A Lesson On Being Seen with Crosby Noricks

August 15, 2021

A Lesson On Being Seen with Crosby Noricks

Crosby Noricks is a pioneer in the Fashion PR industry. In 2006, she founded PR Couture, a career platform and sourcebook for lifestyle communicators, as a way to highlight where strategy and fashion intersect. In this “lesson on being seen”, we learn how she was able to pivot personally and professionally along the way to help more women become visible in their own businesses.

Crosby Noricks is a pioneer in the Fashion PR industry. In 2006, she founded PR Couture, a career platform and sourcebook for lifestyle communicators, as a way to highlight where strategy and fashion intersect. In this “lesson on being seen”, we learn how she was able to pivot personally and professionally along the way to help more women become visible in their own businesses.

a lesson on being seen with crosby noricks

Crosby Noricks is a digital marketing strategist, writer, founder of PR Couture, and Lecturer in the Journalism/Media Studies Department at San Diego State University.

Each month, a community of more than 100k followers rely on Crosby and PR Couture to provide fresh insight into public relations, marketing, and social media as well as expert interviews, strategy, and job leads. PR Couture was named one of the Top 50 PR Brands by Onalytica.com and is ranked as the #4 Global PR Blog, according to InkyBee.

Crosby was included in the iMedia 25 as a key influencer in interactive marketing, and is an experienced fashion & consumer marketing strategist. For nearly five years, Crosby was instrumental in establishing and then growing the award-winning social media practice area at Red Door Interactive, a leading digital marketing agency. In her capacity as Director of Social Media and later as Creative Director, Crosby championed brand storytelling, content & social media strategy for clients like Quiksilver, Charlotte Russe, Creative Nail Design, Eagle Creek, and Sutter Home.

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TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • It’s common for creatives to be multifaceted.
  • Feminist Fashion 
  • How Crosby got into her field.
  • Why Crosby wanted to figure out where strategy exists within fashion public relations. 
  • The mindsets about PR that PR Couture is trying to change.
  • PR is such a feminized field and it also reflects a lot of the ways that women are socialized to be these supporting characters only working behind the scenes.
  • *70% of the global PR industry is women.
  • **Only 2 of the 10 largest PR agencies worldwide have women running their North American operations. And the salary for a woman in PR is $20,000 less compared to her male counterpart.
  • The thought-leadership piece around PR and how it has evolved in the digital world.
  • What being a thought-leader means to Crosby.
  • How to pivot in the culture of the conversation.
  • How to recognize the time to pivot.
  • How to thrive in an agency environment in the PR industry if you’re an introvert.
  • You can ease into your own visibility.
  • True visibility is internal.
  • How certain career choices are subconscious decisions based on our own visibility issues.
  • How personal decisions turn into personal branding.
  • Active listening with your audience and yourself is key as you evolve and your business grows.
  • Filling a gap in the market around service rather than profit.
  • When men market to women they typically try and solve problems that don’t exist.
  • Being in service to your creativity and curiosity to help move your business forward.
  • Finding a PR professional who aligns with your mission and values.
  • Women often go into entrepreneurship roles because they face diversity and wage gap issues.
  • We cut off our ability to be accepted and loved in a certain way by not allowing ourselves to be seen.
  • Feminine leadership leans toward collaboration and inclusivity.

RESOURCES/ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

PR Couture

*Women comprise 70% of the PR industry. Why is there still a pay disparity?

**How to fix PR’s gender imbalance

Velvet Ghetto Study

Finland Housewife Culture

#LESSONUP:

(8:32-9:04) There was nothing. You do a Google search about fashion PR and there were like four results. Anytime you’re talking about fashion or really just anything that traditionally or more stereotypically is like women’s purview, it just gets relegated. It’s the same kind of like craft versus art debate. And so I felt like that was happening where it was like, “oh, that’s not real PR” or “that’s just like this other sector that we don’t want to look at. It’s not actually strategic. It’s just all about this one check publicity pony.” And I was like, “that cannot be true.” So I went to figure out where strategy exists within fashion public relations. And I was also curious about the experience of the women working inside of the field because from my perspective, they were really driving a lot of the messaging that would then translate into someone wanting to purchase a particular garment. 

(10:44-11:17) I decided that instead of just doing the traditional sort of outfit thing, I instead wanted to take what I’ve been learning in my thesis and create a blog that was really about the role of communication in getting us to wear what we wear and want what we want and to align ourselves our identity with this brand or that brand. And I wanted to shed some light onto who were the women who were driving all of that and making those decisions. And I had done some work in the fields, but I still had a lot of questions about what it actually looked like, kind of behind the curtain, because again, this was a time when you couldn’t go and binge somebody’s Instagram feed to get a real sense of like what they were doing. There was nothing. And so it really started with interviewing whoever I could find. Google alerts, combing LinkedIn, trying to find anybody that was online enough for me to be able to discover them, and then inviting them, asking them questions. And that’s really how it all started. 

