I sat down with Sky Palmer of rising PR company Pressful.com to find out how the project was born, what path lead him to setting up the company and where he would like to be heading going forward.
Let’s start with the basics, who are you, when and where were you born?
Sky Palmer: My name is Sky Palmer, also known as SkyDirects. I was born on May 6th, 1988 in San Bernardino, California.
How did you get your foot in the door?
Sky Palmer: I got my first foot in the door with Nick Cannon, being his personal videographer and filming him at various events. I even worked with him on the set of VH1’s hit show Wild ‘n Out.
How did you prosper from there?
Sky Palmer: Through hard work, meticulous networking and dedication to my craft, I was scouted by Cudda Love, who is known for discovering hit artists such as Nelly, Biggie, and Mase.
Cudda Love scouting me to work on his new project for B2K, the #1 boy band group at the time. I followed B2K, Lil Fizz, J-Boog, Raz-B and many other artists around Hollywood, CA as a videographer. It was during this time that I edited and posted the viral video on YouTube titled “Life after B2K” which gained a ton of publicity and was soon picked up by Warner Bros.
I went on to direct over 100 music videos, gaining over 10 million views on YouTube. I even directed a music video for Meagan Good and The H.E.L.LO Girls, my first national music video. It premiered on BET 106 & Park. Since then I collaborated with some of the most recognizable entertainers out there such as Trey Songz, August Alsina, T.I., Chris Brown, Tyga, Soulja Boy, Shaq, Sean Kingston, Kevin Hart, Christina Millan, India Love, and many more.
Last year you ‘re working on a movie called “Run Nixon” how did that come about and where does it currently stand?
Sky Palmer: In mid-2018, I went homeless. My family and I moved back to my father’s house to regroup. At this time I was depressed and disappointed with my life. But one night, I woke up from a dream, my uncle who passed away from heart failure at the age of 17 gave me his story to tell. I wrote about 90 pages of the script. Once I got the script fully ready, I immediately started casting, that’s when I secured Fizz.
Now, I needed the capital to film the movie. Investors like the story but wanted to see a sizzle. So in Jan 2019, I sold my car and went to Hollywood to film the pitch trailer. I spent the entire year trying everything possible to raise the money. A friend advised me to try crowdfunding, so I created my campaign on Kickstarter. I knew I needed some publicity for it to gain some traction, so I stood on the corner of Netflix in Hollywood during Christmas holding a sign. I was hoping someone was going to take a picture of me and post it online for it to go viral. That didn’t happen, so I took the picture and tried to reach PR people to get it to the news, but it was too expensive for me to hire them. Unfortunately, in Jan 2020 my campaign ended and I did not raise the funds.
How did Pressful come about?
Sky Palmer: In Feb 2020, once I realized the main reason my crowdfunding campaign failed, was because I didn’t get any press. I looked deeper into this problem and found I’m not the only one with this issue. We as creators don’t understand the press world and how to really get press coverage. However, PR firms do understand and this is why they can charge large retainers to their clients. I was fed up with this approach and set out to fix this issue. The pandemic hit the world hard and everyone went remote. My partner Mich Vital said, “Why don’t I take my film company LETSFILMIT and go film the companies that are shutting down and send it to the news”. With the whole distance thing, this wasn’t possible, we looked at each other and the ahh-moment came. We said, “Why don’t we get journalists from around the world to interview people remotely.” From there, we went to build Pressful to what it is today.
As this is a music site, let’s start with that angle. Why, in this modern do-it-yourself age, do artists need PR?
Sky Palmer: PR helps the world stay informed with new updates that music artists constantly have. Like a new single release, or new music video release, any major update.
What does Pressful.com offer that artist might not be able to do for themselves?
Sky Palmer: There are dozens of sites online where people can submit pitches to journalists’ emails for coverage. But journalists never respond back as they’re getting thousands of pitches a day. We understand that people just want their press on news sites, not to go through the process or pay thousands to pr for little to no results. What we give is a full video interview with professional journalists and coverage on 75+ news sites for $299.
What advantages does your smaller, start-up company offer that perhaps the bigger, more traditional PR companies don’t?
Sky Palmer: We offer the same access to journalists that bigger PR firms have access to, our advantage is that we only charge $299 per interview with press distribution.
What do you feel have been your greatest successes so far, both for your clients and also for you personally?
Sky Palmer: Each one of our customers have gotten over 75 outlets to cover their story, one client is doing a Forbes interview another one is doing a national tv news interview. Personally for me, being able to stay motivated and not give up and create this platform that helps other creators is my biggest success.
With the current pandemic affecting everything at the moment, how hard has it been to promote your company during such times? Have you found a more captive audience or an industry temporarily on hold?
Sky Palmer: If it wasn’t for the pandemic, my failed movie raise, and my co-founder’s industry i.e. the travel industry shutting down, then I don’t believe we would have created Pressful. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to stay at home and gave me countless hours building Pressful in my spare room. There are of course bad things that came with this pandemic, but like anything else you have to find the good and that’s what we did.
And where do you see Pressful.com going over the next year? Five years? And beyond?
Sky Palmer: This is just the beginning. Pressful.com will be releasing an app, giving people access to well over 400,000 journalists at their fingertips. Who knows where the world will be in 5 years from now, I prefer not to look 5 years down the line. I can say, I’m in the fast zone and plan 6 months out, and take it day by day. My ambitions also include becoming one of the youngest Black billionaires in the thriving tech space.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and good luck with your vision.