Tell us about your firm…
A-Game Public Relations represents both leading and up-and-coming VCs, celebrities, and entrepreneurs, as well as their venture firms, Consumer Packaged Goods brands, and tech startups. We share their stories, communicate their messages, and expand their platforms into new markets and industries through both strategic partnerships and creative, effective, and high-impact placements.
When did you first realize you were interested in PR?
When I was in college I took a class about segregation. It inspired me to want to fight for positive social change across America—beginning with my hometown, Chicago. The first step towards effecting change is education, so I started taking on leadership positions in school organizations in order to shed light on the issues important to me. My favorite leadership role was (no surprise) Public Relations Officer. I loved learning that through public relations I could communicate important issues and inspire positive change and disruption in the world! I was hooked!
Was starting your own PR firm always a part of your plan?
I was always an out-of the box thinker, bringing game-changing opportunities to the organizations I worked for by not following the standard formula to make things happen. However, I never thought I would be an entrepreneur until one firm liked my work so much that they wanted me to become a partner. That was the first time I actually considered becoming a CEO at a company; however, as I continued discussing my potential partnership with them, I realized that I had my own disruptive strategy in mind. I realized that starting my own business was the only way I’d get to share my clients’ stories the way I wanted to. After that realization, I started networking and landed my first client. That was a long time ago. It has been and continues to be an amazing journey. I love it!
What is the best part about owning your own business?
No one manages my creativity! I have been able to create a unique firm that helps my clients break into new markets and reach their target demographics using my out-of-the-box creativity, creative partnerships, and deep media and influencer relationships.
Many of your clients are also entrepreneurs. What have you learned from working with startups?
I have learned first-hand that it’s okay to fail and not to get things right the first time (or second time). You just keep going and pivoting until you get it right. From tech startups to PR firms, we succeed by being open and embracing change.
As a woman entrepreneur, you understand the importance of women helping other women. How have you made an effort to do this?
I make it a point to represent female-founded companies. My roster includes some amazing female founders such as Payal Kadakia the founder of ClassPass; Angela Sutherland and Evelyn Rusli, the founders of Yumi, the fastest growing organic baby food delivery service; Ooshma Garg, the founder of Gobble; and Jash Mehta and Blair Fletcher, the founders of Pop & Bottle, a new healthy food company already distributing in major retailers across America.
A-Game is intentionally a “word-of-mouth” business. Why is this your strategy of choice for acquiring new clients?
We don’t promote ourselves or actively seek clients. Instead, clients get recommended to us by individuals who have worked with us or who are familiar with our work. Our approach to evaluating new relationships is simple. First off, I have to make sure that I am passionate about what they are doing. Second, I have to believe that high-impact PR can help them achieve their objectives. Finally, I need to assess that the potential client is ready for PR. If all criteria are met, we work together. I feel blessed to work with so many amazing executives, entrepreneurs, and brands. I have incredible clients and am grateful for that every day.
You are based in New York, but have clients across the country and the world. What have you learned from running a business with a global presence?
No matter where you live, if you are making a difference in the world, there will be opportunities to make an impact—even if that involves collaborating with people across different industries and walks of life. This belief has enabled me to orchestrate absolute game-changing tech, pop culture, and venture-focused partnerships across the US and India.
Storytelling plays an essential role in delivering a company’s message. What are your top 3 tips for telling a compelling story?
- Identify what makes your story unique.
- Make sure you tell the part of your story that will have the greatest impact on your audience.
- People and entities have so many stories to share. Make sure you review all of them to ensure that you aren’t overlooking a critical element that will strengthen your overarching story and message.
In addition to telling their stories, you encourage clients to think bigger than their industries. Why is this important?
Stepping outside your comfort zone opens the door to otherwise inconceivable innovation and unparalleled opportunities. When clients expand their platforms, it can create a lasting and meaningful impact on so many lives.
Stepping outside your comfort zone opens the door to otherwise inconceivable innovation and unparalleled opportunities.
What is your advice for entrepreneurs looking to pursue strategic creative partnerships?
Think outside-the-box and make sure your communications team is willing to think creatively.
Knowing what you know now, what advice or words of wisdom would you share with your younger self?
I am a big believer in putting things in the past. We can only disrupt the future, so that’s where my focus lies.
What is one PR tip all entrepreneurs should know?
Really observe and consider every aspect of your company. That way you won’t miss out on sharing an incredible story that you otherwise might have overlooked.
How do you #EmbraceAmbition, and who are the women who inspire you to do so?
I think about all the people I impact. I also think about my role as a female entrepreneur helping so many amazing female entrepreneurs succeed. It’s so gratifying to build my clients’ businesses, as well as my own. I also work with an amazing team of professionals who help me make our clients’ dreams a reality.
Three women in particular especially inspire me: 1) My mom, who encouraged me to be independent, educated, and persistent; 2) Anjula Acharia, my mentor who champions female entrepreneurs, including me; and 3) Thea Flaum, the creator of “At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert.” She was the first woman to teach me the importance of mentorship and showed me how much positive impact one woman can have on another woman’s career!