(12:32- 13:21) We are never done. It’s that recognition that is the work is sort of stewarding whatever it is and being available to what is, and being willing to shift. And it comes down to a deep belief in my own capabilities and a belief in my audience and my clients and customers. I’m a big proponent of sort of active listening, right. Listening, not to respond, but really listening just to hold space and to consider what somebody else is sharing. And if I am doing a good job of active listening with my audience and with myself, and if I have the sort of emotional intelligence to sort of pick up on some of those more subtle cues, which is the gift of the introvert, we notice things that others don’t often notice. Then I can trust because I’ve done it before. And because I get a little sense that like, we need to go to a different place, or because my own interests have shifted.

(16:19-17:24) So for me, my business has to also work for me and inspire me, or I will shrivel up and die. It would not be possible to try to diminish who I am now by trying to stay connected to my 26-year-old self or to hire some 26-year-old ambassador version of me. PR Couture is as much a natural evolution of my own professional and personal journey as anything. And what it enables me to do is help more women at more stages of life. The motherhood piece is such a big one. Now I have real hesitation around investing in any type of business coaching or whatever with someone who has not had the experience of being a parent because it is such a shift. If I hadn’t been a freelance consultant, I would not be in any position to help someone who decides I’m not doing this whole up the ladder nonsense inside this agency. I’m going to do my own thing my own way. So I have new skills and I have a new awareness and I have new curiosity all the time. And so my job is to bring whatever that is back to my business and back to my clients.

(17:52-19:02) One of the challenges in public relations specifically, but really in any service-based business is that it often posits that the role of that service provider is to be completely behind the scenes. In PR it’s not about me, it’s about the client. Like I am not even here, even though it’s all happening and being driven by that publicist, that PR professional. That’s a mindset we’re hoping to shift at PR couture because of the way that the industry has changed because of the access that we now have to say, what we want to build our own platforms to come out of the status quo and say, I see things a little bit differently, or I’m a little bit different. I’m an option for you. And let me tell you a little bit about what that is and what that would look like. I don’t believe that anyone benefits from women or anyone sort of keeping their brilliance hidden. It’s interesting that PR is such a feminized field because it also reflects a lot of the ways that we are socialized, right. To be these sort of supporting characters. So it does not surprise me that PR attracts a lot of women. And, and also because of that, I think it’s really important that we start to unpack that and to allow ourselves to have a little bit of the spotlight.

(19:09-19:36) We all have perspective experiences, points of view on how things should, and shouldn’t be done within our own industry. And we need to hear from one another, we need to have those conversations. And to be discovered too, is the other piece, right? With the ways in which we’re going about trying to find people that we want to hire, we’re doing a search, we’re finding people through keywords and hashtags. And if you’re not there, you know, you’re missing out, you’re, you’re downplaying, what’s possible for you by not even showing up to play.

(22:47-24:54) When it comes to visibility, we often think too big, too fast. We think that it is opening us up to millions of people looking and judging and not wanting us to succeed. It feels unsafe. Which is a valid, I think, critique of the way in which women are sometimes pushed into visibility.

(23:57-24:10) Personal branding, the whole thing, it’s really an invitation to personal discovery. The more that you know yourself, trust yourself, the more that you set yourself up to be in community with like-minded supporters of you and of your work it’s incredibly validating and inspiring to be in community with others who only wish for your greatest expression and your greatest sort of evolution and to and to receive positive feedback when you show up without the trappings of the filter that makes your lips look three times their size when you can speak directly about a marketing concept without belly dancing at the first time and have it work, right? We cut off our ability to be accepted and loved in a certain way, by not allowing ourselves to be seen. And so I think that’s the real opportunity.

(26:23-27:05) Because women are socialized to often be that sort of supporting character, when a woman is in a position of leadership, I think there’s still sort of a natural tendency to consider the collective over the individual to care about and to consider the emotional health and the interpersonal dynamics inside of an organization, as opposed to just sort of the numbers and productivity. There’s also a sense sort of a natural tendency toward kind of collaboration and to of course examine any problems or opportunities through that lens of being a woman or identifying as a woman, which can often open up new solutions, new priorities, new ways of affecting just the entire structure of whatever that organization is. 

(28:26-28:56) We kind of either have it or we don’t, or we have to learn how to do it. But I think really it’s about the work of self-belief and self-trust and a willingness to disrupt the norm and to be in that discomfort of being sort of that dissenting voice and a willingness to really create those new structures and really ultimately just believing yourself capable and right for that role like “I have the right to be here. I am capable of doing a good job here.” And that again comes down to that sort of self-trust, self-belief piece.

(31:33-32:00) The other real big challenge that we have in public relations is related to diversity. And a lot of Black women, in particular, are not able to get very far on the kind of agency or corporate track. And so for them, the only real option is to start their own thing. And it’s not because they have some deep desire for entrepreneurship or the never-ending hustle. It’s rough being the one in charge all the time, but it’s because they really feel like it’s the only option for them.

(33:55-34:10) When we see another woman calling it out, naming it, embracing her anger and rage, those are emotions and displays of feminine leadership that we don’t often see.

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