On Thursday, June 22, the Black Public Relations Society (BPRS) D.C. Chapter held their anticipated panel discussion, “Entertainment PR Unfiltered” featuring four PR Powerhouses – Priscilla Clarke, Gwendolyn Quinn, Candice Nicole, and Lisa Fager. I may be not be a PR professional, but something told me as someone looking to pursue a career in the industry, I needed to hear what these women had to say. Many of the lessons and stories they shared related to anyone who wants to work behind the scenes for an artist or entertainment company. A few gems:
Everything that glitters is not gold. If you’re going into the biz for the glitz and the glam, you may need to reassess your plans immediately. Life in entertainment means long hours, odd hours, and a lot of hard work. Priscilla Clarke told us about one a-list event during award season, where much to others’ surprise, she choose to skip out and instead sit outside the venue after a long afternoon getting her clients through red carpet interviews.
Publicist or Therapist? Gwendolyn Quinn had stories for days – I would love to take her to dinner to hear about her many experiences in the industry over the years. She dropped many gems, but one she stressed in particular is that as a PR professional, you have to be prepared to be the voice of reason for your client, and that can take many forms. Sometimes it’s boosting them up. Sometimes it helping them see their best selling point, and sometimes it can even be an ego check. A PR professional is a jack of all trades!
You can sleep before you die, but it may be at 3pm. Candice Nicole talked about her unorthodox approach to sleep – because the entertainment industry runs on both the East coast and the West coast, work as a PR professional can mean staying up until 3a to ensure a client has everything they needs while attending an event in L.A., or early mornings to get ahead of the producers and reporters on the Each coast. She was clear about one things, sleep is important, but it may mean having to sleep at different points in the day to make sure you are looking out for both your health and your clients.
Social Media– Foe, Friend, or Frenemy? And of course, we had to talk about the impact of social media. Lisa Fager talked about how much of a game changer it has been for PR professionals. The consensus of everyone on the panel was that it’s not an option to ignore social media – clients should have curated accounts featuring content that can build followers, interactions with reporters need to be managed, and it is always beneficial to have a client go through social media training.
Read the article at hypefreshmag.com.
Not gonna lie, getting back into the swing of things after my trip to the desert has been ROUGH, but nothing can take away my post-Coachella high. It was only made sweeter by an unexpected surprise, my friend spotted my feature in Refinery29’s “Hottest Natural Hairstyles at Coachella” article!
— Jam (@_junboom) April 19, 2017
Check it out below! More on Coachella to come!
Knowing who you are and being able to embrace individuality is such an important part of life. – Sara A. Crawford-Jones
From an early age, Sara A. Crawford-Jones had to do just that while growing up with albinism, a genetic disorder that results in a lack of pigment, and a slight visual impairment. Crawford said it “wasn’t very easy” interacting with other kids who did not understand her unique features, but these days she is happy to stand out.
“I feel as though that confidence has allowed me to achieve all of the things I have done within the fashion industry, Crawford-Jones says.”
Crawford-Jones has taken a passion for fashion that was sparked as a pre-teen all the way to the big leagues, having worked with household names such as Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Express, and JoS. A. Bank.
“I loved learning every aspect of the retail and fashion industry from creative director, to production assistant; every encounter from unsatisfied customers, to buying the trending items for the season.”
Though she graciously credits those experiences with providing the foundation she needed, she always had an end goal in mind – pursuing her independence as a fashion designer, consultant, and author. “I was born to be a creative entrepreneur. I was challenged with giving all my energy and creative juices to another brand when I truly thought it belonged to my own.”
Within embracing her purpose and being, Crawford-Jones has created a brand that helps other women, and men, do the same by taking pride in their features and figures, and then tailoring their styles accordingly. In the years since claiming her independence, Crawford-Jones began doing personal styling, created her own fashion line, Anara Original, and wrote a book entitled The Playbook to Essential Style, to help women and men explore and define their personal style.
“We all were created differently so why not define your style and explore what looks best on you.” – Sara A. Crawford-Jones
The Playbook to Essential Style provides many must-have tips and techniques for women, and men, including what key pieces you should have in your closet and why, how to create the best foundation so that your garments will fit your body properly, and how to begin to identify your signature style.
A few tips Crawford-Jones says every women should know:
Looking to keep up with Sara’s latest projects, or meet her on tour? Visit her website saracjones.com for more information, or follow her at @AnaraOriginal.