Kim Kessler, founder of KIPR Global, has 18 years of experience handling strategic public relations campaigns for luxury resorts, hotels and spas. Prior to launching KIPR Global, she worked as director of public relations at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, leading international media campaigns, and building longstanding relationships with journalists, community leaders, and social media influencers. Kim is also the public relations representative on the Spa Task Force Team for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and an official Ambassador for Global Wellness Day, now celebrated in 100 countries. Kim currently works with Careyes in Mexico, Access Italy exclusive tour company, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Tahiti Tourisme, and The Detox Market, the leader in green beauty.
How did you get into the industry?
I entered into public relations for the luxury travel industry after hearing about an internship at Victoria King Public Relations while at Pepperdine University in Malibu. Previously, I was a Nutritional Science major but decided to explore public relations at the prompting of friends, and never looked back. Victoria King represented an array of luxury resorts including the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort, Hotel Bel-Air, The Merrion in Dublin, the Ritz in London, etc. Ever since that internship, I dedicated my career to luxury hospitality. After graduating, I worked for nearly five years at Murphy O’Brien Public Relations, where I handled the successful launch of Esperanza – an Auberge resort in Cabo with the account team, and media campaigns for The Peninsula Hotels, among other clients. I learned so much from the team at Murphy O’Brien and they continue to inspire me, especially the Founder Karen Murphy O’Brien and President Allyson Rener.
In late 2004, I entered an in-house position as Director of Public Relations at The Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel & Spa for two years, which led me to become the Director of Public Relations at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, living for three years on the beautiful island of Maui in Hawaii. When I was ready to become immersed back into LA culture, I joined Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills as director of public relations, where I remained for seven years, before forming my company KIPR Global in early 2017. I am grateful to still handle all the publicity for Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills through my company, as well as other luxury travel and wellness brands, including Careyes in Mexico, Access Italy exclusive tour company, west coast press for Tahiti Tourisme, and The Detox Market, the leader in green beauty.
Any emerging industry trends?
Wellness is a trend that continues to grow, as people are looking for a respite, especially with the rise of technology and people’s busy lives. We are creating Wellness Rooms at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, in partnership with Delos, with digital meditations in room by Deepak Chopra, air purification systems, circadian lighting, Alo Yoga mats, hard wood floors, and healthy menus created by Executive Chef Byron Thomas, approved by the Cleveland Clinic. It is important for hotels and resorts to offer meditation, energy treatments, innovative facials, and healthy menus with vegan and gluten-free options.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
I think that the biggest challenge with public relations is balancing social media influencers and digital content with traditional media outlets such as print magazines. It’s an exciting opportunity, as it provides many more ways for potential guests to learn about particular travel company or hotel, but it is important to navigate effectively, as we receive so many requests by Instagram influencers to be hosted on a daily basis, and it is imperative to only host those with huge authentic engagement and significant genuine followers.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
My vision for KIPR Global is to continue to work with international luxury travel brands to provide impressive results for my current and future clients, and valuable content for journalists and social media influencers. I plan to keep my company manageable with steady growth, by only taking on clients I’m fully passionate about, and can deliver stellar results for, while keeping the clients I currently have very satisfied, as I believe in long-term business relationships.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
At the present moment, I have exciting new business opportunities, and I’m thrilled about the new El Careyes Club & Residences hotel opening in Careyes, Mexico. I’m also looking forward to the additional store locations opening by The Detox Market, the leader in Green Beauty.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
I am thrilled about bringing together Delos and Four Seasons Los Angeles to create the Wellness Rooms, through the introduction by the Global Green environmental charity. I also love the recent partnership I’ve facilitated between Alo Yoga and Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills with occasional yoga events on the Helipad for top yogi influencers, and the residency program with Dr. Nigma Talib at the Spa at Four Seasons Los Angeles. I believe the success of KIPR Global is based on more than 18 years of relationships I’ve cultivated with top magazine editors, freelance writers, TV producers, bloggers, social media influencers, publicists, and hospitality leaders around the globe.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
The most difficult moment of my business definitely has been to remain strong and confident at all times, even when things get stressful.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Clients come to me for personalized expert service, continued impressive results, and for my deep relationships with journalists, many of whom I consider dear friends. Clients understand when they hire me that I will be the one servicing and managing their account, not a junior team member.
How do you motivate others?
I motivate others with kindness and positivity. I only work with others who share my same intense drive for success, so I often don’t need to spend time motivating them.
Career advice to those in your industry?
My biggest advice is to never burn bridges, and spend time cultivating relationships with media in person whenever possible. Always be professional, and have expert writing skills. With public relations, you can work promoting, fashion, travel, tech, sports, or beauty companies. Pick what you are most passionate about and go from there.