Presenters: Jeff Tobler (Vice President, Publicity Initiatives, Warner Bros. Television), Lisa Mitchell (Jr. Publicist, Warner Bros. Television) and Brian Carrillo (Publicity Assistant, Warner Bros. Television)
In a crowd full of PR students, hungry to hear from a company so acclaimed and successful, it took a lot of pushing, shoving and convincing to get me through the door of the Warner Bros. session at the PRSSA National Conference. After an overwhelming trek through a mass of people, I got a chance to hear an insightful presentation by some key players on the Warner Bros. publicity team.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is one of the most well-know and respected names in the entertainment industry. Due to their immense success in motion pictures and their long-standing position in the industry, it is no wonder that the company is a household name. The speakers started off by explaining why location is so important for potential PR careers in the entertainment industry. All of them explained how they needed to move across the country to Los Angeles in order to pursue their dream career, since L.A. is the place to be in order to carry out a career in entertainment. However, they also explained that although L.A. is a big city, the PR industry is very small. This is why it is important to network and keep in touch with people in the industry. Lisa advised that even if a position isn’t open right at the moment, it is still important to keep in contact with the people in the company because a position could open up at any time.
Another part of the discussion was about the typical day for a publicist in the entertainment industry. Jeff, Lisa and Brian agreed that no two days are ever the same in the PR world, however they did give some insight as to how a typical day would go. Since Brian is an publicity assistant, he
assists others in order to make big things happen. He works with contacting media and guests for events as well as pitching advertisements for shows that are airing. Lisa explained that a majority of what she does is setting up set tours, bringing in journalists to interview actors and connecting with talk shows to get publicity for their actors and shows. Jeff’s roles are similar in that he has to coordinate getting actors in places for publicity events while working around their shooting schedule. All of the presenters agreed that there is a lot of travelling involved in their jobs and that it contributes to their unpredictable schedules.
Overall, the presenters provided useful information on how to “get your foot in the door” of the entertainment industry and how a typical day would go when working in publicity. The team also touched on the things they did in college to help give them an advantage for their careers, such as internships, and how to get the attention of audiences in a world cluttered with entertainment. It was great to hear from experienced professionals and their advice was helpful because it can be applied to so many career paths in the PR industry.
A few pieces of advice to take away:
- Be resourceful- “no” is never an answer– there is always a way!
- It’s okay to not know what you want to do right out of college– learn from every experience, even if you didn’t like it!
- The worst that anyone can say is “no”– never be afraid to ask
- Always have a pen on you!
Gabi Guglielmetti is currently a sophomore at Grand Valley State University studying public relations with a minor is pyschology. Gaby is an active member of PRSSA and enjoys watching movies, shopping, and being an avid coffee enthusiast.