Krystle Coleman: Entertainment PR Pro

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Krystle Coleman is not your average 26-year-old.  A graduate of Florida Memorial University, she has found her calling and works dilligently to make her dreams a reality. Krystle is the owner of Midori Star Media, a boutique PR firm specializing in entertainment and sports. She has worked with Trina, Plies and many more. Krystle graduated from Florida Memorial in 2007 and launched her firm in 2009. While in school she interned with Def Jam Records as well as The Pub Report magazine. She started out as a  journalism major and got the opportunity to interview stars such as Lloyd and T.I while interning at Vibe Magazine.  She then developed a love for PR.

How did you land your first job?
My first job was with Slip-n-Slide Records. After interning with them throughout college, they hired me as the Director of PR.

What inspired you to open a boutique firm?
At the time I was living in Atlanta and working at a Internet PR firm. I didn’t want to work in corporate, so I quit. There are a lot of African American women in Atlanta who are successful with their own PR firms. I had connections through relationships I built while interning. I just stepped out on faith.

What are some advantages to working in a boutique firm?
Smaller settings. You can focus on one thing and have less accounts. You’re able to provide clients with more one-on-one attention.

What are common misconceptions of being an entertainment publicist?
People think its all about partying and sleeping around with clients. Its not about a glamorous life. It involves hard work.

What advice would you give to aspiring entertainment publicists?
Honestly ask yourself why you want to be in the business? What are you going to gain from it? Study masterheads consistently and research other publicists.

Why are internships so important in this industry?
Internships give you experience and exposure. You’re able to get hands on attention and improve your craft. I have been in this business for four years and I still attend workshops and research other professionals.

What inspired you to become an entertainment publicist?
I started out as a journalist. I knew I loved to write and I was good at it. Interning at magazines gave me the opportunity to interview artists. I became intrigued with PR. I wanted to know who emailed me to set up the interviews and what they did.

Describe a typical work day.
I wake up to tons of emails from both clients and media. I respond to those and read blogs to see if any of my clients are mentioned. I have conference calls, follow up and pitch. Basically a lot of communicating and meetings.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
It is very demanding and there is a lot of pressure. Clients want results quicker than you can deliver them sometimes. PR is not about instant gratification, it takes time.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
For me, it’s a good feeling to see my clients in the media and getting exposure.

Contact Krystle via Twitter @KrystleColeman

Media Relationships: The Do’s and Don’ts for Interacting with Reporters/Editors

Media relationships are very important in public relations. Building and maintaining relationships with reporters are essential for the success of your client. But is there a proper way for reaching out to reporters and editors? Yes.

In the last post, we discussed how to pitch. Pitching is a way for PR pros to gain exposure and publicity for their clients. You have to know how to approach a reporter and editor as well as how to maintain a relationship. Many PR practitioners take the liberty of sending small gifts or tokens of appreciation to reporters and editors because they believe it will give them an advantage. WRONG!

As media professionals, reporters are inclined to tell the truth and deliver fact. That’s it. You don’t have to try and bribe them to get media coverage for a client. Be honest and upfront about what you want them to do.

Public relations practitioners and reporters/editors are dependent on one another. PR pros need reporters as a channel to help spread the message about their clients. And without PR pros, reporters would not have news to give to the people.

It is important that you as a PR pro learn how to interact with reporters and editors. Find out who you need to get in touch with and contact that person. Introduce yourself and set up a lunch meeting. You may also want to put together a press release of the information you want to distribute. Provide them with pictures and make sure that you give them the information in a timely manner. Also, be familiar with past features that particular reporter has covered. It never hurts to do your homework.

In addition to reaching out to a reporter on your own, it may be helpful to attend local press clubs meetings. This way, you can introduce yourself as a public relations professional and expand your network. In this business it is all about WHO you know.

It is also important to know how the news works. Be informed, know what’s going on in the world and in your particular industry (fashion,entertainment, corporate).  Once you have established a relationship with reporters/editors, remain professional at all times. If they contact you, be sure to answer within a reasonable time frame. Three days later is NOT acceptable! Remember, they have deadlines to meet as well.

Lastly, do not beg for favors or special privileges! And do not ask them to remove unfavorable publicity! Reporters/Editors and PR pros are known to have a love/hate relationship.  Break the cycle!

