Dear wannabe fashion PRs: Why you shouldn’t close the door on interiors PR
As a regular reader of (and one-time contributor to) Behind the Spin, it’s hard to not notice the volume of young students who want to make their mark in the world of fashion PR.
This article is my recommendation of fashion PR’s often-ignored (but just as exciting) little sister: interiors PR.
When I first started out in PR, through a degree at Leeds Metropolitan, I had initially wanted to get into fashion PR.
Looking back this was purely because I hadn’t considered any other options!
When I was given the task of responding to a press call for a high-end wallpaper designer – a client of the agency I was with for a short-term placement – I had my ‘eureka’ moment in interior design PR.
I eventually found my feet during my year-long placement with an interiors and lifestyle specialist PR consultancy, which is where I am today.
Loving lifestyle PR
Specialising in high-end kitchens and home furniture, much of my work is based on product placement and ensuring that the work I do puts my client’s messages and their products in front of the right audiences.
There’s a huge focus on quality, not quantity, and so a huge amount of my time is spent analysing and predicting trends, and responding to press calls.
Reading glossy magazines from cover to cover and working with celebrity chefs also comes into it quite often!
Interiors PR is certainly an industry not to be overlooked by anybody with an interest in fashion PR. The skill set and disciples are very similar.
If you do have your heart set on a career in fashion PR, then you’ll know it’s a difficult and competitive environment. Interiors PR is just as fast-paced, competitive and tough to break into, but it will widen your choices when looking for experience.
The key to gaining quality experience is to hone your transferable skills. There are many skills that can be easily shifted from interiors to fashion PR. And although I haven’t worked in a fashion PR role, I can certainly write designer comment on colour blocking, the 80s revival and this season’s must-have materials (2012 is all about ceramic, didn’t you know!)
For those of you with a love for both the digital and traditional sides of PR, interior design PR today replies heavily upon having a strong presence in both online and print media.
Interior design magazines are highly respected, a rarity in the current publishing climate, because of the air of aspiration and escapism that comes with consumer interior design titles such as Elle Decoration and Homes & Gardens.
I try to steer away from the much-overused-by-PRs word ‘dynamic’ but working in interiors PR truly is just that. Daily deadlines for blog copy run alongside monthly deadlines for print editorial. You can often be working on editorial and images that will appear on the shelves in two months time, alongside for a blog that will be uploaded by the next morning. Twitter and Facebook run alongside tools such as ResponseSource for press calls and pinpointing relevant PR opportunities.
Fashion is more than clothes
Jonny Johansson, from fashion brand Acne said in an article from The Independent: “Fashion is more than a piece of clothing”.
Recently, the relationship between fashion and interiors PR has been closer than ever and the lines are being blurred. The two industries often overlap; interior design is seen by an increasing number of designers as an arm of the fashion world.
Ex-Burberry designer, Melanie Porter said: “You can be so much more creative with interiors than you can with clothes. People are more willing to take risks in their home than they are on their bodies.”
Aside from the haute couture of the fashion world, people will project more personality into their homes than they will with personal fashion. From budget to mid-market to high-end clients, you can be assured that interiors will have a bigger injection of character, and the PR you do needs to be reflective of this. Creativity needs creativity, and interior design allows for a lot of creative thought.
Interiors PR has its downs as well as its ups, just like the rest of the industry. Clients can be very demanding and sometimes a whole morning’s work needs to be dropped in favour of an urgent press call. But, like they say, if you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen!
Stephanie Ayre is spending her placement year at Approach PR