GG Benitez, founder of GG Benitez & Associates Public Relations Inc., is one of the industry’s leading independent public relations professionals with full-service capabilities. A graduate of UCSD with a degree in Economics (1995), GG enjoyed a highly successful career in outside sales before launching her own brand of trademarked onesies in 2005.
While her brand was a success, GG found she felt a real passion for public relations—and has since continued to develop and manage public relations campaigns for others with the same amount of perseverance, enthusiasm, intuition, and intelligence.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I don’t like having a boss! After several years enjoying a lucrative career in pharmaceutical sales, I decided that I wanted to take what I had learned in the sales industry, combined with my education and my own unique personality traits, and use these skills to create my own successful business.
My first effort was trying to launch a jewelry business, but that never took off. I then launched my own brand of trademarked onesies in 2005 alongside my best friend, Tuni, called Tuni & G, which I personally landed in every major media channel and placed directly into the hands of celebrities. While the brand did grow, our profit margins were too tight to justify continuing on that pathway.
However, through my successful efforts placing our brand into influencer and celebrity hands, as well as securing significant media placements during those 4 years, I felt a real passion for public relations, so I launched my own PR firm in 2008.
Tell us about your business.
GG Benitez & Assoc. PR is renowned for our expertise in delivering buzz-building campaigns that elevate products and services into premier brands. As a seasoned strategist for media placement, branding, personality management, and celebrity/influencer programs, we have built a stellar reputation for helping clients realize their full business potential while supporting their vision and goals.
To date, GG Benitez & Assoc. PR has achieved significant media and celebrity attention for a diverse clientele that spans the technology, children’s, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries, maintaining an extraordinary track record of garnering consistent, valuable traditional media impressions on national and local levels in print, broadcast, and online outlets, as well as through more non-traditional means, including influencers and celebrities.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Established a business entity; created a website; documented my track record of secured placements and testimonials on my website.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth; past client referrals.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
In the beginning, it was hard to set boundaries and and manage my personal and family time along with the demanding hours of being a business owner.
How did you overcome these challenges?
By learning to know where the hours are spent and learn how to best spend each hour; by learning how to delegate jobs; by giving myself Friday as a “me day” in between what is sure to be an intense work week, and what is sure to be a busy family weekend.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
It’s not a choice for me! I was a single mother to a little girl from the age of 22 until age 30, which helped to instill a survivalist mentality in me that won’t allow my spirit to be crushed, no matter how many times I may get knocked down.
I have a family of 5, with 3 children looking up to me as an example of how they should persevere though difficult times. I may cry behind closed doors, but I have dreams for my family that I want to continue to make come true, from providing my kids with the best education we can, to creating beautiful memories though my passionate world travels with the entire family.
It takes work to make these happen, so being motivated is not a choice for me.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
One of our main differentiators is that I have decided to remain a boutique-sized agency, while offering full-size service capabilities, so that I myself am responsible for client and media relations. This means that I offer clients my own strong, long term media relationships, my unique passion, my extensive experience, along with my own personal touch.
I also partner frequently with a company called Good Carma Studio, a celebrity and influencer management firm, to offer combined and complementary services that allow both of our companies to stay ahead of the ever-changing media landscape.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Don’t take it personally; although, I’m still trying to not do so! Ha!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Organize your time and create an exit strategy, as I learned through my clothing brand experience.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Reading. I read a lot and continue to educate myself on how to maximize my firm’s offering to clients.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.