PRSSA National Conference: Tips for upcoming fashion PR pros

Theo Tyson, founder of trinity productions, is a thought leader in the world of fashion PR. Beyond event planning, publicity and parties, Tyson creates custom experiences for her clients.

In addition to her content presented at the 2015 PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta this November, Tyson revealed more of her tips for budding fashion PR pros in a post-presentation interview.

Theo Tyson answers a question after her presentation at the PRSSA National Conference on Nov. 9. (Audie Lauf)

1. Be a thought leader instead of a trendsetter

Trends come and quickly go. How does Tyson find what’s up and coming? She gets off the first page of Google.

“The front page of Google is what everyone is already looking for. Get to page four or five.”

Read what other people aren’t reading to find fresh inspiration, including social media platforms like Instagram.

“ Try following the creative directors … even though the designer (of a brand) has the vision, they’re responsible for delivering on that vision.”

Tyson quoted Karl Lagerfeld during her presentation. (

Tyson quoted a classic Karl Lagerfeld quote during her presentation.

2. Focus on brand ethos

Tyson explained how brand ethos goes beyond branding. It’s the soul of a business.

“Anyone can purchase a brand and anyone can shop at a store, but there is a certain person that does. There is a certain expectation once they do and once they commit to that brand,” Tyson said.

Brand association is a big deal. It’s tricky for luxury brands to partner with mass retailers, like the recent Balmain for H&M collaboration. Maintaining brand integrity includes not alienating a target customer in the process.

A brand is “not just a brand but a lifestyle” that requires messaging that targets the right consumer. As a fashion publicist, make smart choices to avoid any potential pitfalls by staying true to brand ethos (and what your key public wants).

3. Always look for the shot

When it comes to creating an event, notice every detail and be opportunistic.

“I’m always looking for the shot. I frame everything out. Pay attention to the environment and making sure everything is as it should be.” Tyson revealed.

Setting up the shot is as simple as placing a logo on the wall where photos could be taken or making sure no competitor’s products are in the photos of a mall event.

4. Be authentic

Social media makes it harder to be approachable, since profiles and posts are crafted. It’s essential to have a personality in real life and know how to relate to people. Authenticity is the foundation of developing relationships and interpersonal skills.

“There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance,” Tyson stated.

Public relations takes superior people skills, which can be uncomfortable for natural introverts. Remember, no matter whom you’re talking to, a person is still a person at the end of the day. It’s important to be relatable.

Theo Tyson addresses the crowd on what makes “Just the Right Fit”. (@julia_backus,

Theo Tyson addresses the crowd on what makes “Just the Right Fit.” (@julia_backus on Twitter)

5. Never work in freak-out mode

“How do you prepare for things going wrong or for a disaster? You don’t. You just know what’s going to happen. The thing you prepare for is the recovery,” Tyson remarked.

Never cover up or get hung up on a mistake. By acknowledging what went wrong, you’re equipped to identify the solution and move on.

“You could run out of seats or only have a few people show up,” Tyson continued. “(Don’t) look at it as a failure but as a learning opportunity or teachable moment.”


More than clothes

Fashion PR is a cyclical, competitive and varied field. Aspiring publicists should strive to be authentic and strategic thought leaders.

You can’t steal Theo Tyson’s originality, but you can know her beauty secret: Mother Nature and Monsieur Dior.

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