So, you’re a pretty good writer, a people person and a fashionista to boot? Fashion PR sounds perfect for you, right? Well, I have bad news… You’re not the only one! In the UK, the fashion industry employs 156,000 people, and this is on the rise. To bag that job, you need to make your professional profile stand out, and the best place to start is by building your portfolio.
To show prospective employers how talented you are, your portfolio needs to contain work across a spectrum of areas. This will reflect your versatility as a writer, as well as giving you the opportunity to show everything you have done.
Internships are a great way to gain experience – most placements offer a chance to interact with clients and sometimes even have your work published. Circulated press releases and published articles are, of course, ideal to include in your portfolio. However, it’s also important to keep in the habit of writing, as well doing your fashion homework often, so that you’re prepared at all times!
If you haven’t yet been lucky enough to intern within the industry, it’s not a deal-breaker: you can build your portfolio in countless other ways.
Blogging. Bloggin is a great tool for sharing your ideas with the industry. Fashion bloggers, in particular, are gaining more and more respect within the industry – clear by the sheer volume of blogger presence in the rows at London Fashion Week! Building a great social media profile to promote your blog will get you noticed. Use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share and comment on looks you’re coveting. This will show that you’re fashion-forward and could put you on PR’s radar.
Social media. You can also use social media to research a company’s ‘personality’. If you have your heart set on working for a particular agency, you can then tailor your portfolio, or at least your CV, to their style.
Network. Take every opportunity available for networking. Building a strong set of contacts is almost as important as an impressive portfolio in PR. Your social media profile can help you massively, so avoid TwitPics of you doing shots on a Saturday night, and stick to #OOTD’s!
Write! It’s important to remember that national press and PR agencies aren’t the only people who can publish you. When you’re starting out, a great way to build your portfolio is to write for local press. Many local newspapers are free, and therefore can’t budget for much editorial outside conventional news. This means that they’re more likely to use articles submitted by non-staffers. Yes, that’s you! Find a great fashion story in your local area, write an attention grabbing press release and before you know it, you could be published!
As well as published work, there’s no reason why your portfolio can’t contain examples of your writing which has been languishing somewhere on your desktop. The more creative and unusual your work is, the more likely you are to stand out!
Finally, no matter how good your portfolio is, it’s important to be proactive! After all, what’s the use in being amazing if no-one knows about you? Use all the tools available to sell yourself and you’ll be Fashion PR perfect in no time! (You can thank me later!)