A well-written and curated fashion press release is a sure way to get into the inboxes of key fashion editors. If executed well, it may secure you much desired editorial coverage and publicity.
But writing one is easier said than done. So let’s take a look and demystify it – shall we?
To begin with, remember that a press release should be clear, informative, visually exciting and specific.
Let’s take it from the top, literally.
1) Start with headed paper. Your company logo should appear clearly at the very top of the page, as it appears everywhere else. This consistency should already be a cornerstone of your marketing strategy.
2) Set clear instructions on when this fashion press release should be published. Write ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE’ at the very top of the page on the left.
3) Give it a title: Each collection and a newsworthy story about your brand will require a new fashion press release. Make it easy for the reader to know at a glance what the release is about. This headline is vital; use one sentence or a few words that will tell a journalist exactly what your release is all about.
4) Add the date and location also, this will give relevance to the journalist.
5) Ideally, you should insert a strong image into your document immediately below the title.
Fashion is a visual industry and images often speak louder than words, they are easier to digest and grab attention and fire up imaginations faster than words can. So take your time and pick an image that will speak to the reader and hold their attention.
6) Now make your words work for you. Your fashion press release should inform a journalist in their language: who, what, when, where, why.
This is in regard to the product or collection that the press release is about.
(Brand = who) is launching their (product or collection = what) for (season = when) at (location = where).
Then elaborate on your whys.
It is important that this opening paragraph sustains the reader’s attention after seeing that strong image, and answers the questions that they had upon seeing it.
7) Moving on to the body of your press release: you can expand a bit more here, but not too much. An effective press release is at most, two pages long but preferably one page.
Write the most important things first and add properly referenced quotes. Make sure that a journalist can lift a paragraph out of the press release easily without having to edit it too much, especially if there is little lead time.
8) You should include all relevant information, such as where products are stocked, price points and distinguishing features etc.
9) Last but not least, remember that editors meet many designers and brands, and cannot be expected to remember all of your vital brand information. So make it easy for them. Include a ‘note to editors’ at the end of your press release to briefly remind them of who you are. Just the vital statistics and information will be enough to put your press release into context.
10) Make sure that you finish your document by adding your brand’s contact information. Who should a journalist contact if they need additional information? You directly? Your PR manager, or an external company who deals with all of that for you?
Simply add contact information: first name, last name, job title, company, phone number, and email address.
Include a Twitter or Instagram handle if you think that’s appropriate.
Be visually exciting
You know what looks best, so include the best image at the start of the press release. You might choose to source the image from your lookbook, as the chances are that if it made it there; you’re proud of it.
Make sure your images are low-resolution in order to keep the finished fashion press release less than 5MB. Journalists get a lot of emails; you could risk not getting into their inbox because you could not fit in – byte-wise!
A keen journalist will contact you and ask for high-resolution versions of the images, so have them ready! A really good press release should make a journalist get in touch.
Then check, check and double-check the release for grammar and spelling mistakes.
11) Also, use a friendly font, feel free to be creative but make sure your chosen font – and font size – allows for your carefully crafted content to be legible.
When distributing your release to your preferred audience, do not forget the little guys. The junior content editors, editorial assistants…
Think about where you are going to send this wonderful piece of kit that you’ve toiled over.
12) When distributing your release to your preferred audience, do not forget the little guys. The junior content editors, editorial assistants and PR executives at some outlets have a lot of input into what hits the pages, so approach them.
Bear in mind lead times for differing publications. If your press release is about a topical or timely product, ensure that it is sent in ample time to be able to make the desired publication deadline.
13) Do your research, but generally:
Monthly magazines plan four to five months ahead
Weekend supplements plan four weeks ahead
Newspapers plan one week ahead
Online blogs etc. plan two to four weeks ahead.
Plan what issue or edition or a publication you need to appear in for it to be beneficial for that particular product or collection.
14) Tailor the subject line and greeting for each individual and outlet that you send the fashion press release to. Make the subject line specific and eye-catching, for example: ‘Hi [Journalist’s name], [Brand name]’s new collection has landed and you’re invited to the launch!’
Is much better than ‘New collection launch for A/W 15.’
One final word of advice:
15) Follow up! You should follow up with a polite phone call or another email a few days later if you have not heard anything: sometimes journalists need a gentle reminder.
Remember to be polite and thank the editor for email or snail mail, or you may wish to send something more personal if you secure the coverage that you really want.
If your fashion business is successful and has longevity, you will be writing more press releases, so it pays to build a mutually beneficial relationship with press contacts.
If you have a small, new, young, medium-sized fashion business and want to grow, learn and explore in this competitive environment then do create your (free) profile at Utelier. Thousands of clients and buyers are waiting for people like you. The profile will act as your mini-web page which you can also share on your blog and visiting cards.