Jaime Maser, Founder of Maser Communications

As someone who has been in PR for over 15 years, Jaime Maser knows a thing or two about communication. She is as engaged and she is engaging, and her forward-thinking vision and approach to brand building is at the core of her great success. From working at industry dominating PR agencies, to holding in-house roles at the beauty industries' most luxurious brands, to launching her latest venture, Maser Communications, Jaime has done it all. Members of the press love her for her infectious energy and attention to detail, and clients - like FarmacyBeautyRx by Dr. Schultz and PLANTED IN BEAUTY by WELL WITHIN - commend her personalized touch and innate understanding of the luxury marketplace. 

Today, she's stopping by AGL to give us a look into how she got started in PR, when she knew it was time to branch off on her own, how she "turns off" in a role that demands you to always be on, and how the industry has changed.

Q&A 

Can you tell us a bit about your background? 

  • I’m a Philly girl at heart (I grew up in Bucks County, PA) but have been a New Yorker for the past 15+ years.
  • I moved here in 2002, after spending my college years (1996-2000) and then the first two years post-college (2000-2002) working at a PR agency in Boston.
  • I’ve always thought of myself as a story teller (which in essence is what PR is).  I originally wanted to be an author when I was younger, and then I was leaning towards advertising, but I landed on Public Relations after learning more about it in a Comm. 101 class freshman year at BU.  I haven’t looked back since.
  • Career-wise, I spent years honing my skill set at PR agencies (Manning, Selvage and Lee, Kaplow Communications, Paul Wilmot Communications) and in-house (Sue Devitt, La Prairie), garnering experience on both US and Global Communications, before branching out on my own in February 2014.

What was your "gold lining" moment when you knew PR was the career for you? I interned at a boutique PR agency in Sydney, Australia during my semester abroad (Spring 99).  We did this big PR stunt for Nescafé in one of the downtown shopping areas – I’m talking camera crews, photogs, the whole nine.  I loved the process – planning the event, faxing (uh huh, faxing) out the media alert to news stations, staffing the event, seeing the post-event coverage. I knew this was the field for me.

How did you know it was time to branch off on your own and start Maser Communications? Prior to Maser Communications, as I mentioned, I had worked at both agencies and in-house – covering brands ranging from mass to prestige to niche to ultra-luxury, as well as beauty, lifestyle and wellness businesses and service providers – planned countless press trips – pitched new business – developed and executed both national and global communication strategies and initiatives – and been humbled many times along the way.  I took the positives – and the negatives – of every company I worked for with me to my next job and tried to build upon the experience I had gathered.  

Before I started my company, I was in a VP, Global Communications role with La Prairie.  While I adored the brand (I had been working with them in some capacity since 2005), in terms of my day to day work, I felt distanced from what I actually loved about PR – the pitch, the press interaction, the client interfacing. I often joked that my role was every P – PowerPoints, protocols, postures, policies, presentations – but PR. I missed the day to day of working with the local market media (in my role with La Prairie, we developed and strategized on PR plans, but the local markets executed and engaged with the media). I also felt that my services and approach to Communications – that being hands on, personalized, relationship-driven, knowledgeable, experienced – was something that would be well received by clients who wanted the expertise of a savvy senior level executive…without the inner workings (and often muddied waters) of a large-scale agency.  

What does a typical day look like for you? Some combination of AM / PM hang time with my son Bodie (before and after our amazing nanny Yvonne spends the day with him) – an editor breakfast, lunch, coffee – client calls and emails – hitting up one of my go to boutique fitness studios for a workout (I am a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic, and daily sweat sessions are a must to keep me sane) – servicing out interviews from one of my clients to a journalist – monitoring media for press breaks and updating client media reports – sending out a Media Intel e-blast (aside from Maser Comm., I also run a subscription service for industry news and media moves [you can sign up on maserpr.com]; more here http://ed2010.com/generic/unsolicited-advice/chatting-beauty-pr-veteran-jaime-maser-maser-communications/) – pitching and following up – conducting a site check or walk-through or chatting with vendors related to an upcoming press event – catching up on magazines / blogs / websites / social media., etc.

What has been the most exciting moment in your career to date? There have been a few, and in typical publicist fashion, I don’t like to rest on my laurels.  I’ll certainly acknowledge and celebrate an accomplishment (a la a big feature, landing a new piece of business, executing a fairly flawless event, etc.) – then it’s onto the next. However, I will say that celebrating Maser Communications’ first anniversary (in February 2015) – and every anniversary since then – is pretty stellar.  

How has the space changed since you first entered? I mean, I know I’ll age myself here, but I did already admit I used to fax media alerts, so there’s no denying how long I’ve been in the game. To put things in context, when I started working / at my first PR job (in 2000), no one had smart phones.  When you left work, you left work – you could certainly check your computer at home, but you weren’t connected 24/7 in the way that we are now.

It’s also been interesting to see the faces behind the faces (or the people behind the people) make their own name.  For the first 10+ years of my career, the publicist was very behind the scenes – it was always about the client.  Now, of course, the client is always first and foremost, but part of your job is also to ensure you’re out there too – this interview is case in point.

Overall, the nuts and bolts of the job are still there – pitching, events, client interfacing, press trips, media monitoring, editor entertainment – but the media landscape has changed drastically (think about all of the magazines that have sadly folded or have merged or gone digital only), and social media is now as important – and oftentimes more so – than traditional media.  There are now journalists, editors, writers, bloggers, influencers, Instagrammers, YouTubers – the list goes on and on.

I also think the term PR is less relevant. It’s truly a Communications field.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up? When I'm hard on myself and thinking I can do more or do better, I remind myself that my 70% is most people’s 100%. I’ll also take a breath in, breath out and say to myself, “Come on, J; you’ve got this.” It works.

PR is no easy task and it's pretty difficult to "turn-off." How do you manage to find balance as new mom and business owner? It’s a work in progress, and I just try to be present.  So when I’m with Bodie, I’m really with Bodie.  I know I will never get back these precious moments and “firsts” with him (he’s 13 months old / everything is really a first) so I try and soak it all in. The same goes for work.  When I’m working, I’m working – and I know he’s in the very capable and loving hands of our nanny.  I like knowing that Bodie will grow up with a strong, independent, career-driven woman in his life – and I hope that helps mold his perspective and appreciation of women.

What quotation or saying inspires you and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love? Good is never good enough…be great.

What characteristics do you admire most in creative and passionate women and men?

  • A salt of the Earth sense about them – no matter how high up they are in the corporate ladder.
  • Tenacity.
  • Sincerity.
  • Authenticity.  
  • Generous spirit.
  • Self-aware – they know their strengths and their weaknesses.
  • Appreciation – of their team, their talents, their accomplishments.

What’s your best advice for all those people aspiring to follow in your footsteps?

  • Be humble.  It doesn’t matter how much you think you know – or you actually may know – there are people around you who can teach you more.  Trust me.  Be eager to learn – and absorb!
  • Hustle.  Grind.  Don’t be complacent (with work or life).
  • Say please and thank you…and mean it.  
  • Pay attention to the details.
  • Remember your roots.  I will never get “too big” to fill out a FedEx form or stuff a goodie bag – and I do both tasks, often.

Fun Facts 

  • What's your zodiac sign? Leo
  • Recent discovery? Postmates.  What can I say?  I'm late to the game. 
  • What is your philosophy on self care? What would you say is your number one self care tip? I am all for it!  In my opinion, self care is not indulgent; it's a necessity.  Healthy mind, healthy body, happy heart. For some – self-care is yoga or meditation.  For me, it’s banging out a few miles or hitting up a Megaformer class or getting a deep tissue massage or putting on a face mask (cue Farmacy’s stellar sheet masks) and cleaning my makeup brushes.  You do you...
  • What are some of your go to spots in NYC? (WARNING – I have a lot…)
  1. Rob Sulaver (aka @bandanatraining) class at Rumble Boxing 
  2. Charlie Bird. My friend Ryan is Chef / Co-owner – not only is the food phenomenal and the vibe incredible, but the soundtrack can’t be beat – old school hip hop beats.
  3. Miss Lily's. The head chef, Andre Fowles, formerly cooked at Round Hill in Montego Bay, Jamaica – so we met years ago, at my wedding there in 2013. 
  4. Café’tal Social Club – it’s legit Little Italy – the owner Louis is one of my favorite NYers. I lived across the street from the café for years and would go in daily for sorbet and some neighborhood gossip 
  5. Rita Hazan Salon – Nicole Tresch has been my go-to girl for color for years; she’s not only easy to chat with, she is QUICK and efficient and incredibly skilled 
  6. Mile High Run Club, especially when Coach Hollis is teaching. 
  7. Egg Shop – This was my de facto “office” when Maser Communications headquarters (aka my former apartment) was in SoHo; I adore the owner Sarah (her level of hospitality is second to none), not to mention I could eat their egg bowls every damn day (get the Scrambler, and add avocado – you won’t be sorry).

Interested in following Jaime's journey? Head on over to @jaimemaser!

So next time you're in the area, head in and make your debut to see what you discover!

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