Updated: Jan 21
First published on Linkedin April 23, 2019
Multi-media consultant Rachelle Mayers founded Mayers Media Inc. 7 years ago in Barbados after a whirlwind run in the entertainment industry in Jamaica. Rachelle is a tech head, a creative and a solopreneur extraordinaire. She’s expanded her personal skill set in videography, film-making, editing and directing and has established strong professional partnerships to create exceptional content for mainly corporate clients.
You’ll usually find Rachelle behind the camera, directing a team, or working with a client to develop concepts. You’ll even see her in front of camera conducting interviews or occasionally hosting. But recently I was able to get her in the hot seat for the fourth episode of the ‘Backstage with Bajan Brands’ podcast to get a taste of the Mayers Media brand story.
Why Mayers Media makes my list
I first met Rachelle about eight years ago while working as part of the client services team at local brand and marketing communications company, G&A Communications Inc.
A few things about her stood out to me, traits that have endured over the years. Those traits and abilities became the foundation of Mayers Media, cementing the company as one of my favourite business-to-business Barbadian brands.
Warm, charismatic and upbeat personality - Rachelle very naturally connects with people and they with her. Working with Mayers Media Inc. on several projects after my G&A days was akin to working with a trusted advisor, colleague and friend.
Genuine desire, drive and energy to do a great job - “You know what we can do?!”; this is a part-question, part-declaration Rachelle uses when (in my determination), it’s obvious to her that a recommended course of action will not work. But she rarely says “can’t”. In fact she seems to thrive on finding the best solutions to delivering a final excellent product in the face of constraints. That is invaluable for a client.
An incredible work ethic - Her work has inherent value for her and she is often involved from the strategic thinking, through creation and completion phases of projects. Above all, Rachelle wants to make a product that is worthy and meaningful and she’ll work unwaveringly to get there.
Her obvious knowledge of her craft leading her crew to value her direction - It was and is a treat for me to watch Rachelle work with her crew and to see how they respond to her coaching, tips and direction willingly. They are fully persuaded that she knows what she is doing. Which leads me to...
Her ability to lead men well - Maybe it’s because she grew up with two brothers, but Rachelle seems to have the secret sauce for leading men. Watching and listening to her work, there is a special and easy rapport she has with her all-male crew. She never seems to have anything to prove, is straightforward and can just as easily chill with them or hype them into action.
I was stealing time from her work-Saturday when Rachelle and I recorded for the podcast. But it was well worth it to hear the brand story of Mayers Media Inc.
I’m sharing a few edited excerpts here. You can listen to the full interview here.
DNS: I’ve known you for some time now and I’ve come to know you as a videographer, producer, director. What got you started on this path?
RM: Oh wow...I did my associate degree in mass communications at the Barbados Community College and I kinda got that media bug from my brother, the late Terry Mayers and he always tried to push me in that direction ‘cause he saw something in me.
After Barbados Community College - where I used to do on-the-side some other production stuff, hosting and what not - I went on to university, but I didn’t choose media. I wanted to do early childhood education and I did not apply in time so I went to the advisor and she said to me “ok well, you want to do early childhood education, the next best thing to be honest is linguistics because it deals with early language acquisition and that would be very handy in early childhood education and stuff like that, speech therapy and so on”. I was like “Ok cool”.
I started one year at UWI here in Barbados and then I finished up my degree in Jamaica. And that is when I went really, full force into media.
I auditioned to be a presenter on an entertainment station called Hype TV and I got the part and then I started going from hosting to producing to having my own show and then…
DNS: You caught the bug..
RM: I caught the bug and better off with my brother pushing me in that direction too! Yeah it was good.
DNS: So I feel like I missed a ‘lil part ‘cause you were doing linguistics and then all of a sudden you’re auditioning.
RM: Well... I was working at hype TV while I was at school, so I would be in classes during the week and on weekends covering events, interviewing artistes, travelling to different countries. It was crazy. I was actually a media personality while at school at university.
DNS: And then how then did you get started with Mayers Media? So that’s Rachelle and what Rachelle did. How did Mayers Media Inc. come about?
