Welcome to The Media Pro

The Media Pro is a fun and compassionate, full-service, media marketing and communications agency that uses integrity, passion, innovation, and collaboration to spark creativity, foster goodwill, develop lasting relationships, connect audiences through visual storytelling and deliver measureable results for our customers.  We do this through active listening, resourcefulness, compassion, playfulness, budget maximization, and the ability to tell a good story through great visuals and relatable content.

The Media Pro is a WBENC Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE, WOSB) and a Certified HUB Firm with the NC Historically Underutilized Business (HUB Office) firm under the Statewide Uniform Certification (SWUC) Program. The Media Pro is a team of award-winning, creative visual storytellers who deliver focused, creative writing, produce videos, films, TV programs  graphics animations, documentaries, commercials, PSAs, e-learning experiences, curriculum, training and rich media content. Whether you’re a small business owner, a member of a large corporation, a governmental agency, a non-profit organization, an author, a band, or an individual, we help you visualize your story so it resonates with the right audience. We produce intriguing videos for education, social awareness, marketing, business, entertainment, health, environment, science, and technology. Our videos engage viewers through emotion, compel them into action, educate and entertain them.

The Media Pro is also a team of media and marketing experts who provide targeted media consulting, social media strategy, media planning, placement, and distribution. We understand and excel at sports marketing, entertainment, education PR & events.We help organizations and individuals develop targeted, impactful and successful social media strategies and create meaningful engagements. We get you noticed. We plan and implement  multi-million dollar advertising and PR campaigns. We also help small and medium businesses, organizations and individuals, find the most strategic way to connect with their audiences by maximizing budgets, leveraging relationships and building connections in social media and through traditional media avenues.

The Media Pro understands the importance of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with our clients. We take the time to listen to our customers’ needs. We include the client through the process and encourage great dialog and feedback, so that we always meet and exceed expectations. We’ve worked in and with state and federal government agencies and in the private sector, so we understand how government works and how to help businesses communicate effectively.


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Looking into a child’s eyes you can see a world of possibilities.  But, North Carolina children face some challenges. According to the 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, North Carolina ranks 34th in overal child well-being. The ranking is a composite index of four key areas including 1. Economic Well-Being 2. Education 3. Health and 4. Family and Community.  Furthermore, U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey, more than a half million North Carolina children, or 26% live in poverty.  At-risk children face many challenges like food, clothing, shelter, safety, parental support, healthcare and education needed for normal childhood development. When children are at risk, they may never reach their potential physically, socially, emotionally and mentally.  Each of us has the ability to make a difference in a child’s life. Doug Hodges, a PGA Performance Coach and Mental/Emotional Game Mentor, is doing just that through mentoring and for that, he’s our LEAPforLife focus.

The Media Pro  is committed to showcasing people who LEAPforLife… that is, they are Living Passionately and Enthusiastically for Life Doug Hodges is a deeply private person, full of grace and humility. It’s difficult for him to open up about his childhood, “I grew up without a lot of opportunity.  It wasn’t a healthy place,” Hodges says, “and I want to make sure that I help children have healthy, safe and secure lives.”

He discovered mentoring on the golf course when someone introduced him to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Hodges became a BIG and that changed his life.

“I was never able to be present for myself or anyone else until I became a Big Brother,” said Hodges. “Mentoring filled a void and it gave me the ability to trust that everything would be ok. If it hadn’t been for this experience, I wouldn’t be able to commit to relationships.  I wouldn’t be able to be present for my wife or my kids.”

Today, he’s focused his life’s mission on making sure that every child is loved and that each child knows what love feels like.  Hodges is using his passion for golf and creating mentoring relationships between adults and at-risk children.  He’s created  SwingPals, Inc., an organization designed to give underprivileged children in North Carolina and other locations the opportunity to fully realize their potential and to lead confident, productive and enriched lives. SwingPals events foster trust, self-esteem and confidence.  “I want to ensure that every child has the opportunity to explore their potential, to be unencumbered by the challenges in their lives,” said Hodges.

