Public relations · Accessories

What is the most effectient way to get media coverage for a fashion start-up not using a PR agency?

Isabel Fernandez

February 24th, 2016

I'm a small start-up trying to get my brand out there. I don't know many people in the Fashion industry, nor in the media.
I have my press releases ready, but I just don't have the money to spend on a PR Agency.

Thanks for any and all input, guidance, ideas.


Jacob Kuczeruk VP of Business Development at West Agile Labs

February 24th, 2016

1. Go to events and connect with media/brands (who could feature you on their blogs or may have intros to contacts in media). Be active in your local's the best place to start. 2. Send short cold emails to editorial staff at desired publications. These should highlight *why* your product is unique/would make for a great story in a sentence or less. Ask them to chat further. If they're local, tell them you'll buy them coffee/beer/lunch. 3. Leverage your network for warm intros to media contacts 4. Build your social following by sharing content from influencers (and giving them proper credit so they take notice) and running cross-promotion with other brands in your space (or a similar one) 5. Connect directly with social media influencers and run giveways/promo with them (start small and overtime you'll see larger opportunities arise. It'll take time and practice, but don't be afraid to ask for feedback. Fashion media gets bombarded with requests each day. Just be warm but respectful when approaching them...think about what you'd personally respond to. Be direct and don't send a wordy press release until they ask for it (most won't). Good luck! Jake

Lizzy Klein

February 25th, 2016

Isabel - Congratulations and I'll look forward to seeing your products. We launched the SuperDuper iOS app last year without spending a dollar on marketing or PR and have huge consumer adoption AND terrific coverage from the Today Show (this week's win), Allure, Teen Vogue, People Style, The Zoe Report, TechCrunch, etc. In some cases, I reached out directly to writers who covered similar topics and gave them a single paragraph pitch, with pix (not a press release.) Fashion/beauty reporters are always looking for something new to cover, so make it as easy as possible for them to write about you. Similarly, bloggers are hugely influential in fashion and beauty, and they're always looking for content (maintaining a blog is exhausting!). You can offer to write a post for them. In some cases, I pitched subjects like "3 new apps that save $$" so the piece wasn't entirely self-serving (bloggers don't want to post your "ad".) A number of bloggers discovered us on Instragram... build a social presence (and use Like it to Buy It on IG.) You don't need to cover every channel, but do one well and engage with the community (don't just post, follow others, comment, ask questions, etc.) Good luck!

Guillermo Amador Digital Marketing Strategist

February 24th, 2016

Hi Isabel, Social media and digital ads are a good way to start. Way cheaper than a PR agency, and you can "dosify" the money to spend and yet get results. For instance, you could target your ads to people in the industry that you want to reach, or people that follows those trends and industries you are interested in, and let them know you and your business. Regards, Guillermo

Sedef Onder Managing Partner + Strategist, Clear Inc.

February 24th, 2016

Jacob and others provide some good initial thinking and ideas here. I'm founder of an integrated marketing business, but my background is PR and I'm happy to chat informally with you and brainstorm ideas for creatively positioning yourself to get attention, if it's useful. On the plus side, the media often prefers to hear directly from entrepreneurs themselves, and social media channels can create huge buzz these days. My contact info is in my profile. Best of luck in meantime.

Michael Heiligenstein Marketing Manager

February 26th, 2016

You're selling fashion, not a story, so I would focus on platforms that show that off. I would start with Instagram and Pinterest, and consider other platforms as well. If the fashion accessory does more than immediately meets the eye, consider a short video (ideally under 30s), 3-4 pics in one, or a short comment describing what makes it special.

Again, though, this is fashion, and the visual appeal should be immediate. Read up on how to build a following on those channels, but the key is most often to engage others. Identify key influencers, like/follow/share their content, and reach out to them to see if they'd be interested in trying out your product. If they ask for a small payment to show off your product, consider it. A small budget is infinitely better than no budget. Also consider straight-up social advertising, where initial buys can be very low.

Laura Little CEO at Laura Little Curated - Fashion

March 1st, 2016

Hi Isabel,
I have an established business in another area, but have also just started a clothing line so I'm an emerging designer too! Would love to share with you things that have worked so far, and things that haven't! feel free to reach out to me.

Melissa Wildstein Founder, The Matchstick Group

March 1st, 2016

Isabel - have you come across Tin Shingle yet? Katie & Sabina over there are an EXCELLENT resource for all things DIY PR. They have some exclusive PR leads and are very tapped into the retail space. Check them out @TinShingle or 

Isabel Fernandez

March 21st, 2016

Hello Laura Little,
Thank you so much for your message. I would love to connect, but I've been trying for the past 2 weeks without any luck.

I cannot connect with you here as you are listed as an Advisor, and I can't send you a message via Linked In either. 

Could you please reach out to me at my business email

Thank you so much!

Gustavo (Guima) CCO/CMO Keepmedia

February 24th, 2016

Hi Isabel, what's the demographic? If you're talking about teens or Millennials, you might want to check out Snapchat and create engaging content to get some traction. If not and you have an e-commerce, you might want to consider some more traditional media like adwords, peppered with original content integrated with the offers.

David Albert Founder & Principal at GreyGoo

February 24th, 2016

What type of start up is it? Are you selling services or products? Are they digital or brick and mortar?