Read as Aleesha Carter talks about her career as a PR and Publicity Manager. Find her at www.kacimagesandu.com and on her Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.
What do you do for a living?
My career is in Public Relations and Publicity Management. Mostly, my experience falls within the Entertainment, Music and Non-Profit Industries.
How would you describe what you do?
Not one day within my role is ever the same for each client. Three words to describe my career are: Creative, Exciting and Challenging.
What does your work entail?
The work entails managing the overall publicity on behalf of various clients which also includes media exposure and awareness, image development, creative branding and in some cases, a full Public Relations plan.
What’s a typical work week like?
My typical work week can include client interviews, red carpet events, media pitching, distribution of press releases, conference calls, follow up phone calls and more as it typically changes each week.
How did you get started?
Wow, this question still surprises me when I am asked. I had just moved to Atlanta, Georgia and was approached by a media representative to consider writing for their editorial while I was promoting my 1st self-published book. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity, so I joined the team. From there, I began networking and meeting a lot of individuals within the entertainment and music sectors who all seem to think that I was either a publicist or stylist based off their first impression. I took this as a sign and immediately invested in my own brand and took a chance for the first time truly in my own direction of my career. My educational background is in Marketing and Public Relations.
What do you like about what you do?
I love being the creative avenue on behalf of my clientele when it relates to publicity and image management. Seeing how admirers of my clientele react from a media mention, television appearance, or red carpet event that they witnessed is priceless to me.
What do you dislike?
With being a small boutique organization, there are challenges within this industry of budgets and the large organizations that I am in competition with. Self-employment as a business owner always comes with the pros and cons that many face especially within our current state of economy.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
It varies. I am normally on a monthly retainer or project retainer.
How much money do you make in Public Relations?
Compensation ranges on your experience and outreach in Public Relations. It can vary from in this field because it is entirely based on your work experience, relationships and even referrals from the work you provide. It is definitely an industry based on word of mouth and what you can bring to the table on behalf of the client and/or brand.
Our industry ranges from being an independant pr professional, to small firm, medium or large firm while also varying based on resume and experience.
High Range: anywhere from 75k-125k yearly (based on experience and type of firm you play a role in.) It may even lead to a higher number.
Medium Range: 45-65k
Low Range: 0-25k
How much money did/do you make starting out?
Starting out in Public Relations even as a business owner, there were many projects where I bartered or accepted low salaries that could possibly even start at $300-$500.00 monthly just to get my name and experience built up enough where people would take me seriously. This quickly changed as my experience and clientele began to pick up based on my hard work and drive. My experience became my tool for referrals which in return allowed my compensation to take a huge rise as I grew.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
Definitely, I would advise to pursue a degree in the fields of Public Relations, Communications or Marketing. In addition to those main areas for degrees, I would also suggest taking a few writing and journalism classes to enhance your writing skills and creativity. Start networking while in college within your market, as well as read various books to entice your educational background. Lastly, reach for internships through PR agencies or even event management organizations.
What is most challenging about what you do?
The most challenging aspect about my career is ensuring that I take advantage of every opportunity possible on behalf of clients, but this is also the most rewarding aspect.
What is most rewarding?
See my answer above.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Do not give up. Take chances and learn from every step taken. Network today, no now! And practice writing different tools utilized in Public Relations daily to ensure your writing capabilities remains consistent as our world changes.
How much time off do you get/take?
For myself, I am a workaholic, so it varies. I am learning to balance my career life and my personal life daily.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
The most common misconception is that our role is perceived as easy to do, this is definitely not always the case.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
To continue to expand my brand internationally. Expand my team on a global perspective. And remain a vibrant force in the Public Relations sector of the world.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
I enjoy the rollercoaster ride that it can take a professional on daily.
Thank you for the interview, and introduction in my world.