Ericka Pittman has been known as a force to be reckoned with in the fields of business, entertainment and publishing for more than 15 years now. Prior to joining Sean Comb’s Blue Flame Agency in March 2009, this Baruch College alum who holds a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications, worked for various media companies including Radio One, Inc., Time Inc., Conde Nast, and Vibe Media Group. But it’s been her six years at Combs Enterprises where Pittman says that she feels she has grown and learned the most about herself as a professional.
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the power woman, who’s recently been promoted from VP Business Development at Combs Wine & Spirits to Vice President of the Chairman’s Office at Combs Enterprises, to get insights on what it’s like working for one of the most powerful men in the entertainment business, her key to reaching career success and her advice for young professionals who are just getting started on their career journey.
BlackEnterprise.com: Describe your new position at Combs Enterprises.
Pittman: The position is called vice president of the chairman’s office and it’s a unique title and unique position. Basically, I will be operating as an executive liaison and ambassador on behalf of Mr. Combs, primarily working out of his LA-based offices. So it’s an operational role that allows me to oversee his corporate and C-suite communications. As you know Combs Enterprises is comprised of several different companies including Sean John and Sean John fragrances, Revolt, Combs Wine & Spirits, Bad Boy Records, and of course Blue Flame Agency. This role is really unique because it’s going to allow me to operate as an ambassador on his behalf, to communicate his vision for the company as a whole, and on the other side, be able to communicate back to him the status of his businesses and the individual entities.
What’s your advice for building key relationships?
I think this goes for any business that you’re thriving in, relationships are key. One of the things that has been really advantageous for me is authenticity. Just being your authentic self and having integrity is really important. One of the things that has proven successful in my career is extroverting a bit and thinking outwardly. So, how are you affecting the greater good of the business as a whole? It’s not necessarily what the business can do for me, but what I can contribute to the greater good of the business and how I can help those around me to be better people and to make their jobs easier and to put wins on the board.
Did you always have an idea that you wanted to work in marketing?
I did. It’s funny, when I was a little girl I thought of traditional occupations. I wanted to be an accountant and then I wanted to be a lawyer and none of those things really fit the bill as I got older. But I was able to sit down with a number of really successful women over the course of my adolescent years and I met with one woman that my mom knew who was in marketing. She told me about her job and what she does on the day-to-day and it seemed like an exact fit for my personality. I was probably about 15-years-old at the time. With that, I started to look up curriculums and different colleges that kind of fit the bill of what this woman did. I came across corporate communications just doing research as a kid. Even in college I worked full time and went to school full time. I worked at a company in their advertising and marketing department and it was perfect for me because it was literally what I was learning in college. Through that, my career sort of evolved in that same category so I’ve always been in marketing and advertising in some capacity.