Showing posts with label Public Relations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Relations. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Meet Yvette Masterson, President of Y Communications & Consulting

The beautiful Yvette Masterson,
president of Y Communications
& Consulting.
Y Communications & Consulting is a full service agency, specializing in beauty. Y Communications & Consulting offers clients everything from traditional PR, social media to product development consulting. Prior to starting the YCC Agency 15 years ago, Yvette Masterson was a fine jewelry and cosmetics buyer at Macy’s, so she has an understanding of what retailers are looking for. As a result, her clients greatly benefit from her experience in that arena. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Yvette Masterson. Here is what she had to say...

Sarah Afshar: Hello Yvette. Thank you for speaking with me today. What is the inspiration behind Y Communications? Can you tell me a little more about that?

Yvette Masterson: I am just a people person. Ever since I can remember I have been out there speaking with people about anything and everything. So the inspiration behind starting YCC was to create an agency that would create that kind of excitement, speak about our great clients and focus on what sets them apart from everyone else. Technology has really taken over and evolved, so we try as an agency to actually speak on the phone (when possible) and have that personal touch. Our team at YCC is a tight group of talented women and we all support each other. I really believe it’s important to have a strong unit.

SA: That is fantastic. Now, I have to ask - taking you through a 24 hour day, can you describe a day in the life of Yvette Masterson?

YM: Wow, it is never a dull moment. Always on the go! I am a mother, wife, and business owner. I’m based in Las Vegas, so when I am not traveling on business, I usually get up at 5 am and start my day at Zumba. I am an avid dancer, so I love to start my day with a 6 am Samba. After that, it’s school drop off and to the office. YCC has offices in NY and LA also, so we all have our daily calls to go over client strategies, events, etc. After a day at the office, I go to my other job as a mom and work on homework. My son, Blake jokes with me that he has to do his own projects…not me! I always have these big ideas and he says “STOP PR’ING me, Mom!” I have to say, I love creating over the top projects. I just can’t stop. Then, my husband Brad comes home from his job and we just hang out till 9 pm, then all the Masterson’s go to be. We are early birds.

SA: That is amazing. Let's talk about beauty! What are some of your favorite beauty products and why?

YM: I love lashes, lip gloss, cheek stains, and dry shampoo. Those are my go-to products. I just feel great when I have full lashes and rosy cheeks. If I was a stranded on a deserted island with these products, I could somewhat survive.

SA: Do you have an ultimate favorite? What is the holy grail beauty essential right now?

YM: My skin essential is Revive Light Therapy devices. I never thought I would be so hooked on a device. My panel is an investment at $350, but does everything and is so portable. The LED lights help treat acne, skin repair and prevent wrinkles with the amber lights for anti-aging. I can’t live without it! Now for my lashes, I get lash extensions which have changed my life so, I am ready to go as soon as I wake up. A total eye opener!

SA: What is your beauty regimen?

YM: I have been moisturizing my face since I was 9 years old. Seriously. My mother taught me to wash my face and moisturize every night, so it stuck. I am so glad because it really has proved to be an anti-aging preventative measure. I use the Peter Lamas Evening Age-Defying Facial Treatment, the Nourishing Buriti Oil Moisturizer and Firm, and the Lift Age-Defying Eye Serum. My skin just loves this natural line, Peter Lamas.

I don't wear makeup everyday so I keep it simple. My beauty go-to is Pixi Beauty. I love Pixi Beauty because every product has skin loving ingredients and makes you look like a fresher version of yourself. I am obsessed with the Mattelustre Lipsticks as they are long-lasting and provide your lips with full coverage. I also love the bright vivid hues.

SA: The holidays are approaching. What is happening at the agency?

YM: I love the holidays and it always comes way too fast. Time moves very fast in PR Terms. In December, we are working on client strategies and spring influencer events. I love holiday music, so we blast the tunes in the office and are knee deep in 2016.

SA: What beauty collections are you most excited about?

YM: I am all about new fun nail colors, so I am excited to see new hues from KBShimmer Nails. This indie line has the best shades and Crellys – a mix of a cream polish and glitter is amazing. I am obsessed! I’m also super excited to see the launch of Mix-o-logie fragrances this month, as they have 8 vials of rollerball fragrances that allow you to create new, custom scents. I love customizing my beauty, so this is right up my alley.

