Jemini Patel

February 28, 2007

Jemini Patel is a Senior Account Exective at EuroRSCG PR. She is 25 years old and lives in New York City. This interveiw took place on February 25th, 2007.

IM Interview: Hi Jemini
JP: Hello Kim
IM Interview: so….health care pr, good or evil?
JP:I’d like to say good
IM Interview: why?
JP: Well it’s important to remember that unlike advertising, public relations is not paid
JP: The media chooses to cover the topics that we pitch
JP: Which is much more credible than paid advertising
IM Interview: i see….but you entice them to do so…correct?
JP: We provide them with information and it’s our job to make them see why what we’re talking about is important enough to cover
IM Interview: hmmm…so what about your pharmaceutical clients…good or evil?
JP: The companies I do PR for are good companies. I think they do good work and want to really help people
IM Interview: great to hear!
8:15 PM
IM Interview: what would you say are the best and worst aspects of your job?
JP: The best aspect is knowing that we’re spreading awareness about the specific disease category and letting patients know that there are treatment options available
JP: The worst part is the long hours!
IM Interview: really? what are the hours like?
JP: I work about 50 hours+ a week
IM Interview: and lunch?
JP: HA what’s lunch?
IM Interview: hahah so i’m assuming lunchtime is minimal
IM Interview: so what’s a typical day like?
Jemini: well i wouldnt say there’s a typical day for pr. things are always coming up esp if breaking news comes out that affects my clients.
IM Interview: i see…so how much are you at your desk, on the phone or in meetings would you say?
JP: i’m always at my desk
JP: i might as well be chained to it
IM Interview: hahah…ok so you’re painting a picture
IM Interview: what about the people you work with? friends or mostly keep to themselves?
JP: well we work closely together
JP: lots of interaction going on
IM Interview: so it’s a social environment?
JP: yes, very much so
IM Interview: what is the biggest “crisis” you’ve ever had at work?
JP: Well the biggest crisis that I’ve ever dealt with was for an account I used to work on. It was a diabetes product and a publication inaccurately reported wrong information
IM Interview: what did they say? eat sugar?
IM Interview: sorry that’s not funny
JP: They reported that the product causes cancer
IM Interview: that does sound bad…
IM Interview: what did you do?
JP: Well we contacted the publication to let them know it was socially irresponsible to do this
8:20 PM
IM Interview: and?
JP: The product helps so many diabetes patients
JP: We also set up interviews with experts in the field who could discuss that this was blatantly incorrect
JP: And if they were to be responsible they should hear from experts and interview them
IM Interview: does this happen often?
IM Interview: or it’s not usually a problem?
JP: Not often. It depends on what you work on, I’d say
IM Interview: i see
IM Interview: so what would say the difference is between health care PR and say, corporate PR and fashion PR? similar work or different worlds?
Well to be honest, I think fashion, entertainment pr is very frivolous
IM Interview: hmm interesting
JP: Not helping people
IM Interview: so different types of PR attract very different people?
IM Interview: what about non-profit? more noble?
JP: Your health if very important and I think it’s imperative that patients are informed and have all the information to make informed and responsible decisions and to have intelligent discussions with their healthcare providers
IM Interview: So you would say non-profit PR interests you?
JP: Yeah I would say non-profit PR would interest me
JP: Personally I think it’s important to do something that helps people in positive ways
IM Interview: so is this the general consensus in your office? the feeling of helping others understand their own health?
JP: Yes, i’d like to say so
IM Interview: what types of personalities does health care PR attract?
JP: I think people interested in helping others. Interest in health and well being
IM Interview: PR is spin with fast-talkers and agendas…myth, fact or depends what type of PR you’re doing?
JP: I guess depends what type of PR you’re doing. I know in my personal experience I haven’t seen spin with fast-talkers and agendas
IM Interview: health care seems very different from other types of PR
8:30 PM
IM Interview: one last question….what advice would you give a budding PR professional?
JP: Be passionate about the type of PR you go into. I think people do good things when it interests them
IM Interview: i agree! Thanks so much and keep up the good work!
JP: Thanks!

