Fashion and the public relations industry are both competitive worlds where trends are always changing and reputation is considered the chief asset. Therefore, it is important to understand the essentials of fashion public relations for students before they venture into the field.
The members of the Cal State Fullerton Public Relations Student Society of America got an opportunity to gain firsthand information from an industry insider.
The Fashion PR event at the TSU Ontiveros hosted by the organization Wednesday invited Erika Klein, founder and owner of Shout PR, to speak to students and inform them about the fashion public relations business. Shout PR has been promoting new and established fashion and lifestyle brands since 1997, with BB Dakota and Whole Foods being some of its clients.
â€œOur members were asking us to invite a fashion public relations person for a long time now since weâ€™ve had public relations professionals from various fields throughout the semester,â€ said PRSSA Vice President Cecilia Padilla, 21, a communications major.
Klein advised students to build relationships in the field and to take internships seriously. She explained that internships, whether with a small company or a multinational firm, are the best way to land a job. Also the experiences you get from every job can be taken into the next job.
â€œStudents should get involved and be ready to move around. Since Orange County does not (have) many fashion PR companies, students should be willing to commute to LA for opportunities,â€ Klein said.
Klein also stated that students looking for a career in this field should have good writing skills and a general knowledge of how the fashion industry works. Being up on fashion trends and having a personal fashion style are always a plus.
When asked about the importance of ethics in the public relations business, she said integrity is an important principle she always upholds. â€œIt is never about lying,â€ Klein said.
Students and board members present at the event found her presentation quite helpful and were impressed by her personality.
â€œErika was very friendly and I liked how she was willing to share her contacts with the students,â€ Padilla said.
â€œPersonally, I am not interested in fashion public relations, but I am sure the others got to learn about the whole process of fashion PR. The presentation seemed to be quite useful,â€ said PRSSA Advocacy Director Simon Oh, 22, a communications major.
â€œWe try to offer a diversity of speakers at our meetings to help our members,â€ said President Christa Keizer, 21, a communications major. â€œA lot of students wanted to have a fashion PR expert because I think TV shows like The Hills made fashion really exciting.â€