Andrew Joseph on PR

I have the honor of going way back with the amazingly accomplished Andrew Joseph, founder and dynamo-in-charge of Andrew Joseph Public Relations. AJPR is a New York based full-service communications firm specializing in shelter, design, and lifestyle brands. We had a chance to catch up on a recent visit and I couldn’t resist squeezing in a little photo shoot on the sidewalks of Chelsea. When the talent is this good, who can resist?! Andrew graciously accepted my request for a quick interview, and his insights are invaluable!

NR: How did you get into PR?  What was your vision for the firm you wanted to build? What drew you to working with shelter, design, and lifestyle brands?

AB: When I moved to NYC in 1999, I was as prepared as I could be; I thought I had a job lined up being a rep for a perfume company, but as life would have it, that job moved to Baltimore as I was in the process of moving from San Francisco. As one does, I scrambled to find work by networking the heck out of my contacts and landed a job at Vanity Fair, a Conde Nast publication. After Vanity Fair, I moved on to another title: Allure. In the time I was there, as magazines seem to be, there was a constant musical chairs of staff changes and I thought, “well, maybe the magazine world is not for me and I should try this PR thing,” which seemed somewhat more stable.

NR: What’s the secret sauce in PR? Is it industry connections, a finely tuned intuition, timing media cycles, pure style?  When you’re absolutely in your stride, which of your many skills are you using the most?

AB: You hit the nail on the head- it’s a combination of all those skills, but mostly it’s being mindful of who you work with and represent. I spent years working for other firms before I started my own, and my goal at the time was to work for clients that you are excited about. That said, above and beyond, any qualities a good PR person needs to have are honesty, integrity, and the ability to pivot and evolve with your business model as the industry and media landscape change around you.

NR: What are some of the traps in communications strategy?  Are there “empty calorie” efforts that seem appealing on the surface but don’t produce results?  How do you know what strategies really have substance?

AB: Good public relations skills are like a painting- every brush stroke counts, both big and small. There is a quote from Jane Russell that goes, “Publicity is terrible; but only if you don’t have any.” That being said, as I mentioned in my previous answer, you have to pivot in this world of how people disseminate and process information. So I try not to be stuck in “what are you supposed to do.” I think people that stick with what works, which doesn’t always work the day after tomorrow.

NR: How do you feel about paid social media?

AB: Authenticity is the name of the game. From time to time a pay to play strategy pays off, but more often than not that does not always reach your target audience.

NR: Is PR seasonal in a universal way or are the cycles more industry specific?

AB: Totally and fully universal and always a hurry and go strategy. There is never a down time.

NR: In the age of startups it feels like brand identity is constantly evolving and being revamped as companies find what works.  Are PR dollars spent before brand identity is solidified wasted dollars?

AB: Brand identity is the why someone cares and if someone does not have a story to tell that is fine tuned and honed – then what are you telling? Branding first!

NR: How should creative professionals approach PR?  Is there a possibility for results with a less-than-corporate budget?  What’s one solid effort that can yield results without breaking the bank?

AB: We work with solid and established brands as well as those that are up and coming. The first thing you need are assets you can share with the media. In my world, working with architects, interior designers, and luxury home furnishings – photography is where you start to make an investment – without that – what are you sharing with media? it’s a very image driven industry.

NR: Frequency, duration, and intensity are often used as measures for the likelihood of success in exercise; do these translate to the world of PR?

AB: That is so funny ask that question. I frequently speak with another PR professional on best practices and how designers work with public relations firms, and she always quotes me saying that PR is very much like a gym membership. You can pay, but if you don’t put in the work it’s like not going to the gym. Meaning, PR folks are only as good as the clients they work with if they put in the time to do the homework. There is always homework and all those qualities apply. 

NR: You’ve shared your amazing fitness journey, what gives you the best results?  What motivates you on the days when your body says “Screw you; I don’t want to go to the gym!”?

AB: Thanks for noticing. I simply turned a corner about 2.5 years ago at a point that I was 40+ pounds overweight and I was like “No- no more.” And rather like starting my own business, make the choice that giving up was not an option.

NR: What’s for breakfast?

AB: Coffee and exercise.

NR: What are you reading?

AB: I wish I read more; I average 400+ emails a day so when it comes to personal reading, I have to say, I am lacking.

NR: What’s your most recent tattoo?

