Top tips for targeting fashion and beauty journalists in 2022, according to industry experts

Public Relations is continuously evolving. That’s why thinking about how to grab the attention of journalists and catering to publication’s requirements is integral for the success of your campaign, especially when it comes to fashion and beauty journalists who are already thinking ahead when it comes to trends to be aware of and new products hitting the market in 2022. Here at Embryo, our Digital PR team works across a range of fashion clients and has an extensive background working with the industry. We’re here to give you our top tips and examples of how to create narratives that capture the attention of fashion journalists to further excel the reach of your brand, clients or hero products in order to establish authority in the fashion industry.

Marketing experts have researched some of the top fashion-related google searches and have revealed that a lot of people are already searching for fashion trends 2022, with questions such as “What will be in style in 2022?”, “What are the Spring 2022 colours” being asked in the media. This is a good indicator to PR’s that 2022 trends and campaigns are something to start thinking about now ahead of time with forward-thinking campaigns.

The landscape of fashion and beauty journalism is very different from 2020-2021, so for brands and PR professionals, it’s time to start thinking about the 2022 trends that will dominate the new year, while understanding how to adapt and integrate your campaign with cultural movements. A great example of a successful PR campaign is Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ which changed the narrative of beauty in the media. We will revisit this and dive into the campaign’s achievements from a Digital PR perspective further down in this blog.

Based on a plethora of experience and knowledge from working in the Fashion and Beauty PR sector, as well as our learnings from extensive conversations with journalists, editors and fashion & beauty writers, experts at Embryo provide a guide as to what fashion journalists are looking for in 2022 for brands to be aware of for business growth and exposure in an ever-competitive market.

Top Tips to Target Fashion and Beauty Journalists in 2022

Create personalised pitches 

Apart from writing an attention-grabbing pitch, the content of your press release is key, and being ahead of the game when it comes to the next trends to be aware of in 2022 will set you apart from the crowd. Before you pitch, read the journalist’s previous stories and understand the tone of their publication. Using marketing software, such as Buzzstream, allows you to create, send and track the success of your outreach to get a clearer idea of what subject lines and the content will attract the most attention, which will help you to build stronger campaigns throughout 2022.

To personalise your pitch effectively, identify your message and show an understanding of why both journalists and consumers would be interested in hearing from you. Identify your hero products and explain what sets you apart and then communicate this effectively with an engaging, concise pitch and headline. If your product transcends seasons, explain why this is relevant for your target publications audience. If your product links to those key trends, then create a strong, individual and creative case that is concise and clear that caters for readers of the platform’s audience.

Understand 2022 fashion trends and journalist’s lead time

As we previously mentioned, both consumers and journalists are already thinking about what 2022 will bring for the fashion industry. Pitching ahead of time, and understanding the publication’s lead times, will ensure a greater chance of capturing the attention of fashion journalists, creating conversations around a particular event or topic that will be integrated in fashion industry news, and securing potential features for your clients or brand.

The Digital PR team at Embryo, continuously engage with editors, writers and fashion assistants to get a feel as to what kind of stories that they are currently working on and what they would like to hear more about. From these conversations, and by engaging with articles around trend predictions, we can see some of the key trends in 2022 which will celebrate freedom of expression, the revival of retro trends and sustainability.

PR’s should think about what events may be coming up in the new year. What kinds of stories are publications covering? For example, in Glamour’s recent article, These 14 trends will be *everywhere* next season, according to the hottest fashion week catwalks”, the publication forecasted SS22 breakout trends from current fashion weeks, while Instyle recently covered “These Are The ’80s Fashion Trends Stylists Say Will Be Everywhere in 2022”. Think about how your product, or brand’s ethos, identities with this.

Androgynous fashion will continue to present itself to the media, with gender-fluid, casual design dominating the fashion sphere. Trucker and Biker jackets will feature as an off-duty staple beacon of this trend. Bright pops of colour will feature in the new year, as seen across the board at Fashion Weeks, while the Y2K revival continues apace. Overall Fashion will become further stripped down in a post-pandemic society, with an emphasis on circular fashion and sustainability. It’s beneficial to do your research and start prepping in advance, while also maintaining an open mind to new ideas, which we will discuss further below.