Lauren Schnipper

September 21, 2006

Lauren Schnipper is a 27 year-old actress living in New York City. The interview took place on September 19, 2006.
3:14 PM
IMInterview: Hi Lauren!
LS: Hi Michelle, how are you?
IMInterview: Good. So . . . acting: good or evil?
LS: acting: good AND evil.
LS: shall i explain?
IMInterview: please.
LS: good, because if it weren’t than 3 seconds in this business and you’d be out (evil here we come), good because at the end of the day when i’m performing it’s when i’m happiest.
LS: of course if during that performance everyone was in hysterics then it can be evil
LS: it’s evil because as soon as you decide to move on and do something more stable it sucks you back in
LS: and it’s never the money or fame that sucks you back in, but the promise
IMInterview: is it a disease?
LS: i dont think of it as a disease. maybe because a disease is only a negative in my mind. it’s definitely a passion and you can decide to follow it or not
LS: a disease you dont have that much choice. i think there’s a choice with acting
IMInterview: why do so many people want to be actors?
3:25 PM
LS: a lot of people probably do because they want to be famous i imagine. but i actually dont know any actors in which that is the case.
LS: everyone i know who is an actor is doing it because it’s what they always wanted to do and i guess they just didnt really see themselves doing anything else.
LS: but thats in nyc, maybe in LA the fame thing holds up more.
LS: not that the nyc actors would mind the fame.
IMInterview: what else would you do?
LS: i hate that question because it makes me have to spend time and energy thinking about what else i would do when i could have spent that time and energy focusing on what im doing now which is acting.
IMInterview: ok
LS: not that i dont get asked it a lot and do at times think about it.
LS: apologies for the harshness
IMInterview: another question-
LS: mkay
IMInterview: are the top paid actors talented? should they be making all that $$$?
LS: i think most top actors got there because yes at some time or another they had talent. alot of times they are misused and get lazy with (dare i say it) craft. but in the end you ‘ve gotta be smart and have some chops to get to the top.
LS: should they get that much money?
LS: probably not.
LS: especially compared to people like teachers and doctors that are doing a lot more for society, but i’d take it.
IMInterview: who’s good? who’s overrated?
LS: who’s good? oy.
LS: um.
3:30 PM
LS: ok i just saw the new zack braff movie last night.
IMInterview: the last kiss
LS: i think he’s good. a tad over rated in my mind, but i appreciate what he does.
LS: maya rudolph on snl. i thinks she’s amazing and horribly underused.
IMInterview: who are you jealous of?
LS: i would LOVE debra messing’s life
LS: the whole nine.
LS: i guess you could say i was jealous of her.
IMInterview: would you rather do movies? tv? theater? infomercials?
LS: infomercials for the prestige and cash and theatre to keep me grounded.
LS: im kidding, jeesh.
LS: no no. i would love to be on a sitcom and then do the occasional movie that i thought was brilliant.
IMInterview: who would be your ideal love interest . . .
LS: john cusack anytime any place
IMInterview: haha
LS: he’s so amazing and he’s tall. and not too pretty. and funny. love love love.
IMInterview: who else would you like to work with?
LS: woody allen
LS: sofia copola.
LS: james burrows
LS: sean hayes
IMInterview: what do they teach you in acting class?
3:35 PM
LS: mainly how to tell the truth through imaginary circumstances.
IMInterview: go on . .
LS: the trick is to make those imaginary circumstances your own and that’s where the different methods come into play.
IMInterview: are you a “method” actor?
LS: i’ve studied method and it’s in my “backpack” of tricks, but it’s not my main thing. i prefer imagination.
IMInterview: for you, what’s so great about acting?
LS: two things, connecting with the audience and or connecting with your scene partner
IMInterview: and what’s the worst thing about it?
LS: the constant obstacles that prevent you from getting the chance to make those connections, ie. the business
3:40 PM
IMInterview: who in your life would be surprised to hear you thank them in your oscar speech?
LS: probably sunshine sally demming, one of my first acting teachers at camp
LS: i haven’t seen her in over ten years.
IMInterview: thanks so much for the interview and good luck with the acting
LS: no problem, any time…i clearly like talking about myself.
IMInterview: it must come with the territory . . .
LS: just a littl

