M and I are thrilled to be PRofiling a girl we’ve been following on Twitter religiously since the day we started this blog. Marigo Mihalos (@MarigoPR) is a fellow PR girl who started her own PR agency and recently became the Associate Talent Producer at the Wendy Williams Show. Her story is inspiring and I’m sure you will find it that way too!
1. How did you get started in public relations and what attracted you to the industry?
From a young age I always knew I had this zest for life. I had a constant yearning to know everything, be involved in everything, and make things happen on my own. I was so intrigued by celebrities and the entertainment industry. I was captivated by the constant integration of celebrities, their products, their brands… I was obsessed with how their empires grew, piece by piece, deal by deal, product by product. I knew that I needed some part in it. I also watched one of my mentors Lizzie Grubman on Power Girls and thought to myself, I REALLY need to work with her, alongside her.. Something. I needed to be in this business.
I was a freshman at Fordham University at Lincoln Center and in the hustle and bustle of NYC. I knew I had a purpose, and it was beyond learning about Picasso’s paintings in my intro to Art class. A family friend of mine knew I wanted to be in PR, so she recruited me, believed in me and gave me a chance to help her at Soho Fashion, the outerwear house for Baby Phat, Coogi, Steve Madden, Honee , Rocawear and other private labels. She told me to run the press closet. I had no idea what that even meant but I pretended and ran with it.
After six months of brainstorming how to get our jackets into the magazines, I started cold calling market editors and little by little these high brow editors were coming to meet me, the intern, in my showroom. It was honestly awesome. In six months my boss was so impressed that he told me he wanted me there full time. I was dumbfounded, because my response was… I’m a full time student. He didn’t care. So off I went to run the entire press department for the company, went to school full time, had a few interns while living in subways and taxis. I made it work. I knew this was it and I knew it had to lead to something.
After four years of college, I graduated with a double major, Communications and Business. My boss told me I had bigger things to do and accomplish, and he told me if I didn’t go, he would fire me (on purpose of course). I didn’t get it, but now I sure do. I started going on job interviews, but in 2009, at the height of the recession where was I going? People were offering me jobs that paid peanuts. I made more in college. So I sat my parents down and told them that I had decided to start my own small PR company until the next big thing happened.
From there MSM Public Relations took off. I started networking HARD. Facebook, Twitter, started going to events, and luckily I seemed to always be at the right place at the right time. It was like God was always watching out for me when it came to my career. I started getting clients, started doing events, started doing freelance work for agencies…even started to do some projects for TV stars. It was amazing. But it was a ton of work. A little while later I was introduced to Bonnie Fuller, who was the former Editor-in-Chief of Us Weekly, Star Mag, Marie Claire…the list goes on.
From there I went to represent not only Bonnie Fuller, but all of her websites. We started to really hit the broadcast waves and we kept running. Bonnie and the team were doing TV hits nonstop, sometimes everyday, sometimes a few times a day. I am really proud of that.
Almost two years later, I also had other clients as well including RichRocks and Zara Terez.
Later I was presented with an opportunity to enter the TV world as an associate producer at The Wendy Williams Show. I fell in love with the adrenaline of the TV world. Now in my second season at the show, I have become the Associate Talent Producer working with the Talent/Booking Dept. My PR career, skills, contacts and network have allowed me to make this transition and I am so thankful for it.
I knew I wanted to focus on the TV world, which is a full time gig. So right now I live and loving the TV world.
2. What is your average day like?
Before I was at the show, it was a ton of research. You always have to be in the know, what editor is where, what producer is in charge of what, what segment producer can pitch your client. You have to get back to people, respond to emails…Create the lane, figure out where you want to be, and do everything you can. No day is the same, that’s the beauty of the business. I would get a call for Bonnie to do TV and everything stops. You could have a fashion editor call that needs RichRocks product asap for a shoot. You are always running, you have to be able to handle it.
Now at The Wendy Williams Show it’s a lot of calls. I am old school. You have to know how to work those phones and be able to pitch. Not just in TV…this comes from PR. An email only goes so far. Be assertive, we have to go after the talent we hope to book on our show. It’s a ton of following up, but I love learning from my boss who runs the department.
3. What’s your favorite part of working in public relations?
I look at it like Lego’s, it’s the thrill of building. What can I do next? What can I make happen next?
4. What’s the best PR advice you ever received?
Always follow up. Always be in people’s faces, but be gentle enough to leave your mark. Always make people remember you. Always be in the know and always be 10 steps ahead.
5. Any advice for those looking to get into PR?
Start from the bottom up, but find every way to be noticed. Let people realize how passionate you are. Find the thing that will set you apart from the rest. Always smile, always be positive and again, always be in the know. Engage on Twitter and social media. Create an image you want for yourself and tell the universe what you want. Nothing is completed until you have given it 150 percent, pay attention to every detail. Let people want to work with you.
Be sure to follow Marigo on Twitter @MarigoPR!