Public relations seems so glamorous, after all, what company doesn’t want to say, “We just hired a PR firm”? 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. Public Relations is also a very unique career in a negative way. PR executives have made it into the list of the 10 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 for the past few years the President of ZTPR, a Hollywood and Nashville-based public relations 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 interviews, events, campaigns and strategies, Teperman gets to do a lot of things some of us only dream of, like attending the Super Bowl (most recently in Miami, Florida), partying 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 or walk into the office and see the items we’ve set up for clients working and a huge response 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 “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. Teperman’s posts showing the “real-lives” of famous faces doing “normal” things like you and I not only brings attention to his many clients he features in his personal posts, but gains both them and Teperman more attention that can be leveraged for extended media and social coverage, with the possibility for future sponsorships and endorsements too. This in itself is the genius behind Teperman and his firm’s social channels: integrating personal and business on a playing field that everyone can enjoy to follow along to and don’t feel like they are being sold anything like some business accounts tend to do. We live in a social society, and Teperman and ZTPR have found a way to monetize that to the benefit of their clients.
This brings us to the point that while most of us can’t attend the fancy galas or events Teperman does with his clients, even if he is sometimes in the background trying to be like a ghost as to not be seen, not everyone can afford a publicist either. PR, like other services, is something of a luxury to people and businesses. While most agencies charge tens of thousands of dollars for their services monthly, Teperman has created a business model that gives the PR opportunity to those on a budget. “My goal since day one has never been to charge clients more than what is needed. I am not in the business of making a quick buck, but rather the long term play. If I can build a client forward and make them a success in their field, then my hope is that they will stay loyal and continue to hire my firm as we all grow together.”
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.”
Ever since Samantha Jones via Sex and the City worked in New York as a fabulous publicist where she made the PR industry look like one big party, people have viewed publicists as the lucky ones. And while that does seem true to some degrees based on how you define the word “lucky” – or how badly you have always wanted to sit side-by-side with Elton John at a fancy dinner – those in the PR world like Teperman know that with the perks, comes the hard work.
For more on Teperman and ZTPR, visit http://www.ZTPR.net