Chris Kidd, Financial Coach and Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed MJ Pedone, Founder and CEO of Indra Public Relations. MJ has built her company into one of the “Top Celebrity PR Agencies.” She is involved with numerous philanthropic endeavors, and has received awards for her work as a nonprofit leader, as well as being a leader in the PR industry. MJ also hosts LIVE WITH MJ, which is a weekly radio web show where she interviews celebrities, athletes and influencers about their lives.
Indra Public Relations was started in 2009 and is located in Manhattan on 41st and Madison Avenue. I have been in the business for a little over 20 years and specialize in working with athletes and entertainers, building brands, garnering top-tier media and producing high-profile red carpet events. Our team of 10 employees, which also include a few full time consultants, are some of the most experienced in their respective fields. As a boutique company, I take a very hands-on approach as we continue to specialize in sports, entertainment and lifestyle PR.
What was it that inspired you to pursue this area of business?
I began my career in the fashion/modeling business and always had a passion for sports and philanthropy; both of which my parents were entrenched in while I was growing up. My passion was to work with athletes in PR, management and philanthropy in order to raise their personal brand awareness and help as as many people and charities as I can. Fortunately, I became very successful at it.
You have a very wide variety of services that your firm provides. What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy many aspects of my work but I’m very partial to hosting high-profile red carpet fundraising events that attract a lot of celebrities and garner a lot of media attention for the charities and in turn, raise a lot of money for the cause.
What are some lessons you have learned throughout your career?
Two of the biggest lessons that I have learned throughout my career is that people should earn your trust and to go with your gut because it is never wrong!
What would you say is your competitive advantage versus other firms who might be competitors?
I think my competitive advantage versus other firms is that I believe in client relations and providing the best possible service for every client. Being a boutique agency and being selective on the clients I choose to work with, allows me to give the attention that my clients deserve.
For high profile clients like yours the wrong publicity can cost them dearly. How often do you have to clean up a public mess for clients, or what do you do to prevent situations that could be damaging to them?
Since we specialize in working with high-profile clients, we always have a go-to crisis strategy. I consider my clients family and vice versa so we have that trust between us, which allows me to discuss personal topics with them and how they should be handled. We are fortunate that we have strong media relationships so when a crisis does arise, we are able to diffuse the situation with the media as best as we can.
Your client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of celebrities and professional athletes. How do you reach your ideal clients or do they just come to you now?
The majority of clients seek us out and we are fortunate they constantly have our clients referring us. I like working on a referral basis because at least I’m able to get a sense of who the potential client is. I’m very fortunate to work with some of the greatest people in the world and I’m blessed to have a great team behind me.
MJ Pedone – President – Indra Public Relations
295 Madison Avenue – 12th Floor
New York, NY 10017