AB: A Fornasetti inspired tattoo wrapped in a serpent.

NR: What’s your happy place these days?

AB: Happy place is 1000000% my home in upstate New York in the country outside of Saugerties, NY. It is an investment in my sanity. Four acres in the middle of the woods with no neighbors in sight and the sounds of the woods are more healing than I thought possible.

NR: You always look damn good, do you ever have trouble deciding what to wear?

AB: Almost every day I change twice 🙂

877-881-7221 |

Congratulations! Adaptive Insights Acquired by Workday for $1.55 Billion

– Rob Hull, Adaptive Insights Founder

I love celebrating my client’s successes, and major congratulations are in order. Adaptive Insights, one of my favorite long term Silicon Valley photography clients, was just acquired by Workday for $1.55 billion! I can’t begin to wrap my head around that number, but I know that Adaptive’s cloud based business planning software is incredible and that they will continue to help businesses revolutionize their financial planning.

– Tom Bogan, Adaptive Insights CEO

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing the Adaptive Insights Leadership Team over the last several years and every time I meet a new executive I’m struck by what a great group of people they’ve brought together. Photographing founder Rob Hull and CEO Tom Bogan has given me a sense of the genuine kindness and caring the company lives and breathes at all levels of leadership.

– Bhaskar Himatsingka, Adaptive Insights Chief Product Officer, on stage at Adaptive Live 2017

Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to photograph their annual conference, Adaptive Live. This is where I transformed from merely being a photographer who liked photographing the nice folks I met at Adaptive, to being a believer in their product. Photographing key notes and break out sessions gave me the chance to hear all about the ways that their software helps companies transform their financial planning and analysis. After my first experience photographing Adaptive Live, I started introducing all my CFO clients to the company.

I’m sending my heartfelt congratulations to the team at Adaptive Insights; here’s to your continued success!

– Nancy

877-881-7221 |

Angela King: From Apple to Innerforce


Some connections lead you to unexpected places.  I didn’t know, back in 2012, when I started photographing Angela King’s family, that I’d be working with her six years later on images for a business she had yet to conceive.  Calling it a business is somewhat too casual; it’s more like a mission, a vision, an inspiration.  It is her offering to business leaders around the world, and it is deep.  Enter Innerforce.  Angela has synthesized her years of work experience spanning a corporate role at Apple to her work as an integral coach to develop content that I find immediately useful, currently delivered in a radio show and podcast.  Innerforce offers wisdom and tools to help us cultivate our connection with ourselves and “…fuel ourselves in a way that builds our capacity to meet situations and each other in the way we intend.”

Angela’s work is impactful.  I’ve started listening to her podcast during my commute and I always take away something I can apply to my life.  Once I understood what she was creating, I knew that I wanted to interview her and share her insights with you.

Thank you, Angela!


NR: What is Innerforce and why were you inspired to create it?

AK: The innerforce process is a framework designed to support leaders in developing a set of practices to do three things – 1) build more capacity to connect to ourselves (and then with others), 2) regenerate the state of our inner world, 3) generate fuel in order to rise.

We define innerforce as our deepest, most authentic self and the source of our vitality.  Our innerforce houses our deepest truths, our most tightly held values, and our intuition.

I believe wholeheartedly that the most important connection we have is the one that we cultivate with ourselves.   We need to take time everyday to fuel that connection in order to manifest what we intend in the world, in the way we intend to do it.   This is the underlying premise of this work.

I’m inspired by the challenging moment we are in right now, and I believe each and every one of us is being called to step in and rise in whatever way we can.

I love the question Oprah poses on the cover of this month’s O magazine: “what would you stand up for?  She says “It’s your time to rise – and be the light you want to see.”   The innerforce process speaks to the “how” of doing this; we need to bring our whole selves to the task at hand by tapping into our vast inner resources, which brings forward much more of who we already are and what we can contribute.

NR: Have you ever done a radio show before, and if not, what inspired you to use that medium?

AK: This is my first time doing radio.   My life has been a journey of finding (and losing, and re-finding) my voice.  There was a point during my career at Apple that I finally found my voice as a leader and simultaneously lost my voice in my personal life.   I have been on a journey of understanding how and why that happened and reclaiming my voice in every corner of my life.    When the opportunity to do a radio program knocked on my door, I felt inspired to step into my voice in a literal way by sharing the content that I’ve been working on during the last few years.

NR: Who is your intended audience?  Who will benefit from listening?

AK: Business leaders.   I have immense passion for supporting leaders as they navigate these volatile and uncertain times.  I understand the nature of the difficulty from the inside; the pace is intense and the stakes are high.   It is difficult to do the heavy lifting of leading without developmental support.

NR: What’s surprised you about the process of creating the show?

AK: Doing the show has pushed my own developmental edges in transformative ways.  It has both inspired me and actually required that I deepen my own connection with myself in order to meet the vulnerability I feel as I put this work out into the world.  It has been imperative that I find new, real time ways of continuously reconnecting to myself when I get thrown off by impending deadlines or criticism – either my own or someone else’s.  I’m grateful for what the process has taught me.

NR: How did you become interested in coaching?

AK: I’ve always been interested in human development.    In my final years as a leader at Apple I realized how much I loved the work of developing the members of my team.   After hanging up my Apple jersey, I set out on a journey of exploring what contribution I wanted to make in the world which led me to New Ventures West, a global integral coaching institution.  The coaching certification program was life changing.

NR: How has your experience as a coach informed your approach to creating the content?  

AK: My coaching work has been central to the creation of innerforce.   The topics and resources are informed through my own continuous development work to bring my whole self to coaching and my current work experience with clients.   Additionally, I’m leveraging my skills as an ex-strategy consultant and my 15 plus years of working in intense corporate environments.

NR: As a mother, what does work-life balance look like to you?

AK: Motherhood is the greatest job of my life and by far the hardest.   Working for myself, brings much more flexibility to my life because I can call the shots.   There are also things I’m learning to let go of.  The one thing I know for sure is I have to metaphorically put on my oxygen mask first as they instruct us on the airplane.   When I’m fueled up, I approach everything I do with more inner resources, creativity and presence.  When I’m exhausted, stressed, and haven’t eaten, haven’t slept, haven’t moved my body, how can I bring all of myself to anything?  We need to find ways to fuel up while we work, lead, parent and live.

NR: What questions do entrepreneurial parents need to be asking themselves as they juggle family and work?  

AK: I find it helpful to notice when I am putting in extra effort beyond what is required.   I like to ask the question, “what would happen if I did a little bit less here?  What could I do with the extra time?”  Often, there is an old, underlying belief set that is driving the extra efforting.   For example, I have a “I’m a hard worker” story.  I’ve worked super hard and I’ve seen my value as what I produce and it’s served me well.   Yet left unchecked, it is unsustainable.   In order to fuel up during my day, it helps to put that story down and know my essential value for what it truly is which is way more expansive than what I produce.

NR: What is one simple practice you recommend to help manage the feeling of overwhelm?

AK: I recommend tapping into the power of our body by taking about a minute to take ten conscious breaths, lifting through the spine and feeling the weight of our body through our legs and feet on the floor.   This calls in the power of our parasympathetic nervous system which helps hold feelings of overwhelm.  The beauty is we can do this anytime, anywhere and no one else has to know about it.   This simple practice can support us in the middle of a tough meeting, a challenging conflict, or while we are trying to get our kids out the door to school.

NR: Do you have a morning routine?

AK: As the coffee brews, I’m doing a one-on-one check in with myself in which I get present and ask myself:  “what is one thing I can do today to fuel up?”  I also do 20 minutes of yoga and 20 minutes of meditation several days a week.   Life can be unpredictable, so when that doesn’t happen in the morning, I fit whatever I can into the gaps in my day.  I believe a few minutes is better than nothing —  if all I can get in during the day is a 10 minute walk between activities or a few minutes of meditation while I’m in a taxi, I’ll take it.

NR: What are you currently reading?

AK: I’ve lost track of how many books I’m part way through that I’ve been reading as a part of preparing for this radio show!   One I’m particularly loving is called Fear – Essential Wisdom for Getting through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh.  I love the way he writes — its simple, and straightforward while at the same time has tremendous depth. The following quote feels particularly resonant with me right now.  In reference to attending to the little child within all of us no matter how grown up and self-sufficient we are, Hanh says, “You may want to say to the little one inside you, the past is not our home; our home is here, where we can really live our life.  We can get all the nourishment and healing we need here in the present moment.”


877-881-7221 |