As Skirt’s Social Media & Creative Associate, I spend a lot of time creating custom graphics for our clients. These projects range from branded quotes for Instagram to event invitations and signage – I’ve even designed custom stickers! While many brands come to Skirt with strict design guidelines, I am able to play around a bit with others – this has only increased my obsession with finding the perfect fonts. While I could (embarrassingly) go on about typefaces for hours, I’m sharing my top favorites for my fellow font fanatics.
Sleek & Chic: Neutraface
Great for quote graphics, event invitations, and press materials such as fact sheets and visual press releases.
Stylish Script: Madina Script
Gorgeous calligraphy-style font that adds a hint of modern elegance to any project.
Classic: Modern No. 20
A strong serif font is a must and this one looks sophisticated in any form.
Fresh & Fun: Violetta
I wish my handwriting looked this good!
What are your favorite fonts?
A well organized and up-to-date media list is a PR pro’s bible! Proper contacts and editor relationships are the foundation to a successful public relations program. Knowing where to start and if you have the correct contacts can be hard and time consuming. I have highlighted a few tips below for creating media lists and ways to start making those relationships.
• Referencing print publication’s mastheads is a great place to start. A masthead is a printed list that provides everyone’s title and name who contributed to the publication. For online, some websites will list a contact page or an about section that includes writer’s titles and names. Another good way to find contacts is by reading articles to identify an editor’s beat.
• Double check titles and corresponding publications by finding the contact on social media or LinkedIn. Editors move around a lot, so this is a must!
• One of my favorite resources is free and easy. Try giving publications a phone call!
• As in most fields, writers, editors, and freelancers are constantly moving jobs and positions. Keeping up with all the moves can be tricky. The best way to stay on track by tuning to The Daily Media and Fashion Monitor.
Make Personal Connections
• Editors get pitched a million times a day about various topics. So what makes them open your email? Besides having a relevant pitch and a catchy headline, having a personal relationship with them goes a long way! Start networking with media early on and don’t just target high ranking editors. Assistants are usually helpful and a place to start. They are more likely to take you up on the offer and can provide great insight on the publication. These individuals may be starting their career but are likely to be an impactful influencer in the next few years.
• A great way to start creating those relationships is by emailing editors that live in your area and asking them to grab a coffee or a drink. Attending industry events is also a great way to meet people.
What are you tips for building strong professional relationships?
Lately, my workload has been largely focused on planning fun spring events for clients. While it might be one of my favorite parts of the job, I have definitely learned a few tips and tricks resulting from unexpected event mishaps along the way. Here’s my go-to list to ensure that the event goes smoothly and is one for the books!
When presenting event elements to the client, whether it be the venue for the party or the template for the invite, providing a few different options with varying pricing and aesthetic is key. That way they can choose their favorite, and you didn’t put all of your eggs in one basket!
This may seem obvious, but one thing that I think sets Skirt apart from the rest is our creativity and knack for adding unforgettable on-site elements at the events that we plan. My personal favorite was the fashion illustrator that attended last month’s Hush Puppies’ blogger brunch; she provided custom illustrations for each guest. They were an awesome, custom takeaway that sparked post-event buzz and social engagement!
Create a Checklist
There are so many details that go into an event. From coordinating florals to making sure there is a vegetarian option served on menu, the list sometimes seems endless. I always make a handwritten checklist, sorted by week, of things that I need to accomplish for the event. It ensures that I’m covering all of my bases throughout the planning process!
Be Mindful of the Brand
Half the battle when event planning is keeping the brand or client’s voice top of mind when coordinating each element. This can also be the fun part, as it challenges you to be creative and tell the brand’s story in a new and interesting way. No matter the client, it’s so important to make sure that guests at the event have a feel for the brand and leave wanting to learn more!
What do you like to experience at an event?
Last month I got the news that I was going to be traveling to sunny LA for an event with a client, and to say I was thrilled would be an understatement. While I was excited, I have to admit that preparing for my first business trip was a daunting experience. The key to success? Travel light and strategically. Here’s a list of must-haves that will help you get through your first business trip like a pro.
Tote: You need a bag that easily fits your laptop and a file folder. A file folder is essential to hold all of your itineraries, client fact sheets, as well as a run of show for your event.
Emergen-C: Traveling can be tough on your body. Prevent yourself from catching any airborne bugs by pumping up your immune system as you travel.
Comfy Shoes: If you’re a heels girl like me, make sure you always carry a pair of comfortable flats to wear as you set up/break down an event. You will thank me later!
Chargers: Technology is your most vital resource. Do not let your phone or laptop die!
Book: If you’re not working as you fly, a book is a great way to relax your mind from the pre/post-event craziness.
Notebook: It’s always good to have a notebook to take down notes or key learnings from the event while they are still fresh in your mind.
Lipstick: I’m a firm believer that lipstick can pull you together quicker than coffee. Make sure you always have a go-to shade in your bag. Mine is Mademoiselle by Chanel.
What do you always store in your travel bag?
The holidays are a joyous time of the year! So why do we make it so stressful? Below are a few tips that I use to prepare for the holidays at work, so I have more time to spend celebrating with friends and family and not worrying about a flooded inbox!
The key to not being overwhelmed is planning ahead. I like to add one or two tasks a day to my usual to-do list to help prepare for days away.
In PR, tasks pop up last minute, so I strategize which tasks can get done ahead of time. This helps to leave time to deal with whatever comes unannounced.
This tip might seem minor, but looking ahead at your calendar and rescheduling meetings is major! I hate to realize I need to reschedule a meeting while I am out of the office – it creates such an unnecessary rush to squeeze it in prior to leaving.
Prioritize! Decide what is important on your list and work towards your nearest deadlines. The reality is that you can’t achieve everything. You need to decide what can wait until tomorrow and what’s due NOW!
Identify goals and break them into small parts to achieve them. For example, my quarter goal might be to secure a Chicago press placement that includes an interview. I will then break that up into a holiday broadcast segment. Next, I go into my calendar and outline the days I need to pitch, follow up and call producers.
Enjoy your time off and try not to think about the upcoming work you have when you get back. In order to return rejuvenated, you need to actually relax!
How do you tackle last-minute work tasks before the holidays?