We have always seen celebrity public relation teams running around in a frenzy. Trying to create opportunities for their clients and creating the whole image/ persona of their client. But, do we really know what it takes to run the business?
Entrepreneur, Jaleesa McDowell, is a true testament to faith and a mindset change that anything is possible. One thing she knows for sure, if you at least try, God will always meet you where you are and prepare you for success. McDowell is an entertainment public relations professional with experience in sponsorship, event planning, and public relations. McDowell has worked with brands/events such as ESSENCE FESTIVAL, LIVE NATION, ATLANTIC RECORDS, BET HIP HOP AWARDS and MORE.
The Queen Sessions: What is the core basis for landing a client?
Jaleesa Mcdowell: I believe everyone lands clients differently. For me, it has been referrals, and the strength of my reputation, work ethic, experience, and character. Some people think you may have to pay a lot of money to advertise your business, but the true foundation of my company and how I live my life is to treat others well. I’ve always been a person that’s helped others behind the scene by securing opportunities, connections, providing ideas, encouraging others to go for their dreams, and being a confidant.
The key for me is to not treat clients as just a dollar sign and sale. My key is to honestly allow God to use me. What that means for me is really praying and seeking God first, and putting a hundred percent into each client and project. I never believe each client that I work with is by coincidence, but it’s purpose in everything. By doing this I’m able to really love what I’m doing, and I’m grateful to God for it all. Some clients come to me and it’s literally just them and their product/brand. They may not have a support system or someone else in their corner to trust, and I’m thankful to be that person for some.
When entering this field, what were some of the challenges?
JM: Some of my challenges when I entered this field was getting accumulated with running the business full time. It’s not an easy feat at all, and I know that it’s all a sacrifice. Some months are slower than others, and you must literally stay open to opportunities that will fall in your lap at any moment. I decided to do my company full-time to stay available for clients and opportunities. Again, it’s a huge sacrifice that I decided to make for my life and my faith will continue to stay in God that it will all work out! I’ve had some of the most random, but amazing blessings!
TQS: How would you explain your daily itinerary?
JM: My daily itinerary can vary, I usually get up around 7 am to pray and workout. I usually post on all of my social media platforms, both personal and business accounts. I work on each of my client’s work and projects. A lot of research takes place on a daily and staying current with each client’s industry. I’m always writing in my work and personal journal about ideas and personal goals. I’m always working on proposals! I have so many creative ideas for events, clients, projects, and so much more. I try to always take those visions from my journal and make them happen! I spend a lot of time on laptop and phone speaking with clients, confirming details about events, and working on new projects. Again, my days can go from that to having to travel to New York or anywhere to execute client’s projects and accompanying clients to events.
TQS: When you see younger faces entering the PR world, what are your key advice for them?
JM: I usually run into a lot of young ladies and men who are still in college. My advice for anyone that’s still in college or looking to transition into PR is build your resume. Most importantly to build solid relationships as well. I always tell everyone it’s takes nothing for you to ask someone how can you help them? You can’t have an attitude of what can you do for me? I had to really grind and hustle while I was building my resume, and sometimes not being compensated for my time. That was the beauty and the hunger for my dreams earlier in the career. Also, key advice for anyone in any field is knowing who you are in God. Don’t spend so much time defining yourself by other’s standards or trying to fit in with anyone. You must stay true to yourself and understand no one is you, and that God has a plan uniquely designed for your life!
Hope you enjoyed this interview. Keep reading for more oringal career advice and queening.