Orly Cooper

September 15, 2006

Orly Cooper is a 27 year-old who works for a investment advisory firm in London. The IM conversation took place on August 30, 2006 at 5:55pm.
IMInterview: hi orly
OC: hi michelle
IMInterview: investment advisory firms: good or evil?
OC: ha ha
OC: both
IMInterview: ha ha
OC: no seriously
OC: it’s an unregulated business
OC: which is good for the professionals
OC: but dangerous for the investors
IMInterview: why?
OC: there isn’t much public information out there for investors to make as educated a decision compared to public companies or regulated investment houses
IMInterview: do you think too much wealth is going to too few people?
OC:
can you clarify
IMInterview:
these “hedgefund” people make an obscene amount of $. it’s like professional athletes. do they deserve it?
OC: it depends…
IMInterview: the hedgefund people that is . . .
OC: there are multiple ways that the hedgefunds make money
IMInterview: also, why are they making this much money? and why isn’t everyone working for a hedgefund?
OC: many hedge funds have found specific strategies that outperform the market
OC: those hedgefunds are charging a premium to invest in their fund as opposed to investing in the market
IMInterview: are they ethical?
OC: that’s fair that they make more money
OC: what’s not ethical, or less ethical are the hedgefunds that are making money purely on management fees
OC: and are NOT providing returns > than the market
OC: because of the competition now, many new hedgefunds are differentiating themselves by not charging investors unless they do better then the market (only on the alpha)
OC: did that make sense?
IMInterview: not to me, but I’m not much of a finance person . . .
OC: comparing it to a non financial product…is it ethical that prada can charge exponentially more than gap?
OC: it’s a function of quality and demand
IMInterview: yes. prada is better.
OC: right
IMInterview: usually
OC: hedgefunds can provide you with higher returns
OC: BUT
OC: lots of hedgefunds make claims that they can’t follow through with and they are not regulated
OC: so investors have to be careful as to which ones they invest in
OC: i guess like knock-offs
IMInterview: haha okay
OC: anyone can say that they are a hedgefund
OC: well, that’s not exactly true…there are fairly new regulations that you need to register if you are going to claim to be a hedgefund, but…
IMInterview: what kind of people do you work with?
OC: the smartest
IMInterview: are they like the guys from Boiler Room?
OC: NO
OC: not at all
OC: they are a bunch of super smart guys…much more quant and much less suave
IMInterview: what would they be doing if they weren’t working at an investment firm?
OC: something mathmatical…maybe nuclear physics
OC: 😉
IMInterview: what would you be doing?
OC: probably trading for a prop desk in a bank
IMInterview: that’s what you would do if you weren’t working for an investment firm?
OC: for now
OC: maybe i’ll change paths in the future, but not in the near future
IMInterview: is there any way to use hedge funds for the good of humanity?
OC: sure
IMInterview: discuss
OC: some hedgefunds invest in CSR companies only
IMInterview: (corporate social responsibility)
OC: additionally, the companies themselves do not necessarily have to be involved in CSR or CSR investing, but the amount of wealth that is being generated is just more money to be allocated to the person’s charitable source of choice
OC: like soros
IMInterview: what’s your favorite thing about your job?
OC: the creativity and innovation
OC: i know you’re laughing
IMInterview: scratching my head with a confused look on my face . . .
OC: but the markets are fairly efficient, and some would argue perfectly efficient. so, finding ways to make money, takes a lot of creativity
IMInterview: i see
IMInterview: I thought you were gonna say the money
OC: most hedgefund traders would probably say that
IMInterview: ha ha
OC: which is fair…especially the ones making the enormous year end bonuses, but that’s not the majority
IMInterview: ok, thanks for the interview!
OC: sure
OC: hope it was helpful
IMInterview: definitely.

