Interview : Robin Kassner - Haute PR



Robin Kassner
Business Name: 
Haute PR A little about yourself: 

I am a publicist at Haute PR, the leading beauty, fashion and luxury lifestyle PR firm in New York. I was inducted into the Society of Industry Leaders, a division of Standard & Poor's. Haute PR provides trend forecasting, creative marketing, product development, project management, branding and public relations services to the the cosmetics, fashion, entertainment and luxury lifestyle sectors. Where did you work before founding your FashionPR firm?: 

Prior to working at Haute PR, I was the marketing director of a luxury goods company. I was also the managing editor at Beauty News LA. Why did you start your fashion PR firm ?: 

After working for some of the world's leading beauty and fashion companies, I decided to take my passion for beauty and fashion and channel it into Haute PR. Although I enjoyed being a beauty editor and marketing director, I felt that I wanted to shape brands from concept to counter. I envisioned a one-stop creative shop for fashion pr, beauty marketing and luxury brand management. At Haute PR, we take your brand to the next level. A little about your company: 

We are New York City's top boutique fashion, beauty and luxury lifestyle PR agency. Haute PR is an award-winning, full service public relations and marketing agency catering to the leading beauty, fashion, and luxury lifestyle brands. We offer beauty public relations, branding, copywriting, web design, logo design, press kits, press release writing, web copywriting, and event planning. Haute PR has pioneered an integrated approach to fashion PR by creating brand awareness for its clients. How many hours you rougly work per week?: 

Generally 50 hours per week What does a fashion pr do ?: 

I work my hardest to develop each and every client into something bigger and better no matter how large or how small they originally are. Our fashion PR firm transforms unknown brands into household names, and takes established brands to the next level. We generate a huge amount of press for our clients and focus on getting our clients a big return on their investment. Our press releases read like buzzworthy magazine articles. We get products in the hands of the hottest celebrities. We attend the top fashion parties to attain press opportunities for our clients. We keep abreast the latest fashion trends, and get our clients' products in celebrity gift bags and on TV. What do you find interesting about fashion pr ?: 

It's an exciting time to be in fashion PR! Fashion is shifting and changing. Fashion used to trickle down from the top designers to the fashion elite to the people on the street. In a seismic shift, the fashion industry has totally flipped on it's head. Now, fashion comes from the street and filters up to the fashion designers. We are constantly trendspotting and attending parties to figure out what's new and what's next. I get excited over new ideas and creative concepts that build a buzz for our clients. What do you think the core competitiveness for fashion pr company ?: 

A great deal of fashion pr firms overpromise and underdeliver. At Haute PR, we tend to underpromise and overdeliver. It's just a matter of giving clients world class service, understanding their public relations goals and creating close relationships between our clients and the media. How fashion pr company should try to maintain their market competitivenss ?: 

Honesty is important. In this industry it is hard to find. We pride ourselves in delivering amazing press for our clients and giving them a strong ROI. Fashion trends change in the blink of an eye. The media as we know it is changing daily. It's important to stay connected, keep an eye out for trends, and be part of the the social scene. We are constantly networking to build more media connections that maximize coverage. What are the key skills to being a great fashion pr ?: 

Excellent communication and writing skills are very important skills for a fashion publicist. PR is all about problem solving, so do your research and know your audience. To be successful in the fashion public relations arena, you need to know the media, have an eye for trends, and have an ability to think outside of the box. What should a new designer expect from a fashion pr ?: 

Many times, new designers don't have the right connections to generate buzz for their brand. They are so overwhelmed trying to launch their line and they simply don't have the time to spend on a successful public relations campaign. A designer should be able to pass their product on to a PR professional and relax. The right publicist will figure out what is special about the fashion line and deliver that information to those in the media who matter. How to chose a fashion pr ?: 

