Public Relations at its Finest: DKNY

Donna Karan’s SVP of Global Communications, Aliza Licht, has transformed DKNY’s marketing efforts with her implementation of social media. Not only has she elevated Donna Karan’s rank in L2‘s, “The Digital IQ Index: Fashion Study,” but has also set the bar extremely high for other competitive fashion brands to follow. Her name may not be recognizable in the social media world, because this public relations genius is more famously known as her Twitter & Tumblr persona, DKNY PR GIRL.

By having a PR representative openly control all social media platforms, DKNY adopted the Cluetrain Manifesto’s principles and established a transparent, consistent social media strategy to connect with audiences. By providing interesting and relatable material surrounding the Donna Karan brand, The DKNY PR GIRL campaign is personable, hilarious and strategic.

Aliza Licht began the DKNY PR GIRL campaign April 3, 2009, when she created the @DKNY Twitter account and expanded the campaign with the creation of the DKNY Tumblr blog two months later. Most recently, she began participating on Pinterest with a DKNY account. DKNY already had a YouTube, mobile application and Facebook platform, but Licht began promoting them through her DKNY PR GIRL outlets. DKNY then released a YouTube video on the DKNY PR GIRL Tumblr in Oct. 2011 to reveal Licht’s “true identity.”


Alicia Licht does a fabulous job handling the DKNY PR GIRL campaign, as well as control all of DKNY’s social media outlets. She has emphasized DKNY’s desire for one-on-one interaction between brand and consumers by punctually replying to many tweets while discussing topics not necessarily about the brand, but relevant to the DKNY target audience. She connects to the audience through social media, which has won DKNY awards, including, “Best Twitter,” “Best Blog,” and “Top Innovator” at the Fashion 2.0 Awards. Donna Karan also increased their digital marketing platform by 43% during the past year by revamping their website and implementing this campaign.

One of the most notable DKNY products is the DKNY cozy, in most part to an award winning iPhone App and an event where bloggers were challenged to create novel looks using the diversified sweater in the “Cozy Style-Off”. The looks were published on the DKNY Facebook page, where fans & bloggers could vote for their favorite look. More recently, the DKNY PR GIRL took this idea and joined forces with bloggers to capture their Cozy creations. Using Instagram and the Pose mobile application, the photos were shared on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter with the #DKNYCozyLV hashtag.

Other public relations practitioners should acknowledge and use Licht’s efforts as a guideline of how to increase brand awareness through social media. The DKNY PR GIRL campaign is a great example of innovative and personable public relations in the fashion industry, and can be applied to any company wanting to connect with its target audience.

*photos courtesy of DKNY PR GIRL’s Tumblr

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