James LaForce: CEO & Co-Founder, LaForce+Stevens

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Bio:

James LaForce is CEO and Co-Founder of LaForce + Stevens and a highly-regarded media and communications consultant, James LaForce directs a range of communications programs across the agency’s diverse client roster.  With a nimble approach, he blends business savvy with an insatiable enthusiasm for the trends and temperaments of the ever-changing media landscape. LaForce was raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and studied English literature and writing at Columbia University.  Early in his career, he was fortunate enough to be mentored by the legendary fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert, who is often credited with putting American fashion on the global map.

Over the years, he has guided and shaped campaigns for Gianfranco Ferre, OMEGA, Yves Saint Laurent, Perry Ellis, Banana Republic, Tracy Reese, Swarovski and 3M.  LaForce is instrumental in promoting Target’s ground-breaking collaborations with top designers such as Alexander McQueen and Missoni.   

1) How did you get into the PR industry and why?

I was introduced to Eleanor Lambert the doyenne of American fashion PR. She was a legend even then, more than 30 years ago. I took a job as one of her office lackeys. 

2) How does your firm utilize social media and stay ahead of competitors?

We use social media like any other media channel to engage the consumer and tell stories about our brands. I don't think anyone "stays ahead" in social media.  Just keeping up with the pace is fast enough. 

3) What is a great night out like to you?  

Three cocktail events and still home in time for dinner with my husband Stephen Henderson. 

4) What brands do you rep and what is the niftiest PR move you have implemented for them?

Target, Banana Republic, Veuve Clicquot Champagne. We have produced eight Veuve Clicquot Polo Classics. It is everyone’s favorite party.

5) What is your life motto/quote?

Think before saying "no."

6) What would you say are the top two personality traits someone needs to do a PR job well?  

Honesty and thoroughness. Usually, if you have one of those traits, you have the other. 

7) Who is your mentor and how do you stay so successful in the PR industry?

My husband Stephen helps me keep my head straight every day. My father died some years ago, but I can still hear his level-headed advice

www.laforce-stevens.com