PR Expert Diana Bianchini Shares Insights With Bachelor's of Design Students on LA Campus
Public relations expert Diana Bianchini, owner of Di Moda PR, returned to the Los Angeles campus this week as a guest speaker for Celeste Day-Drake’s Creative Design Strategies class in the Bachelor’s of Design program. Bianchini (pictured above with a student, doing check-in at a San Francisco event) has been a guest speaker at FIDM several times over the last five years, but her relationship with FIDM dates back to when she launched her firm.
Seventeen years ago, she started Di Moda PR in Los Angeles. Looking for interns, she called on Cindy Patino, Director of FIDM’s Entertainment Set Design & Decoration and Visual Communications programs. “FIDM helped me bootstrap my firm,” she said. In fact, FIDM Grad Jackie Daniels worked for Di Moda PR for seven years before she left to do in-house marketing for a beauty company.
Bianchini went over the difference between advertisements (paid) and editorial (earned media) so the students could understand the primary goal of PR. She explained that it’s her job to create a story and then shift it to an editor or influencer for coverage. For her clients, she provides a wide range of offerings including earned media placements, branding workshops, experiential PR, social media influencer programming, content calendars, hashtag development, and special events. She explained to the students that as they get into their careers in the design world, they will always touch PR.
Her top advice for students as they launch their careers in the fashion and creative business industries:
“Be true to who you are.”
“Care. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“Have patience with yourself. Everything great takes time.”
“Don’t let money be your number one goal.”
“Give your whole heart to your passion.”
“Know your self worth.”
“Do what you say. Say what you mean.”
“Be vulnerable. Ask for help. The best leaders we have in this world show vulnerability.”
“Clear is kind. Clear is direct. Be clear in what you want.”
“It matters if you show leadership at school. One way to do this is to be positive in your
messaging on social media. You are using your own daily PR. Reputation is important.”
To work on building their network, she recommended to the students that they attend fashion events with a goal to meet at least two people per event. Then follow them on social and repost their posts. Ask them for help, and offer to help them. “You find a touch point, then you build a bridge and a relationship -- that’s PR.”
A student asked her to tell a story about a proud moment in her career, so she told the story of Handsome Coffee Roasters. Michael Phillips asked her to do PR for him when he won the World Barista Championship, working at Intelligentsia in Chicago. He started Handsome Coffee Roasters with Tyler Wells and Chris Owens. “We PR’d it from nothing,” she said. They ended up selling Handsome to Blue Bottle which was then bought by Nestle—a huge success story.
In light of the news of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing this week, Bianchini shared a personal story of working with Lagerfeld when Fendi was her client. She told them how impressive he was in the fashion industry.
“Karl Lagerfeld shot the campaigns,” she told them. “He handled casting, the color of the lace, the music. He controlled the ads being ingested by consumers.” She told them that he touched every one of the fields of their academic study—graphic design, visual communications, fashion design, and merchandising. “I always felt that he was a god in the fashion world.”
Di Moda PR offers a paid internship program, for school credit, where students work three or four days a week at the firm’s headquarters in Santa Monica. Interested students should contact her. She said she makes a point to respond to every single email she receives.
Follow Di Moda PR on Instagram @dimodaprnews.