The Fashion Industry's News Makers: Inside Public Relations
by Jessica Santina
Fashion School Review Columnist
April 9, 2009
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In this age of viral marketing, thought leadership, and social networking, it takes a savvy business person to create buzz about any industry--especially when that buzz isn't paid for. And in the world of fashion, buzz is everything. That's why public relations professionals are an integral part of the fashion business.
In a way, public relations is the art of applying gentle pressure--relentlessly. It's about advocating for businesses, or whole industries, and building positive relationships with the media and the public. In fact, the majority of news messages you hear or read about originated from the desk of a PR professional.
The Fashion Industry and Public Relations
While PR often involves writing and distributing press releases, that's only part of what their work entails. PR professionals also plan, coordinate, and manage special events (fashion shows, press conferences, sales, makeovers, and more). They might send samples of merchandise to retailers or the media, coordinate fashion designers' appearances, run trade show booths, or even make presentations to buyers or fashion school students.
The good news is that this career is exciting. The better news is that it's growing rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 18 percent job growth through 2016. Many firms, including those in fashion, are moving away from hiring salaried PR specialists, and are hiring freelancers, which should increase demand for entrepreneurial-minded, fashion merchandising-trained fashionistas.
Fashion Merchandising: A Good Place to Start
In order to communicate effectively about issues in the fashion industry, you should know all the intricacies of fashion design, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing. That's where a fashion merchandising degree comes in.
Such fashion school courses can teach you to analyze, interpret, and forecast trends. You can learn about the history of fashion, how fashion buyers operate, the challenges of retail sales and management, how to effectively market fashion to the public, and more. With training in fashion merchandising, along with enthusiasm, creativity, and great communication skills, a career in fashion publicity could be yours.
About the Author
Jessica Santina is a freelance writer with a background in media and marketing. She also teaches first-year writing courses at the University of Nevada, Reno.