For those of you who were unable to make it to our event last week, here is a recap of what we heard from our outstanding entertainment PR panel. We all learned so much about the industry through the discussion!
Rita Tateel (The Celebrity Source) discussed the role of celebrity sponsorships and promotional placements in PR. Her company negotiates with celebrities to appear at events and in campaigns for three reasons—for money, a good cause or free giftbags. She also went on to detail the ways in which a celebrity can single-handedly drive a brand but cautioned us that he/she can only do so with the proper credibility, capability and motivation.
Matt Paget (Rogers & Cowan) spoke about aligning consumer and sports accounts with social media and buzz entertainment strategies. He described a recent Dasani “Green Cap” campaign that was associated with Earth Day in NYC and LA. He partnered with celebrities such as Donatella Versace and Nicole Ritchie to make customized hats to get people excited about Dasani’s new 100 percent recyclable water bottle. This campaign resulted in more than 300 million media impressions! Matt’s advice to us was to go into job or client situations with an emphasis on your own strengths that might not necessarily be the agency or client’s strengths.
Tiffany Everett (Warner Brothers) discussed online publicity specifically dealing with the release of the movies, The Hangover and Valentine’s Day. Online buzz marketing/viral campaigns are taking over the publicity side of studios, and she’s seen rapid changes between sites like MySpace, Facebook and, now, FourSquare. Tiffany’s advice to young professionals was to keep networking, and take great care never to burn bridges.
Beth Morris (Rogers & Cowan) went into depth about representing personalities and talent. She has become a pitching machine, as she works specifically on up-and-coming stars and is usually their first publicist. She delivers to her clients a customized approach that forms the personalities that will define them in the industry, booking photo shoots, magazine covers, red carpet-wear, etc. Despite all the perceived glitz and glam of entertainment publicity, Beth reminded us that the job still boils down to the nuts and bolts types of PR principles involved in creating and developing a good brand.
Leslie Jacobe (Sony) is a rising young professional, who began her career at Sony four years ago during college. While it has not always been easy to obtain jobs from college internships in the past few years, Leslie has succeeded. Her focus at Sony involves working with satellite offices all over the nation and spearheading regional marketing for movie releases with print/online and broadcast coverage. Leslie’s pragmatic approach to working in PR has translated to her feeling that everyone has a different path into the field but for her, the longevity of her internships played a key role. It was her method of standing out from the crowd and making herself an integral part of the team at Sony.
Nicole Wilson (Universal Pictures), another rising young professional, rounded out our panel. She began her career in talent publicity and has moved around quite a bit in her early years. If it’s any consolation for all of you “confused” young professionals, she had to bring in her resume because she had so many “career changes” after she graduated from college! From the talent agency, she moved into studio publicity but then to talent publicity at PMK, back to studio work at Universal. After listing all that out, she took a deep breath and gave us the advice to keep working hard at writing, as the press is often lazy and will sometimes simply print exactly what we’ve written.
The most uplifting theme of this panel was how passionate and comfortable the speakers are with their careers. It was inspiring to hear each panelists’ view on following their PR dreams, and it was readily apparent that they all truly love what they’re doing in the industry.
Thanks so much to those of you who were able to make it out for the event! For those of you who couldn’t, hopefully this recap covers it for you, and you are able to join us next month for a discussion on going digital.