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UK PR Manager, Melissa Collins, works for high street fashion retailer River Island. Here she talks about her career within fashion PR and offers advice on how to break into the industry.
What’s a typical day for you?
Working in fashion PR at River Island, no two days are ever the same! The role is so diverse that I could be on a photo-shoot one day, a breakfast meeting with journalists or in the press showroom the next. I work with press and bloggers on a daily basis to keep that communication strong, whether that’s selling a story/collaboration in or helping out with sample requests. My role requires me to build relationships internally too, so I also liaise with the buyers and designers at River Island ensuring we know what they are buying and what the focus is for the upcoming seasons.
What do you love most about your job?
I love fashion and the buzz you get when you see your brand appear in the likes of Vogue, GQ and other prestigious magazines. I get to work on some fantastic events, press days, product launches plus once in a lifetime campaigns such as the Rihanna X River Island and the 5 Inch and Up X River Island collaborations. Both were amazing and such fantastic experiences to help drive forward and be a part of, from the original ideas right through to the finished piece.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Time! There are never enough hours in the day! When I first started working in the World of PR, I was working with just magazines, paper and broadcast journalists. Now that online plays a huge part, I feel I have to spread myself thinly across all areas as I work with bloggers and vloggers too.
What makes the fashion industry so exciting to work in?
It’s constantly changing and I’m excited to see where it goes in the next 10 years. I think the digital world is set to grow and grow, especially YouTube; this is an area which is growing rapidly and I can see it getting bigger and bigger. However, I really hope the online world doesn’t dominate the media world and make more print titles fold as I still think there is a place for both the glossy magazines/national papers and the bloggers and online magazines. They just have different offerings.
What would look for in a candidate if you were looking for someone to join your team?
I would look for experience within the fashion industry; whether that’s within another PR team, in a retail environment or working for a magazine. It’s also important to be a people’s person; you have to meet and develop relationships with new people – press, bloggers, vloggers – so whether that’s face to face or over the phone, you have to have confidence and good communication skills. I would also look for someone who has a hunger for both fashion and PR.
Have you got any advice for people wanting to get into either fashion or PR?
Be confident, creative and persistent – live and breathe the industry! You will have to complete a lot of work experience to get that first break, but the knowledge and connections you gain are worth it. Work experience really helps to leverage those ‘foot in the door’ opportunities. Go above and beyond what is asked of you on your placement or internship, if you make a good impression, chances are people will remember you which is vital when that entry level or assistant role comes up. Networking is also key. Don’t be afraid to add people you meet on LinkedIn and build your profile so it showcases your experience and skills. Many in-house recruiters use LinkedIn to find talent so make sure yours is up-to-date!
What sums up fashion PR for you?
Fashion PR is fun, creative and very fast paced.
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Royal Armouries Museum
Armouries Drive – Leeds LS10 1LT
Saturday July 4th 2015
10am – 4:30pm
Pilot Careers Live is guaranteed to inform, inspire and advise students on what it takes to become an airline pilot
Find out all there is to know on how to take the first steps towards a professional pilot career:
- Pilot Selection – what do airlines look for?
- What qualifications do you need to start training?
- When can you start?
- What are the costs?
- Career opportunities wit the Royal Air Force
- Life as a Pilot – What can you expect?
- Combining a university degree with pilot training…find out how
- What are the job prospects?
- What are the salaries?
- Is funding available for training?
See http://www.pilottrainingexhibitions.com/leeds/ for details and to book tickets
6th July, 2-6pm, London
Deciding on a profession to go into can be hard enough, let alone which part of the business you may want to join! That is why we would like to invite you along to The Deloitte Careers Fair, taking place in our London offices. If you are looking for a graduate vacancy to start this Autumn or thinking ahead to next year, this is the perfect event for you!
On the day you will have the opportunity to ‘visit’ stands from each of the areas of our business to find out what it is they actually do on a day-to-day basis. This will provide a great opportunity to get your questions answered directly from those in the know!
The event will also allow you to participate in a number of short skills seminars ranging from ‘how to complete a great application’ to ‘interview skills’.
Exhibiting areas of the business will include:
- Audit Advisory
- Consulting Technology
- Student Recruitment
- Deloitte St Albans
- Deloitte Gatwick
- Deloitte Reading
- Deloitte Southampton
- Professional Education
In order to confirm you place at what will be an extremely popular event, you will need to register on our online system. To register for your place click here
A free event where you can find out more about the career opportunities on offer in the UK’s most diverse book publishing group and number 1 eBook publisher.
Hachette UK is the UK’s most diversified trade publishing group. The group is made up of several publishing companies and imprints including Headline Publishing Group, Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press, Quercus Books, Orion Publishing Group, Octopus Publishing Group, Hachette Children’s Books, Little, Brown Book Group and Hodder Education. They work with authors such as Robert Galbraith, Alex Ferguson, Stephen King, Ian Rankin, Martina Cole, David Nicholls and Ella Woodward to name a few.
From 10am till 5.30 pm on 1st July, students will be able to meet key people already working for Hachette UK, find out more about the industry, and gain contacts for work experience placements and future roles.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and you will be reimbursed London travel expenses between zone 1 and 6 (equivalent to £17).
Visit https://insightintopublishing.hachette.co.uk/ and apply for a place
Deadline for applications is 14th June 2015.