BLACK, BEAUTIFUL & BUSINESS with ANDREA HAMILTON
CEO and Co-founder of Theory Communications, Andrea Hamilton, who launched the Atlanta-based firm in 2014, that specializes in public relations, digital marketing, event planning, and lifestyle branding. She has attained a high-profile roster of clientele that includes NBA star Lou Williams, Snoblife CEO Ming Lee, music artist T.I., and more!
Q: So I know everything about you attending design art school, but how did you get into PR?
A: So it’s actually pretty weird, but I was interviewing for the College of Art Design. I was majoring in fashion design, but I always knew that I needed another job because I just never had it in me to be like a complete starving artist. So I used to always take like a slew of internships that were like fashion related, but in a different arenas of the workforce, besides being a designer and I had come across a fashion PR internship. I actually had no idea what PR really was. I’ve just always been really excellent communicator and writer. So I went and applied, then actually got called in for an interview in an intern. They immediately asked me to write a press release, like on the spot. It’s so funny because like how do you Google it on my phone impromptu then write one; they actually were really good and I got hired! So while working my internship I realized that it was like my true niche and what I really wanted to do! Within six months I went from being an intern to account executive.
Q: With your busy remaining schedule with your job, how do you balance your professional and personal life?
A: Everything is just really about time management and prioritizing and delegating tasks. I’m extremely over analytical and I over plan like everything in life. So I’m one of those people that like it’s just like routine face every day and even though my work schedule is never really set in stone like a nine to five it’s kind of all over the place. I have the days that I do specific things with my daughter, I have set days that I go and take some time out for myself. I make sure I don’t schedule anything in those times because the first two and a half years of my business I just kind of worked myself to the core and I was crashing. I really learned over the past like year that I really had to delegate some time to myself so it’s really just about prioritizing yourself but still not taking away from work you know, if you just get like an hour a week to go get a massage or just go meditate whatever you need to do.
Q: Have you ever declined an opportunity to work with a client and why?
A: I might have in the past. I’m very chemistry based when it pertains to bring on new clients and I also have to really believe in the product we’re leaving the brand belief that you guys are in a position to need PR services. What I have found with a lot of people is that they’ve hired a publicist and get upset when they don’t see results but
what they haven’t realized is that a lot of that comes from the fact that their product or brand may not be ready for a full PR campaign so there are people who have approached us and I just realized that they are not in a space just yet to really need our services.
Q: What advice would you have for a young woman that would like to enter the PR world?
A: My advice would be to just to really just stand 10 toes down all around and applicable to your morals and values that pertains to what you know that you’re capable of doing that pertains to just the type of individual as you are in your own characteristics and persona. We are working in an industry which is male dominated and also top of that being a female we just have to work twice as hard to get respect, so you really need to stand firm on who you are and what you believe in, because it’s really important and people respect you more; a lot of guys will attempt to you know, make passes at you and things of that nature and make you feel as though you need to do it just to get ahead, but you really stand true to who you are your beliefs and values they will respect you and you’ll get really, really far in your career by doing so.
Q: It seems as if you have mastered the PR world, but is there another area that you would like to master that you would like to try your hand in?
A: Yes actually one of my future goals is to become a sports agent. So that’s something I’m really hard researching and looking into now, planning to take classes and get into that arena is definitely going to be a challenging, but I definitely want to expand my brand into having a department that supports sports agents.
Q: At the end of the day what type of message would you like to convey through your work for young women and your daughter?
A: Just to work hard and never owe anyone anything meaning that by saying you know through the harder you work the further you will get and it’s much more rewarding when you know you’ve done it yourself it’s much more rewarding when you have unexpected help or handouts that you may feel as though you need at the time but if you were to work harder with the ability to get those things accomplished on your own that way you don’t walk around your career feeling as though you owe favors to some people in life so just definitely really trying your hardest to achieve everything by yourself.
Q: Now is there a company or a client that you’re just dying to work with?
A: Well Beyoncé! Nonetheless, outside of Beyoncé and I definitely would love to work with like an Apple or Google they’re just very innovative and like pushing the culture
forward and there are so many different things that you can do with them and it just seems like a really cool work environment. I do want to kind of get more inclusive corporate clients. I mean there are so many people that I would want to work with and enjoy working with.
Q: You are the publicist for the Grand Hustle, how is it working with T.I.?
A: Oh it’s definitely interesting privilege! He’s such a hard working individual he will take care of everyone around him and I admire that, the team is like a family. We’re like one big happy and dysfunctional family that works everything out. Just being around Grand Hustle you just learn so much every day because T.I. such a seasoned veteran in the industry all around and he really loves to just teach, sometimes subliminally he really didn’t even know that he’s doing it, like always teaching lessons every day like what you guys see in his TV shows and how he talks to his kids is that same way, like this is just him all the time. Always trying to just teach people and break things down and it’s really just that way everyone’s mind is open. Everyone’s mind is set to expand your processes of thinking and working, so it’s definitely like one big learning experiences with a granted family.
Interviewed By: Michelle Stewart
Written By: Druine Santana
PHOTOGRAPHER: Rosalyn Joyner