Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
Adella Curry is a PR maven of the finest order, with more than two decades in the adult biz.
As technology becomes more persuasive and interactive, connection has become more important. We have stayed flexible and open to adaptation. We have grown in numbers but become more boutique.
From her initial foray into the industry with Private back in 1997, to helping Digital Playground grow from a one-movie, one-star studio into a juggernaut — during 10 years of exclusive work for them — she has made countless connections.
And when she started her PR firm in 2010, the phone was ringing off the hook right away, leading her to amass an impressive roster of loyal clients ever since.
With a keen eye on both mainstream and industry exposure, Curry is highly responsive to the demands of a fiercely competitive PR environment, adapting to the media landscape rapidly.
And yet, no matter the shifting dynamics of power players and high-flying newcomers, her services are only for sale to reputable clients that align with her company’s brand values. This commitment to ethical practices inspires confidence in her network of media contacts, which helps to ensure widespread publication of her clients’ latest news.
And now, as she continues expanding her brand from its Fine Ass Marketing origins to its more broadly targeted Forward Approach Marketing position, Curry nonetheless holds fast to the family vibes evoked by the FAM acronym.
To glean PR insight from one of the best in the game, XBIZ sat down with Curry to celebrate her successful career, in this month’s exclusive WIA profile.
XBIZ: Tell us about your professional background prior to adult entertainment.
Curry: I went to college, managed a hair salon, worked in a personal injury law firm, picked up some modeling gigs, worked at Tony Romas for three days and sold computer parts, before I was hired by Private in 1997. I worked for Private and Matt Zane before signing with Digital Playground in 2000.
I was freelance but exclusive (in adult) to Digital Playground from 2000 to 2010. When I started, DP had one contract star, Tera Patrick, and one movie, “Island Fever.” During the decade I was there, my charges grew to six contract stars, four contract directors and hundreds of titles. I then left Digital Playground in January of 2010 to open FAM.
XBIZ: How did FAM get the ball rolling in its earliest years, as far as acquiring clients and building trust in the community?
Curry: I experienced a lot of success at DP, which the industry was aware of. When I put out a press release stating I was available for hire through FAM, the phone started ringing, but it took me a minute to land any clients because I hadn’t figured out how to negotiate, sell or close. Eventually I got this down and all business since then has been a result of accomplishment and word-of-mouth referrals.
XBIZ: What’s the office culture like at FAM and how do you build an effective team?
Curry: It’s fun and friendly. We hire mostly outside of adult, but look for people with sex-positive values. We are huge advocates for the LGBTQ communities. It’s my job to support everyone else, so we use an inverted triangle structure, wherein I play the assistant. I remind everyone not to get stuck in the proverbial hamster wheel, that it’s important to zoom out and remember the big picture.
Clean communication and gratitude are both super important — along with no shame and no grudges. If we drop a ball, we pick it up and move on and create new checks and balances to prevent it from happening again. We cover for one another and we’ve all learned to wear multiple hats even though we each have our own job description. I try to be the first to apologize, to give credit wherever it’s due and to take the blame if one of my imposed systems didn’t work.
XBIZ: Talk about the multi-faceted marketing approach FAM offers to maximize client exposure.
Curry: Everything starts with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Then we look at what channels the client already exists in, and how we can improve on each space. FAM is fortunate to have eight people on staff full-time, and I believe clients benefit from having so many minds in the mix.
In addition to PR, we offer networking, branding, advertising, business writing, strategic planning and social media services. FAM is also a member of Cision so we are able to share our client’s stories with an unlimited supply of journalists and influencers, and we can respond to editorial calendar queries up to six months in advance of the publication date.
XBIZ: What inspired the switch from Fine Ass Marketing to Forward Approach Marketing?
Curry: Our client base shifted away from adult entertainment towards the fitness, and sexual health and wellness spaces. I wanted something that would work equally well for a canna client, an author, a fitness product, a sex toy, a financial dominatrix or lubricant company. We specialize in bringing clients who have previously existed on the fringes, into mainstream acceptance, and this is through a very forward approach.
XBIZ: As a company that touts its preference for ethical clients and standards, can you elaborate on that?
Curry: We avoid misogynistic or patriarchal ideals and people who still refer to sex as dirty or naughty. Consent and female empowerment are required. If I wouldn’t introduce you to my parents, or brag about having you as a client, then we won’t represent you. Our services are only for sale to companies with brand values we align with.
XBIZ: What is a challenge that FAM has overcome, to ultimately thrive stronger than ever before?
Curry: The greatest challenge is always getting out of our own way. When we listen, we learn. We have had to shift our focus to service the existing market, and the market is always evolving. As technology becomes more persuasive and interactive, connection has become more important. We have stayed flexible and open to adaptation. We have grown in numbers but become more boutique.
XBIZ: How do you ensure FAM stays competitive in this marketing landscape?
Curry: We don’t ever consciously compete with other firms. We take every single meeting, but only take clients which feel like a fit. Once we’ve decided to align with a client, we create customized packages based on their needs, and our list of “available services” to choose from is pretty mighty. We don’t ever take on competing clients. We do a lot of brainstorming for clients to come up with ways to reach their audience. We invest in the top PR networking and project management software. We offer transparent accountability and monthly reports, including traffic analytics.
XBIZ: Talk about what’s next for FAM.
Curry: Beverly and I would like offices on the Amalfi Coast.