c a r r i e m o r r i s xo

student @ belmont univ studying to be a fashion pr girl for someone or something fabulous

#WangSecret

On July 9th, designer Alexander Wang posted the invitation of a lifetime on Twitter–an invitation to a secret surprise event to be held July 13th at the High Line Stages in NYC. Landlocked in Nashville, I could only dream of what was in store for New York fashionistas. I despondently thumbed through the thousands of #WangSecret tweets over the course of the next 72 hours leading up to the big day.

aw

July 12th, Wang posted an elusive clue on Twitter reading, “The first 20 people in line on Saturday will receive a very useful special prize.” As if the anxiety and curiosity wasn’t taxing enough!

July 13th, the day had arrived. Tuning out the world for the hours preceding 2pm, I couldn’t wait to see what #WangSecret would entail. As promised, the first 20 people who waited in line since the early morning received a prize that was indeed well worth their time.. A huge box.

A huge box? Yes. Turns out, #WangSecret was not just a secret sample sale… It was a FREE sample sale. A grab-everything-and-anything-you-can-carry-in-your-arms-or-stuff-in-your-pants-and-get-out FREE sample sale of men’s and women’s clothing (no bags or shoes) in all sizes. See why the box was so great?

image c/o ny.racked.com

image c/o ny.racked.com

1 of 231,738,182 reasons I ❤ NY.

xxCM

Personal Learning Network End-of-Semester Review

As my fall 2012 semester comes to an end, it also means my Social Media + PR class unfortunately comes to an end as well. While this may be my final post in which I summarize what I have learned most through the utilization of this WordPress and my professional Twitter account (@carriemorrisxo) to penetrate and explore the fashion industry’s use of social media in PR, this is far from being my last post in this beloved area of interest.

In my endeavor to decipher social media’s contributions to the evolution of the fashion industry in recent years, I have learned so much. The largest and most significant of these is that social media has single-handedly morphed the fashion industry from being an untouchable, impenetrable, mysterious, elitist world in which consumers watch from afar, into a personable, intimate, relationship-focused, and transparent industry that has allowed consumers to interact with and grow to love their brands on an extremely personal and inviting level.

The fashion industry’s adoption of social media has opened up more doors than just this one. Bloggers, and essentially anyone with a Twitter and Instagram, are being recognized by the brands they represent most as significant and integral parts to their brand awareness. This was absolutely unheard of ten years ago. Bloggers and loyal customers who advertise their favorite brands through social media outlets are consistently being recognized by these brands and even receiving invitations to sit front row at insanely fabulous events like New York Fashion Week, and intimate company dinner parties and galas.

Simply put, social media has made fashion more accessible. Consumers without the funds to access the world of high fashion were previously cut off from any awareness of runway looks and emerging trends until they eventually trickled down to the more affordable clothing brands. Now, consumers of any budget are now building relationships with designers they admire by simply following their favorite brands on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Prior to social media, designers were no more than the clothes, shoes, or handbags they made. Social media allows us an inside look into the actual lives of these brands. We see their personalities and humors, daily routines, and even relationships with their friends and families, in addition to their newest collections. Now, when I peruse Net-a-porter.com, Nordstrom, Saks and Barneys, I see all of my knowledge about the personal aspects of each of the designers. I see designers’ personalities in their clothes, and it’s so awesome to see how greatly they are reflected in the clothes.

This is a complete revolution for the fashion industry, and it inspires me to continue to pursue my dreams of becoming a fashion PR girl someday, because it truly is within reach. I plan to continue to follow my greatest influencers, Oscar PR Girl and DKNY, learning from them and making all the right moves to one day be exactly like them. Social media has become such an integral tool in making sure not only I get to where I want to be, but for many others to do the same in their respective fields.

As I said before, this is NOT my last post on Fashion PR! I have fallen in love with this pursuit and I’m not stopping anytime soon!

xxCM

“Social Media: The Fashion Industry’s Hottest Trend” -Chelsea Orcutt

As I read more and more into the effects of social media on the fashion industry, I’m beginning to find a lot of repetition. However, in each article I seem to find at least one thing that gets me thinking again. In this article, “Social Media: The Fashion Industry’s Hottest Trend,” by Chelsea Orcutt, she expands on the areas in which social media have most greatly affected the fashion industry. There are several overlapping points that I won’t reiterate to you, but I would like to share a couple of things that particularly stuck out to me.

