As founder and CEO of Brandinc PR, Brandi Sims supports brand PR and media outreach through publicity events and community outreach services. A big part of that consists of connecting celebrities to events.

One key element of making the right match, Sims says, is "understanding your client's budget. Before you reach out to a celebrity, you need to have an idea in mind of what you're willing to spend in terms of the outreach." She also tells Simon that "you need to know what is the purpose and does it align with that particular celebrity."

Sometimes, "you have to think strategically." For example, "you might not get the person that you ideally are shooting for to partner with you or to be a part of an event. But, maybe there's someone else that fits within that budget that has kind of similar background that you were looking for."

Sims also focuses on forming successful working relationships through her remote internship program. "I want interns to feel like this is another classroom for them." The foundation of the program is focusing on the reasons for what they are doing. "We have to understand the why, you know, why are we doing this? Why do I need to write? What's the importance of creating a compelling storyline or a pitch? You know, all of these things are connected to our work and what we do on a regular basis."

She also stresses the importance of having a clear idea of what field of communications you want to focus on. "What industry are you interested in? Are you interested in tech? Are you interested in fashion? Are you interested in entertainment?"

Sims participates in ForbesBLK, which champions a global community of Black entrepreneurs, professional, leaders and creators, and she says that experience has taught her a lot about the principles of effective mentorship. She stresses that mentorship is a continuing process—and not a one-way street.

"It's very important to be a mentor, to support those that are coming into your industry. But it's also important to have yourself a mentee, somebody that's ahead of you, that can provide you with helpful guidance, insight and support."

She also says that everyone can be a mentor. "You don't have to be Elon Musk to provide support and guidance to someone, and you don't have to be just a complete novice. You know, you can provide mentorship exactly where you're at, and you can add value to relationships exactly where you're at."

The importance of learning is also stressed. "Things are constantly growing, constantly changing, and we have to adapt. So find an opportunity where you're learning something new, learning a new skill, learning a new software that is related to communication and find an opportunity to provide some guidance.

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.