In the game of LA public relations, or public relations anywhere for that matter, you are always learning. Once you stop learning, you know you are doing something wrong. Working in PR since 2004, I can easily say that I have continued to do new things, do things in different ways, and time after time I have remolded my idea of what I think public relations really is. Of course, working in PR means booking press and interacting with the media, but today more than ever it is so much more than that.
Today working in public relations (at least in the type of public relations that Konnect PR prides itself on offering) is a lot about branding. After all, you cannot help a client achieve success if you don’t understand their brand and the overall message they are trying to get across. Publicists help build brands and as such we sometimes like to playfully refer to ourselves as “brand specialists.” At our pr agency, we have done things for clients that far exceed the realm of typical PR including things like helping to build a website from nothing, facilitating sales with well-known sites like GILT, heck, we have even helped with the development of logos, lookbooks, catalogs, etc. I digress. The point is, as publicists we have become very aware and educated on the power of branding – whether it be for a company, a person, a product, etc.
Upon reading the latest edition of WSJ Magazine, I came across an article that for me (a fashion junkie) was a must-read. The article is titled “Brand Anna” and is a feature on the brand, the icon, that is Anna Wintour, the Editor in Chief (EIC) of Vogue.
While Anna may be on the opposite side of the media spectrum (in theory, I am the one pitching and she is the one being pitched) there is so much that any publicist… or rather, ANYONE, could learn about branding from the queen herself. Anna has created an empire (a brand) for Vogue as one of the most serious and well-read fashion publications in the world, and her as EIC is part of that brand (I am not even going to delve into how smart that is and how that has, no doubt, contributed to her 23 year reign). In addition to giving a certain life and spirit to the magazine, she has also created a separate brand for herself, so much so that she is even a caricature now, complete with a short bob and round rim glasses. Immortalized in film form in The Devil Wears Prada and The September Issue, Anna has crossed over from being just an editor of a magazine to an international figure of power. Well it is my job to know editors of magazines, I can bet that the general public is not aware of many people in this position, except for maybe Anna.
While I am going to try to refrain from entering into total sad fandom, and while I promise I am not going to summarize the entire article for you, I do recommend reading it for yourself. If not captivated by this woman’s amazing life, and even if you are not impressed by her extensive list of credits and contacts, try and see her for the amazing brand cultivator that she is.