The Pitch: Make it as Easy as 1,2,3

For PR interns and newbies, pitching can be extremely terrifying and difficult. When I had to send my first pitch to fashion bloggers for a client, it did not go well at all. My first mistake was that I sent it to ALL of them at the same time, within the same email! Definitely not a good look as a publicist or PR practitioner. My second mistake was that I irritated and annoyed a few of the bloggers, (unintentionally of course), by sending them the pitch again. I waited two weeks and when I didn’t hear from them, I would send the pitch again.

Here is where it gets tricky, if you are a blogger and you do not respond to a pitch right away, as a PR person, I am going to send the email again, because I assume that since you did not respond, you did not receive the email.

Until a few days ago, it hadn’t dawned on me that as a college student, I pitch to employers all the time. Think about it. When you’re looking for a job, you often build a profile online, that includes your resume’ and cover letter. You also email employers about possible job openings and current positions.

Sending the email telling employers about you and why you are qualified for the position is the SAME as sending a pitch about your client to a blogger or other media outlets.

Now that it is clear, here are a few tips to help you write and send the pitch in order to gain media coverage for your client:

1.) RESEARCH!- Research is always the most important aspect of PR. And when deciding on who to send your pitch to, it is critical. If your client is a fashion designer, it may not be a good idea to pitch to a sports editor. Find out who the fashion editor is of well-known fashion mags, located the top fashion bloggers and start there.

2.) Make a MEDIA LIST- Media Lists are very useful, especially when pitching. Make a separate list for bloggers, editors, reporters, etc. Also in addition to including basic info ( company, contact name, URL, Twitter handle), be sure to include the dates that you pitched to each person so that you don’t overwhelm or annoy them

3.) Make sure client is NEWSWORTHY- As a publicist/PR practitioner, it is your job to ensure that your client receives media placements and coverage.  When writing a pitch, be sure that you include newsworthy information. If your client has won an award, include it. If your client is hosting an event that would assist editors or bloggers, include it. It is imearative that bloggers, editors, etc understand why they should cover the story and how it can benefit them.

Pitching is only as hard as you make it. It doesn’t have to be a drag or something you simply hate to do. Hopefully these tips make it a little easier for you!

Love,

PR Girl

Strategic Management: A Key Component to PR Part 1 (Lynn’s Example )

I have two more months until graduation! I am both excited and nervous at the same time! There is so much to be done…I have to make sure that I maintain my GPA and take the GRE, (which I am so not looking forward to). As I think about life in regards to my profession, I realize that what I have learned in the classroom is applicable to life.

One of the key components to public relations is strategic management and building relationships. As a public relations practitioner, my job will be to solve a problem that a business or individual may be having. These problems range from, not getting enough exposure, lack of market share or profit,etc. When developing marketing plans, it can get a little complicated if you don’t have the right mindset. It may seem hectic and overwhelming, but it CAN be done. Sometimes our perspectives just need to change.

As people, we have to solve problems on a regular basis, whether big or small. We apply strategic management and planning terminology to our lives constantly without even knowing it.  Let me give you an example of what I mean. As a college student, my goal is to become a successful publicist. In order to achieve this goal, I must have an objective. My objective is to have a master’s degree in Media Communications. Now that I know my objective, I have to come up with a strategy and tactics for accomplishing my objective.

My strategy is to ensure that I am able to meet the requirements of getting into graduate school to further my education, so that I can land a job at a  prestigious firm,etc. There are several tactics that go along with this strategy including studying and completing assignments to maintain a high GPA, applying to graduate school, receiving letters of recommendation from professors and other references, studying for the GRE,etc. You get the point.

The same type of thinking applies when creating a strategy as a part of a PR campaign for your client. First, identify the problem. Second, think of ways you can solve the problem in the best way. Third, break everything do to the smallest detail (goal, objective, strategy, tactic). Finally, plan accordingly and execute!

I hope this has helped! I will go into this topic a little more on the next blog post! Love you guys! Stay productive and positive.

Love always,

PR Girl

Paying Tribute: Moss Kendrix and the African American Market

Moss Kendrix was an innovative public relations practitioner and a vocie for the African American community. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, he  graduated from Morehouse College  and  was member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  In 1944, he founded a PR firm, The Moss Kendrix Organization.

At a time when  major companies such as Coca-Cola  did not understand the importance of African Americans as a target market, Kendrix recognized the issue. To help Coca-Cola capitalize on this venture, he wrote a proposal and pitched it to executives. Because of this, he was hired by Coca-Cola on a retainer basis and became the first African American to obtain a major corporate account.

While working for Coca Cola,  he had the opportunity to work with celebrities and entertainers.  He dealt with product promotions as well as designing the promotional ads.

