In Conversation with Nadine Jolson – Twenty-Five Years + as a Hollywood Publicist

Nadine Jolson, Hollywood Publicist, Photo:Courtesy of Nadine Jolson

Hot off the press! Read all about  my Q&A with one of Hollywood’s best publicists. the very beautiful Nadine Jolson


David
:

Hello Nadine, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to talk with me. Take me back to the moment you realize that being a publicist is what you wanted to do as a profession?

Nadine:

My expertise has grown and flourished over the 25+ years I have as a seasoned professional.  I started off as a designer and creative art director in the ad business which instinctually led to marketing for my clientele as many people could out-design me, not a lot could out think me. That evolved into PR when I became aware that a one-time advertisement in a national magazine costing $100,000+  would return a far less response than an article in the same publication which gave added value of credibility -having a 30% stronger response and cost the client $3000/mo for PR company to place the story. I determined that an overall plan of action that includes good smart design, strong marketing and strategic public relations was the best for the clients and that I have the unique and specific skill set that covers all three.  And I can execute at a fraction of the cost of big agencies.

Nadine Jolson

David:

What is a typical day like for you as a publicist? 

Nadine:

There are never two days alike and that’s why I love it so much.  Each client is unique and I custom tailor an Image PR strategy plan to best focus on their goals and needs.  One day may be full of design and building creative materials, another day crafting their brand messaging, another pitching media, another day producing an immersive red carpet experience to premiere a film or launch a product. 

David:

What is the biggest obstacle you face as a publicist?

Nadine:

I would say managing client expectations can be challenging.  Clients [want to] demand results. I tell them, we are in the efforts business.  When we put together a focused media outreach plan and execute it – we are doing our job.  The media is learning about them, their project or service. They are receiving that media exposure which is what PR is all about.  We are not in charge of whether or not that media outlet chooses to post a story or not. What we do have power over, is to package and present the best story pitches possible and reach out to the best contact at the targeted outlet- this gives us the best chance of successful media placement.

David:

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Nadine:

I am very passionate about my work. I love when I get to combine my creative talents with my business acumen. Times when I know in my heart I have done my absolute best and given my all – which is the only way I can feel accomplished.  I always give that extra effort, that extra push when needed. I don’t need recognition to feel good about my work, but I have to say when I do receive accolades it’s icing on the cake.   I love when I can create something really special for the client and my creative vision comes together and the event is successful for all and the client is happy. 

A great example is the ‘Snowing White Carpet’ Premiere we produced for the Brian Presley’s film The Great Alaskan Race -about the 1925’s historic sled dogs that traveled 700 miles to save the small children of Nome, Alaska from a deadly epidemic.   We designed a white carpet, had it actually snow on the carpet, created beautiful arctic backdrops from the films artwork, the actual wolf from the film to lead off the carpet, a pen full of Alaskan puppies for the celebrities to hold while walking the carpet, our staff dressed all in white, milk and cookies for the kids and more.  The premiere and afterparty was a huge success and everyone who attended was really immersed in the whole experience and the client was very happy

I have great joy and satisfaction to truly leap out of bed each day to have the privilege to work with amazing talented producers, directors and talent on great projects. 

Nadine Jolson

David:

What have you learned about yourself as a publicist?

Nadine:

I love to help people, it’s in my nature to be a care-taker and a bit of a control freak.  I love clients that I can manage the whole project from start to finish. I am very much an out-of the-box thinker and I have learned to embrace that fully.  I see every client as a whole picture and that I have a special talent to evaluate where they are and guide them to where they want to be.

The first question I always ask is who are you, what sets you/your project, product or service apart in your industry and what do you have to contribute to that community? What are your dreams and desires and how do you want to be perceived? What is your ‘brand’? Then I develop a strategy and a plan of action to help align their image to fit and advise them every step of the way toward reaching that next level.

David:

Is there a publicist that you look up to or have been inspired by?

Nadine:

There is not “a’’ publicist, there are and have been so many that have graciously helped me, coached me and inspired me along the way.  I try to do the same for others and make myself available to mentor women.

Nadine Jolson

David:

If you can go back in time what would you tell your teenage self?

Nadine:

As a teenager I felt very alone as I felt I did not fit into any one group/click of friends.  I was very much a chameleon and could relate on some level to all the different clicks, though I never ‘belonged’ to any of them.  Now I know that is one of my greatest strengths to be able to connect and communicate with such a wide variety of types, and personalities and I would tell my teenage self – embrace it!  

David:

What do you think the entertainment industry lacks?

Nadine:

One of my pet peeves is that the ad biz is soooo focused on the 18-24 year olds.  Most young adults I know that age don’t have any money. Why not aim at the 30-50 year olds that have disposable income and discerning taste?   

I am working on several Virtual Reality film projects that are game changers – and I find the entertainment industry is still stuck in that is ‘just tech’.  We are trying to close the gap and unite creative ‘Hollywood’ storytelling with the ‘Silicon Valley’ tech advances in filmmaking. I know there are those visionaries that see it as the future of Hollywood, but it’s really happening right now.

David:

As a publicist your job is to get exposure for your client. Has there been times where the media just had no interest with your client? What do you do in situations like that?

Nadine:

As I mentioned earlier, we are in the efforts business to let the media know that the client/the project exists and to get onto their radar.  Sometimes you have what is believed to be a sure fire story and the media passes, and other times the newsworthy angle isn’t as strong and the media places it.  I don’t take ‘no’ easily as an answer and will do my best to find a way to make it work. Sometimes that means being more creative to find the right media outlet to place a story.

Nadine Jolson

David:

What advice do you have for people contemplating on becoming a publicist?

Nadine:

The entertainment industry is an industry.  It’s not all glitz and glamour 🙂 You need to have knowledge of who’s who and how it works.  Read the trades. Follow the news. Watch films and shows. Knowledge is everything. I can’t tell you how many times I have interviewed someone and asked them what shows they like and they say I really don’t watch or go to the movies — and you want to work in the entertainment industry??

David:

Thank you for your time. Any last words to all the readers?

Nadine:

To me PR is so much more than an article, or an event.  If you want to be successful you need to be your best and present your best to your work community and the world around you.  Take time to invest in yourself and your image, your personal brand and your business brand. Confidence rules! I love to work with clients to help them define their brand and elevate their image.  It is 2020 – time to level up!

Photos: Courtesy of Nadine Jolson

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*