Dawn Of A New Era

Black businesses must develop a financial plan to remain viable in the new century

project that isn’t exactly in our line of expertise. For example, we’re getting ready to help Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves launch his OBF clothing line. We don’t specialize in fashion publicity, so we’re going to link with a public relations firm that does. Another illustration: over the years we’ve had several clients — mainstream corporations — that have come to my agency because they needed to partner with an African American firm. They realized the power in working together. They launched their new product or announced their new initiative, and we brought them together with the opinion makers and movers and shakers in the black community. It’s a win-win situation.

Some still have a fear of sharing their power with another company or individual — whether that company or individual be black, Latino, or mainstream. My advice? In this multicultural age it just makes plain economic sense to examine your business goals and objectives, be open to the advantages and opportunities of partnerships, and take advantage of the relationships you’ve forged over the years. It’s the way to do business.

Terrie Williams opened her public relations and communications firm in 1988, with Eddie Murphy and Miles Davis as her first clients. She is a published author — with two new books slated for publication in 2001 — lecturer, and community activist. A trained social worker who believes in the power of partnerships, she joined forces last year with nine other black-owned firms to form the African American Public Relations Network.

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