“Don’t be afraid to ask for help! No one can do it all despite what we are told. You need help or you will be miserable and your kids will be miserable. There is no shame in asking for help when you need a break!”
NAME: Valerie Allen
JOB TITLE: Founder and CEO VAPR Public Relations, Inc.
YEARS WORKING IN COMMUNICATIONS: 25+
CHILDREN: 1 (18)
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:
My background is in journalism. I studied communications at the Park School at Ithaca College in New York and did my Master’s in Journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. My strong journalistic background has served me well as a publicist and helps me understand how the media works and what makes a good story. I have worked as a reporter, in TV production, in PR at big agencies like Rogers & Cowan and Burson-Marsteller as well as boutique firms specializing in lifestyle and entertainment PR. In 2002 a client suggested I start my own firm and that is exactly what I did. It has been 20 years since I opened my agency’s doors and I have never looked back.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE CAREER SUCCESSES OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
I’ve had so many wonderful milestones over the years but one of my favorites is booking TV segments for my clients. I am most proud of booking clients on daytime TV shows like Oprah and late night shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live. I am also very proud of landing my client’s books on the New York Times Bestseller lists! My agency has grown over the years to become one of the top PR and Branding agencies in Los Angeles while navigating a global pandemic!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING IN COMMUNICATIONS AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S A GREAT INDUSTRY FOR MOMS?
I am a storyteller at heart and I love telling other people’s stories through the media. Every day is different and I always learn so much from my clients. Moms are good at taking care of people, listening, and staying organized; all very important skills in comms and PR.
WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY, AS IT RELATES TO MOMS?
As with most demanding jobs, the long hours and travel required at an agency are not conducive to family life. That is why I started my own PR firm so I could be my own boss and set my own hours.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST PIECES OF ADVICE FOR MOMS WORKING IN COMMUNICATIONS?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! No one can do it all despite what we are told, you need help or you will be miserable and your kids will be miserable. There is no shame in asking for help when you need a break!
- Travel with your family as much as you possibly can. Those are the memories you and your family will have for a lifetime. Once the kids are adults and go off to college it’s harder to spend time together as a family.
- Self-care is key! You have to take time for yourself to recharge. Whether it’s working out, yoga, meditation, or a long hot bath, find a way to decompress on a regular basis.
- Supermarket pre-cooked chicken is your friend.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO AS A FAMILY?
Our family loves to travel. We have been all over the world including Japan, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Barbados, Baja Mexico, Oregon, all over California, the East Coast and more! We hope to visit China when it is safe to travel again.
MORE ABOUT VALERIE:
Valerie Allen is the founder and CEO of VAPR Public Relations and Expert Connection PR. She is a media relations and communications strategist with more than twenty years of entertainment, lifestyle and health & wellness public relations experience.
She has coveted credentials such as a Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College Park School of Communications in New York, a Master’s degree in Journalism from Temple University’s Annenberg School in Philadelphia and is the two-time recipient of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award.
Before opening her own firm, Valerie held senior-level positions at public relations powerhouses Burson-Marsteller and Rogers & Cowan. She was also a senior account executive at Davidson & Choy Publicity and garnered television publicity experience at 20th Century Fox Television.
Valerie found herself in the world of recovery when she began working with renowned addiction expert, radio personality and TV Host, Dr. Drew Pinsky. In addition to helping Dr. Drew launch DrDrew.com and the hit Celebrity Rehab franchise on Vh1, she played an integral role in his overall success and helped elevate his brand to the professional and trusted name he is today.
She has managed the reputations of celebrity clients, planned and executed many national New York Times best-selling author book tours, high profile Hollywood events, launched campaigns for television shows, and more.
Her vast connections with top tier media span all segments of the press. She has booked clients on every major morning show including The Today Show and Good Morning America, talk shows like Dr. Oz, Ellen and Oprah, and late night shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and the Tonight Show.
An adoptive mom herself, Valerie is the Co-President of Families with Children From China, Southern California (FCC-SoCal) an all-volunteer organization that provides educational, cultural and peer support programs and services for adoptive parents, children and youth.
Valerie is also a media advisor to The Power to Decide, a national campaign dedicated to providing trusted information on sexual health and contraceptive methods so young people can make informed decisions.
Valerie Allen is considered one of the most trusted names within the public relations industry and was recently awarded TOP Branding Firms in Los Angeles by Expertise. She lives in Calabasas with her husband and daughter and in her limited spare time enjoys travel, beaches, books, movies and hiking.
Connect with Valerie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ValerieAllenPR.