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Posts Tagged ‘WWD’

Lots of PR and Marketing Changes at Time, Inc.

people-instyle-realsimple-mag-hed-2013This week Women’s Wear Daily notified us of some big changes at what is (still) one of the biggest names in media.

As Time Inc. prepares to spin off from parent company Time Warner Inc., its team is shifting accordingly:

  • Marketing exec Susan Parkes will now be SVP of marketing and strategy, reporting to EVP Todd Larsen. This role will include marketing for People and event management for related titles Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Essence, etc.
  • Special projects director Lisa Simpson will report to Parkes and work with editors of the aforementioned titles
  • VP of strategy and planning Bettina Cisneros will also report to Parks
  • Regina Buckley will be SVP of strategy and operations, reporting to EVP/head of lifestyle titles Evelyn Webster.

On the PR side, SVP of comms operations Nancy Valentino will now report directly to Larsen while running news, sports and entertainment titles.

Beth Mitchell and Jill Davidson will run comms for the lifestyle titles; the two will split responsibilities for the various publications.

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WWD Keeps It Glassy for New York Fashion Week

You know, we really doubted Google Glass there for a minute.

Somehow, the world’s nerdiest eyewear continues to score media wins: the latest is the news, announced this morning, that WWD will include a “Glass Menagerie” in its New York Fashion Week coverage. What does that mean? Here’s your answer:

WWD isn’t just highlighting Glass, either.

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Google Glass Almost Looks Normal Now

We figured Google had to have plans to make Glass a little more palatable.

When The Simpsons makes you look bad you know it’s time to move, because someone wrote Sunday’s jokes months ago and they still felt fresh (especially after the terribly racist “Comic Book Guy Gets a Japanese Girlfriend” episode).

Here’s CNN‘s take on the newer, friendlier Glass:

Today the upgrade scored a New York Times writeup thanks to its new prescription partnership with insurer VSP and a designer interview in WWD (subscription req’d), but most bloggers just used the occasion to come up with new ways to make fun of the product.

Given that this is Google, we feel like one day Glass will become so well-integrated with our eyewear that it won’t be noticeable—and then we will feel stupid.

For now, we’ll just point and laugh.

Top Fashion Journalist Says the Hack/Flack Game Has Changed

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“Whenever John Fairchild, the legendary god of Fairchild Publications, was asked for his own job description, his answer proved quick and succinct: ‘I’m a reporter.’”

It’s not like that anymore, though—at least not according to this WWD report on publicists behaving…differently.

Fashion journalist Bridget Foley writes that brands in her space have increased their efforts to actively control the narrative, becoming a little less human in the process.

Foley’s biggest irritation came from an encounter with a rep who insisted that a writerly icon take his seat (before being directed to do so) at an awards show rather than spend a minute speaking to another WWD reporter covering the event.

But she has several other key points:

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Condé Nast Kills Its (Unpaid) Internship Program

MID-conde-nast-sunrise-226x300This morning WWD learned that its parent company Condé Nast has decided to put the kibosh on all that bad publicity by killing its internship program dead. The company gave no comment or explanation for its decision, but we have a feeling it might have something to do with the summer lawsuit filed by two interns angry over making “less than $1 an hour” at the company. At first Condé simply decided to stop paying its lackeys altogether, but the risk apparently remained too great despite the fact that an identical class action suit against Hearst didn’t go anywhere in the end.

It’s time to re-evaluate the concept of internships. They’re supposed to provide equal opportunity career paths for talented, ambitious young students who can afford to work without getting paid, but they’re more often just a way to get entry-level work done without spending any money on hiring or benefits or any of the other annoying stuff that comes with, you know, running a for-profit business.

The Department of Labor considers internships “employment” (which must be fairly compensated under the law) unless said positions meet a list of strict requirements, so maybe Condé is simply acknowledging the fact that its internships will never meet those criteria. The more likely explanation is that someone determined that the work isn’t worth the headache. No winners here.

Can Fohr Card Help Link Fashion Brands with Top Bloggers?

Fohr Card Fashion publicists and bloggers take note: a new startup called Fohr Card promises to make the process of connecting your brand to the most relevant digital tastemakers a whole lot easier. The company, founded by a PR girl, a photographer and a fashion director, calls itself “the first verified fashion blogger directory” and serves as a sort of digital Rolodex for publicists who toil in the worlds of clothing, beauty and related photography.

How does it work? Well, the company began with a database of “statistics, detailed information and background” on about 1,000 prominent fashion bloggers like top Tumblr Eva Chen, Shine by Three and the amazingly titled How to Talk to Girls at Parties.

Each profile includes traffic stats and interaction data to let promoters know how popular a given writer is and how likely he/she is to engage with publicists (along with contact and pitching information). Oh yeah: bloggers must apply and be “vetted” if they want to join the list.

