A company website is a form of advertising which consumers may actively seek out. Most media channels now give a web address as a contact point. Pop-up adverts can be intrusive and annoying.
The consumer can now sign up for e-mail alerts and mobile applications from a brand; this is a form of active rather than passive engagement with the brand; however companies need to ensure that they collect and use consumer details in a responsible and targeted manner. Consumers will unsubscribe and have a negative attitude towards a company that passes their details on without permission or gets their name, interests or family composition wrong.
Public relations (PR) is a means by which companies attempt to influence consumer opinion about their marketing mix, image or ethos. PR is a subtle and less obvious form of promotion than advertising. To the untrained eye or ear, it may sound like an influential style leader is recommending the brand. The information originates with the company but its end use is in the hands of the journalists using the press packs, releases and sample garments.
The major advantage of placing products in editorial pieces, with celebrities and in magazine fashion shoots is that of credibility. The average fashion consumer is not aware that there is a huge publicity machine driving the placement of fashion items in the media, whether worn by presenters or celebrities, in daytime TV programmes, in films or in glossy magazines. Magazines may include features such as ‘The best little black dress for this season’. In-house or external PR agencies provide these items. The average fashion consumer believes that the stylist or editorial team have selected these items personally to showcase to their readers; the reality is somewhat different.
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