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Meet Adriana Najera of ACN PR (Public Relations)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adriana Najera.

Adriana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am the CEO and Founder of ACN PR, a Los Angeles based Public Relations firm specializing in Influencer and Experiential Marketing. I grew up in Whittier, CA and graduated from California State University Fullerton, with a major in Print Journalism and a minor in Human Communications. While in college, my passion and strength was writing, having my own column in my college newspaper. After college (2015), I took on my first internship at one of LA’s well known Fashion PR Agencies, Bollare. That was the beginning of my transition into the Fashion and Lifestyle PR world. I quickly recognized that my strengths of writing and great communication skills would be an asset to the industry. Flash forward, with ONLY three years of experience under my belt, I launched ACN PR the summer of 2018 from my home office (aka the dining room table).

(This was in fact the scariest most pivotal time in my life, because I had to take a leap of faith in order to leave a miserable full-time position I held at a very well known agency at the time. I must emphasize that this job had been my dream job from the start of my PR career. So when the CEO of the agency scouted me through an Instagram DM, I was ecstatic and didn’t think twice to pass it up.

In sum, that agency was not what I had thought it to be, and very much in fact the most miserable time of my life. Having a manager that tried to keep me in this capacity where I couldn’t demonstrate my fullest potential, and just assigned me the grunt work. Choosing to leave, was not an easy decision, as I did not have a back up plan lined up. I went back and forth for a few months. Until one day, it all just became apparent to me that I can work hard and start my own thing, and that ultimately would be the greatest reward, rather than slaving for another CEO. I think a lot of people doubted me in the beginning, especially old coworkers from that agency, but that was my greatest motivation.

After leaving my full-time position at that fashion PR agency, I had to REALLY hustle day-in-day out. I only had $300 in my savings account, so I needed some kind of income to pay bills, all while trying to get ACN PR off the ground, and build out our client roster. I was resourceful, and got a part-time retail job at Bloomingdales, and fit modeled on the side. At the time, it seemed like I was taking steps backwards. In between those two jobs, I worked on ACN PR on my downtime, most of the time till the wee hours of the morning and weekends. In addition, I would set aside 1-2 hours a day to sit and browse Instagram for prospective clients. I would build out excel sheets with each brand’s contact info, and cold email them a custom proposal deck. This would often interfere with my part-time position at Bloomingdales, where I would go hide in the bathroom to prospect and take potential client calls who had interest in my services. It got to the point that my co-workers knew if I was missing from the sales floor, they would be able to find me on the bathroom couch. Haha! With that being said, it took a whole 3 months before I landed my first client. I think that part of my story is extremely important because people often ask “how do you know when the time is right?” The answer is – there is never a right time, and you will never really feel entirely READY. You have to be your own biggest fan, believe in yourself and your dream, just as much as you are your own worst enemy.

This July marks two full years of business for ACN PR. Holding a roster of seven clients, and growing, servicing a variety of businesses, from Fashion/lifestyle brands to beauty, local businesses, and more.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been everything, but a smooth road. My closest friends and family have seen the highs and lows first hand, and have even helped me along the way with hands on support, just as much as emotionally. I am so grateful for them.

One of the biggest struggles has been finding a work-life balance and not spreading myself thin. Running your own business, you tend to feel like you can never turn-off. Especially in this field, there is always something to get done, whether it be monitoring for placements (which is extremely crucial to the business), coordinating gifting’s, or event planning. With that being said, I’ve had to really discipline myself to prioritize things, and limit my screen time. On spreading myself thin – I used to think being a ‘yes girl’ was the way to succeed, but I have learned the hard way that it is indeed a double edge sword. I would find myself committing to things I really didn’t want to do, for the sole reason of not wanting to let people down. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong believer that “You have to be willing to do a whole lot of the things you don’t like, in order to do just a bit of the thing you actually do love”. The key is weighing out opportunities and determining how they will benefit your career short term/long term.

“It’s okay to say ‘no’, and it’s ok to say ‘yes’ – the key is balance and knowing your worth.”

We’d love to hear more about your business.
ACN PR specializes in Influencer and Experiential Marketing, working with Fashion, Beauty and lifestyle brands globally. We offer the following services – Editorial PR, Influencer marketing, Social media management, and event production.

I am most proud of the amazing relationships we have cultivated with our clients, and the trust they have in us to bring their vision to life.

What sets us apart from others is our exceptional service we provide to every client, with a strategy that is angled particularly to each brand’s aesthetic.

Speaking long term – My ultimate goal/dream is to work with our clients on something bigger that gives back to humanity, having our clients contribute to this extension of ACN PR through in-kind donations to bring the events full circle. Currently, during covid-19 I have been working on this non-profit deck to bring this to fruition, and hopefully we’ll be holding our first annual philanthropic event in partnership with CHOC, this Fall/Winter 2020.

What were you like growing up?
I think anyone that knows me, will describe me as an extrovert through and through. Growing up, I was very outgoing and spunky, so that hasn’t changed. I think that’s what makes my career so much fun and effortless. I absolutely love meeting new people and constantly learning new things about our ever changing industry, and finding ways to collaborate, and help each other rise together.

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