The importance of IT tools

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We do not realize the importance that will take the IT tools in the profession of Press Officer Press before we are asked to make the creation of a press release from A to Z. So? We did not pay attention in class?? Huh? Besides the fact that you need a dash of creativity, you should know at least Indesign or Quark X Press and have some notion of Photoshop (image editing software). Without this knowledge, pray that your boss uses a pro of creation!

No need to be an expert to make a nice statement, but the basis is always good to know. Creating boxes image and / or text, editing video, triming images, etc … You have to go early because the earlier you start to look up on the subject, the better. This is definitely a plus! If your agency can save the cost instead of using an external designer, it is always good to take for them and you’ll have more offers. Of course, this must not intrude on your PR work time. If the agency hires someone external, is that they also want to see you focus on your press and public coverage work. But occasionally, showing a little your old knowledge in the field for an original invitation not bad!

The importance of having some IT capabilities is to be able to offer some ideas of the concepts you are presenting to him, enhancing your presentations or some visuals. The goal is to provide a statement that will be possibly in line with the expectations of your client.

Although the client has the final say (because it validates all outgoing communication on brand), do not hesitate to defend your ideas. If you think the changes made by your client are bad or unjustified must know. He expects that you bring all your expertise on the subject. Two heads are better than one! It is also an aspect of your work : strategic consulting. The aim is to optimize the potential of a brand image so that journalists are receptive to information you transmit to them.

Photo : ELLE

How to have a great showroom in your PR agency

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In fashion, a lot of PR agencies have showrooms. It allows them to house their client’s collections, and it’s a versatile space with an open door policy for stylists, celebrities, bloggers and the media. It can host some events including seasonal Press Days, creative workshops or sample sales. Sometimes it also serves as an inspiring and creative space for clients to hold meetings, whether they need to connect with buyers or stage brainstorming sessions.

Some tips for the creation :

1. Transport your journalists : the environment has to be warm and inviting. Of course, it has to be perfectly clean all the time. Focus on something that is aspirational in your showroom.

2. Connect with fashion industry : journalists want to see nice pieces, that are going to inspire them or serve them for articles. When a journalist walks into your agency and sees products that reflect the styles of the magazine or that are liked to trends, there is a connection to the fashion and demand. You have keep the latest styles in your showroom and always change it in order for them to always find something new to talk about or to borrow for their shootings.

2. Focus : With every new design idea, you always need to keep in mind basic design principles and the need for a person to focus on something. The eye can only handle so much detail. So try to be minimalist and add some focus points like a central item that catches the eye on each display. Also, make sure all of your displays look great from the front of course, but also from every direction.

4. Have nice displays : all is a question of display and arrangement. Pieces have to be well-presented and follow some rules of “visual merchandising”. The displays of each designers have to be balanced but need variety : in colors, shapes, textures. You can use the technique of the “relance” (French luxury showrooms manner) : a left to right reading, and with a presentation of “related merchandise display” that shows ideas of a complete outfit mixing all the items of a collection (in an order that creates flows and changing of length : vest, pants, skirt, tee-shirt, blouse,… this pattern repeated on the display).

How to optimize the management of your showroom?

What are the objectives?

- Optimize the management of the showroom and not waste time with low value-added tasks
– Get better visibility for the agency and the brand
– Reduce the lost of money in tracking check-ins and check-outs.
– Improve the rotation parts with new pieces
– Increase and enhance coverage

And the more important, not wasting time with operational tasks. Imagine a journalist calling you and asking if you can lend piece X for a shoot next week …! The piece X yes, you can see what it is, you gave it to an other reporter last week, it came back and is normally available! Oh no, you just find a post-it left by your colleague, saying that the piece was gone to an other journalist… But who? And for how long? In short, you have information in all directions and can not inform the journalist!  Now imagine being able to manage your entire showroom from a single platform : managing all contact files (journalists, bloggers, celebrities, influencers, production houses …) traceability of the pieces,… Not to mention the opportunity to work collaboratively: even if you are away, your colleague can access all the information and respond to questions from journalists. Would not it save time and productivity? Here we go !

