Last week’s speaker event with PR maven Samantha Slaven covered everything from how to land an internship, what a typical day in the world of fashion PR is like, to Apple Bottom Jeans (yes, you did read that correctly). In case you missed it, we are going to give you the SparkNotes version of what you need to know if you are interested in a career in the PR industry.
Samantha began by explaining her path into the fashion industry and becoming an owner of her own boutique PR firm. She began her career in the editorial field by working at City Magazine in Atlanta and then in Los Angeles, where she was able to develop the fashion side of the magazine and eventually became Editor in Chief. From there, she moved over to the advertising side of the fashion world and worked for companies like Proctor & Gamble and Banana Republic, where she learned to conceptualize brands and strategize product launches. With both the editorial and production sides of the fashion industry under her belt, Samantha decided to combine her skills and open her own PR firm, where she has helped launch brands such as Apple Bottom Jeans, Chinese Laundry Shoes, and Dogeared Jewelry.
Samantha recognizes that her path into the PR industry is unusual and her biggest piece of advice she gave for those who want to work in PR or in the fashion industry is to intern. When hiring interns, she looks for people who are up to date on all of the trends, blogs, magazines, celebrities and designers as well as people who are quick learners. To be successful as an intern or employee in PR, she stressed that you need to be extremely fast paced, organized, detail oriented, and creative. For Samantha, internships are key because they allow students like us to figure out what we like and don’t like before we commit ourselves to a specific career path. They also give you an opportunity to get mistakes out of the way while the consequences are relatively small.
When asked what a typical day at work in the world of fashion PR is like, she replied by saying that there really isn’t one. They usually start the day by catching up with New York and then spend the rest of the day brainstorming pitch ideas, following up on shipments of samples, and creating a social media presence for their clients (just to name a few things). She calls the PR industry “professional gift giving” because they are constantly sending out product samples to editors, bloggers, and celebrities.
If you are interested in an internship in the PR industry check out our internships tab to see how to apply to work for Samantha Slaven Publicity!