Friday, August 26, 2011

Learning About Public Relations

In late March, a professor in the Fashion Retail Management department of the Art Institute contacted me to see if Zoe was a potential candidate for a case study for her Public Relations Class.  As part of the case study, the students would learn about the boutique and write a Public Relations Strategy based on their knowledge of the industry as well as the goals and objectives for Zoe.

Of course, I said "Yes!"  I always love the opportunity to work with students and to get some new ideas and fresh takes from people who aren't so close to the subject!  Today was my first meeting with the students.

The professor had come in to meet me not long after Zoe opened and has stopped in the store over the ensuing months to check in with me.  Last week, she met with me to provide me with the types of information to prepare for the meeting with the students.  She asked me to be prepared to:

- Talk through a timeline of the store from inception to today
- Provide a brief history of how I got here
- Review "Who Shops Here" from a demographic standpoint
- Outline some key objectives for the students - what do I want to get out of it?
- Determine a budget
- Provide details on past promotions (and the success/failure of those promotions)
- Identify any Future Plans for Promotions (including those already scheduled)

In preparing a handout for the students, most of the bullet points were easy - I could probably repeat them in my sleep!  The most instructive part (for me) was the list of my past promotions.  It really helped me think through every thing that I've done with regard to the store.  As a small business owner, you NEVER feel like you've done enough but it gave me some real perspective.  It is easy to prepare monthly and quarterly looks at things like sales and financials but it has emphasized for me how important it is to also focus on this area as well from a summary standpoint.

I will get to hear the presentations on the Public Relations Ideas from the students on September 16th!  I can't wait!


  1. What a neat opportunity for Zoe! I look forward to hearing how you incorporate their suggestions.

  2. Thanks, Juice - I will be sure to share!!