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Empowered Women Empowering Women: Spotlighting Colleen Lippert, Celebrity Publicist and Owner of Anchor Publicity

Photo Credit: Christine Harazim, Effortless Boudoir

"Without a doubt, Colleen is the best in the business in my opinion..."

"This girl is IT – professional PR with integrity and attention..."

"In an industry where you have to be cautious of who you work with, I am proud to say that I feel safe and confident with Anchor..."

These glowing reviews are just a glimpse of the widespread admiration Colleen Lippert at Anchor Publicity has earned as one of the most sought-after publicists in Music City. Her stellar reputation and impactful work make it abundantly clear why we've chosen to spotlight her as the inaugural feature in our new "Empowered Women Empowering Women" series.

Colleen, the sweet, hardworking powerhouse celebrity publicist known around town for getting the job done, opened Anchor Publicity in 2016 and has represented some of the biggest names in music. Her impressive roster includes over 100 clients who have been featured in popular magazines, television shows, and radio broadcasts.

The former zookeeper-turned-CEO holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications/Public Relations from Marist College, is a three-time 'Publicist of the Year' nominee at the Josie Music Awards, the 2022 recipient of 'Best Secret Keeper (Publicist)' at Nashville's YEPPIE Awards and has been named a "Power Woman" and "Rockstar Publicist" by Authority Magazine. She is also a passionate advocate for women's rights and animal welfare, proving that her heart is as big as her talent.

We were thrilled when Colleen Lippert agreed to sit down and chat with us. Having worked with both Colleen and her clients many times over the years, we always leave each encounter feeling more and more inspired.

Hi, Colleen! Thanks for joining us today. As a successful woman entrepreneur in the competitive field of PR, what strategies have you employed to establish credibility and assertiveness in a traditionally male-dominated field?

Thank you for having me! It's funny—I would consider myself to be one of the least competitive people on the planet. I just want to be as unproblematic as possible and stay in my own little bubble! (Editor's Note: this is where we wish we could add a sound clip of Colleen's signature giggle ☺️) But, you're right. This business can be pretty cut-throat.

Networking has been such a crucial tool. I actively seek out opportunities to connect with other professionals in the field, both men and women, to expand my connections and stay current with industry trends. The world is tough enough as it is, and I think we could all benefit from helping each other out a little more.

The entertainment industry can be challenging to navigate, both professionally and personally, so trusting your gut is crucial. If an interview starts to go awry or I get a bad feeling, I'm not afraid to pull my client and remove them from the situation, which I have done before. In those moments, it's my job to protect my clients and I take that very seriously. You have to be able stand your ground and not back down, no matter your gender.

How do you think society's perception of female leadership has evolved over the years, and what changes would you like to see in the future?

I believe society's view of women in leadership roles has improved over time, but there's still much progress to be made. Women have often been unfairly stereotyped as too emotional or lacking assertiveness, which undermines their credibility as leaders. Challenges like the persistent "glass ceiling" continue to prevent women from advancing to higher positions, despite their qualifications. 

For instance, a male editor at Newsweek recently sparked controversy by criticizing Taylor Swift for being "unmarried and childless" at 34 years old. As someone of the same age, who is also unmarried and without children, I found his comments infuriating. It's shocking to me that this outdated way of thinking still persists in 2024, and that such viewpoints are openly voiced and published for millions to read.

I believe many of the current biases are learned and passed down through generations, only igniting gender inequality further. The Newsweek article only emphasizes the urgency for change. We need a shift in societal norms and values to overcome these challenges. Having strong role models, educating both girls and boys about women's capabilities as leaders, promoting supportive work environments, and fostering mentorship opportunities are essential steps toward achieving fair pay and mutual respect in the workplace.

As a trailblazer in the music PR industry, how do you envision passing the torch to the next generation of women leaders? Are there any achievements or successes of younger women in the field that you find particularly inspiring? What advice would you give to aspiring publicists looking to enter the music industry today?

One of my greatest aspirations in life is to leave the world in a better place than I found it– and that includes the world of PR! I hope that future professionals and leaders, regardless of gender, will encounter fewer obstacles and feel confident in their abilities as they progress in their careers.

I find constant inspiration in every woman I meet, especially younger women who are just starting their journey into PR. Their fresh perspectives, unwavering confidence and determination are truly motivating as they make significant strides in our field.

For aspiring publicists entering the music industry today, here are a few pieces of advice based on what I've learned:

·  Build a Strong Foundation: Start by learning to communicate well with people, think strategically, and form real connections. These foundational skills are crucial in PR and will serve you throughout your career.

·  Know Your Worth: Throughout your career, you may encounter uncomfortable situations with people in power. Trust your gut and know your value. It's tempting to overlook issues for the sake of advancement, but preserving your reputation is more challenging once it's compromised. Stand firm in your worth and boundaries.

·  Network Authentically: Networking goes beyond opportunities; it's about building meaningful connections with industry professionals, artists, journalists, influencers, etc. Show genuine interest in their interests, whether it's pets, hobbies, or current binge-worthy TV shows. Authentic connections are built on mutual respect and care, not just transactions.

