Kelly Reeves – Founder and CEO of KLR Communications

[quote style=”boxed”]Someone who is willing to take risks; someone who has a lot of faith; someone who can take the ups with the downs and roll with the punches. [/quote]

Kelly Reeves is the founder and CEO of KLR Communications, a boutique PR agency located in southern California with expertise in technology, lifestyle and automotive.

With over 15 years of marketing and media relations experience, Kelly Reeves has multi-industry knowledge that ranges from fashion, lifestyle and entertainment to technology and automotive. Kelly has worked with well-known companies and personalities including the Tony Hawk Foundation, Barrett-Jackson, Targus, Kingston, Howard Stern and Versace. She has successfully launched a variety of consumer electronics and B2B brands and executed highly successful PR and social media campaigns. Kelly has placed clients in leading newspapers, magazines and blogs such as InStyle, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TechCrunch, AllThingsD and Mashable; and landed spots on high profile programs such as Extra!, the Today Show, ABC News, CNN and Good Morning America. Since starting her PR agency in 2002, Kelly has received numerous awards from the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for public relations and media relations campaigns executed on behalf of her clients.

What are you working on right now?

Since I have five clients with whom I work directly, I am working on various projects such as the PR coordination for the upcoming Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit; a reorganization strategy; client round of funding, and a major product launch. I am also working on various international humanitarian projects that are in Vietnam, Kenya, and the Congo.

Where did the idea for KLR Communications come from?

I had been working in technology at the height of the DotCom era. When it all crashed, I found myself without a job, and it wasn’t easy to get a new one. So a PR company for which I was doing some project work basically handed me my first client to work with as a consultant. It was downhill from there. I just celebrated my 11th year in business.

How do you make money?

I work strictly on retainer and have grown my business organically with my own profits.

What does your typical day look like?

I’m up at around 5:30am, make my coffee, check emails, read my daily devotional and write in my journal, walk the dogs, go to the gym then head to the office. I usually attend business dinners or events in the evenings.

How do you bring ideas to life?

PR is all about the visual, so it’s easy to propose ideas and see them come to life through traditional and social media – You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I love the trend of trending! It is so useful when it comes to PR, marketing and engagement. To see what your audience is reading about or interested in really helps to develop a campaign. Of course, who doesn’t love the trend of funny animal videos?

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I was a Jr. Publicist at an entertainment PR firm in LA that represented some very high profile celebrities. It was grueling! I worked ridiculous hours, I was treated horribly, and I didn’t get paid very well. I learned to stand up for myself and how to be treated with respect. I also learned how to treat others with kindness and respect regardless of their position.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would definitely keep up with more business contacts and maintained those relationships, and I would have more confidence in myself, believed in myself more.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I pray. Regardless of faith, it is important to lean on a higher power in all aspects in your life, especially when you’re running your own show and everything comes down to you. I also laugh at myself and try to not take myself too seriously.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I lost a client once due to the fact that I didn’t have the manpower they felt they needed to go to the next level. I overcame it by building a team of people who had strengths that complemented my weaknesses

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

As a woman, I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a nail salon in a car wash so I could kill two birds with one stone.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

I would end animal abuse. I am heavily involved in animal rescue. I would like to have stricter laws and punishment for those convicted of animal abuse. I would like to end poaching and “sport” hunting in Africa by closing down the businesses that provide such activities.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I can sing, but only my Japanese clients who’ve forced me into karaoke know it.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Do – it helps you manage projects from just about anywhere, which is great for me because I travel quite a bit.

Buffer – it lets you streamline your social media campaigns so you’re not inundating followers with constant messages and content. Plus, it provides nice analytics

Webstagram – I can access my Instagram feed and followers from my desktop or laptop

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” by Peter Bregman. It is a quick read, but offers some very fundamental, practical, insightful, and impactful ways to be more productive.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

• Gary Vaynerchuk: I’ve followed him since he started the Wine Library, and it’s amazing to see how’s he’s become such a social media influencer

• Glenn Fleishman: I love his tech commentary, and he always responds to my DMs

• Brian Heater: he’s just so quirky and funny. I wish I could come up with some of the odd insights he Tweets.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Today because of Someecard that was posted on Facebook

Who is your hero?

Richard Branson. He is not only an incredible business leader; he is a world changer. I truly admire people who use their influence to make our world a better place. Oddly enough, I also admire the Kardashians. They have truly built an empire out of absolutely nothing. I still can’t figure out how they did it or what’s their appeal, but they’ve done it. I also admire Tony Hawk. I am fortunate enough to work with him and know that despite all of his success, he is truly kind and humble. He has built an incredible business out of being a skateboarder from San Diego and he gives back to the community. He’s very impressive.

What makes someone suited to be an entrepreneur?

Someone who is willing to take risks; someone who has a lot of faith; someone who can take the ups with the downs and roll with the punches. It also takes someone who clearly understands their passion, strengths and weaknesses, and finds what makes them different- what makes them stand out.

What’s on my bucket list?

I want to go scuba diving in Palau; ride a camel in Egypt; see the running with the bulls in Pamplona; become fluent in Japanese; go to the Super Bowl.


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Kelly Reeves on Twitter: @KellyLReeves
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Kelly Reeves on Instagram: @IMKELLYREEVES