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Let’s face it: 2020 has been a rough year for most industries. Those companies whose leaders and teams are able to think outside of the box are, not only surviving 2020, but kicking 2020s butt. We had a chance to catch up with the CEO of ChicaIntelligente, Katrina Jefferson, to see how she’s surviving Covid and how she’s navigating the PR industry.

How have you been navigating 2020. What are methods you are using to progress though the uncertainty?

Well, it’s been a mix of meditation in the morning, exercising 2 x a day, praying, and drinking wine with or without most meals! Oh and crying. I just take things day by day and do what I can for that day. I was trying to take on a lot and once I realized my kids needed a similar routine to match their age group, I set them up first then set myself up. So far it’s a lot so I try not to schedule a ton of anything in ONE day most of the time.

Interview: Surviving 2020 with ChicaIntelligente CEO Katrina Jefferson 1 Sugar Gamers
Volunteering at Katrina’s kid’s school

Working in PR, what has been your impression of brands and businesses response to Covid and Systemic racism? What do have you not seen or wish would be included?

Brands are either doing the bandwagon thing, where they’re jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is important at the time without merit, or they’re actually taking action to make a change in the way they see things and the way they operate. Of course, I love the latter. I wish more brands would jump on that bandwagon and start making decisions to hire more African Americans,  integrate cultural learning and development in their employee training and make it ongoing, or promote more leaders of color.

What are some misconceptions people have about your role in the PR industry?

They think it’s easy and just see all the fun parts (celeb events, red carpets, etc.) It’s a lot of work. It’s fun, yes, but you definitely have to build relationships and that takes work just by itself. In PR it’s primarily about relationships. Other things like Social Media is not a part of the PR mix as are hiring ambassadors to do digital or virtual event activations. 

Traditionally, I think people thought of PR as just sending a press release and getting repurposed press through big publishers. that’s changed quite a bit. I think another thing people think about PR is that it should NOT have to be paid for. You have to pay for an ad campaign to be distributed or a press release or something else to get good traction.

ChicaIntelligente has been developing a specialization in video games, esports, and technology. What made you embrace this shift? Are you glad you did?

Interview: Surviving 2020 with ChicaIntelligente CEO Katrina Jefferson 3 Sugar Gamers
Katrina Jefferson (far left) at the Girls in Tech event

I’ve been in tech for 20 years so jumping into Gaming was a natural shift. Like tech, gaming is still growing and developing and I love the industry!! There’s so much room to make great changes and I’m excited about what’s to come.

Do you notice a major difference navigating the video game industry vs other industries?

For video games, I feel like ambassadors are usually one dimensional, meaning they play a specific game and they’re good at it. In other industries, showcasing strengths in multiple areas is common. So if you’re a lifestyle influencer, you may also be a fitness fanatic and a chef by trade. I see more and more people like you and I, Keisha, who are entrepreneurs and do a ton of things, but also have an affinity for games. 

How do you maintain the ability to be energized and creative in communicating a client’s message?

It’s tough especially when I feel like I’m fighting for my family’s life in more ways than one. LOL However I just remember to pour my heart into what I love as much as I can and stay grateful!! When you are genuinely in gratitude it shifts your whole perspective. I think the other thing is a lot of research. I love doing my homework!

Katrina Jefferson representing ChicaIntelligente while speaking on behalf of girls in tech
Speaking on behalf of girls in tech at an advertising summit

How has the PR industry changed over the years? What are the pros and cons?

SOCIAL MEDIA> It’s great but can be consuming, overwhelming and take over your emotions and trajectory if you let it. If you can keep things in perspective you[ll be better off.

What is it you hope to see change as we move forward within the next year.

More diversity in all companies.

Less of having to tiptoe around how I’m communicating or feeling on any given day, with any client or colleague.

More people excited to vote.

Working as a Sugar Gamer with some AMAZING brands!!! 

How can we support your efforts?

Sugar Gamers can continue to move forward and progress. That support is enough❤️