When Nicole Price found herself alone in the publicity offices of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’s Bad Boy Entertainment the day after the hip-hop mogul was implicated in a highly publicized club shooting, she experienced the full excitement of scoring a high profile internship. But when she ended up being the only employee available to answer an urgent request from renowned journalist Diane Sawyer, excitement gave way to professionalism, and Price found her true calling in public relations.
“I was very fortunate to work in the publicity office, because it really got me involved in the publicity angle and I really got to learn about it full fledged and all that it entailed,” says Price. “But that day, I was thrown into crisis communication mode, which helped me see that PR was what I really wanted to do.”
Price graduated from Goucher in 2000 with a degree in communication. Since then, she’s drawn on her experiences at Bad Boy by launching her own public relations firm, Priceless Media, as well as her own management company, Candy Girl Management, both based in New York. Price’s most recent accomplishments include landing fellow alum Dionne Higgins a spread in Vibe Vixen magazine, the offshoot of popular hip hop publication Vibe magazine, and a placement in the MTV’s daily newsletter for Ya-Ya, a former contestant on UPN’s America’s Next Top Model.
The journey to becoming a PR entrepreneur hasn’t been easy for Price. After graduating from Goucher, she has held positions in several public relations firms, including the renowned New York firm, Porter Novelli, but she has also had held various jobs at online employment agencies. Nevertheless, Price used every experience to follow her dreams of a career in PR. “I went through the lay-offs and I went through 9/11, and I went a year and a half without a job,” says Price. “I think it made me a stronger person.”
After years of odd jobs, Price received an opportunity to help launch an up and coming New York production company. While working at one of her odd jobs, worldwide online employment agency Monster.com, Price was able to launch her first PR firm, Priceless Media, by using the company’s telephone, computer, Internet and her e-mail account.
“I was kind of plugging away behind the scenes,” says Price. “I would do my work day and sometimes I would stay after hours to do what I needed to do for my business. I spent 8 hours a day on my regular job and then another 8 hours putting in work for my own business.”
With the help of friends in the entertainment industry and at other PR firms in New York, Price was able to compile media lists, attend events, and find all the right connections to build her clientele and reputation. Soon, she was moving on to her next project. Her second firm, Candy Girl Management, launched this past year, was created to promote and increase the presence of women in the entertainment industry. Price says it was inspired by the hardships she herself had experienced while trying to break into entertainment and PR.
“My purpose for starting Candy Girl was wanting to help women specifically. As a woman myself in the industry, I had such a hard time just having the confidence to start one of my own businesses,” says Price.
Now, Price has her hands full with two businesses. As a liaison between the media and different artists, Price’s days and nights are filled with business parties, phone calls, interviews, bookings, appointments, promotion, and clientele building.
“My free time merges into my business,” says Price. “A lot of my work is going out to parties and seeing who’s around and who’s out there looking for representation. I’m also a media addict, so a lot of my free time I’m watching television, but usually for ideas. When you have your own company, it’s 24 hours.”
Though Price’s primary job is to encourage and promote the dreams of others, she still has some of her own. In the future, she plans to go back to school for journalism, hopefully at NYU or Columbia University in New York, with hopes of breaking into radio or magazine writing. For now though, she is engrossed in her work as a publicist and manager.
“I want to be Oprah,” says Price. “I’m vying for her spot. Just in the sense of being able to give people different opportunities to better themselves and follow their dreams. I’ve found that that’s the most exciting part of my job. I just like to make things happen for people.”