While most major brands have established a presence on Facebook and Twitter, there are a select few that have demonstrated real innovation and creativity as they leverage these platforms. Orcutt points out the brands and personalities that are most “fashionable” on social media.

In the Blogosphere

Fashion bloggers are emerging as thought leaders in the industry, and brands are turning to them not only to test and offer feedback on their products, but also to act as a liaison between themselves and their target consumers. These relationships have proved invaluable for luxury brands who are working to maintain sales and keep costs low during difficult economic times.

For example, Rebecca Minkoff, a popular handbag designer, has received praise not only for her blog, but also for establishing strong relationships with fashion bloggers. For example, Minkoff, who runs her own Twitter account, tweeted at blogger Maria Morales, complimenting her on a post that featured one of her handbags. Needless to say, Morales maintained her brand loyalty, and continued to promote the brand in her posts.

From Runway Trends to Trending Topics

Twitter has been so integral in making the notoriously elite world of high fashion more accessible, personal, and engaging to consumers. Many times, designers see success on Twitter when they operate their own accounts. In a similar fashion, brands that have a single, recognizable point person handling their social media presence often see higher brand loyalty among customers.

DKNY presents a perfect example. The company’s Senior Vice President of Global Communications, Aliza Licht, is best known as DKNY PR Girl (@DKNY) to customers. What sets Licht apart from other fashion PR girls is that she doesn’t use Twitter simply to push content about DKNY and its current projects. She utilizes it as a way to connect with customers and followers who aspire to work in the fashion industry by being highly responsive to tweets, sharing her “PR 101″ advice on her Tumblr , and providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the fashion industry that allows consumers to build stronger brand affinity. Additionally, Licht stays geniune by tweeting witty, personal updates on her life, showing the very human side of a massive fashion empire.

xxCM

Article linked here.

“How the Fashion Industry is Embracing Social Media” -Hitha Prabhakar

how-the-fashion-industry-is-embracing-social-media-d0326c6d2d

I found this great article on Mashable written by Hitha Prabhakar, a retail industry expert and principal of The Style File Group, a retail consulting firm based in NYC. Prabhakar discusses the hottest trend in the fashion industry: social media. Like many trends in this finicky industry, social media definitely took a while for the whole industry to appreciate. But, when it finally did, it spread like wildfire. Ten years ago, no one would have thought something as seemingly simple as adopting social media would change such an established and prestigious world like the fashion industry.

In prepping for NYFW February 2010, Prabhakar decided to do a quick search for #NYFW on Twitter. To her surprise, the conversations were abounding. Leaving her computer for a mere second, she returned to the words “43 more tweets since you started searching.”

To Prabhakar, she was more shocked by who was participating in the conversation, not just the sheer volume of participants. There were journalists, fashion incubators, retail gurus, and people who were just plain interested in the industry weighting in on a topic that has notoriously shut its doors to anyone deemed an outsider. Social media has busted down the door to complete and utter transparency.

“People want to feel connected,” says Kelly Cutrone, owner of People’s Revolution and executive producer of reality TV series on Bravo Kell on Earth. Cutrone has orchestrated the campaigns of hundreds of clients, including Donna Karan and Lisa Marie, and has always incorporated a digital strategy when working with them. “It’s one thing if you are a luxury brand and have been around for 60 years and can weather the retail storm we’ve had, but if you are a new brand that’s just starting out — whether you are a writer or a retailer — innovating through social media is crucial. Those that are hidden and guarded will not progress.”

“Brands are learning how to humanize without killing their mystique,” says Shiv Singh, VP and global social media lead at Razorfish and author of Social Media Marketing for Dummies. “You look at brands like Chanel, who have pushed designer Karl Largerfeld into the social media sphere to further connect with their customers, or Victoria’s Secret, who has 2.63 million fans on Facebookand 1.7 million for Pink — you are able to see how these brands are able to connect with their customers and monetize on it through awareness, loyalty and engagement.”

The bottom line is that fashion designers are realizing that the risk of losing credibility or the mysterious factor that the fashion industry has demanded since the beginning of its time is far less than the risk of losing their customer bases by not embracing social media and the opportunity it presents for companies to build actual relationships with their clients on a personal level, and create a feeling of trust with those clients by being able to put a personality with the brand, not just a label in a shirt or on a bag. Bloggers are no longer “noise” on the Internet that brands worry about ruining their image, but merely alternative ways of advertising and making their clients more aware of themselves. Those bloggers are also receiving invitations to sit in the front row of the runway shows at events like New York Fashion Week from the brands to which they remain most loyal, a concept that was completely unheard of prior to social media.

Social media has created the most radical change in the fashion industry since skinny jeans and stilettos replaced bell bottoms and platforms.

Where do you think social media will take the fashion industry from here?

xxCM

Article linked here.

Stuff Oscar PR Girl Says

John Jannuzzi, an editor at Lucky Magazine, and several other friends of my all-time favorite PR girl, Erika Bearman aka Oscar PR Girl, put together this hilarious video capturing the essence of all things fabulous about being a PR girl in NYC. #dying

Enjoy! xxCM

“Five Things about Social Media that Fashion PR Often Gets Wrong” -Crosby Noricks

Although there are several social media darlings that we all enjoy following who seem to do anything and everything perfectly, i.e. Oscar PR Girl, DNKY, Tibi, Elizabeth & James, and Stuart Weitzman; Crosby Noricks, founder of PRCouture.com, explains five ways many fashion brands are getting it wrong when it comes to social media strategy.

  1. Fashion has a Police; Facebook has Promotional Guidelines: While it is sadly remarkable how many fashion brands still have profile pages instead of business pages, Noricks says the single biggest faux pas on Facebook is fashion brands that run contests on the wall. While it is nice to be able to promote your contest on the wall, you must use an application to manage the actual contest entries. Noricks’ solution is for PR pros to commit Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines to memory and then find a Facebook-approved vendor to help you execute Facebook contests or sweepstakes
  2. The Perils of Improper Tweeting: Twitter is a powerful tool for building relationships with customers, bloggers, and fashion editors. A great way to start the mutual adoration is to reference another Twitter user in a tweet for all your followers to see. However, thou shalt not begin a tweet with the @ tag of said Twitter reference because any who happen to follow both the brand account and blogger will see that tweet, which is not very effective. A quick fix for this would be to insert the @blogger or @editor or @customer cohesively inside the tweet, i.e. Great post by @fashionblogger today on our spring 2013 swimsuit collection!
  3. Moving Beyond the Fashion Blogger Brat Pack: As fashion bloggers have become an integral part of fashion PR in recent years, smart fashion brands have moved away from the standard email pitch and are instead working collaboratively with these influential digital content producers to curate and develop original, branded content. However, the fashion community should work toward partnering with up-and-coming bloggers, or those with a non-traditional look. Noricks says  its way due time to expand beyond the tired photo campaigns.
  4. A Tumbler is Not a Content Strategy: Another day, another fashion brand launches a Tumblr. While few brands like Kate Spade and Anthropolgie put great efforts into the design and aesthetics of their Tumblrs, many have simply used a free theme and proceeded to blog and reblog haphazardly, with no clear purpose or process and rarely do they promote the existence of their Tumblr through other social media outlets. Clearly there is lack of strategy. However, there are things to consider in order to improve this lack of direction: identify your plan to post, follow and reblog content, decide how you will drive traffic to your Tumblr, decide how you will differentiate that content from what is on your company blog, Twitter, or Facebook, and identify a way of measuring effectiveness.
  5. Disclosure is More than Divulging Your Secret Shopping Haunts: While the FTC Blogger Guidelines are not likely to put anyone in prison anytime soon, it’s certainly good ethics to abide by their disclosure. Anytime a fashion PR agency or blogger posts about a client on social media, they must indicate that they are talking about a client, and many do not. We should encourage and assist bloggers with disclosure in posts where they are writing about anything and everything they were paid for, or any gifts/samples they received on behalf of a brand.

