Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Ladies Who Brunch Business Conference at the glamour Le Fais Do-Do venue in Atlanta, GA. It was a 2 day conference (February 5th-7th), geared towards both aspiring and current female entrepreneurs looking to gain insight into building their brands, having business balance, connecting with others and more.
The first day of the conference consisted of workshops taught by Bianca Rush of Sassy Mitchell Hair,Nicole Garner of The Garner Circle and Dayy Jones of Bella Bar Tees. There were also Fireside Chat sessions which motivated and inspired attendees to take fast action on their dreams, revamp their current business structures and more.
In the evening, there was an amazing dinner followed by an intimate chat with keynote speaker and Founder of CurlBox, Myleik Teele. Myleik gave business gems. “A lot of times when you are here networking, you just have to be in the room, it’s not always about giving something to someone when you first meet them.” She also advised guests to use social media as a tool to be a platform, rather than gaining popularity or likes.
On Sunday, their signature brunch was held. Panelists included Jasmine Lawrence of Eden Body Works; Toya Wright, New York Times best-selling writer (Priceless Inspirations) and Garb Boutique owner;Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily; Ming Lee of Snob Life Studio; and Miss Diddy, The Brand Group LA. The panel was hosted by Ariane Davis of “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.”
Many women traveled from near and far; some flew in by way of NYC and others drove from Mississippi. They all were touched and inspired by the awesome experience. Bonds were created and lives were ultimately changed through the advice given to them.
The conference was sponsored by Black Girls Run!, Nissan Next, Bank of America, Mielle Organics, Sweet Bitch Wines, Myx Moscato, Eden Bodyworks and The Garner Circle. The conference was an amazing success! You definitely don’t want to miss the next one! For more information on the Ladies of Business Conference, check out www.ladieswhobrunchatl.com.
It's almost that time of the year that EVERY Fashion Guru Lives for: #NYFW! Every Fashion Publicist, Stylist and Designer runs around like a chicken with it's head cut off, stressing over last minute RSVPs and proper seating charts. Now, although I have represented fashion designers and stylists in the past handling their media relations needs, I didn't get the privilege of attending New York Fashion Week until February 2015. The experience was beyond memorable! Here are my 3 tips for navigating through NYC during Fashion Week
1. Be Intentional!- I didn't have a client attending any of the Fashion Week shows. I was headed to NYC for 2 reasons: It was my first time EVER in the Big Apple and I wanted to connect with some of my favorite editors that have been supporting PR Mentality and the various accounts that I service. It allowed me a little bit of room to breathe with no pressure of client expectations, demands and the hustle and bustle. Now, if you do have clients attending shows and various events, you definitely need to be attentive to their needs, ensure everything is together in regards to their wardrobe, itinerary, etc
2. Set Up A Deskside With Your Editor BFF - As I said, my intention was to connect with various editors. So I called ahead and sent emails to schedule a time that worked for me to go in the office. Desksides are a great way for you to get face to face interaction with your favorite editors, continue to build a rapport, and let them know about your clients endeavors in case they have a new story or piece that they are working on pertaining to that industry. Lucky for me, I was able to set up a nice meet and greet with one of my fave's Marianne Mychaskiw, Assistant Beauty Editor of Instyle.com
3, On Event Day, You Must Slay- Now just because I didn't HAVE to attend any events doesn't mean I was going to miss out on all the fun! I mean what PR girl would! So of course I attended the Tech Style event with my PR sisters Priya Williams,(www.prettimonee.com) and Keshia Jones of Brace'. Now, with NYC being one of the world's greatest fashion capital's, you must show up and show out! Black is the new Black and my all Black apparel worked rather nice for the weather and photo opps.
Now, disclaimer about the weather LOL! This Midwest girl turned Southern Belle by way of ATL was NOT prepared for that NYC Cold at all!! And I vowed to never return to NYC in the winter again!
4. It's All About The Press- What kind of publicist would I be if I didn't book press for Fashion Week! Remember, I said I didn't have clients to ATTEND Fashion Week, I never said I didn't have clients working during Fashion Week LOL. My CBS This Morning segment for the beautiful Madisin Rian, model extraordinaire aired during the first few days of Fashion Week. As a publicist, you absolutely need to book press while you're at NYC Fashion Week or any fashion week/ major event for that matter. It's all about the contacts, contracts and memories you create! Remember, PR Girls Do It Better!
As you guys may or may not know I had the awesome pleasure of being a virtual panelist on Candice Nicole PR's PoweR Connection #PeriTalk. It was super excited and I wanted to share the amazing experience with my readers as well!!! As a publicist, I encounter aspiring rappers, business owners, etc who want to take their brand to the next level but don't quite understand the process and TRUST ME! It is a process! So without further adieu, here are my 4 Tips On "How To Work With A Publicist"!
1. Know What You Want- Be specific about what you want a publicist to do for you and your business. Do you research. Know the various services that publicists provide and how they can take you to the next level. Figure out what you need and how it fits into your overall marketing goals.
2. Have A Budget- Before contacting a publicist, you must have a budget! That's why you have to do your homework and figure out how much PR services costs. Typically for full service PR campaigns, you will be required to pay a monthly retainer between $2,500-5,000 per month. Most publicists require the retainer for the first and last month to be paid upfront.
3. Be Prepared- Once you decide on your agency/firm of choice, be sure to have your timelines for your product/service in order. Your website/rebranding phases should be complete, make sure that everything works as it should. Don't try to do test runs in the midst of your PR campaign. If you are in a product based business, make sure you have inventory set aside for media/bloggers as they will want samples to review,etc
4. Be available- Your publicist will need to be in constant communication with you especially when setting up interviews, planning launches,etc. Make yourself available for meetings and stick with them!
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!
I absolutely love supporting my fellow entrepreneurs so of course I had to grab a Fun Fly and Fabulous Box from amazing celebrity publicist, entrepreneur and friend Arian Simone, (You can grab yours at http://www.funflyfabulous.com/)
This box is super awesome and I wanted to share some tips about how to market your Lifestyle/Beauty Brand for those of you who are just getting started.
1.) Packaging is EVERYTHING!- The Fun Fly and Fabulous Box is made from the same material as the iPhone box. You want to make sure that your package is a proper representation of your brand. If you have a luxury product, your packaging needs to reflect that. Remember, that your consumer doesn't just want to buy from you, but they want an experience WITH you!
2.) Collaborations Are Key- For the October launch and theme of the Fun Fly Fabulous Box, the company partnered with Fox's hit show, "Empire" and even had a few giveaways sponsored by Fox as well! Collaborations are always a great way to increase your brand's visibility and awareness. You should partner with another brand who embodies the same core values and characteristics of your product/company.
3.) All About The Influence- As stated above, when you are collaborating with various brands, you must make sure that you are in alignment with their values and that their audience is a fit for you. Because of the Empire Theme and featuring products such as Tidal, Design Essentials, etc, the Fun Fly Fabulous lifestyle brand was able to tap into a larger following via social media which assisted in converting to sales, brand awareness, exposure and more!
Hope this helps!!! For more info about branding, marketing and PR services, email firstname.lastname@example.org