1. Marie and Jean, Playbook MG began in 2014, how has your agency evolved?
A: We've become more dynamic over the years. In the beginning, our core business consisted of public relations services and, in time, encompassed a wide variety of MarCom related offerings. We have continued to evolve our brand and reinvented ourselves to become a multi-disciplinary agency. As founders, it was important for us to grow a talented group of people, and our team continues to push the realm of possibilities by showing up and showing out. Playbook MG is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. With the onset of Covid, we decided to upsize our Industry City office to provide an even more enterprising work environment despite the challenges of the time.
2. You work with the most innovative artists today. Before an artist steps through your door, what should they know? (This can be interpreted in different ways; I am looking forward to your perspective).
A: Any potential client needs to know their identity and their expectations. It's helpful for us to understand what they are willing to explore in terms of branding and leads for opportunities. Ultimately, the objective drives the delivery, and that's how we help define pathways for the client to achieve their goals.
3. Playbook MG is well-known for adeptly addressing the growing difficulties of capturing an audience's attention. Take us through the process of working with you.
A: Playbook MG is an immersive PR firm because we look anywhere and everywhere for the right opportunities, and we protect the brand at all costs. We focus on optimizing communications between the client and various suitable audiences. We will identify markets and potential targets to influence your bottom line, all while mitigating lingering threats.
3. What are a few misnomers when artists look to build their brands?
A: The term overnight success is very misleading because the artist often experiences a period of getting acclimated to the profession and faces challenges getting to their breakout moment. It is essential to give yourself some breathing room and adjust yourself in the near term, so success is more impactful in the long run.
4. Tell us about the global media placement that your clients have received.
A: Our first significant territory outside of the United States was the Caribbean. It continues to be a major component of our media outreach. Now we have an even greater understanding of various islands' role in the regional and news cycle in general. Jamaica, as well as Trinidad & Tobago, are key players. We've had placements in top media outliers, including the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica Observer, The Star, Loop Jamaica and Loop TT, Newsday TT, and Trinidad Express. Africa is also emerging as a powerhouse when it comes to local news sources. We've had great success with media placements in Nigeria and Ghana and steadily becoming more familiar with the press in Kenya and South Africa.
5. Marie, you are a much sought-after speaker, in 2021, you were a featured guest speaker in the Unlocking Possibilities programming. Tell us about the takeaways from this talk.
A: At this particular event, I wanted to be transparent and relatable so that my presentation would resonate with the audience. I was there to offer career advice, encouragement, and inspiration. I shared some anecdotes from my career, and some of them were wild or even slightly embarrassing, but I felt it was better to be authentic. I think it's empowering to hear the behind-the-scenes outtakes because it puts things into perspective for others.
6. Your team has a plethora of expertise in branding, public relations, media strategy, and digital marketing. Tell us about the synergy of your team and how your strength as a team catapults your clients into stardom.
A: Working as a team is everything. We collectively harness our power by tapping into our strengths while respecting the ever-changing dynamic. Solution-oriented outcomes are more plausible when you can step back and give constructive input. As individuals, we bring our A-game, but that is not enough. We have to listen to our clients and connect with them so that the directives make sense when we combine our efforts. It's important to know their expectations, so we can, in turn, raise the stakes internally to deliver above and beyond results.
7. You have turned brands into legends. Who have you enjoyed working with the most or who have you enjoyed seeing the most growth?
A: Having a hand in someone's success story is very rewarding. Playbook MG helped FOX 5 NY NEWS coordinate a special showcase called "Kings and Queens of Dancehall" and organized talent including Spice, Protoje, Beenie Man, and a special moment with newcomer Koffee. From our perspective, it was such a great New York experience for a pivotal young artist stepping onto the scene. What a joy to see a promising rising star flourish. Likewise, it has been a very cool experience working with the streaming platform Audiomack. Innovation on the digital frontier is mind-blowing, and we love supporting a creator-friendly space that serves as a host and discovery platform.
8. How do you get brands ready for Fashion Week?
A: Fashion week is a time for networking, to be seen, and to support designers, of course. It depends on the capacity to which we are involved. Each client may have a different reason for being there, so the way we navigate prepping is customized. Say, for example, there is an opportunity to maximize an indirect link when a client is a celebrity of some sort dating a model versus if the client is a liquor brand sponsoring an after-party for an established clothing line.
9. Are you working on upcoming events for clients?
A: Yes, we are working on an event supporting our client Kristin Evans in Orlando, Florida. Her advocacy for domestic violence victims and their families has helped her speak out on her own experience as a survivor. She is curating an art exhibition on the subject matter called Say It Out Loud, coinciding with Women's History Month.
10. What is your vision for 2022? (Collaborations? Expansion into other verticals?)
A: We are reinventing ourselves as a natural byproduct of the pandemic. 2022 is about getting out of our comfort zone from a headspace perspective. We have some fundamental decisions to make and some foundational pivots to explore. Down the line, we will open additional offices in relevant cities like Atlanta and Miami. Eventually, a west coast division makes sense too.
11. Please provide your social media.
Photo Credit: Lyndon King @kpshotit