Doug Hodges congratulates a SwingPals participant

Hodges knows that mentoring changes children’s lives.  “It makes them have more self confidence, more self-esteem, more self-awareness. I want them to have the ability to choose healthy responses. I don’t want them to see themselves as victims. I want them to have a healthy perspective to see the world differently than I did.”

According to Youth.gov, 8.5 million youth do not have caring adults in their lives who give them support and provide lasting relationships. The Benefits of Mentoring Young People shows that children who are mentored experience the following:

  • Increased high school graduation rates;
  • Lower high school dropout rates;
  • Better academic performance;
  • Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices;
  • Better attitude about school;
  • Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations;
  • Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • Improved behavior, both at home and at school;
  • Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers;
  • Improved interpersonal skills;
  • Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use;                                          

What if Hodges wasn’t doing what he loves?

“I couldn’t imagine not living my passion, I can’t imagine how to answer that. It is incomprehensible.  I used to live a passionless life until I was 30 or 31 – that life was empty—I’d still be in that  same space.   I am so far removed from that former life.   I came to America with $100 in my pocket, got a job,  earned money as a commodities trader, but becoming aligned with my passion essentially ended my career. I soon lost interest in that way of life. The measure of success isn’t about making money. It’s about being authentic, being able to share my feelings.  It didn’t create anything. It was only buying and selling, there wasn’t any meaning. Mentoring became a measure of my success.”

You can see the joy on his face and hear it in his voice.

“It’s immeasurable to the degree of happiness I feel—nothing is more fulfilling than being able to help others and give back. When I give back to other kids I become more complete.”

SwingPals is part of the curriculum at three Durham, North Carolina schools, Neal Middle School, Brogden Middle School and Lowe’s Grove Middle School.  Each year, 100 children from each school are introduced to golf during 6th grade PE. In the spring, 36 children (12 from each school) get to go for additional training and interaction at a local golf course. Those children who continue with the program are then invited to continue with SwingPals for two times per week in 7th and 8th grades. Currently, SwingPals has 15 active matches through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Doug Hodges, PGA Performance Coach and Mental/Emotional Game Mentor, is also the founder of ThinkWorkPlay and is the Ravenscroft Girls Varsity Golf Coach in Raleigh, NC. To become a SwingPals mentor visit www.swingpals.org

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Artists, muscians, actors, writers, photographers, animators, and other creative types are often driven by passion, desire, joy and an undeniable need to unleash our creative spirits to the world. We want to and often do succeed,  despite,  and often as a result of the big and small obstacles thrown into our paths along the way. It’s just the nature of who we are.  Those of us lucky enough to be a part of this creative community, often find a special kinship and a common bond with our fellow inspired colleagues. We rejoice in their successes. We console in their disappointments. We encourage their journeys.  And we stand together when their artistic expressions are thwarted. Their struggles become collectively, OUR STRUGGLES.

Amanda Zelina - The ₵oppertone - Living Passionately and Enthusiastically for Life!

Amanda Zelina – The ₵oppertone – Living Passionately and Enthusiastically for Life!

There are many, well-intentioned, and well-meaning agents, managers, promoters and others who help creative people find success. At the same time, there is no shortage of horror stories where an artist, a band, an author, an animator or other kindred spirit is used and abused while someone else reaps the financial rewards and benefits of their success.  This happens often absent of malice, in a transaction where one side, the creative dreamer, is young, naive, uninformed and under-represented.  And to the other party, it’s just business.  The Media Pro highlights people who are living enthusiastically and passionately for life and we’ve chosen Canadian Singer/Songwriter, Amanda Zelina  AKA The ₵oppertone to feature in this installment of LEAPforLife for her resilience, integrity and her unwavering belief that her passions are going to see her through a rough patch.

