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!

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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

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!