Admit it. You love highlighting sentences on paper with your favourite fluorescent colour. And you secretly blame who says that painting your computer screen with a highlighter pen is against every religion. Still you hate using the virtual highlighter in your Ms Word… Tuh!
If you -like me- are a nostalgic book lover and university days keep coming back to your mind, then we’re on the same side. And this, my friend, will make you find this post absolutely useful.
A week ago I wrote a post about the Best Fashion PR Books ever and I promised I’d publish a second volume with some other books. For those of you who liked and shared the post (included the authors of some of them like Crosby Noricks from PR Couture and Gerald J. Sherman), BIG THANK YOU. I am glad you found the post interesting!
So here we come again. Ready to find out which the Best Fashion PR Books are and why you should read them?
If you have never performed a celebrity product placement action before, WILL WORK FOR SHOES: THE BUSINESS BEHIND RED CARPET PRODUCT PLACEMENT by Susan J. Ashbrook is a book for you. I devoured this book in about two days, after finding it in Amazon for a super interesting price. It was so catchy from minute one that I really couldn’t leave it. Mostly because of the tone in which it’s written and the multiple practical examples and real cases the book offers. This book goes straight to the point (just like Ready to Launch: The PR Couture guide). This is something I deeply appreciate when I read a book from which I intend to learn something.
Will work for shoes is a book about celebrity placement, but it goes beyond the basics and shows you every single detail of it: how to get your product on the hands of a celebrity, how to decide whether a celebrity is worthy for your product or not, how to design a proper campaign, how to deal with the crew around the celebrity (networking is key!), how to convince this people that your product is the perfect match for the star, how to select the right media for the exposure, how to measure results and how to get ready for the BIG BOOM after the celebrity has used your product.
I have personally dealt with celebrity product placement in the past (not in fashion but in travel and beauty PR). Even though I can assure there’s a lot more hard work in this activity than in any other PR action I have performed, the final results are so much better and the revenues are definitely higher. I remember a bunch of people calling a certain hotel we were representing just because they knew star X had stayed there in the master suite with her boo. Some others were interested in taking the exotic beauty treatment the celebrity had taken during her (paid-by-us) holiday, or having dinner in a gourmet restaurant which she visited.
When I read this book I felt sorry I hadn’t done it before. Its guidelines would have been so useful to me. Sometimes dealing with agents and getting to work with celebs can make you sweat blood (and cry like a baby, as in my intern days). If you are an intern and you meet a celeb who literally tries to throw your expensive camera into a pool and screams to you as if you were her personal flight-attendant -not that this happened to me anyway…-, you gotta be strong (and smart) enough to control the situation and try to get the best out of it. Mainly for two reasons: first of all because of the client you are representing, and then because your professional career will profit from it if you success.
Do you have the chance to read eBooks? FINE! Download the Kindle version here from $9.24 or buy a Hardcover version from $7.11 to $16.70.
UNCOVERING FASHION: FASHION COMMUNICATIONS ACROSS THE MEDIA by Marian Frances Wolbers is the sort of book you would buy if you went to a book shop in search of a Fashion Communications guide. The beautiful front cover says everything about the book and its content curation. Also a very inviting table of contents full of nice headlines gives you a quick idea of what’s about to happen. It looks very “MARKETING”, to be honest.
It’s the sort of book which makes you turn its pages, briefly looking at them, while you are sitting on the couch in your favourite socks. The sort of book my best friend would smell like a yonkie.
It is structured in three different parts and, by the way, I am still figuring out which one of those is my favourite. Each part’s structure is super fun since it actually tries to make you participate with a little bit of practice, exercises and a glossary. Just like in your old school days!
The first part is called Fashion Communications: A Layered Look. And even though I can’t help but think about Leandra Medine whenever I read the word “layered”, this first part has nothing to do with men repelling.
In fact, it gives you a wide picture of what Fashion Communications are and how many levels they affect in the Fashion industry. It makes you wonder what the origins of your wardrobe are and how to deconstruct an outfit, but it also covers a general overview of the Fashion Communications business.
The second part is called Fashion Communications: The Business End. This is where the author goes deeper in the communications praxis and invites you to create a press kit, to compare two Fashion items properly from a Fashion Communications perspective, and it also tells you how to conduct an interview.
I love the fact that Marian Frances Wolbers brings small pieces of history to the different parts of the book. I remember when I was a kid and my History teacher made me believe that if you know everything about what’s already happened, you’ll be able to have a better image of the future. And she was right! Consider that designers are constantly travelling back in time in search of inspiration. So during the second part you’ll be able to discover the influence of historical people in this industry, for instance.
The third and last part is called Fashion Communications: Representation in the Media, and the title speaks for itself. It starts with a super inspirational chapter about the big C (Creativity!) and how to use it accordingly to succeed in Fashion Communications with super unique and original ideas. Then a whole chapter is dedicated to magazines and how they feature Fashion (shame that in my book I have examples from 2007!). The book ends up with some chapters about writing in a “fashion language” and about the relation between words and visuals.
You can buy this book in Amazon.com from $56.70 (new) and from $37.80 (used), OR you can come visit me to Milan and we’ll enjoy a Fashion PR reading afternoon while we drink a cup of delicious cappuccino.
THE POCKET GUIDE TO FASHION PR by Sophie Sheikh was the first book I ever read about Fashion PR. I was initially into buying another book by Sophie Sheikh from the same series which is called The Pocket Guide to Fashion Media, but this one got my attention right away.
This is a great book if you are a new designer and have no idea of what a PR person can do for you. This makes me remember that I have been writing about New Designers lately and that this book would be perfect for them. It features a very realistic and quick approach to the basics of Fashion PR. Even though in the beginning I was a little bit sceptical about the front cover, I can assure you that it has nothing to do with the content of the book.
I believe this pocket guide to Fashion PR is written for somebody who knows nothing about PR but desperately needs to work out on that field. It tries to teach you how to set up a PR plan and a PR campaign from a business perspective for your brand or product and be able to maintain it by yourself.
Do you know what I found really interesting and motivating in this book? The fact that, after reading it, you don’t want to be a Fashion PR professional anymore. YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR OWN FASHION BRAND AND DEAL WITH YOUR PR BY YOURSELF. And this is BIG!
I bought this book in Amazon about a year ago because I was very curious about the dynamics of Fashion PR. I got a very good discount back then but you can still find it from £7.95 in Amazon.co.uk.
Have you read any of these books? Would you recommend any others?
Source: Header picture by Style at Home.