In 2009, Social Media was not on the radar of most fashion brands. However, they didn’t have Aliza Licht on staff. At that time Aliza, the SVP Global Communications for Donna Karan (DKNY), was charged with the responsibility on launching their Twitter presence. Aliza had been with DKNY for 17 years and uncharted territory was never a problem as such she embraced the opportunity to develop a unique voice and online persona. @dknyPRGirl was inspired by the faceless, all-knowing popularity of Gossip Girl.
‘I thought Gossip Girl’s coy, mysterious persona was such a fantastic concept, and no one would have to know who she really was,’ says Aliza. ‘The whole PR and marketing team sat down and created a backstory for her,’ she recalls. ‘Her likes, dislikes, hobbies, workout routines and the places she hung out. She lived downtown, she did yoga, she drank green tea and liked cool indie bands.’ As well as feeling approachable, DKNY PR GIRL was totally on-brand. (Quote from: Dailymail.co.uk)
DKNY PR GIRL tweeted up to 60 posts/day providing fashion hungry fans with insights from behind the scenes and the front line of fashion such as: “Back at the ranch (office) waiting for CelebX to arrive for her fitting. Only issue is she’s still asleep. Oh @nyfw [New York fashion week]…the drama never ends”. These juice insights enable the account to quickly amass almost 500K followers on Twitter.
The lifestyle and perception of the DKNY PR GIRL was a far cry from Aliza’s reality. Whereas the character was thought to be a twentysomething, social, girl about town. Aliza was in fact a married mother of two, living on the Upper East Side. Something had to change.
After two years of posting as her alter ego, Aliza lifted the veil and revealed herself to be DKNY PR GIRL. ‘As the persona became more popular, it became harder for me to wear both hats, and to keep the secret,’ she says. There was concern that this reveal would result in blowback from DKNY PR GIRL followers. However, there was none. In fact, this news resulted in a blog, “dknyprgirl.tumblr.com – for when 140 characters aren’t enough”, where Aliza wrote in long form. Aliza was also offered speaking engagements and placement on various “One of the most……” lists, and most recently the formation of a company and book entitled “Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It In Your Career. Rock Social Media”.
Leave Your Mark is no frilly, fashion folly!
Leave Your Mark (LYM) offers real life Insight and examples taken from Aliza’s experience on the corporate ladder to success from intern to Executive including – her missteps and failures. Written in the same tone as her former online persona, LYM offers insider insight on the do’s and MAJOR don’ts for those who have their eye on a career in today’s workplace. Note that I said workplace NOT fashion industry. I’d venture to say that this book is not solely for those in fashion or just starting out. This is usable information for those who need to write a killer cover letter and CV, to ask for a pay rise, deal with difficult bosses or get the most out of an internship.
It’s a great read and a whole new chapter for Aliza Licht as she heads off to conquer new territory, which par for HER course.