A good publicist understands the unpredictability of the media, communicates clear expectations to the client while doing everything in his or her power to secure placements in the desired media.
As part of my publicist rockstars column, I interviewed Mirka Newman, the founder of Mia Public Relations. She created her firm with a vision to focus on eco-conscious and tech-forward brands and nonprofits. During her career she has represented a multitude of clients in various industries including luxury travel, wellness, automotive, and entertainment, ultimately deciding to use her PR and media expertise for the greater good. Mirka’s firm specializes in giving a voice to brands and organizations striving to have a positive impact on this world. She is very well known for her multi-cultural PR experience, which has proven to be crucial in today’s ever-changing media world. She has a proven track record for creating and seamlessly executing public relations and social media campaigns, strategic partnerships, brand collaborations, content creation, and media influencer management.
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?
I grew up with a very strong female role model, my mother. She was a high-level executive and seeing her strength, motivation, and dedication naturally led me to become an entrepreneur and start my own company. However, there is a specific reason why I landed in the world of public relations. I have a passion for giving others the voice I believe they deserve. If I see someone doing something of value, it gives me an absolute thrill to be able to secure the recognition in the media. It all comes down to my excitement about supporting causes, brands, and companies that are paving the world towards a more positive tomorrow. I want to be the one standing behind them and creating opportunities for them.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
There are a lot of stories I could share, as owning and running a business is an adventure on its own. I think my favorite story is about one of my mentors and how we connected. I reached out to a potential client I really wanted to represent, as I didn’t see any PR representation listed on their website. I sent the email introducing myself, letting them know I would love to work with them and asking if we could schedule a quick phone call. My phone rang literally 5 minutes later. It was their current publicist on the other line! The world of PR is very competitive so I apologized and went into explaining that I had no idea they already had a PR firm. Before I had a chance to finish my sentence, she let me know it’s completely fine and that she is calling because she would love to connect and meet. It’s been years since that first phone call and she has become an amazing friend of mine.
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?
I installed Alexa in my office. Dear Alexa I decided to have a concert in the middle of my client status call. My advice? Don’t put Alexa anywhere near your office desk.:)
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
We are currently representing some amazing nonprofits that are doing everything they can to support people as well as animals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s heartbreaking to see the current situation, but also very inspiring to see people working really hard to support one another. We have also recently signed on a new client in the tech space that I believe is changing the world of online fundraising and paving the way towards a more honest and transparent future. Needless to say, I am very excited to be working with so many inspiring brands and individuals!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
This might be a tough one as I have had many people give me great advice that I, unfortunately, didn’t always take. One that comes to mind is definitely the importance of knowing that you can’t control every outcome. Of course, this is one of the main hurdles every PR professional has to go through. We all know we can’t fully control the outcome no matter how much effort we put in. We can never guarantee a placement in a specific publication or outlet as there are too many variables dictating the final result. A good publicist understands the unpredictability of the media, communicates clear expectations to the client while doing everything in his or her power to secure placements in the desired media.
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
Absolutely! You can’t survive in the world of PR without a bold but tactful approach. If someone offers to connect you and introduce you to one of their contacts, don’t take it for granted and of course, do all you can to establish a personal relationship. But, don’t rely on these introductions. Be proactive, research people that you should be starting a conversation with, attend networking events, and most importantly be honest about why you are reaching out and what you would like to accomplish. Some of the closest connections I now have are the ones I approached with respect, brutal honesty and transparency, and of course, a bit of humor. There is beauty in being yourself and letting people get to know you.
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?
Leads have come to me from the most unexpected places but most of them came from word of mouth and referrals. I also believe it’s about the quality of work that you do for your existing clients. Someone out there will notice and come to you asking for the same results.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you should always be waiting for someone to approach you. If there is a brand or a company you are very passionate about and would love to represent, put yourself out there, and introduce yourself. I strongly believe in a proactive and not reactive approach not just with pitching but also with lead generation.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
There are many books that I have read that I believe helped shape me into who I am today. The one I would recommend to everyone is Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink. A great book that will help you be a leader no matter what situation you are in.
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 am personally all about reconnecting with nature and getting to know foreign cultures. I believe when people travel with open minds, they not only meet new interesting people but also learn a lot about themselves. I have found that when I travel and take some time off I come back with a refreshed mind, ready to come up with new and unique ideas to benefit our clients. So I guess the movement should be about flexibility in the workplace. People work best when they have a work-life balance. This is one of those things that Europeans understand and are taking into account.