-Crosby Noricks 

 

Social Media Best Practices: Pinterest

Pinterest Logo

Pinterest Logo

For my Social Media + PR class, we were all assigned to be individual “PR Technology Testers” of a specific social media innovation and to share our discoveries and “tips” with each other.  The purpose of the assignment was to investigate how it is begin used by organizations to build and maintain relationships with their publics. Being an endeavoring fashion PR professional, I thought it would be interesting to choose Pinterest to be my social media tool. And I’d like to share my findings with you!

For class, I created a lengthy document that fully describes the detail of my investigation, so I will provide a brief summary for you here and will follow up with a link to the full presentation!

What is Pinterest?

  • Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Users create their own pinboards and browse other users’ pinboards to plan, discover and inspire. (pinterest.com)

Who is using Pinterest and why?

  • Pinterest is dominated by women age 25-44
  • Its layout and culture stoke an enormous buying impulse
  • Major brands are “pinning to build their audience”
  • Many businesses have incorporated a “Pin It” button on all websites
  • Users love Pinterest because of its design and aesthetics (blog.prnewswire.com)

Why should PR pros use Pinterest? — Pinterest is a great social media platform to:

  • Pin to build your social brand story
  • Perform social PR market research: Build relationships with professionals in your industry, monitor their influence in the online community
  • Reach new audiences with your boards: Offers continuous access to information on the people who are repinning, sharing, and liking (blog.prnewswire.com)

Pinterest Goals:

  • Is your presence for branding purposes?
  • Is your presence to create more traffic?

(Both have value, both lead to elevated SEO) (blog.prnewswire.com)

Pinterest by the Numbers

  • Less than 1% negative sentiment on Pinterest
  • Contributes to 20% of social commerce
  • The half-life of a pin is more than 1 week compared to 80 minutes for a Facebook post and 5-25 minutes for a tweet)
  • The average e-commerce order value from Twitter- $69, Facebook-$80, Pinterest-$179
  • Estimated to have 90% of the top 1500 brands within the next year (blog.prnewswire.com)

How to Make Pinterest Work for Your Brand

  • Getting your brand started in Pinterest early: Becoming an early adopter allows your brand to establish an audience and credibility within the platform prior to the inevitable push for monetization when ads could be sold or promoted pins could be created. Right now, Pinterest helps elevate “power pinners and boards” free of cost.
  • Begin by creating 12 boards: 5 boards about things your users love, 5 boards about things they have a hard time finding, and 2 boards about your brand. Avoid blatant self-promotion. Pinners will be turned off by your boards if they feel it is pure advertisement.
  • If you’ve already started leveraging Pinterest, look at the data. What pins are performing? Do you have high influence followers? How are your competitiors doing? (blog.prnewswire.com)

Tips to Elevate Pinning

  • Get your profile photo right: using your company’s logo on Pinterest isn’t always the best route unless it is a newer company without much recognition. If your company is a big enough brand that someone would recognize your logo, you can choose to go with someone who can be the “face” of your company.
  • Drive the fans you have on other platforms to your boards with content, not a “Request to Join You on Pinterest”
  • Have content live on your boards that people want to see
  • Mix owned content with other content that interests your audience
  • Optimize your Pinterest profile – there are several strategies to optimizing your Pinterest, but one of the more interesting one is the placement of your pin boards. If you want a specific board to get more attention than the other ones on your profile, place it in the middle position of the top row of your boards. Users’ eyes are automatically drawn to that board first.
  • Avoid being an “overpinner” – even the largest brands only pin a couple of times a day – If you inundate your follows with too much content too fast they will get annoyed with you filling up their feeds (pinleague.com, blog.prnewswire.com)

In the link below, you will find the SlideRocket presentation I created to display my results! xxCM

http://portal.sliderocket.com/BNIWY/4AADF748-E7E7-4442-A050-BB995A3F2EC8

“Hype Better Than Sales for Target-Neiman Marcus Tie-Up” -Ann Zimmerman

Neiman-Marcus-x-Target

When I saw the Proenza Schouler sweatshirt from the Target-Neiman Marcus collaboration at one of my fashionable friend’s apartment Sunday night in one of the bags from her Target run earlier that day, I knew something was up. The highly anticipated, highly publicized release of this unusual fashion collaboration Dec. 1 has started with a whimper, far from the bang the companies were counting on to improve holiday sales between Black Friday and Christmas.

