4.08.2010

“Keeping Up with the Joneses”: One-on-one with public relations expert Ashley Minor

(Ashley Minor is the young dynamic president of Medley Inc, and a lover of all things high-fashion, tech and media. She is one of the co-stars in the docu-soap, "Keeping up with the Joneses", which starts airing April 8. In the reality show, she contributes to the highly anticipated national launch of Jones Magazine. She recently spoke with me one-on-one about her go-getter demeanor, the public relations industry, and this upcoming Jones Magazine project)


Jesse Muhammad (JM): First, thank you for taking the time to give me this interview. Please tell me a little background about yourself.

Ashley Minor (AM): I'm from Tulsa, OK. The youngest of two, and a graduate of Texas Southern University.

JM: Growing up did you always believe you would be a successful woman?

AM: Yes, I did. My parents always allowed me to pursue my dreams. They believed in me a lot. Their confidence in me reinforced the idea that mediocrity was not an option.

JM: That’s wonderful. So, what gave birth to Medley, Inc? What drew you into the field of public relations?

AM: I've always worn many hats. Even when I was in school full-time and worked a full-time job, I was constantly pursuing independent endeavors. I was drawn to PR because it allowed me to work in a hectic, fulfilling environment. Each day it's something new and exciting. I feel like I'm constantly in PR mode, it's a job that never ends.

Medley was born very naturally. I was already freelancing in the industry, but I realized that I wanted a team, a corporation.

JM: I have heard multiple definitions of public relations. How would you define it?

AM: I think the definition of PR gets blurred. PR does not consist of only marketing and promotions. To succeed in PR, you have to be familiar with public relations writing formats, and the most essential skill is to be a pro at building and nourishing relationships. At Medley, we are very bottom line. For us, PR is actually securing media coverage for our clients through various marketing strategies.

JM: How important is it for a publicist to be skilled in or knowledgeable of evolving technologies?

AM: Today, it's essential for a publicist to be skilled in the changing trends in technology. The same thing goes for all media professionals. If nothing else, it's great to be aware of new tools for branding purposes. PR professionals should be masters of developing their personal brand online.

JM: When someone approaches you about developing a marketing and branding campaign, what are the top five questions you ask them?

AM: What is the goal of your company/brand?, What does your target audience want?, How does your offering match what they want?, Who are your major competitors? and How will you measure our success?

JM: Do you enjoy being an entrepreneur? How have you maintained success during the economic crunch?

AM: I love being an entrepreneur! I think we've been successful at Medley, because we understand so much about new media. We understand search engine friendly websites, video production, content management, and of course, public relations. Businesses are now focusing on maximizing their dollars. We offer a wide range of services, and our backgrounds prove that we are qualified.

JM: I heard that on April 8th, Jones Magazine will debut their reality show “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” on Centric TV and you're a part of the cast. What is your role in the show? How did you land this opportunity and how was the experience behind the scenes?

AM: For the magazine, I manage all of the promotional initiatives. On the show, I'll be doing some promotional work as well as event coordinating. I've worked with Jones for three years now, and we'd been in talks of having a show and launching nationally for some time. It all just sort of fell into place, of course we all worked extremely hard to make it happen.

Behind the scenes was the best part for me. In fact, I've decided that my next career move (long term) will deal with production. It's a lot like event planning. Various elements come together, fit in the right place and the end result is magnificent.

JM: What do you have planned for the final three quarters of 2010?

AM: For the final three quarters of 2010, I plan to focus heavily on growing our team and to develop even more services. Soon we'll be offering media trainings, and we're now starting to develop electronic press kits for artists! It's all very exciting and I feel blessed to work with a group of creative, energized and skilled young professionals.

JM: Thank you and I wish you continued success!

(For more information on Medley, Inc visit: www.medley-inc.com and follow Ashley Minor on Twitter @ashley_minor)