Online venture offers cut-price PR

ipublicist_ASOS_w300Footwear and fashion brands will soon be able to do their own PR on a minimal budget, with the launch of Australia’s first virtual PR showroom next month.

Developed by former magazine professional and fashion publicist Becx Long, will enable brands to access editorial opportunities without employing an agency or PR specialist, and will also empower agencies to streamline time-consuming technical processes.

“Product publicity isn’t rocket science, but if you don’t know who styles which pages and how they need their content, or their deadlines, you give valuable opportunities to your competitors,” said Long.

The iPublicist concept emulates successful overseas’ versions that have been utilised by major brands including ASOS (pictured) and Accessorize.

iPublicist’s virtual showroom allows media to search and download print-ready product images, making it easy for them to use brands’ content. Meanwhile a team of editors is also on hand to assist brands not currently conducting PR programs to become media ready by offering a range of services including press release writing and editing.

To ensure member brands are top of mind for media, new content will be sent to consenting media members daily in ‘What’s Hot’ summary alerts. As well as a virtual showroom, includes a virtual newsroom, where brands can upload press releases for media to search and use. Brand and PR members can also choose between making their content public or private.

“We wanted brands to be confident knowing they could upload forthcoming product three or four months ahead, when long lead media need it, without their competitors and customers accessing it.”

To encourage brands to add their content before the official media launch, iPublicist is offering six months’ free membership to brands and agencies who register and add at least two images and/or releases before May 15.

Membership pricing for independent brands is “about two per cent of a year’s agency fees”, at $750 a year, or $79 a month on a pay-as-you-go basis. Agency prices are based on the number of brands expected to use the membership.

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