Wall Street analysts and customers alike expressed surprise that crowds weren’t bigger and sales not stronger at many locations, despite a plethora of high-profile advertising, including prime-time television commercials. The campaign was also plastered across all outlets of social media for both companies, and highly promoted by fashion bloggers.

The tie-up clearly fell short of the stunning buying frenzy that Target saw last year when it offered a limited collection by high-end Italian design house Missoni that sold out in most stores within minutes and drew so much traffic online it crashed Target’s website.

Target said it was unfair to compare the record-setting Missoni sales to the current design collection. It said the Neiman Marcus partnership was conceived as a holiday gift collection designed to last longer, so it was more deeply stocked. Customers also were only allowed to buy five of a single item, compared to unlimited amounts of Missoni last year, to prevent people from buying up items and reselling them online.

Neiman Marcus stands by their partnership. Spokeswoman Ginger Reeder of Neiman Marcus said,

“For our brand, it has been a good partnership. It has gotten high visibility among consumer groups that haven’t thought of Neiman Marcus as a place to go for high quality affordable gifts.”

Many consumers were not pleased that the limited amount of women’s clothing available sold for around $100, and were upset that there wasn’t more affordable clothing.

I, too, agree with this notion. But I still plan on grabbing the Proenza Schouler sweatshirt for $30 and the Tory Burch beverage container for $25.

Have any of you purchased an item from the Target-Neimans collection? Where do you think they went wrong?

xxCM

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323717004578159592922894454.html

“5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009” -Macala Wright

american-apparel-facebook

From the title of this article, you might be wondering why would I be writing on such a dated article. While I am aware that a 3-year-old article is considered ancient in this day in age, I found many of these points to be timeless. Each of these merely points out the major turning points the fashion industry incurred when it FINALLY made its way into the social media world. Macala Wright, a Mashable contributor, points out these five ways social media changed fashion:

Until recently, the fashion industry has been fashionably late to the social media party, refusing to adopt it at all, or merely adopting one-way communication via social networks and RSS feeds for sales and promotions.

  • The fashion industry has been reluctant to join because for so long, brands saw fashion as an experience with very specific feelings and emotions they hope to create for the wearer. The thought of going public scared brands because they weren’t sure how to translate those feelings into online traction.
  • The majority of the industry thought this would tarnish brand image, but American Apparel, TopShop and emerging independent designers were early adopters of social marketing. Once they started seeing results, other brands followed. Now almost every brand has a presence in several social media communities.
  • We are now seeing less one-way discount promotions, and more genuine interaction between brand and client. Social media also allows for brands to consistently monitor customer sentiment and provide customer service in real-time.

Now that fashion brands have learned to navigate social media, many are experimenting with development of their own social networks or even invitation-only communities.

  • Brands are partnering with fashion-oriented sites like Polyvore for sponsoring branded contests within the website’s community in order to create opportunity to develop brand loyalty and establish relationships with the next, younger generation of shoppers.
  • Luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Burberry have launched their own social networks or added social components to their existing websites. This allows for brands to extend their story and promise to their customers, maximizing the user’s online brand experience.

Another major area of change is that fashion brands have finally taken “there’s an app for that!” to heart.

  • Chanel shows its runway collections via iPhone app, and the Gilt Groupe app allows users to shop sample sales and receive alerts as to when sales are starting.
  • Apps are just another way of making the brand more accessible and convenient for use and exposure in the everyday life of the consumer.

The rise of fashion bloggers has had an enormous impact on fashion, affecting everything from print publishing to how brands market themselves online. There are countless style-related blogs online and those dedicated to their craft have earned industry recognition.

  • Gala DarlingBryan Boy, 13-year-old Tavi, Scott Schuman of the Satorialistand Garance Dore have earned recognition from Dolce & Gabanna, Burberry, Alexander McQueen and leading publications such as Vogue. They’ve participated in fashion design collection collaborations and received front-row, international Fashion Week seats next to some of the most notable figures in the couture world.
  • Being a style blogger is a perfectly respectable career for someone in the fashion industry in today’s times. Social media has removed the gatekeepers of an industry that has always been notoriously hard to penetrate and build a name in.

