Money pro tips: A Q&A with Illumination PR president Robyn Matarazzo


Policygenius Staff

Policygenius Staff

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Published February 14, 2020 | 4 min read

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Each week, we ask a personal finance or business expert for their money pro tips. This week we talked to Robyn Matarazzo, president of Illumination PR. Want more money pro tips? Sign up for the Easy Money newsletter to get exclusive tips from money experts in your inbox each Friday.

What was the biggest change when your business became worth more than $1 million? Making sure that the correct policies and procedures were in place, as well as plans to continue to grow the business even further.

How is working with celebrities different than non-celebrities? Working with celebrities and influencers is more from a management perspective, negotiations, scheduling— the other clients we have on our roster are brands that have celebrity integration.

What’s the hardest part of managing multiple businesses? What’s the best part? The hardest part of managing multiple businesses is remembering everything that needs to get done for each one of them. Having the right staff is key. The best part of multiple businesses is watching them grow into what you imagined them to be.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since starting your PR firm? The biggest thing I have learned is through competition. Sports are competitive. Business isn’t. I think when you look at business from a competitive perspective you don’t succeed the same.

I found that when you look at business as if there is enough for everyone to succeed, then you succeed more. When you help everyone around you, you are blessed with more. So many people try to keep to themselves and think they are in competition with one another but when you do business that way, you don’t blossom the same.

I remember when a new restaurant was opening up near my restaurant and the businesses surrounding mine were all signing a petition to stop that restaurant from opening. I wouldn’t sign the petition because I felt that there is enough for all of us to succeed and I thought signing it would block my own success. I didn’t sign, everyone else did. They opened, and my business didn’t change, but they closed six months later.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get the word out about their business or project? Contact all the local agencies first. Reach out to local magazines and newspapers. We have a town supervisor that sends email blasts to our community for all local events and business launches that really makes a difference for new businesses in garnering attention immediately. Also, social media is key in starting a new business and utilizing hashtags.

What’s your current money goal? How are you working toward it? I don’t like to set a money goal because I think it leads to unrealistic expectations. I like to set goals for our clients for each year. Book deals. Sell television show in the scripted or non-scripted space. Secure Reader’s Digest. Those are the types of goals that we set. That way I know I am satisfying the goals of my clients. If I do that, they will refer us to their peers which will in turn generate more income across the board for myself and my staff.

What’s your biggest source of money stress right now? I partnered in a business six years ago that was lucrative at the time and about one year after we partnered, it became over saturated in the industry and unfortunately was a huge financial investment and loss.

What’s the best financial advice you ever got? Save and invest your money.

What’s the worst financial advice you ever got? The worst financial advice I ever got was that I over compensate my team members on the clients they bring in. When I was explaining to a friend the commission structure I have at my company, they told me that I was crazy to incentivize my team in that way because I wasn’t making enough for myself, but I did it anyway and I am glad that I stuck to doing it the way that I wanted to because it creates a hunger for my team to continue to bring in business

What was your smartest money move of the past 12 months? Buying a home and getting out of renting.

Who would you like to see answer these questions? Jeff Bezos

Image: Nastia Kobzarenko