Public relations experts not only help their clients get media placements, but they also help them achieve brand recognition. Tequilla White, founder of Tequilla White PR, is one of the major players in the PR world.
White has worked with such major brands as L’Oréal, the New York Urban League, the National Basketball Players Association, and HOT 97. Among her current clients are Ivy’s Tea Co., Help Chip In, and The Creative Collective.
And White loves what she does. “PR involves everything that I love to do. Writing, talking to people and planning events. I was able to lean upon my strengths as a writer, public speaker and planner to excel in my industry,” she tells TNJ.
Born and raised in the Bronx, White received a dual degree in media studies and cultural anthropology from Queens College, then garnered experience at boutique PR firms in NYC. “After taking several courses in marketing, advertising and PR during my college studies, I completed internships for credit in fashion, entertainment and sports PR. After finding out my niche, I continued to volunteer for events and work on smaller PR projects to build my experience and connections,” she says.
She launched Tequilla White PR to offer her clients a more personal touch than agencies provide. “Opening my own agency was difficult because I was not educated on how to run a business. I had no idea how trademark, copyright and business bank accounts worked. I had to find resources to help me understand how to run my business successfully. Not having the advantage of a team to support me was difficult in the beginning because I had to manage my energy and time properly so that I could retain clients and provide quality service,” reveals White, who has been recognized as a Rising Publicist by the International Association of Minority Women in PR.
Even though White has a passion for what she does, she has faced business challenges. “Retaining clients can be difficult in a market where people don’t always understand their needs. Some people think they need a publicist and they really need a manager, agent or event planner. Making sure to be clear about the services that I provide and the value I deliver to clients has been a struggle at times because there is a lack of knowledge about my industry,” she says, adding, “I have been able to work through that by establishing myself as an expert in my field and sharing knowledge with potential clients so that they are empower to make informed decisions.”
What does White enjoy the most about what she does. “I love to share the work that my clients are doing to better their communities. I am passionate about my clients so I love to pitch them for opportunities. It doesn’t feel like work, more like I’m telling everyone about my amazing friend who is trying to change the world around them,” says White.
Often times people don’t understand the role of a publicist or that the job entails? “That it is a 24/7 job. If you aren’t researching media contacts, writing pitches, accompanying clients to interviews or events, pitching clients or planning events, you are sending out proposals to retain more clients. There is always something to do and you are always busy,” explains White.
For newcomers in the field, this pro has some much-needed advice. “Do your research. Take advantage of the resources afforded to you and come prepared with information before asking for help,” offers White. “Stay professional always. Make sure that you come into meetings prepared with all of your assets. Your website, business cards, social media platforms, and email etiquette should always be in order. Do the work. Research can only get you so far. You have to put yourself out there to gain the experience that will make you a better publicist and grow your network. Opportunities aren’t always about the money but can sometimes expose you to people that can get you your next paid opportunity. Take advantage of those opportunities.”