PR

THE DESKSIDE SERIES: MEAGAN WARD

Meagan Ward is an entrepreneur on the rise, taking the marketing and branding industries by storm. The CEO of Creatively Flawless and the Founder of Powerful Women, Meagan is the epitome of what every entrepreneur should be: Innovative. Driven. Kind and Passionate. I had the privilege of chatting with her for our Deskside series this week. Check it out!

What inspired your journey to entrepreneurship?

My family. My mother and grandfather were entrepreneurial driven. They named their investment company after me. I thought it was cool. It inspired me to use my gifts and what I was good at to create my own business.

How do you deal with the stress and high demands of owning a business?

Balance is very important  for me. I've learned to meditate, remove myself from the world, focus on my thoughts. It's important to have a positive atmosphere from support system to clients. We have to have a great energy. I'm pretty selective as far as who I work with and why I work with them.

What were some of your biggest obstacles and how did you overcome?

Not getting a raise from my corporate job sparked something in me. It showed me I had the power to decide.  Once I made my decision, things in my life changed for the better. I took a risk, but I wasn't content knowing that someone had that much control over my self worth. It's all about pursuing purpose. Leaving my job served people, it inspired them to fulfill their purpose also.

What new projects do you have coming up? 

In addition to Creatively Flawless, I created The Powerful Women Networking Group. Our 2016 conference and we are excited. Women from all backgrounds will be attending our 2 day weekend event. They will be able to listen speakers, do lunch, and brunch together.  I created  the Powerful Women  because I feel like sometimes society puts negative stereotypes of women working together in business. I believe we have the ability to work together to achieve our goals. I've met some of my closets friends to date at the conference so I'm really looking forward to it

What would you say to your 20 year old self?

Stop thinking about age and what everyone else is doing. I could have started my business at 19-20 years old but I was too busy prioritizing my social life . I would tell myself to go for it! So often a path has been created for us; we don't have to take it! It's very doable to create your own path.

Where do you see yourself 3-5 years from now?

Being a mom. It is important to me and my husband. Being a mom exudes womanhood to me. I also want to be a serial entrepreneur. I have a lot of ideas so why not start them and have people run them? I also want to have global brands in Asia and South America. I definitely think that there is a demand there for getting women involved

 

I've Graduated With My PR Degree, Now What?

A Throwback circa 2012 jsu mass comm day, lindsey was awarded the highest gpa in the department at the jackson state university! This post was written by Lindsey A. Walker and originally posted on PRCouture.com on January 18, 2016

A Throwback circa 2012 jsu mass comm day, lindsey was awarded the highest gpa in the department at the jackson state university! This post was written by Lindsey A. Walker and originally posted on PRCouture.com on January 18, 2016

Congratulations, you did it! Graduation has come and gone. You’ve celebrated (maybe a little too much) with your family and friends, and you've been applying for PR jobs every since. However, despite sending your resume out religiously and even landing a few interviews (that quite honestly you thought you nailed), you've have yet to get a job offer. So frustrating.

So, what’s an aspiring PR professional to do?

Well, you could cry and get depressed about life and tailspin into self-doubt and anxiety about whether or not a career in PR is even in the cards for you. But because you were likely attracted to public relations as a career because it requires hard work, a thick skin and creative problem solving, you know it is not in you to give up on your dream so quickly.

Here is what you do: carve out an afternoon of solitude and take yourself on a little career planning retreat. Grab a notebook or open up your laptop and brainstorm how you can reclaim inspiration and gain a clear direction on what you can do, right now, to change your story from bing-watching Netflix to gainfully employed.

Know this: You create your own opportunities

If might not feel like it right now, but you are in a very exciting time in your life where the future has yet to be written.  

So rather that waiting for job listing to appear, make an ideal company list and prepare to proactively reach out to at least twenty PR agencies and brands in your area of interest.  

Getting the job often comes down to being both a cultural fit for where you are applying, as well as having a specific set of skills that interplays well with those of the existing team. Your next task is to take what you know of each company and figure out what exactly about your experience is likely to be most helpful and most interesting to them. Secondly, really hone in on what it is about that company culture, history or product that calls out to your personally. Choose several skills and experiences for each of the companies on your ideal company list and write notes or bullet points as part of your research in a "why me" section. You'll use these notes later when crafting a letter of introduction (make sure to avoid these common cover letter mistakes).

Getting the job often comes down to being both a cultural fit for where you are applying, as well as having a specific set of skills that interplays well with those of the existing team.

Before reaching out to your company contact, ensure that your digital presence, including LinkedIn, social media accounts and Google search results are consistent, professional and up-to-date. Examine your resume and portfolio and give them a refresh (have a trusted friend give them a look and point out anything that is confusing, inconsistent or designed poorly).

