Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Lustgarten.
Karen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Three psychics predicted I’d be writing books and at least one would be a best seller. That came to pass, one landed on the NY Times Best Seller List. A school guidance counselor deemed from aptitude tests that I’d be a communicator or performer. That came to pass, I was nominated for a Northern Calif. Emmy Award. Since childhood, adults would confide in me their feelings and previously untold stories, probably because I listened non-judgmentally as a kid and asked direct questions. I thought, be a psychologist or talk show host. The latter came to pass, briefly; the former was my college major.
My careers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC and now South Florida, combine all of the above: social worker, teacher, fitness/dance expert, TV personality, best selling author, public relations professional, newspaper founder/editor/publisher, Hollywood celebrity columnist and now award-winning video writer/producer. In each case, I saw a need in the media for a certain audience or predicted a trend and decided to fill it, often with little more than a gut feeling, laser focus, determination and a belief the endeavor was worthwhile.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Mostly along my journey the road was not less traveled, it hadn’t been built yet. There was no precedence for the types of books, classes, TV segments or the newspaper I started. Fortunately, I was able to persuade the gatekeepers, either with written proposals or in person, to give me an opportunity.
It helped that I lived in cities that embraced fresh ideas, looking for the next new thing. It helped that being raised in Hollywood, CA, creative thinking was the norm and I was exposed to creative ideas in the entertainment industry daily. So, in a way, I was in the right place at the right time each time to see the needs and introduce new media ideas to meet them. Guess the psychics predicted destiny correctly.
Starting my company, Multi-Media Works has been the most difficult profession. Like so many new businesses, you must wear many hats daily, be persistent and patient, build a clientele, make time for a personal life with exercise and still get eight hours of sleep because you need it! I have a terrific team with their own related expertise and that is a big help to bring it all together.
Multi-Media Works – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Multi-Media Works combines all my communication experience into multiple award-winning companies that expose you in the media, but only your remarkable parts! Yes, you have them because, from experience since childhood, I can identify them in one conversation with you!
We discover, define/brand and promote remarkable you (yes, you are!) in the media. We get to the essence of what makes you special and your business different from your competition. Then, we tell your compelling story in video, PR, print content (books, articles) and in social media.
Interesting, that’s how we are different from other video production and media companies, we get to the essence of how YOU are different and write/promote YOUR story! We become your brand storyteller, whether you are a commercial enterprise or a nonprofit.
Speaking of nonprofits, I did PR for several. Some of my favorite video assignments are writing/producing for NGOs and companies engaged in humanitarian work. I won Telly and Palm Awards for mini-documentaries produced nationally and overseas. Many can be viewed on our YouTube Channel, Doing Good Works: https://www.youtube.com/user/KLustgarten?reload=9.
The channel includes TV commercials and professional, affordable mobile videos of good works by local companies and nonprofits. I think it’s important to highlight your good work and let the world know about it so others are inspired to do the same, volunteer and donate. A good storytelling video can do that.
Do you know that next year 80% of all Internet traffic will be video? So, if you want people to find out about remarkable you — if you want to leave your mark — then, you need to do it with video. What also sets us apart is our affordable options to produce a professional and engaging video that coordinates with your brand, that viewers will watch and with messaging that your target audience will remember. Many are on the Website www.multi-mediaworks.com and posted on the Main YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/klustgarten
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
There have been many proud moments in my media careers over the years. Most recently it was winning an award for the professional mobile video series I produced, “Business Grand Openings/Ribbon Cuttings,” for the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Highlighting the essence of each business and presenting their remarkableness — that is a source of pride and satisfaction.
Winning Telly Awards and Palm Awards for mini-documentaries I wrote/produced around the world for various humanitarian organizations was amazing. Hopefully, more assignments will come like these because I love to tell their stories and they need to be told!
The nomination for a regional Emmy Award was an affirmation that my offbeat idea for a TV segment series was appreciated by colleagues.
When my first book landed on the NY Times Best Seller List and rose to #10, that was a proud moment. Simultaneously, I was teaching my own technique of exercise and dance, the latter averaging 250 in a class. Seeing my students having a blast while learning popular dances and gaining an appreciation for the joy of dance, that was a source of great satisfaction.
And when my newspaper columns went into syndication and I received fan mail from around the country about them, that was another source of pride.
There were more, but overall, proudest moments relate to accomplishments and appreciation for all the hard work, much of which is about bringing out the best in everyone!
- Website: www.multi-mediaworks.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: multi_mediaworks
- Facebook: Multi-Media Works
- Twitter: mmwinc
- Other: www.youtube.com/klustgarten