Tuesday, May 17, 2011

KCD: A Cautionary Tale...

Catch-22!

(Noun: A dilemma from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.)

Now here is one for the book. As everyone who works in fashion news media knows, access to the shows and events are the bread & butter of fashion news coverage. Many of us who work in online media are always butting heads with the pr firms and inhouse publicists to gain access to the shows and events that demand our attention. We have been online for almost 17 years now, and way back in the early years the fashion industry cared little about the Internet, so being ignored was SOP for most publicists.

Of course, everything has changed now. To say that the Internet has revolutionized fashion coverage would hardly be an overstatement. You only have to look at what goes on during NY fashion week with the hundreds of bloggers that inhabit the center pit at the Lincoln Center venue to understand what a  central role online coverage means to this industry.

Now, with hundreds of fashion sites both large and small, access to the major fashion events in NYC can still be "iffy". Obviously, there is an A-list of major online outlets like Style.com, WWD.com and other online versions of  fashion magazines and newspapers  that enjoy total access. And this is as it should be. I will never forget having Grace Mirabella, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue, at my home to meet the then editor of British Vogue online Abigail Chisman being amazed that people actually had a hard time getting into shows and events!

For the rest of us, there is the continual competition as to who is "perceived" important enough to warrant invites to such events as the CFDA Awards. In the case of the CFDA it is the powerhouse pr firm KCD (Orginally know as Keeble, Cavaco, & Duka) who handles the press.

So once again, we put in our humble request to have our reporter and photographer cover the event - we have been covering the awards since 2000 ( click here for that first article ). In addition, our editor-in-chief Marilyn Kirschner also votes on who is to receive the awards and has even attended the event as a paying guest.

Souri Kim of KCD emailed us yesterday the following after we emailed him our report from last year:
"we can offer a photographer. the link you sent through really isn't the type of coverage that warrants a red carpet reporter as it was comprised mostly of information from the release (except for the addition you added to the header)"
Last year KCD would not give our writer a red carpet credential so we were forced to use their extensive and well written press release as the basis of our report - with pictures by our photographer Randy Brooke. See our article here. KCD is not credentialing our reporter this year. Why? Because we did not have a reporter present last year! Am I missing something here? Yossarian, where are you when we need you?

If that is not "Catch-22", I don't know what is?

- Ernest Schmatolla

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