Tag Archives: Economy

Social Media Brings in NYE Fashion

28 Dec

Gift-giving season is over and we now set our sights on the New Year’s Eve trends. After one day of digesting the holiday dinners and potlucks, we’re now on the search for sequins and shiny fabrics for the best price. Shoppers are looking for a deal and researching through their social media networks to get the inside scoop.

As of two days after Christmas, Nordstrom is strictly pushing NYE accessories through Twitter and Facebook. Rather than publicizing glitzy and expensive dresses, this strategy is right on the money in the current economy. @Nordstrom features cocktail rings for all budgets; an easy fix to accessorize an ensemble without buying an entire new look.

On the other hand, Hayden-Harnett is featuring dresses through social media, but they too are aware of the small pockets after holiday shopping. Posting the day after Christmas, @Hayden_Harnett tweets, “Dresses perfect for NYE and far beyond! http://ow.ly/QcwN.” The Web site features Hayden-Harnett top NYE picks, all with up to 30 percent discounts.

Thinking from the consumer’s perspective is key to social media success. Both Nordstrom and Hayden-Harnett have proactively posted to various social media tools before the work week begins. These brands are anticipating the customer to stop thinking of others the moment Christmas is over. Sadly, their prediction is correct! Consumers move quickly– once holiday shopping ends, NYE shopping begins.

Pitching to Santa Claus: How To Pitch in the Current Market

23 Dec

It’s not about the must-have Tickle Me Elmo this year, it’s about the savings. This year, pitching holiday gift guides was much different from years past. It was important to be cognizant of the economic climate and to position products by highlighting  the added value or the savings.

When pitching a product, it’s necessary to understand the current environment. Public relations professionals must keep current on news and current events. Whether it is the Tiger Woods scandal or the health care reform, both events can play an important part in pitching any product.

Pitching is much more than picking up the phone, dialing a number and saying, “Hello, I’m so and so calling on behalf of blank.” Here’s a few things to remember for your next pitch:

1. Conduct a media audit. Research the journalist and their particular beat. Read at least six of their articles and find a commonality. Thoroughly investigating their writing builds trust in the future conversation.

2. Practice makes perfect. It might seem silly to close the door and read your pitch out loud, but give it a try! I promise this will command more respect over the phone -confidence is key when selling a product or idea.

3. Tailor your pitch. It’s o.k. to have a universal pitch, but when you have completed your research, it’s important to personalize  the conversation to create an open dialogue.

4. Lead with a current industry trend or event. Get in the trenches with your journalists. These people are constantly scouring the news for the next best story. If you are as up to speed as they are, then you can lend more credibility.

Also, check out fashion PR blogger Yuli Ziv sharing her e-mail tips on making your pitch blogger friendly. And, if you’re wondering how not to pitch, check out The Bad Pitch Blog for the best examples. Hopefully you don’t find your pitch posted!

How do you prepare to pitch? Share your tips and stories and have a fabulous holiday, fashionistas!

Job Seekers: Surving the Recession as a Public Relations Professional

10 Mar

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Photo: What to wear to the office

Many people have recently asked for my advice on breaking into the public relations industry. There are many students eager to graduate and hop into their dream job. Don’t get me wrong, having a fire in the belly is a wonderful thing but you must be careful. It is a different world out there and nothing is what it seems. Everyone is fighting to save their job or land a job, so it is important to be smart and careful.

Are you graduating  soon and planning on job searching or currently seeking a new job? Here are a few things to remember before tackling the job market during this economy:

#1 Know the market. It is important to asses the nature and activity of top companies within the industry. Lay-offs, budget cuts and even stock prices determine whether or not there is better chance for you to score a job in fashion or consumer public relations.

#2 Be open to new opportunities. Of course you don’t want to flip burgers for the rest of your life, but what if you could flip burgers while offering your public relations skills to that burger joint? Aside from fast food, you may find yourself looking at thousands of non-PR jobs within your desired industry. Take a chance on one of those jobs and you may find out that the company actually needs PR! You can then offer your skills and gain experience!

#3 Stay active. Keep blogging and join PR organizations even if you end up at a job that does not involve practicing public relations. PRSA is a wonderful way to stay updated on the industry and build networks. Blogging and micro-blogging also exercises and refines your writing skills. Also, keep reading your favorite blogs and newspapers to stay current on trends and industry news. You never know when a potential PR job could present itself.

#4 Take your time. Don’t take the first job that falls in your lap. It’s also important to move on if you’ve been job searching for over three months without result. Moving back home with the parents or a few roommates will save you money and help build a nest egg. It’s never too early to start adding to your nest egg or emergency fund.

#5 Show your worth! Don’t be shy because modesty won’t get you anywhere in the world of public relations. Be confident in what you have learned in class, internships or previous jobs by building a portfolio of related work. Share every single piece of media you’ve earned and any tactics you’ve helped implement, even if you think your job was insignificant. Every helping hand is the building block for a successful brand!

