Caitlin | BLEU

Issue 47: Humans-Kerry Smalls

Words by Sable Sweeper

Ever heard of Future, Rick Ross, Jordin Sparks, YG, G-Eazy or Slick Rick?  Ever wonder how HBO Originals or Essence Communications operates and become well known? Meet Kerry Smalls, Public Relations Manager at entertainment and lifestyle publicity firm, The Chamber Group.

What is your title?

I am the public relations manager at entertainment and lifestyle publicity firm, The Chamber Group. At The Chamber Group, I oversee and implement strategies around local and national press campaigns in print, broadcast and online media for artists and projects across The Chamber Group’s dynamic roster of clients.

How did you break into the music industry?

Breaking into the music industry was definitely a journey. Very early on, I’d chase internship after internship trying to figure out where it was that I fit in at. I was able to join various organizations such as Grammy 365, took internships at firms such as Susan Blond Inc., Britt Banter and Mission PR. I co-founded a charity called DJ For A Cure [which] opened the door for me to work with [major] brands. I [then] landed a gig at Compound Entertainment, a subsidiary record label under Motown Records.

What is the most difficult part about working in the music industry?

Every artist or account is different. Adjusting is not easy with every client and team. Sometimes it takes a while to find that sweet spot where you and your clients share the same thought process.That can be the tough part.

How is it working bi-coastal?

[Traveling] for business can be tiresome, but it’s so worth it! In any given month I can be in New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, Los Angeles, then back in New York. I find the most challenging part to be the differences in time. Bridging the gap is the enjoyable part. Meeting new people. Plus, who doesn’t like to wake up and go to work surrounded by palm trees all day!

In the next five years, what do you wish to contribute to the industry?

In five years, I plan to continually shape a different way of doing things. I want to contribute a work style and work ethic to this business, a solid way of doing things. I want everyone who works with me and my team to walk away feeling like: man, they do great work, they’re ultimate professionals, who still know how to have fun, with style, and are genuinely amicable.