Yearly Dose of Narcissism with a Smidge of Socrates

secret agent pr, design PR, haily zaki, julie karatzis, christine kim

I believe it was Socrates that said that 99.9% of PR is appearance.  Alright, that may not be an exact quote, but it’s an accepted assumption in the industry.  We agree to a certain extent but like to think there is a lot of substance behind what we do.  So, as part of our 2012 overhaul, we realized that it was high time to focus a bit of time and effort on putting forth an image that complements the high caliber of our design clients.  We hired amazing photographer Carla Choy and squeezed a day-long shoot in between phone calls, e-mails, and a regular day at the office.  Talk about multi-tasking!  The result: some head shots for our new website and a fun secret agent team building exercise.

Joking aside, it actually was Socrates who said “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”  And in this case, we desire to appear like we enjoy what we do, there’s substance behind appearance, and we look damned good in trench coats.

So without further adieu, we’re going to be unabashedly narcissistic and share a few pics from behind the scenes of our super fun photo shoot.  It’s weird actually being in front of the cameras for a change.  (And having eye lashes for four hours.)  Don’t worry, we won’t subject anyone to this again for a while.

Big thanks to Sherilyn Yi, songstress and make up artist for being patient with us!

This is our “cop” look.

Our “Inspector Clousseau” look

Tools of the trade

Lovely lashes

It takes A LOT to get pretty.

Agent C – Before

Agent J – In transformation

That’s right folks.  Behind the scenes ain’t pretty.

We keep telling Christine this should be her new perm-look.  Hawt.


Secret Agent New Year’s Resolutions

Secret Agent PR, Julie Karatzis

2011 was a whirlwind year with lots of accomplishments, ranging from getting a a #hashtag in the New York Times, to being interviewed by Frances Anderton on DnA.  However, it’s time to look forward to the rest of 2012. We’re off to a bit of a late start, as evidenced by the fact that the month of January is half over, but we’ve set some goals for ourselves that we aim to hit them before 2013 rolls around.

1. Get Some Shoes

We are the proverbial cobbler with no shoes, guilty of devoting most of our time to promoting and cultivating our clients’ brands and little or none on our own.  It’s not that we’ll spend any less time doing that in 2012, but we’re planning a Secret Agent revamp this spring.  Mama’s gettin’ some shoes…finally!

2. Seek Knowledge

By virtue of what we do by day, we’re always watching what’s happening in the world of design.  But this year, our goal is broaden our knowledge base even further.  More research, more design events, more questions, more answers.

3. Move Out and Up

By high school years, we’re essentially seniors entering our 4th year and we’re ready to move out of the house…literally.  This year, we aim to find a new HQ.  Onward, and upward.  That probably means a party.  And yes, you’re invited.

4. Collaborate

The LA design scene is popping.  Every day a new design star is born and we even have our own design festival and three-day modern design fair.  Things feel like they’re on an upswing and we’re looking forward the ride that 2012 will surely provide.   This year, we aim to find more ways to collaborate with more people.

5.  Sharing is Caring

One area where we’ve been sorely lacking is in giving back.  This year, we’d like to forge a partnership with a local non-profit and find a creative way to give back.


The Estria Foundation’s “Water Writes” Paint Party in Oakland



Sunny skies, old-school jams, and buckets of technicolor paint.  Throw in some veteran graffiti artists, a blingin’ boombox, and free food to the mix (can’t go wrong with a dozen boxes of pizza), and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome Saturday afternoon!

Two of our very own Secret Agents were in Oakland over the weekend to help kick off the Estria Foundation’s “Water Writes” campaign.  Over a hundred Bay area locals came out for the public paint party, and did a great job of leaving their marks – literally – on the wall (and in some cases, on each other).

The Oakland mural is just one of a series of public projects that the Estria Foundation will be completing over the course of ten months, in countries all across the globe.  Each artwork will depict water rights issues in various communities, in an effort to raise awareness of the growing water and sanitation crisis around the world.

Coming up next for the Estria Foundation is the unveiling of their first completed “Water Writes” mural at KIPP LA this Saturday, March 19.  Can’t wait to see what the final product looks like!


Secret Agent HQ Featured on Apartment Therapy’s Unplggd


Photos by Laure Joliet and Abby Stone

We could play it cool and pretend like we’re not completely giddy with pride that Secret Agent PR’s humble HQ was featured last week on Unplggd, but then we’d be lying. We’re really not that cool.

Huge thanks to ph-antastic photographers and magical stylists Laure Joliet and Abby Stone for not only taking some amazing photos of our little space, but also for waiving their magic “pretty” wands.  I was seriously amazed at how Abby was able to transform a pile of random books and magazines into a perfectly lovely vignette in under 30 seconds.  (Will you please move in with me?)

Also, an even bigger thank you to Eddie Park for designing the amazing mobius strip shelves, and my friends at Lettuce and toHOLD for introducing me to one of their star pupils.

Next up on our list of design to-dos for the office?  We’re framing some of our best cover stories (like this one in Elle Decoration Germany) and going to create a lovely little DIY art piece for the big blank spot on our wall which was artfully omitted from the Unplggd story.  We can’t wait to share photos in a few months when we finally get it done.


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