Public Relations (PR) has become very important not just to large corporations but also to fashion startups and fashion businesses. Fashion is a business and must be treated as such if you wish to position your fashion brand to match global brands.
I have in recent times applied to international fashion shows and events for some fashion clients, and as part of the application process you are asked to fill in your PR Representative or PR agency. This has become necessary because the efforts and support that PR provides to a fashion business cannot be ignored or downgraded.
Many have asked at what stage of your fashion business you need a fashion PR expert’s support. Is it when you can afford or when your business exists after a number of years?
I will say the very day you start your fashion business, you need to start applying PR efforts and then tag along the expert as your business grows and is able to afford an expert’s service. In other instances, the expert can come in right from your product development and messaging before the launch of your fashion label.
A fashion PR specialist would be responsible for liaising with fashion media and bloggers, write-ups, overseeing product launches, co-branding and placing products with retailers, collaborations among other duties as follows:
PR manages your overall communication
Public Relations as it is known manage communication between an organization and its publics. It helps you better manage the kind of information you want to communicate to the various publics you deal with.
As a fashion business, you work with customers, bloggers, fashion media, buyers, stockists, influencers/celebrities etc. It’s the PR specialist’s responsibility to ensure that your messaging is consistent with your offerings. They would advise what you communicate, which channel/medium is the most effective and reaches your target. Managing your overall communication also means pitching your brand to fashion media and bloggers to keep you constantly talked about in the media and within the fashion space. With social media as a driving tool for many successful businesses, PR assists with managing both your online and offline presence.
PR helps to build mutual relationship
In the business of fashion, you engage with different kinds of people and you need to establish mutual beneficial relationship with them. People such us Bloggers, Celebrities, Buyers, Customers, Media, Stylists etc.
Fashion PR specialists help you to establish and strengthen your relationship with these people as you grow and expand your brand through creative promotions and collaborations. For instance, advise on the kind of collaborations that will be appropriate for your brand and which ones will conflict the image of the brand.
PR manages the image of your brand
One of the most important tasks of a fashion PR specialist is to ensure that your company’s name remains on customers’ shopping lists. The brand must be managed to be positioned as a top of mind brand to heighten its appeal among its target market.
This can be achieved through constant features in print and electronic media, participation in trade shows, product placements, blogger/influencer collaborations, fashion shows etc. This will maximize visibility for your brand and make your company known.
Your fashion business needs PR in order to create and execute effective communication strategies that will grow and strengthen your brand identity.
Photo Credit: Elle Lokko Store
By Faith Senam Ocloo
The writer is the founder of E’April Public Relations, a boutique PR firm. Senam is a fashion public relations specialist with interest in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She can be reached on +233272686959, firstname.lastname@example.org, @senamapril on Instagram and @faithsenam on Twitter.