Friday, July 13, 2012

Employee Profiles: Laurie Z., Senior PR Manager

Senior Public Relations Manager Laurie Z. works with her team to form relationships with fashion editors, celebrities, and other influencers to help build awareness for AE. We chatted with Laurie to find out more about her, her job at AE and how you can get your foot in the door in the PR industry. 

Laurie Z., Senior Public Relations Manager

What was your first job in PR like?
My first job in PR was at GUESS Inc. and was an incredible learning experience. It was with a very small team so I was lucky enough to be involved with all aspects of the department. I formed many relationships with fashion and accessory editors that I still maintain today. It was definitely challenging since everything was so new to me but it was all so very exciting. I didn’t really have anyone to hold my hand and guide me through the day to day projects so I had to just jump right in and give it my all.

How did you get your start in PR at AE?
I happened to see a job opening listed online for a PR position at AE and jumped on it instantly. I had been a big fan of the brand and knew it would be the perfect fit for me. I sent my resume, interviewed with the team and the rest is history.

What tips do you have for someone who wants to break into the PR industry?

You have to enjoy a fast paced environment, be great at multi-tasking and enjoy working with people. Fashion industry relationships and connections are very important in PR, but so are relationships in the worlds of art, music, beauty and celebrity, so I would definitely recommend getting out there and networking. You never know who you might meet and where it might take you, so don’t be shy. Internships are a great way to break into the field; they really help you get an idea for the business and the strategies behind the day to day decisions. I would also recommend looking for a position within a company that you truly believe in and are excited about. Passion and enthusiasm go a very long way.

What are your favorite things about working in PR?
I love working with the editors and forming new relationships, I love seeing the results of my work appear on the pages of magazines (it’s very rewarding) and I love working with everyone on the AE PR team!

Gwyneth Paltrow wearing AE Jeans in Vogue, August 2010

What has been your favorite part of the Live Your Life campaign?
I truly enjoyed one of the most recent stages of the campaign which was sending out the national press release and officially announcing the campaign and contest to the world. It was so exciting to be able to finally announce what we have all been working so hard to accomplish. It was such a huge team effort, everyone from all departments rallied together to make so many components align and it was just a great feeling to be able to share it with the public.

Have you traveled anywhere cool with your job?
I would have to say the most interesting place I traveled to for AE was Cancun, Mexico for Spring Break. I thought my spring break days were over after college until I had to bring the AE experience to the beaches of Mexico. It was quite an interesting experience, I must say.

What is a typical day like for you?
I’m not sure I can say that I have a typical day because when it comes to the press, anything can happen. You just never know when the next fashion emergency might happen! However, the fundamentals of my job that take place pretty much every day involve corresponding with editors and press, pitching trend pieces for upcoming fashion features and stories, holding market appointments in our PR showroom, analyzing coverage/clips, brainstorming events and partnerships and developing strategies for new ways to generate brand exposure.

How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my style as boy meets girl or tomboy chic. I enjoy wearing feminine girly girl styles and mixing it up by adding some rugged elements. I love dainty details but I’m a tomboy at heart.

Laurie and her sister, blogger NYCPretty.

What is your favorite fit of AE jeans?
I live in AE denim! I have two favorite AE denim fits: Boyfit and Skinny. I wear them all the time. In the summer I sport my AE Shorties.

Do you have any fun interests or hobbies?
Running! After work and on the weekends you can usually catch me running in Central Park. My favorite spot is at the Reservoir. On a clear, crisp evening with the NYC skyline in the background and the sun setting – it’s the perfect place to be! I also love traveling with my husband. I’m a beach lover so my favorite destinations are usually tropical of some sort. Some of my recent trips include Costa Rica and Jamaica, but the place I love visiting most, and have a slight obsession with is Hawaii. I think I might have been Hawaiian in my past life.

Laurie in Hawaii

Do you have any cool summer plans?
Sun and Fun in Jamaica and Montauk!