SA: For all of those beauty enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Yvette Masterson?

YM: Well, I am 48 and I just love beauty, skincare and hair. It keeps me happy and it keeps me young. I enjoy learning about all the new innovative treatments and technological breakthroughs in the industry. I love what I do. I wake up every morning and look forward to what the day brings. I started the agency 15 years ago and so proud of what we have built. My parents instilled in me to work hard for what you want and that is just what I have done. My day really never ends. I work until the job is done and sometimes it is not as glamorous as it sounds, but I still get so excited when we get a client featured in a magazine, TV or online. It’s a great buzz.

Catch up with Yvette at today.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Tamar Juda of Last Word PR

Tamar Juda is a woman with a voice, a vision, and a message. Born and raised in Bethlehem, PA she is currently living in the what she refers to "the best city in the world" New York. She is not only the founder and president of Last Word PR, but one of the sharpest publicists out there in music PR today. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Tamar Juda directly. Here is what she had to tell me...

(Q) Hey Tamar. How are you? Tell me a little more about Last Word PR...

Hey there – I’m great! Last Word PR is a full service public relations firm, specializing in music and entertainment. I rep all facades of the music business including producers, rappers, DJs, singers, songwriters, etc.

(Q) Let's talk inspiration! What inspired you to create Last Word PR?

I’m really fortunate that my family gave me the encouragement to go out on my own when I wanted to back in 2008. They all said, “You got this! Go ahead and take the leap…” and ya know what, they were right. You need to listen to your gut (and your family in my case for the extra push) and just go for it when it feels right.

I think it’s important for people to do what comes naturally to them, and working in PR/being a publicist came naturally to me from the start. I knew that I would probably want to start my own company one day; I just didn’t realize that day would come as early as it did in my career. It also didn’t hurt that I had loyal clients.

(Q) Why do you love working in the PR industry?

I love being a publicist and the various aspects that come along with the job. I enjoy the fast pace world of PR, pitching, writing, the creativity, thinking on my feet and helping to usher my clients’ projects out there to the fans in both new and classic ways. It’s incredibly gratifying to pitch something for months and finally open up a magazine and see the feature you secured, or turn on the TV and watch your artist perform – it never gets old for me!

This job and industry isn’t for everyone, but I’ve been fortunate to work with so many incredible artists (and their teams), producers and DJs. It’s a constant grind and finding new ways to challenge yourself to always be better than your last placement. I find it to be an honor to have access and work with great writers and editors, print media, websites, blogs, TV shows/production companies as well as huge corporations that want to collaborate with my clients.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remember that there is a younger version of myself just waiting to take my place, and I’ll tell you something, that alone is enough motivation for me to give my clients my very best everyday.

(Q) Who are some of your clients? Currently, what has been happening at the agency?

I rep Lil Jon, SKAM Artist (a DJ booking and management agency), 8ky 6lu (of LMFAO) as well as singer Mahogany LOX. I’m incredibly proud to work with all of my clients…they’re doing big things and making amazing music.

Folks are usually astounded that I’ve worked with Lil Jon since 2005. I’ve learned a great deal from him [and his team] by working on his various projects and business ventures. I’m lucky because he gives me the space and trust to let me do my job and I think that’s why it’s worked so well all these years. People used to ask me “Where is Lil Jon anyway?” and I always responded the same – he never went anywhere, and frankly he’s everywhere! He’s been DJing around the world (including a DJ residency at the Wynn/Encore in Las Vegas), he was a fan-favorite both times he was on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice and of course has had tremendous success recently with “Turn Down For What” and “Bend Ova.” I’m honored to be on his team and we’ve got some new exciting things in the works!

Sujit Kundu started SKAM Artist and it’s grown a lot with a roster of over 65 DJs & hosts. It’s a powerhouse agency and I’ve had many DJs ask me how to get Sujit’s attention because they want to be a SKAM Artist. I can honestly say I don’t think I know anyone who works harder than Sujit! That man is a machine and very dedicated to every single person on his roster [securing DJ residencies, booking gigs, coordinating, etc.)…he’s a great example of passion being the catalyst to success.