Amanda Zelina AKA The ₵oppertone

She’s on a mission to end a contract she signed, but now understands it leaves her without the creative freedom to do what she wants with her music career.  It’s a burden she’s not willing to live with, but it comes at a high price — $20,000! That’s what it will take for the sultry singer to buy back her past material, as well as retain ownership of all new songs/demos for her next album and future ones. “I chose to terminate the contract early knowing full well that there would be repercussions,” Zelina said, “I am not one to sit back and feel sorry for myself or accept my current situation, if it is unfavorable. I believe in pro-activity and progression, so with my integrity in hand, I chose to leave.”

She’s launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise the funds to buy out her contract called  Help Free The ₵oppertone – Claim Yourself

“This campaign was a way to help me pro-actively move forward in my career faster than I could on my own. It also was a way that I could aggressively raise awareness to my fellow industry [musicians] that we all need to be more educated and more cautious when signing contracts. Additionally, if you are being taken advantage of in any industry, you can change your circumstance and you should speak up for yourself. Claim Yourself is about being accountable, taking responsibility for yourself and living authentically; Claiming your worth.”

Zelina says that the campaign pushes a greater message about integrity and beliefs. “Once you claim your worth, your whole life will act accordingly. You will attract situations, people and circumstances that match that worth. If you are in an unfavorable situation that you got yourself into, there is a way out no matter how bad or how big the risk of getting out is. Never give up on who you are.”

If she reaches the $20K goal,  she says “I am going into to record the best album I have ever written. I have the most incredible people around me now, and I am doing the most remarkable things. I am just so excited to share all of it! The last time I released a  full length album was close to three years ago. I have grown so much as a woman and as a musician. I have the right people around me and I am educated in my industry to make the right move and shop this record properly. Once I find a contract that honors my art and my worth, I look forward to signing it and forging ahead in my career.”

And if she doesn’t raise the funds, well she’s pretty grounded on that, too. “One way or another I will get the money to pay off this debt. I have no doubt in my mind that within the next few months I will be free and clear of this debt and moving on with my life and my career.” {Note: The Claim Yourself campaign ended July 3, 2013. And I am pleased to announce that the Claim Yourself campaign raised $22,150. Amanda Zelina, AKA The ₵oppertone, is well on her way to getting her material back and is happily working on releasing her next album.}

When asked what she’s given up to follow her passion, Zelina laughed. “What haven’t I? she asked, “Everything, I think. The good and the bad. Now, I am at a place in my life where I know what I will sacrifice and what I won’t. That is truly the answer, the gift.”

Zelina says being able to inspire others is one of the greatest rewards The Coppertone on Fears

she’s received from following her passions. She was first inspired musically by John Lee Hooker.  Today, her muse is life itself. “I wake up and I have learned to find inspiration in just that. Being able to wake up and the ability to hold my head high knowing I like the woman I’m becoming. I am inspired by everything – colors, the breeze, the country, the way my boyfriend smiles at me with a look behind his eyes that lets me know he loves me, books, old soul and blues music, a great documentary, an animal I see walking down the street or sitting on a tree in my backyard. I am so blessed with so much around me to be grateful for, that inspires me.”

The ₵oppertone – Copper, the name her sister gave her because of her hair and her slide and Tone for her music and sound – urges everyone to dream big. “Life is meaningless without dreams. The fire that burns within us to fight to achieve them should feel like a means to survival – a hunger to survive. Our passions, when ignited are the nourishment to our bones and the work to achieve them are what make them grow.”

She knows following your heart and your dreams can be hard at times, but worth the struggle. “No, if our dreams and passions were easy to follow, we would have no reason to pursue them. Without the fight, they become inactive. If they were easy, they wouldn’t be big enough; bright enough; bold enough; exciting enough; and inspiring at all. Inspiration comes from the magic of achieving something or pursuing something so grand it brings bliss to your heart and tears to your eyes.”

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