Digital Era of Fashion PR
As social media continues to infiltrate almost every industry in existence, could it be that fashion PR is getting the short end of the stick? The world of social media is constantly expanding and fashion is trying to keep up. In mid 2000s, it all started with the rise of fashion bloggers. Even though there’s been a lot of talk about the death of blogs, their authors are undeniably alive and kicking on social media. A great number of today’s style icons are former fashion bloggers who moved their businesses to Instagram and other similar social media apps.
As fashion tries to mold itself into this new digital era we’re in, the market is getting overwhelmed and saturated. Fast fashion has long been a new constant and it seems the industry and its people can hardly keep up. Even though public relations have always played an extremely important role in the business of fashion, old ways of handling fashion PR are no longer working. It is no longer enough for PR specialists to organize an occasional party or to manage guest lists for fashion shows and events. Many have been talking about the crumbling of fashion PR under pressure, but it’s just finding its place under this new, digital sun.
With the merging of fashion companies and media outlets, the role of fashion PR has actually intensified. As fashion print moved to our smart phones and e-commerce made it possible to shop anything and everything from the comfort of our homes, content gained the ultimate importance. Fashion publicists are coming down from their ivory towers to manage the ever-changing digital fashion communication, while focusing on establishing and maintaining personal relationships between their clients and their designated audiences.
Famous fashion bloggers on social media have become PR’s go-to link between audiences and fashion brands. As personal relationships and content gained importance, the number of followers one has no longer guarantees influence. It is pretty clear who helps sell products and who has the greatest influence – bloggers who’ve created a relationship with their following. Some of the selection process is based on numbers, but much of it is based on good personal relationships.
As temporal boundaries on news no longer exist, it is fashion publicists’ job to make sure the information out there is correct. Unlike in reality, rumors in the digital world can get out of hand pretty fast. Posts can be taken out of context and before you know it – hundreds of thousands of people are speculating and second guessing your agenda. Social media is known for turbo-charging rumors and feeding it to the masses in order to get more clicks and likes, but publicists are now intervening openly. To nip unfounded rumors in the bud, they’re taking matters into their own hands and talking to audiences directly.
At the end of the day, merging social media and public relations is always a win-win situation, and so it is in fashion as well. Digital fashion PR is a huge opportunity for clients and a way for public relations to stay relevant in the digital era. It is important for public relation specialists to keep up with trends in order to get the best out of digital platforms. If they can fully understand how to use them and engage with an active audience, they can employ the most powerful communications and sales tool that has ever existed in fashion.