In a departure from last year's outreach, the company parted ways with old media - its former partner Marie Claire - and hooked up with MSN.com's lifestyle Web site for a cross-promotion of "Be Discovered."
Both MSN.com and Glam.com are hosting co-branded landing pages that allow tech-savvy fashionistas to not only keep updated on the competition, but also judge profiles, view dress trends, and watch in-depth interviews with designers.
"We were looking for a good partner and felt excited about reaching a greater audience from the Web," said Glam PR director Caroline Hacker. "The finalists last year and the quality and number of entries impressed us."
This year's contest focuses on dress design, as opposed to last year's handbag-design contest, but rules and guidelines are the same. During January, designers will submit original sketches of dresses to a panel of fashion experts. Following the deadline, Glam and its experts will pick four groups of eight semi-finalists to feature in a weekly slide show throughout February. Glam and MSN readers will then be able to vote on their favorite frocks.
Judges will ultimately pick eight finalists who have three weeks to make the dress and vie for the final prize: an apprenticeship for a day at prominent design firm ADAM and a $500 Lord & Taylor gift certificate. Hacker said online outreach will create a broader network of designers.
"We just really want to reach aspiring designers on the Web and give them a place and a community to do something like this," Hacker said.
Last year, the "Design a Handbag" contest drew 50,000 voters. Glam Media is relying solely on MSN and its network of 400 fashion/lifestyle sites for this year's contest promotion.
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