The Baum Agency (TB/A) was founded by seasoned PR/Marketing professional Alex Baum, with the mission of cultivating synergy between clients and media via innovative branding platforms. I had a chance to catch up with Alex as we discussed what it takes to be a bawse, how to be a successful PR strategist, and juggling a social life!
Alexandria Baum, Baum Agency
What motivated you to start Baum agency?
ALEX: “I started The Baum Agency, because I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted the flexibility to work on projects/clients that resonated with me and had a purpose.”
From the people you represent, is it stressful knowing someone’s career is in your hands?
ALEX: “Yes, it can be stressful knowing that your work directly effects people’s lives. That said, it’s a good kind of stress that your hard work adds value to someone else’s, as you help them grow their brand.”
What do you do to keep your business thriving? What keeps you going?
ALEX: “The creativity of my business is what keeps me thriving. We are always working on new projects, ideas, etc. and every day is different, which is the perfect work environment for me. I love when things are always moving and evolving!”
What were some hiccups you had to endure to have a successful business?
ALEX: “With every client and project, I always learn something new…good and bad. It’s always a learning experience. I think the biggest hiccup I had at first was taking on any client that came through, and not really evaluating what they were about and whether or not this was something brought value to my agency. As a publicist and creative director, you spend a lot of time with clients and sacrifice your personal life frequently so, it’s important for me to take on clients that stand for something and add value to our culture.”
How do you manage to find time for a social life while juggling clients?
ALEX: “To be honest, I’m still learning how to do this. Lol There’s a lot of crossover between work and social with events that we do, but finding balance and taking time for yourself is very important. I’m really putting a focus on this for 2018.”
What is the best advice for a aspiring PR strategist?
ALEX: “Never stop learning. I am always reading books, magazines, browsing the internet, watching documentaries, etc. It keeps me in the know (which is your #1 job as a publicist), but also invokes new ideas that I expand upon in my work for clients. We actually consider ourselves brand strategist and me personally, a creative director, because simply saying ‘PR’ is limiting to what we actually do for our clients. Also, always follow through with everything you do. There’s always going to be roadblocks, but it’s your job to push through and follow through with the task at hand. Whether that’s following up on emails, finishing a project you don’t particularly like, whatever it is…just do it to the best of your ability.”
Did you start your business from the ground up? What was the easy part? The challenging ones?
ALEX: “Yes, I started this agency from the ground up. The easiest part is the flexibility of my schedule (which usually means I work longer office hours). It’s allowed me to expand into other passion projects of mine outside of PR including a docu-series, a fashion project coming out in 2018 and non-profit work. The hardest part was actually taking the leap to start my own business. The corporate company I was working for was changing directions to focus on technology, something that I hadn’t had a lot of experience with from a PR standpoint, and I knew this was the time for me to step out and start something of my own that I was passionate about.”
What is the most important rule you have learned about the PR business?
ALEX: “The most important rule of I’ve learned everything is a brand and can evolve into something great if everyone is willing to work hard…including the client. Oh, and never underestimate your competition…you must constantly grown and evolve to stay ahead of them.”