8ky 6lu is a gem and so talented! That man can write, produce, rap/freestyle and I can’t wait for everyone to hear his new music. One of the special things about 8ky is that he truly is a team player…he listens and respects the feedback he gets from everyone [on his team]. He’s an artist who defines success not just by his own accomplishments, but also by his whole team (Big Bad University) reaching new levels together. His sister [singer] Mahogany LOX is on Big Bad and wait until you hear what she has coming out! She’s already a social media star with millions of followers and also opened up for 5th Harmony on tour DJing. Let me tell you, she’s off to a fantastic start.

(Q) What is the Golden Rule of good PR?

I’m not sure there is one “Golden Rule” of PR, but you’re reputation and ‘word’ are everything. Follow through and do what you say you’re going to do for both your client and the media. It also doesn’t hurt to get an internship early on and be persistent!

(Q) Who are some of your favorite music acts right now?

It’s funny, I remember being told about how talented Big Sean is back in 2008, so I’m loving that he’s doing his thing right now and being recognized for it.

I also like that DJs [in general] are getting more of the respect they deserve in the last few years. They have become the new rockstars! A good or bad DJ can really make or break a night in the club or a party, etc.

My iPod is a hodge-podge of new and old; this and that…I can be listening to Rae Sremmurd, Ludacris and Migos one minute and then The Cranberries, Betty Who and Shiny Toy Guns the next.

(Q) Let's talk beauty! What is your beauty regimen? What are some of your favorite beauty products right now?

I’ve used Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion for years. I really like the consistency of it, I find it to be between a lotion and a gel. I’m a huge fan of Mario Badescu and use several of their products.
Recently I started using Fresh’s Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream after reading some good things about it. It’s really moisturizing and smells divine! Worth every penny. Cetaphil cleanser is a must - a tried and true face wash.

I am also a big fan of Bliss’ Fabulous Foaming Body Wash, as it has a fresh clean smell. Since I have curly hair, it’s important to have products that are really moisturizing. I like OGX’s Renewing Argan oil of Moracco shampoo and L’Oreal’s Moisture Rush Mask. My favorite hand cream on the planet is In Love by Lollia.

(Q) Do you have a favorite fragrance you love to wear? What is your favorite perfume?

My go-to perfume is J’adore Dior. I often get asked what I have on when I’m wearing that scent. I find it to be a really wonderful balance of being floral, but still bold.

(Q) What are your favorite makeup products?

There are some MAC products I have used for a long time now including the Eye Kohl eyeliners, their eye-shadows have great pigment (Dazzlelight and Contrast are favorites), and their bronzing powder is great (I use Golden). MAC also has really fantastic lipstick and lipgloss colors...I have more than I care to admit!

If I want a heavier look for night, I like Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows (a personal favorite is Birthday Suit). Like most women out there, I have yet to find a better blush than Nars’ Orgasm. It doesn’t matter what season it is or how tan or pale I am, the color is always perfection.

Maybelline’s Rocket Volum’ Express mascara really packs a punch. It is another favorite of mine. I find that the wand really coats my lashes well. Finding a good illuminator can make a big difference in making your cheeks glow in that Jennifer Lopez-way we all want! Smashbox makes one I like a lot (Photo Op Illuminator), it’s just the right amount of shimmer.

(Q) If you could share one beauty secret, what would it be and why?

I’m a firm believer that you should never go to sleep with your makeup on. Every single night I make sure to take off all my makeup, no matter how tired I am. I also think that “less is more,” I don’t pile on or layer oils/creams/serums on my face at the same time.

(Q) What is one beauty product you have always wanted to try, but haven't and why?

To be honest, I’ve never tried a spray tan. I think I’m afraid once I start I won’t be able to stop because I do love a tan! I think for now I’ll stick to other tricks like bronzers, lotions, etc.

(Q) What is your #1 guilty pleasure right now and why?

I can’t resist a Bravo reunion or a Nike Dunk Sky Hi (wedge) sneaker.

(Q) Name 3 guests (living or deceased) you would like to have a dinner party with and why?

I most definitely would want Larry David there because that man would make me laugh the entire time. And frankly, I would love to talk about nothing with him anytime. I would also love Ryan Seacrest to be at that dinner and pick his brain about business, because that man knows what works! He’s mastered the entertainment/TV business and he also has a genuine respect for music artists, which I appreciate. And last but certainly not least, what’s a dinner party without Oprah!? She asks the most poignant questions, she’s thoughtful and isn’t afraid to “go there…” and seems like a ton of fun once she’s had some cocktails! Can you imagine a conversation between her and Larry David? One day, right!

