Since high school, Lindsay Bailey has been searching for the best way to merge her love of fashion and journalism. Thanks to the guidance of one of her professors at West Virginia University and her own tenacity, she found a solution—social media.
Bailey, a senior from Charleston in WVU’s P.I. Reed School of Journalism, started blogging and tweeting last October as part of Dr. Diana Martinelli’s public relations class. A month later, Bailey’s blog, “Accessory Obsession: and other fashionable addictions by Lindsay Bailey,” caught the attention of boutique public relations firm Dream Cartel – landing her a virtual internship and eventually a front-row seat for Fashion Week 2011, which was held last month in New York City.
“At first I thought, ‘Why are these people reaching out to me?’ I thought it was too good to be true,” said Bailey. “But then I talked to one of the owners on the phone and they hired me.”
Prior to Fashion Week, Bailey worked diligently from her computer in Morgantown, helping Dream Cartel prepare for a networking party. She crafted and sent email invitations to guests – many of them fashion journalists and bloggers – and wrote press releases about the firm’s clients who represent stylists and independent designers.
“If someone says, ‘Do you have experience in fashion PR?’ now I can say yes,” said Bailey. “It’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do without online capability.”
After working up the courage to ask if she could attend the event in New York City, her “virtual” bosses agreed and were thrilled to have her help. Soon Bailey was on her way to the Big Apple. Once there, she helped set up the event, kept track of the guest lists and networked with fashion writers from all over the world.
“Getting to go to Fashion Week was truly a life-changing experience for me,” said Bailey. “I was so excited to get to go and really get some hands-on experience. It confirmed for me that I want to be part of the fashion industry.”
Bailey’s good fortune didn’t end with the conclusion of Fashion Week. Before she left Morgantown, she did her homework and searched for a Manhattan-based public relations firm that she might be interested in working for upon graduating in May. She decided to stick with her niche and contacted a firm that represents handbag and accessory designers – Shine Media.
“I tweeted the woman who is the owner and asked her how to apply. She said, ‘Just send me an email.’ She direct-messaged me on Twitter her email address,” said Bailey. “If you find people and reach out to them, it’s so surprising how responsive they are sometimes.”
Bailey said the interview nearly cost her a missed flight back to Morgantown, but it would have been worth it. She landed a social media internship with Shine Media starting in June. She hopes to parlay the opportunity into a permanent position with the company.
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CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism