Kindness and Empathy Go a Long Way. I once worked at an agency and shared an office with another publicist. We also shared an assistant. The other publicist was rough and rude, I was sensible and treated the assistant well. The assistant went to management to ask to work only for me.
As a part of my series about the things you need to know to excel in the modern PR industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gabriel Reyes. Gabriel is President and Founder of Reyes Entertainment, a boutique LA-based PR agency specializing in bilingual marketing and communications. Reyes has won several awards and been recognized by CNN’s Latino in America as well as one of “50 Most Powerful Latinos in Hollywood” by The Hollywood Reporter. Reyes Entertainment creates high impact campaigns for film releases, TV and Streaming Networks, programs, celebrities as well as lifestyle brands. www.reyesentertainment.com
Thank you so much for your time Gabriel! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I came to a career in communications after realizing that Latinos in America has an image problem. Namely, the perpetuating of negative stereotypes by mainstream media. I decided I would embark on a career in communications to help to transform America’s perception of Latinos to a move positive and inclusive one. We promote the projects and personalities in the Latino world that all Americans should know about.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
I’ve had many lives in my profession and many exciting and interesting stories. I would name one as being instrumental in securing the first magazine cover for Jennifer Lopez — Latina Magazine’s inaugural issue). When Latina Magazine was starting out, I was hired as its publicist. I was then tasked with identifying suitable subjects for its first cover. I suggested Jennifer Lopez as I had seen her in Blood & Wine and Money Train, two of her first films. She was approved and the rest became history.
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 made was early on my career was contacting a publisher to pitch a story. Fortunately, they were kind and directed me to the correct person. It was a novice mistake and it taught me a lesson that I’ll never forget: Know who you are pitching!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Currently, I am in the process of helping our client Charo grow her Instagram and social media pages. She is an icon who should be known by the new generations. We give Charo some advice and help to set up and expand her digital footprint.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Not everyone will thank you. Don’t do it for the thanks. Do it for yourself.
- Kindness and Empathy Go a Long Way. I once worked at an agency and shared an office with another publicist. We also shared an assistant. The other publicist was rough and rude, I was sensible and treated the assistant well. The assistant went to management to ask to work only for me.
- Don’t bring your boss about your troubles. Bring solutions. When I first started, I used to complain to my boss about my troubles dealing with our clients and journalists. After a while, the boss wasn’t coming around too much anymore. I learned to take my boss my successes and solutions to our problems.
- Celebrities and VIPs are people, like you and me. When I started in this business, I was star-struck and believed celebrities to be some kind of ethereal beings. I soon learned that celebrities are human beings who exhibit every human trait, good and bad. I learned to take things in stride and not to put others on a pedestal.
- Adapt, Adapt, Adapt. Change is the only thing that is constant. Learn to adapt to new circumstances and the journey will be easier.
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
Tips on being a master networker:
- Dress and Grooming. Dress well, groom well. Always carry breath mints
- Be Aware of your Energy. Smile. Make eye contact. Shake hands firmly. Exude positive vibrations.
- Be a Good Listener. Focus your attention on the other person. Be interested in their stories.
- Be helpful. Offer advice or guidance.
- Follow-Up. Follow up with phone calls, emails, texts. Set that coffee or business meeting.
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?
Lead-generation is oftentimes via word-of-mouth. I have been in the business for over two decades and have established a solid reputation in the world of entertainment, business, and media. I also network and inform myself of opportunities within my areas of expertise.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
I don’t have a particular book or podcast since there are so many. I usually read and listen to several at once.
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. 🙂
If I could trigger a movement it would be a “Back to Nature” Movement that would encourage families to live together inter-generationally, work at home, or close to home. Teach children farming, animal husbandry, home economics, and basic life skills from an early age. Set up Food As Treatment programs in every city and enlist farmers, restaurants food stores and families to participate.
This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.