Because of his efforts, companies today have a diverse market and are open to targeting minorities using various tactics and advertising strategies.

 

Real Publicists vs. Fake Publicists

I attended the Women In PR  Summit in Miami November 4, 2011. It was truly a great experience and I learned a lot from the panelists and my fellow public relations practitioners. In the conference, the panel discussed the difference between a real publicist versus a fake publicist. Here are a few common misconceptions.

1.) Real Publicists take photos with their clients during events- NO! It is the job of a publicist to ensure that the client is being represented in a positive light at ALL times. Events are  not a photo-opp for the publicist. Never take a picture with your client in a club setting, especially with a drink in your hand.

2.) Real Publicists attend parties with clients- NO! As a publicist, you may RSVP to a party on BEHALF of your client, but you do NOT attend a party with them, unless it is an opportunity for media coverage. Even so, it is your job to monitor your clients actions and make sure that they know the party is for branding purposes, not leisure. Stay behind the scenes.

3.) Real Publicists just send out emails, press releases and press kits NO! Publicists do more than press the send button on emails. It is your duty to WRITE PR materials, including, but not limited to backgrounders, fact sheets, media kits, press releases, event announcements, etc. It is also the job of a publicist to creating and maintain relationships with the media. Create a plan for your client to gain more exposure and publicity.

People think that the job of a publicist is all glitter and gold. Like any job, it has its perks, however, the work is hard and very time-consuming. It is more than just writing a pitch or press release. You have to have a strategy and then execute that strategy. Clients trust you with their career. Be confident, reliable and trustworthy. Most importantly, be professional!

Media Lists: How To Use Them Effectively

 

 

 

 

 

For public relations interns and professionals, media lists are an essential tool for making and maintaining relationships with the media. Before you can pitch to a potential client or media outlet for coverage, you must first compile a list. Using an Excel spreadsheet is the best way to keep your list organized.

Public relations professionals can afford to purchase a list from various sites, such as easymedialists.com. But, for interns and those who are PR newbies may find themselves researching the information first and then putting the list together.

Putting a list together is not as easy as it may seem. The first column should include the name, followed by the URL, contact name, email, Twitter handle and telephone number. Once you have named each column, you can begin your research.

There are free sites that give information regarding newspapers, radio and television outlets. One is called usnpl.com, it is a great site to look up top newspapers, news stations, radio, etc. From there, you can access the site and find what you need.

Once you complete your list, you can now use it to pitch to potential clients and/or media outlets on behalf of your clients. It is also best to include a column with the dates you have pitched.

Lastly, some PR people are hesitant to SHARE their lists. In this business it is all about networking and a part of that means helping people when they come to you. It’s just a list, perhaps they are on a tight schedule and don’t have time to compile a list in an hour, or may be they are just starting out and need an example. Either way, sharing is caring!

PR Love Always,

Lynn

Matthew Goodman: A True Southern Gentleman

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Matthew D. Goodman is making quite a name for himself in the entertainment industry. He has been on reality shows such as BET’s “College Hill: Atlanta and he recently starred on Oxgen’s “Love Games”, Season 3. In addition to acting, Matthew is working on his music career. 
Checkout my interview with him below:

How old were you when you decided that you wanted to be in the entertainment industry and what inspired you?
I was around 3 or 4. My mother sings and I always looked up to her and the older kids in church who would sing and dance. That as well as my belief in God, my passion and my drive inspired me.

How has being on reality shows changed your life?
I’m still the same person, but looking back I can see growth. The exposure is good and people recognize me. I want people to know my story and know who I am. Being able to connect with an audience matters most to me. It makes me smile when people are genuinely interested.

What was it like being on the cast of Love Games and living in a house full of men?
It was different coming from College Hill Atlanta, where there were just as many females. I wasn’t,worried about anyone else. It made relationships stronger because of the competition. I enjoyed myself and got to meet great people. I wish them much success.

What do you think your greatest accomplishment is so far?
I’m still evolving. I would say my independent film where I played the role of a main character Jamal. It sparked my interest into acting and getting on Stomp the Yard. I learned alot and tapped into a lot of emotions.

What makes you a southern gentleman?
How I carry myself. My father was very hands on with me and I learned from him. I have made mistakes but I strive to be respectful. I want to represent my family in the best light, how I act reflects them.

Are you single or taken by a certain Bad Girl?
I’m single. I have friends. I still talk to Judi, Kori and Sydney. I’m just getting to know people.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Continuing my career in entertainment. I’m working on my music right now. It focuses on vocalizing my story. I want to have an album, be on television in front and behind the camera. I also want to lend a helping hand in the process.

