Walker + Associates Media Group is a boutique public relations firm specializing in media relations and event coordination for entrepreneurs in the beauty, film/entertainment, lifestyle and literary industries. I got a chance to catch up with the CEO & Founder of Walker +Associates Media Group, Lindsey A. Walker, as we discussed the biggest lessons she learned running her own PR firm and the best advice received when she started her business.
How do you start your work day?
LW: “Typically, I start my work day with prayer and reading a scripture. When I wake up in the morning, I like to take time to just reflect and be still before I begin working. After prayer, listening to music and journaling, I check my email and social media. Then I write my to do list in my planner and begin my day!”
What areas of PR do you see growing in the future?
LW: “I definitely feel that the beauty and technology PR sectors are going to continue to grow. There are so many amazing opportunities for growth within the beauty PR industries, especially as it pertains to influencers and influencer marketing. And of course as technology continues to evolve and more products are developed, the PR aspect will continue to grow in a plethora of different ways as well. “
What would you consider to be your most creative campaign since you started your company?
LW: “Wow. What a great question. I honestly can’t pick just one as they have all been creative in their own way, however, the campaigns that I am currently working on have been such a joy to work on. I handle publicity for the Black Bourbon Society, which is an organization for affluent African Americans who enjoy bourbon. We recently traveled to Louisville on a 3 day excursion and visited various distilleries. My client, Samara Rivers, the founder of BBS was recently featured in The New York Times! So we were so excited to be able to connect our client with the editors of such a prestigious publication. Also, we just wrapped up a film campaign, Sinners Wanted. My client Tressa Azarel Smallwood is the executive producer of the movie and hired us to handle publicity and red carpet for the Atlanta premiere. We had to weeks to get the job done and booked major press including Sister Circle TV, Good Day Atlanta and so much more. I am excited about our new summer rollouts as well!”
Describe a time you had to deal with a campaign going not the way you expected. How did you handle it?
LW: “Every clients is different and so each campaign is different as well. We always strive to do our best, however in PR, there are NO guarantees and sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations. There is one campaign in particular that no matter what results we garnered, the client was not satisfied, and something always seemed to go wrong. In times like this, you must learn to stand in the forefront. Sometimes, certain clients are not a good fit, but no matter what you have to deliver. We’d already had a few contingency items in place as this was our first time working with the client-so we simply followed that protocol and stayed in constant communication with the client as the campaign came to an end. Once it was wrapped up, we thanked the client for their business and parted ways.”
Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned in running your own PR Firm.
LW: “The biggest lesson that I learned is that life happens and you have to learn to be present in the moment. In PR you simply cannot control anything. Sometimes interviews fall through, stories don’t get posted, etc. It’s not personal, it is business first. As business owners, we have to learn to give ourselves grace, especially when we have done all that we can.”
What does success mean to you?
LW: “Success is what you make it. I am learning that as long as I am living, breathing and able to do what I love, I am successful.”
What media wins or highlights are you most proud of?
LW: “So many to choose from! I’d have to say The New York Times, CBS This Morning, Sister Circle, Essence, and Black Enterprise.”
Which of your traits are you most proud of?
LW: “I am hard working, determined and resilient. “
What improvements or changes would you like to see in your firm this year? What is your personal or professional motto?
LW: “For this year, our main goal is to SCALE. We are working on building an in house team to help us continue to grow and service more clients. We have also just rolled out a new Done For You PR service called The Pitch Print PR Service where we work with small business owners who can’t afford a monthly retainer. With our guidance and service, they have been able to pitch themselves on major platforms, so we are definitely looking forward to enrolling more entrepreneurs into the service/program.”
Name the best advice you were given when you were starting out in your firm. How did it affect you?
LW: “The best advice I received when starting out was to leave room for God to be God and I have carried that with me for the past 6 years. Every time I get overwhelmed, I remember that saying and I am reminded to breathe and let whatever it is go, in the moment.”
What are some of your goals for 2019?
LW: “My goals are to continue to grow my business and scale as well as work with more clients in the beauty and film industry. “