Emily Heyward

September 15, 2006

Emily Heyward is a 26 year-old strategic planner at a large global ad agency. The IM conversation took place on September 6th, 2006 at 5:31 PM
EH: Hi
EH: hi
IMInterview: so . . . advertising: good or evil?
EH: hahahaha
EH: well– i think about this a lot, obviously
IMInterview: right
EH: and it’s a question that is much bigger than advertising
EH: because w/out advertising, there couldn’t be capitalism
EH: so the question is really, capitalism good or evil
IMInterview: ha ha I was just typing that
EH: which i’m not sure we have time to answer today hahahaha
EH: that being said
EH: i think there is a fundamental difference between people who think consumers need to be protected, and people who think consumers are smart, savvy, in control of the choices they make
EH: i tend to fall into the latter camp
EH: the more i’ve traveled around the country and spoken to people, the more i realize they are not sheep
EH: being controlled by the big evil advertisers
IMInterview: hmm . . . what about young consumers?
EH: how young? kids?
IMInterview: yeah
EH: i def. think we should have measures to shield kids from advertising
EH: i would be VERY reluctant to work on a kid-targeted brand
EH: unless it was like, vegetables haha
IMInterview: would you be reluctant to work on a brand that was harmful to adults, like cigarettes?
EH: yes
EH: i would never work on cigarettes
EH: and not bc i think adults don’t make their own decisions
IMInterview: how do feel about people that do that?
EH: i don’t think they are doing anything wrong–i don’t think advertisers are convincing people to smoke
EH: the reason i personally wouldn’t do it
EH: is bc i feel i need to BELIEVE in the product i’m advertising
EH: i need to feel good about it, think it helps people’s lives
EH: feel it’s a worthwhile product
EH: in order to do my job well
EH: and i don’t feel that way about cigarettes
IMInterview: do you think your way of thinking is common in this field?
EH: hmmm…
EH: well, to be honest, i think it’s the minority that stops to think at all
EH: in any field
IMInterview: other than cigarettes, what’s the hardest thing to advertise?
EH: well, i’ve gotten into debates about this w/ people at my agency
EH: but i have issues w/ prescription drug advertising
EH: however, i have spoken to people whom i really respect
EH: who work on prescription drugs
IMInterview: what are your thoughts on that?
EH: my thoughts are that there shouldn’t be direct-to-consumer advertising
EH: but i don’t really know enough about it to make a cohesive argument
EH: and i spoke to someone whom i respect
EH: who was saying that it really puts the power in the hands of the consumer
EH: etc etc
EH: it’s a tough one
IMInterview: how?
EH: that consumers are taking more and more control of their health
EH: that the doctors are no longer the gatekeepers
EH: i don’t know though
EH: from my small pool of knowledge i am extremely suspicious of drug companies
IMInterview: what about other products that people don’t necessarily need?
EH: see, for me that’s a silly one
EH: what does anyone really NEED
EH: that goes back to capitalism good or evil
5:40 PM
EH: i dont have a problem w/ brands enriching people’s lives
EH: i think it’s up to people to find true meaning outside consumerism
EH: it’s not up to advertisers to patronize them
IMInterview: do you think there’s virtue in someone buying a can of coke and being happy bc they have a sentimental attachment to that brand?
EH: not if that’s the only place they get a happy feeling
EH: but that’s not coke’s responsibility
EH: that’s the person’s responsibility
IMInterview: what are your favorite campaigns?
EH: haha i actually love the current coke campaign that’s running in movie theaters
EH: makes me happy and fulfilled
IMInterview: ha ha
EH: hahahah
IMInterview: I hoe that’s not the only thing . . .
EH: and VW always does a good job…
EH: love levis
IMInterview: who’s your dream client/product?
EH: i would love to work on a tourism campaign
EH: like for a country
EH: but i’d settle for a hotel chain
IMInterview: that sounds great . . .
EH: i think it would be fascinating
EH: especially to brand a country that no one thinks about right now
IMInterview: what makes for a good campaign?
EH: the best campaigns, i think, are based on real consumer truths
EH: something genuine
EH: not what the marketer WISHES people thought
EH: but what they actually think and feel
EH: and then of course there are the ones that just look f*cking cool
EH: and sometimes that’s okay too…
IMInterview: how difficult is it to achieve?
EH: it’s pretty difficult because there are so many factors from start to finish
EH: too many cooks
EH: that thing
EH: and it takes courage
IMInterview: what goes into it that we don’t see?
EH: ohmygod it’s SUUUUUCH a long process
EH: depends on the client but there are so many approvals, so many people who need to see it and okay it and add their mark
IMInterview: is that why there are so many bad ads?
EH: the biggest reason there are so many bad ads is caution
EH: on the part of the client, usually
IMInterview: they don’t want to take a chance and offend someone
EH: more like, they dont want to take a chance and do something new
EH: that isn’t PROVEN
IMInterview: why?
EH: bc they are usually not being judged on creativity
EH: and they want numbers that back up their decisions
EH: there’s also the fact that if you are too close to your product
EH: you think the consumer is going to care about every little detail
IMInterview: so bad ads still sell products?
EH: yes, often they do
EH: often bad ads just generate enough awareness vs. the other guy
EH: that you’re fine
IMInterview: very interesting
IMInterview: what kind of people work in advertising?
EH: i like them (for the most part!)
EH: they tend to be young in spirit
EH: people who want the safety of a corporate job but also want a creative environment
EH: work hard, play hard types
IMInterview: if they weren’t doing advertising, what would they be doing?
EH: probably depends on which side of advertising they are on
EH: i think a lot of the creatives would be artists
EH: or designers
EH: or writers
EH: whereas the account guys, the “suits”, would work for companies

