After graduating from UCSD, Bryanne Lawless moved home to LA and immediately got to work at a PR firm in Beverly Hills. A bit disappointed in the industry and wanting to work for herself, she started her own local event production company and then went to work on the newspaper/media side. Working on the opposite side of the PR field opened Bryanne’s eyes to the opportunity for PR in the local area. Bryanne opened BLND Public Relations in 2013 to focus on what she loves most, lifestyle brands. Since then, she has successfully launched multiple lifestyle brands, restaurants, and fitness studios, as well as executed high-end events both locally and nationally.
Job Title: Owner
Agency: BLND Public Relations
Current City: Hermosa Beach,CA
Education: Major in Communications from the University of California, San Diego
How did you get started in PR?
I got my start in PR from my internship experiences during college at UCSD. I interned at the Hard Rock Hotel and was involved with more nightlife marketing, falling absolutely in love with it.
How did you come to start BLND PR?
When I moved back home to L.A. after college I started working at a PR firm in Beverly Hills and didn’t have the best experience. The atmosphere wasn’t for me and I left that position thinking that I wouldn’t be pursuing a career in PR anymore. Later on, after I worked as an investment banker, I started working for a local newspaper in the South Bay. While working there, found there was a huge opportunity for small businesses to grow with PR and social media. I saw that the PR world was changing, so I decided to start BLND PR.
These days, what do you spend most of your time doing?
My primary responsibilities at BLND are centered on new business development. This involves signing new clients, making sure our current clients are always happy with our work and ensuring that BLND as a business is attractive to new clients. As a small boutique firm we are extremely hands-on with our clients so overall client communication is a huge part of my responsibilities.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on?
The mood in the office is always a little crazy in the best way possible! We always have music playing and there is a dog running around and wanting everyone to play fetch with him, so there is always something going on in the office, which is what we love.
Since it’s the beginning of the year, it’s a big time for clients to rebrand and reinvent themselves. We are extremely busy right now with new clients that are looking to make a big business push in 2016.
Team BLND all smiles at work
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
Recently we went up against 5 other big PR firms in the same area for a new client and won the bid. It was a very proud moment for BLND, especially because two years ago — when we first started — we went up against similar firms and wouldn’t fully win the bid but kept on trucking. I feel very lucky to be ahead of the competition and to win these bids.
What has been the most memorable or meaningful moment in your career thus far?
My most memorable moment in my career so far, has to be starting BLND PR, making a pink couch out of fabric and a random couch from Home Goods (that is still in our office two years later). It always reminds me of where we started and how much we’ve grown.
What about the most glamorous moment?
The most glamorous moment in my career thus far, was being featured in the L.A. Business Journal. My pup also made it on the cover, so I was a proud mama.
The official BLND PR office mascot
Ok boss lady, what are you really good at?
I’m really good at talking to people and connecting with others, which is why I love PR since we are constantly in communication and sharing our client’s message to people. I surprisingly loathe writing even though PR has a majority of writing to be done in order to communicate the message.
I’m really good at talking to people and connecting with others, which is why I love PR because we are constantly communication and sharing our client’s message to people.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?
I try to stay really positive, I’ve always been a pretty positive person so I just have carried that attitude into my business. I live on stress, and feed and thrive on crazy situations by constantly moving and shaking. I always tell the new girls that they will know if they love PR within 3 days, because they’ll either be all over it from the start or they’ll hate it.
I live on stress and feed and thrive on crazy situations and constant moving & shaking, so I always tell that girls that start with us that you’ll know if you love PR in 3 days because you’ll either be all over it from the start or you’ll hate it.
What are three must-have tools, apps, or products that are essential to your job?
- My phone – I’m constantly checking emails at 3 am with one eye open.
- Photoshop to quickly make edits on projects
- My number one girl Britta – she runs the office and I wouldn’t be able to handle it without her (but don’t tell her that)
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
I wish more people understood how highly stressful PR is. I think PR gets a bad reputation for being a glamorous job, but no one really understands the amount of work that goes into each thing we do for our clients. I also think a lot of businesses think they can do their own PR and social media, but it really is a job in itself. By allowing us to help them with what we specialize in, they can better do the things that they are good at.
How do you stay on top of industry trends?
We try to stay on top of industry trends in a couple of different ways. First, we try to go to networking events as often as possible to meet new people in our industry. We also do training sessions for management twice a week to make sure we are on-top of the latest technologies and techniques, as well as do training sessions for our interns because we always want them to be constantly learning and expanding their skill set. When it comes to social media BLND is constantly trying all the new platforms so that we can have our clients on them too. We have a Snapchat, a Periscope and are just launching our YouTube channel!
What’s the biggest challenge facing lifestyle communicators right now?
I think the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now is the fakeness in the industry. It’s so important to remember where you came from and help one another out. In our industry, I believe you can get farther and do better work for your business and clients by being a good person. My favorite quote is in my email signature and I think it perfectly sums this up: Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
In our industry, I believe you can get farther and do better work for your business and clients by being a good person.
It’s sweet to be a BLND PR Girl
What type of person thrives at BLND?
The type of person that thrives at our company is someone who can take initiative and run with projects and assignments on their own. Our office is sometimes crazy, so they have to be able to be a little crazy too. The person who thrives here at BLND has their own direction and I’ve found with PR it either clicks with a person or it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter where they went to school or what they’ve done before, people who love PR — and understand — it will thrive.
The environment where you work has a huge impact on your overall life so you should always do something that you love above all.
And finally, what would you tell someone who wants to be you when they grow up?
First, I would tell them to get a dog – they teach you a lot about yourself and they are always perfect for making you smile when things are crazy. Next and most importantly, I would say to have no fear and just take that jump. If you’re doing something you don’t love everyday, you won’t be giving your best. The environment where you work has a huge impact on your overall life so you should always do something that you love above all.
Thank so much to Bryanne for all the BLNDspiration!