12/23/13

A Review: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR


I just finished reading Crosby Noricks' Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR. The author is an experienced fashion marketing strategist, and founder of the award-winning industry resource, PR Couture. PR Couture is one of my favorite websites for marketing and PR how-to's with a fashion industry twist. Crosby's book complimented her website's aesthetic, but its tips and tricks were applicable to any career path.

The book started with this opening quote from Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

From there, Crosby describes her own start in the fashion PR world. Here, I really connected with the author. Like Crosby, I myself am not a fashion, communications, or business major in college. I am a history and cultural anthropology double-major trying to make my splash in the marketing or PR industry. Crosby pursued a Master's in communications to legitimize her foothold in the PR industry. This is exactly what I intend to do after college. So, I was pleasantly surprised to read about Crosby's like-minded success.

So, what is public relations? In PR, you are your reputation, pure and simple. According to Crosby, PR is a part of business strategy and management, focused on the relationship between the company and the people out there who are connected to that company, with the purpose of making good things happen for all. My favorite example Crosby supplied had to do with a Diane Von Furstenburg dress. In differentiating PR from advertising, Crosby showed how the implied third-party endorsement by an editor could carry more credibility among potential customers than advertising. For example, a full-page advertisement from Diane Von Furstenburg featuring a wine-colored wrap dress may have less impact than if a fashion editor listed the dress as her "fall must-have," noting the flattering shape. The idea here is the editor is a fashion industry expert, and therefore wields greater consumer influence. Thus, emphasizing the need for PR specialists to cultivate relationships with media.

My hands-down favorite discussion in Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR dealt with PR internships. Crosby outlined intern responsibilities, resources for finding available positions, fashion PR agencies to watch via social media platforms, how to submit a stand-out application, PR professionals' testimonials, interview tips, and how to turn an internship into a job.

The interview tips were fairly straightforward, but Crosby's recommendation to bring a portfolio was new to me. I have always been taught creative industries (i.e. graphic design, photography, etc.) required a portfolio during a job interview; not PR. However, Crosby suggests bringing a portfolio consisting of published pieces in student newspapers, a mock company newsletter for your current job, a seasonal promotions plan for a local boutique, a press kit for your friend who is a jewelry designer, or press release assignments for a class. I have a lot of similar projects floating around on my computer, so I will definitely be implementing this strategy in future interviews.

Crosby's advice for turning an interview into a job was universally applicable. To do so, Crosby advised:

  • Fake it till you make it
  • Know what you don't know
  • Become a strategic, critical thinker
  • Upgrade your communication skills
  • Have an opinion
  • Give (and get) feedback
  • Build and maintain relationships
  • Stay in touch
Ultimately, this was a fast, informative, and enjoyable read. Crosby offered great insights that came from her (and other professionals') own experiences in the fashion PR industry. Crosby's work provided invaluable resources (i.e. open job pages, testimonials, companies to follow, reading list, glossary) that made the book pay for itself. On that note, Crosby offered herself as a resource too. I thought it was awesome how the author included her e-mail, with the open invitation for readers to contact her with questions concerning the fashion PR world. From this, you know Crosby genuinely cares about helping her readers establish themselves in the industry. As a reader, I really appreciate the lengths Crosby went to to design this informative how-to guide, and will definitely be upping my career ante based on her professional guidance.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I stumbled upon this book as I was looking for reviews of the classes the company is offering. Do you know anyone who has enrolled? Worth it?

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