25 Mar 2011
- Written by Carlee McCullough
Littlejohn’s track record reflects that she has consistently demonstrated her knowledge of the industry. Determined to keep her finger on the pulse of what is going on nationally, she reaches outside of this market, all the while juggling multiple projects.
Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little about your background and professional experiences.
Jennifer Littlejohn: My background is in communications, public relations and marketing. I’ve worked for a global paper packaging company, international architectural firm and an amazing youth organization in the city.
C.M.: What is public relations and why would a business need those services?
C.M.: Tell us about Olivia Massey Public Relations.
J.L.: Olivia Massey Public Relations is a strategic marketing and communications firm that I started in 2005. Olivia was my grandmother’s name and is one of my middle names. My grandfather, who I never met, was named Ervin Massie and I wanted to name the company in honor of both of them. To date, we have managed several contracts with major corporations to include General Mills, U.S. Housing of Urban Development and the National Office NAACP.
C.M.: Describe your clients and what you typically do for them.
J.L.: I provide strategic marketing and communications services to clients seeking to extend their brand in various markets. I typically work with corporations that have active supplier diversity programs as well as small businesses and nonprofits.
C.M.: How has social media changed public relations and marketing businesses?
J.L.: Social media has “enhanced” public relations tremendously and will continue to be a great communications tool for businesses to use. Social media puts the power of the image directly into the hands of the business owner. Two-way communication directly with the consumer gives the business owner an opportunity to refine its services immediately and to make a deeper impact with various target audiences. However, social media should never take the place of effectively communicating with your audience. PR is a strategy for communication. When a business owner understands that concept, I think they will be successful in their business goals.
C.M.: What is brand development?
J.L.: Brand development is the appearance and position of your organization as it relates to your mission, goals, values and vision.
C.M.: How important is it for a business to develop an effective brand strategy?
J.L.: Developing a brand strategy is “key” to building your customer base in various markets. It’s your unique identifier and the strategy for differentiating you from your competitors.
C.M.: What is the favorite part of what you do?
J.L.: People. I’m a people person and a continuous learner. PR isn’t limited to one industry so I get an opportunity to learn about so many things and meet so many intriguing people!
C.M.: Do you have a mentor?
J.L.: Yes, I do. I have several: my parents, Ron Redwing of The Redwing Group, and Cheryl Kern, Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion for International Paper. Ron and Cheryl have been instrumental in my development as a leader and business professional. My parents provide constant spiritual guidance, keeping me and humble and grateful.
C.M.: What is the one PR advice you would give to a new business?
J.L.: Be innovative and engaging. If you want consumers or maybe even your competition to talk about you in a good way, make creativity and innovation a part of your business initiatives. Set aside a budget for your public relations needs and allow it to work for you!
C.M.: Thanks for the interview. Do you have any closing thoughts?
J.L.: Thanks for the opportunity.