didn’t I?  Getting press coverage is a big deal for any designer but especially for an independent one that doesn’t have a staff of twenty marketing and publicizing their brand.  Keeping that in mind, we made sure that we hit up the seminar at WWDMagic called Recipe for Press with freelance writer and editor Amy Flurry, author of the book…Recipe for Press.

Why do you want press?

  • It generates sales.
  • It  creates a lot of positive momentum around your brand.
  • It opens you up to opportunities that exist that you might not know about.
  • Oh yes, and it’s FREE!

With no further ado, here are Amy’s tips for getting your product on the pages of glossies and blogs. 

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You do not need a publicist to get press.  Do not be intimidated to approach press yourself.
  • The truth is, editors are always looking for new brands and products to feature.  They want to hear from you. Just make sure you do it the right way.
  • Editors are looking to create a relationship with you.  They will write about you once and if you’re easy to work with, editors will take your story with them from magazine to magazine, blog to blog.
  • Your goal should be to eventually have someone in house, doing the pitching for you. This should be a full time job. But in the beginning, the editor wants to be directly in touch with the source.  That’s you.
  • When you’re ready to pitch, make sure you’ve followed the tips below because, according to Amy, you get about 3 seconds with an editor.  You better grab ’em from the start, or you could be dead in the water.
  • You don’t need to be in NYC or a major city to get great press.  in fact, you almost have a better chance to shine when you’re not.

Standing out:

  • Your story is the only thing that differentiates your brand from someone else’s in your field.
  • Because of the above point, you need to sit down with someone who knows you and come up with 4 or 5 versions of your story. Think about how you belong in different kinds of press; a gardening magazine, a parenting magazine, a fashion magazine, a DIY blog, etc. then develop your story around those areas.
  • Even if it’s a spin on just one product that will place you in one of these area, that’s ok.
Your job:
  • Get to know the publications you’re pitching.  This is key. So I’ll say it again. Get to know the publications you are pitching! They will know if you’re wingin’ it. I promise. And once you burn that bridge, it’s extremely difficult to build it up again.
  • You don’t need to read every last issue but you do need to read 3 or 4 and look at it as a formula and see that the formula is the same month after month.  You need to fit into that formula in order to catch their attention, because they surely aren’t going to change it for you.
  • What you’re trying to do in a pitch is buy a little more time, a little more time. As mentioned above, you start with 3 seconds.  If you can get their attention in those 3 seconds, then little by little throughout the pitch, you’re buying more of their time and attention.
  • When thinking about your 4 or 5 versions of your story and trying to fit yourself into various publications’ formulas, don’t just think about yourself, what about the people who work behind you? How do their stories fit into the larger story?
  • Pitch national magazines 6 to 7 months in advance.  So don’t pitch a holiday story in November. You’re follow up would be 2 weeks after.
  • Pitch a regional magazine 4 months in advance and follow up 2 weeks after.
  • Pitch blogs with the expectation that your story could run 20 minutes after the pitch or 2 weeks after the pitch. It’s the beauty of digital, folks.
  • When you pitch blogs, make sure that you have the product available and the viewer capacity on your website.  Meaning, when you pitch and a blog runs your story in the next day, are you ready for all the attention you could possibly get?  Because how much would it suck to have your website crash?  Or to only have like 3 products actually available?
  • If you pitch a blog, you sure as heck better read that blog everyday for the next several weeks in see if they run your story or not.  If you follow up a few days after a pitch, inquiring about your story, and they say “Yep, we got and ran it 2 days ago”…there goes that potential relationship.
  • To build on that, don’t follow up with bloggers.  Their moving too quickly.  Simply pitch and read the blog regularly to see if you’re featured. You can then thank the blogger.  But never follow up.
  • Be organized.  Start a google doc spreadsheet with who you’re pitching, when you pitched, when to follow up, what was their response.
  • Be persistent. You want an answer. By that we mean remember to follow up (just once via email) with print pitches. That does not mean be a pest.
Finding a editor’s contact information:
  • Why is it so difficult to find the info sometimes?  If they want to be found, why is the info so hidden?
  • Bloggers often have their contact info right there on the blog.
  • Print magazines do have a masthead.  Keep in mind that in the 7 months between mock up and print, editors could have left or gotten a promotion.
  • Make sure you are getting your pitch to the person who produces the page that you want to be on.  If it goes tot h wrong person, that person won’t walk it over to the right one.
  • Do not pitch to the editor in chief or the managing editor or the senior editor. Pitch to the assistant editors.  And remember that the editorial assistants will be assistant editors in like 6 months, so be nice to them too.
  • You want to call the publication’s office and ask for an intern.  Ask that intern, :I have an idea I want to pitch for this page, I just want to make sure it gets into the right hands. Do mind sharing the contact information?”  They will share. this is what they’re there for, You are not bothering them. you on’y have to do it once, that is the beginning of a relationship with an editor.
  • A “no” from an editor is not a “no” forever, it’s a “no” for now.  Persistence. When you come back in three months and you’ve got another idea, it signals you mean business. You’re looking for press and that’s an editor’s job.
Things to put in the pitch:
  • The editor’s name. Personalize your pitch. Do not send a press release. Send a personalized (but short) email
  • According to Amy, you don’t need a press kit.  that’s what your website is for. (food for thought)  Invest in product photography, a great website, and an oversize postcard.
  • In the email include the editori’s name,  the word “New” (new line, new product, new color, whatever), one amazing low res (72dpi) white background image embedded in the email. No attachment. And a link to your product for more info.
  • One large gorgeous white background image.
  • Subject line should give the editor ideas: Cool red wet weather gear for under $50. Ideas: red, wet weather, under 50.
  • A few lines about your brand, including the word “new”.
  • In your signature, be sure to include your phone number.
  • Though you’re not sending one, have high res images available via a link on your site, for easy access for the editors.
  • Do not call an editor to “pick their brain” about anything.  That’s insulting, you’re not being respectful of their time.

