Q&A with Alicia Barnes, PR Manager at ModCloth

A personal favorite online retailer of mine is ModCloth. I discovered the site about two years ago and fell in love. ModCloth features retro-inspired clothing, accessories and decor from numerous indie (and some not-so-indie) designers. They also feature hand-picked vintage pieces that hardly last more than a few minutes before they’re sold!

While you’re there, check out the ModCloth Blog. Here you can find DIY projects, recipes, featured bloggers, and much more. Not to mention the “Fave Finds” section where followers upload photos of themselves wearing their favorite thrifted finds dishing on where they found it and how much it cost!

I reached out to ModCloth to get an inside peek at careers inside this California-based company. Alicia Barnes, Public Relations Manager at ModCloth, was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Enjoy!

Q: Explain what a typical day might be like at your job.

A: “I usually come into the office in the morning and try to get through any e-mails I didn’t answer the day before; these are usually inquiries from media requesting interviews or information, requests for donations or sponsorships, or offers from outside sites for collaboration on projects. In the afternoon, I usually have a lot of meetings with our campaign and technology teams, trying to figure out what’s coming up on the horizon and how we can best message it to our PR contacts. Then, in the later afternoon, I usually try to work on larger projects, like award submissions or parties and events our team might be planning.”

Q: What are some job responsibilities that are standard for your position?

A: “Manage the brand as it relates to collaborations, sponsorships, or contests with external organizations or sites. Ensure our press placements are brand-appropriate. Identify speaking opportunities and award opportunities. Write press releases about company news or new product features. Organize company donations and charitable giving opportunities.”

Q: What do you consider the most important skills for a person coming into the profession?

A: “Good communication skills and attention to detail, excellent writing skills, and a willingness to learn and adapt your writing style/messaging strategy to your client or employer.”

Q: How long have you been in the Public Relations field?

A: “Roughly a year and a half.”

Q: What career did you initially set out to pursue when entering college? Was this particular career at Modcloth on the radar for you at that time?

A: “I actually majored in English Literature and Nonfiction Writing at the University of Pittsburgh and didn’t find out about Modcloth until I applied in 2007. I was teaching English in Prague and found a listing for a Description Writer on Craiglist. From there, I moved into writing for our Modcloth Blog and then eventually coordinating the blog, and then moved into managing our public relations a year and a half ago.”

Q: If you had to choose your profession all over again, knowing what you know now, would you still choose this career? Why or why not?

A: “I never imagined myself having a career in Public Relations when I was in college, but I really love my job. I learn every day and I’m faced with a new challenge every day, which makes for an incredibly rewarding job. Also, I like that I can apply what I’ve learned as a writer to what I do now, as I constantly have to think about how to communicate what we do and who we are as a company, and to whom we should be communicating those messages.”


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