Now it's time to ensure you are following each company through social media, and begin engaging with them where appropriate. Then, write a compelling pitch letter addressed by name to an ideal company contact (to make this easier, check out PR Couture's templates for job seekers).

You may choose to simply ask if there are any open positions, to ask for an informational interview, or to simply write a company love letter with a short PS about your career aspirations. Point is, you are taking ownership of your career direction and putting out feelers to get you closer to the job you want.

PS: Join PR Couture for Fashion PR Confidential  March 19-20 in NYC. Former attendees have gone on to land positions at Harper's Bazaar, Alice & Olivia and People's Revolution.

- See more at: http://www.prcouture.com/2016/01/24556/#sthash.JnHzYAdl.dpuf

3 Entrepreneurs I Am Grateful For

It's that time of the year where we are all reflecting on the past 11 months, figuring out what is working in our lives and businesses, exuding with a spirit of gratefulness. Personally I am very proud of what I have accomplished this year: launched my very FIRST Live course, Know Your Purpose, Know Your Brand (Details coming soon on the next cohort), traveled to new cities,   enjoyed NYC Fashion Week, served tons of clients helping them to get their brand visible, spoke at various conferences, etc. As I prepare for 2016, I must admit (as most of you should) that I've had help along the way. Not just my friends and personal mentors, but there are 5 entrepreneurs (my Business BFFs/Mentors in my head) that I am grateful for. These awesome women  in someway shape or form have inspired me, shifted my mindset and more. 

    

 

 

Tiphani Montgomery is amazing!! This 7 times best selling author and book marketing consultant keeps me motivated in my business and my life by reminding me to keep God first in all things, speak life into my business and to be authentically me!

Maya Elious is truly an inspiration! Being a  millennial (like myself), she is a former web designer turned personal branding strategist. Her go getter attitude and intimate approach keep me on point with my brand and business.

Marshawn Daniels- Her recent Periscope on Being Broke To Building A 7 Figure Business changed my life!! She is a vessel, merging God and business into her coaching platform. I am truly grateful for her insight and application of Biblical principles as an entrepreneur.

I am super excited about my life and business and if you don't follow these awesome ladies, google them and do it NOW! I am grateful for all of my clients, supporters, friends and loved one who continuously pour into my life and journey in entrepreneurship. I have such great things in store so stay tuned!

 

THE DESKSIDE SERIES: I'SHA GAINES, EDITOR/CEO OF HONEY BE NATURAL MAGAZINE

We at PR Mentality,LLC LOVE Honey Be Natural Magazine! They are an awesome publication for natural hair and beauty lovers around the world! So I had to catch up with CEO and Editor I'sha Gaines! Not only is she an editor and founder of a magazine, but she is also a photographer and creative director of CreateHerStock.com, a stock image site for women and creatives of color. Check out her interview below!

What inspired you to start Honey Be Natural Magazine?

When I first went natural, I had a hard time shuffling through blogs for information. I wanted to create a hub where information and features could be filtered through so I started HoneyBeNatural Magazine. 

 As a photographer, editor and creative director, you wear a lot of hats! How do you find the time to manage everything?

I honestly alternate weeks that I work on projects. I try and dedicate a week to each "Hat."

3.) Describe a typical work day.

I teach at Duncanville High School during the day as a commercial photography teacher. After work depending on the day I'm either prepping for an afternoon photoshoot or I take a nap. YES A NAP! From 4 to 8p.m. on most days I shut it down. I do this because I get up and work through the night on the magazines or editing photos. Alternating weeks for each of my business has worked for the most part. I use lunch breaks, afternoon times and late nights for posting on social media. 

What types of story ideas do you love to receive?

Stories about business owners! Especially if it's kids!

What do you want publicists to know about working with you?

That I have new ideas daily that need to be cultivated. 

 

What's next for I'sha Gaines and Honey Be Magazine?

HoneyBeNatural: Turning the magazine into something more memorable for 2016. It'll be a surprise(:

Createherstock: CreateHerStock we are soon going to have photo packs that subscribers can download at a low cost! 

IshaGainesPhoto: Is about to be heavily involved in HoneyBeNatural photoshoots. Call it crazy, but the photography vision for IshaGainesPhoto is changing dramatically.

Words of Wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs in the creative and literary industries?

Create Daily, Take Risks.... Don't wait too long to implement your ideas! 

