The eTail Blog: @DKNY Gives Tips & Tricks on Twitter for Major Luxury Brands
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For those who presume social media is handled by interns, it may come as a surprise to learn that Aliza Licht, SVP, global communications at Donna Karan International, is the voice leading the luxury brand’s Twitter success.
With more than 400,000 followers and 40,000 Tweets on the @dkny account, Ms. Licht has helped prove to her luxury brand peers that social media is not just a fleeting trend.
"In 2009, we knew that embarking on social was the next big thing and even though very few fashion luxury brands were in the space, we felt our brand DNA was strong enough to tell a unique, NY-centric story," Ms. Licht told The eTail Blog. "Which story though, was the question. As a PR person, credibility is always paramount and I knew we didn’t want people to think this was actually Donna Karan Tweeting. So I came up with the character ‘DKNY PR GIRL,’ but for convenience purposes, the handle would simply be @dkny."
Donna Karan’s PR had "a ton of content to draw from" including marketing events, runway shows, celebrity dressing and other editorial. She added, "Being a fly on our wall allows someone to witness not only success, but failure and frustration. Did I mention stress?"
The company decided that she would be the only one Tweeting so the voice would be consistent, but that the whole PR team would also contribute content for this "PR GIRL" character. However, she said it "very quickly became obvious that it was one person and that person was real. So we scrapped the made-up character idea and traded it for anonymity of the person behind the sketch. That lasted about two years until we decided enough was enough, and the veil was pulled back."
She revealed her true identity as ‘DKNY PR GIRL,’ in October 2011 in a YouTube video.
"Through the DKNY PR GIRL persona, I infuse myself into Twitter, dknyprgirl.com and Pinterest," said Ms. Licht. "Our other platforms like Facebook (Donna Karan & DKNY pages), Tumblr (Notes On A City & Donna’s Journal) and Instagram (donnakarandkny) are amazing, but maintain the respective brand."
She added that Donna Karen’s management understood from day one that Twitter was another way to engage customers. She added, "They also showed a lot of foresight because they knew it would only work if I could be real, unedited and write what I know … and a lot of what I know is the world of Donna Karan."
How much of a hiring investment should most brands make in the role of managing their social media voice? What lessons does Donna Karan offer around managing Twitter personas?