One of my major influences in the world of social media has come to be that of DKNY’s “PR Girl.” Now, first I feel I must preface by saying I own nothing DKNY, nor do I have that much interest in the brand itself.
But here I am talking about it, right?
This means she’s doing her job, and she’s doing it well. But what is it about her, about anyone that we admire in social media, that appeals to us?
1. They’re real. In the case of DKNY PR Girl, she tweets about anything and everything. She’s giving fashion advice (for no specific brands!) — actually, she’s just giving advice in general. She’s talking about things throughout her day, tweeting photos of places she is. She’s interacting — engaging — her audience. She’s not putting up any fronts. She’s being herself.
2. It’s not marketing. Every other tweet isn’t I should buy this, see what was just released, check out this awesome (insert article of clothing or accessory here). She’s not telling me all day why DKNY is the best brand in the world — though I’m sure she whole-heartedly believes all of those. Granted, she talks about it — of course she does, though, it’s her job! A job she clearly loves (She’s worked for them since 1998!). But she doesn’t need to tell me, or anyone else, all about DKNY to make people talk about it.
3. Making the connection. I saw someone wearing a DKNY hat the other day and I immediately went on to rant and tell him how he should follow her, she’s the best person on Twitter and so on. Never once, ever, have I owned anything DKNY or even went into a DKNY store. But I still feel connected to it. And chances are, if ever I’m in a DKNY store, or find something there or online that I like — or even hear someone talking about it — I’ll give it a chance, and most likely, good reviews to boot. Why? I feel connected.
4. Transparency. Though @DKNY kept her identity a secret for two years, she recently revealed who she is. This is all fine and dandy, but when it comes down to it, it’s not about the name behind the twitter handle. This is because those people feel as though they know her and, as a result, they know DKNY. She also has a wonderful blog where she takes on a bit more personal matters. She describes instances that occur at events, she writes about things that annoy her and that up-and-coming professionals should avoid doing. In one post in particular she told her college path, how she went from having fashion magazines plastered in her room to a pre-med student, to an intern, to working at her job now. Is this transparency that takes “making the connection” to the next level. We (her readers) don’t just feel connected, but we feel as though we know who she is — and we do! And ultimately, that is the goal with social media, to build that connection and that relationship, which cannot be accomplished without knowing the true character behind it all.
5. It’s bigger than the brand. In instances like this, it’s not about DKNY, and I think Ms. DKNY PR Girl realizes that. She realizes she has a following, she is a role model, and she has future PR professionals looking up to her. Just like any role model, or people who we aspire to be, they aren’t going to be telling us about their job and try to sell us something. They’re going to be mentoring and helping every step of the way. Though she cannot personally talk to and mentor every person following her Twitter or blog, she can still give advice and talk to her followers. She takes the time to do all the things mentioned above, to be real and transparent, to make the connection and forget about DKNY, and at the end of the day, it’s not about DKNY at all. It’s about her using her position, and yes her job, to help other young professionals along the way. And if she is able to get some good PR in for her band along the way, then it’s obvious that she knows what she’s doing and we can all take note.