Public Relations (PR) is one of the most effective communication tools for fashion brands. PR’s goal is to keep the brand’s reputation at its highest and ensure the public has an accurate global view of the company. Today we share some of the tasks carried out by a public relations team.

A Public Relations agent is a professional profile highly requested in lifestyle and fashion companies. Public Relations (PR) as a communication strategy is responsible for managing public affairs, corporate communications, stakeholder relations, risk communication, and corporate social responsibility. 

The Institute of Public Relations (IPR) defined the practice as “the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organization and its publics”.

Different publics require different types of information and access to it; The foundations of PR is the establishment of a relationship with many groups of people –from customers, suppliers, employees, stakeholders, press, to local and national trade and political bodies- all of them engaged within the brand or company at so many levels. 

An underestimated PR skill is the ability to understand those subtle vital differences. PR is not about only promoting an organization and managing its functional communication outcomes. According to The World Public Relation Forum in Stockholm, PR defines organizational values, principles, strategies, policies, and processes. PR practitioners agreed on applying social networking, research skills, and tools to interpret stakeholders’ and society’s expectations as a basis for decisions. 

PR must deliver timely analysis and recommendations for effective governance of stakeholder relationships by enhancing transparency, trustworthy behavior, and goodwill. 

Fashion PRs: Tasks and Managing Relationships 

PR is a valuable communication tool for fashion and lifestyle brands. PR methods raise brand awareness and generate shifts in brand perceptions. The PR’s job is to modify the attitudes and perceptions of consumers towards products or brands. 

While advertising tries to modify perceptions in a paid and direct way, public relations make prestige and reputation go above the advertisement in favor of the editorial content and the word worth. Find below five management tasks related to a Fashion PR’s job.

1. Planning the PR Campaign for the Season

Many PR activities are attached to the fashion calendar. The schedule sets the important dates for PR events such as runways, press days, store openings, and awards season throughout the year. 

The concept of “season” in fashion is still relevant, as magazines and fashion websites cover fashion according to Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter designer collections. 

PR managers identify all communication opportunities in a plan that can include: editorial content in the press, celebrity and influencer activations, brand events and meetings to engage the stakeholders, and development of PR communication materials to use during the season campaign. 

Some PR plans focus on the main collection, others on brand values and the company’s purpose. It all depends on the desired engagement level and the PR objectives to fulfill, the overview perspective is helpful to consider every PR activity part of a whole. 

2. Coordinating the Press Showroom

The PR team coordinates the press product samples for stylists and photographers to work with, in a showroom these would be the clothes on a fashion photo editorial assignment. During the season they need to organize, catalog and display the range of products to be shown to fashion editors and fashion journalists. This PR task can be developed from an in-house perspective, or it can be carried out by an external PR agency, which manages the showroom, the publicity, and related marketing activities for a portfolio of client brands. Press days are a common strategy in the industry to promote the collection through fashion press and stylists. 

3. Creating Press Materials 

The PR team is in charge of writing press releases during the entire season and managing which information can be released to the press, the stakeholders, or the general public and which cannot. The most common PR communication tools are press packs, lookbooks, campaign and product photoshoots, and video campaigns. 

4. Maintaining a Close Relationship With the Fashion Media 

A PR campaign aims to generate enough editorial publicity arising from newsworthy stories. Public relations executives work closely with fashion journalists to keep them informed about the brand’s activities, the next launches, and to give them exclusive scoops. PR has a reciprocal relationship with the press. Fashion journalists need fashion stories, editorials, features, and products to include in their magazines, and Fashion PRs need media coverage to communicate with their brands’ consumers, each of them gains from the other. PRs allow journalists to understand the brand, to take a deeper look at the designer process, or grant an interview. Press trips, fashion shows sitting, or delivering bombshell news are some of the PR’s key activities during the season.   

5. Engage with Key People Online and Offline

The use of famous people to promote luxury and fashion is not new. Actors, singers, entertainers, and athletes are the fashion industry’s favorite key people. PRs organize, maintain, and negotiate promotional deals with celebrities to generate brand associations. Red carpet, movies, video clips, and wardrobe loans are common practices tools to promote the brand. PRs also work closely with digital influencers, in some cases, Internet stars with millions of followers in social media networks. The principle is the same, select, endure and retain close relationships with key people for the benefit of the brand. 

PR is a dynamic multitasking job. Fashion PR communication requires excellent personal skills, a detail-oriented personality, and empathy to foster and strengthen brand relationships with its audiences.