IMInterview: what would you be doing?
EH: what would i be doing……………………
EH: other than driving a boat in jamaica?
IMInterview: ha ha ha
IMInterview: do you need a co-driver?
EH: own a store in the w. village
EH: hahahaha yes, i need someone to spot the waterskiiers
EH: thumbs up means faster, k?
IMInterview: k.
IMInterview: could you do this forever?
EH: no
EH: but
EH: i will prob stay w/in related fields
EH: i don’t have a 10 year goal
IMInterview: do all ad people get burnt out?
EH: yes, i think they do
IMInterview: why?
EH: because it’s the same fights over and over
EH: and it’s hard to be in a service industry
IMInterview: do any clients ever say, here’s my check, do your worst . . .
EH: hahahahhaha that sounds amazing
5:50 PM
EH: sometimes, but i’ve only heard about it
EH: never seen it myself
IMInterview: here’s hoping . . .
EH: and the REALLY cool advertising
EH: is often done internally, BY the client
EH: like target has their own creative dept.
EH: and nike has had the same guys working on it FOREVER
EH: they’re almost like clients
IMInterview: why is there more freedom internally?
EH: it’s not that there is more freedom, but i think there’s more of a sense of we are all on the same team
EH: there is more trust
EH: sometimes lack of trust btwn agency and client ruins the work
EH: different goals
EH: etc
IMInterview: but isn’t it in the agencies best interest to do good work?
EH: yes, of course, and the best agencies will equate good work with good sales results
IMInterview: right
EH: but agencies also want to win awards
EH: and be recognized
IMInterview: creative awards?
EH: yes
IMInterview: got it
IMInterview: what’s your favorite part of your job?
EH: these are good questions!
IMInterview: thanks!
EH: my fav part is thinking about people and what it is they truly want
IMInterview: what do we want???
EH: hahahahahah to be happy, thru the buying of consumer goods
EH: j/k
IMInterview: lol
EH: you (people) are very complicated
EH: you want a lot
EH: hahahaha
IMInterview: I’ll let you get back to figuring out what we want, but thanks for taking the time to do this!
EH: anytime, it was fun!
EH: goodnite!
IMInterview: good night!