Camille Davis is the Chief Strategist and CEO of Montage Public Relations, LLC (MontagePR), an award-winning boutique Public Relations Agency in Washington, D.C. who recently pivoted her focus towards Black-Owned and Women-Owned Businesses and Entrepreneurs.
Her placements include: O Magazine, SELF, Refinery29, Essence, Medium, Marie Claire, Sheen Magazine, The Strategist, FOX Soul, Fashion Bomb Daily, Washington Life, Washington Business Journal, Hello Beautiful, Byrdie, Shape Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, FOX, Great Day Washington, Good Morning Washington, Good Day DC, WSFL Miami and many more.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Camille Davis: Since 2010, Washington, DC-based, Montage Public Relations, LLC (MontagePR), has catered to the Sports, Fashion Entertainment, Events, and Tourism Industries through branding, media planning, and strategic marketing services. Endorsed for Best Publicity and Event Planning by The George Washington University, and winner of the Small Cap Awards and Rowan University Public Relations National Organ Donor Awareness Competition, Camille Davis of MontagePR is known for planning, executing, and launching high-profile Public Relations & Marketing Campaigns, Promotions and Events.
Leaving my legacy and building community are of the utmost importance. At MontagePR, we specialize in results. Whether to increase client/product exposure and placement or to increase business sales, MontagePR’s objective is always goal-oriented. We use Guerrilla-Marketing Techniques to create innovative strategies to set our clients, their companies, and products above the rest. At MontagePR, we are dedicated to…
Raising Public Awareness on a new product, service, individual, or issue. Managing & Promoting positive personal, corporate, or product images.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your viewpoint, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Camille Davis: Definitely made. I had no idea of entrepreneurship. Graduating in 2007 from PSU with no job, during a recession, and then graduating from GWU with my Master’s, and no one then wanting to pay me my worth, I had to make it work for myself. I had the talents and the know-how, I knew what was missing from my industry, so I set my journey towards entrepreneurship and haven’t looked back since.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Camille Davis: Passionate. I have to be. I have to believe in the accounts I manage and the clients I represent. If I am not convinced, how can I properly create messaging to convey emotion and increase their reach?
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Camille Davis: We create strategic opportunities and high-profile to get brands noticed, increase their brand identity, brand recognition, and brand retention.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Camille Davis: You have to have a mix when it comes to marketing and publicizing your business. Don’t just rely on one method to disseminate information to the public. It takes more than JUST social media if you’re looking for longevity. Hiring a Publicist will not only get you in the news and as a household brand name, but keep you there.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Camille Davis: Yes, not setting boundaries. Letting your clients know you work 24/7, they think they are entitled to access you 24/7. Protect your peace.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Camille Davis: Know your worth, and add tax. Discounts are never worth it in the end.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Camille Davis: Don’t trust private industry. The private industry doesn’t offer job security. That was the worse advice. Entrepreneurship is the best thing that ever happened to me.
Rather, I’d say plan ahead. Make sure you have a year of finances saved. In the event of a recession or pandemic, your company won’t fold.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Camille Davis: I think Covid-19 made entrepreneurs think about how to make their business foolproof and prepare for the worst. Should the internet or social media go down, how do you communicate with your customers? If indoor seating is eliminated, how do we service curbside? We have explored various ways to get our products and information to our customers. Now, what hasn’t changed… being legitimate. Ensuring your business is properly protected will never go out of style. Incorporation and licensing is priority #1 for all entrepreneurs, always!
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Camille Davis:Myth: there is so much competition.
Fact: guaranteed there is one thing that separates you from the rest. Lean on that. Focus on impact and CSR. You’ll never go wrong. Customers want to support businesses that align with their values. Show us daily how so.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Camille Davis: The need to make a difference. Don’t just do it to make money. Knowing you’re solving a problem or eliminating fear from your customers’ lives will fuel you to not only keep going but to constantly evaluate and set goals for your business.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Camille Davis: Don’t reinvent the wheel. Perfect it. Study those that came before them. They’ve been through the trials and tribulations so you don’t have to.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Camille Davis: I’d teach Public Relations at a collegiate level.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Camille Davis:Elliot Mintz or Nipsey Hussle.
Elliot’s strategy for keeping Paris Hilton in the public eye made me fall in love with PR. Hussle’s impact on his immediate community and the culture made me focus on supporting small businesses, because they need us most, have trouble accessing capital to sustain themselves, and allow our communities to thrive.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Camille Davis for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Camille Davis or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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