You want to choose a fashion PR firm that has a team that will really pour their heart and soul into establishing a brand they believe in. Here at Haute PR, we live and breathe beauty and fashion. Many of us have degrees in fashion marketing and are beauty and fashion journalists. A PR firm that is passionate about a product gets the best results for the client. What part of your job do you find the most challenging ?: 

Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher which companies are truly interested in working with you from those who just want to pick your brain for ideas. How do you bring new brands into your agency ?: 

We rely a lot on word of mouth and take great pride in the work we have done in the past. We work really hard at Haute PR. Our work often pays off when we get referrals from past clients. We also rely on our website to extend our outreach to clients around the world. How has the new media landscape changed how you do business ?: 

Social networking has become so mainstream and has really changed the way that public relations works as a whole. New media has changed the way we communicate. It's impossible for a PR firm to stay on top without social media anymore. Blogging and social networking has allowed us to connect to consumers who ordinarily wouldn't be reached by the mainstream media. Facebook and Twitter have become so integral to the way fashion pr firms conduct business. How do you demonstrate results for your clients ?: 

We get our clients a huge amount of coverage in magazines, on TV and in blogs. We also engage their brands in social networking and reach out to consumers through Facebook and Twitter. We demonstrate our results by giving our clients COVERAGE, COVERAGE, COVERAGE! How do you maintain sustainable relationships with the media ?: 

Working with the media is a give and take relationship. It always pays to make a human connection. Reporters will always remember a negative experience with you, so it's important to always come off as honest, kind and professional. You would be surprised how many clients tell us about publicists who are rude. There is no reason to be rude, even though it is a high stress job. Leonard Lauder once told me to treat everyone equally and equally well. You never know if the man sweeping the floor is the CEO of the company, so treating everyone with kindness and respect always pays off. When journalists have positive experiences working with you, they will want to work with you again. How to know what a publication or stylist wants?: 

We try to be easy to work with, so when a stylist needs something we send it right over. We will bend over backwards to get our clients coverage in magazines and on TV, so having solid relationships with stylists is key. Once, we had a shipment from Europe delayed at customs, and the TV producer needed it right away. We drove all over New York City to pick up a similar product from The New York Times to deliver it to The Rachael Ray show in time for the show. When you go that extra mile for journalists and TV producers, they remember you and you build a reputation for excellence. What do you think the future of digital fashion media/pr is?: 

The future of digital fashion media is now. More and more fashion blogs keep sprouting up as some of my favorite magazines are going out of business. The great thing about everything being online is that an emerging fashion designer who cannot afford a runway show or a launch party can get a great deal of exposure with online media. The media is shifting and we change with it. Are there busy and quiet periods during the year?: 

We are always the busiest as it gets closer to fashion week. We are also very busy the period before Christmas and when we go to the Hamptons for the summer rush. What makes a great brand or label stand out?: 

A beautiful design, a brand new concept, a unique idea, amazing quality - there are many ways to make a brand stand out. Brand positioning is so important. It can make boring brands seem special and good brands seem exceptional. Are many of your friends fashion PRs ?: 

Yes, I have many friends within the industry. A great deal of my friends are beauty writers, fashion bloggers and luxury marketing executives. What would you recommend to college graduate to help start their career?: 

With today's job market being as competitive as it is, it's very important for new grads to get as much exposure to the industry as they can. Internships will give you the experience you need to get your foot in the door. Networking is extremely important because you never know who is the key to your next job. If you are in a creative field like fashion PR, don't be afraid to let your personality shine through on interviews and in your cover letters. Make yourself stand out and market yourself as a brand. What sums up 'fashion PR' for you ? : 

We get exposure for incredible brands. We only take on clients whose products we love. Our philosophy is that if everyone could know how cool your product is like you do, then it will fly off of store shelves. We get brands the exposure they deserve. Please list 3 designers who you like the most: 

Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs Do you want to share something with audience ?: 

Haute PR is Facebook's most popular PR firm. What's your favourite quote?: 

"A woman who doesn't wear perfume, has no future." - Coco Chanel


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