Follow / trace the inputs and outputs of your parts : The heart of the showroom, it is the products that it highlights: you must be able to show them to as many people as possible and lend them. Yes but now, because you lend items in all directions, at the end of the season you realize that there are a lot of losses. How to reduce these losses? Save all your parts in an online platform or in paper in a file, using the nomenclature of your choice. You can create looks as collections and organize your items according to your needs. It will allow you to track your inputs and outputs and their movements in real time and know where are your products.

Organize your schedule ready : If you lack visibility on the availability of your items you can not optimize their rotation: is that this piece will be available at a particular moment or not? Do a visual calendar (with Excel for example) of all the pieces if you don’t have a lot. In my agency for example, we lend the pieces on a basis of 1 week only and we extend if needed but tha tallows us to have a view on each piece. Such visibility helps you organize reminders, set reminders on returns in delays and increase the rotation of your pieces and your looks in newsrooms.

Highlight coverage obtained with your showroom : It’s fine to manage all these loans but if you fail to know what press coverage were generated well it has little value! To overcome this problem, use a social media mangement software as Hootsuite that allows you to manage the mentions of the brands online and find directly the publications of journalists or bloggers. In a few clicks you can generate reports that gives you a global view of the impact of the activity of the showroom, like the tweets, the articles,…

 

Photo : River Island PR

The Fashion Week

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What is it?

Fashion Week  is a week dedicated to fashion, in which designers and fashion houses present their new collections of ready-to-wear and haute couture via fashion shows. Fashion Week is held twice a year: the winter collections are presented in February and March, and the summer collections in September-October. Four cities are hosting Fashion Weeks for 4 consecutive weeks, always in the same order: New York opens the ball, then comes the London Fashion Week, the Milan Fashion Week and finally Paris Fashion Week.
 
When ?

Spring / Summer 2015

New York Fashion Week Summer 2015: Thursday, 4 to Thursday, September 11, 2014.
London Fashion Week Summer 2015: from Friday 12 to Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
Milan Fashion Week Summer 2015 : from Wednesday 17 to Tuesday 23, 2014.
Paris Fashion Week Summer 2015: Tuesday 23 September to Wednesday 1st October 2014.

Are they all the same ?

Fashion shows are distinguished between ready-to-wear clothing and haute couture, that takes place only in Paris. As its name suggests, the ready-to-wear is immediately marketable, with few details to change. We can find most pieces of ready-to-wear Fashion Week six months later in shops, contrary to the Haute Couture pieces that are designed for a more exclusive clientele (a few hundred worldwide) and serves as a showcase and playground for designers.

Which designers ?

Brands of ready-to-wear and couture houses of each country. In Paris, there are for example Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Balmain, Vuitton, It is not uncommon to see smaller, less known designers enjoying the aura of Fashion Week to organize their presentations on the margins of big fashion shows.

I want to attend parades Fashion Week, how do I do?

You are a journalist, buyer? You probably already have your certification. Otherwise, it’s really complicated. Although the event is becoming more democratized these past recent years, Fashion Week shows are not open to the public. The goal is primarily to generate business.

Photo : Burberry Prorsum London 2012 Autumn/Winter

#PRHappyHour

I recently discovered Olivia Adams on Twitter (@OliviaAdamsPR) and thought it would be a great idea to join her PR Happy Hour. The concept is really interesting : it linked PR professionnals towards some subjects. This week topic was :  favorites.

Favorite hot beverage:  Coffee and tea. I drink liters/day.

Favorite tech item: My Mac.

Favorite accessory:  For the moment, nice earrings with a bit of orange that matches my lipstick and go really well with my tan (I want to enjoy it when I still have it !).

Favorite blog: I’d say The Simply Luxurious Life.

Favorite social media platform: Right now, I’m trying to build my network through Twitter, something that is quite hard. But I really like LinkedIn and Instagram too (I’m doing a break because I was spending too much time on it). My Facebook account is strictly personal.

Favorite thing about PR:  I think the best thing about working in PR is being part of a project from the beginning to the end. Whether it’s creating a PR strategy or planning an event, there is always a research period, then the analysis, the strategic advices, and so much more, to finally arrive to the final product. But it’s really rewarding.

Favorite office accessory: My wallpaper is also a nice clock. It finished really well the look of my office.

Favorite book: Right now, I’m reading Quiet : The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I’m only at the beginning but I really like it.

Favorite place to read the news: My go-to place for news is Le Monde, a French newspaper, and The Huffington Post.

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