By Nicole Hanratty
Posted August 19, 2015
Strike the pink, a “Mean Girls” inspired party took a colorful fashion twist. Marcus Anthony Gray premiered his PR and consulting company The Little Gray Book with an invitation that read, “On Wednesdays We Wear Gray.” It was an irony infused party theme as host Marcus Anthony Gray has not one mean bone in his (very fit) body.
I met up with the boutique publicist at one of the hottest coffee spots in Studio City, Aroma Cafe, after his premiere party where we dished—both on and off the record—about his rockstar event and special events industry clientele. Talking with Gray is almost as fun as attending one of his star studded events, he made me laugh on more than one occasion with remarks like, “Scratch that!”
ROCKSTAR TIP: Hiring a publicist, whether you are a band or a vendor, is a big financial commitment. Be sure to hire one with proven connections, a rolodex to drool over, and a personality that attracts respected press and great opportunities.
As the significant other and right hand man of David Merrell, one of the hottest party planners in town, Marcus Anthony Gray has an edge on the special event vendor market. Everybody who’s anybody want’s to play at an event planned by David Merrell (owner of AOO Events), and Gray is now hand picking his niche market clientele to represent.
Usually publicists are behind the scenes quietly promoting their clients, but Marcus Anthony Gray is an irresistible subject to spotlight. He exudes a fantastic energy that makes you want to hug him whether you’ve known him for years or are just meeting him for the first time. In fact, he is so well loved that when it came to planning his #TLGB launch party, Gray says, “Everybody treated it as if it was an opportunity for them to show and elevate their own brand so everyone came on as sponsors.” [Those sponsors included AOO Events, Superfine Bakery, Kristina Lee Photography, Taste of Pace, live music by The Replicas, Scarlette Bartending, and Luxury DJ’s.]
“I value relationships. I understand the importance of relationships,” Gray said, as we talked about the foundation for his new business. He was candid in his admission that with his established clientele coming out of the gate, he didn’t need to have a launch party. “I wanted to have a party for a purpose, in the sense, I wanted to make it worthwhile for my clients. So, unlike most industry parties, [where] it’s kind of like a free for all… I would say a good eighty percent of my list was all planners.”
Thinking of throwing a launch party to celebrate your new business? Gray gave three reasons why a launch party is important:
1. MAKE A STATEMENT. “A friend of mine called it [a] debutante ball. It’s your coming out. It’s your, ‘This is who I am—obviously it depends on your industry—this who I am, we’re here. This what I have to offer.’ I think that’s very important, especially if you’re boutique and you’re small. You want people to be aware of who you are and what you have to offer.”
2. EMBRACE THE EGO. “Part of it—I’m not gonna lie—is the ego as well. It’s to say, ‘Yes. I’m here.’ It’s not a bad thing, as long as the ego is checked.”
3. MAKE YOURSELF RELEVANT. “It shows your competitors you’re serious. It’s showing your confidence. It’s making yourself relevant to your competition.”
No matter the special event you’re planning, having a consultant like Marcus Anthony Gray on your team is a win. His rolodex is filled with the preferred vendors of celebrities and the hottest trends in event planning today. You can find Marcus Anthony Gray online http://www.thelittlegraybook.com.
MARCUS ANTHONY GRAY BIO
Marcus Gray is Editor-at-large at DesignDawgs an online conversation by, between and for design professionals. The epitome of young talent, Marcus’ social connections (in addition to his role at DesignDawgs), have paved way for his work as both a marketing and lifestyle public relations consultant to various companies in the Southern California region under the newly inspired company, The Little Gray Book. Prior to DesignDawgs and The Little Gray Book, Gray worked as fashion and lifestyle expert and brand influencer, whose talents have linked him to various luxury names within the fashion and events industries. Marcus lives in Los Angeles, CA with his partner and “doggy accessory” Lil’ Bit.