PR is one of the most powerful tools for artists, brands and companies alike. In music PR helps artists to reach new ears by helping to get their music out to the masses. Success in entertainment is usually based on knowing the right people and having a strong publicist will help you to effectively tell your story.
Leonard Wyatt of Platform Media Group is no stranger to leveraging genuine relationships and using his hard-won contacts to get his clients attract industry attention.The Fresh Committee had the opportunity to sit down with seasoned PR professional Leonard Wyatt and he shared facts about his background, story and gave us an inside look at what it takes to be a successful publicist.
Tell us a little bit about your background and being from Louisiana. How did your background prepare you for your career in PR and Marketing?
I was originally born in Mobile, Alabama. At the age of 13 I moved to Baton Rouge and this put me in a position where I had to adapt to a new environment quickly. My father was a business banker at Whitney Bank, AmSouth and Regions Bank. During college, I worked for a beignet business called Rue Beignet and slowly worked my way from cook to general manager/key holder. Growing up with a strong business man/entreprenuer like my father definitely helped with my transition. The business was eventually sold but I was able to learn a lot watching the owner (who was young like me) grow and scale the business. I was able to get a first hand look at marketing, managing and business at an early age and see that success can begin at any level and at any age.
How did you get your start in PR and what was your first project?
I started off in club and concert promotion while managing artists, and this inevitably brought me to Los Angeles. I started applying to jobs that I felt would help me manage and market an artist and landed an internship. My first project was actually for LA AX, the first ax throwing venue in LA, where I was able to be involved with the PR proposal, pitch, and signing them as a client. I quickly learned how to pitch different types of media, which I wasn’t accustomed to in the clubs.
What type of personality do you think is best suited for PR?
In PR you have to be someone who gets along with everybody. You definitely have to be able to work a room but you also have to know when to put your foot down. You have to be the type of person who can organize not only your life, but other people’s lives and dictate the things that they do and their projects. It’s also important to watch what everyone is doing in the industry. At the end of the day you have to be an individual who can prioritize well and stay in the mix.
What first attracted you to the music and entertainment industries?
They are things that have been around forever and aren’t going away anytime soon – true staples in the community and every aspect of life. Music can shape the narrative of a time period, and within the industry you’re able to shift the narrative and really alter the way music is received.
What’s something that you’ve learned now that you wish you could tell your younger self to help them avoid some of the pitfalls you may have faced earlier on in your career?
Don’t be afraid to fail. That’s a very cliché statement but a lot of people are afraid to go after their dreams or to take that next step and start something fresh. Another word of advice is to do more than you’re asked now so that you can reap the benefits of it later. I probably should have listened to my dad on this one. When you’re finished working, there’s always something else that can be done. Your work is never finished. There’s always more work, more research and more tasks to take care of. Try to always go over and beyond in everything you do.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve had the opportunity to be a part of?
My favorite project so far would be the new film Move The Crowd. Being able to be part of Moneybagg Yo’s tour PR was also incredible. Being Director of PR for The Muses Experience, a women’s empowerment event during Art Basel on the Seafair MegaYacht, was another awesome experience as well. I have been blessed to have the opportunities I’ve had thus far.
What are some qualities that you look for when you’re taking on new clients?
I like to take on clients that are very passionate about their brand and love to put out new content. When I receive plenty of content it makes my job easier, the marketing department’s job easier, and the promotors jobs easier. Some artists don’t understand that content is key. The more content that you put out, the more that the people in the background have to work with and more for your fans to engage.
Do you have any advice for aspiring PR & Marketing professionals who are interested in pursuing a career as an entertainment professional?
Be resilient. Once you get an opportunity to work on your first project, try to knock it out the park. You have to be in the action and find out what’s going on in the industry. Try to emulate the greats, find ways to cut through and stand out with your work ethic. Try to be creative and look at everything from a CEO’s perspective. Ask yourself, what ideas can I bring to the table that will help the company as a whole.