There you have it. Questions?  What did we miss?  What do you still need to know?

Fashion Marketing Public Relations

Fashion Designers, Do You Have a Media Kit Yet?

StartUp FASHION media kit

As I come across more and more amazing and talented independent fashion designers, I am sort of floored by the number who do not have a readily accessible media kits.  Designers, the press you crave will come much easier if you map out all your wonderful traits (aka, why your work is noteworthy) and make it easy for members of the media to grab and go.

Remember that first and foremost you want to tell us who you are,what you do, and why you’re special. Answer these questions through a great bio and a powerfully written mission statement or even a Q&A; make the reader want to not only write about you and your work but share it with everyone she knows.

Editor’s note:  Back in my days of hand-weaving and designing handbags, I worked hard to connect with members of my local press in Philly. As a budding entrepreneur in very early stages of teaching myself business acumen, I was only sometimes successful.  However, my bags did manage to catch the eye and really resonate with an editor from Philadelphia Magazine to the point of which she didn’t just write about me, she bought my work, wore it when she went to fancy and fun gatherings, told all her friends about me, and called me her “current obsession”.  Now, being young and still learning business savvy, I did this without a media kit.  However, to this day(some 10years later), I can’t help but think of how many more members of the press I could have reached so deeply if I had created one.

It’s not just consumers who have the potential to become your army of ambassadors.  The media can latch on to someone or something with just as much passion, you simply need to give them the tools to do it.

So, what should you include in your media kit?

  • Your logo, both hi-res and for the web
  • Amazing, detailed, perfectly lit product photos
  • Stunning campaign photos  (remember that photography is the single most important piece of content on your website. Invest in it.)
  • A press release introducing your line or a new collection
  • Recent press coverage
  • Any cool collaborations with notable members of the fashion community
  • Your social links
  • Contact information

If you’re on a budget (which most new designers are), creating your own media kit is OK.  However, having a talented graphic designer put it together for you, is even better.  Either way, making sure that you have created something that the press can access and easily pull from, is key to coverage success.