Best Fashion PR Books ever (Vol. I)

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Fashion Books

It isn’t a secret that I would love to work in Fashion PR and possibly lead a Communications department when I am ready. However, and due to recent circumstances, I have to content myself with the “learning process” (which can be super cool if you can handle it by yourself ). I find internet very useful, but sometimes you really need to have something else to maybe find THAT TIP, THAT WORD OR THAT EXPLANATION a bit clearer. That’s the reason why I am desperately buying and renting lots of Fashion books at the moment.
I have wanted to write this post for a long time now. Only after realizing how difficult it was to find out which the best Fashion PR Books were, I decided to write reviews myself in Girl with a Banjo and share them with all of you.
This is only Volume I, but I promise a 2nd Volume will be published very soon.

Fashion Public Relations

This (text)book means serious business. It’s a must reading if you are studying any Fashion related degree but also if you are into self-learning. I love self-learning, which is always an option if you don’t have enough time (or money) to start a course or a masters degree. It includes a lot of useful examples (and since the book is new you’ll get to see pictures of Lady Gaga instead of Michael Jackson when he was black), key terms, questions and exercises.
Even though the front cover looks a little cheap and not-so-university-textbook, what’s inside is KILLER!
I rented this book and practically ATE it all, but I am longing to buy one and keep it forever since I LOVED IT. It is full of good advice and the tone is pretty much teacher-to-student.
It is organized as follows:
Part I: Public Relations Fundamentals

Yes, this is the typical introduction to PR (definition, benefits, myths and so on). But it also contains super useful info about what media exposure is, how public opinion affects businesses and an introduction to media and PR careers.
Cool stuff is that you have 50 pages to get lost in introductory material.
Part II: Setting up a Public Relations Campaign
The first chapter will show you the way to understand what Audience means (its segmentation, motivations and needs, focus groups…) and how to extract valuable information from it (through surveys or questionnaires) to create Audience profiles and strategies.
It also covers a Campaign Planning chapter which I think is super interesting. This info is not well explained in the Internet nowadays and you only get small and super general pieces of it. This chapter will teach you to establish campaign’s goals and create a detailed plan, determining target markets and defining the timeline. Swot Analysis, measuring results, establishing a budget are also explained.
The last chapter will help you formulate, modify and select PR methods from a wide range of possibilities: Media PR, Community PR or Grassroots PR. It ends with a section dedicated to measuring results.
Part III: Developing Public Relations Stories

In this part you will learn how to implement PR Methods and create a media angle. Besides, it gives a detailed list of all PR tools you need to success: from how to write a press release (this section is my favourite, it includes so many examples) or what is a photo opportunity, to dealing with your community or spreading the word through friends/fans/blogs or corporate sponsorship.
Something which you’ll find very useful because of it’s practical information is the Media Coverage section which covers pretty much everything: the pitch, the press kit, the media enquiry, how to arrange interviews/photos/video, and how to monitor it all.
It also gives you some tips on how to build and maintain business relationships with Media, community and nonprofit organizations.
SWOON.
Part IV: Executive Functions and Duties
The last part is the most boring one –yet one of the most decisive in your career as a professional Fashion PR–. It covers productivity, budgeting, cost accountability, crisis management and all sort of administrative Press Office activities.
If you are considering buying this book, you can find 2nd hand versions of it in Amazon.com from around $30. Oh, and it’s not available for Kindle.
Shame I gotta pay double because of shipping expenses (seriously, what the hell? $30 shipping to ITALY? It’s the Internet era, ladies and gentlemen!! It’s time to open frontiers to free (or at least cheaper) knowledge!).

Writing for the Fashion Business

I am not saying this is a Bible for Fashion journalists, PR professionals and other Marketing & Communication people working in the Fashion industry. Well yes, IT IS THEIR BIBLE! Cheesus crackers! This is other book everybody should have at home to consult when needed.
This book is supposed to fill the gap between general writing classes and upper-level fashion courses. It is a great 600-page source full of outstanding guidelines to write properly and different your style from the rest of the world.
You will learn to review fashion shows, to write fashion reports, to do PR copy, to create editorial content for either off and online media… and even to re-do your CV and Cover Letter for the Fashion world! It includes a lot of writing examples, key terms and useful writing tools.
You will find the following contents: writing in the fashion environment, effective fashion communications, the writing process, fashion journalism, writing for newspapers, writing for magazines, writing for broadcast media, fashion promotion communication, writing for advertising, writing for public relations, writing for news media, other forms of fashion writing, scholarly writing, writing books, writing business communications and writing employment messages.
You can get a 2nd hand copy of this book in Amazon.com from $40. But of course if you are in Europe this rule doesn’t apply and you’ll either have to buy a new copy –which is far more expensive- or buy in America and pay double for the shipping expenses already mentioned.

The PR Couture Guide

If you are into PR and Blogging, then you know Crosby Noricks’ PR Couture blog. It’s a daily source of inspiration for those wanting to build up a career in Fashion PR or just get updated on the latest news in the PR industry.
Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR: Transform your passion for fashion into a successful career is a complement to the blog, not a substitute, and it is perfect for those PR-wannabes who don’t know how to break into their beloved and dreamed career. It is super easy to read –actually you can finish it in only one day and you will definitely be willing to read it again– but it gives you a clear insight of what working as a Fashion PR means and what you can do to get there.
It starts by telling Crosby Noricks’ personal story and then it jumps to a quick section dedicated to a little bit of theory where she explains the differences between PR, Marketing and Advertising. From then on, you will discover what to expect from PR Jobs, who you can contact, how social media can help you, how you can get noticed by the recruiters… It’s all about job-seeking, not about PR techniques. Oh, and it’s mainly focused on the US.
It has got amazing reviews on Amazon (100% of the reviewers gave a 5* review to the book!). Cool thing is that you don’t necessarily need to spend much for this book: its Kindle edition costs $11.66 and the paperback edition $17.99. I have an iPad with the Kindle app and that’s how I read it, but I would have loved to have a paperback version of it.
This is a book to keep and to share with others who have got the same passion for Fashion PR as you.

More reviews to come soon:
WILL WORK FOR SHOES: THE BUSINESS BEHIND RED CARPET PRODUCT PLACEMENT by Susan J. Ashbrook
UNCOVERING FASHION: FASHION COMMUNICATIONS ACROSS THE MEDIA by Mariann Frances Wolbers
THE POCKET GUIDE TO FASHION PR by Sophie Sheikh

Have you read any of these books? What are your favourite Fashion PR books so far?