This week we’re switching it up once again and giving you a glimpse at the other side of the industry! Instead of talking with fashion journalists, we’re getting the scoop from some of the top fashion PR pros in the business. So without further ado, meet Marla Russo, president and owner of Bella Public Relations in New York City!
Q: So what came first, your love for fashion or your love for PR? And what made you decide to combine them by starting your own firm?
A: I have to say my love for fashion and beauty. I was always and still am a fashionista and a beauty junkie. When I started working in fashion/beauty PR I knew it was a win-win for me and for my career path. The passion I have for the fashion world and the PR trade, I just knew that sky was the limit to expand my determination to become a successful publicist within the industry.
Q: What are some of the not-so-glamorous, but essential, parts of working in fashion PR?
A: Deadlines, being the “middle man” to make everyone happy, having stories/photo shoots cut from the media due to unknown reasons, [and] long days in high heels!
Q: But OK, spill—what are a few of the most glamorous parts, too?
A: Meeting such amazing creative people. Every day is a different day. Getting the clients’ exposure that they dream about, and working with such a group of talented women every day at Bella.
Q: It’s great to see PR firms using blogging as a compliment to the work they do. How has writing The Bella Blog helped your business?
A: People love it! They love reading the posts and enjoy the humor behind it. Readers love to see what’s happening behind Bella’s doors…from events, launches, new beauty and fashion “must-haves”, etc.
Q: Do you accept pitches on your blog? If so, what is the best way for someone to get your attention—and does being on the PR side tend to make you more or less critical of the pitches you do receive?
A: We accept pitches from all of our social media outlets – blogs, Facebook, Twitter, directly to my email, etc. I enjoy getting a pitch from those that can connect with me on a personal level. No “fru fru,” just to the point but with a sense of humor behind it. We at Bella laugh every day and we know we’re not curing cancer here – we’re just having a great time and getting the results that our clients want and need!
Q: Speaking of pitching, tell us about your unique staff member, “Pitch” the beta fish!
A: Ahhh Pitch…Pitch has been with us for several years now and still going strong! Sometimes I overfeed it because I always think it’s hungry. Of course Rachel (Bella’s beauty director and Pitch’s saving grace) yells at me! I’m not allowed near Pitch any more.
Q: Where do you see Bella PR in the future?
A: Continue to grow – there are no limits here at Bella! Onwards and upwards. But always with a smile!
Our free weekly Fashion & Beauty Buzz newsletter features industry-related job postings, staff updates, Q&As with the fashion and beauty community, upcoming industry events and more, and is geared toward industry journalists and bloggers. If you want to sign up or be featured in it, email gina.joseph[at]cision.com. Don’t forget to also follow @CisionNavigator and @Cision on Twitter!