From Unfulfilling Jobs to Public Relations Perfect Harmony — PR Pro Spotlight ft. Angela Mastrogiacomo

pr pro spotlight Apr 05, 2022

I love getting to look at the story behind the artist, instead of just the music they’re creating—it’s absolute magic.”

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live a life you love running a PR agency and working with your dream clients? Our PR Pro Spotlight Series interviews our students and community members who have made the leap into PR and found huge success! 

We’ll be covering all the juicy insider details, from their biggest challenges and favorite parts of the job to their best advice for aspiring PR pros.  

Today, we’re sitting down with the amazing Angela Mastrogiacomo Tyler, Founder of Muddy Paw PR! After spending years in a cycle of temp jobs and layoffs, she made the leap into PR to follow her passion for the music industry (and hang out with her dog more, too!).

Tell us a little about your business and niche! 

I’m Angela Mastrogiacomo and I’m the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, a music PR agency based out of Boston, Massachusetts. I work mostly with emerging indie artists, but also work with small festivals or other music companies from time to time. 

I’ve been in the music industry for over a decade, but have been doing PR for the past 8 years. I’ve tried branching out into other industries, but for better or for worse, my heart lies with music!

What were you doing before you became a PR pro? 

I was stuck in an endless unfulfilling cycle of working temp jobs and getting laid off from different full-time jobs. I was taking on jobs that I didn’t even like! My last job before switching to PR was as an Assistant Editor at a national college-centric magazine. 

Though I graduated with a communications degree, I had zero PR experience (outside of one not-so-great class…) when I made the jump. I had been running a music blog on the side for about 5 years at that point, and I knew I wanted to continue in the music industry full-time. PR helped me fulfill that wish! 

Can you share some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a PR pro? 

A major challenge has been trying to figure out a balance where I don’t work until I drop! In my industry especially, the expectations are so high and there are always new agencies popping up that undercut you price-wise. It’s really tough to not get into the cycle of working more than you’re being paid to work! 

We do project rates but despite that, I still find myself constantly wanting to overdeliver. There’s always a desire to get just one last thing done! 

Raising my rates definitely required me to make a huge mental shift, and I still struggle with it sometimes…even after doing  PR for 8 years! I know that PR is powerful and valuable enough to justify my prices, but I still question whether the results are worth the price or if my industry will tolerate a price change. 

But I’ve seen first-hand that when you raise your rates, the caliber of your clients changes. No one blinked an eye when I increased my rates, and it brought in better quality clients who constantly remind me how much I love what I do. 

Raising my rates actually came from a place of burnout: I could either raise my rates or end the business. I was taking on too many clients for too little money, and it was so clear to me that I had to increase my rates. There was of course that fear of what the industry would think, but I am so much happier now that I’ve been able to build confidence in the value I bring to my clients!

How did you find the Profitable PR Pros Community, and how long have you been a member? 

I’ve been a member for so long that I honestly can’t remember! I must’ve stumbled across it while browsing through and joining Facebook groups around three years ago. 

What I do remember, though, is hearing Jen on a podcast before even joining the group, and being so blown away by how informative her interview was!

What’s your favorite part about being a member of the Profitable PR Pros community? 

The group is SO supportive! I’m in a lot of Facebook groups and have found so many to be really cutthroat or withholding. 

But that is not the case with Profitable PR Pros! I genuinely feel so safe and supported in the group. And the monthly calls inside The Pitch Lab are always super informative (much better than that college class I took!). Neither Jen nor the members hold back, and I love that. 

It genuinely feels like everyone is trying to help each other instead of keeping everything a secret in fear of someone stealing their business. Being self-taught was great for getting started, but I knew there were things I was missing, and the Profitable PR Pros community has been essential to continuing my PR education. 

What inspired you to join our programs? 

Seeing so much support among the community was amazing, but honestly? It was access to the media contacts database that got me hooked on The Pitch Lab! It’s just such a valuable resource that when I joined, I signed up for a year-long membership right off the bat. 

Have our programs helped you experience positive transformations?

Of course! And it all goes back to how supportive the Profitable PR Pros community is. 

I feel like I can turn to a community that truly cares, and I don’t ever feel alone in what I’m going through. Even if I’m not constantly asking questions in the group, just knowing that everyone is there is enough. 

Plus, seeing everyone else’s questions and hearing about the realities and ins & outs of their businesses is SO eye-opening! Being able to see how things are being pitched in other industries and then applying that to what I’m doing has been super helpful. No one else in my industry is doing it that way!  

What do you love MOST about the work you do and the clients you work with? 

I love seeing the growth most of all. Artist development is part of what my agency does, and it’s always so cool and exciting to see the artists grow into their potential. We really look at the story behind the artist, instead of just the music they’re creating. 

As an entrepreneur, I love working with clients who are as driven and passionate as I am. When we get that client who is not only super talented, but also has the drive, passion, and excitement to grow their career, I get so excited. It’s absolute magic! 

What are some outlets you’ve secured features in for yourself and your clients? 

I’ve secured features for myself in Forbes, Refinery29, and Business Insider, and have spoken at SXSW, Canadian Music Week, and CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference.

My clients are all in the music industry, and I’m so proud to have scored features for them in incredible music-centric outlets. Some of the most notable ones are Alternative Press, Noisey, Spotify, Lead Singer Syndrome, Substream, New Noise, and American Songwriter. 

What advice would you give to aspiring PR pros? 

As simple as it sounds, just do it. Don’t worry about the fancy packaging, the wording, or getting everything right on the first try. Take a step forward every day and just keep going. 

All you need to do is to find a friend or co-worker and run a short PR campaign with them to get your feet wet. You’ll prove to yourself that you can do it, and if you like it, just keep going! Grab another friend, then another and another, and grow from there. 

I started Muddy Paw PR without a website or any social media for at least the first 6-12 months. I was just constantly reaching out to my friends and their friends, and rode that wave of adrenaline. 

If I had sat there analyzing everything or trying to make all aspects of the business perfect, I never would have done anything in the first place! I’d have gotten stuck in the overwhelm instead of just throwing myself in and then learning and fine-tuning my skills as I went.

The energy of not knowing what you don’t know is incomparable. I’m honestly glad I had no idea what I was doing when I started because I just did things and dove right in! 

We’re so grateful that Angela decided to share her story with us! We can all learn a lot from how she dove right into PR and built the confidence to raise her rates and know her worth. 

Check out Angela’s agency Muddy Paw PR, and be sure to join the Profitable PR Pros community over on Facebook so that you can take advantage of all that this amazing community has to offer!