The ability to convey a compiling picturesque story is a gift and when used intently one can create a movement that can ignite the world. This particular skill set can leverage power, stir up a frenzy, make something newsworthy and can catapult a noname into our favorite celebrity. However, the role of a publicist is often misunderstood and we’ve reached out to Alphonso Reed of ARPR Agency to give us a glimpse into his chosen profession as a Public Relations Practitioner to help us learn more about his daily duties.
What makes for a great publicist?
A great publicist is someone who understands their clients short-term and long-term goals and is able to put into place a publicity campaign to successfully grab the attention of the masses.
How often do you encounter obstacles within your field and how do you overcome them?
Honestly, I encounter obstacles daily. We have been very fortunate to work with some very well-known clients from the get-go but since my company is still fairly new (we just hit two years last month), I believe it will take some time for people to understand that ARPR is here to stay.
What challenges do you face as a business owner (entrepreneur) versus working for an established PR firm?
Although I run a boutique PR/management agency, I would have to say that we do not experience any challenges versus any established PR firm. ARPR Agency has all of the resources, knowledge and work ethic we need to accomplish anything we put our minds to. In fact, many clients gravitate to us because we are very selective with the clients we represent. It is very important for us to be able to devote the time and energy our clients need to succeed.
What advise do you give someone who’s looking to embark on a journey within the entertainment industry?
My advice is to do your research, study the people who have come before you and learn what they have done to become a success. Also, interning under someone or at a company that aligns with your career goals, is an awesome way to get an in-depth knowledge and a hands-on experience of the entertainment industry. In addition, you have to be aggressive working in this industry, it is highly competitive. Lastly, embark on your journey with clear goals and have a strong work ethic.
People sometimes misunderstand what a publicist is, please describe the duties and the sole function of your career?
As a celebrity publicist, my job is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My responsibilities are but not limited to: developing PR campaigns, fielding questions from the media, securing interviews, escorting clients to red carpet events and press junkets, pitching story ideas to magazines, radio shows, television shows and newspapers about our clients, maintaining an on-going relationship with the press, conducting damage control, social media management and image consulting.
The sole function as a publicist is to use the media — television, radio, print and digital to successfully grab the attention of the consumer.
How is success defined as a publicist?
Success as a publicist is accomplished when we have engaged the media and helped our clients tell their story.
What has been your most memorable accomplishment thus far?
Everything I have accomplished in two years with ARPR is by far all memorable. Being able to work with the likes of Christina Milian, Kevin Hart, Young Thug, Dej Loaf, Ann-Kathrin Vida from German and so many more, have all been career highlights.
One opportunity that does stick out to me is the responsibility ARPR had to help transition Kash Doll from a social media star into a mainstream artist. Kash was locked into a contract with her previous label at the time and was only able to release music through her social media accounts. Kash’s management team reached out to us, inquiring about how we could put together a digital strategy to release her now hit song and music video for “For Everybody”. With the help of her team and ARPR, we released a teaser of the music video via Instagram as well as premiered the music video exclusively with the FADER magazine. The music video teaser hit over one million views in less than twenty-four hours on Kash’s Instagram account, her feature on the FADER trended for a week straight (Which is unheard of from an unsigned artist), the song and video went viral on social media with countless celebrities reposting, as well as ARPR was able to secure Kash’s first media placements in COMPLEX, XXL Magazine, PAPER MAG, The Source and VIBE to name a few.
How important is branding or developing a brand identity for a client?
Developing a brand identity is crucial in today’s world, whether it be for a brand or a public figure. There is a lot of competition for the attention of the customer, so it is important that you give the consumer something that they can relate to, in turn, they will buy into you.