In Conversation with Deidre Gaskin, Founder of Maylee Media
What according to you makes one an influential leader? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?
What makes a leader is someone who doesn’t mind seeing their peers shine even if their light is brighter than theirs. An excellent leader believes in teamwork and not delegation alone. To me, a leader builds others up and not break them down. They take accountability and right their wrongs.
Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as a leader that you can remember?
Being an athlete. As a basketball player and track athlete I always did my best to lead by example in not just what I say but all in my actions. Running a team of 20+ different personalities can be a challenge, but once you can relate to your team and build trust, the unity is there. Being a leader on the court or on the track comes with responsibility, loyalty and most importantly discipline, values I still use today.
What was the thought that led to the formation of Maylee Media? What was the idea behind the name Maylee?
My late grandmother Mary Lee Wells, “May Lee”. Growing up I witnessed my grandmother be a caregiver to so many people even stray dogs. Haha. Her nickname was “Mother” because she never met a stranger, and she was truly a mother figure to anyone who she crossed paths with.
Relationships are everything as a publicist and just as my grandmother who never met a stranger, neither do we! I took after her in the serving department in wanting to help people. As a publicist, I am here to serve and push purpose through people one client at a time.
Being the Founder and Senior Publicist, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?
All roles, haha! I’m the financial advisor, Human Resources manager, the social media coordinator, I do it all. But my main job is to generate buzz and publicity for my awesome clients. From checking emails, pitching journalists, curating events, and locking in interviews left and right, I’m hitting the ground running to seek out the best opportunities for my clients (on and offline).
What is the approach taken by the company in order to ensure optimal client experience and satisfaction?
I pride myself in honesty. I make it very clear what I can and cannot do. In that which I cannot do, I find someone that can. I’m very big on under promising and over delivering, not the other way around. Real professionals appreciate this.
What has the journey been like for Deidre Gaskin over the years? Looking back, what would you have done differently?
It’s been a roller coaster. One minute I feel like I’m on top of the world, the next minute the world is on top of me. No days are the same and the industry can be very distasteful. However, I wish I could have gotten worthy mentors early on, before being a mentor was a “thing” and before everyone became this “coach”. Investing in a business mentor and PR mentor from the start would have prepared me better for a lot of things.
What has been the biggest roadblock during your journey? What has been your biggest learning?
I think my biggest roadblock has been me at times. I can be so hard on myself, and I tend to think I’m not progressing. But I’m learning about timing, seasons, and having purpose in longevity. It’s a lot out there, between the influencers, the scammers, the unrighteousness of it all but as believer in Jesus Christ I am really learning to trust Him and in that means being okay with what HE has for me because what I think doesn’t matter if it doesn’t glorify Him.
What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging business leaders in the PR and Media space?
Learn to be okay with being a student before you become the teacher. I see it all too often people coming out of thin air to become a publicist or a journalist just because you have a few followers or someone you’re close to is already famous. It’s unfair to the ones who have put their blood, sweat and tears into this. Take the time to learn the craft, appreciate the ones before you and BE HUMBLE.
Finally, what does the future look like for you and Maylee Media?
For me it’s a lot more to come. I’m walking into new opportunities, new relationships, and a new perspective and that can always be rewarding. For MayLee Media, only time will tell, and I can’t wait to reveal it all! But in the meantime, you can check out my new website here.