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Name: Jennifer Perras (flanked by Shawn Hlowatzski from smashbox cosmetics, left, and Greg May from Greg May Hair Architects
Publicists or public relations (PR) agents are like luxury handbags for Hollywood stars. They’re the ones hired to get a star’s mug into the press, and often the ones called upon for damage control. (Has Britney Spears called her people yet?)
Though we here in Hollywood North may not boast a star system on par with our southern counterpart, our talent pool does have a place to turn to when they want to get the publicity machine going: Rock-it promotions (www.rockitpromo.com), an entertainment and lifestyle-based public relations agency headed by Debra Goldblatt.
“The biggest misconception of public relations is that we ‘spin’ things, and are all aggressive, pushy and phony,” says Jennifer Perras, 33, one of rock-it’s publicists.
Meeting clients, contacting journalists, mapping out PR campaigns, managing events, writing press releases, and yes, scheduling hair and makeup appointments for stars before a TV interview are all in a day’s work for Perras.
Every job has its perks, and for Perras it was working at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival where she managed to get made over by celebrity gurus, Shawn Hlowatzski from smashbox cosmetics and Greg May from Greg May Hair Architects.
Perras, who holds degrees in radio and television arts and psychology veered into PR by chance. “I did the eulogy for my father (who passed away to cancer in 2004) and strangely enough people were asking me at the funeral if I’d ever thought of going into PR. I guess they thought I wrote and spoke well,” explains Perras.
Abandoning her pursuits in psychology, Perras enrolled into Humber College’s post-graduate PR program and managed to channel her passion for entertainment into her dream job in PR.
Her advice to those fretting about swapping career choices is simple. “My dad always said, ‘Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere’.”
An award-winning and multi-faceted media personality, Lawrence’s career spans journalism, television (hosting, acting, producing) and public relations (event management, publicity). Log onto lawrence-chau.com for more buzz.