·  Seek Mentorship: Find mentors who can offer guidance, share experiences, and help navigate challenges. Celebrate your successes with them and express gratitude for their support in your growth.

·  Stay Resilient and Adaptable: PR is dynamic and unpredictable. Develop coping strategies to handle setbacks and the flexibility to adapt as needed. It's okay to regroup and even shed a few tears if need be; resilience means bouncing back stronger and wiser.

·  Champion Diversity and Inclusion: Embrace diversity in all its forms and advocate for inclusivity within the industry. Stay informed about industry trends and global news. Support your peers and celebrate their achievements. Be a kind human and stay humble.

We've witnessed many people coming up to meet you at industry events over the years. How do you feel when this happens, especially considering that many in the industry regard you as one of the most sincere and well-respected publicists in town?

Wow, thank you so much for your kind words! I truly appreciate them. It's incredibly heartwarming to hear such positive feedback.

Meeting others in the industry is something I genuinely enjoy. In an industry that can sometimes feel overly focused on numbers and perfection, it’s refreshing to connect on a more personal level. Whether it's artists seeking advice or industry executives inquiring about my clients, bringing a sense of humanity back into these interactions is really important to me.

And believe me, I'm as real as it gets — I’m a homebody and would rather be in sweatpants 24/7, I panic when I have to parallel park, and I tear up when I see a dog because I just love animals so much. So, please never hesitate to reach out. I'm here to connect, share experiences, and help whenever I can!

One last question and, arguably, the most important. Who have been some of your female idols that have inspired you the most and why?

It’s hard to pick just one! There are so many incredible people who have inspired me throughout my life – teachers, friends, colleagues – but my number one role model will always be my mom. Being raised by a single mother (after the death of my father when I was a small child), I watched her navigate life with such grace and strength, making everything look so easy. Now, as an adult, I understand what a challenging and scary task that must have been. She taught me how to be hardworking and independent, instilling in me a strong work ethic and a sense of self-reliance. But beyond that, she also showed me how to be compassionate and understanding, even when life seemed really unfair.

Despite all the loss she has experienced in her life, my mom has an amazing way of remaining positive. She instilled in me from a young age the value of laughter and having a sense of humor. She showed me that no matter how tough life gets, a good laugh can make things a little bit easier. Her talent for finding joy in the little things and sharing that joy with others is something I strive to emulate every day. She has always been the calm to my storm, offering a steady, reassuring presence when I needed it most. She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, no matter how big or far-fetched they seem. Her unwavering support has shaped me into the woman I am today, and if I can be even half the person she is one day, I will consider myself very lucky.

I can honestly say that I rarely get starstruck, but there are three people I've met that I was in total awe of: Katie Couric, an iconic journalist who has never been afraid to ask the hard questions, Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York), a female member of the Royal family who managed to undergo tremendous scrutiny while maintaining her signature sense of humor, and Laura Richards, former Scotland Yard Behavioral Crime Analyst, founder of Paladin, the world's first National Stalking Advocacy Service, and overall badass. Her pioneering research and advocacy for women distinguish her as a remarkable figure, and I firmly believe that her outstanding work deserves the spotlight.

I attended my first CrimeCon in 2018 and saw Laura in person there. Initially too shy to approach her directly, I settled for waving from the doorway 😂 At that point, I had already been following her for a while and was so impressed with everything she had accomplished in her career. She constantly fights for change and new legislation, uses her platform and expertise to raise awareness on topics like coercive control and sexual violence, and helps victims find their voices and be heard.

I got a second chance to see her again last month when CrimeCon came back to Nashville. This time, I found some courage to go up and talk to her – and I am so glad I did. Not only is she the definition of female empowerment, but she is also incredibly kind, generous, and empathetic, and she exceeded all of my expectations.

I'm beyond excited to be taking a masterclass she's teaching next week. She'll cover topics like stalking and domestic abuse, which unfortunately are all too common in the entertainment business. Many people are familiar with the recent cases involving Sean Combs and R. Kelly, both once considered music 'legends' but are now known for abusing women. I'm confident that Laura will provide valuable insights that I can apply to improve as a publicist for my clients.

I would encourage everyone to follow her on social media, share her videos, listen to her podcast — all the things! You can even 'buy her a coffee' to support her advocacy. (Laura, if you're reading this, I am so sorry for always blowing up your notifications 😅 Your work is just too important not to share! 😎)

I truly believe Laura Richards is helping to save lives with her research – and to me, she is the ultimate idol.

Colleen Lippert's journey as a powerful icon in PR perfectly embodies the spirit of our 'Empowered Women Empowering Women' series. Her unwavering dedication and genuine passion have not only earned her much acclaim, but have also paved the way for others in the industry.

As we celebrate Colleen's achievements and insights today, we're reminded of the importance of highlighting awesome women like her. This series aims to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders, showcasing stories of resilience, innovation, and boundless determination. Let us know who you'd like us to feature next!


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