Born in NYC and with an East Coast attitude to match, Erika Icon is one of the feistiest women in the adult industry with almost 15 years of experience. In 2008, Icon started her own firm, The Rub PR, a full-service adult PR agency working with the top studios, companies, cam models, and performers. Icon has helped cast numerous clients in mainstream TV and movies, in addition to scoring interviews for clients with Cosmo, Cosmo Latina, Elle, Refinery29, Vice, Playboy, The Daily Beast, GQ, and many more.
The Rub PR clients have also received an unprecedented number of awards from the XBIZ, XBIZ Miami, AVN, XRCOs, ALT Porn, NightMoves, Urban X, Inked, TEAs, and Fetish Awards. Icon was featured in XBIZ’s WIA (Woman in Adult). Ms. Icon also received multiple XBIZ and AVN Awards nominations for Marketing Campaign of the Year, Outstanding Marketing Campaign, and Best Marketing Campaign - Company Image, as well as an Inked Awards nom for The Bill Snyder Achievement Award. In 2018, she won the NightMoves Award for Behind the Scenes, celebrating the stellar work she’s done for adult companies, studios, and performers.
Icon has been interviewed by Cosmo for an article entitled “What It’s Really Like to Be a PR for Porn Stars”, in addition to being profiled by PR Week for their Sex Issue and the Wall Street Journal about her social media expertise. She writes for iconic adult magazine Hustler and mainstream hip hop magazine The Hype, as well as blogging for XCritic.com and now officially on CGDHNews!
Icon is by far one of the most powerful and respect woman in the industry and CamGirlDollhouse had to sit down with her for a one on one interview! Let's go back to before she was the woman we know today.
Before you became a literal icon of the adult industry, what where you up too?
I worked in advertising as a copywriter and art director, and it was literally sucking the life out of me. I decided to look for greener pastures. I answered an ad on Craigslist to work for a company that was the Netflix of porn (WantedList) for a DVD buyer, and that was 15 years ago.
So when did you create The Rub PR, and what inspired you to do PR for the adult industry instead of say the music industry?
One of my vendors at WantedList was Shane’s world. They asked me to do PR for them on a freelance basis, and I’ve been doing PR since then. I noticed there wasn’t a lot of publicists in our industry, so there was definitely a need at the time, and there still is.
Helping people reach their goals is an amazing skill to have. How does it feel when you see your clients reach these goals?
I get more excited than they do when get them a magazine cover and feature or a big interview, or when they win an award. It’s a great feeling to know that all my hard work has paid off.
That sounds truly amazing. It is so great to see all your hard work pay off. Now I have personally seen what you can do for your clients in just a short time, seeing them featured in Hustler, Playboy, Vice etc. How important is the media to be successful?
Thank you for noticing! I understand how important the media is and treat them with respect and gratitude. I’m always looking for new media sources and reaching out to them. That’s how I got the editor of GQ to come to AVN in 2019.
So you clearly have helped many, but have you ever come across a client that you could not help reaching their goals?
Yes, that has happened, but not often. It’s usually when the client doesn’t want to do their part of the work like interviews or getting back with me about things. It’s the team work that makes the dream work!
Yes!! Team work is dream work right! I imagine not all client are alike so there is no cookie-cutter way to represent each client. How do you figure our really what each client needs to reach their goals?
I view each client as a product (part of my advertising background). But, because each client is different, I create a blueprint/plan of action for each client. Many of them want the some of the same things, but their goals are different and always changing.
Now I have seen almost all, if not all, of your clients on the big screen being nominated for many awards everything from XBIZ, XBIZ Miami, AVN, XRCOs, ALT Porn, NightMoves, Urban X, Inked, TEAs, and even the Fetish Awards. How does it feel when you see them not only nominated but winning top industry titles?
Lance Hart is a great example—he’s won like all those awards while he’s been with us. He’s been with us a few years and is very happy with the work we do, as well as winning so many awards that they could have their own case or room.
That is so exciting. How do you deal with the stress that comes with working for so many different people?
The key is always being patient with the clients—it may take two or three times of asking them to get that interview done. I’m also very organized so that helps—I write everything down, so I don’t forget anything.
Organization also keeps me cool calm and collect. It just seems to make everything go smoother. What would you say is your top three favorite award shows to attend and why?
I don’t usually do awards shows. I am at the red carpet waiting for my clients, so they don’t have to wait in line. It’s more important that I’m assured they walked the red carpet and get in. I have attended all the awards shows in the past, and I like the ALT Porn Awards and the Inked Awards the best—it’s more casual, and they have goodie bags.
We have not made it out to ALT or Inked yet but it is for sure on our list! What would you say is your favorite job/gig you have gotten for one of your clients?
Getting Lance Hart and Ryan Driller into GQ was pretty amazing. They each got a photo shoot and got to show just how GQ they really are.
We can plan till our hearts are content, but the world sometimes has a way of making bumps in the road. How do you deal with bumps that get in the way of you doing your job if any at all?
I’m used to things going wrong, because that’s life. You need to not just have a Plan A, but also a Plan B and C. Also, you also just need to roll with it.
Representing so many clients must take up a lot of time and energy, how do you handle such a big workload?
I make each client feel like they’re the only client I have and give them all personalized attention. I also pretty much work every day and am very accessible to my clients.
You clearly know what your doing and how to get what you want done for your clients, so what is the process to hire The Rub PR?
They should hit me up on Twitter or Instagram at @therubpr via DM, or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once they hit me up, I usually set up a Skype meeting to see if we can help them and if we’re interested in working with them. Then, we ask that they check out our website therubpr.com. We send them over a proposal going over what we discussed and how we work. If there’s not a waiting list, we set up when they will start working with us.
Thank you so much for sitting down with us. We can't wait to see what comes next for all of your talented clients!