Entrepreneur: Melissa Keklak
Business name: MMKpr (Los Angeles)
Years in business: 3
In 2011, Melissa Keklak felt that she had reached the glass ceiling as director of PR and celebrity relations at Casio America. She decided then to take the experience and relationships she had gained at Casio and strike out on her own in the world of Los Angeles public relations. After just three years, Keklak has become one of the most successful boutique PR and branding agencies in the area, working with major brands like Pepsi and Nike, and artists such as Lil Wayne, Demi Lovato and Avril Lavigne. Here's how technology helped her build up her business:Keklak is the founder of Los Angeles PR and branding agency MMKpr Credit: MMKpr
Business News Daily: What problem were you hoping to solve when you started your business?
Melissa Keklak: I wanted to provide a service that was a one-stop shop for potential clients when looking for an agency that can handle PR, social media and red carpet events. More times than not, publicity agencies only handle one or two out of the three, causing clients to search out additional firms to assist. I wanted to provide professionals that are capable of handling all facets of publicity, promotion and branding.
BND: What technology (or technologies) most helped your business?
M.K.: Social media metric/analytics sites. Publicity happens in real time, so using powerful social media tools to get our message out has helped spread client news much faster than traditional emailed press announcements. Having access to statistics to measure ROI and advertising value [for those social tools] helps us provide clients with a solid report so they can see how many people we are reaching and what they [the clients] are getting for their spend.
BND: What technology can't you live without?
M.K.: I am constantly having to edit photos and videos for client posting on the go, and there are so many editing apps that help me make things look clean and professional in an instant.
BND: If you could hire one extra person right now, what would you have them do?
M.K.: I would hire a social media specialist that would focus only on populating and monitoring all client social media as well as [social media for] the agency. We have someone that oversees this area now, but because it is a real-time engagement tool, I would love to have someone that is strictly dedicated to aggregating content daily to keep up with the conversations happening online.
BND: What technology do you wish existed that doesn't?
M.K.: A universal translator, a device that could translate any language, allowing people of all cultures to communicate in real time effortlessly. And Inspector Gadget's hat. I am always on the go, and if that existed, it would make life so much easier having everything I need all in one place!
BND: What app are you relying on most right now?
M.K.: For business, TeuxDeux is a simple and easy way to create to-do lists. It keeps everything in order for me and helps me manage juggling running a business and all of our client needs. For fun? I love using the virtual Zippo lighter app for attending concerts.
BND: What technology do you think is most overrated?
M.K.: IPads and tablets. I think they fall short for many uses, aside from consuming media and communicating.
BND: What are the most valuable non-tech skills an entrepreneur needs?
M.K.: You must be comfortable with your gut instincts, and be confident in your ideas, yourself and in others. There is a lot to be fearful of when starting a business, so you have to have courage — you have to recognize risks but take action regardless.
Originally published on Business News Daily.