By Joycelyn Osborne | December 2022
Norma F. Stanley, founder/CEO of E.E.E. Marketing Group, Inc., a multicultural marketing communications firm, has always been someone who loved to write and was also always quietly curious, wanting to know and understand the who, what, why, when and how behind things of interest to her. As a teenager, Stanley’s favorite characters were news reporters and news producers like Brenda Starr, the investigative reporter from newspaper comic strips and TV News Producer, Mary Richards, of the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
So, it would follow, that she would end up securing a journalism degree to become a reporter. However, after covering her first murder story interning for a news wire service right after college graduation and told to get the reaction of a grieving mother whose son was killed, Stanley decided that she didn’t want to do these types of stories the rest of her life. As a result, Stanley transitioned to working in advertising, then PR and learned how to basically use her love of writing to help companies tell their stories and grow their businesses, through her understanding of and relationships with members of the media. Stanley says it has been a match made in career heaven, ever since.
Stanley started her company, NFS Communications, now known as E.E.E. Marketing Group, after about 15 years working as an award-winning public relations practitioner in corporate America. Among her employers were major companies like Universal Press Syndicate, Arby’s, Inc., The Morrison Group and Ketchum Public Relations, where Stanley helped develop and execute communications strategies and multicultural marketing efforts. Some of the companies and organizations for which she provided PR counsel included MCI; Levi-Strauss; Bank of America; The Coca-Cola Company; 1996 Olympic Torch Relay, The Gillette Company, etc.
Entertainment Legend Louis Gossett, Jr. (left) with Celebrity Boss Editor-in-Chief
“I’ve been blessed to be able to do the kind of work I love over the years, work that hits all the right buttons for me,” shared Stanley “PR is a very creative and fast-paced process, but it’s also very strategic and although it has changed somewhat over the years, the basics haven’t changed...you still have to have great strategy, written and verbal communication skills and know how to leverage the print, broadcast and digital media,” she said.
Since starting her Atlanta-based firm, Stanley has worked with companies and organizations of all sizes, including large companies like General Motors, General Motors, Borden Foods, America’s Favorite Chicken, and very small companies and programs who she helped lift from obscurity and raise their local and national visibility. For example, she helped Atlanta fashion designer Sharon Gary-Dill and her Fashion by D’Shacourt annual fashion show event, An Evening of Fashion and Elegance, which showcases models with disabilities, along with typical models.
“My first PR client when I started my company was the first Gladys and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles Restaurant and my second client was General Motors working on the Stellar Awards, which is not too shabby for a brand-new business,” says Stanley. “However, I really like leveraging my professional experience to help small businesses like Fashion by D’Shacourt and others I’ve worked with, to help tell their stories effectively and break through the clutter of news, leading to the growth of their customer base,” she shared.
Norma Stanley with her daughter, Sierra at her Nella-Joi CD Release Party
The mother of an adult daughter born with intellectual and physical disabilities for whom she is the primary caregiver, Stanley also has a mission to serve as an international change agent for people with disabilities (PwD), leveraging the multimedia platforms of informational and inspirational speaking, media, strategic marketing communications and music. Her company also specializes in helping companies develop strategic marketing programs to connect with the economically powerful, but significantly underserved disability population. She does this by combining her personal lived experiences and professional expertise, to educate, enlighten and empower individuals, families, companies and communities around the nation and the world.
An award-winning professional, Stanley has been recognized by professional and community organizations for her work, these include awards from the Public Relations Society of America and a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for her years of disability community service work, from President Barack Obama in 2016.
In addition to her work at E.E.E. Marketing Group, Stanley is also a speaker, author, producer and host of the Disability World streaming TV show and co-host of Disabled Lives Matter podcast. She is also a singer/songwriter, who released her first CD, Nella-Joi, Next Chapter in 2019. Stanley also recently partnered with PR colleague Dawn Anderson on the Celebrityboss.com digital publication, which launched last month.
“We all have obstacles and challenges to overcome in life. My challenge was figuring out how to have the best life possible, so my daughter could have the best life possible,” shared Stanley. “For me, that’s putting to use every gift and talent God has given me,” she continued. “Because my ultimate goal is to not be one of the many, many people who transition from this earthly realm, never having done the things they’ve always wanted to do, or made the impact they could have made,” she said.
Media personality and political commentator Rashad Richey (center) with Norma Stanley (right) and fashion designer Sharon Gary-Dill Hackney (left).
“The three E’s in my company’s name stand for Enlightened, Empowered and Enriched because I want to see those things realized not only in my life, but in the lives of underserved communities comprised of other people of color, people with disabilities, etc.,” says Stanley. “Leveraging my skills as a journalist and PR professional and partnering with companies and clients to help effect positive change in the lives of others, is important part of my mission and purpose and I’m thankful to be able to serve in this capacity,” she said.