As well as having good product, in order to get good coverage in top magazines and newspapers, Fashion PRs must come up with hooks, angles and stories about their product or company to sell in to fashion journalists.
For a recent assignment I did for Whistles, as part of my Fashion PR module for my Masters degree, I had to come up with creative ways of generating press for the Spring Summer 13 collection, examples of which I shall use to illustrate my points.
Here are what I feel are some of the top ways of generating quality fashion press:
1. Look at the environment your product exists within, and tailor appropriate stories.
People like to know where their product has come from. Particularly in the wake of the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, there is quite a large emphasis, in this country, on patriotism and being “Proud to be British”. In these financial times, people are also worried about too many markets and products being outsourced from other countries and there is a fear that traditional British industries are dying out. With this in mind, I wanted to see if there was anything unique about how the products in Whistles were made.
From my research I discovered that many of their leather items were made in factories in England, and this made for a nice story that could be sold into the press, as it played on patriotism as well as showing how Whistles was supporting the British economy.
I also found that most of their jewelry is fair trade and made and bought directly from those who make it in Kenya, and this made for good press as it plays on people’s need to be ethical, and for companies to be socially responsible.
2. Piggy back on the back of other big stories
With the expected birth of the hair to the throne and the style icon that is, Kate Middleton, there is no way that any fashion brand can escape this story this summer. For Whistles, they have a lot of statement dress in bright colours which are suitable for events such as bridal showers and christenings. Given that the royal baby is due in July, and July’s birth stone is a Ruby, I created a story with clothing in reds, pinks and oranges, to celebrate the birth of the new heir.
Give journalists the chance of exclusivity to a promotion or line that no one else will have the chance to cover. There will be a 2 day event at the end of July, to promote the legacy of the Olympic games, and with this I decided to take the “Jessica” dress that Whistles already have and commission 10 new ones in different pastel colours in celebration of Jessica Ennis and her achievement. Its a nice story to cover as it gives journalists a new angle to cover such a large story i.e The Olympics.
4. Link with higher-end branding
Given that Whistles sits in the higher end of the middle market, paralleling it with higher-end brands is a nice way of securing press. Whistles’ handbags are made in the same factory as Mulberry, indicating that the quality of Whistles’ handbags is high, but the price is more reasonable.
5. Identify unique selling points
What do people come in for when they walk into your store? With Whistles a lot of people like to buy their leather, silk and statement outfits for weddings and special nights out. A lot of people also like their clothing for work wear, and with this I created stories that centered around those themes i.e. pulled together images of Whistles clothing that I think would look good together, in order to make it easier for the journalist t o visualise the story. For the work wear piece I also presented a stunt, a catwalk across the zebra crossings in Oxford Circus (symbolic of fashion and independent and high powered business women), that would make for a good photo-call in order that local press could pick up on the story also.
For any fashion story, make sure you are targeting the right sort of press. Give exclusives to long lead titles and invite photographers from daily or weekly press to photo-calls etc. K