As a PR professional and blogger, Sarah Park of The Weekend Diary is a double threat. She showcases her personal style, beauty tips and healthy recipes on her blog, and her experiences in both spaces have yielded her the skills to connect well when placing clients and sharing her blog content.
Where did the name for The Weekend Diary come from? We know you are a PR pro during the weekdays, so is that how the blog got started, on your days off?
I started my blog back in college, almost two years ago, as a creative outlet for me to document my weekend shenanigans. After I graduated, I decided to focus more on sharing my personal style and some lifestyle tips in beauty and food to help define my target audience.
Initially, I planned on enrolling in a graduate program for physical therapy after college. However, after a little bit of soul-searching, I realized that you just have to do what you love and love what you do. So I decided to pursue a profession in tech PR, where I could utilize my love for writing, connecting with people and contributing creative solutions. My experience in both PR and blogging has given me a unique opportunity to understand the point-of-view from pitching an editorial idea to receiving one. So for me the things I learn from blogging and PR go hand-in-hand and benefit each other tremendously.
What made you decide to go into fashion blogging?
My mother is a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology and growing up, I’ve always admired her classic style with inspiration from current trends. I never thought I would end up running a fashion blog but I think it’s only natural for me to have one because blogging really incorporates everything I love: photography, writing, designing and connecting with other people with similar interests!
What are some of the benefits of having a career in PR while also being a writer?
One of the benefits of working in PR as a blogger is being able to really understand what it feels like to receive an impersonal, mass pitch. So when I am pitching for my clients, I take an extra step to research and really understand what the editors and journalists are looking for in order to make sure my client gets the coverage they want. On the flip side, I’ve also learned how and when to approach companies and brands I’d like to work with to negotiate a collaboration or a sponsorship deal for the blog.
How about some of the challenges?
I put a lot of thought and effort into blogging but it had been sitting on the back-burner for a while as I switched gears from physical therapy to PR. Then, I started learning more about the industry and I realized I could apply the things I learned to make bigger things happen for [the blog]; I could use [that knowledge] to create my own brand. That’s when I started setting clear goals for the blog and started researching on how to achieve those goals.
My biggest challenge right now is being able to find a better balance between time for work, blogging and play. I always put my work first but blogging is also important to me, so I often sacrifice a lot of social opportunities to make things happen for two of my biggest dreams. But I am lucky to have friends and family who understand that so I try to keep some time on the weekends to spend with them.
Do you use social media to promote your content? If so, how?
Yes, I use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to promote my blog. Each social media platform has its own pros and cons so I try to utilize them as best as I can. I use Instagram to post some of my best photos and Pinterest to showcase them as well. Twitter is great for short and sweet announcements, you can get pretty creative trying to get your message across in less than 140 characters.
Where do you get ideas for your blog posts? What content do you mainly feature?
I mainly document my personal style on the blog but I’m expanding to include more beauty tips and healthy recipes. I draw inspiration from a lot of different things I come across in my daily life, it can be anything from something I read online, in a magazine or something just based on my personal interest. I carry a notebook and a planner with me every day to work and that’s where I also jot down any ideas I get throughout the day.
New York Fashion Week is coming up in September. Have you ever been? Or would you ever go?
No, I’ve never been to a Fashion Week event but I would LOVE to go this fall if I had the chance. One of my old friends from high school is actually debuting his collection at the New York Fashion Week this year and I would love to be able to support his accomplishments.
Tell us about your personal style!
This is probably the hardest question for me to answer because I love experimenting with fashion. I can’t sum it up in just a few words but when I’m getting dressed in the morning, I like to reach for something comfortable and colorful. When I’m shopping, I usually buy things that I know I can style for both work and play because it’s important for me to have a versatile wardrobe. My friends have often described my personal style as laid-back and feminine.
What are you PR pet peeves, or what is the strangest pitch you have received?
My biggest PR pet peeve is when I can tell that the person who wrote the pitch didn’t really care to engage me. When I receive a pitch to cover a story, designer or an announcement, I want to know that you care about my position as a provider of information and that you REALLY believe your story will benefit the blog’s audience. The same goes for when I’m writing a pitch; I definitely do a bit of research on the publication in order to figure out how to present the information so that the writer can relate to it. Sometimes I’m surprised at how irrelevant the pitches are to my blog, I don’t even bother reading the entire message.
Any tips for PR professionals who want to get in contact with you?
I am open to working with any opportunities relating to women’s fashion, beauty and food that I also think my readers would find helpful and interesting. It is important for me to be able to provide my own personal thoughts and genuine opinions in every post.
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