Sykes Global's Young, Gifted, Giving Founder
Young, gifted and Black describes Ronnie Sykes, the founder of the multi-dimensional communications firm, Sykes Global Communications (SGC).
She says creative thinking, ingenuity and social accountability lifts SGC some rungs above the rest.
Sykes says everything she does in business is based on social accountability. “While we are aggressive in our approach to push a message forward, our philosophy is to align ourselves with individuals who are like-minded in their approach to working and doing business ethically and who are committed to being socially accountable to the publics they serve,” she says.
If a client comes to us and they are not doing the right thing, we help to get them on track. This is one unique aspect of Sykes Global. Her desire to be socially responsible and to give back, led her to donating a portion of her profits on a regular basis: “I wanted to take my love of communications and merge that with giving back and helping people. So, with each client, we donate a percentage of that profit to a charity of their choice.”
Here's how she describes the difference between advertising and public relations firms: “In public relations you’re not paying to tell your story - it’s earned media. If a journalist is interested in what you’re doing, they’ll cover it because they deem it newsworthy. In advertising you actually have to put out dollars and pay for your message to be told.” Sykes Global specializes in public relations, marketing, crisis communication and grassroots mobilization.
This petite executive started her public relations business in 2009, using her personal savings as startup capital. With a staff of two, Sykes aggressively sought out clients. “I busted my butt to get clients immediately to cover my overhead,” she recalls, describing the challenges.
Sykes signed District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal public employees union—her first major client, the same year she launched. She was involved in developing and executing a communications campaign that kept 100 members from losing their homes.
More recently, Sykes Global worked on Congressman Charles Rangel’s closely contested re-election campaign. This was a particularly difficult campaign because of the changing demographics and the re-drawn district lines which created more Latino voters.
The redrawn district was 55 percent Latino and 27 percent African American. There were other challenges. Rangel had been removed as the head of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee charged him with 13 counts of violating House rules and federal laws. “I knew this was going to be a difficult task, but his passion for the community, to me, was undeniable and his relentless energy clearly demonstrated that he was up for the very difficult task ahead,” Sykes recalls.
Rangel defeated challenger State Senator Adriano Espaillat in the critical June 26 primary --which in essence decides who wins since the District is overwhelmingly Democratic-- with less than 1,000 votes for Harlem’s 13th Congressional District. He sailed on in the general election.
Sykes Global added another notch to its belt when the NAACP commissioned Sykes to organize the launch of the "Stand for Freedom – Voting Rights National Campaign" in New York, which culminated in a rally at the United Nations on Human Rights Day.
Sykes' career has been a long time in the making. As a high school student, she had dreams of being a broadcast journalist. Sykes started paying her dues while still in college. She worked her way through college as: a producer; news writer; and, on-air political reporter at WOR radio, KISS fm, HOT 97, WBAI, Channel 9 News, BET.com, Vibe Magazine and more. When able to squeeze out a few hours for leisure activities, Sykes enjoys painting, meeting with friends and watching political TV talk shows. And, not surprising, her choice in reading material is non-fiction, biographies and anything related to communications.
Future plans call for hiring more personnel and expansion into national and international markets.
Sykes is living proof that with hard work and perseverance dreams do come true.
For more information about Sykes Global, go to www.sykesglobalcommunications.com telephone 646-688-2784.