Today, a profile interview with Emily Pantelides, CEO of Pantelides PR & Consulting, a South Florida public relations agency.
How have you been able to create such a successful PR firm from scratch?
I knew I could start my firm when I found a niche that didn’t exist in my area. There were no PR firms owned by somebody who had a true TV news background. I know exactly what the reporters need, when they need it, and how they need it. That has been my secret sauce. TV is also a very small business at the end of the day. So, I have many contacts in TV news that I’m able to lean on for help, advice, and ideas for stories that benefit our Pantelides PR clients.
It seems as though you still host a TV show on your local CBS affiliate. How are you able to do both?
I’m lucky because I get to host two segments on our local CBS station, Emily’s Picks and Spotlight on Business. News has a need for people who have been trained to be on camera and worked in news, but are not on the news side anymore. I fill a specific void for them in that arena and I’m grateful that I get to continue to keep my on-air skills sharp. It helps me always remember how to media train my clients. I can still empathize with them about the vulnerability of being on camera. I never forget all the nuances and how hard it really is to be great on air.
Why did you name your firm Pantelides PR?
I used my last name because I anchored a morning TV show for six years in the West Palm Beach market. My name was familiar to many of our viewers and I wanted to capitalize on that familiarity and remind new potential clients that when I said I could get them on TV, they knew I actually could. Also, although I love fun whimsical things in my personal life, when it comes to business, I wanted my firm to be just that; business-like and professional. It’s why the name is simple, our colors are simple (black and white), and our mantra is simple, “One job. One mission. Make you look good. Really good.”
You speak quite a few languages. How has that helped your career?
I’m Greek and lived in Athens for most of my life. In Greece, school required that we take Greek, English, and two other languages. In general, all of Europe has a stronger focus on language. Being fluent in many languages hasn’t just helped me speak to people, it helps me understand other cultures and other points of view. America is my home now, but my Hellenic heritage is a huge part of who I am. When the Olympic Games were held in Athens, I was able to majorly capitalize on my translating skills and be able to report for many national outlets like CNN and BBC.
How has Pantelides PR responded to COVID-19?
We had SO many interesting projects that we were working on, and then the pandemic hit so we’ve had to fully switch gears. But, we’ve taken this hand that we’ve been dealt and made lemonade out of lemons. For one of our clients, we created a Feeding the Frontline campaign that helped them raised $15 thousand and generated hundreds of thousands of media hits. For another client, we created a campaign called, “The Emergency Comfort Fund” and helped them raise almost $50 thousand, creating more than a million dollars’ worth of publicity. I am proud that during these tough times, we are taking our clients and actually helping them succeed.
General success advice?
The biggest thing I wish something told me is that it will all be ok and somehow, it always works out in the end. You are drawn to this career path for a reason. Trust in yourself and trust that you got this. I wish somebody told me when I got started that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s actually a part of your success. Failure is what makes you better and stronger. Also, I recently heard somebody say, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.” That really resonated with me. Don’t stop working on something because it’s not 100% perfect…sometimes just the good can turn into the perfect!
How do you keep your reputation positive in an industry where there is so much transition and opportunity for negativity?
I work in my community. I invest in my community. As a result, the community has invested back in me. Here’s an example. I chair many events in my community to give back. It’s a lot of hard work without any pay and without any expectation of getting anything in return. However, what’s happened as a result is that many of the people I met with and worked with on the committees or at the venues turn into leads (and in many cases great new friends). Also, I also don’t mean this to sound cliche, but I work harder than anybody else. I remember the day I spoke at a chamber breakfast in the morning, went to work, hired a new team member, had a new client meeting at lunchtime, then went home and tucked my kids in to bed, then ran out and chaired a black-tie event that night. Needless to say, the next day I slept in!
What activity would you say soothes your soul that you would recommend to people stressed out during these hard times?
Do something to give back. I’m serious. The more you hurt or are sad, that’s when I say the more you give. When you give your time and energy to a cause, you often get back more than the people or thing you are helping. It’s counterintuitive but true. For me, animals and helping them soothes my soul. I am a huge animal rescue advocate. I have been for many years. It still amazes me that people actually buy animals from breeders and pet stores. I tell everybody that I meet…even if you think you are getting a dog from a special breeder that says they take care of animals, you are not! 99.9% of breeders get their animals from puppy mills. Horrible places that put six dogs in a crate at a time, most often it’s a female in heat with five other males. I rescued a puppy mill dog and at the time, she had never seen grass and had never been out of her cage. It took two years to get her back to normal. Please, please before you buy a dog look into your local animal shelter first. Almost always, you can find a loving dog that will KNOW you saved them. You can always find purebreds in shelters too. In my area of West Palm Beach, Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch is my most favorite shelter because they are a 100% no-kill and give so much back to our community. Thanks for letting me get on my soap box!
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