The platform could also help hungry brands promote themselves: partners include Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta, Lucky Magazine and more.

We’re not incredibly familiar with the glam biz, so let us know: how valuable could this resource be? Would the model work in other industries as well?

Miss America Promotes All Canadian Brands at Public Appearances

Miss America Mallory HaganWe don’t follow the Miss America pageant too closely–we usually ignore it like we ignore Miss USA because we assume that Donald Trump is somehow involved.

We were pleased, on some level, to learn that the latest winner, Mallory Hagan, hails from Brooklyn (which is our longtime home, though we can’t claim it as our hometown), but we’re a little confused by her latest WWD interview

She confirmed that she won’t be attending FIT until another winner is crowned (OK, we get that) but refused to take the opportunity to promote some of her favorite designers, saying:

I will keep that to myself for now. When I’m done being Miss America, I will tell you a myriad of names.

…while listing Forever 21, Zara and H&M as her favorite stores (yeah, right). Then the interviewers asked her a more sensitive question: why will she be wearing only Canadian label Joseph Ribkoff at all of her public appearances as Miss America? We think this is a good question from a PR perspective, but she quickly shut the query down:

“It shouldn’t matter where the clothing comes from,” since her Miss America mission is more about broadening education and empowering women.

The answer: she’s wearing Ribkoff because it was one of the pageant’s main sponsors, along with cosmetics brand Amway Artistry. We don’t mean to go all nationalistic here, but isn’t it a little strange for a Canadian brand to sponsor the Miss America winner, much less the pageant itself? Surely there’s an American brand willing to step up and embrace a great PR opportunity like this one, right?

Disney Goes High Fashion at Barney’s

Disney's Minnie Mouse in Barney's PromoAnyone notice that Minnie Mouse is looking a bit…slimmer these days? If so, you probably caught a glimpse of Barney’s newest promo campaign, “Electric Holiday”. This collaborative project is the closest you’ll get to an all-out marriage of classic Disney characters and the cartoonish personalities who populate the world of international fashion.

Barney’s CEO Mark Lee unveiled his company’s newest PR offensive yesterday at the retailer’s Madison Avenue flagship store with the help of Disney CEO Bob Iger, fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker, and a certain mousy celebrity (who thankfully appeared as the full-sized Minnie).

The campaign, based on Disney’s classic “Main Street Electrical Parade”, drew a bit of criticism for transforming Mickey’s lovably round soul mate–and her friends Snow White and Daisy Duck–into waif-thin caricatures of modeldom. There’s little doubt that the unbelievably slender characters depicted embody a physically impossible fantasy land filled with pouting divas, desperate paparazzi and snooty, unforgiving tastemakers…

Oh wait–we just described the fashion industry, didn’t we? Check out these pictures direct from the Barney’s window display and see for yourself:

Minnie shows more than a little leg

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How Zara Changed the Fashion World

Zara New York City retail branchYou know Zara. You’ve heard of Zara. You’ve seen Zara around. The mid-range Spanish clothing maker is now the world’s largest fashion retail brand. How big is it? Top rival H&M operates about 2,500 branches around the globe, while Zara’s parent company Inditex has more than 5,900–including more than 2,000 in Spain alone.

In the midst of a recession that’s proven especially severe in that corner of Europe, Zara rose to the very top of the fashion business.

Yet the most interesting aspects of the Zara empire are the things the company doesn’t do. It doesn’t create partnerships with top designers. It doesn’t try to label its products “upscale”. It doesn’t tweet very often, and it definitely doesn’t organize any one-off promotional stunts. Its founder, now one of the world’s richest men, refuses to give interviews.

The company doesn’t even create ads–that’s right, no ads at all. In fact, the PR rep who spoke to The New York Times during an extended magazine profile refused to give her name in keeping with her employer’s “modesty rules”. Not the kind of operation you’d expect from such a massive brand.

So how did the minds behind Zara create such a monster? To put it simply, they followed one rule: listen to your customers and respond accordingly by giving them what they want, not what you tell them they should want.

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‘WWD’ EIC Goes Overboard and ‘Cosmo’ Expands

WWD launched in 1910. Now it has a website, and now that website has been redesigned. It does look pretty darn good, but EIC Ed Nardoza may need to dial it down a bit.

“There’s a favorite old quote of Gandhi’s — no, not about minimalist messianic style — that might have some relevance here: ‘Truth is one, paths are many.’”

Actually, no that quote has no relevance here. Not only because I don’t know what WWD’s “truth” or “paths” are, but because Gandhi espoused peace and civil rights while fighting for his country’s independence and WWD is a fashion magazine with a revamped website. (Lesson for PR pros and your clients: Make sure your quotes have something to do with the announcement you’re making.)

At any rate, the website is promising a few things that broaden the pitching possibilities.

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