Jenelle Hamilton Inc.

Jenelle Hamilton, CEO

Jenelle Hamilton’s career is well-rounded in every sense. There were her non-profit and fashion PR days in London, then her NYC moment working with beauty clients and now her primarily LA-based work running her lifestyle PR agency. We spoke with Jenelle to learn more about how she got to be a founder, the nuances of working in each different city and her take on the ever-evolving PR landscape.

How did you get into the comms field? Tell us a little about your career in London.

I always knew I wanted to go into PR and communications, as I was always fascinated by the media. My first job was working for a not-for-profit in the UK, and HRH Princess Anne was the patron. From there, I switched over to fashion PR, as I’d always loved fashion. I worked at Karla Otto in London heading up the Marni and Juicy Couture accounts. I would go back and forth to Milan for fashion week and events, and it was fun. I learned a lot.

What led you to New York and ultimately made you launch your own business in 2010?

I came to New York on vacation and fell in love with the city. I remember thinking to myself, I HAVE to live and work here. Everyone knows that New York is the epicenter for all things beauty and it was an area I wanted to transition into from fashion PR. I saw it as an opportunity to challenge myself and take my career to the next level.

I worked at various different PR agencies and did some freelance consulting at Hearst, and a stint at Estée Lauder of the Launch of Tom Ford’s first fragrance Black Orchid. Those were amazing experiences. I started to get a lot of referrals while I was consulting, and I ended up launching my agency. It wasn’t planned, I sort of fell into running a company. But I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and love having freedom to be creative. I get to choose the clients and brands I work with, and that is very appealing to me.

Now that you’re mostly LA-based, do you notice any nuances of working there, versus in New York and/or London?

Since moving from New York to LA I am definitely less stressed! The pace of life and work in New York is next level. I lived there for 13 years and it was incredible, but the hamster wheel just did not slow down. LA offers me a work/life balance I just could not seem to achieve while out East.

I would say that in America, people are less into taking vacations. When I first moved here, it was an adjustment. In the UK, everybody maxes out their vacation days. They switch off on the weekends and they rarely check their phones and emails when they clock out at the end of the day. Sixteen years into living in the States and now I’m the worst at taking vacations. I am always attached to my phone. I still feel so much guilt when I switch my OOO on! I guess I need to ‘unlearn’ the American traits I have picked up and get back to my European roots, as it relates to taking time off.

What have been a few of your company milestones (i.e. expansion, dream clients, etc.)?

Growing my team on the East and West Coasts was incredible. To have support for clients on both coasts has been amazing, since my clients are based all around the US.

Seeing clients we have worked with or launched, such as Partake and Mented Cosmetics, blow up is incredibly rewarding for me and the team. It reminds me of why we do what we do.

Representing the legendary Bob Mackie is incredible. He was actually one of the first clients at our agency. Working with him I have had the opportunity to experience some incredible things, such as attending the Met Gala, TONY Awards and SAG Awards. He personally introduced me to Cher and we had a great conversation. She was the sweetest, by the way, and it was definitely a pinch-me moment.

Your team works across a range of lifestyle industries. Are there any unique considerations you take when marketing, for example, a beauty client versus a food one? Any common threads?

I think the strategic approach we take translates well across all categories, whether it be food or beauty. The main goal is to go where the attention is and get in front of the media and consumers, so the most important aspect of a campaign is to have news or a product that is interesting to the media.

How does social media fit into your PR mix?

Social media plays a huge part in our overall strategy for clients, as it gives us an opportunity to amplify the clients’ messaging on a larger global scale. Our team loves to brainstorm ideas on how to amplify what we are doing on the comms side. You just can’t deny just how effective social media is in reaching and educating the consumer at mass, and our relationships with influencers have helped our clients go viral on Instagram and TikTok. Trust me, clients are happy when their products are flying off the shelves because of the work we’ve done on helping a product go viral.

What are some current or upcoming projects you’re excited about?

Our team is heading to the UK to do a press run with our client Bob Mackie. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has an exhibit opening called DIVAS and Bob’s iconic pieces for Cher, Pink, Tina Turner, Bette Midler and more will all be on display starting June 24th. He also has a documentary debuting in the fall which will be exciting.

Do you have any predictions for the future of the PR industry?

Just that it’s pretty obvious that social media is not going anywhere and we have to embrace and adapt to it. Public relations will always be needed and relevant, just in a different way.

We love a good recommendation – what are some of your favorite spots in New York, Los Angeles and London?

London - Buns From Home has the most delicious hand-rolled croissant buns. They went viral and are a must-visit when in town. The Andre Pierre hair salon in Brixton, South London is great for multi-ethnic hair types, and my go-to for a treatment and blow out when I’m home.

New York - Marc Forgione in TriBeCa for dinner, just the most incredible food and service. Sania’s Brow Bar for the best grooming and fluffiest full brows.

Los Angeles - Sunset Tower Bar for dinner always. It's super chic and is so old Hollywood. You can get dressed up and just can’t go wrong with this place, ever. The best lymphatic massage in LA is at the Lillian Detox Spa on Sunset Boulevard. This woman is a genius and really understands the body. I see her every single week for body work.


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