It’s Australian Fashion Week, the world’s first live Fashion Week since 2020. PRs are caffeinated up, dressed to the nines and oh-so-excited at the prospect of sharing their beautiful wares with Australia, and the world.

However, the average runway show lasts just 15 minutes, meaning it’s vital for brands to leverage the hype beyond the end of the week. While PRs are the driving force behind Australia’s biggest week in fashion, it takes two to tango. In order to get the most out of the expense of Fashion Week, we need to make sure we’re giving editors everything they need to communicate just how amazing the brands we work with are. 

AAFW Special Content Series - PR Strategies for fashion week

So, how can PRs work with media at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week? We spoke to Australia’s best fashion journalists to find out.

Fashion Week has changed

According to Vogue, “[a]t a time when fashion week news overwhelms, and attention spans are short, [brands must] cut through the noise.” PRs need to understand the changing demands put on ever-shrinking newsrooms and overworked journos. Live-streaming is a given and the amount of content produced over the week will be immense – think your regular email inbox multiplied by 10. 

Make it easy for time-poor editors by attaching a press release in a format they can copy and paste from. Don’t forget that sharing WeTransfer links that expire after a few days can be frustrating for editors who work really quickly and may not have time to wait for a reply or a new link.

And never underestimate the power of a great subject line. According to Che-Marie Trigg, Sydney Editor at Broadsheet, it should include “[t]he who, the what and that news hook – if you can condense that into a subject line, there’s a good chance we’ll click!”

Hot tip? Get your Digital Showroom set up before Afterpay Australian Fashion Week and send out links directly after the show. Journalists will be able to see what’s available for sampling at the click of a button.

Australian Fashion Week - Flaunter

Get your story straight.

What’s the hook? Are you showing for the first time, do you have a unique perspective on a current trend, are you doing something amazing from a sustainability perspective? Editors are interested in why the label is taking part in Fashion Week, what they are hoping to accomplish and whether they achieve it. 

According to Annie Brown, Head of Brand (digital) at Vogue Australia,

What’s the hook that makes this a story worth writing and something journalists will be excited about?

Is it something new, exclusive and never seen before? Is it part of a wider trend? Is it access which previously hasn’t been granted? Is it telling us something we don’t know? Whether it’s pitching talent or a new collection, think about the newsiness or the newness. If the news is a collection launch, what’s the most interesting thing about the collection?

Also according to Vogue, brands need to “get the most out of a fleeting runway moment, [by relying] on a combination of social media, targeted press placements and buzzy collaborations before, during and after their shows.” All of this comes down to having a great story to tell.

Always personalise your outreach.

Don’t forget your manners, just because it’s the frenzy of fashion week! A mass outreach approach will never be more effective than a personalised follow up. As Melissa Singer, Fashion Editor at SMH / The Age says, “[i]f I think something is targeted to me, specifically, I am more inclined to open it. But I can smell a “Hey beauty” or “Hey Mel” email a mile away!”

Australian Fashion Week - Flaunter

Don’t bug them – they’re going to be busy.

Whether or not they’ll be at every single show, the amount of follow up that’s going to be on journalists’ plates is mind blowing. 

Don’t harrass them, but also make sure they have everything they need to hit publish. Annie Brown says, “be super responsive if a journalist asks for details or has queries – often PR’s can be quick to pitch something and then slow in responding on the details.” 

Make sure you follow up.

Editors will probably have been to a lot of shows and spoken to a lot of people. Make it super easy for them to remember exactly what they loved about your show with a link to a digital showroom that can be sent after the event. Not only will it ensure everything is in the one place for editors, you’ll also be able to track who opens and downloads specific images, which is a great way to measure the success of your show beyond just bums on seats. 

What’s the best way to follow up? All the journalists we spoke to agreed – email, please!

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