Happy Tuesday! Have I got a treat for you: I have another interview today with a fantastic young PR entreprenuer, by the name of Natasha-Nicole Valley. Natasha is a sports publicist based out of Miami who works as a solo PR pro.
Fun trivia: Natasha and I went to high school together in England and she was the bomb back then, so you know she’s the bomb now, and let’s get to it:
Name, place of origin, school? My name is Natasha-Nicole “London” Valley, I’m from Cambridge, UK, I went to Florida A&M University and got my BS in political science with a minor in journalism/PR and got my MPA.
How long have you worked in PR? Professionally, 4 years.
1st PR Job? My first PR job was working for Krystle Coleman of Midori Star Media. She taught me so much.
What kind of PR do you work in? What does it entail? What attracted you to it? I’m in sports PR. In a nutshell, it is building not only professional athletes brands, but also sports related brands. I was an athlete from age 4 to 18 and an injury during my first week of college practice ended my athlete days. Most of my childhood memories include either me playing sports–I knew I couldn’t get away from it.
Can you tell me what a typical day looks like for you? In the morning, I scan sports media and social media, while checking my email and google alerts. I also follow up with agents, clients, etc.
Pitching and following up with journalists takes up most of my day, I try & save on the field media training for Fridays and Saturdays. Yes, Saturdays. If a client or rep of brand calls, that takes top priority, but planning media and fielding media requests are also regular occurrences.
If I don’t work through lunch I meet with a client, potential client or manager to pitch ideas or discuss upcoming schedule entries.
On non-game nights I meet with my business coach, (shameless plug: @KatieKortnie). During games and post games, I observe everything and jot down notes. After I’m home and cozy for the night, I scan media again and research, research, research.
What made you go out on your own? I’ve known since I was a kid that I would work for myself. It’s tough being a visionary executing another visionary’s vision for an extended period of time.
Favourite Part of the job? Photo shoots! I love seeing mood boards come alive as the stylist wheels out racks and clients, who are used to luxurious wardrobes, can hardly contain themselves as they swoon over the options. Working as a team on set with other creatives to complete one brand building goal is also exhilarating. I really love the process of brand development as well.
Least favourite part of the job? Updating my main media database. I have media info in various organized, but random places. Adding new phone numbers, changing outlet names as journalists move around and creating new entries for new editors in my main media database can be a bit tedious.
Biggest accomplishment (so far) in your career? It sounds simplistic, but developing my own clientele and booking mainstream media such as ESPN, SLAM, BET’s 106&Park is an accomplishment in itself. There are other great things I can name, but the overall idea of that is a blessing to me.
What is one lesson you have learned that you want to share with aspiring PR pros? Develop relationships. Trust in general, is critical in building brands. One more, consistently use a sales funnel for prospecting clients.
In order to succeed in PR, what traits should one have? Persistence is vital in pitching, and organization is a must. Communication skills, both verbal and writing, are obviously the most important trait you need in PR. However, you have to continue to build; if you aren’t motivated to read and keep a notebook, this is going to be a grueling career. Research is also a must.
If you weren’t working in PR, what would you be doing? I would probably be a sports agent, an athletic director, filmmaker or even a neuroscientist who teaches an art class on the weekends.
Wow, her typical day made me so tired, I had to take a break from reading it take a nap LOL. I hope you enjoyed the interview and can learn something from Natasha’s passion, dedication and plain good common sense.
Until Next time!
XOXO, Jess AsPRing