After dipping her toes in the Los Angeles fashion industry as a merchandiser and “not really feeling it,” veteran music publicist Romina Magorno discovered her passion for public relations when she got her first big break at D Baron Media in 2006.
“I took the gig as an assistant at a 30K pay cut, which was insane, but it was in my gut. Something told me I was made to be in public relations,” says Magorno, who credits D Baron Media founder and CEO Diana Baron as the mentor who taught her how to be a true, traditional publicist.
At the agency, Magorno worked on projects like Los Lonely Boys, JoJo, Leann Rimes and All-American Rejects, to name a few. She relocated to Miami in 2010, where she worked at Nevarez Communications and tackled her first Latin projects, including Daddy Yankee, Chyno y Nacho, Elvis Crespo and Amelia Vega. Two years later, in September 2012, she decided to launch her own public relations agency.
“I realized that in order for me to really solidify myself in this space (Latin at that time), I needed to branch out on my own,” she explains. “I was also about to have a baby and wanted more flexibility with my time.”
Magorno now spearheads her own boutique public relations and marketing firm, Imagine It Media, with a foundation in music, entertainment and communications strategy for the U.S. Latin crossover markets, Mexico and Latin America. The Miami-based agency also specializes in talent wrangling, strategic brand partnerships and event media management.
In the past 10 years, Imagine It helmed major projects for Camila Cabello, The Spongebob Movie soundtrack, Justin Quiles and LMFAO’s Sky Blu, among others. Currently, the company’s roster includes Anitta, Tainy, Farruko, Myke Towers, Piso 21, Jorge Drexler, Steve Aoki, C. Tangana, Yahritza y Su Esencia and newcomer Un León Marinero, to name a few, as well as corporate clients NEON16, Sony Music Latin and NTERTAIN.
Below, learn more about Magorno and her agency.
What were some initial challenges when you first opened?
The credibility. I had shifted markets and did not really have super solid relationships and I found bookers, producers and journalists had their favorites and it was a challenge for sure. But I persevered and eventually, the phone calls and emails were answered. I am a people person, it’s hard to say no to this face. Ha! JK.
In your 16-year career, how do you keep motivated with your business?
Breaking new talent. Giving them my platform to really break into the market. Nowadays with streaming, it’s just so amazing to have an endless jukebox of artists and music to discover. For example, the Latin folk music movement is really making noise and having a revival. We most recently signed an indie artist from Mexico, Un León Marinero, who is in this space. He is an incredible songwriter and musician and I am so excited to show the world his talent. You have to check out his music.
What drives you to want to work with an artist?
There are many components to this question. Talent, of course, but also that I really connect with the person behind the music. It is something that is very important to me. Another component when I started my own thing, what drove me then, was to retain one big client so that I would have leverage on my hands. Having big artists means a lot of the opportunities are incoming, and although that is wonderful, what really drives me is moving things and opening doors for the up and comers. I have artists that have been with me for many years and at the beginning, media would shut the doors over and over again. Eventually, the doors opened and the feeling of accomplishment for me is so rewarding.
Who do you turn to for business advice or who has taught you the most about the business?
It’s always good to have a few people you can go to. My fellow PR colleagues Kary An Diaz and Nini Veras have been solid when it comes to advice on work-related things. But there are two people who have helped me see things clearly and supported me on so many facets, Ivelisse Malave and Lex Borrero. These executives have always been my cheerleaders and I am so thankful to have them in my life and to get to work together on projects.
What’s the most crucial advice you can offer to up-and-coming publicists?
Focus. Stay behind the scenes. Work with integrity and really learn to not only offer PR services but also to know and understand strategy. I see so many of the new schools of publicists who have no real understanding of what it is to sit and build a strategy. This is something I wish I would have learned a lot earlier on in my career, but things were a lot different then too.