(Q) For all of those entertainment enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Tamar Juda? What is next for Last World PR?

I would love for those enthusiasts to know a few things: first and foremost the entertainment business isn’t all glitz and glamour. It’s a lot of work and hard work at that. At the end of the day it’s a business and everyone had to do his or her part to keep it moving along (and successful). This industry is also incredibly fast-paced which I find helpful because it weeds-out the people who aren’t cut out for this.

Additionally, I also want young people wanting to get into the industry to know that you can do it. I had numerous friends or people in my life growing up [for which I remember every single one of them] who would roll their eyes or think I’m crazy for wanting to get into the music/entertainment industry – well, look at me now! I did it all on my own starting with internships, making connections and doing the work.

A long time ago I learned that when you think you have all your “ducks in a row” something else pops-up and you just need to roll with it. I’m not sure what’s next for Last Word PR, perhaps I’ll expand my company even more, but for right now I’m happy where it is and the extent to which it’s grown steadily since 2008.

This will sound absolutely corny (and I acknowledge this), but the success for me personally is that I get to wake up everyday loving what I do. That’s the truth…I get to be creative, I work with amazing talent/music and I get to be my own boss. Nobody handed me anything, I did the work and it paid off.

Catch up with Tamar on Twitter @LastWordPR

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Rachel Kessler of Kessler Communications

Today we talk to Rachel Kessler, founder of Kessler Communications, LLC, a beauty, health and wellness public relations firm in New York City, about her health and wellness tips. Rachel has healed herself and came back strong from chronic autoimmune illnesses through these various health tips and lessons. She still maintains a gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free diet for optimal wellness.

Throughout her healthcare public relations career she has worked on behalf of clients such as Pfizer, Bayer, Medtronic and Amgen, worked on celebrity campaigns with Angelica Houston, Bart Conner and Joe Montana, and launched products such as Listerine Pocketpaks, Cialis, and Celebrex. She has worked in pretty much every therapeutic area from dermatology, plastic surgery, men's health, urology, diabetes to cardiology, gastroenterology and psychiatry.

(Q) What is the greatest tip you can give someone for health and wellness?

I think that connecting mind, body and spirit is the most important way to radiant health. If the spirit is unwell, the body will follow. If the emotions are holding a secret deep inside the gut, cells, mind or heart, the body will most likely become sick.

Do what makes your soul sing, what makes your spirit soar. Dancing? Drawing? Swimming? Do it. Take care to meditate and do a digital detox when you can. If there are any wounds, confront them so healing can begin. Be grateful for every day and every small moment and memory. I keep a gratitude journal and every night write down all that I am grateful for from the day. Usually, for me, I find myself writing down that I'm grateful for something that has to do with food. But oftentimes it's things like beautiful connections. My family, my magical nephew. My brother, friends and clients.

My point is to make sure your spirit is happy and healthy and eventually the body will follow. I also think when it comes to diagnosing and healing that thinking in a creative, out-of-the box kind of way can be really helpful. Bringing an entrepreneurial and creative spirit into the practice of medicine and science can only lead to greater discoveries and more treatment options. My client ZO Skin Health, Inc. has done this well and created some incredibly innovative skin care products as a result. That has been my experience. Pray in a way that is meaningful to you, be grateful, connect, think with a wide and open mind.

(Q) Anything else

If you have any addictions-whether that means being a workaholic, being addicted to your phone and technology, being a maniac exerciser or something else, tackle it. The key to vibrant health is balance in all ways. Be mindful about balance. If your'e drinking champagne, drink green juice. If you're hooked up to your computer and phone for days, hook up with your friends or spouse at night. If you work non-stop, rest. If you're channel surfing, go surfing. Everything in moderation.

(Q) What do you do to care for your skin? It looks amazing.

