Terrie M. Williams, one of the country’s premier public relations professionals whose firm has represented some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports and business, has announced the company that bears her name will close this month.
After 40 years of being in the public eye, Williams said she is retiring to focus on personal wellness, family and travel, and the next chapter of her extraordinary life.
“I’m so proud of what we have done over the last four decades, and I want to thank all those who have been so supportive of me through my successful journey,” Williams said. “There are countless individuals who have inspired me, guided me, and helped me throughout my career. I owe so much to so many people, and to all of them I offer my heartfelt thanks. Unfortunately, the time has come to bring this chapter of my life to a close.”
Her venture into the entrepreneurial world as the founder of The Terrie Williams Agency, one of the country’s most successful public relations and communications firms, made an enduring mark in the archives of business history.
Since the agency’s launch in 1988 with superstar Eddie Murphy and jazz legend Miles Davis as her first clients, the firm handled some of the biggest names in entertainment, sports, business and politics. Those who retained the agency services over the years included Prince, Janet Jackson, Russell Simmons, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Johnnie L. Cochran, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sally Jessy Raphael, Time Warner, HBO, AT&T, NBA and Essence Communications Partners.
As an author, Williams has written four successful books. Her first, “The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast-Paced Business World” (1994, Warner Books), is a perennial business bestseller. Her second book, “Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens” (Scholastic, Inc., 2001), has been utilized in school curricula and was the catalyst to launch The Stay Strong Foundation, a national nonprofit for youth. “A Plentiful Harvest: Creating Balance and Harmony Through The Seven Living Virtues” (Warner Books, 2002), was Terrie’s undertaking to help others achieve balance in their daily lives, reconnect with their heritage, and identify the needs of their souls.
Her last book, “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting,” (Scribner 2008) detailed the untold story of depression among African-Americans. This powerful account helped break the silence in Black communities about the debilitating impacts of the disease when it was unacknowledged and untreated. Terrie’s bravery and openness about depression and mental illness led to a national mental-health advocacy campaign called “Sharing Ourselves … Healing Starts with Us,” a collaboration with the Ad Council’s and SAMHSA’s Campaign of Mental Health Recovery.” The campaign garnered $2.5 million in donated national advertising space and 11 million media impressions.
Williams has also been one of the country’s most highly sought-after speakers and has shared her unique brand of success and personal development strategies with numerous Fortune 500 companies and countless organizations, including the New York University Continuing Education Program, The New School for Social Research, the NFL, NBA and NHL.