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Weekly Feature for Fashion & Beauty Fanatics: Q&A with Lisa Wells of Lisa Wells PR

As a former fashion journalist-turned-PR pro, Lisa Wells knows the ins and outs of the fashion industry. From her roots as a magazine editor, Lisa found she could use her experience working with fashion brands to leverage a career in public relations, helping those same brands up their reach and visibility. Here, she shares how she started her agency, Lisa Wells PR, and how she uses a content marketing strategy to connect with the fashion audience.

Q: You started your career as an editor for magazines such as WWD, W and Self. What inspired you to initially pursue print journalism?
I received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and knew that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to have the opportunity to collaborate with talented, smart, creative people. Print journalism was where many of the most celebrated authors, artists and stylists worked at that time.

Q: When (and why) did you decide to make the transition from journalism to PR?
As an editor, I had been working on all types of photo shoots both in studio and on location. While at WWD, I had written trend pieces, reviews and reported on a number of different fashion categories that included men’s wear, women’s wear, accessories and lingerie. I also had the opportunity to work on a Chic Simple Women’s Wardrobe book as an accessory editor, and after that was recommended for a freelance position writing for a boutique PR agency in Soho. After I wrote my first press release, the owner offered me a full-time position and from there I never looked back.

Q: Tell us about how you started your brand-placement agency, Lisa Wells PR?
After many years working in-house as a publicist for brands such as Judith Leiber,TumiHickey Freeman and Reem Acra, Tumi’s design director recommended me to the CEO of Brenthaven for a freelance project. Brenthaven became my first client and since then, they have recommended me to two other companies. Before I knew it, I had my own boutique agency. I now offer highly-personalized service to a roster of small to large brands across a wide range of categories.

Q: Content marketing is huge now. With brand placement, do you often use content to promote clients? Is writing or “brand journalism” a part of your strategy?
Yes, content marketing is a very important part of the overall brand strategy and with my clients. I utilize both their and my media platforms to grow their brand message. As a former journalist, I bring a unique perspective to this endeavor and always keep the audience in mind for all of the activities we undertake for clients.

Q: What is a common question or problem that fashion brands often come to you with for advice?
Every brand wants to sell more, have a broader customer base and a wider distribution platform. Good public relations should grow sales and revenue. That is what everyone comes to me for and what I aim to deliver.  Many of my clients tell me that they start to see an uptick in their web traffic and e-commerce sales after a few months of working together.

Q: OK, spill – which side is your favorite, PR or journalism?
I am very lucky that I have had many fulfilling moments working in both fields. Some have even overlapped. When I was at WWD, I was the first editor to feature a Judith Leiber handbag on the cover of the paper. What I didn’t know at the time was that a few years later, I would work at Leiber as their PR director. Favorite experiences have included Bjork carrying a Judith Leiber minaudiere on the red carpet, instituting the pink product program at Tumi in support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and having actor Seth Rogen wear a Hickey Freeman polo shirt on the cover of GQ. Since starting Lisa Wells PR, Brenthaven has appeared in USA Today, Maxim and the WSJ,  Hobie Polarized in the Associated Press, and most recently Cate Blanchett carried aMichelle Vale clutch at an Oscar party in Los Angeles. I get to work with great people, we have a lot of fun and it is exciting at times. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Find Lisa on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and at lisawellspr.com.

For more beauty and fashion insight, check out our feature on Cristina Velocci, deputy editor at StyleBistro.

About Gina Joseph

Gina Joseph is a features writer for Cision Blog, and is also the digital engagement manager for Cision’s marketing department. She’s a book nerd, Detroit sports enthusiast, lover of cats, lifelong Phil Collins fan, and budding snowboarder. Find her on Twitter @gmg912.

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