#6 Stay positive. It’s always important to keep a positive outlook. Talk yourself up before entering into a job interview. I always say to myself, “You’re the best and they would be nothing without you!” I know, it’s a pretty bold statement but it tricks your brain into staying calm and collected. Also, remember to never give up. Don’t be discouraged if over five companies have turned you down. There’s a job out there for you, I promise!

Fashion Industry Looks To Customer Service For Bailout

1 Mar

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Customer service is the springboard for successful public relations and marketing strategies. Anyone can act as the “customer.” Whether someone is a fashionista shopping for the newest pair of Manolos or a journalist shopping for a captivating story. Building and maintaining good relationships is key to public relations.

Nordstrom is probably the best example of placing customer service at the forefront of their business model. They even have their own urban legend about someone returning a set of tires!

During the current economy, department stores are slashing prices and high-end labels are creating lower priced lines. Now, luxury boutique stores are even throwing away their snooty image and starting to place importance on customer service.

Ray A. Smith at the Wall Street Journal explains, “as the luxury goods industry suffers a massive slump in sales – many sales clerks at designer stores who were famously haughty and patronizing suddenly have changed their styles.”

Smith also reports that “some [stores] do acknowledge that they’ve instructed their sales clerks to be less abrupt, spend more time with customers and refrain from being pushy. At Neiman Marcus, sales associates are being encouraged to be “more patient” with customers. “We have seen that customers are more anxious and there is some concern out there,” says Ginger Reeder, a spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus. “So it behooves all of us to remember to be a little more patient.”

If you care about your customer, the customer will care about you and keep your brand secure. As I have said before, in a time of recession, consumers are looking for brands they trust. They want to know that the companies are looking out for them and have their best interest at heart. Fashion brands will gain and retain business while setting themselves apart once they place more importance on customer service.

Fall ’09 Fashion Color Report

13 Feb

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lacoste2You’ll want to listen to Tim Gunn when he tells you to use Tide TotalCare to keep your colors vibrant because Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems, has announced their Fashion Color Report for Fall 2009! FabSugar reports, “‘the most popular colors for Fall really represent a thoughtful palette. That’s a direct outcome of what’s happening in the world around us,’ said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, who also noted that somber yet hopeful colors reflect the troubling economy.”lacosteyellow

As seen in the above color swatches, Pantone has chosen subtle colors that are classic and easy to wear. Colors such as American Beauty, Purple Heart, Honey Yellow and Rapture Rose are just some of the unique colors featured all over the runways during New York Fashion Week. Lacoste is a prime example of using these dusty colors during their Fall ’09 show.

Consumers are looking for colors that compliment each other. Bright and flashy colors are too trendy for people to wear time and time again. Wearing the more muted tones makes it easier to mix and match with the unique and fun pieces purchased when we actually could afford to splurge. Consumers are becoming more thrifty and conscious of what they buy, so it is imperative for colors to be versatile.

Check out the full list of Fall colors and their descriptions at FabSugar.

Photo: FabSugar Reveals Top 10 Fall Colors

Photo: Coutorture: Lacoste Fall 2009 NY Fashion Week

Designer Collaborations: Give The People What They Want!

23 Dec

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Fashionistas are protesting once again! I hate to break it to ya, but it looks like Betsey Johnson will not be launching a diffusion line with H&M or Target. “‘The rumors are false,'” a rep confirmed to People.com,” reported by The Cut. Only a few days ago we were cheering on the label for their efforts. Even if it was a rumor, Betsey Johnson needs to give the people what they want!

The mass excitement is a testament to this cash-cow idea. As I explained in my previous post, collaborating with a retail chain for a short time would boost profits without tarnishing the luxury name.

Remember Alexander McQueen’s announcement to collaborate with Target last November? Heck, besides Kohl’s, Vera Wang has even collaborated with Serta mattresses! Designer collaborations generate high short-term profits that can sustain a company during a slow economy.

It is important to keep an eye on the current market because of its ever changing environment. Currently, consumers are trying to find affordable luxuries. Fashionista’s are still addicted to shopping but are now digging for deals.  Karim Shah of Pierce Mattie PR’s The Fashion Rag also recognizes this market in his latest post saying, “don’t discount the power the average woman beholds. Consider those with moderate taste.” If the average consumer can buy designer brands at a low price, they will go for it like a mad dog.

Are there other ways designer collaborations can help fashion labels?

Smart Marketing Move By Betsey Johnson

19 Dec

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UPDATE (December 22, 2008): Looks like this was only a rumor. Read following post for more details.

Now, here’s a smart marketing move!

Betsey Johnson, my favorite uber-girly and sexy designer label, is scaling back on their February show and spending the money on a new venture. The label’s CEO Chantal Bacon, according to The Cut, says Betsey Johnson will collaborate with a retailer in launching a limited-edition line. The Cut explains that “one can easily deduce a diffusion line for H&M or Target is probably in Betsey’s future.”

This is a smart investment move because it creates more room to grow in this economy without loosing their brand identity. A “limited-edition” line keeps a designer label looking high-end because it is a limited commodity or a one-of-a-kind deal. Luxury should “seem” hard to come by and entice those who may not have the funds to access high-end brands.

Kudos to Betsey Johnson. You go girl!