Shauna L is the founder and lead publicist at Lamore Lifestyle Public Relations. She went from a one-woman show to a full team and now oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm. She has had clients featured in Cosmopolitan, Good Morning America, Houston Press, Essence, Yahoo News, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise and hundreds of other media platforms. She’s also been able to partner clients with Nordstrom, Sally Beauty and other major retailers. She’s placed clients at major events such as For Sisters Only and Black Girls Rock. Her work in the public relations industry has landed her with nominations at the Black Media Honors and SpeakerCon award shows. Her tag line is “although a boutique firm, we don’t play small”
With offices in both Columbia, Maryland, and Houston, Texas, the firm has expanded beautifully since officially launching in 2017. Outside of the office, Shauna is a travel lover and mother of twin daughters.
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Table of Contents
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get to where you are today? Give us some lessons you learned along the way.
Shauna L: I wanted to be a pediatrician & researcher. At a very young age (7 or 8) I watched my mom do CPR on my 2 year old cousin while he was in a sickle cell crisis.He passed later that day and I told myself I would grow up and cure sickle cell. I became pregnant at 17 and never followed that dream but I did do healthcare for a while as a patient care technician.
Connecting people to the people, places and things they needed to level up has always come natural to me so public relations was definitely my calling. One big lesson is the power of networking. I have no college degree but have been able to place clients on top platforms such as Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, Essence just from organic relationships and knowing how to effectively tell a story.
Tell us about your business, what does the company do? What is unique about the company?
Shauna L: We are a full service public relations firm specializing in media relations. We strategically connect our clients with their target audience. Our firm is unique because the firm owner was a teen mom with no formal education yet has gotten clients placed in spaces just as larger public relations firms. She’s set to be part of a webinar on entrepreneurship for Johns Hopkins next month.
How to become a CEO? Some will focus on qualities, others on degrees, how would you answer that question?
Shauna L: Characteristics of a great CEO include
determination (there is really no such thing as no) an active listener, someone who is able to sacrifice their time to achieve greatness.
What are the secrets to becoming a successful CEO? Who inspires you, who are your role models and why? Illustrate your choices.
Shauna L: The secret to becoming a successful CEO is to never stop learning and growing. This doesn’t only have to be degrees this can also be personal growth and industry specific knowledge. Also being able to adjust to changes is pivotal.
One role model I have is Yvette Noel-Shure. She is top tier in the public relations industry representing top talent such as Beyoncé. For me to see a black woman at the top of an industry that is still mostly dominated by men is inspiring.
Many CEOs fall into the trap of being all over the place. What are the top activities a CEO should focus on to be the best leader the company needs? Explain.
Shauna L: Outsourcing is number one! You can not be everywhere at once and you can’t take on every role in your company if you want to level up.
The Covid-19 Pandemic put the leadership skills of many to the test, what were some of the most difficult challenges that you faced as a CEO/Leader in the past year? Please list and explain in detail.
Shauna L: The Covid-19 pandemic was a crisis for most businesses and being a public relations firm we offer crisis management services. With that said many businesses came to us to handle communication with their staff, partners and customers. As a CEO the most difficult challenge was becoming completely remote and making sure staff understood that the same level of productivity is expected even working from home.
What are some of the greatest mistakes you’ve noticed some business leaders made during these unprecedented times? What are the takeaways you gleaned from those mistakes?
Shauna L: The inability to pivot was the downfall of many businesses during this time.
In your opinion, what changes played the most critical role in enabling your business to survive/remain profitable, or maybe even thrive? What lessons did all this teach you?
Shauna L: The biggest lesson again would be the ability to pivot. Moving big in person events over to virtual events instead of canceling. The need for crisis management actually caused our business to excel during the pandemic.
What is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
Shauna L: Currently the most pressing challenge in business is training everyone to work in the same way I do so that I can take days off. The systems are in place but definitely more training is key.
You already shared a lot of insights with our readers and we thank you for your generosity. Normally, leaders are asked about their most useful qualities but let’s change things up a bit. What is the most useless skill you have learned, at school or during your career?
Shauna L: For me the most useless thing I’ve learned in school I’d say is the Pythagorean Theorem. I have yet to use that once in real life.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. We will select these answers for our ValiantCEO Award 2021 edition. The best answers will be selected to challenge the award.
Share with us one of the most difficult decisions you had to make, this past year 2021, for your company that benefited your employees or customers. What made this decision so difficult and what were the positive impacts?
Shauna L: One of the most difficult decisions I made in 2021 was moving the entire staff fully virtual and allowing the other PR consultants to be more hands-on with each client. It’s important to not try to juggle 30 campaigns myself but instead let other team members take the lead on some. At first the clients were uneasy about not having me be lead on their campaign but in time they learned the campaign is more successful when I’m not stretched thin. Instead of having one person working on their campaign they have four. It’s a win-win.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Shauna L 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 Shauna L or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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