#PRFOCUS INTERVIEW: ANDREA HAMILTON (CEO THEORY COMMUNICATIONS)
Hi Andrea, thank you for taking the time to speak to The Female Hustler today. You are originally from Cleveland, what was it like growing up there and what made you decide to make the move to Atlanta where you are currently based?
Cleveland is a tough place to grow up in. There aren’t many opportunities, its much poorer, a lot of crime, but that type of environment births a city of hungry people who are go-getters. I had a great family life, I grew up with my mother who is an educator and my father who is an artist/photographer. By having the best of both worlds, I had a lot of great knowledge, characteristics and skills instilled in me from birth. When it came time to select a university/college to attend, I wanted to move to Atlanta BAD. Atlanta seemed to be the hot and popping place for African Americans and millennials. I knew that Atlanta was the place to be, if you wanted to be somebody.
You went to college for Fashion Design, how did you end up working in PR?
I took a slew of odd internships while in fashion school, because I was desperately trying to find myself. I stumbled across a fashion PR internship and applied. Luckily, due to my quick wit and knowledge I landed an interview and was hired. It was then that I realized PR was my true calling. I went out a lot as a young adult and would meet all kinds of people, head music execs, athletes, tastemakers, artists and more. I used those relationships to develop a strong a core network. So when I got into PR, those contacts I had finally were beneficial to my career. I grew to love public relations fast because I was naturally great at it.
You are the head publicist at your company Theory Communications which you run with your sister, how is it working so closely with family?
My sister and I are 17-months a part and have always been raised like “Irish twins.” Nobody knows me like my sister does, and vice versa. We argue and bicker all the time, but we always make amends and never let that get in-between the work that needs to be done. We’ve spent our entire lives together so we know each others strengths and weaknesses as if they are our own.
Tell us a bit more about your company Theory Communications and what services you offer
Theory Communications is an integrative communications agency, fusing traditional PR and marketing tools. Founded in 2014, our team consists of professionals with combined experience serving a number of high-profile clients in areas including Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City.
Theory Communications specializes in public relations, digital marketing, social media marketing, event planning and branding for lifestyle, sports and entertainment clients. We also have in-house web design, graphic and intellectual property teams. We pride ourselves on creating informative, fresh and innovative brand awareness for our clients through extensive relations with national and local media, state-of-the-art marketing tools and strategic planning skills.
One of your current big clients is Hustle Gang, how did that opportunity to work with them come about and what has been a highlight so far?
I was introduced to Grand Hustle through a referral. Once myself and some of their executive staff met we immediately had a great vibe. I’m a family ran business so all of my clients are like family. I have to really have great vibes and energy with each client as well as they need to have that for myself and our team. So we immediately hit it off, which led to us working with each other.
Since working as a publicist what has been one of your favourite campaigns so far?
One of my very first gigs was the VH1 Rock Doc - ATL Rise: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rap Game. We were the talent liaisons for the show, as well as curated the big red carpet premiere in Atlanta. I will never forget this because it was such a huge gig and we landed it within 30 days of launching our company. It also was the first time I had received TV/Film credits, so to reach that goal in the very beginning has always been memorable.
With your job you are always travelling around, where has been your favourite place you have got to visit with your work so far?
I travelled to Hong Kong, China with one of my beauty clients, Ming Lee. I love experiencing different cultures, so being in China was always a bucket list destination for me. I had a great time and learned a lot about their way of life, food, culture and more.
As you know we are a UK based blog, have you ever been to the UK? Any plans to come to London anytime soon?
I have not been to the UK yet, but I cannot wait to have the opportunity to come there. I’ve heard so many great things and funnily whenever I pretend to have an alter-ego I am from West London, Hammersmith, lol. So I probably need to visit there to learn more facts when I pretend next time.
Are you familiar with any UK artists?
I’m familiar with Stefflon Don, she’s super dope. She’s signed with Quality Control - an AMAZING independent label. They put on heavy for their artists so I’ve been watching her movement… she’s going to blow.
Who would be your dream client if you could work with anybody that you haven’t already?
I don’t per say have “dream clients” I just love working with athletes and dope/creative artists with open mind sets. But if I had to choose, I would love to work with someone such as Travis Scott because he’s just dope all around. Rihanna of course because she has so many different things going on in several industry categories, so we would stay busy and get creative.
When a potential new client approaches you about working together, what do you already expect them to have in place?
They need to have a product and somewhat of a local following.
What struggles did you face when launching your own company and how did you overcome them? Do you have any advice you could share with someone who is getting ready to take that leap into launching their own company?
The main struggle is organization. We kind of hit the ground running, so we were stuck trying to organize the back end of the business while taking on new clients. It’s important to organize and manage your business operations first and foremost. Understand the business your in, do research, read articles, know the top 5 CEO’s in your field and their story. There’s no such thing as too much knowledge. You should study your craft every day so you can understand how to operate your business the best way.
You are also a full time mum, how do you manage juggling motherhood and running your own company? Do you have any advice for any mums out there who may be wanting to start their own company?
My advice for Moms are NEVER GIVE UP. My daughter is my biggest motivation. She comes with me everywhere thankfully because I have the luxury to do that. But for the Moms who may have to put their kids in school/day-care, just always set aside time for your kid as well as time to recharge yourself. It’s very difficult finding time for you when you are juggling the weight of the world and a child(ren) on your shoulders. I usually pick a day of the week that I will just hang with my daughter and then possibly just go home, cook (which I love to do), watch TV or go get a massage. It’s been life changing.
As you know we are ‘The Female Hustler’ what is your definition of a 'Female Hustler’?
A female hustler is a woman who knows what she wants and is relentless to reach that goal. You may not necessarily be at your “goal” yet, but as long as you are taking strides to reach your goals in life you are a hustler. Never be discouraged by the hustle and never compare your grind to another because we all have different roads to take to reach our goals.
Finally what is coming up for you, your company and clients that you are able to share with us?
Honestly, we will just be working, growing larger with clients and our team. We have a lot of great projects upcoming for some of our existing clients such as Lou Williams (Clippers), Hustle Gang, Stephen Jackson (NBA Veteran), The Gathering Spot (Private Membership Club) and more. This year (2018) is going to be crazy!
To connect with Theory Communications see below: