Posted At: November 2, 2011 1:06 PM
by Bailey Carpenter
Even while she was working as an intern, Olivia Dikambi knew that she would not be happy until she was her own boss. Years later, the result is the I AM PR Agency LLC, Dikambi’s own PR firm.The agency is growing daily and pursuing every opportunity that comes its way, and it does not seem like it will be long before the I AM PR Agency is established as one of the top entertainment PR agencies in New York City.
“I’ve always been the type of person to do things my own way,” Dikambi said. “I just started with one client and did really well.”
The entrepreneur’s interest in PR began while the France native was still attending school in Europe. “My friend put on a basketball tournament that featured a lot of celebrities. I wanted to help out with the event, and I got placed with the PR department,” Dikambi said.
The “Quai 54” tournament is Europe’s biggest basketball tournament. Dikambi worked primarily with event coordination and media and celebrity relations. Following the tournament, Dikambi was offered a job working with the PR professionals who managed the event. However, Dikambi had recently received a scholarship to attend CUNY, where she completed her degree in business and international trade.
While at CUNY, Dikambi took a corporate PR class. “The teacher read out of the book a lot, and I wanted to get out there on my own and experience it,” Dikambi said.
After graduating, Dikambi decided to stay in New York and ultimately establish her own PR firm. I AM PR Agency LLC had very humble beginnings. “We made the most of what we had at the time,” Dikambi said. “I found a graphic designer on Craigslist, and she designed the logo.”
Once the agency had an established logo, Dikambi created a website in order to reach a larger audience, and successfully promoted the agency’s name with its regular news releases. Eventually, Dikambi secured a few clients, and worked extremely hard to maintain word of mouth and online presence for both the firm and its clients.
In just two short years, Dikambi’s hard work has landed the agency more than 50 clients in the entertainment industry — many of which are “up and coming” bands that are currently on international tours or have been featured on programs and websites sponsored by MTV and VH1. Additionally, the agency has been mentioned in multiple media outlets such as TV broadcasts, national newspapers and several other digital and print outlets.
Jake Paine, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop DX, said, “Olivia Dikambi and her I AM PR Agency carries a drive and zest for her work that is needed to break talented artists [into] the mainstream media. She gets in the trenches with her clients with the persistence it takes to deliver results.”
The firm’s current clients include the White House Band, David E Beats, Ellis Ashbrook, Cathy Richardson, Midnight Mob, Lerix, Aerias, Tunde Olaniran and many more in all genres of the music and entertainment industry.
Shari Baldie, junior publicist at the I AM PR Agency, started working with Dikambi this summer. Baldie began following Dikambi on Twitter earlier in the year, and was drawn to the way that she was getting her clients’ names out on Twitter and the I AM PR Agency’s blog and website.
“Olivia is definitely dedicated, and she’s driven to build up the company,” Baldie said. “She’s always out to get more.”
Before working with the I AM PR Agency, Baldie worked for other various companies handling PR and social media. Baldie said Dikambi has taught her many skills in the time she has been working for her, including organizing her time, handling multiple clients and interacting with the media on a regular basis.
“It’s great to see someone young work so hard,” Baldie said. “She’s really inspiring.”
Dikambi’s successes in her rapidly growing firm are examples of what any student currently studying PR should strive for, especially those interested in pursuing PR on an entrepreneurial level.
“[Students] need to choose the field they are interested in, like sports or fashion, and intern as much as possible,” Dikambi said. “I would even go as far as to say that students should start their freshman year.”
Dikambi also advises students to read “as much as they can get their hands on,” and stay current not only with PR but anything that they are interested in. She adds that the I AM PR Agency is currently offering virtual internships so that students everywhere can gain experience in the entertainment industry. (Interested students can contact Dikambi through the I AM PR Agency website: http://www.iampragency.com/.)
“We like to throw people into the fire. It’s not all about the résumé,” Dikambi said.
When asked what she is most proud of in her career, Dikambi said, “The fact that we are still in business, and that we have done so much for being so young. We are growing daily, and our clients believe in what it is we are working on.”