Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Good Relations

The Phone Book Interviews

What's the best thing about a passport? Is it simply the ticket to somewhere exotic and away from the humdrum? Is it the document of freedom? Is it the annoying wallet of information you turn the house upside down for after putting it in a safe place?

The passport, I think, is the key to possibility. With that in your hand – horrendous photo obligatory as only assholes pose for passport snaps – you never know who you're going to meet and who you'll click with on your travels.
One such person I was fortunate to meet across the pond is Kelly Downey. She's basically the pin up for what all PR women should look and work like. As well as helping me with editorial copy and info for The Day Job she can also be relied upon for a little pick me up mid-afternoon email as our Gloucestershire/Palm Beach, Florida working days align. 
She kindly agreed to put fingers to key pad as one of my Phone Book Interviews.

Job Title: Director of Palm Beach for Shamin Abas Public Relations
Job Description:  SAPR is a dynamic boutique PR agency with roots in Palm Beach, New York City and the Hamptons. We manage a variety of clients across the luxury lifestyle industry, with a particular focus on fashion, beauty, high-profile business CEOs and the niche sport of polo. Clients include shoe designer Sam Edelman, legendary supermodel Veronica Webb, polo player Nic Roldan, blinc cosmetics and advertising powerhouse Zimmerman Advertising, among others. We additionally handle the PR, sponsorships, event planning and execution for the Bridgehampton Polo Club, Greenwich Polo Club and the High Goal All-Star Polo Challenge. 
The Big Break:  I worked for many years as a news reporter and producer for CBS affiliates in Michigan and Florida. After spending one too many Friday nights chasing an ambulance, I moved to the PR world – and never looked back! 
I do this job for... The fun of it!  (Okay, also for the paycheck.) But, there are very few people who wake up excited for what the day might bring. I’m one of those people! 
I couldn't get through the working week without... My fabulous team! That, and coffee – lots of it.  Late night events = a major caffeine habit.
Who inspires you? My mother has inspired me since day one. Her work ethic is what pushes me every day to succeed. Shamin Abas has taught me everything I know about the industry and I always strive to represent her company positively. And Beyonce. Have you SEEN her recent documentary? It brought tears to my eyeballs.
Which moments are most rewarding? Landing a dream story for one of my clients.
What attributes are vital for success? Being fearless. You need to have the ability to tell a client no. Because they aren’t always right. 
What essentials do you carry in your handbag? I currently have 83 lip glosses or lip sticks in my bag. I’m a goo hoarder. Okay, kidding, but I do probably have about a dozen. I’m also always stocked with business cards. You never know who you’re going to meet out and about. 
Describe Palm Beach in 3 words: Sun. Luxury. Fabulous.
Best bar in Palm Beach? Buccan for the food and atmosphere. Cuchina for late night shenanigans.
And in Wellington? The Players Club is the only place to be during polo season – especially on Sunday nights after the match. The after party at International Polo Club moves to The Players Club and spills over well into wee hours of the morning. Always fantastic people watching as you get to see top polo players and some of the most elite equestrian riders in the world getting a little naughty.
Words of wisdom?  “When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets.”
Best professional advice? Learn to say no. 
The most unusual adventure you've had recently? We recently hosted the first ever equestrian event on Palm Beach at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The crew from Extra was on hand, along with writers from the Wall Street Journal and all of the South Florida press. It was a challenge to juggle interviews with Mr. Trump, Melania Trump, singer Casadee Pope, Georgina Bloomberg, and all of the top riders – all set against the dramatic backdrop of a show jumping ring on the Intracoastal.  We managed to survive – trying to look as glamorous as possible – in the near 90-degree heat. [All sounds too Jilly Cooper for  words to me!]
The last time you were shy or scared? I was recently petrified to do the maid-of-honor speech at my best friend’s wedding. It wasn’t that I was scared to speak in front of a crowd, I just wanted to do her justice. Of course, a few glasses of champagne helped with that…it usually does!
The Head's Up: Continuing to grow with the company, adding to our stellar list of clientele and expanding polo’s footprint in the States. 

The Plug: Our upcoming High Goal All-Star Polo Challenge, captained by Facundo Pieres and Nic Roldan. Hello! Hanging around some extremely good-looking polo players is just part of the job...! 

The beautiful SAPR offices, The Fish Bowl

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