Fashion public relations involves being in touch with a company’s audiences and creating strong relationships with them, reaching out to media and initiating messages that project positive images of the company. Social media plays an important role in modern day fashion public relations; enabling practitioners to reach a wide range of consumers through various platforms.
Building brand awareness and credibility is a key implication of good public relations. In some cases, great hype is built about new designers’ collections before they are released into the market, due to the immense exposure generated by practitioners. Social media, such as blogs, micro blogs, podcasts, photo and video sharing sites have all become increasingly important to fashion public relations. The interactive nature of these platforms allows practitioners to engage and communicate with publics in real time, and tailor their clients’ brand or campaign messages to the target audience.
With blogging platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress and other sharing sites, bloggers have emerged as expert fashion commentators, shaping brands and having a great impact on what is ‘on trend’. Women in the fashion public relations industry such as Sweaty Betty PR founder Roxy Jacenko and Oscar de la Renta’s PR girl Erika Bearman, have acquired copious amounts of followers on their social media sites, by providing a brand identity and a behind the scenes look into the companies they work for.
Social media is changing the way practitioners deliver messages, as they are concerned with the media, and also customer relationship building. PR practitioners must provide effective communication among all platforms, in order to engage fashion publics in an industry socially connected via online shopping. Consumers have the ability to share their purchases on their personal social media pages (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), and if practitioners deliver the brand message effectively and meet the needs of its publics, word-of-mouth publicity will be generated and potentially provide a wide reach for the designer and their products.