2002-03-23 / Front Page

The Urban Entrepreneurs Series: Holly A. Cooper…. PR Wiz!

By Gary G. Toms
The Urban Entrepreneurs Series: Holly A. Cooper…. PR Wiz! By Gary G. Toms

The Urban Entrepreneurs Series:
Holly A. Cooper…. PR Wiz!
By Gary G. Toms

Holly A. Cooper and family were the first African-Americans to live in Dayton Towers over 36 years ago. During that time, she attended P.S. 183, where her late godmother, Loretta Winters, served as principal. She later attended Junior High School 180, and was cheerleading captain, dance ensemble member and boy’s basketball team manager. She was an honor roll student and was always active in the community.

Today, Cooper is the president and CEO of the Divas In Training public relations and special event-planning firm. Recently, a reception hosted by several business executives in California was held to announce the launch of her West Coast division. Diva In Training Incorporated is a full service public relation and integrated marketing firm with a mission to move beyond traditional media placement and photo opportunities into total image management and strategic planning.

DIT Incorporated is the general market firm of Professional Christian Homegirl, a division that specializes in representing Christian entertainers, athletes and clergymen. The strategic goal is simple according to Cooper.

"We want to provide services that exceed client expectations, focusing on common faith-based goals," says Cooper.

Cooper is no novice to the public relations and advertising industries. She began to receive notoriety as a publicist when she worked with Charlie Ward of the New York Knicks during his Heisman Trophy Tour in 1994.

"I felt very confident that I was in capable and competent hands because of her obvious talents as a public relations guru," states Ward.

"What was most refreshing was that she has a unique personal touch that made me feel comfortable."

Described as an extrovert with an eye for detail and a flair for first-class arrangements, it is no surprise that Cooper’s 12 year career evolved while managing some of the most highly profiled historical events.

She had a key position on the public relations and marketing team for the 50th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breakthrough into Major League Baseball. This national media campaign culminated at Shea Stadium and was attended by President Clinton, as well as luminaries from the sports and entertainment industries.

Cooper developed and produced Johnson and Johnson’s salutes to "African-American Women of Strength" in Detroit and Philadelphia. She also developed and executed the marketing plan for the Diahann Carroll Signature Fashion Line, which featured a fashion showcase and a salute to local women who exemplified community leadership.

The Rockaway native also successfully pursued Mayor Giuliani’s office to declare September 24, 1997 "Diahann Carroll Day in New York City.

Prior to establishing her own client roster, Cooper served as the public relations director at FSG Advertising Partners. While there, she produced a fashion press conference at Madison Square Garden for Allan Houston, New York Knick and member of the Olympic 2000 Dream Team, to preview his Spring 2001 sports clothing line OUNK. Other brand advertising and public relation campaigns include National Basketball Association. GMC Yukon and Envoy trucks, Denny’s Restaurant, McDonald’s, and JC Penney’s "I Love Your Style."

She is a member of the Liturgical Dance Ministry at Dr. Floyd H. Flake’s Greater Allen Cathedral in Jamaica, Queens, and is dedicated to the mission of helping others. Cooper is committed to mentoring young people and has volunteered her time to non-profit organizations such as OUCH!, Career Gear, and Reviving Baseball Inner-City to name a few.

She attributes her success to the love and support from her mother, Shirley Cooper, a retired paraprofessional of 28 years at P.S. 183.

"My mother has so much love for both my sister Ina and I, as well as the students in the Rockaways that she taught at P.S. 183. She has touched so many lives, and that is a true blessing. She always said that I could be anything I strived for, and she also told me to never limit myself," states the public relations mogul.

Cooper believes that her work ethic and personal belief can be summed up by two simple quotes:

"Deal with yourself as an individual worthy of respect and make everyone deal with you the same way." Nikki Giovanni

"Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the LORD will stand." Proverb 12:21 (NIV).

If you would like to obtain more information about Divas In Training or Professional Christian Homegirl, you can contact her at ditinc@aol.com.

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