2013 Client Roster: Delux Magazine

I enjoy the work I do as the Director of Marketing and Social Media at Delux Magazine.  

I am responsible for guiding the brand into the national market and expanding our market share.  Most days, that is a full-time job, I am also responsible for increasing brand awareness in multiple markets, including:  Minneapolis, Atlanta, LA and New York.  I aggressively employ public relations tactics resulting in thousands of industry media impressions for my client.

I frequently conduct focus groups and marketing research panels to investigate purchasing behavior and measure brand awareness amongst our target audiences to determine our expansion plans and the direction of our marketing. I educated senior staff on cultural nuances and media training for diverse markets as we grow in phases.

In the past I have helped the brand reach celebrities for cover stories and I have personally assisted the brand plan four high fashion photoshoots, sometimes from across the country.  I was responsible for researching and securing all venues and vendors (Creative Director, Fashion, Stylists, Make Up Artists, Hair Stylists, Photographers) for these high profile photoshoots and I was able to hire teams of professionals who I have worked with previously.

I am also responsible for writing press materials, and managing six social media channels and developing many of our social media campaigns.  My work has provided the brand 4,000 specifically targeted new “relevant” Twitter followers.

I also help with the website.  I employ various SEO strategies and created SEM campaigns to generate traffic to the website.  I have audited and increased effectiveness of existing corporate social media channels resulting in thousands of impressions generated.  I consult on the direction of the website and help manage the website including training and managing a team of ten web content editors.

I also create and managed direct marketing campaigns (print and e-mail) targeting up to 200,000+ potential readers in key markets.

I developed and manage B2B marketing strategies targeting major brands on behalf of the Delux Magazine.   

Finally, I often consult with operations and sales management on non-marketing initiatives to achieve positive business results that will compliment my PR, marketing and social media efforts.  

Random Insights: By Kandis Knight, Public Relations Strategist

By Kandis Knight

Clients often fail to realize the importance of nurturing creative thought and synergy with their publicist.  When it comes to approaching any project, large or small, I always follow the same creative path:  Meeting of the minds, discuss, think, create, plan, revise, execute, measure results.  This process takes time and works best the more access I have with upper management.

For this reason, if you are working with a publicist, you should know that it is important to give the publicist/client relationship time to grow.  There is a synergy that needs to exist between you and your publicist that will allow for the free flow of creative ideas.  Sometimes clients miss out on a true public relations experience because they never gave the creative process time to develop.

For work, I relocate often, learning about different places has been key to my success.  Recently relocating to Minneapolis has been a wonderful learning experience.  Working with Fortune 500 companies and learning software and applications I would never be able to afford as a freelance Public Relations specialist has proven invaluable.

However, working in a small market, has been a challenge.  I have had a challenging time with clients who fail to realize how important their relationship with their publicist is.  In most working situations, I generally worked closely alongside the owner or CEO.  Companies in a small markets, tend to totally miss the boat when it comes to maximizing their public relations resource by failing to connect the dots between upper management and their public relations strategist.

The most successful clients I have worked with, have clung to me like glue and we were able to create a synergy that money cannot buy.

2013 Interview: B.O.B. Atlantic Records/Grand Hustle

Written By Kandis Knight
Published:  deluxmagazine.com

Delux Jet Setter International Tips With B.o.B.
(Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records Artist)

In 2007, hip-hop artist B.O.B. released the song "Haterz Everywhere We Go," featuring Wes Fif, which served to formally introduce the world to the “spunky” southern rapper.  The song peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.  The catchy tune caught on in America, and rapidly reached International fans.

As Haters climbed International charts, B.o.B. and his team began packing their bags for their future success.  The first stop, landed the humble Decatur, Georgia native in Germany.

“That showed me that there was an untapped market, so to speak.  I remember at the time, the only artists that were touring across Europe were rock bands, pop artists, and artists like me,” says the twenty-three year old artist.

In a  flash, B.o.B. and his dynamic management team, comprised of TJ Chapman (TjsDjs,com) and Brian “B Rich” Richardson jumped into action by following up with more hit singles "Nothin' on You" (featuring Bruno Mars) and "Airplanes" 
B.o.B. (featuring Eminem & Hayley Williams) to further seal B.o.B’s International acclaim.

In under 7 years, B.o.B has sold over 15 million records, was nominated for 6 Grammys, partnered with T.I, Atlantic Records and Eminem, had a #1 hit, “Nothin on You,” toured worldwide and landed endorsements deals with Adidas, Coke, and other popular brands.

“I have been to Paris, Sweden, Switzerland, all around the UK did a tour in the UK, I have plans on going to Malaysia and Hong Kong real soon,” he explains.

The International jet setter lifestyle is something few artists get to enjoy, however for elite artists like B.o.B. finding themselves in foreign lands is becoming something more common than not, especially with the ability for even small artists to build international fan bases.

