With big brand designers shaking up their social media strategies and correspondents choosing to pursue different career trajectories, are the days of PR Girl-personas a thing of the past?
By Christopher Prince
Erika Bearman stepped down as SVP of Global Communications at Oscar de la Renta earlier this month, triggered by a desire to pursue brand consulting. Bearman, famously recognised under her Instagram alias @oscarprgirl (currently boasting over 300k twitter followers and nearly 550k Instagram followers), aims to continue her relationship with the brand by appointing Oscar de la Renta as her first client.
In similar fashion Aliza Licht, the former social correspondent for DKNY, recently resigned following a brand overhaul that resulted in her handle @dknyprgirl changed for simply @dkny, and all previous social media posts completely wiped. Alongside her duties, Licht enjoyed success with her first published guide, ‘Leave Your Mark’ – a career path she is now choosing to venture following a seventeen-year stint at the fashion label. Furthermore, news prior to Licht’s departure reported that DKNY’s founder, Donna Karan, had also severed ties with the brand after 31 years at the helm.
Alternatively the growing trend of designers heading up their own social media platforms has caused the demand for PR Girl-personas to dwindle. Look at Victoria Beckham – a celebrity in her own right, yes – but rarely, if ever, do you see members of her team plastered over her Instagram wall. Similarly designer Stella McCartney operates her social feed with personal selfies alongside campaign imagery and promotional content. It’s all about self-branding, as labels become more about the individual and less about the teams behind them. Does this mean the era of the PR Girl has come to an end? Probably not. But with such a shake up you can’t argue that the reliance on secondary brand voices has certainly dwindled.