September 26, 2018
Comms Best Practices
/ by Anna Marevska
A fashion influencer’s life may appear to have many perks — invitations to the best fashion shows, #sponsored designer clothing, fashion parties and mingling with models and celebrities. But that's not to say being a fashion influencer is all play and no work. Quite the contrary — fashion influencers often wear many hats, drive traffic, come up with story ideas, post on social, negotiate contracts and field pitches all at the same time. That makes them experts on brand building and influencing, hence becoming a rather lucrative sector for PR.
But that sector is also quite saturated. So who do you work with and how do you capture a fashion influencer's attention with your pitch? We tapped into Cision’s influencer database to come up with a few do's and don'ts on pitching and working with fashion influencers.
Micro is a huge buzzword right now, and micro influencers have been picking up speed lately. They have anywhere between 10,000 and 500,000 followers on social media channels, and you should consider working with them because the return on investment is so much higher than the macro influencers. They are also willing to work with brands for less compensation, are more flexible and even if their following is smaller, there's a bigger sense of community, engagement and trust. The bottom line is, micro influencers have become converters, not just awareness-drivers.
There is just no point. It is an automatic waste of time for you and the brand you represent. Much like fashion influencers choose who to collaborate with, you, the PR professional should also choose to pitch fashion influencers, who fit the aesthetic and needs of the brand you are representing. Think about the prestige and profitability of that brand, and whether an influencer would fit in that frame. Also, think about the fact that pitching something that doesn't fit their need will automatically get deleted.
Fashion influencers work very hard to make a brand you represent look good. Whether it's by writing a post, taking photographs, organizing a social media campaign, it all takes time and effort, and that time and effort should be compensated. Just like you are getting compensated by the brand your represent. Your pitch will get much, much further if you offer compensation, and that's as simple as it sounds. Many brands do offer partnerships to the top influencers, but hard work is hard work regardless of the following. And if you can offer anything monetarily, be transparent about it.
One of the most vocalized pet peeves of fashion influencers is the fact that most PR professionals assume — and sometimes demand — that if a blogger is invited to an industry event there will be an automatic blog post about it. Don’t assume that will be the case. Most influencers attend events for networking purposes which is just as important for you as a PR professional. Focus on building relationships with them, and the content will follow. Plus, what if the event didn't turn out to be anything worthy of talking about?
If you end up working with a fashion influencer, you should offer social media support. Tweeting, sharing and posting their content on Instagram will go a long way. It not only cultivates the relationship between you and the fashion blogger but also builds trust, dedication and credibility in front of the influencer's audience. And be open to their social media coverage as well. Sometimes an Instagram story or post is the best fit for what you are pitching.
An overly aggressive PR professional is a huge turn-off for fashion influencers. Constant follow-ups or blasting a pitch more than once will not result in placement, but rather will land your pitch in the trash or the SPAM folder. Follow-up phone calls, in particular, are a big pet-peeve. Most influencers will give submitted materials due consideration and, if interested, will contact you. Be respectful of their time, and in turn, they will be respectful of your pitch.
Yes, this might be the oldest PR tip in the book but it is crucial to understand right off the bat that fashion influencers are not fashion editors or traditional media, so be sure to tailor your pitch accordingly. Influencers prefer a more personalized pitch that allows them to understand that you have paid attention to who they are, what their voice is and why your brand fits their audience. Trying to build a more personalized relationship with them is a must, and starting your pitch with “Dear, First Name” will ensure your email ends up in the trash.
The top priority of fashion influencers is their audience. Keeping the reader in mind while pitching will set you apart immediately. Remind influencers how working with you will benefit their readers. How will your pitch of a place or a product affect their audience? Be sure to offer a news hook, and explain why they need to cover something now. Being considerate of someone’s readers shows that you have indeed done your research.
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