Day In The Life Of: PR Expert Kelly Kepner of Kelly Kepner PR


Fascinating is the day in the life of a buzz-building expert in their field. Kelly Kepner of Kelly Kepner Public Relations is one such person, who casually mentions things like "I am still getting requests for Holiday Gift Guides!" because that is normal in her day. Before you hear Kelly live in Tin Shingle's next Training TuneUp this week, we asked her to give you a glimpse of her day. Because what's going on in her day could also be going on in yours if you followed the advice she's going to give you this Wednesday. For example, here are examples of requests coming across her desk as of right now (September 2016):

Short lead requests:

  • Fall trends (belts, outerwear, 90s inspired)
  • Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Jewel tones

Long lead requests:

  • Gift Guides
  • Resort Fashion
  • Activewear for January
  • Valentine’s Day

TV Segments:

  • Holiday
  • Fall Trends
  • Back to School
  • Halloween Costumes, Trends, Tips for entertaining, etc

Kelly is a recurring TuneUp expert and she speaks to us this week about preparing NOW for Valentine's Day. Yes folks, those Valentine's Day Gift Guides have started now. Most of you found Tin Shingle when you were Googling "how to get in valentine's day gift guides" like in...the end of January or February. Which is too late! Well guess what? We've trained you to act earlier, and you are. Your reward is Wednesday.

Meantime, check out what Kelly's day is like, and see what you can incorporate into yours?

Hi There! My names Kelly Kepner and I’m the owner of Los Angeles based Fashion PR firm Kelly Kepner PR.  I represent a mix of apparel and accessories brands and help secure my clients press on celebrities, in print magazines, online in blogs and news sites and on some of your favorite bloggers and even TV shows too.  Here’s a glimpse into my day, and while no two days are ever the same, there are some critical elements like:

  • pitching
  • fulfilling requests
  • blogger and celebrity gifting 
  • social media engagement

And those happen every day!

Morning Time - PR Prep

Each morning I like to get up between 5am and 6am.  I’ve been trying to get my workout done earlier in the morning. I feel like it not only gives me more energy during the day, but these summer days were SO hot, it was a nice chance to beat the heat. Plus, the great thing about waking up early is that I have a chance to respond to any urgent emails from the east coast.

Once I’m ready to settle down for the morning, the first thing I do is reply to pressing emails from editors and my clients. This can include price checks from magazines, editorial requests for gift guides or resort fashion, image requests from online outlets and so on. After that, I usually jump in and tackle my to-do list. This can include anything from:

  • outreaching to a new celebrity stylist
  • sending thank you gifts to editors
  • creating graphics for social media
  • researching bloggers to gift
  • scheduling desk side appointments
  • planning events
  • and of course things like invoicing and monthly reports too.

Additionally, I try to plan out my pitches for the upcoming week.  I’m always aware of what themes short lead and long lead outlets are working on and this helps me ensure that I’m pitching out all of my clients and nothing is forgotten.  It seems like every day there’s a new national “holiday” and whether it’s Sunglasses Day or Donut Day, if one of my brands has something applicable, I want to make sure I’m pitching it out!

Developing Pitches to the Media - Still in the Morning

As I’m developing pitches, I try to create a base pitch for the theme, say fall boots for example.  While the bones of the pitch remain the same (brands name, website, price points, inspiration for that season, and so on) each pitch is carefully tweaked depending on the outlet I’m sending it too.  If I’m reaching out to OK! Magazine and US Weekly, I want to mention the lower price point, the fact that I have hi res images available, and of course let them know about the celebrities that have worn these boots recently.  If I’m pitching to Marie Claire or Glamour or ELLE, I’ll use some of that information but they not are as concerned about celebrities and price points like the weeklies are.  Here I’ll emphases more of the styles and trends that fit the bill.  

Late Morning - Social Media

Later in the morning I’ll head over to my social media pages.  It’s at this point where I’ll post new content for the day.  I typically post on Instagram once a day for my personal company, while some of my brands will have 2-3 post per day.  For Facebook, I try to post more often, posting press, interesting articles on fashion, accessories, beauty, magazines, pop culture, technology and so on.  Now there’s also Snapchat and Instagram Stories to think about too so for those outlets, I only post when I have something relevant and interesting.  I’m not a fan of posting just to post, but I do think both platforms can be useful when done correctly.

I’ll make sure that I’ve “liked” all of my clients posts and retweeted and replied to their posts as well.  I’ll also check out the bloggers and celebrities that we’ve recently gifted and make sure that there’s plenty of engagement on these posts too.  I’ll often find press here which is very exciting! 

* * *

Editor's Note: Kelly - what do you mean about "finding press?"

We’ll gift a few celebrities each week and usually they never tell us if something is going to be worn (unless their stylist tells us) so we have to stay on top of their blogs, social media channels, snapchat, etc as well as the paparazzi databases to find these images of them wearing products from our brands. 

* * *

Lastly, I’ll scroll through some editor posts as well.  This is super helpful when trying to develop a personal relationship and it’s great to include these details when pitching.  Something along the lines of  “I saw you went to the Hamptons last weekend and the beaches looked incredible!  What a great trip you had” can separate your pitch from a bunch of mass emailed pitches and editors really take note.  Many times I’ve been able to garner requests from replying or commenting to social media posts too.

Lunch Break! Back At It After Lunch

After lunch, which is either in the office or maybe with a blogger or client, I’ll try and take a quick walk around the block for 15-20 minutes.  It’s a nice moment for me to get outside but also reevaluate what needs to get done the rest of the day.  Are there requests to send out, blogger or celebrity gifts to package, conference calls or meetings to schedule and any other loose ends I need to tie up before the end of the day?  What is the top priority (making Fedex deadlines, sending out proposals, replying to credit requests) that needs to get done first?

My late afternoon usually consists of preparing clothing and accessories samples to get shipped off to New York, dealing with messengers for samples going to celebrity stylists, preparing pitches for the next day and replying to emails.  I’ll definitely do another check of social media posts just to make sure I didn’t miss anything important too.  There are times when I’m still compiling images for editors to review too.  Lately more and more requests are for images first, so I’ll have to go through all of my brands and send those options for consideration over first, and then pull together a package of exactly what the editor needs for the request.  More time consuming but also better odds of getting your brand placed because the editor has specifically requested it.

That's A Wrap!

That just about wraps up my day! I try to clean off my desk, finalize my to-do list for the next day, make sure all emails have been replied to and filed away, make sure all of the paperwork (AKA boring but important business side of things) are all squared away too.  I really try to give myself a break and step away from the work at this point.  As an entrepreneur and small business owner, it’s hard to completely turn off that part of my brain, but it’s important to try to.  

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my day! Please let me know if you have any questions or need any tips on scheduling or how to efficiently get through your day.  I’m looking forward to sharing more ideas with you soon!