Kicking Back with Kymberlee Norsworthy!

Kymberlee Norsworthy – Photo courtesy of @KymberleeNorswo

The very humble Head of Publicity for Sony Entertainment and Verity Gospel Music Group Kymberlee Norsworthy crushes stereotypes, cools the flames of the fiery public, and kicks the competition in the behind all before bedtime!  An incredible woman of God, Kymberlee Norsworthy was a pleasure to interview, and an amazing person to look up to and aspire to be like one day.  Thank-you again for the opportunity!
Now for the interview!

Li’el: Is the public relations field mainly dominated by men, and if so, how does it feel to be a woman holding such a high position?  Or is this a misconception?

Kymberlee Norsworthy: This is a misconception.  Most companies, if you look at their head public relations person, even outside of the music field, they are women.

Li’el: What is a workday like in the life of Kymberlee Norsworthy?

K. Norsworthy:  I am a commuter, I drive to work every day…

Li’el: No, (laugh) your work day?

K. Norsworthy: My workday is different every day.  Sometimes I am writing press releases, editing bios, at least one day out of the week I have a meeting internally to discuss new artists.  One thing that is great about pr is there is no typical day.  Every day is different.

Li’el: A questions from one of the readers: Sometimes at secular labels, marketing of an artist can interfere with their conscience, and the public perceives that an artist has sold out to be more marketable. Gospel music may not be “popular,” but how do you help artists to be publicly accessible without lying to the public about who they are?

K. Norsworthy: The thing is really an artist’s music sometimes is very separate from who they are as a person.  What we stick to is the publicizing and promoting of the music.  Take Beyonce; she is really a shy, quiet, introverted person; she is not the racy person we see on stage.  Sometimes it can be contradictory.  It is a pr person’s job to be about the music.  As a music person you are focused on what they put out on their cd.

Li’el: What are some of the challenges/differences between managing secular artists such as Black Eyed Peas and their publicity, and artists like Cece Winans and Kirk Franklin?

K. Norsworthy: The difference has to be with the approach.  The media that may be more interested in the Black Eyed Peas would be different from media interested in Kirk Franklin.  A new artist versus an established artist, there would be a different approach; there are other issues than just secular/gospel that play a factor.

Li’el: What was it like working on the Grammy Awards and what role did you play?
K. Norsworthy:  I was part of a team of publicists that worked on the Grammys.  It was very exciting being  behind the scenes of the biggest awards ceremony.  It was exciting; it was amazing experience.  As far as my role I was pretty much dealing with all of the print and radio outlets, determining who would be able to actually be present. You have to fill out a credential request, as there is only a certain amount of room.  The space in the press room is not given to who you like.  The criteria is who can give you the broadest coverage, who are you going to reach by allowing this media to come in.
Li’el: The Source Awards?
K. Norsworthy:    Very exciting, totally different scenario as far as the artists and things you were dealing with.  I got the opportunity as a result of working on the Grammys.  It was a huge honor.  I put together a team of publicists that were in charge of publicizing the event from start to finish.  I worked very closely with the mayor’s office in Miami.  The residents of Miami were not happy it was going to be there again, as they had some issues in the past, so I worked to ensure they knew the benefits and that safety measures were being taken.
Li’el: What experience did you enjoy more and why?
K. Norsworthy: The Source Awards because I was in charge.
Li’el: How do you feel having achieved the level of success that you have achieved in the industry?
K. Norsworthy:  I feel tired, because I’ve worked very hard, and beyond that I definitely feel like it is  a blessing to be at this juncture working with gospel artists and promoting their ministries.  To have amassed this amount of experience.  That is probably what I am most proud of, amassing this level of experience and being able to use it to help artists and their ministries to get the word out.
Li’el: How did it feel to own your own pr business, and what advice would you give to people who are seeking to enter into this particular industry?
K. Norsworthy: That was a goal that I always had, and so it was definitely very fulfilling.
Number one, I would say start with at least one client that has committed to you with a decent amount of time; I charged sizable fees to where I did not have to worry about money so I can focus on the client.  People want to hire people who are already working for other people.  You need to have built up relationships with people.  Can we talk to about working together?  Have good people around you.  Those who can lead you on your way, who you can bounce ideas off of, a good business manager who can double as an account is imperative.
Li’el: If you could leave your audience with one sentence, and they not take away anything else from this interview, what would it be?

K. Norsworthy: That prayer and hard work pay off.

This was one interview that I will never forget!  Stay tuned for information about the print version of the magazine, and more articles to come!



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