I could not have asked for a better first day networking in Los Angeles. Today we visited three companies: Edelman, Paramount Pictures and Magical Elves, had lunch at an influencer-approved spot and found time for some sightseeing. From picking apart the brains of the professionals we met to smiling our way down the Walk of Fame, there is no doubt that today was a successful for the whole group. You can read the details below.
Edelman is a global communications marketing firm that has revolutionized its traditional public relations roots to reflect the rapidly changing landscape of media consumption and audience targeting. The recruitment manager of the Los Angeles office introduced us to the company, and then we met with the vice president of creative content planning and the director of creative strategy. I was really impressed with how progressive Edelman seems to be in the field and how the company is always changing to keep up with the needs of its clients (Taco Bell, PayPal, Dove, etc.) and demands of consumers.
We visited the absolutely giant 65-acre Paramount Pictures studio to meet with two members of the public relations team: an account executive and junior publicist. While I never thought I would be interested in public relations as a career, their jobs at Paramount allow them to plan promotional events and work with talent, influencers and agents, and that really got me thinking. We received details about the differences between entertainment public relations in NYC and LA, how they collaborate with other offices and companies to promote different films, and how they handle bad PR or even a movie that is not expected to do well.
We spoke to the head of development at Magical Elves, which is the production company behind Bravo’s Top Chef, Nailed It! on Netflix, and Project Runway. My personal favorite, however, is that they produced Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never film, which was like The Bible to my 14-year-old self. We learned about the process of creating show ideas to pitching and selling them, which was never something I learned about before. What a cool job to have!
While the “work” was fun, there was actually time for sightseeing despite our busy schedule today. After Edelman, we strolled to the outside of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to explore the giant street lamps they have in front of the museum, which were evidently fun to race through.
Then, we headed to a California chain restaurant called Lemonade, which offers generally healthy options such poke bows, fresh sandwiches and salads. Apparently a lot of bloggers go there, so I knew it had to be a satisfactory place. That assumption was proven correct instantly, with Lemonade’s bright décor, fast service, friendly staff and incredible food. I had an ahi tuna poke bowl which was surprisingly filling, and unsurprisingly tasty, and a unique lavender elderflower lemonade, which tasted like a light, less-sweet, and more refreshing version of lemonade.
Afterward, we had some time to explore. Four of us took that as an opportunity to visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is where many old stars such as Lucille Ball is buried. After much searching, we found Judy Garland’s gravesite, which was special.
Once our whole day was over, though, we made it to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is the main tourist street in Los Angeles.
I had two initial reactions. First, I was chirping like a songbird about how I could not believe I was there. I had no idea you could be star struck by a sidewalk, but apparently it’s possible. Secondly, I thought that this is what I pictured of when I thought of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame, which is located on Hollywood Boulevard, is like the Times Square of New York, filled with bright lights and tourist attractions. However, it is nowhere near as crowded as New York. I spent the two hours we had there walking up and down the star-studded sidewalk, finding famous handprints at the TCL Chinese Theater and exploring the absolutely gorgeous Hollywood & Highland mall.
I still cannot believe how well today went. Everyone we met was so kind and excited to have us, and we learned so much about entertainment public relations and film and show sales. I am so sad that a day is already over, but excited to catch some much-needed sleep.