According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, it predicts employment of public relations specialists will grow 6 percent between 2014 and 2024. Big brands, companies, and even personas with a public presence have seen that having a PR professional is essential. As one of the fastest-growing industries, it has so much to offer to the fashion industry – and, of course, other sectors as well.
Today we will look into what makes Public Relations crucial to the fashion industry, with the Founder of Armand Consulting, Frances Armand, and the Head of PR at Fashinnovation, Adriana Aguiar.
What is Public Relations
Summing it all up, according to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PR is a strategic communication process. The objective is to build mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences.
“At its core, public relations is about influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across numerous platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization”, states the PRSA.
Frances Armand completed by saying that “Public Relations means being the voice of your client”. It is about being the front door to the organization.
What a Publicist Does
There is no defined path for how a Publicist should act, nor actions that fit within a recipe to ensure the success of a business. However, we can divide the actions of these professionals into 4 main areas:
- The Public: as the name implies, these professionals work focused on the company’s relationship (or the sole agent, such as a famous person, etc.) with the external environment. That is, how the image is worked, events that will participate, relationships that will establish and so on.
- The Press: Currently, Public Relations professionals have played an essential advisory role. Together with Journalists and the Marketing Team, PR makes the company be approached by large vehicles and featured in important press.
- The Connections: If PR takes care of relationships, we cannot fail to mention the relationships that generate connections to build a community. In business and of course, in fashion, networking is everything. Therefore, these professionals also work to build strong ties with strategic audiences and people. These actions may have a broader future objective, such as selling a product or attending an event. Therefore, the PR has to be in perfect synchrony with the communication team and with the other sectors of the company.
- Damage Control: Crisis is normal in the business world. Whether due to a serious error by the company or some involvement in some controversy. The publicist , therefore, has the role of acting strategically to contain the scandal and reduce the consequences. These are actions that involve open letters to the public, press demonstrations, and effective actions to control the problem. Basically, the premise is that problems and crises will exist in every business. Always will. And, then, the publicist has to always be prepared in case they happen and attentive to act quickly.
In other words, the responsibilities of a public relations specialist include but are not limited to:
- Building media relationships for clients
- Maintaining clients’ positive images
- Planning strategies for how to gain exposure
- Helping your client to tell the best version of their stories
- Writing press releases
- Organizing promotional events
- Building client’s social media accounts.
When asked about her daily tasks, Adriana said that “there is no such thing as a “typical” day. The most fun part of being a Public Relations Specialist is that every day you have new challenges and new opportunities to create meaningful strategies to reach out and to engage with your stakeholders.”
Fashinnovation’s PR also shared about a very exciting project she has been working on lately. “Fashinnovation’s campaign is one recent project that I really LOVED to participate in. Everything was built together with the whole team. Everyone put their heart into making the best campaign ever! Everybody was vibrating together and supporting each other during the process.”
We asked Frances and Adriana what inspired them to build their career in Public Relations, and why do they think Public Relations is their calling?
One thing they both mentioned is Public Relations gives them the opportunity to build deep relationships with clients. Therefore, helping clients to achieve their visions.
Frances said: “After four years of learning about the wholesale side of the fashion industry, I really wanted to help emerging brands build a sustaining business. I was able to provide brands visibility as well advice on how to package themselves to reach out to you retailers.” She described her favorite aspect of her job as:” Building relationships and seeing my clients succeed.” Adriana is also inspired by the same reason. She decided to start her PR career in Fashinnovation because of “The possibility to mix my 3 passions: communications, fashion, and PEOPLE! Fashinnovation is all about relationships and impacting everyone in our community, and seeing this connection happen through my work is something very rewarding”.
Why is Public Relations Crucial for the Fashion Industry?
From the reasons why Frances and Adriana choose Public Relationship, we can see that Public Relations has a lot to give back to the fashion industry. It helps talented designers/brands to grow and give them the opportunity to tell their stories.
“The fashion industry has grown immensely and is highly competitive. Public Relations plays a key role in the process of communicating the brand’s story and essence and building a community out of their target audience.” Adriana said.
Fashion is a competitive industry full of creative people, so how can one individual stand out? Frances gave us the answer: “A good publicist can help a designer build their brand definition and communicate it to their consumers. The majority of the people that work in the fashion industry think creatively. The publicist can bring out the ideas and convey them to journalists.”
How can Public Relations Make The Fashion Industry Better?
Public Relations is becoming more and more important to the fashion industry. So, we want to think about what positive changes it can bring into the sector.
There are a lot of critiques towards negative competition in the fashion industry. Could Public Relations be a solution to this issue? Frances said: “One thing I learned from the pandemic is collaboration. The fashion industry has always had a bad reputation of being “cutthroat.” We are in an industry that is growing and evolving. Making connections that can help someone or another agency goes a long way. I think giving back is important. Mentor the next generation of publicists. Also, it is not always about monetary gain, help a non-profit that might need some consulting advice.”
To sum up, Public Relations has a lot to offer to the fashion industry. Not only in the marketing aspect, but it can also influence the fashion industry to be a better place.
Jordana Guimarães, the Co-Founder of Fashinnovation, also has a background in PR. According to her, “Public Relations is Communication. It’s communication to bring out the best of a company to the media. It’s also to inspire and share knowledge with its readers. Looking at that basic definition, PR should always be used to bring positive change. Whether it is speaking the truth about a negative in a company, which will push them to do better or inspiring with companies that are doing it right, it all brings positive change in the long run.”
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