Style

5 Questions With Self-Made PR Extraordinaire And #GirlBoss, GG Benitez

October 10, 2016 by Jeanine Edwards
shefinds | Style

As an editor, I rely pretty heavily of publicists to keep me abreast of what new and upcoming from brands we love. Given that we cover fashion, beauty, weddings, kids and so much more here at SHEfinds, we work with a lot of pr teams. One of my favorite, though? GG Benitez! The San Diego-based publicist and I have been working together for years and when I tell you she is good, she is good. Get to know her, and how she built her business from the ground up, below.

SHEfinds: Tell us a little about how you got started in PR? Who are some of your clients?

GG Benitez: After several years in pharmaceutical sales, I decided I wanted to be my own boss. I dabbled in a few different industries, and in 2004, I started a fashion brand with my best friend called “Tuni & G.” The line featured “Mommy & Me” clothing with coordinating graphics such as “Don’t ya wish your mommy was hot like mine?/Don’t ya?.” We landed boutiques and children’s stores across the country, including Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.

I wanted to generate as much buzz as possible for the brand to help push retailer and web sales, so I figured out, on my own, how to seed the brand with A-list celebrities and secure consistent media attention ranging from local San Diego news shows to national press like The TODAY Show, People Magazine, and US Weekly.

Other companies began calling our customer service line to ask who our PR firm was, and I didn’t understand; I was under the impression only celebrities hired publicists. And then it clicked: I was our publicist.

Towards the end of 2008, we were having trouble keeping up with manufacturing costs. A local San Diego businesswoman with a kids’ entertainment group called me for an order, and I saw an opening to ask if the group had PR representation. She said they were on the verge of signing a large NY-based agency, and right then and there, I decided to “sell” her on my PR services based on my own brand’s success. This got me the opportunity to meet with her board a few days later.

After that phone call, I read every book PR and Marketing book I could get my hands on. I also called a fabulous publicist friend and asked her to partner with me as a mentor on the campaign. I created business cards online and drafted a professional proposal to present at the meeting. I won this first client and hit the ground running – the group went from local malls to performing at Hollywood celebrity birthday parties and being all over the news!

Within a few weeks, the co-founder of the highly successful Canadian-based label company Mabel’s Labels read about my work on an editor’s Facebook page and reached out to me to help them break into U.S press. They became my 2nd client, and are still my client eight years later. Each year, my PR business continued to grow through word-of-mouth and the quality of results I secure for my clients.

SF: What’s one thing people would find surprising about working in PR/running your own company?

GB: The intensity of it all! You’re constantly in a position where you’re working to achieve your clients’ goals, while simultaneously respecting the media’s needs and time. What might surprise those not in PR is that you need to consider the media as you do your own client.

SF: What’s been the hardest part of running your own PR business?

GB: Managing unrealistic expectations can be quite difficult. Clients don’t always understand that there is a strategy and science behind PR, and what placements are valuable for one client might not be so for another. I’m very transparent from the beginning of any campaign about what realistic expectations are and why the most successful campaigns are slow and steady, not an overnight sensation.

SF: What’s your best advice to people looking to break into the PR business?

GB: Decide if you are someone who works better as a boss, or under a boss. I knew from the get-go I wanted to be my own boss. Although that meant that I was never going to be handed clients and I held the responsibility of getting–and maintaining–new business, the benefits outweighed the risks.

If you decide to launch your own PR firm, learn about the type of industry you’re interested in focusing on and learn as much as you can about how to communicate effectively to that target consumer through the media. And above all, be a person of integrity and character, no matter what challenges you face. Your name will become your brand, so make it a strong one!

SF: If you weren’t running your own PR company, what would you be doing?

GB: I would be either traveling or have a travel agency. Aside from PR, I passionately love to travel and explore the world!

Be sure to check out our interview with jewelry designer Dana Bronfman and Heidi Zak of Third Love.

[Photo: Instagram]

 

From Our Partners

From Our Partners

Fashion

ASOS Casually Just Dropped A 100-Piece Activewear Line

February 19, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
*buys everything from the collection*

Celebrity

The Weird Reason Kate Middleton Never Wears Black

February 19, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
This is mind-blowing!

Fashion

Wide Leg Jeans Are About To Be Everywhere & We Found The Most Perfect Pairs

February 17, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
New trend alert.

Fashion

5 Brands Reveal Their Most Popular Sneakers (AKA The Ones Every Woman Should Own)

February 17, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
*buys every pair*

Fashion

Will H&M Have A President's Day Sale This Year? The Answer.

February 16, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
Go start shopping now!

Fashion

Ladies, These Are The Best Blazers For Under $50!

February 16, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
For work or for play

Fashion

You're Going To Want To Buy These Flats The Moment You See Them

February 16, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
They're the cutest shoes we've ever seen

Style

These Affordable Black Leggings Make Your Stomach Look Flatter--For Real

February 16, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
Every woman needs a pair.

Fashion

These Are The Best Cropped Leggings Ever--& They All Cost Less Than $50!

February 16, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
Full-length need not apply

Fashion

How To Buy Those M. Gemi Sacchetto Flats That Have A 1,400-Person Wait List

February 16, 2018 by Samantha Peters
The wait is over.

Fashion

Once And For All, These Are The Best Puffer Jackets Under $50

February 15, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
We're loving these price tags!

Fashion

The Best Stockings Ever Are Bulletproof--We're Not Kidding!

February 15, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
You'll never get a run again.

Style

Psst! Kate Spade Leather Handbags Are Currently Under $100 At This Epic Sale

February 15, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
Don't miss this!

Style

Finally! These Are The Best Cheap Rain Boots That Aren't Completely Hideous

February 15, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
They look good on everyone.

Fashion

Everyone Is Obsessed With This Cheap Shoe Line At Target--Everything Is Under $25!

February 15, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Style bloggers LOVE these.

Fashion

Get Excited For Zara's Amazing 2018 President's Day Sale

February 15, 2018 by Jessica Harrington

Style

These Affordable Black Leggings Make Your Stomach Look Flatter--For Real

We all love leggings for so many reasons; they're ...

Style

LIVELY And ban.do Joined Forces On An Exclusive Swimwear Collection

Just in time for spring break and summer travel season, ...

Style

Psst! Kate Spade Leather Handbags Are Currently Under $100 At This Epic Sale

If the unrelenting gloominess of winter is making you feel ...

LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS