Nita – a fabulous check-in lovely at one of my events earlier this year.
Hot off the heels of my popular – Rules for Attending a Runway Show post – it seems some of you would like to send some of that learning the way of PR companies and designers. And it's true, the second biggest problem I had this season was as a result of the designers – or their teams – lack of professionalism.
Combine this with the experience myself and a few other members of the press experienced at and on the run up to Gen Art on Saturday and I have myself a blog post.
The following is invaluable advice.
1) No one actually important wants to utter the words "Do you know who I am?" – as a PR agency it's your job to identify who is actually important. And the level of importance changes from venue to event to time of year. Research is essential and pissing off the wrong person can be catastrophic.
2) As a designer, don't do your own PR. This is the most common mistake and can have disastrous consequences – you have enough to deal with and are likely far too busy to do a good job.
3) When hiring a PR agency – hire an agency that that specialises in the kind of attendees you wish to attend – every PR agency is different. You want a flock of stylists to attend – hire an agency with strong stylist relationships like Caro Marketing, you want celebrities – hire a big agency like BWR, you want bloggers – hire Stylesmith (yes, that's me), you want local press, hire a hyper local agency. Obviously many do cross over – but take your focus into account when hiring.
4) This may seem like a no brainer, but for your guestlists. Print multiple copies, have it in alphabetical order and create some sort of seating assignment system (and keep that simple!)
5) It is acceptable, and expected, for a show to run around half an hour late. Past that you can expect people to start to get irritated.
6) Always confirm attendees that RSVP on time (the general rule is anyone who RSVP's at least 24 hours before) – not confirming people causes confusion and multiple emails that will only make your job harder.
7) Hire a professional photographer and videographer and deliver those images to the press in attendance. You want to make the job of the press so easy that they want to write about your collection even more than they did before! And look after your photographers – all of them. They're the most important people in the room.
8) A thank you goes a long, long way.
9) You'd think this was a given – but it does require a comment. You're a designer, this (for the most part and especially not in Los Angeles) doesn't make you a celebrity (and neither does a cameo on a reality tv show). Regardless, nothing, absolutely nothing gives you the right to put your hands on another person. Yes I'm talking to you Sachika twins assistant who got a little too big for her boots and would have lost her skanky weave had I not been a consummate professional… (true story)
10) If you have to cry go outside. Or get a new job. (yes I stole that) ;)