• April Dion

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

Summer 2019 April Communicates facilitated a Communications Strategy for the West 18th Street Fashion Show. In January, I pulled together a Communications Committee, filled with young professionals seeking to volunteer their time gaining hands-on experience in Fashion Public Relations for the annual event.

We met monthly, I devised a plan to connect with the media in an old school method, sending personal press-kits via US Postal. These kits weren't your average kits that come in an envelop, with a note, and maybe a CD, These kits were themed UBS drives customized to our theme and titled as a "Message in a Bottle." (Look out for a post regarding the development of the kits soon!)

The one outlet shouted out on air, expressing how much they loved the kit. The best part about the USB is that it could be used again if they downloaded the data and cleared it, or it could be saved as a souvenir.

The Results

The West 18th Street Fashion Show was mentioned on just about every local television news show. We appeared on-air for segments, and the event received on-site coverage at the event by two networks, which is hard to do on the weekend. We also established a media room. When the media arrived, they were greeted by my staff of Public Relations Professionals, who pulled talent aside for planned interviews. We also landed on Univision, because it was essential to ensure we were welcoming and inclusive to all demographics in Kansas City, Missouri. Fashion is a language within itself. Check out these videos below.


Univision Kansas City

KMBC Channel 5 News


KC Live


Fox 4 News


Channel 5 on-site


PBS


Nikki and Ponch Show 997




Kaufman Foundation

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  • April Dion

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Publicist have different areas of focus depending on their specialty and the needs of the client. April Communicates handles various forms of Public Relations. Below are four frequent Public Relations specialties and a few examples of how a company can make use of these skills:


  • Event Publicity and PR Support

  • Content Development and Marketing

  • Social Media Strategy and Execution

  • Crisis Management

  • Corporate Communications


An organization may hire a firm or practitioner to help facilitate a communications campaign for an event or product launch. Event campaigns can encompass a variety of public relations functions. For instance, in our previous post, "Event PR with Ease" we discussed the in-depth steps to operating a communications campaign. In order to have marketing content available for advertisements and promotions, publicist may find it helpful to develop content. This presents another function of public relations, Content development and Marketing.


Content development can consist of a plan to capture photo or video footage. Prior to the shoot, producers should identity what message they would like to express to the audience. Practitioners work with various departments and professionals to facilitate this plan. Working with the graphics department to create a style board aids the company in developing a cohesive brand direction. Concepts that must be considered during the branding phase of development include: fonts, colors, the logo and mood of the of the campaign. Identifying these elements will help to establish consistency during the content development phase.


While Marketing is it's own function, over the years many practitioners have learned marketing skills to compliment their communication services. The difference between the marketing and public relation lies within the way visibility is achieved. PR is earned, Marketing is Paid. Social Media has blurred the lines between paid and earned media, because it consist of both. Companies work to build credibility. Sometimes publicist for brands send press kits to personalities. Nonetheless, we will save this topic for another article. For now, it best to know that traditionally Publicist help to obtain free visibility opportunities. In contrast, marketing generally consist payment for advertisement and visibility opportunities.


Occasionally, companies or artist have a need for a publicist who maintains a specialty in Crisis Management. Should a company find that their product has created emotional or physical harm to the brand or consumer, strategic advisement should be sought to identify a plan for the team or company to respond to the issue with uniformity and care.


Corporate Communications is essentially when the practitioner is trusted to act as the voice of the agency within the company and to the public in order to maintain a positive view and relationship to its stakeholders.


The decision to hire a Publicist consist of measuring your needs and budget. While there are many types of public relation services available. Everyone is not quite ready to hire a publicist. Determining the conversation you’d like to relay to an audience will help companies and individuals determine if they need to take more time to build their brand or product before pursuing a publicist. On the upside, social media has allowed for companies, personalities, and brands to build connection with their target audience.


Does your brand need assistance in any of these areas? We loved to learn about your needs. Please reach out to us at april@aprilcommunicates.com.



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  • April Dion

Updated: Jul 17, 2020


Event planners and publicist often wonder where to start in order to boost ticket sells and raise public awareness for their event. However, quite often many practitioners start too late. Planning for an event requires multiple levels of strategy. Publicist, Organizers, and Event Planners must think about the communication strategy pre-event, during the event and post event.


This year, April Communicates facilitated a marketing and public relations plan for the 19th Annual West 18th Street Fashion Show. In this article we will explain ways to facilitate the plan with ease. Check out this list of things to do when planning a communications strategy for your event.



Create the Pre-Event Strategy:

  1. Consider the goal. Discuss the key elements that are important to the event organizers. This helps to create expectations and also to define reachable goals.

  2. Prioritize key goals for the marketing and PR plan.

  3. Identify key elements of the event. This helps practitioners or planners to dive into the small details of the plan in order to reach the end goal.

  4. Discuss weaknesses within the prior plan or process. Planners can always learn from strategies that did not work. Discussing what the organizers have tried, or reviewing areas in your previous plan that did not work will aid practitioners in meeting the teams expectations.

  5. Build a team! People want opportunity. Build a strong team to help facilitate the plan. Establish monthly meetings with your team. This helps to sure the team is on board and connecting with each other.

  6. Discuss the on-site media plan.

  7. Develop a list of potential on-site media guest and start making connections. Let the media know you are facilitating the plan so they know who to reach out to.

Create a Social Media Plan:


Create content. Plan to have a photographer at meetings, events, or other important gatherings that lead up to the event. Be sure to capture photos at some of the meetings. Behind the scenes footage helps to garner curiosity. Viewers wonder what the end product will look like. Sharing these photos helps the audience to connect with the event.


Work ahead: Gather the key-player‘s social media handles. This will help save time when it comes to sharing the post. Social media managers can save time because they will not have to search far and hard to properly credit individuals in social media post. Tagging guest in social media post from your public business page allows the subjects tagged to re-share the post to their audience, therefore extending your reach.


Use a social media tool or application to plan and schedule your social media post. There are many applications to help Social Media Managers and users post more efficiently. In an article titled," Top 25 Social Media Tools For Marketers," Forbes Contributor, Steve Olenski shares a full list of third-party apps designed to make sharing post easier.


Keep the conversation going:

Finally, don't forget about the guest/media experience at the actual event. Create an interactive space for the audience to engage. The photo below is from the 2017 Rightfully Sewn Golden Gala. Instead of a having a traditional red carpet, we personalized the media space to relate to the theme. Media and guest were able to capture footage for social media on the "Gold Carpet." For this event, April Dion facilitated an onsite communication strategy.


Photo by Samatha Levi

On the day of the Golden Gala 2017, event goers and media had the opportunity to take photos and complete interviews on the carpet. This extended the conversation because the attendees were able to share their photos and videos from the event.


Do you have an event this year? Please reach out to us to help you reach your audience for your event april@aprilcommunicates.com.


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