Kenneth Courtney Jr.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m a Publicist and a good publicist is a great storyteller. My function in building brands is to articulate the brand and to tell it’s story to engaged audiences across multiple platforms to build greater awareness and develop their image.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I valued experience when I was in college which meant a lot of unpaid internships, but great career opportunities. Internships with Country Music Television and MTV led to working large-scale events such as the Video Music Awards and managing PR for talent as a student. Those years of experience brought me to New York City where I began working in fashion, lifestyle and entertainment PR. My experience working at agencies was great, but I found that I wasn’t granted the opportunity to really be creative and develop strategies and campaigns for clients. I started Courtney Creative PR to do just that.
How do you stand out in your field?
With Courtney Creative PR, I’m carving my own lane. My clients are dynamic creatives and millennial entrepreneurs. I’m also part of the LGBTQ community and have found a niche in working on initiatives and projects that empower us.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Courtney Creative PR is busy preparing for the rollout of a 3-part album and tour for a rising music artist while planning a series of talks and a festival in the summer of 2019 for MOBI, an organization formed to uplift queer men of color. My fashion and beauty clients are keeping me busy as well.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I’m always eager to create experiences for creatives and opportunities for consumers to authentically connect with the brands I’m working with. My hair care client, Zac Von Sleek recently did a pop-up during the inaugural ENVSN Fest in October and the feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Creating opportunities to experience the brand are always rewarding.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I’m a performer at heart so I always enjoy working with talent. I understand the level of pressure you’re under and the amount of preparation it takes to do the job so offering my skills to help a true talent shine is a great feeling.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Wearing many hats comes with starting your own business. Solely focusing on the creative part of my job is a luxury I just don’t have. Having a lot of work on my plate is a great thing, but I’m focusing on scaling my business and growth. It’s challenging at times, but necessary.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
PR is all about relationships, but writing and sending pitches is an essential part of the job. If I could hire someone to write thought out, informative, and attractive pitches for all the clients and initiatives I’m working on, I 100% would. I could definitely use the extra time for planning.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I definitely don’t hold any regrets, but I was always a little hesitant to share my ideas when I first started my career. If I could go back and tell my post-grad self anything, it would be to lean in and ALWAYS contribute. What I have to say matters.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
One of my goals for the new year is to be more financially fit especially since I’m working on growing the business. I would definitely benefit from talking to a financial planner about benchmarks for making the amount of revenue I would love to make each year.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’m looking for opportunities and projects that will allow me to be creative. I shine working in lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment and I’m always looking to work with more established music artists and personalities.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I would love to work on programming for a boutique hotel property. The opportunities are vast when it comes to curating an experience for guests and the brands that could potentially partner to bring those experiences to life.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Overall, I try to build a retainer based on specific client needs and budget, but my monthly retainer starts around $3k.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Museums. Travel. Self-care. New experiences. Laughter.
This member profile was originally published in January 2019.