I’ve been asked a few too many times on Twitter if the ‘PR’ in PR Girl stands for Puerto Rico. Yep, true story. Hey, I’m not judging. Ok, maybe a little. Anyway, they’ll catch on eventually. But then there are others who know what PR stands for, but they don’t actually know what it ‘really’ means. Like what does the day to day job entail?
Last week I got two emails from two totally separate people who asked if I could elaborate on what a PR person does. Why, of course I can. Please keep in mind that this varies from place to place, but generally here’s the gig…
PR people represent a brand. That brand can be a company, a product, a person etc.. Really anything. Let’s call it X.
The PR person’s first job is to launch, promote, protect, maintain, reinvent or revitalize the brand image of X. This of course depends on what the company’s goals are for X at any given time. The brand image is a cross between what the company thinks it is and what the public thinks it is. Minding that gap (and there usually is one) is a huge part of the job. #Reputation
A brand image is managed by PR through many avenues:
1) Editorial (the coverage you see in magazines and online that isn’t paid advertising)
2) Celebrity or Influencer associations- whether that’s personal appearances, ad campaigns or having them associated with X
3) Special projects: i.e. our collaboration on the launch of Fashion Week Live (see my to-do list above left)
4) Social Media (depends on the company)
5) Runway shows (in Fashion)
6) VIP Events
7) Producing seasonal assets (lookbook images, press releases etc)
In general, it’s easy to launch something new. I mean it’s new, so of course people want to write about. It’s much harder to keep on reinventing the story on a product or brand that isn’t. PR people strategize a “spin” on what could be an interesting press hook to the media. They are constantly asking themselves what they can do to make their story interesting enough for an editor or reporter to cover (write about) again and again.
But on top of that in fashion, you have to also consider the trends. If it’s all about red and your collection is black, well Houston you have a problem. You need to be able to work around that somehow by creating a spin, to get it covered.
At Donna Karan, my day is different every time I step into the office. First off, I have an incredibly talented & passionate PR team, both in NY and around the world. Whether it’s overseeing their editorial activity, working on social/digital projects, dressing celebrities, strategizing a DKNY store launch or signing off on invoices (bleh), every day is chock full of stuff.
I do the above while tweeting, which in my opinion is the easy part. I also blog and pin from time to time, depending on how inspired I feel : )))
At the end of the day, being in PR is extremely challenging and creative. For nearly fifteen years at Donna Karan (August 17 is my anniversary!), I’ve been fortunate to work in an environment that welcomes ideas no matter where they come from. And that my friends… is the best kind of place to be.