If there’s one Career Over Coffee interview to read, it’s this one. Crosby Noricks is the definition of a self-made girlboss who has transformed her dream into a reality one blog post at a time. From working in-house at a jewelry brand to establishing an award-winning social media practice, to putting fashion public relations on the map with PR Couture, Crosby is the jack-of-all-trades in the fashion and lifestyle space. Take a look for yourself…
Briefly describe your background. (what you do, how did you end up where you are today, education, starting point, etc.)
My name is Crosby Noricks and I am a fashion marketing strategist and the founder of PR Couture, the sourcebook for fashion & lifestyle communicators. Through our platform, we support PR and marketing professionals, students and brands to achieve their career and PR/marketing goals through articles, courses, digital and physical products and our online community.
I started PR Couture as a blog after working in-house for a jewelry brand while simultaneously getting my master’s degree in Mass Communication. Upon graduating I wanted to continue to explore fashion public relations as a career as well as provide a place for others like me, to learn more about the profession. The fashion industry doesn’t always have the reputation of being the warmest, fuzziest or kindest of industries and I had experienced that a bit firsthand – which didn’t feel great. I wanted to promote a different approach – one that was about sharing information, collaboration over competition and inclusivity.
For six years I ran the site in addition to a full-time agency job and have been doing a mix of site management and consulting work for the last 4. My undergrad is in Media Studies and Gender/Feminist Studies.
How can someone get into PR with no prior experience?
Many skillsets are complementary to PR – sales, marketing and customer service all show up in the day-to-day responsibilities of a PR professional. When applying for a PR job, it’s all about framing the experience you do have in a way that articulates how that experience will benefit you (and the company) in the PR position. Great ways to gain experience, aside from internships, is to offer your skills to small businesses in your community and to treat yourself as a PR client; how can you extend your personal brand online to create a strong professional reputation?
What does it take to be cut out in PR? What are stand out characteristics of your best employees?
From my perspective, the most successful PR professionals are heart-centered leaders who truly care about their client success and who find a lot of personal validation in helping them to reach their business goals. The job is stressful, demanding and without a lot of external recognition, which is a large part of why we just launched The Bespoke Communication Awards – a brand new global online award program for those in fashion & lifestyle communication. In a job that can feel a bit thankless, and that requires constantly and quickly outperforming your most recent win, it’s important for practitioners to be recognized and celebrated for great work.
Additionally, being a natural connector, savvy negotiator and early adopter of emerging technologies is important, communication professionals need to consistently come up with creative, newsworthy ideas that keep their clients in the spotlight.
Since launching our Job Market Report, the majority of employees covet a flexible work schedule/unlimited time off. What’s your take on this? How do you keep employees happy?
Who doesn’t want flexibility and freedom to work when and where we want – it’s part of why I run my own business! I think the success of these programs is completely connected to how invested companies are in their employees and vice-versa.
I don’t have any employees, but my small virtual team of contractors are essential to keeping things running smoothly. Regular check-ins, transparency into how the business is performing and the occasional rapid-fire Gif battle all keep us feeling connected to each other and our mission, even when aren’t able to be together physically.
What are your tips for job seekers on social media? How important is having a social media presence?
I teach a career planning and PR skills course for entry-level job seekers called PRISM, and we spend an entire module on personal branding. And much of that focus is on developing an online presence that acts as a magnet for the individuals and opportunities that are aligned with your goals. In an aesthetically-driven space like fashion & lifestyle PR, for example, it is a guarantee that your hiring managers are going to expect to see your command of social media through your own accounts.
Be clear about who you are and what you want with bio, share your perspective and point-of-view and only post content that reinforces your skills, interests and knowledge of what works in social to drive followers and engagement. In the PR space, it’s really all about Instagram, but there are several recurring Twitter chats that can be very effective networking tools.
Where do you see the PR world headed?
In many ways, public relations is moving toward an increasingly paid model – whether paying an influencer for an Instagram post, or paying for a brand to be included in a morning show product roundup of Awards Season-inspired “get the look for less.” This has made it increasingly challenging for smaller brands to compete with big-budget brands, and challenging for PR professionals who are faced with fewer publications to pitch and journalists who are facing major industry upheaval. Most clients want publicity – and see that as the biggest role of public relations.
In truth, media relations is just a part of what we do. And, as we stop being able to look toward magazine and website coverage as evidence of results, PR professionals need to innovate and expand their service offerings to ensure they are now able to achieve brand awareness and business growth through a variety of creative tactics that span paid and editorial media, influencer outreach, direct-to-consumer, events/activations, social media and on and offline marketing.
What questions do you have for Crosby? Ask in the comments below and she’ll answer!
Interview by: Brittany Johnston