New York based Diana Bassett launched her entrepreneurial venture DBPR (Diana Bassett Public Relations) – a public relations firm during the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm specializes in actors, athletes, musicians, influencers and public figures. During this time, Diana was offering free PR to any small businesses affected by the shutdown, looking for ways to stay connected to their customers even if they were not currently open for business. This passion project was the catalyst for the launch of DBPR, the full-service agency specializing in media relations and branding.
Prior to starting her entrepreneurial venture, Diana worked in an array of industries doing PR including film, influencers, hospitality, restaurants, professional athletes and everything in between. DBPR marks the return of Diana to her roots as she rejoins the entertainment industry, where she first got her start.
“After a decade of learning what works and what doesn’t from amazing mentors and previous bosses, I am excited to take the best of everything and apply it with my own style,” said Diana Bassett. “To be able to create so much in such a short time during the pandemic seems unreal. Working with my clients and creating their brands has felt more like a passion project than a job, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings to me and DBPR.”
DBPR specializes in brand management, media relations, social media, crisis management and influencer relations.
In an exclusive interview with Startup Terminal; Diana Bassett, President, DBPR shares her entrepreneurial story and future goals.
ST: What motivated you to become an entrepreneur?
Diana Bassett: I started my company almost by accident. Like many others in the PR industry during the beginning of the pandemic were experiencing, new jobs in
the field were hard to find. I began working pro-bono for small businesses struggling to stay connected with their customers, especially ones who were forced to shut their doors. I realized how much I loved working for myself and when the opportunity presented itself, I began to slowly come to terms with the idea of creating my own agency. The final piece fell into place at 3:00 am one night when I could not sleep and purchased the website domain of DianaBassettPR.com.
The other major catalyst in the launch of DBPR came from my 94-year-old Grandma, who had a habit of “bullying” me into convincing me to start my own company for as long as I can remember. She has always been a major inspiration to me as she started her own successful interior design company as a woman in the 1950’s.
ST: Can you briefly tell us more about your venture DBPR?
Diana Bassett: DBPR was born in 2020, while founder Diana Bassett was quarantined at home and saw a need by small businesses struggling to communicate with their consumers. What started as a passion project became Diana Bassett Public Relations, a full-service agency specializing in media relations and branding. I began my career working in the film industry as a production assistant. While I switched to PR, my heart has always stayed with the entertainment world and often found myself during my tenure working with movies, athletes and other public figures and influencers. It just made the most sense when starting my own firm to follow my passion and create an agency dedicated to clients in those fields. When you are passionate about something, it doesn’t feel like work.
After years in the PR industry, collaborating with public figures, athletes, influencers and entertainers, we are excited to work with you to achieve your goals and create your brand.
ST: What sets DBPR apart from other PR firms in New York?
Diana Bassett: DBPR is more than just media relations. We help you create and manage brands, and don’t just stop at getting our client’s name in the press. We help you manifest our client’s projects, bringing them to the next level, whether that is a podcast, a party, fundraising a non-profit or any type of passion project.
ST: Is there any impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the PR industry?
Diana Bassett: Unfortunately for the industry, when a brand or personality has budget cuts, the first thing to go is usually Public Relations. With fewer clients, firms have to make cutbacks as well. We have seen in the industry major layoffs and furloughs happening at agencies of all sizes. I firmly believe the industry will bounce back as PR is a necessity for all, but it will take a long time to go back to any form of normal.
ST: What business opportunities do you see particularly in the PR industry?
Diana Bassett: PR is what you make of it and the opportunities are endless. The daily tasks of the PR professional are always evolving as the world evolves. A decade ago, PR did not include social media; today, it is an instrumental tool used to amplify media coverage and connect with your client’s stakeholders/customers/fans/potential employees. There will always be a need for PR. In the past, it has gone by many different names but was always a relevant part of history. The first documented example of PR dates back to a clay tablet found in ancient Iraq. No matter what is going on in the world, PR will always be a necessity and there will always be business opportunities.
ST: How do you see yourself in the next 2 years from now?
Diana Bassett: I am very excited for the route I have set myself and my agency up on. The next two years will be nothing short of an adventure. I always plan to stay a small boutique firm and keep my relationships with my clients personal. However, I will be expanding to take on a couple of employees who are at the beginning of their careers. Mentoring is important to me. I learned everything I did and got where I am because the right mentors helped me and elevated me. It is important to work with and help grow the next generation of PR professions as they will be running the industry one day.