January 3, 2012

Made Women come from all walks of life and pursue a wide range of goals. There are those who are mothers, some are humanitarians, and other are CEO’s of huge companies. And then there are those who choose to forge their own way in their fields and create a little something awesome for themselves. We call these hustlers entrepreneurs and Elvira Guzman is one of them.  A graduate of USC with a degrees in Political Science and Law & Society, she could have gone on to work for any major company in Los Angeles. But she chose to create her own lane, and then fly past every milestone on it independently. Now this little lady from West Covina is the owner of her own leading PR agency with clients ranging from pro skater Terry Kennedy,and comedian George Wallace, to the radio station 93.5 KDAY. You can attribute it all to her dedication and drive.

When I first met Elvie at SC I was immediately impressed by her forthrightness and drive. Let’s be real, a lot of people in LA have the latter but not a lot have the former. She was very open about her background and, more importantly, her plans for success. I’ve seen a lot of people just wander through college hoping something will stick.  So it was refreshing to meet a woman who knew what she wanted and had a plan for how to get it.  We shared a love of shopping and we had grown up not too far from each other in the Inland Empire, but at that time I didn’t have a fraction of Elvie’s drive. She was already working as director of publicity and branding for the Steve Harvey Morning Show while going to school. She may have been the original member of #TeamNoSleep as she balanced all this at once. Her hard work had earned her the trust and support of the comedian, actor, and author Steve Harvey as he later moved her to New York to run his office and manage PR for his numerous ventures. When she graduated she even received an on-air shout out from Mr. Harvey, himself. Now that is how to exit in style.

Since graduating, this hardworking PR maverick has been on the grind, producing TV shows on MTV, BET and the WB. After trying her hand at talent booking, stage managing, and coordinating college events like The Black College Expo Tour and awards shows like the Hoodie Awards, the BET Awards and the Critic’s Choice Awards, she decided to launch her very own PR Company. Her company, Elvie G PR, specializes in brand development for artists, comedians, actors, athletes and special events. Now located in Burbank, CA, Elvie has managed clients like superstars Music Soulchild, Terrance J, and Roy Jones Jr.  She also oversees up-and-comers like Ashley Jordan Preston and Jackie Guerrido.  But she doesn’t just represent people, Elvie also does PR for clothing line PFP Clothing and ILBTV, a Latino cable company.

Her client list has grown and changed but she says in six years she has never had an argument or disagreement with a client. She attributes this to great communication skills, saying, “Don’t get me wrong, I am firm but they know that I only want to see them succeed and want the best for them and they understand when I get ‘tough’.”  Managing such a diverse client list has to be challenging, but nothing seems to faze her. When I asked her what gets her through she said, “My trust in God and my trust in my gift! I know that no matter how hard things get, God and my gift will always pull me through.”

Elvie’s gift has allowed her to cultivate the careers of many people and help them realize their dreams. In turn, the world has come to recognize her as star in the PR industry. In September, Latina Magazine recognized her as one of their top 15 Entrepreneurs of the Year. She was also on BET’s “Being Terry Kennedy,” a reality show about the life of pro skater Terry Kennedy.  When the show premiered you could spot her on billboards all around Los Angeles. But of course there is more in store for Ms. Guzman. Always up for a challenge, she plans to extend her list of credits to include film producer and author. Elvie is currently the assistant producer on a film directed by Troy Byer and is writing her first book. She says that the book is very important to her because it is her way to tell her story and share her knowledge with others. “We ALL have a story. Whether your 'story' makes or breaks you is up to YOU!” Elvie says.

What type of advice does she plan to pass along? Well, Elvira says the three keys to survival in the PR industry are 1) Never date in the industry 2) Step up your contacts -a publicist with no contacts is worthless 3) Hire great people and DON’T trust them! – meaning always check and double check their work. This formula has obviously worked well for her! She has become known for her effectiveness and is trusted with the careers of huge stars. She recalls her favorite PR moment was receiving a call from the Oprah Show producers letting her know that Steve Harvey was officially booked to promote his book “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man”--after she had been pitching him for 8 months! Ladies take note: Perseverance pays off!

Update

Elvira Guzman will star in an all new web series starting June 20th! "The Elvie Show" will be an uplifting and eye-opening web series that teaches rising stars how to succeed in Hollywood. Visit www.elviegpr.com for more information. 

Published in Entrepreneurship