One of our very favorite clients of all time is ZO Skin Health. The company is thriving and filled with integrity, incredible products, amazing people and a pioneering spirit. The skin care products are science-backed, luxurious and results-driven. I use only ZO Skin Health, Inc. products. My medicine cabinet is all ZO Skin Health products. Since I started using these products, my skin has become so much healthier and more radiant. The other day a dermatologist thought I was ten years younger than I am. I said no, it's my client's products! I am very proud of them and could not be more thrilled to represent them professionally and personally. I recommend ZO Skin Health products to anyone and everyone who will listen. I'm passionate about them. I also make sure to indulge in a facial with Ashley Witte at Parlour De Witte. She's a very gifted aesthetician in New York City. She lifts the cheekbones up, as well as the spirit.

(Q) What are some unusual things that you do to maintain radiant health?

A few years ago, I met Tracy Piper of the Piper Center She is very knowledgeable about gut health and diet, among other things and has now become a friend. Getting acupuncture and colonics with her is always very beneficial in all ways. She recently wrote a book called The Piper Protocol which outlines all of her secret insider tips that she shares with her celebrity clients. I go to the Russian Turkish Baths in the East Village and sweat.

I think sweating is a great way to detox, heal, and prevent illness and inflammation. In fact, that was the theory behind the Lakota Sweat Lodges. The term for sweat lodge is Inipi, which means "to live again." I'm also a fan of making homemade fish broths with ginger and drinking warm lemon water in morning. I like to drink a chlorophyll water called Night Water from Sakara Life at the end of the day. I also love doing Bikram Yoga. In fact a hospital client had a study on yoga and how it reduces inflammation for breast cancer survivors and I think it can benefit everyone who is prone to inflammation, has autoimmune issues.

Here is the study Native Americans used activated charcoal as a toothpaste and I'm a big fan of what I like to call "charcoal for sparkle." My doctor, Dr. Patrick Fratellone, is an integrative medicine doctor and always filled with interesting, innovative ways to heal and treat. I have learned a lot from him.

(Q) That is fantastic. What other tips do you have?

Even if you're a city girl like I am, you really need to take time out and connect with nature. I live and work in the East Village of New York City, but make time to go running on Sundays along the river, dip my toes in the beach at Coney Island, and sit under a tree in Thompkins Square Park. After that, you come back even more energized for your work and with more passion and focus. I'm also constantly going outside of my comfort zone. I was recently asked to give a speech. I abhor public speaking. And so I said yes.

That's also why I did the New York City Triathlon. The thought of swimming in the Hudson River seemed so wild, I had to say yes. And constantly learning and being curious about the world is healthy too. I also really do believe in the edict that you are what you eat. This mean I am one human-sized vegetable, obviously.

(Q) What have you learned recently that you want to share?

I recently read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." It's a New York Times bestseller by Marie Kondo. It talks about clearing away any clutter and removing any possessions that don't "strike joy." I was already very organized but after that exercise, things have opened up even more. A clutter-free space spawns a clutter-free and healthy mind. And that's always welcome!
(Q) What people have most influenced your choice to be in health and wellness field?

My paternal grandfather, Dr. Ernest Borek, was a Hungarian scientist, pioneer in nucleic acid methylation, and microbiologist. His pioneering activities in cancer research led to significant scientific discoveries. His story is quite remarkable. As a boy, he could not attend college in Hungary because he was Jewish. He could not speak English when he came to this country at the age of 14 and the family was so poor they rubbed sausage on bread to make them think they were eating meat for dinner. Yet he worked hard, both at learning English and earning money, and he rose to become a college professor at Columbia who taught others. His research penetrated some of the mysteries of cancer, made the front page of the New York Times, and won him a nomination for the Nobel Prize. He was the author of four popular books and over 125 scientific publications.

My father, Ronald Kessler, is an investigative reporter, author of 20 books, and a New York Times bestselling author. So basically when you take someone who has a brain for pioneering science and health and mix them with someone who has a talent for communicating and writing then --boom--a passionate health public relations person is born. My grandfather Ernest said something quite powerful in his book, and I think it applies to all we have talked about here. Observing things from all different sides, including science, healing, and health.

"Great contributions in science come from two sources. There are those who, by keen observation, see something never seen before by the eyes of man. And then there are those, the more gifted ones I think, who take something seen by all but see it differently and give it new meaning."—Ernest Borek in Of Microbes and Life, edited by Jacques Monod and Ernest Borek, 1971.

Catch up with Rachel at Kessler Communications.