Meet andrea hamilton, the savvy publicist who turned her purpose into a successful communications agency.
Sometimes it is necessary to alter your purpose to ensure you can live within your pockets. Yes. I said it. It's hard to be passionate when your pockets are touching and your stomach is growling. I have a better answer than giving up though. Meet Andrea. Andrea was passionate about fashion but found her purpose in communications. She turned that purpose into a career and that career into her own company. Read below to find out her tips and tricks for moms thinking of pursuing a a career in communications, the secrets to success, and how to balance it all.
- What inspired you to get into the field of communications? I originally started in the fashion design industry, but as a college student I knew I could not be a "starving artist". So I took a slew of odd internships to help find additional career paths and landed an internship in publicity. I knew a lot of people and had a strong network so I had a natural base for the PR internship. Everything soon fell into place leading me to know that PR was my true calling.
- What is a publicist and what does the job entail? A publicist is a hired communications professional that assists in raising a brand/entity’s profile and awareness through the press and consumer base in a positive manner.
- Is this a competitive field? What were some of the challenges you faced when beginning your career? This field can be very competitive. It was very tough to get potential clients, colleagues, media, and brands to not only respect you but also take your craft seriously. This industry can sometimes be very cut throat, so you have to be able to take the good with the bad. You also have to learn how to handle and overcome adversity because you will be faced with tons of it.
- What advice would you give to mothers/women looking to get into this field? My advice to all Mothers across the board is to continue to pursue your career dreams no matter what. It is definitely not easy and it can be extremely time consuming working in this field. It’s all about learning how to balance all priorities in your life and giving everything your all.
- What were some of the fears you had to overcome in transitioning from an employee to a CEO? My greatest fear was to not be accepted as a heavy-hitter contender in the communications industry. However, I was blessed to have several mentors and colleagues who assisted in guiding me. They pointed me to the right directions on where to take my brand whenever I felt fearful of something. Another large fear when taking the entrepreneur leap is understanding that in this field you will have good days and bad days; sometimes you will not make enough and other days you will make a lot. You quit a job working 40 hours a week to work 80 hours a week, but it’s all for YOU so the reward is higher than the risk.
- How did you balance motherhood when building your company? I have always been a very driven and determined individual. So as I was pregnant I coached myself on ways to balance time and trained my team to take on bigger roles for the first few months following my delivery. Time is the greatest factor in balancing motherhood and a career. You have to learn how to prioritize and execute in a timely manner so everything can get its deserved attention. I wake up every morning and write a LONG list of to-do’s and I do not go to sleep until that entire list has been checked off.
- What are the top 3 DO's and DONT's when starting a company? DON’T: Rush in general. Take your time in this entrepreneur world. DON’T: Put out anything that’s not 100%. Often new entrepreneurs want to just get their brand off the ground without ensuring any branding they put out is at the highest level it can be. DON’T: Burn bridges. You never know when you may need someone to help enhance your career. DO: Make everlasting relationships with every person you meet. Your network is key when building a brand. DO: Research. Every day research the field you are in to learn more about it to help better your craft. Read up on CEO’s to similar companies who are already successful, see how they started, what they do right/wrong. DO: Stay true to yourself and remain loyal to your brand messaging.
- What is TheoryComm and what sets it apart from similar businesses? Theory Communications is a cutting-edge integrative communications agency. We pride ourselves on not only being a family business (founded by myself and sister, Erica Hamilton), but also on running like a family business. All of our clients are strategically picked and treated as family rather than just a business relationship. We know how to keep the lines between business and professional clear. However, all of our clients appreciate our "family like" mentality, always going the extra mile to ensure our clients get full attention on any endeavor.
- You've been in business for 3 years now. What would you say are the most important steps in being successful? The most important steps in success are building your network. In this field it is not about whom you know, but who knows you. You have to leave a great impression on each person you are introduced to because you never know when you may cross paths again with them.
- What is most important in building your brand or image? Stay true to who you are and what you believe in. You have to remain consistent when building a brand so it can be believable to the consumer.
- Is it necessary to build a team? Why or why not? It is imperative to build a strong team who has the same goals and values as you do for your brand. No person can handle everything alone, however as a new entrepreneur it is very difficult to hire due to trust issues, not finding qualified employees, budgeting, etc. When your at a point when your business really starts to grow it is necessary to let your guard down and bring people in to assist in taking off the work load, especially if you are a Mother.
- Does social media influence your work? Why or why not? We live in a day and age where social media is the biggest influencer across the board. Social media is the one and only FREE platform where you can advertise/market your brand/entity to hundreds of millions of people at no cost.
- Has being a mother hindered you from any opportunities? Why or why not? Motherhood has never got in the way of myself, or any opportunity. It may have slowed me down for a bit as I got adjusted into parenthood, but I’ve never passed on or missed an opportunity due to being a Mother. I look at every opportunity as an opportunity for not me, but US (my daughter and I), so I would never take away from something that can help better her life.
- When your daughter thinks of you, what image do you want her to have about mommy? I want her to just be proud of Mommy for doing whatever it takes to make sure she had the best life she can give her. I want her to look at me as a strong person and role model to not only her, but also women worldwide.
- Why is her perception of you important? I do this and everything in life for HER, so her perception is the ONLY opinion that matters.
- Is it difficult to keep your professional and personal image separate? Is it possible to? Why or why not? Luckily I have clients and colleagues who really love me as a mother, they love my child, I like to think I wear the ‘working mother’ hat well. So I don’t have to separate it as much as some may have to for their image. I like people to know I’m a Mother so they can understand why I push myself and our brand so hard and why I demand that much more respect in this industry.
- When people think of you and TheoryComm what impression do you want them to walk away with? I want people to always look at Theory Communications and see our brand as reliable, trusting, hard working and fun! We want everyone to know when you hire Theory, the Theory girls will get the job done!
For those of you interested in seeing what Theory Communications is all about or learning more about the quality of work Andrea is putting out there check her business out: CLICK HERE.