Priscila Martinez

Founder of The Brand Agency

Priscila Martinez is a brand strategy and communications specialist who started her career at the largest independent entertainment Public Relations firm in the United States. She has managed events, creative communications, celebrity and press relations for luxury and lifestyle clients such as Tiffany & Co., Refinery 29, GUESS clothing, Restoration Hardware, Nintendo, Giuseppe Zanotti and Amazon Prime Video. She has also played a crucial role in tactical campaigns for clients such as InStyle, Moët & Chandon, Kiehl’s, and Sprinkles cupcakes. She has led three New York Times Best Seller list campaigns during her time as a publicist.

Priscila founded an award-winning creative communications firm, The Brand Agency in 2015. She now specializes in navigating lifestyle and entertainment clients through the ever-changing media landscape. Through her firm she services brands like Samsung, Amazon Prime Video, ELLE Magazine, K-Swiss, LVMH and L’Oreal’s NYX Cosmetics. She works with non-profits like the California Fire Foundation and Elizabeth Glaser’s Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Martinez has contributed to industry publications like Forbes and AdWeek and been featured in trades like The Wrap and The Hollywood Reporter. She was recently voted as one of the Top Events People in the United States by industry trade publication BizBash. Her award-winning agency, The Brand Agency is part of the Forbes Agency Council and has been named Best PR Firm in Los Angeles, Best Public Relations Company and a Be+Spoke Awards Campaign Winner to name a few accolades. The Brand Agency is accredited as a Minority Business by the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council.

Where did the idea for The Brand Agency come from?

I started my career in Public Relations at a very young age. I joke around that I had Stockholm Syndrome, I fell in love with my captor. I adored my job, but not the toxicity that came with corporate America. I set out to start a firm that serviced amazing clients but didn’t have any of the usual trappings or cattiness. I wanted to put culture and individuals at the forefront. That is where the idea for The Brand Agency came from.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My husband is in retail so he conditioned me to early alarms, we typically wake up when it’s still dark outside. Although I know I shouldn’t, I start my day by picking up my phone and checking email. Once I get the overnight emails in order, I jump out of bed and put on my workout clothes. Getting dressed for a workout is half the battle and I don’t allow myself my biggest morning vice (a cup of coffee) until I’m in leggings and a sports bra. If I don’t get a sweat session in during the am I know I will most likely skip it altogether. I make my coffee and keep a gratitude practice. I then hop on a virtual training session (I do miss in-person though, thank you COVID). After Taylr my trainer has kicked my behind for about an hour, I shower and get ready for my daily morning briefing with The Brand Agency team.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Bringing ideas to life doesn’t happen with a formula or in one single step. It takes many tries to hone in on something that will truly make an impact for our clients. We are firm believers in team brainstorming and that’s how some of our best creative juices get flowing. We like the creative aspect of things, but are also very diligent about having our ideas provide ROI and map back to tangible KPIs.

What’s one trend that excites you?

There are many things that excite me at the moment but the way PR and communications are evolving at light speed keeps me up at night (in a very good way). Brands and firms are getting more and more creative, we continue to push the envelope and that gives me hope. PR isn’t dead, it’s just evolving.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I have a worksheet of sorts that I fill out first thing when I sit at my desk. It has an area that lists priorities and to-dos, which will mandate most of my day, but it also has areas for a gratitude practice, an affirmation, and a place to list the day’s wins. Filling all of these areas out and having that brain dump before I dig into my emails makes my day infinitely better. Those few minutes of reflection allow me to map back to my larger goals and keep priorities in check.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Just put one foot in front of the other.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Traditional PR won’t exist in 10 years.

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

As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned it’s important to cherish your relationships. I’ve had my interns become my boss, old clients that I butted heads with becoming my best friends. The world is insane and oftentimes stranger than fiction. Your business always runs the risk of crashing, nothing is permanent. If things get tough and you have to rebuild, the only thing you have is your relationships. Maintain them wisely.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Finding the correct people to work with never fails to help your business grow. It can be a client team you admire and learn from or a team member that is whip smart. Always surround yourself with the best people you can find.

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

One type of failure I’ve engaged with during my career is partnering with the wrong people. At the beginning of my entrepreneur career, I would ignore my gut instinct in order to work with a high-caliber brand or personality. I don’t do that anymore. Those engagements always end in disaster. Life is too short to work with people that don’t share your core values.

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

Creative communications and PR strategies don’t have to cost you a fortune. Instead of trying to appeal to the masses, start by creating a small but loyal following. Never underestimate free tools like social media that can help you hone your voice and acquire that following.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

An ember self-heating mug and shipping Grumpy coffee from NYC. Coffee is my biggest vice and starting the day with a good cup sets a positive tone for me.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Microsoft’s To Do app. Can’t. Live. Without. It. It divides your to-dos by project and every to-do can receive a breakout list of steps. You can add due dates, set reminders, and send your flagged emails directly to your to-do list. God bless whatever soul came up with this app/program.

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

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday. Its not overwhelming and its a wild ride you can take all year. His book The Obstacle is the Way was also a favorite (yes, I confess, I read it twice) during the pandemic. He has a way of putting things into perspective.

What is your favorite quote?

“Pies para que si tengo alas para volar (Why feet when I have wings to fly).” This was by Frida Kahlo. She was bedridden and unable to walk after her accident and she scribbled this in her journal. I visited her museum with my family when I was about 13 years old and the quote captivated me. I’ve held it dear ever since.

Key Learnings:

  • Invest in the people you surround yourself with
  • Constantly connect to your larger goals
  • Don’t be afraid to indulge daily in things that make you happy like a great cup of coffee
  • When life seems overwhelming, just put one foot in front of the other