Public relations (PR) seems so glamorous, after all, what company doesn’t want to say, “We just hired a PR firm” or “Go talk to my publicist”?
But, beyond the front-facing appeal, public relations if done right can help people and brands reach a large audience and get ROIs without the expensive cost of traditional advertising and marketing. It can help companies go from nobody knowing about them to everyone talking about them. Public Relations is also a very unique career in a negative way. PR executives have made it into the list of the ten most stressful jobs in North America for the past few years. It’s a profession that can break people. Still, if you are motivated, can check your ego at the door, possess strong attention to detail, and can multitask at all hours of the day, it can be very rewarding.
Zack Teperman, who is originally from Toronto, Canada and had a successful career as an on-air radio personality prior to his work in PR, has been since 2014 the President of ZTPR, a public relations and marketing agency that represents high profile celebrities, models, musicians, athletes, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and all sorts of products, start-ups, fashion/tech items and various other types of business establishments.
But beyond working behind a computer screen getting his clients what they seek in the form of setting up media interviews, events, campaigns and strategies, Teperman gets to do a lot of things some of us only dream of, like attending the Super Bowl, partying in the past at the Playboy Mansion (he represents some of the Playmate of the Years), and walking the red carpet at exclusive events like the Grammys and Academy Awards.
With that much swagger in the PR industry we had to ask him what he exactly loves the most about his job as a publicist. He commented back stating, “I just love the daily rush and excitement that on any given day in PR, I can open up my phone/email and see the items we’ve set up for clients actually working and a huge response or ROI coming in. One side of PR is about building relationships with media contacts and working with them to create an amazing story that showcases the client. Seeing how all the hard work translates to sales and results for the client is one of the best feelings you can have!”
With all good things though, the public relations sector can be frustrating to some. USA Today recently rated public relations among the top 10 most stressful professions alongside military personnel and firefighters in America. Although PR professionals aren’t literally putting out fires, their job does involve taming flames in crisis situations by managing and maintaining brand reputation. Teperman comments, “I can understand how some people in my field get frustrated. I’ve learnt to turn that frustration into a “adrenaline rush feeling” that pushes and motivates me more, but not everyone can do that. If you can’t multitask, public relations is definitely not the career choice for you. And that is why I think the only thing I really don’t love about my job is that it’s hard for me to shut it off, unless I’m literally on an island or on a plane with no cell service, I’m always working in some capacity. I always say, public relations is a 28 hour a day job!”
Teperman over the years has gained a loyal following of clients in all walks of life, which has in return given Teperman himself some notoriety in the public relations industry, or as we like to call it here at Swagger Magazine, SWAG! His social media accounts (@zackteperman) are all highly followed and companies, holiday resorts and others have sought him out to either visit their establishments and help promote their brands himself, rather than through media channels or his own group of influencers and celebrities. This in itself has given Teperman swagger by our definition, even if he doesn’t agree.
“I don’t really get why people follow along on my adventures. I just post about my little daughter, how I sucked at golf, or what crazy outfit I decided to wear out to make a fool of myself. Nothing special at all.”
Humbled he may be, but his social accounts give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes of his famous clients and what some of us wish we could experience. “I remember way back when Instagram first came around and I was in Las Vegas with some of our clients from the hit TV show at the time, Glee. I posted a photo of all of us just enjoying dinner, and in a matter of minutes InTouch and OK! Magazine were reposting the photo everywhere. I kept thinking to myself, why do people care to see a bunch of us behind a dinner table eating?!” And that is the exact intrigue everyone seems to have these days still with celebrities or people in power.
So, does PR really work? We know that with the right coverage a product can make it or break it, but is the cost in investing in PR worth it? “I always say, you can be the best actor, best singer, have the best product, etc., but if nobody knows about you and your product, or service isn’t getting people’s attention, is it really the best?! That is where PR comes into play. We help strategize with you your ultimate goals and the stepping stones we need to take to get you where you want to go. Plus, we have the contacts, relationships and connections to get you that exposure, whereas if you just email someone yourself, it may not get answered. PR is an investment in yourself… so, it’s up to you if you believe in yourself.” – A recent case study by Teperman’s agency showed how he helped scale one client from a few million dollar company to over $100 million in a short few years through PR initiatives.
With his no-BS approach to public relations, Teperman has reformed the industry he is in and has been an in-demand speaker on stages around the world and at colleges. His recent award-winning book, “Enough of The Bull$hit” was even signed off on and published alongside his friends Mark Cuban, David Meltzer and Jordan Belfort.
As Teperman writes inside the book’s cover: “Public relations is both a short- and long-term investment that leverages your story to create brand loyalty, credibility and longevity, which by proxy increases brand visibility. Within these pages, I ask the seemingly basic, but often overlooked, essential questions that only a public relations expert with over a decade of experience would challenge you to answer. Why does someone need your product or service? Why did you start your company? What makes you different? Are you settling for $hitty content over quality? Are you leaning into authenticity? Why the f**k should someone spend their time, energy and money to support you or your company? These are questions that you’re supposed to answer and I encourage you to do so. These answers combined with my candid, no bull$hit advice in these pages are meant to help you navigate the composition of your story and connect with a wider audience—no matter what it is you do.”
With his candid approach and never over-promising his clients things he cannot deliver, Teperman is a pioneer in his industry that is well respected, unlike others who have left those who have invested into PR with a bad taste.
For more on Teperman and ZTPR, visit the official website.