As the second season of The Four: Battle for Stardom, kicks off tonight (June 7) one executive is particularly excited: Nathalie Moar, senior advisor to Sean "Diddy" Combs. While Combs, one of the returning judges on the show, generally gains more fans each week, the first season of the show marked a period that "his fanbase noticeably increased, which translates to the brands' social metrics growing too," Moar says.
Moar, known as "Nat," has been by Combs' side for nearly 20 years, now overseeing his communications, brands and entertainment ventures such as Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, Sean John, Combs Wine & Spirits, AQUAhydrate and REVOLT Media & TV. "He likes to call some of his staff 'the GST Crew, aka the Get shit done crew.' I feel like I'm one of the leaders of that crew," jokes Moar, while Combs affirms to Billboard that "there's nobody I trust more to represent me and consult on my brands."
But with the hip-hop star back on national TV after a several-month break, the stakes are sky-high again for the Aussie responsible for his public image. (Former Republic executive Charlie Walk, bowed out of his job as one of the other judges on the Four midway through the first season, as he denied sexual harassment allegations levied against him after he'd stepped into the TV spotlight, and he isn't being replaced; DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor are returning as the other panelists, while Fergie is hosting.)
Billboard recently spoke with Moar about the challenges of representing a star constantly in the limelight with a penchant for changing his name, and how Combs keeps her constantly on her toes.
How did you get your job?
"I literally fell into public relations," says Moar, who started out pursuing a career in photography and moved to Los Angeles, landing an entry-level position with a cosmetic company and liaising between the marketing and PR departments. She put together a daring press release to send out to entertainment firms in the hopes of landing a job. "The headline was 'give me Moar, Moar Moar' and the opening line: Nathalie Moar, Australia's greatest export,'" she recalls. Eventually, Moar crossed paths with a fellow Aussie who introduced her to the public relations firm, DKC, where she spent her next eight and a half years, eventually running the entertainment and lifestyle division and becoming a partner. Moar worked on such record company accounts as BMG, Arista, Zomba, and Jive, and handled artist campaigns for the likes of Britney Spears, Pharrell, Backstreet Boys, Timbaland, and her eventual boss, Sean Combs, before stints at other firms including MAC Cosmetics.
"I did everything for him from album launches to anything he did in public relations," says Moar, who years later jumped at the opportunity to work for him in-house. "That's what led to me building a bond with him at that time. When you go through doing PR for somebody, you are connected. You are the spokesperson for them so that's what I became. I think there is a certain trust that comes with that relationship that made it to what it is today."
What's the hardest part of what you do?
Because Sean is involved in so many different businesses, you want to make sure that you are not stepping on each other's toes and hijacking the news. You don't want to cannibalize somebody else's campaign. If Ciroc is coming out with a new flavor or DeLeon has a launch or we are announcing the roll out of Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story on Apple, you don't want those stories clashing. You want to make sure that the narrative of the conversation is consistent and that it's not the same week that other storytelling is going on. (Since being promoted to senior advisor of communications, brand management and entertainment initiatives in 2017) my focus is on how he interacts with the brands and when he interacts with the brands. It's a lot. I'm one person.
How do you keep up with Diddy?
My day starts like this: I get up, read my emails, check my running list of things I need to do, go to the gym -- no one needs you when it's 6:00 in the morning in New York -- go to the office, and then I'm strapped to my desk all day. What I do next depends on the priority. It could be from speech prep, media training, to speaking points to what updates are going on with production and casting to what the episodic changes might be in the finale episode of The Four to working on a digital story that we are doing for socials specific to the Met Gala... I think we talk telepathically. I kind of already know what he wants based on experience.
What is the biggest public-relations challenge you face?
Sean is notorious for name changing -- and fans love it -- however it's a challenge for us and it affects Google search results. The younger generation knows Sean as 'Diddy'; European's know him as 'P. Diddy'; older generations Puff or Puff Daddy. I respect that that's what he wants and make it work.
What has it been like working on The FOUR?
After Season 1 in January 2018, The Four was dubbed 'Most Social New TV Series,' which demonstrates that social channels impacted viewership. The show successfully recruited a younger, more diverse audience as a result of the panel who drove the conversation and tune in from their social channels. It translated to viewers both for the network and for social.
What have you learned from your boss?
He's taught me that you can accomplish anything; you just have to want it enough. If someone says 'no,' that doesn't mean it's a no. It's like OK I have to go another way. No is not a no until you get a yes; you've got to push. And I think he is definitely dedicated like that. He speaks in motivational phrases. (Among those hanging in her office are): "Do you want to win today? I want to win every day."
"Do you want to be good or do you want to be great?"
"When you are coming from the right place, how could you go wrong?"
"We all have the same 24 hours in our day but how much are you going to achieve in your 24 hours? Because I'm going to be working 24 hours and I'm going to achieve more in 1 of those 24 hours than you will ever achieve."