December 18, 2015
Rakia Reynolds is an entrepreneur, a public-relations master, a TED-talker, a Forbes contributor, an on-air expert for Serena Williams' HSN brand, a trendsetter, a Temple alum, a wife, a mother and she's the owner of Philly-based multimedia PR agency Skai Blue Media.
Needless to say, she's got a lot on her plate. But she does it all with style.
Below, Reynolds lets us in on some of her best career tips and shares how college students will be studying her next semester.
What advice do you give women & girls who want to be entrepreneurs some day?
Look up the definition of the word "entrepreneur," which is defined as someone who operates and organizes a business taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. Next, look up the words "RESILIENCE" and "VISIONARY." Study these terms.
The journey of an entrepreneur is a special reward that requires the vision of a great leader and the tenacity of an MVP sportsperson. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your vision (different but equally important) and can help you design the steps it takes to execute your ideas and impact.
From your perspective, what’s the biggest challenge facing the PR industry right now?
So many, but I love a good challenge! Right now, we’re in a place where technology is moving at a rapid speed, causing "new media" to pop up in different mediums. What we've turned to traditionally for our content is dwindling. Media is following the same path as the record industry -- if the industry isn't able to keep the pace with the high demand and development of technology, it will become less effective as a body of influence. PR professionals have to be hybrid thinkers who can forecast the reinvention of media and create nontraditional tactics in order to communicate great storytelling. Nowadays, everyone is their own personal media outlet, so you have to effectively navigate utilizing relationship management, ideation and right brain thinking.
What is your favorite book, and why?
"A Wrinkle in Time." I’m a total science-fiction nerd at heart! (My family actually calls me the well-dressed nerd.)
You were recently featured in a college McGraw-Hill textbook! What’s it like knowing students across the country will be studying you?
I am so excited and proud! I always talk about the “story behind the glory.” At the time McGraw-Hill reached out to me, my company was on the cusp of new growth and I was trying to manage IT ALL! Being an entrepreneur has learning curves just like every profession. Having a major international textbook publisher want to share my story was the ultimate reassurance that I was on the right path. Knowing that my story and the businesses I've created will be teaching thousands of students and entrepreneurs-in-training is the most rewarding gift.
What gift are you most excited to give this year?
A puppy for my daughter. Shhhh, it's a surprise!