As I begin my last few weeks of graduate school and start looking for a job, I find myself on career blogs more than Facebook and Twitter. With that being said, I’m expanding my blog to take a look inside the worlds of Marketing and PR, with a focus on the fashion and beauty industries.
One of the sites I find myself checking daily is The PR Closet created by Alexis Rodriguez! Alexis has been in the PR world for over 13 years, specializing in the fashion and beauty industries. I had the opportunity to interview Alexis and have shared some of her insider tips below!
Name: Alexis Rodriguez
Justine: How did you start working in the fashion/beauty PR industry?
Alexis: I didn’t decide on a career in Public Relations actually. I just kind of found it organically. I started as an international business major in school and switched to Literature/Communications my sophomore year. Then I started taking internships, and the only ones I could ever find were in PR. I didn’t even know what PR was at the time. I landed one working with beauty brands and loved it, so I kept that internship for a while and eventually it turned into a full-time job. The rest was history…
Justine: How long have you worked in beauty PR?
Alexis: I have worked in beauty & fashion PR for more than 13 years. I have represented brands including Sephora, Kate Spade, Johnson & Johnson, and Avon, and have worked in-house for Diane von Furstenberg, Parfums Givenchy, Pucci Fragrances, and now Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.
Justine: In a nutshell….what is a day in the life of Alexis Rodriguez like?
Alexis: I don’t think a publicist can sum up quickly what a day is like because no day is ever the same and we juggle so many responsibilities. My team and I work on so many things daily, but a typical day can look like the following:
- I wake up and check my BlackBerry (sadly, I do this even before I brush my teeth)
- I read MediaBistro.com, SocialTimes.com and my Google Alerts on my way to work and answer urgent emails
- Once at work, I media monitor for first 30 minutes (WWD, Huffington Post, Page Six, Cision, and my brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts)Then I can do any one or more of the following…
- -Meet with my team
-Draft a press release
-Prep for a shoot or TV/radio segment
-Coordinate an interview with our spokesperson
-Attend an event
-Meet with editors
-Site check for an upcoming event
-Have multiple conference calls
-Attend corporate meetings
And the list goes on… The reason I love this job is because it keeps you on your toes!
Justine: What made you decide to start The PR Closet?
Alexis: The PR Closet was created to first and foremost serve as a go-to for young, aspiring beauty/fashion publicists so they can learn how to break into PR and ultimately succeed. I explain what PR actually is, the difference between beauty and fashion PR, where to start, what schools have great PR programs, etc. I also feature informative links, beauty/fashion publicist Spotlights, and post jobs and internships in beauty/fashion PR. I love paying it forward, and The PR Closet allows me to do that my way.
Justine: What advice would you give young aspiring girls looking to break out in the world of PR?
Alexis: I think you need to be a people person, first and foremost, because this industry is all about making and maintaining relationships. You also need to be willing to work hard—long hours for little pay. You don’t make a ton of money in the beginning working in beauty and fashion PR, but as you work your way up, it pays off if you do a great job.
- Internships are crucial, as the best way to learn the ins and outs of any job is on the job. I suggest that students start interning in high school, but you definitely need internships in college. And speaking of college, I always recommend a college education for any job, as the workforce is increasingly competitive, and most companies will not consider you without one. That said, I don’t think you necessarily need to major in PR, but it is important to take PR courses to understand the fundamentals. English, creative writing and speech courses are helpful as well.
- Networking is also very important. When you are not working, you should be networking by joining PR-related clubs/organizations like PRSA, attending PR related events, and setting up exploratory interviews/meetings with people in the industry.
Justine: What are your top three beauty items you can’t live without?
Alexis: I am a beauty junkie (obviously), so I have more than three, but my top 3 beauty must-haves are…
- Bobbi Brown Kohl Eyeliner and MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Foundation (obsessed)
- Guerlain ‘Le 2 de Guerlain’ Mascara
- Bobbi Brown Bronzer
- Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Face Peels (can’t live without)
“I am militant about washing my face and taking care of my skin! You only have one chance to put your best face forward…” -Alexis Rodriguez
I can’t thank Alexis enough for the tips and inspiring words of wisdom she has shared with me! Are you in the PR industry? What are some tips you have for aspiring PR students?
To learn more about Alexis’ journey in the PR World, visit here!