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Meet Valerie Allen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valerie Allen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Valerie. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I am the CEO and founder of Valerie Allen Public Relations and Expert Connection PR.

Before moving to Los Angeles, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College Park School of Communications in New York, and a Masters degree in Journalism from Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia.

Before opening my own firm, I held senior-level positions at public relations powerhouses Burson-Marsteller and Rogers & Cowan. I was also a senior account executive at Davidson & Choy Publicity and considered Judi Davidson to be one of my mentors and role models.

After I left Burson-Marsteller, radio and TV host, Dr. Drew Pinsky encouraged me to go out on my own and said he would be my first client! Over the years I’ve helped him launch many projects including DrDrew.com, the hit Celebrity Rehab franchise on Vh1, the nightly Dr. Drew Show on HLN, and a New York Times bestselling book.

I’ve played an integral role in his overall success, managed several crisis and helped elevated his brand to the trusted name he is today. My company and my reputation took off from there, and I have never looked back! I’ve worked with top comedians like Adam Carolla and Loni Love, actors, actresses, musicians, influencers, bestselling authors, and a slew of legal, medical and other professional experts.

Over the years, I have developed vast relationships with top tier media that span all segments of the press. I’ve booked clients on every major outlet including Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, Ellen, The View and late night shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Tonight Show.

I have long-standing relationships with The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, NIDA, Drugfree.org, and EIC Prism Awards, which have allowed me to help heighten awareness of the drug epidemic on a national level.

I serve as a media advisor to the Power to Decide in Washington, D.C. an organization that provides trusted information on sexual health so young people can make informed decisions.

In addition, I am active in the international adoption community, and I am the co-president of Families With Children From China, Southern California.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Public Relations is very competitive, especially in Hollywood, and running your own shop is extremely challenging in any environment. Over the years, I think I’ve learned a thing or two about being an entrepreneur, from hiring the right people to staying ahead of trends to work-life balance.

One of the biggest challenges has been competing with the big agencies. We have overcome that by consistently, year after year, delivering outstanding results for our clients. Because we are a boutique agency, we are able to be more flexible, more creative and have a deeper understanding of our client’s businesses.

Despite all the challenges it can be extremely rewarding to build your own company from the ground up. There is something very empowering about being in control of your own destiny. Bonus, I haven’t had to write a resume in 18 years!

I’ve had the opportunity to work with people like Dr. Drew who inspire me, and I have developed lifelong friendships along the way. I’m very proud of the work that I do and the feeling of satisfaction when a pitch lands a big TV appearance like Oprah or a feature in the New York Times.

PR is constantly changing and never gets old. I learn something new every day and get to play my small part in helping clients achieve their goals.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
At VAPR, our forte is media relations. No one in PR, large agency or small, does strategic media relations the way we do it and at the level that we do it. We are proactively pitching our clients to the media every day whether it’s a long lead outlet, digital, or breaking news, we eat, sleep and breathe media.

If you turn on your TV chances are you will see one of our clients, I am most proud of my team. They came on this journey with me and have become some of the best publicists in the business.

I can not stress enough how important it is to build a good team and I have been very fortunate to find some of the hardest working and most dedicated people in the field.

Almost everyone in my agency started as an intern and worked their way up. I believe in training young talent and letting them grow with the company.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
You’ve got to have hustle! That means you have to be proactive and go after what you want. You can’t sit back and wait for the opportunity to knock. Put in the hours, do the leg work, go the extra mile.

Finally, in the words of the late Jaime Escalante (Stand and Deliver,) “Believe in yourself. You can do it! You can do anything you set your mind to.”

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