Erika Enyolu aka The PR DIVA is a PR executive, event producer, investor, philanthropist and serial entrepreneur. She is the founder of PR Diva Communications. She is the Co-Founder of When Fashion Meets(WFM) an International Fashion Networking & Brand Launch platform andalso Managing Partner/Head of PR & Media Relations for African Fashion Week Toronto.
Our reporter recently chatted with her on the telephone. Below are the details of that conversation.
1. What’s your full name? How did the name PR Diva come about?
My name is Erika Amaka Enyolu aka The PR Diva. It’s a name I coined or myself because I wanted to stand out and be known as the go to person for all things PR, so when people mention the PR Diva everyone knows who they are talking about.
2. Where were you born, where are you from?
I was born in Ottawa, Ontario Canada and I’m currently based in Toronto, Canada. I am of Nigerian descent and Igbo from Uga in Anambra State.
3. What has been your best moment since you started your brand?
I have had so many amazing moments, but I’m most proud of my staff and interns that have worked for me and seeing them do well in their future endeavors after working under my wing. I am also very humbled when clients are appreciative of my services and communicate to me that it’s because of my agency that their businesses have improved and excelled.
4. So how did the love for PR and events begin?
After graduating university I interned for several years at various entertainment brands to gain hands on experience in the industry. I also was hired for my first corporate job at one of Canada’s biggest TV station’s and following that was hired as a Marketing Manager for Canada’s Ieading engineering company. With all those experiences plus with my educational background the PR & Events world literally called my name. I know how to cultivate and maintain great relationships with media representatives and I am also very sociable which is why my love for this industry grows and grows because everything I do comes natural to me and doesn’t feel like work because I’m passionate about it.
5. So what was it like, trying to launch your business, what were the challenges you faced?
Launching my business was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I quit my steady corporate job with no savings, no clients and literally no plan. I freelanced here and there but to fully start my company with nothing at times gave me anxiety. Another challenging part about growing and monetizing my brand was the ability to transition the passion into a business, a career path and getting people to respect that business model. However, I kept strong and focused on my goal to succeed and build my empire. If I had to do it again, I would suggest making a business plan and having capital to invest in growing your business.
6. Tell us about your brand, the PR Diva brand and what led you to become an entrepreneur and investor in the entertainment and music industry?
As a PR professional and active publicist for a wide array of clients, my agency’s mission is to “take your brand to the next level”. My company creates and manages strategic public relations & marketing campaigns in order to increase positive publicity and strengthen brand partnerships for our clientele. PR Diva Communications specializes in entertainment, music, fashion & lifestyle. We work with award-winning fashion brands, artists, celebrities, influencers, public figures and high-profile events across Nigeria, Canada, USA & internationally.
I became an entrepreneur and investor because I wanted to live my dreams and create a legacy for myself.
7. But why PR and events is that what you studied in school?
Yes, I majored in Communications & Media Studies and assisted with hosting some of the University’s biggest events at the time. It was a no brainer that I will take those skills and experience to pursue a career in the PR industry.
8. What do you love to do, besides events/music/fashion?
I love to give back to the community. Philanthropy & mentoring are two things I am also passionate about. I am also a Program Director at Afro Centre For The Arts where we recently assisted in helping 40 families in need during the peak of the pandemic, with gift cards for groceries and PPE. The initiative was supported by the Government of Ontario.
9. What advice do you have for intending PR enthusiasts and people who want to go into events management and promotions.
The most important advice for upcoming entrepreneurs in this space is to believe in themselves and to have a plan. Having education in the industry they are trying to start a business in can help, but is not always necessary. If you have experience working or volunteering in that environment, you can gain great skills to start your own business. It is also imperative to have a business coach or mentor to support you along your entrepreneurial journey.
10. Got anything cooking specially for 2021, any partnerships, collaborations or events you want to share with your fans and everyone reading this?
I have so many things in store for this year. First things first, it will be the return of African Fashion Week Toronto (AFWT), as we celebrate 9 years through our virtual festival expecting to launch sometime in the summer.
My cousin introduced me to Clubhouse back in November, which has opened so many doors for me and my businesses. I have been able to connect with A-list celebrities and partner with inspirational entrepreneurs which have led to some great opportunities on the app. I created the 1st Live Afrobeats themed Audio-Only Night Club on the app (Club Afrobeats). I also have the largest Keto Club on the app (The Keto Diet) with a community of over 12,000 people in a little over 2 months. These Clubs have given me the opportunity to become a producer of shows where I manage teams of 20+ hosts/moderators from around the world on a monthly basis. I have also had the chance to create my first Afrobeats playlist courtesy of Digi-Millennials profiling the hottest North American artists to watch this year. I have also become a recipe contributor for the KHD’s Keto Magazine. If it wasn’t for the app none of these opportunities would have been available.
11. What is your greatest fear in life?
I really try to not fear anything but God. Aside from that though, the fear of failing and not succeeding can be hard but we need to keep trying until we achieve our goals no matter how hard it may seem. You fail only when you quit.
12. How did you maintain your business with the covid lockdown and restrictions?
As I mentioned before due to the power of networking and Clubhouse I have been able to pivot tremendously and monetize utilizing the app. The government has also provided a few financial relief sources to help entrepreneurs during these unfortunate times.
13. What has been your biggest lesson since you founded your brand and became an entrepreneur?
“Your network is your net worth” so entrepreneurs need to align themselves with the right people to really go far. The various opportunities are out there but first find out what you are most passionate about and research careers in that industry where you can start to create your business from. Always remember to start your business for the passion not the pay cheque. The passion will always keep you going during the difficult times, but the money may not.
14. It is not everyday you see women who own/run successful businesses. What’s your secret ?
My secret is God, my praying family, mentors, colleagues, strategic partnerships and friends who inspire me to keep going.
15. What should your fans expect from The PR Diva this year? What business lessons did you learn from the covid pandemic lockdown?
They should expect some big updates to come. I can’t wait to share some of the HUGE things I’m working on.
I learned that tomorrow isn’t promised and my business did take a hit at the start of the pandemic. I was used to doing live events, festivals, concerts and press tours but all got cancelled. I also learned not to take things for granted. I feel the pandemic has humbled not only myself but the world as a whole. However, I have since been able to pivot and remained patient throughout the year.
Thank you Erika for sharing your journey and time with us. We wish you the best in your plans for the rest of the year.