Aziza Work Group, INC.
We Are The Why
When we attended a panel at SAG-AFTRA called "Red Carpet Publicists and the Black Press" presented by NABJLA. We got some real gems dropped on us about the importance of representation.
We were able to catch up with Michelle Watts, CEO of the Aziza Work Group,to talk about the importance of having the right representation and how to appreciate yourself and your talents. The Aziza Work Group is an LA based PR agency which was established in 2012. Within three years of business, Michelle Watts' company picked up talent such as Kevin Hart, Mike Epps, Lil Rel Howery, Deon Cole, and DeRay Davis.
How could someone pick up such a powerful roster after being in business for only three years?? Michelle gave a great analogy of a submarine and how "...all work is done underground." Of course, we are able to see the top of a submarine and recognize what it is on the surface, but we don't pay attention to the motors and propellers and the captain, etc. to keep it moving. "Movement is the work and the why."
Having the right Public Relations or PR is an important piece to the puzzle when wanting to put your best foot forward. When describing what the Aziza Work Group stands for when it come to black media and representation, Michelle says, "We will not lead the culture, be the guiding force of the culture, being the conduit for the culture, and then not have a voice when it comes to the shit that matters most to us... We will not enter through the back door. We will kick in the front."
Case and point was shown with Aziza Work Group's client Lil Rel Howery during the MTV Movie and TV Awards on the red carpet. LA Times wrote an article about his stance on the importance and value of black media. On the back end, Michelle made sure to keep all black press at the front of red carpet and make it their business to sit down with black outlets while in New York during their press run. If that's not passion, then we don't know what is! If that's not moving the culture forward, then we don't know what is! That embodies great representation not only for their team, but also for the bigger picture.
So when is the best time to have PR? As Michelle simply puts it, the best time is when there's a budget. We talked about possible tour budgets in a previous post and yes, PR is also a piece of the budget pie. PR budgets can range from free per month to $5k-$6k per month depending on who you are working with and where you are in your career. Your PR team needs a reason to work with you whether it's your talent potential, a project release, or whatever the case may be. Know what you want and know your value. Never play yourself.