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The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
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The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion

Over the last few years, the fashion world has grown immensely, the fashion industry is not minor anymore. It’s quite the opposite, it’s vast, today fashion culture is dictating the world. Along with carving the behaviors and attitudes of the public. The industry over the years has created its dominance in the world but is highly competitive within its domain. Although the fashion world is the most creative area, it is also a stressful one especially during fashion events and fashion weeks, which is the most important time for the industry. 

As fashion started expanding from a fraternity to industry, many auxiliaries to support the functioning of the fashion brands and fashion designers started to emerge. Public relations in marketing and communication in fashion being one of them.   

“Today, for me, PR is about the art of communicating, storytelling, creating brand moments, influencer relationships, community building, producing quality content, owning the conversation, and being proactive.”- Noopur Sharma, Director – Mumbai& Head – Fashion & Lifestyle Practice, PR Pundit

 A publicist or public relations person is involved with fashion brands, fashion designers, fashion events, and fashion organizations to identify and communicate with the target audience, other industry members, and potential clients. This is done through creating and maintaining relationships with various channels in fashion, media, and events.  It is a team that focuses on communication in fashion by creating and promoting a favorable public image of the fashion brand.    

What Is The Role Of Public Relations In Fashion?

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
What Is The Role Of Public Relations In Fashion?

“There are many roles that a PR does in the fashion industry mainly to identify the brands and retailers and their target audience via different PR mediums along with different ways for the company to attract their audience. PR Agency plays a very important role in the design fraternity. They are primarily the spokesperson of the designers. From creating the brand-oriented ideas to implement it at a  mass level is primarily what a PR Agency does to the designer brand.“- Rashi Rohatgi, Director, W5 Communication

Public relations agencies play a key role in marketing & communication in fashion. Putting it simply, making a product, and displaying it in a store or on the website without utilizing the mediums for promoting it will hardly attract any attention of the potential buyers. Public relations agencies step in at this stage. They promote the fashion brand, fashion designer, or any other clients and grab the attention of the target audience, other members of the fashion industry, and the potential buyers or resellers.    

This is done through various mediums and channels that have been created through relationship building by the PR professionals.

Thus, it is appropriate to say that public relations agencies and professionals build an exclusivity around the fashion brand, communicating the uniqueness, innovation, achievements, and benefits of the brand and designer along with its product qualities and status quotient.  

How Does Fashion PR Impact A Brand?

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
fashion weeks

There are many in the industry that are associated with Public relation agencies to create a hype about the fashion brand and build a favorable image of the label. This includes-Media, Influencers, Celebrities, Fashion and Jewelry designers, Public figures, Fashion stylists, and Fashion Event Organizers.

While communicating in fashion, the public relations agencies utilize all these mediums to ensure the recognition of the fashion brand and label amongst the targeted audience. 

“As we have been in this industry for over 18 years, we share a solid relationship with our stylists as well as our celebrities. We understand what they require and try to use our best sensibility to make sure that what we offer them is a seamless experience. We truly appreciate the work done by the stylists and also know the value of the celebrities and the incredible amount of hard work they put in”- Tanya Swetta, Founder & CEO of  ID8 Media Solutions

As startups and newcomers in fashion majorly rely on social media influencer marketing and smaller publications to create a name, luxury communication in fashion is done through events, celebrities, and established publications. 

 Collaborations, sponsorships, awards, fashion weeks, latest fashion news, trendsetting blogs, talks, affiliation with fashion education institutions, fashion organizations & guilds, famous Instagram fashion influencers, and social media influencer marketing are some of the ways of communication in a fashion that the public relations agency opts for, to put out the right content at the right time for the right brand.    

How Has  Digitalization And Social Media Affected Fashion PR?

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
Fashion magazine

“Public relations has always been about communicating your brand product or service to the consumer. If you look at the psychographic profile of the Indian consumer, they have gone online almost ten years ago, so if as a public relations agency you have not incorporated digital pr and digital strategies into your portfolio, you are living in the past and will have no value to your brand” Tanya Swetta, Founder & CEO of  ID8 Media Solutions

Over the last few years, social media has become an important tool for public relations in marketing. As global internet users had already crossed 1 billion in 2005, with approximately 650,000 users going online every day to keep themselves updated with the latest around the world, many of them are reaching out to social media platforms for latest fashion trends, DIY’s, exploring where to buy what and finding the new and innovative in fashion and lifestyle too. 

This has made social media a key medium to communicate and influence globally, especially the Indian population as it is the second-largest online market in the world. The public relations agencies dealing in fashion and lifestyle brands have benefitted immensely with the advent of social media. 

As communication in fashion is the crux of public relations professionals, social media has provided them with a perfect platform to make it a two-way communication in fashion rather than a one-way traditional zone. It is easier for the professionals to now connect with their audience and plan their strategies according to the response and behavior of the target audience, which can be easily comprehended due to instant responses of the audience through likes, comments, DMs, chats, etc.        Social media is a 24/7 ongoing platform, reaching a global audience, this gives a scope of expansion to fashion brands and PRs also use this as a medium to create a hype or put out content digitally to be viewed by a larger and varied audience. 

It has also made PR activities affordable and easy to execute by the newcomers. Social media influencer marketing that costs between $ 25- $25,000 has all together introduced a new career along with providing an alternative option to B-Town celebrity influencer marketing. Many Instagram fashion influencers also collaborate on a non-monetary basis to promote fashion brands against the brands promoting them on their social media platforms. 

Another important aspect that Social Media has revolutionized in public relations is integrated marketing and the need to innovate continuously under the changing trend and situation.  

“This crisis of COVID 19 has made creativity more necessary than ever, but creativity in times like these need to go hand in hand with thoughtful positioning. This is the time to be more valuable, that profitable!  

Digital-first is the approach that is seamlessly being embraced across clients. We have managed to successfully curate the first few virtual press briefings for our luxury brands in view of significant global launches. Beauty & wellness brands are active with consumer-facing outreach with social media activations. Fashion & retail brands are also working with us on interesting thoughtful campaigns with a consistent flow of communication with the consumers”.- Noopur Sharma, Director – Mumbai& Head – Fashion & Lifestyle Practice, PR Pundit

Public Relation Agencies On Importance Of PR For Fashion & Lifestyle Brands And The Impact Of COVID 19  

 id8 Media Solutions – Tanya Swetta, Co-Founder & CEO 

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
id8 Media Solutions – Tanya Swetta, Founder & CEO

Tanya Swetta is the Co-Founder & CEO of id8 Media Solutions, she established the marketing agency in 2001 and has been handling lifestyle and fashion brands.

The id8 media solutions is an integrated marketing agency and have five distinct divisions including Creative Thinking and Content, Digital Marketing (SEO, SEM, Native Advertising, Website Development, Social Media Marketing), Public Relations, Marketing(Influencer Marketing, Cross Branding, B2B marketing) and Events within the company, each of which has skilled teams.

Importance of PR for fashion and lifestyle brands:
Public Relations plays a vital role in Fashion and Lifestyle choices made by customers. In today’s world, with so many choices available, it becomes paramount that your brand has a strong share of voice for the customer to decide on the many options available. Even more important will be the strategic messaging that you put out about your brand, keeping in mind the current need of the customer and the environment your brand is in at that point in time.  

Public Relations can also help a brand very successfully in circumventing negative news and a good public relations agency will be adept at managing a brand crisis.

Impact of COVID 19:
Currently, these are unprecedented times, all our clients remain with us, though some may be on a short sabbatical for the moment. Nevertheless, they all know that they have our full and unconditional support.

Covid-19 has made us realize that we can add much more value to our brands, it has given us time to think, innovate, and to come up with strategic solutions that will help our brands communicate better and more effectively. It has made us realize the value of going to work and meeting our colleagues, it has made us value the simple pleasures of working life!

PR Activities During COVID 19:

Digital Marketing – including all the tools is a great way for a brand to stay top of mind in times like these as we see a lot of consumption of content online. The tonality and strategy used to communicate are very important keeping in mind the sentiment and empathy that we must all have! This is where an integrated thought process from an integrated marketing agency like ours comes out as a winner! 

PR Pundit- Noopur Sharma, Director – Mumbai& Head – Fashion & Lifestyle Practice

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
PR Pundit- Noopur Sharma, Director – Mumbai& Head – Fashion & Lifestyle Practice

With a Post Graduation in Public Relations & Marketing, Noopur Sharma has been at the forefront in public relations for more than 15 years. Currently, she is the Director – Mumbai& Head – Fashion & Lifestyle Practice of PR Pundit.