 

The Power of PR: The Infamous Patti Labelle Pies

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I'm sure by now you know that #PattiePies are trending on social media EVERYWHERE! It all started when James Wright Chanel posted a video review of the pie on FB that has everybody talking.  James took one bite of the pie and started singing like Pattie Labelle. He sang lines from some of her hits including "On My Own," "If You Only Knew," "Isn't It A Shame," "When You've Been Blessed," & "Lady Marmalade,"

His video created such a demand for the pies that they are sold out at most Walmart (including mine which I am NOT happy about LOL).  If you know me, you know I love tying EVERYTHING into a PR or Branding lesson! So without further adieu, here are 2 things we can learn about the POWER OF PR AND THE PATTI LABELLE PIES

1. INFLUENCER RELATIONS MUST BE ORGANIC- James Wright Chanel's video was able to go viral  really quickly not only because it was HILARIOUS but mainly because he already has a buzzing platform, known for his wit and comedy of about 11,200 subscribers. Patti Labelle did not pay him for an endorsement, he simply bought the pie and did a review. People were drawn to it because it was authentic and super entertaining. When you have a product and want someone to do a review, they have to genuinely LOVE your product. People respond to authenticity and the true message behind your brand.

2. YOU MUST HAVE BRAND CONSISTENCY- The number 1 key to being successful in selling your product and/or service is brand consistency. People have to become familiar with who you are and what you stand for as either an individual or a company. Patti Labelle is an R & B legend who has had a successful career in the music industry. She is also known for her amazing cooking so people trust her in that arena. James Wright Chanel is known in the social media arena as well. Show people who you are and why you do what you do. Be consistent in your content, social media posts and overall message

Moral of this story? Continue to build your brand and go pick up a Patti Labelle Pie! Sold exclusively at Walmart! (As soon as I get mine, I will do another blog!)

THE DESKSIDE SERIES: STEPHANIA LAGUER, CREATOR OF BOU'JAE VODKA

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I was so excited to be able to chat with Stephania Laguer, creator of Bou'Jae Vodka. Now, this is not your ordinary vodka. What makes Bou'Jae so unique you ask? It is the ONLY organic Ultra Premium Vodka in the U.S that is GMO free. Stephania came up with this awesome concept to fit her gluten- free lifestyle. Check out her interview below.

 

What inspired you to create your own Vodka line? My friends, they will miss a meal so they would have room to intake calories at night when we went out. I though it was the stupidest thing and wondered why there wasnt a healthy vodka out that would allow you to drink and not have to worry about calories or the aftermath. 


How do you feel as an African American woman in the organic spirits industry?
I feel intimated at times, but im not a quiter. Im constantly trying to educate my self on the Industry and the people in it. This industry is filled with men so me being a women and african american at that could go eithier way. 

 What separates Bou'Jae from its competitors? 
Bou'Jae is a lifestyle. In my opinion is the most healthiest vodka to date. Its gluten free, non gmo and allergen free. Over 100 people have tested it and non have had sideaffects or hangovers. 

 Who is your ideal consumer for Bou'Jae?
We would target the gym rats, organic/ natural people aswell as people with health issues. Its alot of people who cant drink certain brands because of the ingredients in it.

 Where do you see yourself and Bou'Jae in the next 5 years? I see Bou'Jae being a top spirit in the industry with several awards. I see Bou'Jae being a Distribution/manufacture as well. I want to help distributeother peoples brands as well. Bou'Jae will be a movement

RULE #1 Don't Come For Nicki Minaj: Bloggers and The 20/80 Rule

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Happy Monday Everyone!!! I had an amazing Halloween and I hope you did too!!!  Over the weekend, many celebs broke the Internet with their  outrageous costumes,  one in particular-Nicki Minaj. I was scrolling on Twitter Sunday afternoon  when I saw her reply to a tweet from blogger Perez Hilton. Hilton posted about a video where Nicki  on first glance appears to be making fun of a girl in a wheelchair. Nicki responded immediately letting him know that it was not a handicapped person, but her friend/MUA in character. 

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A few moments after, I saw a tweet from the popular blog MadameNoire.com. They wrote an article regarding Nicki and her behavior over the weekend.  Being a publicist, I know that this is an example of the 20/80 rule; 20% of the media dictates what the remaining 80% will report. With Nicki being a celebrity, of course the story is going to go viral within 1-2 minutes. Bloggers work around the clock to make sure that they have the most recent relevant information out there so that their readership increases and remains prominent. 

While on a personal side, I live for entertaining "tea" on my favorite celebrities (and I LOOVE NICKI), the professional side of me screams for the truth to prevail in terms of a media relations perspective. The most amazing thing about this to me, is that Nicki herself took to social media to address the issue and call out those that were incorrect. From a PR standpoint, I cringe because I expect my clients to allow me to handle certain situations, however, from a consumer standpoint, I am rooting Nicki on for taking a stand against the media, who seems to now have a brewing obsession with questioning her character. 

PR Lesson Of The Day: Bloggers Beware of Possible Backlash/Clapback When You Don't Have All The Facts!