Q&A with Angela P. Moore-Thorpe, a Leader in Public Relations
Angela P. Moore-Thorpe is in the business of making people shine bright —from jazz entertainers, to actors and actresses, and even small business owners. Angela is a talented professional writer with feature articles in many national magazines and an Atlanta, GA-based publicist. Some of her clients’ at her pr firm, APM Public Relations include: R&B music artist Neyo’s The Compound Foundation, National Jazz Artists-Dee Lucas and Antoine Knight; Celebrity Mothers: Aliyah Najm (T-Pain’s mom), Loraine Smith (Ne-Yo’s mom) and Jacida Carter (Lil Wayne’s mom), actor Keith Allen Hayes, and more. Angela has knack for getting people media exposure and she is writing her first book that will be published soon. Get to know Angela and enjoy her small biz diamonds…
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to starting your own business
I’m a passionate writer, publicist and entrepreneur. I enjoy art, music, photography and traveling and I have lived abroad. As long as I can remember I have always been fascinated with words and images. I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and my writing style has landed articles in local and national publications, including Essence, Black Enterprise, Upscale, Cuisine Noir, J’Adore, and many others. I have an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a masters degree in Public Administration from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. I am one class away from obtaining my masters degree in English. I’ve had a triple career over the years. I taught college English part-time, operated my public relations firm and served as a freelance writer. Before that I was an editor at a national magazine and taught middle school Language Arts.
I started APM Public Relations because I love people and enjoy communicating. Being a great writer is one of the main ingredients to excel in Public Relations. You spend a great deal of time writing in this business, and I love writing. It was a perfect match for me. I enjoy helping people get exposure in the media (magazines, newspapers, tv, radio). As a teenager, I always knew I would be an entrepreneur. It’s in my bloodline. My father, great aunt and brothers were successful entrepreneurs and they motivated me. They all emphasized the importance of getting a quality education and having multiple streams of income. So, I guess you could say being in business is natural for me.
What resources did you use to start your own business?
I used my own savings to start my business in 1997. The resources that I purchased to start my business included a new computer, a nice desk, fax machine, file cabinet, media books, pr books and a Rolodex. Since I was already a writer and editor, I had some of the items that I needed to start my own pr firm.
When you first launched did you experience ‘naysayers’ or ‘haters’ that said your idea was crazy or it would never sale? If so how did you handle their negativity?
Actually I did not experience “naysayers”. My family and close friends were really happy for me. They all knew I would eventually start my own business because I was always buying books, researching businesses and selling something. The bookstore was my second home. I was in multi-level marketing before so they knew I had an entrepreneurial spirit. I sold nutritional products and a few other products.
How does social media impact the way that you do business? Which social media platforms do you prefer?
Social media plays an extremely important role in the way I do business. Utilizing the various social media tools is a must. In fact, it’s a great way to increase visibility and name or brand recognition, meet potential new clients, and it’s the quickest way to publicize your clients. I do social media marketing and public relations online and offline. Social media allows me to reach a larger audience, develop relationships with others in my field, develop relationships with potential joint venture partners and allows me to have dialogue with a lot of people that I probably would have never met. Social media has also doubled traffic to my website.
I like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and a few others. However, I find Facebook to be the most effective for the type of business that I operate. I utilize Twitter also but the format that Facebook provides allows me to give my audience a better picture and story as opposed to 140 characters and a link. Social media offers unique ways to market and publicize your clients, but in order to be effective there should be a strategy in place and not just random posting… One should be creative and meticulous in posting on social media. In addition to posting clients information, it’s a good idea to post unique items that will start conversation. You want your audience to come back over and over again.
Each person has to determine which social marketing tactics are best for their project, their audience and objectives. Make sure you are posting at the right time. Lastly, ensure that you have a way to measure the effectiveness of your social marketing efforts. Social media is mandatory and offers so many positives if you put a plan in place and execute your plan.
What is the toughest part about running your own business?
The toughest part about running my own business is finding enough time in each day to accomplish everything. When running your own business you end up working longer hours and sometimes you end up neglecting yourself. So, I guess I would say the toughest part about running a business is finding balance in my life.
What is the best thing about being a small business owner?
I would have to say living on purpose and doing what you love is a beautiful thing. Also, peace of mind, freedom and personal satisfaction that comes from working for yourself is priceless. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I am helping my clients fulfill their dreams and expose them globally. I love putting my clients in the spotlight…
Do you have a business plan? If so, how did you go about gathering the information contained it and how do you use your plan?
Yes, I have a business plan. I utilized a book on writing business plans to help me put my business plan together. I use the plan to reflect and review what I originally set out to accomplish.
What three adjectives accurately describe your experience as a small business owner?
Empowered, Veracious, Motivated and Driven…
Are you/APM Public Relations directly involved with any charitable giving or events? If so which one(s) are you associated with?
I work closely with Aliyah Najm’s CareGivers 911 Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists ‘caregivers’ across Atlanta. I am on CareGivers 911’s board. I have also served as the publicist for multi-platinum Grammy award- winning Artist Ne-Yo’s, The Compound Foundation annual Mother’s Day Event for foster care parents. I am working on creating my own foundation.
What is in the future APM Public Relations?
It is my desire to take my company to the next level. I will continue to grow my business, increase clientele and expand globally. I’m also penning my first book and I am close to completing it and working on starting my publishing company. My book should be out late summer.
Please share a small biz diamond that you would like to pass on to other entrepreneurs and small business owners?
“Opportunities in this country are unlimited. Don’t sit back and wait for opportunities to fall in your lap; you have to get up and create the life you want.”
“Discipline yourself to go the extra mile.”
“If it’s something you are passionate about, pursue it as if your life depends on it.”
Visit Angela’s website www.apmpublicrelations.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @apmPR and take your talents or business to the next level! What could a publicist like Angela do for your small business? Share your small biz diamonds in the comments section below.
Have a successful day!