RM: Well the journey between Rachelle and Mayers Media is quite extensive. I mean I had to learn the hard knocks of media. I did not - remember I did linguistics at UWI so I had a degree in linguistics - but I didn’t have a bachelor's or anything in media or communications or anything of that nature. So after Hype TV I went on to do work with Headline Entertainment which was a publicist firm in Jamaica. They represent the Marleys, Sean Paul. And I was working on things like Sumfest and Appleton Estate. From there, I went on to work with Irish and Chin which is another entertainment company and they handle Mighty Crown in Japan and Etana the artist and Vegas at one point as well, so I was always in the entertainment arena. And during all that time, I had a music video company with two other young ladies called Scorpio 21.
DNS: Take me from Scorpio 21 and all the ladies to the decision on Mayers Media or the evolution to Mayers Media.
RM: So after Irish and Chin I moved on to more corporate things. I actually was hired as the producer for a marketing and advertising firm called OGM and that’s where I learned a lot about branding and I learned a lot about corporate content. And I was responsible for directing and producing radio, print and TV ads for companies like Digicel Group, like KFC, financial institutions and you know, that was intense and I learned so much and I really thrived there. After that I moved back to Barbados.
I moved back to Barbados and Scorpio 21 would continue to thrive in Jamaica. I needed to put my brand under an umbrella that was not necessarily entertainment-focused, so I decided not to create a Scorpio 21 Barbados but rather a Mayers Media. And the reason why I also used Mayers Media is because that’s my name and if my niece and my nephew ever want to carry on what I do, like how I carry on what my brother did, the name is there. Our legacy and a name is there.
DNS: So now most of your clients are corporate clients, so you made that transition from the entertainment realm to mainly business clients. What do you think the Mayers Media Inc. brand means to those clients? What is distinctive for them about Mayers Media?
RM: Well from what I’ve been told and the feedback that I always get is “Mayers Media gets it”. So we listen. They let us do what we have to do because we get it. So ever so often I would be shooting something for a client and the client is not even there because they feel like, “Oh, they have it covered”. We try to understand our clients, their brands and think like them. That is the key. Empathy is always present in corporate and in business and in creativity because you are not creating something for yourself, you’re creating something for others - your client and their target. You have to think like them, you have to speak like them, you have to act like them in creating content for them.
DNS: I kind of get the impression that Mayers Media has an edge on other people working in corporate because of that entertainment background and because corporates are now so interested in telling stories and diversifying their content to do that to connect with their audiences. Do you think that’s true?
RM: I think it is very accurate. “Telling stories”, that phrase you just used is critical. I consider myself a storyteller. When I went back to university at Full Sail University in Orlando, I actually got an award for storytelling when I graduated; for directing and for storytelling, those two courses. You get these certificates that the professors award outstanding people in that particular course. So I got one in storytelling and one in directing, which is so crazy (in, note, documentary filmmaking) which is so crazy because the majority of what I do now with the organisations is documentary film work and of course I tell stories.
Storytelling is very key whether corporate, entertainment, what not, because what I try to do, what Mayers Media tries to do is that we just don’t put footage together - really nice 4K, HD footage - and edit it to graphic, splashy stuff. Everything we do has to have a beginning a middle and an end. Everything that we do must have some kind of feeling, something that grabs you and so I don’t wanna say it sets us apart but that’s what we believe in and that’s what we do.
DNS: So I would say you’re pretty much still a solopreneur, although Mayers Media I know has partners, strong partners and associates. How do you, or do you, separate Rachelle Mayers the personal brand from Mayers Media Inc. the corporate brand?
RM: Well that’s a tough one because for a very long time I haven’t, I didn’t separate myself from work, period. So, and this is where I would say this is super important to talk about, because I weighed my value as a person with the performance of my work or Mayers Media and that can be a very dangerous thing to do. Whether it be in a climate like this, or in business period, things don’t always go right, you know. You might make a bad decision or you might lose a client. But does that mean you’re less of a person? Does it mean that you are less valuable? That you are bad at what you do? It doesn’t mean that and when you tie your personal worth to your company’s worth or your company’s performance, you tread a very dangerous line.
More on the podcast
Listen to the full interview here