School Related: Social Media Hot Topic9 November, 2009 at 10:33 | Posted in School Related, Style, Work Related | Leave a comment
Tags: Dore, Gavinson, Media, School Related, Schuman, Style
The Humber PR Certificate class of 2009 – 2010 is notable thus far for one reason: we are the only ones to have been assigned a course dedicated to Social Media. Despite the fact that all visiting grads say we’re ‘so lucky,’ teaching our class about online public relations tactics is like pulling teeth. It seems that many of us are simply not inclined to accept social media.
And I admit that I’m no exception. But I’m slowing coming around to blogging, and I am definetly addicted to my Google Reader. My RSS subscriptions consist of a lot of style blogs; it is the most practical form of international people watching. There`s also some illustration, design, and Canadian media and event content thrown in for good measure.
Our Social Media requires that we keep our eyes open for any online ‘Hot Topics’ emerging in Social Media; here is my blog post.
HOT TOPIC: Social Media Writers Gaining Fashion Cred
My hot topic emerged from several fashion-related blogs. Fashion bloggers are becoming increasingly powerful, earning interest from both designers and pr professionals. All parties involved are currently navigating the waters of how to deal with the power of social media.
Social Media writers are now earning the same perks as traditional print media writers.
A few high-profile examples:
- The Sartorialist was ranked at #20 on the UK Guardian’s most powerful blogs of 2008. Photographer Scott Schuman is a people watcher who posts photos of individuals with inspiring personal style. His site attracts more than 70,000 readers a day and has been named one of Time’s Top 100 Design Influences
- WhoWhatWear.com posts information on fashion trends, celebrity style, and inspiring personal style The site has had so much online success that they recently published a book.
- Tavi Gevinson is a 13-year old Amercian who’s blog was regarded as so professional and influential it resulted in invitations from established designers to attend their shows and even provide feedback on their designs.
- Garance Dore is a fashion illustrator who recently blogged about Dolce & Gabanna’s most recent show, in which she and three other bloggers were provided with laptops and coveted front-row seats. She called it “a revelation,” and had the chance to interview both designers after the show. The pair explained that their priority is communicating with their clients. And if their client are online, they are eager to participate.
There are so many blogs out there that they have recently formed their own online community, the Independent Fashion Bloggers, which provides a community as well as tips for those who run their own sites. Twitter’s 140-character conferences have also featured fashion-related discussion panels, with topics such as “Twitter Effects on Retailers.”
All this high-profile attention has resulted in fashion pr firms and designers being inundated by requests from bloggers looking for free samples, tickets, and media accreditation. But with so many blogs out there in cyberspace; not all can receive such exclusive perks. Just what are fashion PR reps and designers looking for? Research done by the IFB indicates that the standards for social media is identical to those of traditional media: writing ability, strong website content, followers that provide lots of feedback, and, of course, traffic.
One PR rep is quoted as saying: “I do feel fashion bloggers expect too much. Recently, during a fashion week, there were many requests from bloggers for front row seating. After looking up their sites I only granted front row to two of [them]. [Many of the sites] were local bloggers but their sites were either outdated or just not read.”
Final tips for Fashion PR professionals on dealing with members of Social Media:
- Don’t be afraid to say “no”. With such a wide variety of brands and sites out there, there is no reason why people should work together if they have anything less than a perfect fit.
- The community is very tightly-knit, so always be honest and polite when dealing with requests.
- Bloggers have indicated that they are interested in developing ongoing relationships with PR people, and wish to use their help to develop their online persona. If a blogger jsut isn’t a good fit for your client, politely decline the offer and offer constructive feedback.
With bloggers, PR reps, and designers all working together, the outcome will hopefully result in positive outcomes for all parties involved.
Update: In keeping with this theme, I wanted to mention that the US government has recently announced restrictions regrading free samples that bloggers receive from corporations. So much for free samples from your favourite label!
Illustrations c/o http://www.garancedore.fr/en/
What are some of your favourite fashion blogs? Posts in the comments section below!