Young Upstarts

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Azione PR – It’s All About Taking Action

Azione PR is a bi-coastal boutique public relations firm first started in Los Angeles, California by two enterprising and dynamic young women who despite their young ages already possess more than twenty years of experience in public relations and marketing in total.

Michele Angeloni, 30, and Leland Drummond, 28, founded Azione PR in June 2010 in the heart of Hollywood, leveraging on their previous experiences and client relationships to start their business. “We had very strong relationships with brands we had worked with for several years prior, so within our first month of business they had joined our roster,” recalls co-founder and president Drummond.

Azione’s name – which means action in Italian – is indicative of how they approach public relations. While many boutique firms focus and specialize on specific verticals, Drummond says they take a more active approach with their clients. “Rather than designing our company to specialize in certain areas of expertise as many do, we try to create a unique blueprint completely individualized specifically for each client,” she explains. “This ensures that as they grow and change, so does our campaign for them. We are constantly communicating, evolving and taking action to deliver our clients the best results.” This approach, it seems, must have worked, for their client roster – which includes many lifestyle brands like Skullcandy, Element, VonZipper, Epicuren, Neff and Active Ride Shop –  looks impressive for a small firm. They’ve landed a few event clients too.

In fact, business has been good enough for Drummond to move back to New York, where she was born, to start a new office earlier this year in the SoHo area. And that’s one month short of its first anniversary. As you can imagine, Drummond and Angeloni are ecstatic with the growth. But they believe that growth should be organic and that it shouldn’t outpace the ability to support their current client portfolio. “As new like-minded business presents itself, we hope to grow in the fashion, active lifestyle, beauty, spirits and events world as we go along,” Drummond adds.

And while the PR industry is a crowded and competitive one, that doesn’t seem to faze them. “We like crowds or else we wouldn’t be good at what we do,” Drummond jokes.  Then she gets serious. “We don’t try to compare ourselves to other companies out there, we just try to be authentic and effective. Our work should speak for itself.”

Drummond says that public relations work can get very hectic – clients, reporters and deadlines take a toll on time and energy. If there’s one thing she’d like to see change in the industry, it would be that folks in the public relations space – a veritable pressure cooker – support and respect each other instead. “Everyone should just take a breath and relax a little,” Drummond says. “It’s PR, not the ER, as they say.”

There’s Absolutely Nothing Better Than Working For Yourself

“If you’re up for the challenge, there’s absolutely nothing better than working for yourself,” says Drummond about entreprneeurship. “At the end of the day, all the hard work that comes inherently with being an entrepreneur is directly correlated to the results you’ve achieved and that in itself is worth its weight in gold.”

The fact that they are both self-starting entrepreneurs may be why they are very supportive of other entrepreneurs, and also why they take on startup brands as clients. Angeloni and Drummond advises current and aspiring entrepreneurs to “dig deep” and “make sure your business is something you truly, wholeheartedly love doing”. “If you’re authentic in your intentions and you stand behind your business idea, I say go for it”

“After all, you won’t know unless you try.”

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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  • Darren Smegal

    Congrats on the company! Looks like it will work out well!