INSIDE FASHION PR WITH MICHELE LEONARD Oct. 2013 - Page 5

interview I wanted to explore more in depth the levels of press as they range from local, regional, and national. That is a lot of media to cover and is very essential in growing a brand that has reached the prominence status of Leona. Michele explained to me the importance of building relationships with all levels of press, but especially the local level. By having a relationship with them you have an advantage. If they know you and they like you then they will want to work for you. At a regional and national level consistency with follow-ups and up dates are vital. The approach of contacting the press should be assertive and to the point. Michele said that when reaching out to regional and national levels of press that they are so busy that they don't have time to chat on the phone. Therefor creating a press kit that is unique to the brand and catches their attention is necessary. Due to the international level of the clothing line, Michele mentors interns to utilize and assist her with this particualar responsibility along with other general operations as a PR practitioner. The most efficient way to work with press is to research each particular contact and learn how to address them and what style to incorporate with your approach. Media relations is key for brands to grow.

Michele is passionate about her work with Leona and truly loves the excitement involved with Fashion PR.

Q: What are the highlights of your job?

A: I love being able to interact with the press and send out new and exciting information about the company and build relationships with these people. I also really enjoy the creative side of designing and creating promotional materials for the wholesale and retail side of the business.

My interview with Leona was such an insightful opportunity for me to learn more about the Fashion Industry as it pertains to Public Relations. The take away will help me to be successful in the industry.

As we began to wrap up our interview, I had the chance to meet other employees of Leona and was able to look around the store at their fall 2013 and winter 2013 line. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the boutique and fell in love with a fabulous purple dress featured in their winter collection, the Rosemary Dress. Leona is a lovely brand that truly is making a big impact in contemporary fashion today.

Final thoughts...

I found that my interview with Michele really gave me an insight on the fashion industry as it pertains to Public Relations. She was very knowledgeable about the field and was more than willing to answer all my questions. It was intriguing to see how the skills of a Public Relations practitioner applied to my particular field of choice. I really enjoyed my time with Michele and am looking forward to my next trip to Leona!

"Life is lovely living and loving Leona."