This post can be originally found on http://www.piercemattie.com/blogs
Pierce Mattie PR executives reveal what it takes to get their clients a ton of fashion coverage for the upcoming season.
When launching a new collection of distressed denim, vintage-like t-shirts, apparel or couture and you are searching for that competitive edge with fashion magazines such as Elle, GQ or Vogue – listen up.
The Un-obvious Fashion PR Tips
Tip #1: Stop Copying True Religion – Get your own Faith!
How many brands showcased at a recent Project or Pool show look similar to the next brand? Vintage T-shirt brands or ‘another denim label’ are constantly popping up. Often, we at Pierce Mattie PR hear from vendor’s mouths “I want my brand to be like True Religion.” This is the wrong approach to take. Don’t copy the predecessor; rather know and cater to your own buyers needs. Strive to go from the bottom up, rather than the top down.
For example, know what fashion trends your audience will be interested in. Position your brand to be sufficient for those customers that you are trying to reach. If your target audience is 16-28, find out what they do when they are not shopping for clothing items. Are they on myspace.com? The most popular ‘group’ on myspace.com for fashion is Abercrombie, with over 115, 667 members. Another popular group is “I Love the 80’s.” Bloggers post their ideas, desires, and love interests on various items such as bands, video games and of course, fashion. Posts include what they love about vintage apparel from rock and roll bands to what their favorite video games were at
that time. The main point of success: How can your clothing line become a part of their daily life?
Tip #2: Pitch Brands that are Appropriate for the Editor’s News and Topic Calendar
Typically, all fashion exclusives go to WWD or DNR. For example, editors at long-lead glossy publications like Marie Claire and Details work four to six months in advance. When pitching in May, know that a media hit will not be seen until October or November. The angle pitched should be fall garments made of light weight wools and poly-blends with layered denim and long sleeved T’s; not necessarily the black and grays of winter, rather the burnt, bright oranges and colors of the fall season.
Tip #3: Strive for Media Exposure that is Relative to your Brand and Price Point
Branching out with other A+ publications such as W, Vanity Fair and Elle, is extremely powerful when achieved, but quite difficult to attain. Let’s call a spade a spade – If a brand is priced relatively low and sold in larger chain stores like Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s or even Wal-Mart, the chances of getting onto that two page feature in Harper’s Bazaar is simply unlikely.
Tip #4: Know your Brand’s target Media Audience
Lower price points with wide distribution sway toward Ladies’ Home Journal,Woman’s Day, Redbook and Good Housekeeping. If a denim brand is sold only in regional markets such as Los Angeles, pitching to regional glossy publications like LA Confidential, Los Angeles Magazine and US Weekly is the direction you want to take. National Redbook readers might get frustrated if a product or collection is only available in a boutique on Melrose.
Tip #5: Create a Fashion PR Calendar
This calendar should present key items of the brand during market week while showcasing supporting pieces during off-peak months. A PR calendar can be weekly, monthly or bi-monthly depending on how many items are in the collection.
For example, in September when launching a line at New York Fashion Week to debut the 2008 spring/summer collection, look books, line sheets, images and items should be selected, edited and ready to be pitched by July/August. Launch the collection in September. Then during October, November, and December, choose several key looks within the collection that need reinforcement or a re-launch. This keeps a continuous carrot in front of
fashion editors’ eyes. Be sure to remember that these editors work on a three to four month lead time.
The Obvious but Often Forgotten PR Tips
Tip #6: Relationships Help!
Whose call are you more likely to take: one from someone you have never heard from before or one from a good friend? If you are not friends with the press, hire someone who is. If you are currently working with a PR firm, make sure that they are in good standing with the fashion press. You can start to build relationships today with the press by treating them to lunch, dinner or drinks. Make it your personal methodology to become invested in their well-being and best interests.
Fashion Editors are people just like you and me. They want to be treated with respect, viewed as a resource and not used and abused for highly coveted media coverage. Fashion editors like it when you are honest with them and tell them upfront what your game plan is and how you want them to partake in your strategy.Fashion editors worship exclusives and respect those who are the first to show them what’s going on with your brand. Pick your exclusives carefully.Fashion editors appreciate favors but don’t expect them. Ask for the relationship, work with them, keep a score card of favors that they have done for you and those that you have done in return.
Tip #7: have a Story for each Media Portfolio
- How to shop for apparel and fashion brands
Strategies should be catered to: Shop Etc. and Lucky
- How your clothing line can make a female body look slimmer, bustier or younger
PR pitches should go to: Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Glamour
-Athletic apparel that still looks hot enough to wear out at night
Product placement might be good for: Self , Shape and Fitness.
-Dress for less; items on a budget
Good values should be sent to: Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Ladies’ Home Journal
-Rock & Roll, back stage look and vintage
Stories should be sent to: Details, Jane and Rolling Stone
-Luxury couture, runway and velvet ropes
All Access should be given to: Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle and W
-Celebrity, pop culture, and movie star looks
Let editors know what stars are wearing at: OK! Magazine, InStyle, US Weekly and In-Touch