Labor of Love: Teia Harris Explains Her Love for Publicity
Teia Harris, founder of the public relations firm Love Publicity and creator of the Love Harder initiative is making a name for herself nationwide through the success of her client brands and work as a mentor.
On how she got started
After graduating from Clark Atlanta University with her degree in public relations, Harris landed a job in corporate America in Atlanta working in advertising and sales. She only made $25,000 a year, but was grateful for the opportunity because it helped her to start paying her student loans. Harris says she was miserable in her role and thus began researching how to start her own public relations firm. She researched small and large firms to understand the business and the type of services she should offer. Harris then went on to create and register her name and bought a logo but didn’t launch her brand. When the economy crashed, she was laid off from her job and worked as a freelance publicist for a few years. In 2011, after moving back home to Detroit, Harris launched Love Publicity.
Typical day in the life
As a business owner, it was important for her to discover what hours she produced her best work. Harris realized that she was most productive between 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. She begins her day early to exercise and eat breakfast. Next, she checks and prioritizes her emails and creates a to-do list. As both an entrepreneur and a publicist, she has to balance the business side and public relations side of her company. On the business side, she checks books, makes sure her invoices are issued to clients, that her team is paid on time, and her overhead is covered. On the PR side, her schedule changes daily. She spends most of her time pitching story ideas to reporters, working through upcoming marketing ideas, planning and coordinating events, seminars etc., and creating copy and content. She is always on her phone and email. “It’s quite fun but hard work. There is always something to do,” Harris says. She also dedicates one hour every week to mentor teen girls. Harris works with small businesses in the lifestyle, hospitality, beauty and fashion sector. Some of those projects included:
- Lamik Beauty
- Burn Rubber & New Balance Sneaker Release
- Heidi D Cosmetics
- Darrius Peace
- Wanda Grace
- Detroit Training Center
- Glam-aholic Lifestyle
On what sets her apart and advice to other PR professionals
“I am very passionate about PR and would do if for free if I didn’t have to support myself,” Harris says. She tries creative approaches and uses experimental PR and marketing when creating campaigns. Love Publicity is a very results-driven PR firm and posts case studies and press for herself and clients on her website.
“If you are in school, start now,” Harris says. “Start creating your brand and be prepared to launch when you graduate. If you have already launched, make sure you are well informed on the business. PR is not what it appears to be on TV. It’s a lot of writing.”
Harris also recently started a blog series on LinkedIn giving different tips for professionals and people looking to hire a public relations firm or publicists. You can contact Harris on her website, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and like her Facebook page.