This month, we’re excited to PRofile the ladies of Kravetz PR, a bi-coastal PR firm run by sisters Elissa and Jessica. Learn more about how they got started in the industry and why they decided to open their own firm. Such an inspirational story!
Tell us about yourself.
E: I grew up in Framingham, MA. I went to undergrad at University of Maryland and was a business/marketing major. Junior year of college I met Steve Madden when he was signing autographs in the shoe department of Nordstrom at the mall. I told him that I was going to move to NYC and work for him as an intern that summer. After meeting I called his office once a week for 3 months until he called me back! I got the internship and after college I worked in his marketing department. It was my first job in the industry. 14 years later, I am partners with my sister, running the West Coast office of Kravetz PR.
J: After growing in Framingham, MA, a big town 20 minutes outside Boston, I was drawn to Indiana University. The school had a great campus and offered everything I was looking for. At IU, I studied Journalism and Business and graduated in 2004. In April 2007, I founded Kravetz PR along with my sister and partner, Elissa Kravetz.
Elissa and Jessica Kravetz
How did you get started in public relations?
E: After working a few months in Steve Madden’s marketing department, he put a New York magazine article about publicists on my desk called “Power Girls.” He told me to read the article and report back to him the next day. When I did, he informed me that he fired his PR firm and that I was now his PR firm! I had no idea what I was doing at first and just taught myself. I was working with all of the editors in NYC and flying to LA every few months to dress celebrities.
J: With a journalism and business background, my first internships were at a PR firm and a magazine. I loved everything about my PR internship. The industry was fun and exciting, every day brought new challenges and a new task. I knew this was the right field for me.
How did you decide to open your own agency?
E: After working in house for Steve, I moved to LA and worked at People’s Revolution. After about a year there I decided to open my own agency.
J: I had been working in PR for 3 years before opening my own agency. Prior to opening Kravetz PR, I ran the New York office of the PR firm that my sister (current partner) ran. We worked on many of the same accounts and at the end of the day, decided to keep it in the family and opened our agency in April 2007.
What is your average day like?
E: I wake up and meditate, then try to get in a hike with my cavalier king Charles Lillee Kravetz. After that, I grab an almond milk latte and start the day! My workday is filled with meetings with the KPR staff on both coasts, strategy meetings for our clients, meetings with current clients, TV producers, wardrobe stylists, editors, and bloggers. On Wednesday mornings I go to an inner city middle school with The Farley Project, the anti-bullying non-profit I started last year. The Farley Project is the philanthropy arm of Kravetz PR.
J: No day is ever the same! I start the day by reading through the New York Times and briefly looking through Facebook and Instagram – social media has certainly changed how our industry works! I try to make it to the gym, before heading into the office. I regroup with my team to see what new projects and client tasks will be focused on for the day. Each day consists of meetings with clients, editors and stylists, and conference calls. Before I know it, it is 7pm. My work day ends when I shut my eyes as I am working on my iPhone until that very minute. So the day really never ends!
What’s your favorite part of working in public relations?
E: I love watching our clients flourish, love watching their businesses grow. I also love seeing the people in our office grow, we have several employees who have been here for many years and I like watching them evolve, it feels like my extended family!
J: The excitement! I have yet to have a boring day in all the time working in this industry. Everyday brings new challenges and new projects. No day is every the same.
What’s the best PR advice you ever received?
E: Don’t give up, EVER. Stay persistent. Keep pitching, keep going, and BELIEVE in yourself. Don’t take things personally.
J: Always over deliver for your clients and NEVER take no for an answer.
Any advice for those looking to get into PR?
E: You must have a thick skin to work in this industry. For YEARS, up until recently really, I would take it personally if a magazine would not place one of our clients. I would literally get mad at the editor, but that’s just a waste of energy. Those looking to get in PR must get stellar PR internships, 3 top agencies would be ideal over the course of several summers, so you can go into your first job and really offer something special. Be honest, with those in your office and your clients. I don’t believe in wasting people’s time by not telling it like it is, and I want those who work for me to do the same.
J: PR is an amazing industry and truly helps build brands. It is important to know that while fun and exciting, you need to work hard, be passionate about the industry and your clients, and never give up. It is also important to know that this is definitely not a 9-6 job!
Make sure you follow Elissa and Jessica on Twitter @KravetzPR.