By Alyse Rohloff
Fashion public relations is a large and ever growing industry; however, if you think it’s all about looking cute and shopping, you have this industry completely wrong.
In the PRSSA National Conference presentation “Just the Right Fit: Fashion Public Relations,” Theo Tyson owner of Trinity Productions, defines fashion PR as “the idea of creating coverage for clients for free.” The industry is highly strategic and relationship driven while also being dynamic, cyclical and fast paced.
“PR is a practice, it’s an active thing. You have to have interaction,” Tyson said.
Tyson that one of the most important elements of fashion PR is brand ethos. This is not only knowing the brand you represent, but living it as well.
Three things that make up fashion PR is image management, brand awareness and relationship building. Image management deals with working with models, celebrities and organizations to show the values and identity of your company. Brand awareness deals with creating attention using magazine articles, promotional events and film and television coverage. Relationship building includes taking the advantage of connections with fashion editors, bloggers and stylists. However, Tyson says to be aware that bloggers can be either your best friend or worst enemy.
As for agency verses corporate, you can’t escape it in the fashion industry. In fashion, corporate is known as in-house. In this field, one can become very focused solely in her company.
Tyson states that in the role of a fashion PR professional, you must act as the friend that everyone comes to about their jeans. This means you have to be the one that is honest and makes their friends look good.
“You have to get people to the point where your brand is more than a commodity, it’s a part of their lifestyle,” Tyson said.
Tyson's final tips on becoming a great PR professional is to be authentic, be strategic and be memorable. Also, be a thought leader instead of a trend setter.
The Importance of Writing
By Jesse Gettemy
When people write well they not only differentiate themselves from their peers, but they stand out to their future employers. Throughout college, students are required to write in a variety of different platforms. These assignments cover goals and purposes; and most of the time, students are able to write about personal experiences. This is just the beginning of what should blossom into a great résumé builder.
Not only is writing an important academic skill, but it is also an important skill that carries over into any career field, not just in pr. Nearly all professions require some type of writing on the job. In fact, recruiters for jobs look at writing before they even pass along a résumé. During a session at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, “Writing Right: The Number One Skill Employers Want” presented by Ron Culp and Ryan McShane, some touchpoints were made on why quality writing is so important.
Specifically, writing for PR has many perks. It is interesting to know that when a pr professional knows how to write in various formats, it increases their chances of being offered a raise or a promotion in the workplace. That being said, when a professional doesn’t know how to write well in these formats, typos on résumés and cover letters don’t go anywhere but in the trash.
Some types of writing for PR are: releases, internal email, point-of-view papers, speeches, media outreach, campaign presentations, vendor requests and performance reviews.
In the session with Culp and McShane, they broke down a list of 10 writing tips for young professionals to follow, to ensure future success and an equal opportunity for being hired in future careers.
Ron and Ryan Writing Tips
Proofing your work in this industry is critical. It isn’t safe to just go over your writing once or twice to check for style and grammatical errors. It is something that we as pr professionals need to be constantly checking for at all times. If you aren’t good at editing and proofing, you can always ask a friend to help you, too. Don’t forget: writing for media needs to be technical and practical.
These two experienced role models left the audience with an improvement plan for writers. This is to not only help less experienced writers in the field, but to give a reminder to those who do know a lot about writing to always keep educating yourself and to never stop learning.
How to Rebuild Your Resume
By Charleah Trombitas
At PRSSA National Conference this year, I learned tips and tricks about resume writing and formatting from Gala Jackson during the session “Rebuilding your Resume.” Jackson is the CEO of her own company, Interviewsnob, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and provides expert resume and career search advice for aspiring professionals.
Jackson started off explaining how to begin writing the resume. She stressed that it begins with studying the company where you will be sending the application. Review the history, analyze the prospective job description and connect with hiring managers. Company research will ensure your resume is tailored perfectly for the job you are applying for.
Not every resume you send out should be the same. Jackson really stressed this. Once again, do not send out a general resume! You will not stand out that way. Market yourself and your strengths. Make sure the company knows that you know what you’re applying for. Show hiring managers how you can be an asset to their company. Ask yourself, “why? So what?” after everything you add to your resume. Keep it short and relevant.
Tip to make resume writing easier:
Jackson gave a lot of great tips and information, but one thing she said was my personal favorite: Jackson suggested creating a master resume. This would include everything you have ever done in your college career that is resume worthy. Don’t just update this when it’s time to apply for jobs; keep this up-to-date and organized. When it comes time to apply for jobs, pull the most relevant information from your master resume into each individual resume. This technique allows for an easy way to create job-specific resumes.
Tip to make your resume REALLY stand out:
A lot of things can cause your resume to stand out, but Jackson introduced me to something I had never thought of before. Rather than an objective statement at the top of your resume, sell yourself. Describe to hiring managers what you can do for them and why you are valuable. Use this section as if you have the ability to give the hiring managers a 30-second elevator pitch.
Most common resume mistakes:
Jackson has seen a lot of resumes, good and bad. She kindly shared the most common mistakes she has seen on resumes throughout her career:
In conclusion, Jackson reminded us we all have the ability to create a great resume. Overall, this session was so informative. I believe all of these tips will help me when I am applying to jobs and internships. After all, any resume help is always appreciated!
PRSSA Kent will be playing their part in advancing the profession and the future professional Friday by presenting a Chapter development session at the PRSSA 2015 National Conference. Chapter development sessions are an interactive, peer-to-peer learning experience where some of the Society’s most influential Chapters present ideas and best practices to members from other schools.
The Chapter development sessions are a remarkably important part of National Conference. These presentations give members an unparalleled look into other Chapters and best practices for issues such as member relations, fundraising, publications practices, Chapter branding and many others. Kent State’s presentation this year focuses on an indisputably important topic – university community relations. This presentation will teach Chapters creative and effective ways to create relationships between Chapters and other campus resources.
The process of applying for and presenting a Chapter development session is challenging, but as I’m sure many PRSSA Kent folks would attest, it is well worth it. If anyone would know, it’s PRSSA Kent, which is doing a presentation for the second year in a row. The process begins by submitting an application to present. This year, PRSSA Kent’s application was selected from over 20 received. The selected presentation teams then practice their presentations via video chat regularly for two months with PRSSA’s vice president of Chapter development.
Throughout the process, presenters are challenged to develop outside the box tactics to solving some of the most basic problems Chapters face. These tactics must then be packaged into engaging and educational presentations that will be presented to hundreds of the nation’s top public relations students. The teams spend hours developing aesthetically pleasing and “how-to” focused presentations.
By presenting a Chapter development session, PRSSA Kent is standing out from the crowd. PRSSA Kent’s dedication to presenting a strong Chapter development session is helping to better the Society and educate its members, while also granting the Chapter the national recognition it deserves.
Are you attending the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta? If so, you can check out the PRSSA Kent presentation on Friday at 3:30 p.m. If not, don’t forget to check the PRSSA website for a recap of the presentation! Follow along with all PRSSA National Conference chat using #PRSSANC. See you in Atlanta!
Gary Bridgens is the PRSSA National vice president of Chapter development and a senior in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Follow him on Twitter @garingiscaring, connect with him on LinkedIn or email him at email@example.com.