What advice would you give to those looking to break into the televsion and entertainment industry?
Have a backup plan. Set goals and do what you can to help yourself. Go to school. Education can guide you more into deciding what you want to do. You can always improve.

Why is it important for you to give back to the community?
Someone had to do the same thing for me. It’s only right that I give back. People helped me and I have to help others in return.

What impact do you want to make on the world?
A positive one. I want people to understand everything is attainable. Everyday I wake up, I’m working harder than yesterday. There is nothing to hard or to impossible to accomplish.

PR Chat with Dee Dee Cocheta

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Dee Dee Cocheta is the owner of  A.B.C. Publicity – The branding Group – a PR & Marketing Firm specializing in assisting small businesses and non-profits to grow along with marketing the lifestyle of music, fashion and film. Dee Dee has consulted and coordinated publicity efforts for music events, conducted media training and developed marketing and PR strategies for hundreds of independent artists in addition to: Chaka Khan, KRS One, Killer Mike, Tony Terry, DJ Benny D, music producer Isaac “Ike Dirty” Hayes, III, Rudy Currence, Cherish & Arrested Development. She is well respected for her work ethic and positive spirit. Checkout my interview with her below:

How long have you been in the public relations industry?

I started out in radio doing Marketing and Promotions. By 1999, I created a marketing firm and within two years I was called on to do public relations because there were not many in Atlanta or the south who understood the entertainment industry of which music was my main concentration working with record labels, radio stations and artists.

What influenced you to start your own firm?

I always wanted to own a business. Once I was let go from radio because they were switching formats, I couldn’t find another job so it made sense to finally put my goal in place.

What trends have you seen over the years?

When I started out, on-line promotions or public relations wasn’t a major factor, yet the focus went from printed material – newsletters, print magazines to the use of email newsletters and on-line magazines. For the past five years, social media platforms and networks have now become a huge part of public relations.

How has social media impacted public relations practitioners and their clients?
As I stated before social media is now a major part of public relations and is the forefront of campaigns, therefore PR practitioners must know the intricate parts of the many social networks. The impact of social media is the way clients can reach consumers directly and PR professionals must understand the best use for client and how to measure it’s effectiveness.

What are your thoughts on friends becoming business partners?

I never thought about this before. I have only been questioned about doing business with family of which I would state it has both pro’s and con’s. So my thoughts about working with a friend would be the same and you must outweigh them to see what would be best for both parties involved. Money usually is the top factor in ending relationships personally and professionally so I definitely suggest the friends be on the same page with all goals and expectations and have everything on paper.

Describe a typical work day for you?

The top of the week I always conduct business development wether it’s replying to RFP ‘s and proposal writing to marketing and PR for the company. Daily, I usually wake up to check major media headlines to see if there are any stories that fit with our clients. Then I begin the day by looking over client management list for each project at hand and start working on what needs to be completed. On an hourly basis: check emails for any follow up to client pitches as well as creating pitches for client, make phone calls to media and organizations for client outreach as well as check social networks, make posts for business, clients and reply to customers. Lastly, a few times throughout the week taking clients to events or attending events for networking purposes.

What does it take to be a successful publicist?

Have a plan, work your plan, be persistent and never give up!

What advice would you give to new publicists?

To make sure they have a plan – know what type of public relations they want to practice or be a part of, work persistently towards that and never give up!

What life lessons has being a publicist taught you?

Effective communication – that listening is the most important quality you can give to clients, friends and family.

How important is networking with other publicists?

VERY IMPORTANT – my top leads come from other PR pro’s so it is wise to never feel you are in a competitive world. Plus it helps to be able to share with one another new or effective tools, applications and other resources to continue raising the standards in our PR industry.

Follow Dee Dee on Twitter @deedeecocheta

Sneak Peek: Matthew Goodman

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Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Matthew Goodman. You may have seen him on BET’s “College Hill: Atlanta” and the movie “Stomp the Yard 2”. Now he is all grown up and can be seen on Oxygen’s hit reality show “Love Games”.

Often times people act a certain way just for television. I can honestly say with Matthew, what you see is what you get. He is humble, genuine, has a strong faith in God and a true southern gentleman. His career will continue to thrive and succeed because of his great attitude. I am not going to post the interview yet due to the show, but you guys should definitely stay tuned! Will Matthew find love? Watch “Love Games” on Oxygen to find out!

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