(Montclair, NJ – October 14, 2020) LaTonya Story, founder and CEO of LPS Consulting PR, visited with Professor Keith Green’s Sports PR class earlier this semester to discuss the world of Sports PR and her path to success. Story shared her extensive knowledge with the class and offered some helpful life and career advice.
LPS Consulting PR has an impressive list of clients including former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick and FOX NFL analyst Michael Vick, ESPN analyst and reporter Maria Taylor, Assistant Coach for the Phoenix Mercury Chasity Melvin, attorney Natasha Scruggs, and the Women’s National Football Conference, to name a few. Story is an award-winning entrepreneur with many accolades, including the 2012 Atlanta Business League’s Success Against the Odds Award, the 2011 Women in PR Trailblazers Award, and the Women Out Front award presented to her by Georgia Tech Women’s Basketball for her sports work in Atlanta. She also founded the Sports Power Bunch which recognizes the powerful women leading the way in sports and inspiring the next generation not to be afraid to do the same.
Despite her decades of experience, her humility made a refreshing impression on the young hopefuls in the class. Cultivating relationships is an important component in the communication and media world and Story extended real time guidance for navigating those challenges.
“A closed mouth doesn’t get fed,” Story said.
This is the mantra she lives by to encourage young, aspiring professionals to remember the importance of creating their own opportunities and networking. “I’ve never met a stranger,” she said. She also advised that students should get involved with organizations, alumni, and volunteer opportunities with like-minded individuals. “There is no low hanging fruit,” she says. Story encouraged students to remember that they do not always have to mentor up. Drawing on a shared experience, with peers at your level, can also be an invaluable networking tool.
Being fearless and seizing every opportunity are the best ways to get ahead in this business. Story’s “big break” was through a volunteer gig with the Allen Iverson Celebrity Summer Classic after she heard a commercial on Hampton University’s Radio Station, and made a phone call. After two unpaid summers, a few brochures and a tax ID for her new business later, she had landed Aaron Brooks, the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and cousin to Michael Vick, as her first paying client. She’s been a thriving entrepreneur ever since.
Story’s final piece of advice was to always tell the truth and be steadfast in who you are. Working with high level clients, gaining rapid success or wealth, and working with big organizations are impressive accomplishments, but you have to keep your convictions. Reminding students that the media landscape seems vast, but it is a small community and “the only thing you have in this business is your name. Keep a good name,” she said.
Be sure to check out her company website http://www.lpsconsultingpr.com/ and since “she’s never met a stranger,” connect with her on LinkedIn! But as Professor Green noted, remember to write a note in your invite that highlights why you want to connect and how you came across her profile.
Finally, Story recommended books to read, and public relations organizations to get involved as students look to expand their learning, network and job possibilities:
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach