Industry Insider View - Fashion Editor Ross Pollard shares his view on Fashion Week PR

Industry Insider

For this post we go back to Ross Pollard to hear more of his experiences and views of Fashion PR both good and bad – so back to you Ross…..

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“But what about shows, that’s the best fashion thing right, you must love shows, well yes I do. But here’s the thing, how do they fit into your plan and are my magazines the right place for your label. A full house doesn’t mean a full bank account a few months later, usually quite the opposite, they are EXPENSIVE, and you can’t be sure you’ll even get the people you want, let alone get them and get them to cover it. A good PR will know if it’s right for you and will have the right bums in the right seats and will then make sure I get my interview to increase chances of top quality coverage. 1000 people might seem great, but if their readers or followers won’t buy the product or can’t afford it you may as well of stood on the street handing out £50 notes in goody bags.

I’ll give you an example of what a good PR does at a show. I’d just been backstage and a venue, had to squeeze back there as the PR team for the last designer had disappeared, never a good sign, why are they backstage on a sofa chatting minutes after the show, not gathering you journalists, as if been invited by the designer himself, also a note here, if you have to organise your own press, what are you paying others for?

As I was leaving another companies head saw me and came over and before I’d realised it, in our brief chat she’d whisked me backstage, told me why her client was a great fit for one of my titles, (I edit at two magazines, I work harder than Kris Jenner) and explained to the client what I’d be looking for.

The interview was done, they were a perfect fit, and I hadn’t been given a moment to back out. That, THAT is a good PR. Another example was the PR who had noticed which type of labels I was interested in and asked for my card after a show, the next week the details for clients he thought would work arrived in my inbox as suggestions, or one last example, a OR I’ve known for years asking me if I was coming to a show later that day, I said I had a clash, she made sure I got in early for an interview and then could make the other show so that her client could still get good coverage.

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A simple barometer for you though, a good PR has images with the media in hours, no later than the next day, A bad PR doesn’t even send images out, that you’ve paid for, even when asked by titles selling in the tens of thousands. That happens more times than I’d care to mention.

Another example of a good PR I saw was talking about a label with an account manager, she knew her client had an amazing story, and invited the press to a pop up, she’d persuaded a reluctant label it would be great, not only did we get time for interviews and to see the clothes, but as it was a small label so they could sell to the public at the same time & her team made sure mailing list sign ups were offered to every visitor. Mailing lists are pure gold, you’ve got direct access to the customer from them on, cutting out spend on media.

The sad fact of this industry is while there are some AMAZING people out there who will pour their time and energy in getting you the best exposure and building your label with you, there are some people who will piss your money up the wall by doing that tired old pretence of what the industry is.

By the way, my experience says good PRs are with their clients for extended periods, not ever changing rosters of labels, yes every so often a switch is good to freshen things up and get a new energy behind it, but only those who plan long term with you from day one are the ones that’ll come through for you.

Your business is your baby, think hard on who you’ll trust, or ask one of us editors, we can tell you almost instantly. In that one respect we are like Miranda Priestly, we have a list.”