Engage with reactive PR opportunities

While journalists are looking for a good lead time in order to prepare content for their digital platforms or printed editions ahead of time, reactive PR is especially effective when it comes to breaking news, topics or trends and is integral to PR success. Although longview campaigns are great, PR professionals should prepare to be flexible when it comes to adapting their stories to fit cultural and media-led movements in an environment of changing new cycles.

Being reactive by looking out for newsjacking opportunities and starting conversations with journalists, or responding to requests that are discussing topics related to your client and brand, is also impactful for a campaign’s success and provides quick wins for potential features. This also allows you to establish longstanding, trusting relationships with the journalists that you are interested in targeting by providing them with useful content for their stories. As discussed, the landscape of PR is changing, and taking every advantage that you can for success in 2022 is important. 

Having a good number of go-to contractors to help you with content will aid in creating reactive and engaging pitches, while also giving an advantage of exclusive expert commentary, infographics, or gifs that journalists will be interested in. Catering for what the publication is interested in will allow you to develop deeper relationships with journalists

So let’s look further into how to put this into practice..

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty 

In 2003-2015, Dove created an innovative and product-focused campaign that was hugely impactful on consumers while also changing the conversation around beauty in the industry by using ‘real women’ across all of their communications, catching the attention of fashion and beauty journalists globally.

The era-defining and unique ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ (CRB) was so successful that it lifted annual sales of Dove’s products from $2.5 billion in 2003 to $4.8 billion in 2015 and redefined product-driven marketing, which was then exposed further via digital media over the years to come.

The PR campaign was groundbreaking and used the social movements around evolution and experimentation within the era to gain traction and promote Dove’s products, which has continued to evolve and stand as a great example for PRs of digital marketing.

Led by Unilever’s internal marketing team and spearheaded by Silva Lagnadho, the brand global VP and the brains behind CRB, Dove embraced PR alongside paid media for a new generation on marketing and recruited PR agency, Edelman, to further excel the campaign. The aim was to build the brand’s emotional connection to customers globally and create a sustainable campaign with a long-view goal to sell products and impact women’s well-being and standards of beauty. The strategy was to achieve this by engaging with consumers authentically with an inclusive communication of beauty across all outreach.

“The future of marketing is brands that are relevant, have purpose and are doing something exciting” (Silvia Lagnado, 2005)

There were initially internal struggles to get the campaign off the ground, due to some adverse beliefs within Dove that the brand was in danger of losing its aspirational appeal, so Lagnado and her team decided to make their own content, intertwining the daughters of the executives at Unilever about self-esteem. They then created a powerful poster that showcased women with a variety of body types in their underwear in order to promote Dove’s body firming lotion, which later evolved to become the CRB, which featured work from over 60 female photographers of ‘ordinary women’ photographed in a similar stance to models.

The PR strategy was then to communicate the stories of the ‘real women’ featured in the ads, which were outreached and featured in national publications such as USA Today, and even achieved interviews on popular TV programmes including The Today Show and Oprah Winfrey’s show in the campaigns early stages.

The next evolution of CRB took advantage of the new social media movement, which was a new way of digital communication for marketers, by posting content across these platforms. The campaign was also becoming more internationally recognised, so Eldeman adapted their strategies per location and provided ‘toolkits’ for their local agencies around the world. Over the years, CRB continued to go viral, while the messaging and content adapted culturally and globally, and the press continued to follow the journey of the campaign, which Unilever continues to evolve.

So, what made this campaign so successful?

To put it simply, both the internal marketing team at Dove and the assigned PR professionals for the campaign understood the brand’s ethos and how to tap into an audience to market their hero products effectively and authentically.

With a clear sense of identity and understanding of media and cultural movements, they were able to create a product-focused PR campaign that captured the attention of millions by evolving the narrative around beauty and making it relatable to consumers and the media. Both Dove and PR agency, Edelman, used influence rather than money to spearhead the campaign, inciting trust with the consumer, building a longview project that responded to social changes around the standards of beauty – a true example of a great, well thought out PR campaign.

They were also flexible in adapting their communications which evolved with cultural movements throughout the years and across different geographical locations. CRB continued to refine the narrative of beauty as the team were reactive in evolving their comms in accordance – again, a great example of reactive PR for authentic engagement with the consumer.

Lagnado and the agency also used the resources available to them, such as interviewing young women about self-esteem in order to further establish their message and promote their campaign through unique assets – a great example of personalised and creative PR.


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