On Wednesday, Feb 12. members had the opportunity to hear Carlie Zervan, Marketing Manager at the Delta Plex speak about Entertainment PR. Before the conversation even began, Carlie made a disclaimer calling herself “not interesting.”  That was far from the truth! Having just graduated from Ferris State University (FSU) in May 2013, Carlie has accomplished a lot in the past year. Her internships have been out of this world, and the experience from those internships brought her to where she is today.

While at FSU Carlie was the “Clients Relations Manager” for FSU’s PRSSA chapter. One of the clients she worked with there was a local band. Even though they weren’t very well-known, she really enjoyed this experience. Carlie was able to help with their social media and video production, among other things. She was also involved with FSU’s “Turn Up the Good” and Ferris State Media.

One of her most noteworthy internships was at American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in Nashville, Tennessee. ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), a membership association of more than 500,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide and protects the rights of members by licensing and distributing royalties for public performances of copyrighted works. 

Carlie said she really enjoyed her internship at ASCAP. She was responsible for writing speeches for artists, when their song would hit number one including Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Lady Antebellum. She would also listen to music and decide whether or not to pass the artists along to her superiors or critique them. Carlie said, “I was able to listen to a lot of good music.” It wasn’t glamorous she said, it was more chill. She also noted that “You have to have that kind of personality to fit in.” A member asked what the hardest part about relocating for an internship was. “Nothing,” said Carlie. She had a lot of help from her parents and she was good at making friends. She highly encourages traveling to a different city for experience. Nashville had been a place where there where many people around her that had interest in the same things and that is why she fit in so well.

She was able to get her position at the Delta Plex Arena through her networks. She became good friends with one of her pervious mentors and made sure to keep that connection going. At her current position at the Delta Plex, she is the one and only Marketing Manager, and is solely responsible for all of the arena’s marketing and communications efforts. Thankfully she has an awesome intern who helps out a lot. Carlie wears a number of different hats including: Advertising, graphic design, public relations, event development, media relations, web development, and of course, marketing; just to name a few. Although she has such a heavy work load and not a lot of down time, she loves it, “It’s awesome.”

Some advice that Carlie gave, “Hound for good connections, find a mentor.” This helps PR students because it gives you the chance to bounce ideas off of someone who has been doing this for some time or help with positions down the road. She also suggested staying up to date with trends and knowing the culture; no matter what industry you’re interested in. She keeps up to date with sites like Reddit, traditional social media sites, Mashable and music magazines.

What has been her biggest challenge working in Entertainment PR? Carlie said marketing for events like the Alpaca Convention that she isn’t as familiar with is sometimes difficult. She said it is hard to market for something that doesn’t really interest you, but “I make it a top priority to make them work.” She also noted that staying focused is a big part of it too.

Carlie loves what she’s doing, she’s able to learn everything and be involved in every aspect of events; a perk of working for a smaller venue. Members also asked if she could do something differently in college, what would it be? Carlie answered, “Spending more time with my sorority and friends.” She noted that since graduation many of them have parted ways. 

Our members were able to learn so much from Carlie, she was such an inspiration! Follow the #EntertainmentPR hash tags on Twitter to read about other memorable moments our members learned from the meeting.

Stay involved. Keep learning. Follow trends. #EntertainmentPR

Follow Carlie Zervan on Twitter @CarlieZervan. Her adorable cat, Loki also has an Instagram @phatcat300. 

– Kelsey Juergens
GrandPR | Account Associate
GV PRSSA | Blogging Committee
Twitter @KJuerg