“I never really thought about it (the jet setter lifestyle), when you are an aspiring artist and you are making music, you are just hoping to get a record deal (laughs).  I never thought much about the travel.  For me, I gradually grew to be as big as I am now.  Even though I exploded overnight, you know.  I have been travelling for years.  Some artists do not get the privilege of working their way up to it. They strike gold and then they are on the road from zero to 60 overnight,” says B.o.B.

Best Places to Live According to B.o.B.:

1.  Tokyo, Japan
2.  Paris, France

Best Places to Visit According to B.o.B.:

1.     Amsterdam
2.     Toronto

Best International Cuisine According to B.o.B.:

South Korean Spicy Barbecue

“South Koreans eat spicy, food. Spicy food is the norm.  You know how we have hot sauce?  They have hot sauce and extra hot, hot sauce.  It is the spiciest food I have ever had, but it is the best barbecue and I am from the south”

Best Cultural Events According to B.o.B.:

The Cannibus Cup, in Amstersdam

“Once in Amsterdam, I opened the official Blunt for the Cannibus Cup and at that moment, I felt like I made it”

The most fashion forward cities According to B.o.B.:

1.           The UK
2.           Tokyo

“Let me say this, in Tokyo they are more “riskier” than the rest of the world”

Crazy Things You Might See During Your International Travels, According to B.o.B.:

“I have seen everything from people toss their beer on the ground (to celebrate) to people getting naked, just crazy things.  You can buy Kangaroo in scrotum in Australia.  It is just the norm.  There are lots of different things you see”

City with the best B.o.B. fans :

“Dublin Ireland, I have never gotten so much love.  They were really excited to see me.  I never met anyone so excited to see me, as the girls in Dublin.  They party hard in Dublin”

The Sexiest Beaches According to B.o.B.:

“France and India have the best beaches, make sure you check them out, bucket list”

Best Night Club Experience in ALL The World According to B.o.B.:

“If tomorrow was the end of the world, and I was going out to the club, I would have to say this.  I would not want to be anywhere else but a strip club in Atlanta GA”

What is the difference between fans in the Us and the UK:

“In America, we are cool, but when we go to the club, we are still cool, and we like to keep our cool.  When I go out to the club in the UK, they really loose their cool in the club.  They go all out.  Just like you see on t.v., they loose it, they really like to party in the UK”

Why You Should Become an International Jet Setter in 2013 According to B.o.B:

“Traveling gives you ideas and teaches you things that you can take home and incorporate into your life to make your life easier.  You learn to appreciate architecture, culture, the arts and cuisine more.  But honestly, I am like Dorothy, and there is no place like home.  When my plane  lands and the wheels touch down in Atlanta Georgia, I am always excited to get back home.  There is nothing like America.”

Check out B.O.B.’s Mix Tape coming out on his Birthday on November 15th,  called “We Ball” and watch the movie “Snow on The Bluff, filmed in the westside of Atlanta.

“Being a world traveller has made me realize where I have been closed minded in my life especially prior to traveling, I think everyone should get their passports and become jet setters in 2013, there is a lot out there to see and experience”.

For more information:  www.bobatl.com and buy Bo.B.’s latest album Strange Clouds!

2013 Interview: Reverend Noah Smith

Written By Kandis Knight
Rev. Noah Smith

"You'll always have teenagers and young people who need to be introduced to this spiritual dimension of life. I just want to have an opportunity to talk to them personally, not only preach to them, about their concepts and ideas about God."  -Rev. Noah Smith

Born in 1908 in Marion, Indiana, Rev. Noah Smith was raised in the AME church. Late in Smith’s life, in 1954, while Smith was teaching Sunday school at St. Peter's AME Church in Minneapolis, his pastor asked him to consider the ministry.

"I said, 'What do you mean go into ministry? I'm 49 years old. God would have called me when I was young.' And he said, 'He did, but you didn't hear him.'"

With the pastor’s blessing, Smith pursued the ministry and he didn’t care that it was late in his life, he was proud to follow in the footsteps of his father.  Smith’s father was also a well-respected leader in his hometown church.

Smith is also an artist of many talents.  He plays percussion, and he is also a talented cartoon artist and painter.  In 1930, Smith moved North to Minneapolis where he began a business painting signs on buildings and vehicles. In 1941, Smith landed a job as a waiter in a dining car for the Burlington Northern railroad, where he worked for nearly three decades.

In 1960, Smith was ordained and began serving at St. Peter's through 1986. A highlight of Smith’s career was working with Gary Reierson, president of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.  Reierson was one of Smith's teachers at United Theological Seminary in New Brighton. After working with Smith, Rierson described Smith as a "bridge builder, especially around racial issues."

A true trail blazer, Smith participated in a partnership in early 1990 that paired white and black churches together so they could better understand each other.

At the age of 78, Smith graduated from Macalester College earning his master of divinity degree at the seminary shortly after.

Smith also led an AME congregation in Duluth and served as pastor at St. James AME Church in Minneapolis. In 1998, Smith went on to Wayman AME Church, a community of about 500 members. 

Today, Smith has been preaching for over 50 years and is considered one of the oldest preachers in the United States. At 102, Rev. Smith still gives regular sermons at Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.