User-generated content is key to social media and fashion. From blogs to Facebook photo contributions to product reviews–user-generated content is where it’s at.

  • A great example of user-generated content used in conjunction with a niche network is Burberry’s Art of the Trench site. Users are encouraged to upload images of themselves wearing Burberry’s signature item – their trench coat. Burberry is highlighting consumer-created content from preferred customer segments.
  • Crosby Noricks, founder of a top fashion PR blog, has noticed more brands realizing the collective power of their customers’ networks by encouraging fan contributions. She points to G-Star, the Dutch clothing company who just launched a social media campaign to find “reporters” to attend their fashion show at upcoming New York Fashion Week, as well as Coach’s Holiday Blog-A-Day program, which enlisted 30 bloggers and vloggers to ensure holiday sales were in the bag.

Macala Wright
In the time since this article was written, we have seen tremendous growth and development of newer social media tools like Pinterest and Instagram, and in our ability to monitor influence and discover new ways to reach new publics.

Where do you think social media trends you think fashion brands should utilize more? And what sort of brand engagement do you hope to see in the year 2015?

xxCM

“Consumers Turn to Social Media for Customer Service” -Lisa Lockwood, WWD

So in case you didn’t know, the core of public relations is building mutually beneficial relationships between a business and its publics. And a large part of building and maintaining positive relationships with your clients on the business end of things is providing excellent customer service. With more than 62% of the world on social media (Huffington Post), it’s no surprise that people are trading in the stereotypical long phone conversations with a company about a product problem or service issue for the more immediate gratification of reaching out to that company through Twitter or Facebook.

I found the article, “Consumers Turn to Social Media for Customer Service” by Lisa Lockwood, on the Mecca-of-all-fashion website Women’s Wear Daily to shed some light on how and why clients are doing just that.

According to a study released Thursday by NM Incite, a social-media insights provider and joint venture between Nielson and McKinsey, nearly half of all social-media users —  47% — seek customer service through social media channels.” (Lockwood)

The survey was conducted with 2,000 social-media users of all ages and genders. The breakdown of everything is as follows:

  • “30% of all social-media users prefer to contact a brand for customer service through a social channel compared with the phone.
  • 71% of those who experience positive social care (i.e., a quick and effective brand response) are likely to recommend that brand to others, versus 19% of customers who do not receive any response. (Social care is a system for companies to regularly provide customer service through social-media platforms.)
  •  The majority of Twitter and Facebook users, 83% and 71%, respectively, expect a response from a brand within the same day of posting. More than 50% of Twitter social-care users expect a response within two hours of posting, according to a 2011 Oracle global survey.” (Lockwood)

Not too shocking that the survey also revealed that one negative customer experience posted online can cancel out the effect of up to five positive customer messages.

“What we’re seeing is that customers are turning to social-media channels for customer service, regardless of whether and where a particular brand is actually equipped to handle customer service over social media,” said Gadi BenMark, senior vice president of NM Incite’s Advisory division. “Today’s customers choose when and where they voice their questions, issues and complaints. They don’t care if a company is set up to answer customer questions on Facebook, or if it has an actual Twitter handle for customer service. The implications are enormous for brands that are not implementing effective social care. There is also great upside for those that understand that the lines between marketing and customer service are blurring, and take action to organize, operate and manage performance in this new merged world.”

Article taken from Lisa Lockwood’s “Consumers Turn to Social Media for Customer Service”, WWD

Tara Patterson

Journalist & Public Relations Professional

Sydney Brannan

Professional Entertainment Industry and Public Relations Enthusiast

The Beresford Blog

A professional blog to establish a digital footprint.

High Fashion Social

Exploring how a handful of luxury brands are embracing social media and gaining a new generation of audiences while leaving other premium brands behind.

trulytwenties

Tips & Tricks From One Intern to Another

Fashion & Mash

Where designer meets digital

LyndziTrang

A Budget Fashionista in a Designer Driven World

c a r r i e m o r r i s xo

student @ belmont univ studying to be a fashion pr girl for someone or something fabulous

SoMe PR!

A Critical Look at the Intersection of PR and Social Media