By Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Photography by Ashley Sky Walker
THEY ARE: A trio of savvy women brought in to helm Sean “Diddy” Combs’ NYC-based cross-cultural marketing and advertising group, the Blue Flame Agency. Initially launched in 1999, the firm was relaunched in 2007 as part of an alliance with Cîroc vodka to develop ways to extend the brand identity of Bad Boy Records and Sean John.
GOOD THINKING: Pittman (left), vice president of brand strategy, says the company tagline, “A new agency in a New America,” doesn’t just refer to how the country has changed racially. “When you talk about a ‘New America,’ it’s really a new mind-set,” she explains. Simms (center), executive vice president and general manager, says social media campaigns have helped keep the company’s projects with clients such as Guinness and Universal Pictures fresh and engaging. She cites the ability to provide clients with personalized service as a major advantage: “[As a customer], you have the opportunity to not only give your opinion and have it be heard, but to also get a quick response.”
SOLDIER GIRLS: Harris (right), director of brand development and programming, handles the tactical implementation and “ground strike execution,” which involves managing a nationwide network of brand ambassadors, from nightclub promoters to bloggers. Simms notes, with a chuckle, that military references and
analogies are common in their offices.
RUNNING IN HEELS: “I strongly believe in balancing your femininity and your work and still being effective,” Simms says. She praises Diddy as a strong role model for the company. “He’s so dedicated, and that paradigm trickles down through the organization. He instills an entrepreneurial attitude.” Harris adds: “All of us are focused on self-improvement.”
HINDSIGHT IS 20/20: When asked what advice the ladies would have given themselves 10 years ago, their answers vary. “Put God first,” Simms says. “Accept who you are today to become who you’ll be tomorrow,” Pittman offers. Harris chimes in, “Live today like it’s your last.”