Probably the number one bit of advice I have for folks interested in Fashion PR is you must be tenacious. Not just a hard worker. Not just driven. Not just into fashion. Not just well-connected. You have to be willing to do everything you can, within reason (as you always want to be honest, kind, and moral - the industry is small and any bridge you burn or hand you bite will come back to haunt you) to achieve great things for your clients.
If your client has specific goals of getting on Jennifer Lawrence or being in Vogue or getting a feature in Fast Co., you must feel the sense of urgency to make that happen.
It's not about sending off one email to an editor or publicist you've found in a random database.It's about grit and ingenuity to find a workaround - a way in. Getting a great placement is typically the result of some completely backdoor method - very seldom through a key editor or stylist; especially with a first hit.
The key editors and stylists tend to have their contacts - the brands and publicists they work with on a regular basis. You'll be that point person to a variety of editors, publicists, and stylists. But, guaranteed, you won't have the connections for the one sacred cow your client is pining for. And, your job or the client could be teetering on whether or not you can make it happen. For real. And, even if not for real, this is how you should view it.
Okay - so the client wants to get their new "it" dress on J-Law. You can't seem to get to her publicist or stylist...what to do? Who's her trainer? Does she pal around with someone who's stylist you do know? Will she be attending an event you'll be at too? Can you track down where she lives? Can you hand deliver a package to the building's super?
I've gotten product to celebs through friends, trainers, messenger deliveries to superintendents (*funny story about this one actually, if you're interested), parents of celebs, and so-on. When you're watching E! News, The Tonight Show, Entertainment Tonight, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, keep your brain on. It's research. Pay attention to who the "expert" sources are. Who are they interviewing about the latest pregnant celeb's baby shower? Birthday party, etc. Google is an amazing resource - track down their studio phone number, an email, anything - offer them some goodies first. Once you've established a relationship - see if they might be willing to give some gift bags to their top clients. Most of the time they'll be happy to - if it's decent stuff. It will provide them with a little gift for their clients - and you're getting the product in their hands. Win-win.
If you don't pay for a fancy database, editorial and wardrobe contact info is still easy to find.
Editors: While they don't tend to post their contact info (sometimes they do - so don't go crazy researching until you double-check that their email/phone isn't public), Ad Sales Reps contact info is always public. For print, there is always a masthead for both. Get the editor's name you want to contact - then take a look at the Ad Sales Rep page. See how they format their email addresses. The majority of the time, the editors will be formatting their addresses the same way. Voila.
Wardrobe/TV Stylists: This is a funny process - and expect some attitude - but it works most of the time as well. Find the main network phone number for the network the show is on that you want to get product on (sorry, that sentence seems convoluted). Say it's NBC or ABC - call their main phone line (again, Google is your friend). Ask for the show you want to contact. They'll either patch you through or give you a number. Call that number. When they pick up - ask for wardrobe like you know what you're doing. When they pick up - say you would like to send line sheets for consideration for their closet. Let them know the product will be free (ideally your client will see the value in gifting...if they don't, ugh. Tell them they'll lose out on opportunities). They'll give you an email address to send to - and since the product will be free - they will most definitely find some stuff that will work. They'll love you. See you're easy to work with, and suddenly you're a resource.
Okay, so sometimes, for stations like HBO, there isn't a mainline to call. Watch the end credits - find the costume designer's name - see if they have a website. These people are professionals and typically do have a site with contact info.
KEY - don't abuse the contact info. Reach out to them with relevant information and applicable product. Don't waste their time. Remember, even though you may have gone to a lot of work to track them down, your email or phone call is unsolicited and potentially unwanted. Tell them what you've got - and they'll let you know if they're interested.
Anyhow, those are the tips and tricks that have worked for me. Other methods - again tenacity. There are always other avenues to your end goals. Your job as a publicist is to be really creative as to how to get your client's product and information where it needs to go.
* Okay, my funny story, if you're interested.
About 10 years ago, when I was first starting out, A-Rod had just joined the Yankees and moved to a new luxury apartment complex. It was big news. So, to welcome him, I sent a care package from the men's underwear line I was representing at the time. I sent it via bike messenger to his new apartment building. Soon after, I received a phone call from the front desk security saying that the package was a security threat and we needed to send someone to pick up the package. Bummer.
We got the bag back and "happened" to mention to a NY gossip columnist that A-Rod's undies were so hot they were a security threat. The news went viral - well, as viral as it could in 2005, and ended up in all the NY celeb gossip columns and morning radio shows.
See. Be creative.