By Brittney Prather
Listen up my fellow fashionista’s, if you’re interested in fashion writing and fashion PR, you’re going to want to tune in! Lifestyle writer Leslie Bailey from Indianapolis Monthly Magazine came in and gave a great presentation on how to get your foot in the door and how to eventually take your seat.
Previously, Bailey was a Things to Do reporter and applications editor at the Indianapolis Star as well as various other past careers. Currently she oversees the “Good Life” section for Indianapolis Monthly. The section that she covers includes fashion, fitness, food, home, health and other related topics. Her advice to young professionals is to say YES to everything! When saying this, she doesn’t mean to not be smart about your decisions, but rather to be geared towards trying new things. For her, this entailed radio internships, blogging for Indy.com, speaking to college classes, TV appearances, cocktail contests, fashion show judging, charity events, and personal appearances. Although none of these are the same, they all fall under what she called her “personal brand”. With hard work and persistence, she believes that you will eventually get your big break and that once you get it, you need to make sure you know what to do with it.
Bailey spoke not only about her past career and trying new things, but also discussed how difficult it is to remember that your job is always going to be there and to not be afraid to take time off or, in her instance, do freelance. Freelance is such a big part of her life and has actually turned into her career. Due to personal issues with her family, she decided to take time off and focus on her personal life as well as adding to her “brand” as mentioned earlier.
Freelance is so different from any other career because, for the most part, you are in control of your career as far as the times you are going to work, what content you are going to post and managing accounts on multimedia platforms. As she said at the conference, “ freelance is a scary world because you don’t know where your next paycheck is going to come from.” Do not let this discourage you. Some tips, guidelines, and benefits she gave were as follows:
In freelance, and the professional world in general, you are not always going to be interested in what your client does; however, you still need to make it a priority. Know who your audience is. When in free lance, you need to do this research by yourself. As she mentioned, nothing in this industry is an accident, it is all chosen by the people in it.
Bailey discussed the importance of communication whether it be within her past careers or in her present. When she said she worked for the magazine, it was important that the PR professionals and journalist had an understanding of each other and the differences in which they work.
In any situation, there is always a possibility of something going wayward. When things go wrong, her tips are to remain calm, keep your client in a good light, don’t burn bridges and communicate with first line of defense (writers/reporters).
Although Bailey was focused more towards her freelance career rather than fashion itself, she gave great advice on how to enter the career path and how to communicate within it.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Leslie, below are various ways in which she can be contacted.
o Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @lesalina
o Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
o LinkedIn: leslieabailey
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Brittney Prather is a junior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent's vice president of membership. Contact her at email@example.com.