Alphonso Reed | CEO Of ARPR Agency
How did you get into Public Relations?
About seven years ago, I was working as a store manager in Philadelphia and although I was making a good amount of money for my age, I was unhappy. One day I was sitting on the computer at my desk and decided to email every top Public Relations company in New York City asking them for a chance to intern with them. I received an email response from one of the leading Fashion PR companies in the world, Karla Otto Inc. The PR manager at the time asked me to come in for an interview and the next day I started working. I was representing luxury brands such as CELINE, Emilio Pucci, and Marni to name a few.
What were some things no one informed you about prior to becoming a Publicist?
No one informed me about anything before becoming a Publicist. I didn’t have any mentors in the industry. I had to use my resources, the internet, books as well as hands-on experience to learn the ends and outs of the Public Relations and Entertainment Industry. I studied the people who came before me and learned everything I could about how they became successful.
With such a vast celebrity clientele (Kevin Hart, Kash Doll, Dej Loaf) under your belt, how do you handle the newness factor of each potential client?
What’s great about ARPR Agency’s clients is that 99.99% of them are all referrals. This gives us the ability to really understand each client’s needs before our actual meeting. Furthermore, we do a lot of research on the background of our potential clients to make sure they’re a perfect fit for us.
How important is it for publicists to have healthy relationships with media representatives?
It is imperative for a Publicist to nurture healthy relationships with media representatives. For example, ARPR Agency built a relationship with the Hypebeast team while coordinating a feature for Kevin Hart and his stylist Ashley North. A year later we were able to coordinate for Young Thug and his girlfriend Jerrika Karlae to close the VFILES' New York Fashion Week show and we decided to give Hypebeast an exclusive interview with them. The interview ended up going viral.
What three things would you tell someone who wants to become a publicist?
The three things I would tell someone interested in a career in Public Relations is to do your research, do the work and don’t become discouraged because everything has a season.