(AllHipHop Features) Chanel Rae Pettaway, known as The Red Carpet Hero, is the co-Founder of The Legion Media Group, a New York City based full service PR and Branding agency that specializes in creating unique, creative, thorough and multifaceted campaigns. Chanel is a Brand and Media Director for top brands across multiple genres including music, fashion, and technology. She is the co-host of a new podcast for the millennial mom “Our First Time; AMommyCast” which has been mentioned on AllHipHop, Hot 97, Bossip, VIBE magazine and more. She also was also the recipient of the Essence of a Woman award from the Queens chapter of the NAACP (March, 2012) and named top 45 publicists you should hire (May 2014).
AllHipHop: You have been one of the few people in PR that are native New Yorkers. How do you feel about the changes in the city?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: Its been a blessing to see some of the neighborhoods “cleaned up” as in less trash and less rats but heartbreaking to see the natives – along with the culture – pushed out just as they did the trash. If you came to New York for the cool factor/culture but don’t want cats in your bodega, ice cream trucks to play music, or hire locals for your new coffee shop than I question how much you actually love this city.
AllHipHop: Dipset is a handful – with Jim, Cam, Juelz, Freekey and them. What is the experience like working so closely with an iconic rap collective?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I remember being an intern at their early label and to now be their publicist is surprising to even myself. If only I could go back and tell my college self to relax – you will figure this out. What people should know about them is that they are as authentic as you can get. They are an open book, where their heart on their sleeve and because of that they will forever influence our culture.
AllHipHop: Who else do you work with?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: I work with Joell Ortiz, Chinx (Forever RIP), Salaam Remi, Par-City, Iman, Cipha Sounds, Peter Rosenberg, DJ O. Minaya, DJ Drewski, Hip Hop Mike, DJ Juanyto, DJ Spynfo, DJ E. Stylez, and more. I also have been working as a Public relations consultant for Hot97 itself.
AllHipHop: What makes The Legion Media Group special?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: The Legion Media Group (TLMG) is an integrated marketing, branding and public relations group based in New York City, assembled to harness the talents of its‘ creative, dedicated and astute professionals in response to the questions and complexities concerning the rapidly evolving landscape of media and communication. Our goal: to create comprehensive and insightful strategies, utilizing the ideal media mix, to best convey their client’s message and to help clients identify, manage, publicize and protect their brands.
AllHipHop: At this point you are a vet. What are you thoughts on the game of public relations now?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: I think its an over saturated industry and easily manipulated. People can easily call themselves a publicist without any merit and people will believe them. Right now there are people who are more interested in being talent than the publicist. Yes, self promotion is is a very necessary in this social media landscape but it is a very fine line.
AllHipHop: What do you feel is the highlight of your career thus far?The highlight of my career?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: I honestly don’t think i’m there yet. That feeling that keeps me motivated to accomplish more.
AllHipHop: What’s the most enjoyable part of the job and your duties?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: The most enjoyable moments is talking to people daily and forming new relationships. I love meeting new people and genuinely getting to know their interests, not just what it would take to get a media placement. I’m proud to say most contacts become friends.
AllHipHop: What is the hardest part?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: The hardest part is explaining to people what actually is public relations. My mom still thinks i just go on Facebook all day and party every night. I tell people my job is not to create the news, its to publicize the news.
AllHipHop: Can you describe a moment of adversity personal and in your career?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: Most people thought me having a child at 30 (so young in industry years) would be a setback for me. Chanel maybe you should wait i was told. Instead my son Chase has been my motivation and my drive to continue. I have to succeed for him. It is NOT an option.
AllHipHop: What keeps you from giving up?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: Again my family. I have to keep making them proud.
AllHipHop: Who inspired you to become a leader or doctor?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: I’ve had many mentors along the way, but my mother has been the one to show me you can have it all.
AllHipHop: How do you balance work, and personal life?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: Self-care is truly necessary. Schedule sleep just as you would that meeting or call. Learn to say no even when the guilt sets in.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do for fun?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: I love to travel. I love the beach. You will always find me there (if you follow me on social you will know most times im even on a beach in my head).
AllHipHop: Final words?
Chanel Rae Pettaway: PR 101 – make sure i can find you through a search engine easily. You cant be Sassygirl23 on twitter, TheyCallMeCarol on Instagram, and your government on YouTube. make sure everything matches. You are your own brand.