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Inspiring Conversations with Samantha McCoy of MissionKey Communications

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha McCoy.

Hi Samantha, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always loved writing, reading, and speaking. According to my mom, I started reading at age three and enjoyed writing and illustrating my own stories.  I studied corporate communications in college and after my first full-time job, I sought a position that would allow me to use more of my communications skills. A family friend sent me a communications specialist position for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, and that was where I got my start. After a few years there, I left to focus on completing my graduate degree and ended up returning to the museum as a consultant. It was during this time that I started my own public relations business.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
My journey has been far from smooth – I was pretty young when I started and entrepreneurship wasn’t encouraged as much as it is now.  I was so focused on doing the work that I wasn’t as thoughtful about my business model and business structure – I had to learn that while also working with clients, networking, and building industry connections. I’m grateful for the support I’ve had along the way, especially through fellow publicist groups Respect the Publicist and Profitable PR Pros.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
MissionKey Communications, LLC is a public relations and strategy firm that equips entrepreneurs and leaders to increase their visibility through public relations and personal branding strategies. Our specialty is working with Black-owned businesses and mission-driven organizations that are serious about both their profits and their impact. Services we offer include communications strategy & planning, media relations, press release writing & distribution, media pitching and follow-up, media interview training, workshops, and goal-focused consultation.

Public relations isn’t something you “add on” once you’ve been in business for a certain number of years or reached a certain revenue goal. As soon as you open your company doors, you have an audience of people who start to form opinions about it based on what they see and hear. Your clients and customers make purchasing decisions based on how much they trust your brand. For established companies, a strategic public relations plan is even more critical, as more eyes and ears are on your organization. Through public relations, you have the power to shape what your clients know and believe about your brand.

 Public relations is about so much more than media placements – it’s a mix of communications strategies that increase audience awareness of who you are and what you do and keep your reputation favorable.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
The COVID-19 crisis has reminded me how important it is to be nimble and connect with your audience wherever they are. Businesses that had already experimented with digital communication and social networking platforms before the pandemic were able to adapt to the absence of in-person gatherings more quickly than slow adopters. It’s important to remain forward-thinking and always thinking about how you can reach your target audience in new ways.

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Image Credits
Photos by: Jasmine Williams

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