In light of my pending childbirth, I want you all to meet Alyson Roy, Co-Founder of AMP3 Public Relations and Guest Contributing Editor for The PR Closet for the month of May. AMP3 PR is a boutique consumer lifestyle agency that specializes in Fashion & Lifestyle PR campaigns, so Alyson has incredible experience planning major PR campaigns, working with the media, servicing clients—all things you want to learn more about. She is a true PR pro, and begins her intro to all of you by imparting her expertise below.
As I mentioned, Alyson will be my featured guest contributor this month, so before she starts posting her informational and inspiring thought pieces on May 5th, I wanted to introduce her to all of you. You’re lucky to be learning more about PR from Alyson this month—and I am honored to have her write for The PR Closet. So, meet Alyson…
Name: Alyson Roy
Position/Company: Co-Founder & Partner Publicist at AMP3 Public Relations
Describe your job in one sentence: I head up all client accounts at AMP3, which is a boutique agency specializing in Lifestyle & Fashion PR, where we offer clients traditional PR & media outreach, social media PR & online visibility, and special event PR & Production.
Where did you go to college? I’m Canadian, so I went to college in Canada at Acadia University.
What was your major? I got my Business degree, with a specialization in Marketing & Communications.
First internship? What were your responsibilities? What did you learn? My first internship was at Arista Records (a division of BMG). They gave me one major project for the summer, which was to track the impact of various publicity initiatives on record sales (such as appearances on morning shows versus late night shows) to be presented to the CEO with my suggestions for PR going forward. My first week on the job was also my first week living in NYC (ever), and I learned very quickly that I was in my element, truly happy, and 100% moving to New York immediately after graduation.
First job in PR? After leaving the major record label scene and experiencing what it was like to work in-house for a big company, I discovered the concept of the boutique PR firm, and worked at a music, fashion & lifestyle agency called Flawless.
Did you move to another city to pursue your career in PR? Yes. There was a very limited (aka: non-existent) job pool in the Entertainment & Fashion PR industry in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, so I figured I might as well move to the capital of both industries: New York City.
Favorite part of your job? To be a good publicist, you have to think like an entrepreneur; like every new project, company or brand is your own, and you need to grow it as much as possible—I LOVE that spirit! I also love the variety in PR, and how every day is different than the last.
Least favorite part of your job? In PR, you can’t guarantee to a client exactly what the results of a campaign will be. There are no guarantees, only earned results, and this can be stressful. It’s especially hard when you’re told that a client story is going to run, you’ve even done your fact checking, and then you flip through the magazine (or turn on the channel) only to find out that Britney shaved her head or Bieber got arrested again, and thus, your client’s clip got cut. The disappointments in PR are tough, but there is always a reward around the next corner to make up for it.
Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)? I absolutely loved what Marc Jacobs’ team did during New York Fashion Week with their special pop-up shop in SoHo that only accepted social media as currency. Kate Spade’s 24-hour digital pop-up window was equally genius. There have also been a lot of great New York centric lifestyle campaigns that have really made an impact, I’m looking at you: SoulCycle and The Cupcake ATM. Also, “Avocados From Mexico,” seem to be literally everywhere I’ve been so far this year, from Sundance Festival to the latest issue of Us Weekly.
Biggest accomplishment so far in your career? Hands down, launching my own company. Sometimes I look back at the beginning and then at how we’ve grown and I pinch myself, seriously.
Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? The number one complaint I hear in new business meetings is that clients are tainted from previous false promises in PR. It should go without saying that in PR, it’s always best to under-promise and over-deliver.
Who were/are your mentors? The Dean of my business school was really helpful in my career initially, and a resource I didn’t actually realize was available to me until after I had graduated college. I also look up to women like Kelly Cutrone & Rachel Zoe who have turned their service-based businesses into personal brands, consumer products, book deals, and so much more!
Best work advice? Be solution-oriented. Never respond to a problem with a list of reasons about why a client’s idea won’t work. Instead, always be prepared with a list of alternative ideas that WILL work. If you approach a negative situation with a positive solution, it keeps the energy moving forward and will show your client what you can bring to the table.
As a publicist, you can’t live without your… iPhone, MacBook Air, Google Drive, and little black dresses.
In order to succeed in PR, you… need to be a (wo)man of your word. Make “reliable” one of the first words your clients, colleagues, or media contacts would use to describe you. When you develop a reputation for delivering exactly what you say you will, people will rely on you. And trust is one of the most valuable assets you can have in PR.
If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be… a journalist! After years of working on the pitching side of the business, I’ve grown more and more curious about what it’s like on the other side of the coin. Telling stories would always have to be an essential part of what I do.
What is your website, twitter handle, or anything else you’d like to promote?
www.twitter.com/AMP3PR || www.twitter.com/AlyAMP3
Check back every Monday in May for continuous words of PR wisdom, as Alyson will guest contribute this month and share more of her experience and expertise!