PR Pundit was the earliest to spot an opportunity in lifestyle and luxury PR, which has since become an identifiable distinction for the company. The steady growth has positioned PR Pundit unquestionably as one of the best PR companies in the lifestyle and luxury domain in India. With a robust media program, PR Pundit brings to the fold the right partners– stakeholder platforms, influencers, and other topical initiatives– to drive a cachet of beneficial engagements. 

Importance of PR for fashion and lifestyle brands:

It’s all about creating a distinct brand identity and optimizing every aspect integrated with cultivating relationships, culture, and engaging relevant platforms of communication. Fashion is dynamic and PR drives the pulse for creating a seamless vibe.

Impact of COVID 19:

Some of our clients had to scale down their operations. But at large the intensity of work has been unprecedented. We have rendered flexibility in our approach and even led to increased engagement with our clients on forwarding planning. Most of our clients are geared to re-invent and adapt to the current situation! 

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 We are recalibrating our business strategies, investing time in training our talent, and bracing change to add value and deliver a stronger narrative in post COVID times. 

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
PR Activities During COVID 19

PR Activities During COVID 19:

While projects and campaigns have been delayed, we have swiftly adapted to the current climate through various campaigns and planning for the year ahead. Creative sensitivity is being heightened in communication. Strategic communications planning is underway for business recovery. We are hopeful that the lockdown period will go by quickly and we need to be better prepared to rebound for a successful comeback.

This crisis has made creativity more necessary than ever, but creativity in times like these need to go hand in hand with thoughtful positioning. This is the time to be more valuable, that profitable!

Digital-first is the approach that is seamlessly being embraced across clients. We have managed to successfully curate the first few virtual press briefings for our luxury brands in view of significant global launches. Beauty & wellness brands are active with consumer-facing outreach with social media activations. Fashion & retail brands are also working with us on interesting thoughtful campaigns with a consistent flow of communication with the consumers.

W5 Communication – Rashi Rohatgi Khan, Director & Media Head

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion
W5 Communication – Rashi Rohatgi Khan, Director & Media Head

With over 18 years of experience in Public Relations, Rashi Rohatgi has been an integral part of many brand launches like Hugo Boss, Valentino, Body Shop, etc. She is currently the Director and Media Head at W5 Communication.  

W5 Communication is a professionally driven PR service agency. They are primarily the spokesperson of the designers & fashion brands. From creating the brand-oriented ideas to implementing it at the mass level by communicating in contemporary ways, W5 Communication is handling a diverse portfolio. 

Importance of PR for fashion and lifestyle brands:

There are many roles that PR does in the fashion industry mainly it is to identify the brands and retailers, their target audience via different PR mediums and identify different ways for the company to attract their audience.

Impact of COVID 19:

PRs are being hampered during the COVID 19 crisis but it’s only a brief lull, things will get better in 3 months from now.

There’s a new normal in town – and no-one yet knows what it looks like. W5 was affected but now slowly we are expecting things to settle down soon. But thankfully, we have all our clients retained till now, it’s only due to the change of traditional approach to handling it with the clients and the media.

PR Activities During COVID 19:

Networking and brainstorming more ideas. It is very rightly said when you have time and nothing to do, ideas come automatically. Our Clients are from different backgrounds and they all expect serious PR to happen. Events are fine it just takes your brand to next level but that is not the only way of doing PR, However, we are engaging our clients in different talk shows, Personality PR, Webinars, etc

I Knock Fashion Desk (Conclusion)

The Relevance Of Public Relations & Communication In Fashion

As Public Relations play a major role in branding and communication in fashion, it is an important factor for fashion brands, labels, and lifestyle brands. Having a team or agency that puts the message and latest news across the targeted audience correctly at the right time in a precise manner is beneficial for the brand. During times of crisis such as the COVID 19, public relations agencies, and PR professionals are innovating, using digital platforms as a medium to connect with the potential consumers and targeted audience.

Keeping their spirit and the brand’s identity high, public relations in fashion is sure to come up with great plans for their clients once the lockdown is completely lifted.

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