Collaboration is key. It is one of my brand’s taglines but I truly believe in collaboration over competition. I make sure that I surround myself with others in the industry with who I can collaborate. Cheer for each other, your business and life will be so much more full if you help one another.
As part of my interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natasha Dressler. Natasha is a Publicist and Writer from Orange County, CA. Natasha has spent over 18 years in high results-driven industries that include: Cosmetics, Tech, and Marketing Agencies. Natasha believes collaboration is key and lives true to her agency’s Mission Statement: “Provide a Creative and Collaborative Experience to Take You to The Next Level.” Natasha attended Pennsylvania State University, with a major in Communications and a focus in Public Relations and Advertising.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Growing up I was always the kid asking questions, interview style, to get to know people better. I always admired Broadcast Journalists like Barbara Walters and was mesmerized by her ability to interview influential individuals. I thought Journalism was my calling but my love for writing started to take a back seat when family, friends, and businesses I knew started calling me the “best hype woman” or “their unofficial publicist.” I worked in a lot of fast paced industries but deep down I knew I was destined for more.
In the summer of 2019, I was laid off for the first time in my life and that’s when I knew that it was time to work for myself. From there I started planning, collaborating and began my entrepreneurial journey to start my own Public Relations agency. In January 2020, Natasha Dressler PR was born!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
One of my favorite stories includes one of my favorite clients who has a really innovative undergarment line. I was pitching the founder for some “thought leadership” spotlights and little did I know I pitched her directly to the host of the #1 Sirius XM show. Turns out that the host was so interested in her product and mission, she wanted to do a very large media deal with my client and her product!
Lesson learned: take chances with pitching. Be professional but don’t be afraid to take the leap, you never know who will actually read your pitch and want to give you a chance.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
One of the funniest mistakes I’ve made was using a snippet tool to send out a pitch and realized that I hadn’t changed the name of the recipient after I had sent out 6 emails to individuals. I was mortified that everyone was addressed “Hey Kimberly!” Luckily a few contributors wrote me back and joked about it but it was a lesson to always check your work before sending it out! Second lesson, don’t send out cold or impersonal pitches, ever.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I have two new clients that started this year that I am so excited to work with. Client one is The Tamarindo Podcast, a Latinx podcast that has gained press from CNN, Oprah Magazine, and been recognized as one of Apple Podcasts “New and Noteworthy.” The two podcast hosts Brenda Gonzalez and Ana Sheila Victorino really do an amazing job of amplifying latinx voices and have such admirable backgrounds.
My other client is Eric “E-Rock” Nagrampa, a very successful and large national icon within the DJ scene, radio personality to one of the top rated Los Angeles shows, and an entrepreneur. He has shared the stage with top musical talents including John Legend, Ludacris, T-Pain, Ne-Yo and J. Cole along with having interviewed almost every notable hip hop artist. Most recently during the pandemic, he has shifted from in-person club performances to streaming on Twitch, a very large international streaming platform, with incredibly successful metrics. From “Vegas themed” streams to charitable streams, he is consistently pushing towards building a new way to bring music to the homes worldwide.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Collaboration is key. It is one of my brand’s taglines but I truly believe in collaboration over competition. I make sure that I surround myself with others in the industry with who I can collaborate with. Cheer for each other, your business and life will be so much more full if you help one another.
- Invest in yourself! Get involved with a PR Mastermind, PRSA and your local PRSA chapter, Women’s Entrepreneurial Groups, and find a Mentor/Coach. If you don’t continue to elevate yourself, you will eventually get stuck and not have all the tools in your toolbox to continue to thrive.
- Be prepared to work long days when you start out. You’re going to have to hustle hard to get to a point where you have the freedom to dictate your schedule and hours. It’s tiring and exhausting but it is worth every minute.
- Your clients aren’t going to stay with you forever and it’s ok. I was so devastated during the craziness of 2020 to lose some of my favorite clients but if 2020 taught us anything it’s that nothing is for certain. Don’t take it personal, know you did your best and know you will attract other clients.
- Prepare to get ghosted, even the best publicists get ghosted. Editors and contributors are incredibly busy, some get 100 to 1000 pitches in a day! If they don’t get back to you it’s ok, that is why you set up follow ups, mine are 2 weeks to then 4 weeks. If you still don’t hear back it could be they are busy, your pitch isn’t resonating, or they already have a maxed out editorial calendar. I had a writer from a top tier outlet ghost me for a month and out of nowhere contact me with a very strict 7 day deadline to get the story for a client feature. It was an unexpected but pleasant surprise; patience is key!
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
I’ve been a networker since I was a child, I loved making new friends even down to random store employees when shopping. I love to network, introduce people, and know that I have an all-star list to contact when I need something! My top three networking tips are: attend virtual conferences until in-person are permitted again, have a virtual coffee session with someone you want to get to know, and get on the app Clubhouse! I can’t even begin to tell you how my network has grown from being a speaker or getting called up to chat on Clubhouse. This app is the next big thing for professionals, especially publicists!
Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
I really believe in being my authentic self. My Instagram and LinkedIn are true to who I am along with voicing my brand’s core values. I am who I am and if we don’t align, there is no problem with that as I don’t take it personal. I think that mentality is very important in PR as who you are is what builds relationships. I get quality leads from referrals, LinkedIn, and my Instagram account. I have recently received a few very solid referrals from networking groups I belong to so if I can stress anything again: NETWORK!
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
I am a huge fan of reading and podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts is The Powerful Ladies Podcast hosted by the incredible Kara Duffy. In her podcast she elevates women’s voices from all different walks of life and it truly leaves you inspired every episode. For any publicists or interested parties reading, I am featured on episode 55 and one of my PR mentors Jen Berson of Jeneration PR was featured on episode 83!
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I love to use my voice for good and doing what is right. I would love to be able to consistently feed and assist the less fortunate. There are so many families and individuals struggling, poverty is at an all time high right now and I want nothing more than to make sure people don’t go to bed hungry. I’d love to create an initiative where we could feed people three healthy meals a day, make sure healthcare is attainable, and basic necessities are given. We never know the “why” behind someone moving into poverty and it is not for us to judge, so why not have a loving heart and help them.
This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.